College basketball coaches once barely tolerated sophomores, because, as one coach complained, "Every one you play costs you a couple of games." Now sophomores play and win games for their teams, and this season there is an unusually fine crop. Among the best are Providence's Jim Walker, who is one big reason why the Friars are unbeaten; Western Kentucky's Clem Haskins, who last week scored 55 points against Middle Tennessee; and Duke's Bob Verga, a stylish shooter who is averaging 20.6 points a game.
THE TOP THREE:
1. PROVIDENCE (14-0)
2. ST. JOSEPH'S (17-1)
3. ST. JOHN'S (12-3)
It started out like an easy week for undefeated PROVIDENCE. Once the quick, young Friars solved Rhode Island's zone, it was all over for Rhodey, and Providence won 73-56. The Friars' long winning streak seemed safe enough when some heavy early bombing by sophomore Jim Walker and Bill Blair put them 10 points ahead of visiting St. Bona-venture with only 10 minutes to play. Then Providence's shooting cooled. George Carter, the Bonnies' husky sophomore, took control of the boards, Roger Bauer began hitting on long pop shots, and St. Bonaventure led 76-75 with 21 seconds to go. But Blair calmly plunked in two free throws, and Providence eked out its 14th straight 77-76.
Once-beaten ST. JOSEPH'S, playing better than ever and determined to give Coach Jack Ramsay his 200th win (in only 10 seasons), went at Centenary full speed. Sophomore playmaker Matt Guokas passed off deftly, sophomore Center Cliff Anderson fired in 27 points and snapped up 20 rebounds, and St. Joe's won 117-90 to set another Palestra scoring record.
Villanova was beginning to perk up, too. The Wildcats battered Penn 75-46 and Duquesne 71-55. So was LA SALLE. The Explorers took Lafayette 91-73 and Loyola of New Orleans 72-69. But Temple, which does not seem to fare well when it gets away from the friendly environs of Philadelphia, was taken by a strong CONNECTICUT team at Storrs. The Huskies swarmed all over the Owls with a three-quarter-court press, 6-foot-8 Toby Kimball grabbed 20 rebounds, sophomore Wes Bialosuknia scored 18 points, and Connecticut won 71-60. Life was more pleasant for TEMPLE back in the Palestra. There the Owls stormed from behind to beat NYU 77-68.
Fordham's Johnny Bach is finally beginning to look forward to his Saturdays. A week earlier his Rams upset Temple and last Saturday they outmuscled a pressing Army team 60-53. SYRACUSE, apparently over its early-season jitters, held off Bowling Green 80-79 for its fourth in a row. BOSTON COLLEGE'S flashy John Austin scored 30 points to lead the Eagles past Fairfield 96-88 and then put in six foul shots in the last 80 seconds to save a 78-73 win over Seton Hall. PENN STATE, having its best season in years, routed Colgate 95-65.
Penn tried everything against PRINCETON'S superb Bill Bradley—a 2-3 zone, box-and-one and a real tough muscle job. All the Quakers got for their trouble was 27 fouls called, four players fouled out and an 83-72 licking. Bradley scored 36 points, including 16 out of 19 from the foul line.
THE TOP THREE:
1. DAVIDSON (16-1)
2. VANDERBILT (14-2)
3. DUKE (10-2)
What promised to be a tight Southeastern Conference race is rapidly turning into a one-team show. VANDERBILT, after trifling with Mississippi for an 84-70 victory, swamped second-place Auburn 105-77 for its 11th in a row. Vandy also got some help from a most unlikely source, as KENTUCKY, soundly drubbed by Florida only a week earlier, surprised the Gators 78-61 in Lexington. Florida had murdered Kentucky with a low double post, so Adolph Rupp shrewdly plotted a way to keep the ball away from the Gators' good sophomores, 6-foot-9 Gary Keller and 6-foot-10 Jeff Ramsey. He put Center John Adams in front of the strong side post and had Tommy Kron slough off the weak side to double-team from the rear. It worked. The frustrated post men rarely got the ball, and Florida's offense collapsed. Meanwhile, Louis Dampier, Kentucky's brilliant sophomore guard, made all 13 of his foul shots and pitched in 21 points. The Baron, who has had a hard year, was pleased. "It's getting so," he chuckled, "I'm tickled to death to beat anybody."
All of which put TENNESSEE, an 83-49 winner over hapless Georgia, into second place. The Vols, counterpunching carefully with the accurate shooting of A. W. Davis (22 points) and Larry McIntosh (20 points) and controlling the boards, had Georgia smothered at the half 40-17. After that it was easy.
While Duke was idled by exams, NORTH CAROLINA STATE took over the lead in the Atlantic Coast. The Wolfpack clobbered Centenary 79-64 and Virginia 92-69 for their 11th straight since Coach Press Maravich took over the team. But both Duke and N.C. State had better start worrying about MARYLAND. The eager young Terps, with sophomore Jay McMillen leading the way with 28 points, outran North Carolina 91-80 for their sixth ACC win.
There were signs that the Southern Conference may have a race after all. VIRGINIA TECH, a late starter, was now 4-1 after beating Furman 104-81 and West Virginia 82-74. First-place DAVIDSON, meanwhile, sharpened its games on nonconference rivals. The Wildcats beat East Carolina 82-68 and Wake Forest 78-71 for the longest winning streak in major college basketball—15 games.
Oklahoma City's garrulous Abe Lemons was speechless after MIAMI'S elusive gunner. Rick Barry—the nation's No. 1 scorer with 38.2 a game—bombed his team for 51 points as the Hurricanes won 115-92. Independent FLORIDA STATE had mixed success against SEC teams. The Seminoles beat Auburn 58-55, then lost to ALABAMA 75-66.
THE TOP THREE:
1. MICHIGAN (13-2)
2. WICHITA STATE (13-2)
3. INDIANA (12-2)
UCLA Coach Johnny Wooden's old Big Ten buddies from his days at Purdue had a grand reception cooked up for him last weekend when he brought his No. 1-ranked Bruins to Chicago Stadium. They praised him effusively and then IOVVA buried his team 87-82. Iowa Coach Ralph Miller hit UCLA with Wooden's own favorite weapons—a tough, withering press and a brisk fast break. Accustomed as they are to such debilitating tactics, the Bruins nevertheless were forced into nagging errors, and Iowa's Chris Pervall, a slinky 6-foot-2 junior-college transfer, poured in 28 points. Next night UCLA was back to form against Loyola of Chicago and beat the Ramblers 85-72 while ILLINOIS trounced Notre Dame 101-87.
Loyola, however, had already enjoyed its moments of glory in Friday night's double-header. The Ramblers upset Wichita State 93-92 on Tom Markey's last-second layup in overtime after Wichita's Dave Stallworth and Loyola's Billy Smith, who spent the last two years in academic exile, engaged in a hot shooting match. Stallworth scored 45 points, Smith 38. There was some solace for the Shockers, too. They came back to throttle Louisville 96-76 as Stallworth closed out his eligibility with 40 points and a neat little speech. "It was a pleasure playing for you," he told the 10,465 fans assembled in University Fieldhouse. "I needed you people and I will miss you."
There is just no end to the shocks in store for Cincinnati's Ed Jucker. He watched painfully while little ST. JOSEPH'S of Indiana, coached by former Bearcat Jim Holstein, upset his team 61-59 on Tom Crowley's lay-up. Then Cincy did the unexpected again. It edged St. Louis 67-66 when Fritz Meyer made two free throws, BRADLEY, playing with a shuffled lineup, swamped Tulsa 74-58.
Imagine OKLAHOMA STATE'S Hank Iba being frustrated by a slowdown! It happened last week when his Big Eight leaders fought off Colorado to win 59-55 in triple overtime. At one point Iba, who supposedly invented the delay game, was on his feet shouting for his Cowboys to fast-break. He was less impatient when they beat Missouri 63-55. IOWA STATE, surprisingly, knocked Kansas State out of the race 91-76.
Michigan rolled on in the Big Ten. The Wolverines had their hands full with Michigan State but finally got the Spartans 103-98 in overtime as Cazzie Russell scored 40 points. Purdue was easier. The Boilermakers fell 98-81 but Michigan lost tough Larry Tregoning with a sprained ankle. MINNESOTA also beat Purdue 85-81 to share third place with Illinois.
Marquette's Al McGuire, who used to play for St. John's Joe Lapchick, had a surprise ready for his old coach. His "scram-bled-egg" unit so disconcerted the Redmen with its zany tactics that almost before they knew it they were behind 30-10. Marquette went on to win 78-50. ST. JOSEPH'S, another top eastern independent, had too much for Xavier. The Hawks ran away with the game 93-78. DAYTON battered Loyola of Los Angeles 89-71 and Canisius 88-72 and then slowed down to upset Miami of Ohio 54-52. DE PALL routed Niagara 97-59.
THE TOP THREE:
1. HOUSTON (14-6)
2. TEXAS TECH (9-4)
3. OKLAHOMA CITY (14-6)
The Southwest Conference, which rarely reflects such clarity, finally had an undisputed leader, TEXAS TECH saw to that. While an old-fashioned West Texas dust storm roared outside the handsome Lubbock Coliseum, 9,625 noisy Tech rooters roared inside as the hot-shooting Raiders demolished co-leader SMU 107-89. The Ponies never had a chance. Dub Malaise, a quick little fellow, ran them ragged, stealing passes and fast-breaking for 30 points while Norm Reuther poured in 29. SMU's Doc Hayes was strangely philosophical about it. "I don't brood over these things," he said. "It's just like the Civil War—it was horrible while it was going on, but it's all over now." Actually, it was not. Four nights later at SMU, TEXAS' sinking man-to-man defense crowded the desperate Ponies underneath the basket, and the Longhorns also beat them 89-79. Tech, meanwhile, tarried for a while against TCU's vigorous press, but got away from the Frogs in time to win 108-94 for a two-game lead in the conference race. This time Malaise scored 27 points.
Independent HOUSTON fattened its record on two SWC teams, but it was not easy. Baylor, with 6-foot-7 sophomore Darrell Hardy shooting magnificently (he got 19 points), had the Cougars on the run and then let them get away. Jim Jones's layup in the last second beat the Bears 80-78. Texas A&M, down by 18 points with 16:33 to play, made a belated charge at Houston but it was too late and too little. The Cougars held on to win 79-74.
Touring OKLAHOMA CITY had no trouble at all whipping West Texas State 86-68. NEW-MEXICO took the boards away from Texas Western and beat the Miners 69-58.
THE TOP THREE:
1. UCLA (14-2)
2. ARIZONA (14-4)
3. SAN FRANCISCO (13-2)
Western AC teams were standing tall last week. While ARIZONA'S pressure defense took the fight out of San Francisco, 6-foot-5 Albert Johnson, bouncing up and down like a yo-yo. blocked shots and pulled down rebounds, and the Wildcats beat the Dons handily 71-56. Arizona also whipped Arizona State College 89-63 and Memphis State 99-64. SAN FRANCISCO recovered to beat Arizona State 91-75.
UTAH'S Jack Gardner decided that his team could not hope to stop Utah State's Wayne Estes but he figured that his smallish Redskins could outrun the Aggies. That's just what happened. Estes scored 43 points, but Utah won the game 111-104. BRIGHAM YOUNG, running and shooting for all it was worth, rocked depleted Air Force 111-77 and Denver 96-85, while WYOMING, coming on fast now, beat San Jose State 92-70 and Air Force 75-62. NEW MEXICO'S sure-handed defense, the best in the nation, was too much for New Mexico State and the Aggies succumbed 62-37.