Welcome to Year Two in the Reign of King Lew

December 04, 1967

"There is no good in arguing with the inevitable," James Russell Lowell wrote a few years before the game of basketball was created. "The only argument available with an east wind is to put on your overcoat." So, if everyone will put on his overcoat, we will examine the coming college basketball season, not pausing to debate the inevitability of another NCAA title for UCLA. Anyone who does want to argue is invited to turn to page 44 and read what good fortune has befallen Lew Alcindor and his teammates, not that they needed it. Having seen UCLA beat Houston in the NCAA semifinals last March, most of the college coaches in attendance grabbed for their overcoats and departed Louisville before the last, official slaughter (of Dayton) even began the next night. The lesson was clear. When it is so obviously a case of wait until the year after the year after next, it is best to bundle up straightaway and get right on to the business of the future, recruiting and hoping. But basketball coaches are resilient. For the most part, they are former playmakers and hustlers—little guys who survived in a big man's game by using their heads. Already they have put Alcindor out of their minds, except as a sort of distant threat, like the Chinese masses or air pollution. The fans, thriving on the emotional effusion of the sport, will gladly take a December winner at face value. If their team is still a winner in March, they will turn to the delusion that someone has to beat UCLA, so why not us? The fervor that surrounds the game is not diminished by the presence of one dominant team and player, nor by the fact that the antique, cozy snake pits are rapidly being replaced by airy, impersonal, new arenas. Basketball creates such ardor that it could be used as therapy for the congenially listless. Still, it is all to the good that this year an exceptional group of sophomores—just a few are shown on these pages—are moving up, strengthening their teams and even making conference contenders of last season's also-rans. One, Calvin Murphy of Niagara, who flips batons and shoots baskets with equal facility, is, in fact, a good bet to become the first sophomore to win the national scoring title since Oscar Robertson accomplished that a decade ago. On the ensuing pages are a visit with Oklahoma State's Henry Iba, the much copied apostle of control basketball; scouting reports on the best teams in the nation; and a marshaling of the arguments about raising the baskets to 12 feet, a subject that engrosses more thoughtful coaches each year.

PHOTOMike Casey, Kentucky PHOTORich Bradshaw, Kansas PHOTOCalvin Murphy, Niagara
PHOTORick Mount, Purdue PHOTOCharlie Scott, UNC PHOTOJeff Petrie, Princeton PHOTOPerry Wallace, Vanderbilt PHOTOJim Ard, Cincinnati

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)