The week was not all peachy-dandy for Duke. Before the Blue Devils got around to destroying UCLA's image (page 30), they were upset by SOUTH CAROLINA 73-71. Everybody in the ACC just naturally worries when they have to play against Coach Frank McGuire's teams, but nobody really expected his young Gamecocks to trouble Duke, even at Columbia. They did, though, especially sophomore Guards Skip Harlicka and Jack Thompson, who wrecked the Blue Devils' press, and Frank Standard, another rookie, who flipped in the winning layup with 15 seconds to go. Later, in Philadelphia's noisy Palestra, the wily McGuire put his team into an irritating stall to slow down Penn's running game. It worked beautifully. While the Quakers fumed and loyal Big Five partisans booed lustily, unbeaten South Carolina won 42-39. "We're two years ahead of schedule," gloated McGuire.
Vanderbilt, too, made the most of a slowdown, beating Tennessee at its own methodical game 53-50. Guard Jerry South-wood, who had 10 assists, concentrated on getting the ball to 6-foot-9 Clyde Lee, and Lee showed his appreciation by scoring 28 points. Against North Carolina, Lee got 22 more—and 17 rebounds—and Vandy took its third straight, 81-72.
Meanwhile, potential SEC contenders were popping up in likely—and unlikely—places. KENTUCKY, with sophomore Thad Jaracz scoring 32 points, trounced Illinois 86-68 in Urbana and then held off rallying Northwestern 86-75 in Lexington. ALABAMA, unbeaten but, also still untested, blasted Howard 89-65 and Southern Mississippi 93-79. And GEORGIA'S bold Ken Rosemond was beginning to have delusions of grandeur after his Bulldogs beat Georgia Tech 76-65. "I have three goals," announced Rosemond. "I want a winning season, three wins over Tech, and, by January 10, I want to be in the nation's top 10." That sounds too ambitious.
December 20, 1965
Davidson looked good enough to challenge for the Southern Conference title. The Wildcats had four straight after beating Furman 90-70, Marquette 73-65 and East Carolina 90-82. LOUISVILLE bounced back to take Marquette 70-61.
Wichita state had the answer to Michigan's tough zone press—a tougher one of its own. Even without ailing Kelly Pete, the quick Shockers crowded the Wolverines relentlessly and then ran away from them with their fast break. Jamie Thompson did not miss a shot—he had nine field goals and 10 fouls for 28 points—and Wichita upset Michigan 100-94. Three nights later the Shockers shook up another undefeated team, beating Colorado 87-81.
Michigan, however, came back strong. San Francisco's Pete Peletta made the sad mistake of getting himself quoted saying, "Our All-America [Joe Ellis] is better than Michigan's." That was about all the incentive the Wolverines' Cazzie Russell needed. Wheeling and dealing brilliantly with hooks, jumpers, rebounds and layups, Russell poured in 45 points and held Ellis to seven in the second half as Michigan overwhelmed the defenseless Dons 96-78. At one point, Russell even moved into the pivot against Ellis and threw in two quick baskets. "We just wanted to torture him a little," explained Michigan Coach Dave Strack.
The Midwest was no place for unbeaten visitors last week. West Virginia got into foul trouble against ILLINOIS—four players fouled out—and was upset 96-86. DEPAUL took the boards away from Louisville's Westley Unseld and beat the Cardinals 87-62. ST. JOHN'S, after outslicking Kansas State 72-65 with some good eastern-style basketball, lost to KANSAS 61-55. The Jay-hawkers' clinging man-to-man defense and Walt Wesley's tip-ins were just too much for the Redmen.
Unbeaten area schools had better luck. IOWA, MINNESOTA, BRADLEY and ST. LOUIS all kept their records clean.
Little FAIRFIELD, hunting for big game this year, made off with a prize. Despite John Austin's 34 points, the precocious Stags trapped Boston College with some robust rebounding—Mike Branch and William Jones had 30—and shocked the Eagles 100-93. But BOSTON COLLEGE got going against Connecticut. Austin scored 24 points, sophomore Steve Adelman had 18 and the Eagles won easily 90-74. Fairfield also won again, outscoring St. Peter's 89-82 in triple overtime.
St. Joseph's and PROVIDENCE, meanwhile, were still winning easily. St. Joe's, running and pressing diligently, swamped Bellarmine 98-68 and Bowling Green 98-55. Providence, with classy Jimmy Walker piling up 27 points, took Assumption 88-79 and then trounced St. Francis (N.Y.) 108-80 as Jim Benedict fired in 28.
Temple and SYRACUSE looked good, too. The Owls beat Lehigh 73-40, Toledo 92-62 and Gettysburg 59-45 while Syracuse took Cornell 87-81 and Kent State 100-86. ST. BONAVENTURE surprised undefeated Xavier 92-72. But NYU, after trouncing Niagara 103-73, lost to ARMY 76-68.
Princeton, even without Bill Bradley, was no easy mark. The smooth Tigers beat sub-par Villanova 82-55 and Navy 72-54. But they may get competition for the Ivy title from COLUMBIA. The Lions, with 7-foot Dave Newmark sweeping the boards and Stan Felsinger dropping in two foul shots near the end, upset Cornell 69-68.
In OKLAHOMA CITY they call them Weasel, Big Game and Jerry Lee. James (Weasel) Ware, Charley (Big Game) Hunter and Jerry Lee Wells frug and sing in the dressing room, they dance through their pregame warmups to a recording of Sweet Georgia Brown and they win basketball games for Coach Abe Lemons' Chiefs. "Never seen anything like it," says Lemons. "Everything'll be all serious and one of those guys starts singin' 'Gonna get me into the movies, gonna make me a movie star.' " Last week, after Oklahoma City trounced Loyola in Chicago 106-89, Lemons' swingers came home to rip Texas Christian 138-114 for their fifth straight. Weasel and Jerry Lee each scored 28 points and Big Game got 27.
Southwest Conference teams were much less colorful, but the better ones were winning, too. TEXAS TECH broke out of its slump to beat Arizona 77-72 and New Mexico 78-68, while TEXAS A&M took Southwest Texas State 77-66 and Houston 93-88. SOUTHERN METHODIST, without ailing playmaker Denny Holman, still outscored Oklahoma 97-78 and Tulane 78-69 but lost to LOUISIANA STATE 91-88.
For a while it looked as if SAN FRANCISCO was in for it. Miami of Florida, using a variety of tantalizing presses, had the Dons down 11 points at half time. Then San Francisco got smart. Sometimes lanky Erwin Mueller went to midcourt for a direct pass, other times three men held back for the in-bounds pass, creating a three-on-two situation. Miami's press soon disintegrated, Larry Blum and Joe Ellis shot for 43 points and the Dons won 105-89.
Hardly anyone would have guessed that, with the season 11 days old, WASHINGTON STATE would be the only unbeaten team on the West Coast. But the Cougars were, after taking Montana twice, 92-62 and 84-78. Stanford lost its first, to SAN JOSE STATE 58-57, and CALIFORNIA split a pair with NEBRASKA, winning 87-71 and then losing 70-68.
Utah and independent COLORADO STATE were still undefeated in the mountain country. The Utes smashed Centenary 98-81 and St. Mary's 95-52, while deliberate Colorado State beat Arizona State 84-63 and California State 93-84.