1. BRIGHAM YOUNG (6-0)
2. UCLA (4-3)
3. SAN FRANCISCO (6-2)
Not many teams will catch aggressive St. Joseph's with its formidable zone press lagging and its superb shooters icy cold all on the same night. But BRIGHAM YOUNG and WYOMING, two of the best teams in the tough Western AC, both did, and down went the Hawks to their first losses of the season. There was nothing wrong with St. Joe's pressing defense in the first half against Brigham Young. It harassed, forced errors (13) and did everything it was supposed to do. Only trouble was the Hawks failed to take advantage of the Cougar mistakes, their shooters were as frigid as the weather in Provo and they were behind 45-40. In the second half Dick Nemelka and Jeff Congdon led Brigham Young on a 27-10 tear, and it was all over for St. Joe's. The Cougars won 103-83.
Two nights later in Laramie, Wyoming Coach Bill Strannigan moved his big men, Leon Clark (who scored 30 points) and Dick Sherman, up to the center line to take passes from their double-teamed guards, and the St. Joseph's press went down the drain. With 9:35 to go the Cowboys led by 19 points. Then Hawk playmaker Matt Guokas found his touch. He flipped in six straight jumpers from the left side, and pretty soon St. Joe's was behind only 93-90. But it was too late. Four Hawks fouled out, Clark and his friends got going again and Wyoming took the game 99-92.
January 3, 1966
Minnesota, another cheerless visitor, found independent UTAH STATE just as inhospitable in Logan. Aggie Coach LaDell Anderson shrewdly went at the Gophers with a suffocating man-to-man defense, and without injured Lou Hudson (out with a broken hand) Minnesota never had a chance. Pete Ennenga, a 6-foot-7 leaper, and Les Powell, an unbelievably skinny 6-foot-3 forward, controlled the boards; outside sharpshooter Larry Angle fired in 24 points and Utah State won easily 97-72. "They just defensed us to death," complained Minnesota's chagrined Johnny Kundla.
Unbeaten Colorado State got it, too, from revived SEATTLE 83-78. The Aggies were leading 78-75 with less than three minutes to play when the roof fell in on them. Seattle ran off eight straight points. But undefeated WASHINGTON STATE and UTAH had it easy. State trounced Idaho 101-86, while the Utes ran over Air Force 108-57. SAN FRANCISCO, looking better all the time, beat Gonzaga 80-67 and St. Louis 87-69.
UCLA, all but written off when it lost its third game to Cincinnati a week earlier, was giving rivals on the West Coast some discomforting second thoughts. With ailing Freddy Goss in the lineup part-time, the Bruins looked more like their old familiar selves against Southern California. Behind 27-18 in the first half, they suddenly began to press and run for real, and it was like old times again. Sophomore Mike Warren destroyed the Trojans with his deft dribbling, Edgar Lacey got 22 points, Kenny Washington threw in 17 and the Bruins won 86-67. Stanford's Howie Dallmar, an interested spectator, was impressed. "They don't look much different to me," said Dallmar apprehensively. "They're still tremendous."
1. BRADLEY (10-0)
2. IOWA (7-0)
3. KANSAS (6-3)
It had been a long time since Michigan had such a frustrating week. For one thing, it did not seem possible that DUKE, despite strong rebounding and the shooting of Jack Marin and Bob Verga, could catch the Wolverines when they led by 10 points with 4:30 to go. Cazzie Russell, scoring in flurries for 30 points, had led the Blue Devils a merry chase. But suddenly the Wolves needed John Clawson's layup at the buzzer to earn an 85-85 tie. The overtime was no contest. Verga fired in nine points—he had 27 in all—and Duke took the big game in Detroit's Cobo Hall 100-93. Then came the stinging insult. Tough little BUTLER, a five-time loser, tortured the Wolves with some cautious but extremely accurate shooting (31 for 53) and whipped them soundly 79-64. "Our worst game in three years," moaned Michigan's Dave Strack.
Wichita State, until last week the only team to beat Michigan, also had its troubles. SOUTHERN ILLINOIS, a small-college power, ran away from the Shockers' press as if it was not even there and then shut them off with a tough man-to-man defense. Boyd O'Neal shot in 22 points, and the Salukis won 89-68. Then MARQUETTE, an undistinguished major team, also riddled Wichita State's press and upset the Shockers 95-76. "We've been living on a shoestring. We just collapsed," said Coach Gary Thompson.
Northwestern almost pulled off a surprise, too. The Wildcats had VANDERBILT and then let the Commodores get away. Vandy won 59-58 on Bo Wyenandt's foul shot in the last 10 seconds.
Kansas, back in the Midwest after losing to UCLA and Southern Cal on the West Coast, warmed up for the Big Eight holiday tournament by beating Ohio State 81-68. But the Jayhawkers were plenty worried about surprisingly strong NEBRASKA, 6-1 for the season after edging Stanford 71-67.
Bradley and Dayton remained unbeaten. The Braves, with Joe Allen and Eddie Jackson throwing in 93 points between them, beat Montana 87-77 and clobbered North Dakota 83-68. Dayton squashed Loyola of New Orleans 88-57. TEXAS WESTERN, an undefeated visitor, beat South Dakota 88-42 and Nevada 86-49 in the Mississippi Valley Classic at Rock Island, Ill.
1. ST. JOSEPH'S (6-2)
2. PROVIDENCE (5-1)
3. ST. JOHN'S (5-1)
While St. Joseph's and Providence were off learning the hard facts of life on the road, BOSTON COLLEGE had a scare right at home. The Eagles, down 11 points to Georgetown early in the second half, finally got going under the masterful direction of John Austin, a talented 6-footer whose slick ball-handling and shooting are often reminiscent of Coach Bob Cousy in his prime. But they were still in an 85-85 tie with 1:11 to go. Then Austin took over. Playing for one shot, he dribbled free until he found big Willie Wolters alone underneath. Austin looped in a pass, Wolters rammed in a layup and Boston College won 87-85.
Life was a lot easier for the other good teams in the East. Unbeaten Syracuse and once-beaten St. John's were idle, while undefeated TEMPLE got away with its first poor game, against Canisius. The usually impeccable Owls committed enough blunders to make Coach Harry Litwack grumble, but they still beat the Griffs 70-58 for their eighth straight as Chris Kefalos and Clarence Brookins scored 37 points.
NYU had a picnic against St. Peter's, winning 110-74, and ST. BONAVENTURE, with a budding star in Bill Butler—a 6-foot-3 forward—overwhelmed St. Joseph's of Indiana 122-76 and Baldwin-Wallace 100-67. PENN, for the first time in four years, whipped Villanova 73-60.
But the team that was making folks sit up and take notice was FAIRFIELD. Beaten only by St. Joseph's in their opening game, Coach George Bisacca's precocious Stags upset Duquesne 68-65 in overtime when Pat Burke looped in an 18-foot jump shot and then stole the ball for a layup, all in the last 12 seconds. Two nights later Fairfield out-scored St. Francis of Pennsylvania 100-94 for its sixth in a row.
1. DUKE (7-1)
2. VANDERBILT (8-0)
3. KENTUCKY (7-0)
All along, WEST VIRGINIA Coach Bucky Waters felt that his young Mountaineers had to take Maryland if they were to make it back to the top. That looked extremely doubtful last week when the Terps led by 10 points with nine minutes to go at Morgantown. Then Carl Head, a junior-college transfer who made nine of his 12 shots, rallied the Mountaineers. His twisting jumper put them ahead with three minutes to play, and they hung on to win 76-74. But West Virginia must still reckon with DAVIDSON in the Southern Conference. The Wildcats thrashed Ohio U. 96-63 for their seventh straight, as Dick Snyder scored 46 points.
While the big guns in the Southeastern Conference—Vanderbilt and Kentucky—were off showing their talents around the country, AUBURN, a much lesser contender but nevertheless still unbeaten, dropped down to Tampa to win the Gasparilla Invitational. But the Tigers were hardly overwhelming. They barely beat Columbia 76-75 in overtime and Florida State 59-58. NORTHWESTERN took Missouri 67-60 and Texas 73-71 in the Memphis State Classic, and WESTERN KENTUCKY breezed through the Ohio Valley tournament in Louisville, beating Eastern Kentucky 83-67 in the final.
It was supposed to be a personal duel between two former Louisville high school stars, Army's 6-foot-6 senior Mike Silliman and LOUISVILLE'S remarkable 6-foot-8 sophomore, Westley Unseld, when the two teams met in Freedom Hall. Well, Silliman out-scored Unseld 30-22, but the difference was that Unseld had some help and Silliman had none. So Louisville won 84-56.
1. OKLAHOMA CITY (6-2)
2. TEXAS A&M (5-1)
3. TEXAS WESTERN (8-0)
Almost everybody was upset, one way or another, in the Southwest last week. Texas Tech Coach Gene Gibson, for example, was so upset by his star, Dub Malaise, that he yanked him after 11 minutes (and 11 points) against KENTUCKY and bawled him out for "shooting at the wrong time." Malaise reacted like any red-blooded young shooter. He yakked back, and Gibson sent him to the showers. Without Malaise the Raiders were hemmed in by Kentucky's 1-3-1 zone in the second half and soundly licked 89-73. Said Gibson, "If Malaise comes back it's going to be with the understanding that I'm running the team."
Oklahoma City's Abe Lemons was upset, too, by TEXAS CHRISTIAN'S Rich Sauer, a dewy-eyed outside gunner who popped in 30 points, and Gary Turner, a 6-foot-6 inside shooter who wrecked Abe's Chiefs with an array of hooks, layups and jumpers. Together they did in Oklahoma City 103-93.
Providence Coach Joe Mullaney's problem was HOUSTON'S 6-foot-9 sophomore Elvin Hayes. Without its own 6-foot-8 Bob Kovalski, who scalded his foot with hot coffee, Providence had no chance against Hayes. Jimmy Walker tried desperately—with 30 points—but Hayes was too much for the Friars. He scored 33 points, swept in rebounds like an octopus and Houston won 102-89. "We scrambled like crazy to chop down the big guy," said Mullaney, "and our weaknesses just showed up."