If ST. JOSEPH'S Coach Jack Ramsay ever had any worry about how his players would react to lofty preseason estimates of their ability, he can forget it. Hofstra, swamped 96-57, never had a chance against the sharp Hawks. Fairfield thought it did when it led by a point after nine minutes. Then St. Joe's began hounding the Stags with an assortment of swarming zone presses. Fairfield lost the ball more than 20 times without taking a shot, slick playmaker Matt Guokas used his fast hands for eight steals (and 25 points) and the Hawks won easily 100-74.
The last time PROVIDENCE played Villanova, Wildcat Coach Jack Kraft got a plaque and his team ended the Friars' 19-game winning streak. So last Saturday Providence's Student Congress saluted Coach Joe Mullaney for his "contributions in spreading the name of Providence nationwide," and the Friars took Villanova 69-59. But it was sticky until Providence's combination defense got around to stopping Villanova's Bill Melchionni. Bill Blair and Mike Riordan got 42 points for the Friars.
Boston College got off to a good start, too, beating Dartmouth 107-85 as John Austin scored 33 points. But new Holy Cross Coach Jack Donohue, who lost only once in three years when he had Lew Alcindor at Power Memorial High in New York, dropped his first college game to HARVARD 76-67. "It was a team effort," cracked Donohue. "We were all bad."
Some of the East's other independents looked good, PENN STATE, fast-breaking and playing sturdy defense, upset Maryland 65-61. ST. JOHN'S, under new Coach Lou Carnesecca, beat Georgetown 64-62 on Bob McIntyre's last-second jumper. SYRACUSE, with Dave Bing firing in 68 points, trounced Buffalo State 118-68 and Buffalo 110-60.
For a while Virginia Tech had DUKE'S Vic Bubas worried. Tech's Bob King, a bulky, 6-foot-10 center, blocked off 6-foot-7 sophomore Mike Lewis, almost stalling Duke's mighty offense. Then Lewis found a way to get around King, and the Blue Devils began to move. Jack Marin shot for 22 points, Bob Verga and Steve Vacendak for 18 each and Duke coasted 112-79. "It was just a case," said Bubas, "of our workhorse [Lewis] getting our greyhounds running." Three nights later, with everybody running from the start, Duke trounced Clemson 83-68 after the Tigers had upset North Carolina 84-74.
North Carolina, meanwhile, recovered to open its new 8,600-seat Carmichael Auditorium in style. While the Tar Heels stymied William & Mary with a pressure defense, Bob Lewis scored 34 points to lead Carolina to an 82-68 win. "We hope to make this a winning palace—a blue heaven," said Coach Dean Smith.
Vanderbilt, Kentucky and Tennessee looked like the class of the SEC. VANDERBILT toyed with little Wittenberg, routing the Tigers 87-59, while KENTUCKY, smallish but quick, bombed Hardin-Simmons 83-55 and Virginia 99-73. TENNESSEE beat the Quantico Marines 65-56.
West Virginia, pressing and running like all get-out for new Coach Bucky Waters, squashed VMI 69-58 with the help of 20 points by junior college transfer Carl Head, and then routed George Washington as sophomore Ron Williams, the first Negro to play in the Southern Conference, scored 30 points. LOUISVILLE'S 6-foot-8 sophomore Westley Unseld did everything expected of him when the Cards beat Georgetown (Ky.) 77-58 and Central Missouri 81-72. Unseld had a total of 40 points and 54 rebounds.
Michigan's Dave Strack apparently has taken a leaf from the book that hit him at the NCAA tournament last year. When Tennessee got to Ann Arbor, Strack's Wolves greeted their guests with a full-court press. It did not exactly obliterate the Vols—Cazzie Russell took care of that—but it did surprise them. Every time Tennessee got close, there was Russell to pull Michigan away with a basket. Cazzie scored 29 points, and the Wolves won 71-63. After that, Bowling Green was easy for Michigan. The overwhelmed Falcons succumbed 108-70.
A couple of other Big Tenners were busy scaring up some competition for Michigan. IOWA'S runners and gunners routed Pepperdine 111-50 and then broke Evansville's 35-game winning streak 80-73, at Evansville no less. MINNESOTA showed some muscle, too, beating North Dakota 73-59 and Iowa State 80-69.
Kansas State's Tex Winter had nothing but trouble. Winter started his "big" team against CREIGHTON and the Bluejays' littlest man, 5-foot-9½ Bobby Miles, scurried in and around the giant Wildcats for 23 points as Creighton won 83-75. So Winter went to a smaller and faster five for TULSA. The Hurricanes blew them off the court 70-63.
Bradley lived up to its notices. The Braves thumped Wisconsin-Milwaukee 104-68 and Northern Michigan 90-78. ST. LOUIS, without notices, edged Oklahoma State 61-57 and Southern California 77-72.
About the only thing predictable in the Southwest Conference is that its best teams will be hammered by nonleague opponents early in the season. Texas Tech, considered the SWC team most likely to succeed, got it twice, unexpectedly from COLORADO 86-77 at Boulder, and expectedly from KANSAS 74-70 in Lubbock. Smooth Kansas, which earlier had smothered Arkansas 81-52, just had too much finesse for the Raiders. Six-foot-11 Walt Wesley floated his soft hook shots over them for 34 points while Al Lopes got 17 with his arching jumpers.
Southern Methodist and Texas Christian also suffered. The Mustangs let OKLAHOMA CITY'S John Ware, a 6-foot-7 leaper, take the boards away from them—for 25 rebounds and 20 points—and the Chiefs ran off with the game 97-90. But later, SOUTHERN METHODIST did manage to escape Georgia Tech's zone press to win 83-73. Texas Christian, however, lost to GEORGIA TECH 112-87 and GEORGIA 76-75 in overtime.
All summer long TEXAS A&M'S Shelby Metcalf dreamed about how it would be with Olympic track star Randy Matson, a 6-foot-6½ giant who has put the shot over 70 feet, crashing the boards and shooting basketballs for him. Last week Metcalf found out. Matson, slimmed down to 244 pounds (from 265), grabbed 18 rebounds and scored 15 points as the Aggies beat Trinity 79-70.
Nothing has really changed at UCLA. The Bruins still assault the opposition with a withering zone press, they still run them silly and they have another sharp playmaker—sophomore Mike Warren—to manage the whole show. The only thing different is the type of press. Coach Johnny Wooden has switched to a 2-2-1 and, if anything, it is even more devastating. Last week the new press buried Ohio State 92-66 and Illinois 97-79. Warren, a superb passer and shooter, was the ringleader. He scored 23 points against the Bucks and 28 against Illinois. "That little rascal plays with confidence," said Wooden. "He gives us the positive game."
Not so positive was the game that San Francisco played with STANFORD. The weary Dons, in their third game in four nights, just wilted away when the Indians put on the pressure in overtime to win 81-78. Seattle, too, got a shock. The Chieftains were upset by SEATTLE PACIFIC 85-83 on Gary Habegger's 20-foot jumper at the buzzer.
New Mexico and Brigham Young had it easy. The Lobos beat Midwestern U. 95-58 and Baylor 74-64. Brigham Young—the only college team with three 6-foot-11 postmen—got its impetus from a little fellow. Dick Nemelka, a 6-foot guard, scored 35 points as the Cougars outran Illinois 109-98 and 39 more in a 111-82 pasting of Houston.