GAME OF THE WEEK
Adolph Rupp has three sure assets at Kentucky this year: good ball handling, overall speed and excellent shooting. He does not have much height, by now a normal situation at Lexington, so he worries about disaster on the boards. And he worries about his defense even more. Before the game with Vanderbilt and its 6-foot-9 star, Clyde Lee, Rupp specifically challenged his team to overcome these weaknesses—and they did.
Zone defenses have been used with some success against Vandy, so Kentucky opened with a 1-3-1, Rupp theorizing it would be best to start that way, try for a quick lead and switch to man-for-man if it became necessary. After five minutes Vanderbilt led by five points, and it was necessary. Kentucky called time, went to its man-for-man match-ups, and the challenge was on. Thad Jaracz, a 6-foot-5 sophomore with fine promise, came out against Lee, giving away four inches. But the other starters, all veterans, were supposed to help him, especially in blocking out on the boards. Though it did not show immediately, the switch turned the game to Kentucky.
Scoring behind screens off familiar patterns that depend on precise execution, rebounding and defending aggressively, the Wildcats caught Vandy and led at the half 47-42. Louis Dampier and Pat Riley had 13 baskets between them, mostly from outside, and Lee had been forced to work extra hard for his 16 points and 12 rebounds. The Commodores, playing their fourth game in eight days, looked tired and sluggish. Three minutes into the second half, Jaracz picked up his fourth foul. But 6-foot-8 Cliff Berger replaced him and continued the good job on Lee, now visibly weary from overwork. He was not moving so quickly anymore; Vandy was ignoring him and taking bad shots as well. Leading 60-55, Kentucky finally broke it open, outscoring the Commodores 12-2, and won easily, 96-83. Lee got only one basket in the first 10 minutes of the second half, just one rebound in the entire period. Eleven of his 30 points came when the game was out of reach. Kentucky shot 65% in the second half, Dampier and Riley totaled 52 points, and each Wildcat starter had at least 11 points and seven rebounds. Balance is the word at Lexington this year. The Baron has another power.
1. DUKE (14-1)
2. KENTUCKY (12-0)
3. VANDERBILT (14-2)
Perhaps they were both looking ahead, but whatever the reason, KENTUCKY and VANDERBILT barely survived earlier in the week. Georgia took Kentucky, a 13-point leader at half time, into double overtime before the Wildcats won 69-65 on sophomore Berger's free throws and Riley's layup. It was scary enough to draw a mild complaint from Coach Rupp. "This team," he said, "just does not have the killer instinct."
Vanderbilt had all kinds of trouble with Tennessee. The Vols' nagging zone defense held Lee to a single field goal and had Vandy beaten 30-22 at the half. Then Keith Thomas and Jerry Southwood went to work. They shot over the zone, and Vanderbilt managed to eke out a 53-52 victory. That was not Tennessee's only disappointment of the week. Upstart MISSISSIPPI STATE upset the Vols 75-74 in double overtime.
Duke was turning the ACC race into a runaway. The Blue Devils, after an unexpectedly close 87-85 win over Clemson on Steve Vacendak's slinky underhand layup with four seconds to go, recovered their poise to trample Maryland 76-61 and Wake Forest 101-81. Meanwhile, Duke's challengers were dropping away. NORTH CAROLINA beat North Carolina State 83-75 and then was upset by VIRGINIA 70-69 when Buddy Reams tapped in a shot in the last seconds. NORTH CAROLINA STATE, however, came back to edge Maryland 60-58 on quick Billy Moffitt's steal and layup in overtime.
There was no stopping DAVIDSON—or more specifically, its star, Dick Snyder—in the Southern Conference. With Snyder firing in 38 points, the Wildcats beat The Citadel 81-77. He got 28 more as Davidson trounced Furman 81-65. WEST VIRGINIA, just about the only other contender left, took East Carolina 98-76 and Penn State 74-64. VIRGINIA TECH, which might have challenged Davidson if it had not quit the Southern Conference to go independent, defeated George Washington 82-75.
Western Kentucky, whose partisans cling to the notion that it is the best team in the state, buried Eastern Kentucky 107-88 as Dwight Smith piled up 33 points. "They are as good as I've seen," said Eastern's Jim Baechtold, "and I've seen Kentucky."
1. ST. JOSEPH'S (12-2)
2. PROVIDENCE (12-1)
3. ST. JOHN'S (9-3)
"Missy" Cousy, agonizing in the stands at PROVIDENCE while her husband's Boston College players were being tantalized by the Friars' slick Jimmy Walker, asked plaintively, "Doesn't he ever miss?" Well, Walker did miss once in a while, but he hit often enough after beautiful dribbles and fakes to score 40 points. And his two free throws at the end of a three-minute Providence freeze beat Bob Cousy's Eagles 79-77 for the second time this year.
St. John's new coach, Lou Carnesecca, was saying last week, "Syracuse is like an NBA club. Their coach, Freddy Lewis, just keeps throwing in players—10, 11, 12 of them—and they're all great. Pray for us." Carnesecca must have done some praying of his own. With Syracuse ahead 63-58 and three minutes left, the Orange disdained the obvious stall and instead went for baskets. That was a mistake. Pretty soon the Redmen were gripping the edge of Syracuse's scalp. Then Bobby McIntyre swiped an inbounds pass from Dave Bing and scored; he added a foul shot and St. John's won 66-65. "We were stupid," growled Lewis.
Some 8,700 fans in Philadelphia's Palestra could hardly believe their eyes last Sunday afternoon. There was Villanova, a Big Five nonentity this year, murdering ST. JOSEPH'S. With six minutes to play, the Wildcats led by nine points, and it looked as if the Hawk was dead. Suddenly St. Joe's came alive. The Hawks pressed, Villanova fumbled and with 1:12 to go the score was tied. In the last second, sub Steve Donches scooped up a loose ball and flung it into the basket 35 feet away to win for St. Joe's 71-69.
Temple was not as lucky earlier in the week, NAVY scattered its zone with some fancy 30-point shooting by Bill Radcliffe and shocked the Owls 72-50. ARMY won its fourth straight, coming from behind to overtake Fordham 59-53.
The Ivy League settled down to a three-team race. PRINCETON beat Dartmouth 74-62 and Harvard 52-50 on sophomore John Haarlow's 45-foot shot at the buzzer, PENN licked Harvard 86-65 and Dartmouth 87-43 while COLUMBIA, with 7-foot Dave New-mark and little Stan Felsinger scoring heavily, defeated independent Fordham 67-66 and Brown 84-50.
1. BRADLEY (14-2)
2. KANSAS (13-2)
3. IOWA (9-2)
Hardly anyone in the Missouri Valley believed that DRAKE, dead last in the conference and a 12-point loser to Bradley only five nights earlier, could beat the Braves, and in Peoria at that. But the Bulldogs did, 75-66. Drake handled Bradley's 3-1-1 press easily; Harold Jeter, who scored 21 points, and John Mayes monotonously popped in field goals from outside, and the Braves went down. "We didn't do anything differently except put the ball in the basket," said Drake's Maurice John happily.
Bradley came back, though, to throttle Louisville 79-62. The Braves got off to a 12-0 lead, hit 12 of their first 16 shots and held Louisville's Wes Unseld to eight points. But Bradley still had plenty to worry about in the tough MVC. TULSA was in first place after edging North Texas State 62-60 and CINCINNATI was coming on fast. Don Rolfes threw in 11 straight field goals and 36 points as the Bearcats smothered independent Dayton 87-79. Cincy looked even better beating St. Louis 81-75.
The Big Ten was full of surprises (page 14), such as Michigan State in first place along with defending champion Michigan, but there was one thing folks could count on: MICHIGAN'S Cazzie Russell was as good as ever. Cazzie threw in 27 points as the Wolves clobbered Indiana 88-68 and then 39 to pull Michigan through against Northwestern 93-86. Illinois, which had been at the top of the heap, too, was tumbled by PURDUE 93-87 as Dave Schellhase scored 38 points.
Kansas had a highly profitable week in the Big Eight. With Walt Wesley scoring 27 points and blocking seven shots, the Jay-hawkers trounced Oklahoma 89-68. But Iowa State was tougher. The Cyclones had Kansas in a 47-47 tie with 2:10 to go, and it took a last-second jump shot by Bob Wilson to beat them 49-47. NEBRASKA had problems with Kansas State. The Wildcats, behind by 20 points, went after the Huskers with a full-court press in the second half and, until they tired, had Nebraska on the run. The Huskers finally won 82-71.
It was like old times for LOYOLA of Chicago. The Ramblers, now 12-1, walloped Western Michigan 117-86. MIAMI of Ohio had a solid lead in the Mid-American Conference after beating Ohio U. 68-56 and Bowling Green 65-63.
1. TEXAS WESTERN (12-0)
2. OKLAHOMA CITY (12-3)
3. HOUSTON (9-4)
Baylor, which had just beaten Texas 89-74 at Austin for the first time in seven years, was hoping for an upset when TEXAS A&M came to Waco. But the Aggies, still unbeaten in the SWC after putting down Arkansas 75-72, spoiled everything. While Olympic shotputter Randy Matson batted away Baylor shots at one end, his teammates fed big John Beasley at the low post for 43 points and destroyed the Bears 81-60. It was an impressive show, but what really tickled Coach Shelby Metcalf was A&M's help-out man-to-man defense. "When it's one-on-one you can't stick 'em," he said. "You just gotta have a helping situation. They were real tigers. I'm gonna send some raw meat up to their rooms."
Independent OKLAHOMA CITY outscored North Texas State 92-77 and Air Force 76-71 while HOUSTON, on the road, trimmed Centenary 108-84 and then upset Tulsa 72-71 on Joe Hamood's 15-foot jump shot with 36 seconds to go.
1. SAN FRANCISCO (12-2)
2. UCLA (10-4)
3. UTAH (12-3)
There were signs last Friday night that UCLA still might be in for a bad time in its league. The Bruins had to go to an unaccustomed stall—Coach Johnny Wooden calls it a "three-man offense"—to hold off scrappy California 75-66 and, sure enough, the next night STANFORD, which had defeated Southern California 73-64, beat the Uclans' zone press. The Indians sent their speedy guards, Art Harris and Gary Petersmyer, driving up the sidelines. Or they simply floated a long pass to big Center Ray Kosanke at mid-court. Harris, a spidery sophomore with a sharp eye for the basket, missed only twice in 12 tries, scoring 25 points, and Stanford won 74-69. So, for the first time in three years, the AAWU had a race. UCLA, Stanford and OREGON STATE, a winner over Washington State 68-52 and Washington 67-59, were all tied for first.
Loyola of Los Angeles and SAN FRANCISCO were in a 14-14 tie when Loyola Coach John Arndt, curiously, switched from a man-to-man defense to a zone. That finished Loyola. The Dons quickly ran off 11 points and went on to win 97-86. Then they swamped Pepperdine 100-59. PACIFIC also won twice, over San Jose State 71-57 and Santa Barbara 83-65.
It was the tortoise and the hare all over again when deliberate NEW MEXICO and free-wheeling Brigham Young got together in Albuquerque. And again the patient tortoise won out. Attacking carefully and setting up 6-foot-9 Mel Daniels for 19 points. New Mexico led 36-28 at the half. Brigham Young came back, pressing and running. The Cougars surrounded Daniels in the pivot, and he got only two more field goals. But the Lobos hung on to win 81-78.
Then along came UTAH. The Utes had squeezed past Wyoming 93-91 in overtime in Laramie, and they wanted the Western AC lead. They had New Mexico down by eight points at half time, when the Lobos suddenly lost Daniels. On the way to the dressing room he accidentally shoved his right arm through a pane of glass, lacerating it in several places and cutting his forehead. Daniels went off to the hospital, and the Utes won 57-55 on Richard Tate's basket. Brigham Young lost again, too, to WYOMING 107-101.