If nothing else, Kansas achieved the distinction of making a 15-point win look difficult. The Jayhawks did it by missing 19 of their first 26 shots, by being outrebounded 52-47 and by trailing by nine points midway through the first half. And they did all these dismal things against Northeast Missouri State, a squad from the small-college ranks. The Jayhawk starters had to pay for their obvious overconfidence with extra exertion. Coach Ted Owens was forced to keep them on the floor for almost all of their lackluster 65-50 victory.
Kansas' performance no doubt was encouraging to Big Eight rival Kansas State, which also received a big boost in the form of a dazzling 30-point effort from freshman Mike Evans. In a 96-73 frolic over Montana State, Evans hit 14 of 18 field-goal tries and, according to Coach Jack Hartman, "is going to be one of the alltime great Kansas State point guards." The other Wildcat guard, Chuckie Williams, whom effusive Hartman labels "probably the best shooter I have ever coached," added 17 points.
After years of searching, Oklahoma State may have found a playmaker. Ronnie Daniel, a 5'10" sophomore from Louisville, Ky. who directed the Cowboys to an 89-85 win over Oklahoma City, also played the point in the Cowboys' zone defense and filled the nets with 32 points.
December 9, 1974
1. LOUISVILLE (0-0)
2. KANSAS (1-0)
"This is the best freshman class I've had since the ones at West Virginia with Jerry West and Rod Thorn," said Purdue Coach Fred Schaus after zapping Indiana State 98-80. With the score at 20-20, Schaus sent in four freshmen, then watched gleefully as they played the rest of the half and built a 55-42 margin. Although senior John Garrett led the scoring with 20 points, the newcomers stole the show, particularly Walter (Cheerleader) Jordan. When not busy celebrating Boilermaker scores by patting teammates on the rump or raising a clenched fist, Jordan pumped in 15 points in 19 minutes.
For Wayne Yates, the new Memphis State coach, the catalyst was junior college transfer John Tunstall. With his Tigers trailing Montclair State 19-18, Yates sent in Tunstall, who scored eight straight points and spurred State to a 96-60 laugher.
Michigan also needed help from the bench. There were times against Toledo when the Wolverines seemed to be waiting for Campy Russell to return from the pros and get them going. It was not until 6'7" freshman Joel Thompson entered the game late in the first half and tipped in two shots that they took charge. They went on to a 78-64 victory.
"If our rebounding was any indicator, it's going to be a short March," said Florida State coach Hugh Durham, already trying to gauge his team's chances for a postseason tournament bid. The Seminoles were outrebounded 44-38 by Valdosta, but they forced 31 turnovers and won 81-74.
In his varsity debut, freshman Bernard King had 42 points in 30 minutes as Tennessee bopped Wisconsin-Milwaukee 85-65.
1. INDIANA (1-0)
2. ALABAMA (0-0)
UCLA looked shaky in its opener at Pauley Pavilion, leading Wichita State only 60-55 with about 10 minutes to go, before pulling away to a 16-point advantage. The Bruins ended up winning 85-74 with Center Ralph Drollinger contributing 21 points and 17 rebounds. Against a more highly rated DePaul team the next night, UCLA gained a convincing 79-64 triumph with the aid of 20 points from Forward Rich Washington. Assessing the Bruins, Blue Demon Coach Ray Meyer said, "What's most impressive is that they are all really strong jumpers, especially where it counts most—in traffic. We were completely out of it around the boards."
"I have to believe they can challenge UCLA," said LSU Coach Dale Brown after being bounced 100-87 by USC Triggering the Trojans' high-low post offense was Bob Trowbridge, who had 29 points. He also guarded Glenn Hansen as if he were laminated to him. A 19.4-point scorer last year, Hansen was held to one basket in the first half and 14 points in all.
Arizona was supposed to display some "new lions," but instead relied heavily on holdovers to down Northern Illinois 103-85. Jim Rappis netted 28 points and Bob Elliott 27, while the best of the freshmen, Gilbert Myles, flicked in 17.
1. UCLA (2-0)
2. USC (1-0)
North Carolina State rooters are glad Phil Spence did not take his father's advice a few years back and quit high school basketball for a part-time job. Spence is now a 6'8" junior and a main cog in the Wolfpacks' new three-forward offense. He is also something of a poet. In a 98-81 romp over East Carolina, Spence was a trimeter of delights to Wolfpack fans, scoring 22 points, grabbing 17 rebounds and blocking seven shots. As for David Thompson, he was only magnificent as usual, six times converting above-the-rim passes into baskets and finishing with 33 points.
Biscayne received 35 points from Arthur Collins and gave North Carolina a little trouble before succumbing 101-74. Helping to open things up for Carolina was Center Mitch Kupchak, who canned 11 of 13 shots.
Penn held off Clemson 76-75 to take the IPTAY tournament on the Tigers' home court despite the tying of a Littlejohn Coliseum record of 38 points by freshman Guard Skip Wise, who scored on 17 of 31 shots. The Quakers were led by 17-point scorers Ron Haigler, John Engles and Mark Lonetto, who came off the bench to get 13 of Penn's first 23. But Penn would not have won if 7'1" Wayne (Tree) Rollins had not been defoliated by 6'11" Henry Johnson, who held Rollins to two points. En route to the finals, Penn coasted past Middle Tennessee 101-74; Clemson, with Rollins scoring 27 points, nudged Mississippi 93-80.
Even though Maryland fans rendered the Amen chorus during the closing moments of a 106-81 funfest against Richmond, they knew something—or someone—was amiss. Absent at the time was high-scoring Guard John Lucas, who, Terp fans hope, will lead them in singing the Hallelujah Chorus in March. He had his left arm in a sling after an on-court collision caused a hairline fracture of his collarbone. Lucas, who added two baskets after being hurt, led the Terps with 17 points.
With her blonde hair pulled back and held in place with barrettes and the band playing Born Free when she took the court, Cyndi Meserve of Pratt Institute became the first woman ever to play NCAA basketball. Meserve, an 18-year-old freshman, put in 1:45 of playing time and handled the ball twice. The first time she passed off. The other time she was pushed to the floor. She was guarded closely by 5'11" Luis Bias of Baruch College, and did not take any shots. Blas sank a 15-foot jumper against Meserve, outscrambled her for a loose ball and outleaped her on a jump ball. "I just hope she doesn't have a big boyfriend waiting outside for me," he said. Baruch won 76-67.
Larry Fogle, the nation's top scorer last season with a 33.4 average, wound up with 31 points as Canisius defeated Niagara 99-72.
1. N.C. STATE (1-0)
2. SOUTH CAROLINA (0-0)