They're an odd lot, these coaches who will handle so much of the new talent in basketball. Outwardly similar—most seem cut from the same mod cloth of loud slacks, bright blazers and wide ties—their methods of coaching vary widely, from the drill-sergeant tactics of Minnesota's Bill Musselman (opposite) to the free think of Al McGuire, whose Marquette teams always look as if they're ready to go out in the alley and play. But the 12 shown here and on the ensuing pages share one refreshing attitude. All members of the new breed, they are approachable, ready to deal with their players—freshmen or seniors alike—as individuals and grown men, no longer as boys. They relate. As a result, they have had—or soon will have—success far beyond their rivals. Most appear in the Top 20, scouting reports for which begin on page 45, or among the best of the rest (page 60). And all are plotting to end UCLA's long reign.
Sharp recruiter to cactus land, Lou Henson (left) has led New Mexico State to five tournaments in six years.
Dave Gavitt, Dartmouth '59, left his alma mater to coach basketball-happy Providence, 21-6 last season.
Thanks in great measure to Bill Musselman, Minnesota has become a basketball power in the Big Ten.
November 27, 1972
Once lost for seven years at little Belmont Abbey, aggressive New Yorker Al McGuire (left) now laughs, fights and mostly wins at Marquette.
Norman Sloan of North Carolina State has rarely enjoyed out standing talent but he has been Coach of the Year in three major conferences.
Brash, ambitious Denny Crum (at left above), former assistant to UCLA's John Wooden, will be pushed to equal his 26-5 first year at Louisville.