Carlos (Bud) Ogden, a 6'5" center-forward at Santa Clara University, is the son of a Congressional Medal of Honor winner; so far, Bud himself has earned a cluster of Purple Hearts in basketball. After starring at Lincoln High, in nearby San Jose, he was expected to do wondrous things for the Bronco freshmen. So he broke an ankle just after the season started. Before his first varsity season he dislocated his shoulder in an auto accident and did not play a single second. Last season he broke his nose, but he was able to stay in action. Finally, in a late-October scrimmage this year, he leaped to block a shot and slashed his shooting hand on the backboard. It took 22 stitches to sew him up. If he ever stays out of surgery long enough, he could lead Coach Dick Garibaldi's team to the title in the well-balanced West Coast Athletic Conference.
Bud scored 55 points in one game against Pepperdine. That was as an agile but midget-sized pivotman. Now he is a forward, teaming with his little brother Ralph, a 6'5" sophomore who averaged 21 points on a freshman team that lost only one of 22 games. Garibaldi would like to move Ralph to the backcourt, where there is practically zero experience, but he has never played guard and did not look too good the few times he worked out there.
The man who has made it possible for Bud to move over to the corner is 6'9" Dennis Awtrey, still another San Jose product, who played on the fine freshman team with Ralph. Awtrey weighs about 230 and is a bit slow, but he does shoot well. "We've got a rookie team and we can't hide him," says Garibaldi. "He has a lot of experience to gain." If his inexperience shows too much, Bud Ogden can always move back into the key and 6'6" Senior Bob Heaney, a tough offensive player, can step in at forward. Heaney broke his foot last season and missed all but four league games.
Two other Jesuit schools, USF and Loyola of L.A., will be in the running and shooting for the championship, too. At USF, Phil Vukicevich, one of the top players in the school's rich basketball history, is in his second year as head coach and has all his starters back, plus a 6'9", 225-pound sophomore, Pete Cross, who is mean and ambitious. Pete's specially is defensive rebounding, but he also averaged 18 points on the Don freshman team and performed well against Santa Clara's Awtrey. He will have to beat out 6'5" Tom Brown, a 15-point scorer until he broke his elbow last season.
USF has two of the best forwards in the conference in Dennis Black and Hawaiian Don Snyder, and an excellent outside shooter in Guard Art Wilmore. Snyder, a 25-year-old Navy veteran, may be moved to the backcourt so Cross can get into the lineup. All this talent will be exhibited in no less than three tournaments—the new Cable Car Classic (for which USF is the host school), the Sun Bowl Tournament and the Seattle Legion Tournament. Vukicevich believes playing in three a season will mean less travel (the team is in one place for two or three road games), good financial guarantees, more incentive and less overall home-court advantage for opponents.
Down at Loyola, the school that produced two of the best basketball coaches of the last 25 years—Pete Newell and Phil Woolpert—Coach Johnny Arndt has perhaps the classiest player in the conference, Guard Rick Adelman, a blond, free-wheeling, long-shooting, 6'1" terror who averaged 19 points last season. In between portraying wild Indians on TV, Arndt has been happily contemplating his roster, which is minus only one starter from a 10-4 league season.
In a preseason poll, the WCAC coaches named these three schools as favorites but could not resist putting University of the Pacific in there, too. The Tigers have won the title two years in a row, but they have lost rebounder Keith Swagerty and two good shooters, Bob Krulish and David Fox. Coach Dick Edwards is something of a magician, but he probably is not Houdini enough to make up such big losses so soon. Tom Jones is a 6'9", 220-pounder who played center on a freshman team that had an 18-2 record two seasons ago but was red-shirted last season because he was physically immature for his 19 years (and because Swagerty was not about to sit on the bench). Now Jones is 20, with a year's background of working out with the varsity. And he will be helped by a lot of other tall muscle-men, including 6'6" Joel Perisho.
Before Edwards' arrival in 1963, Pacific's total season attendance was 3,700. Now the Stockton Civic Auditorium's capacity of 3,000 is strained for every game, and the talk of the town is basketball, not the lettuce and grape harvests.