UCLA took on Jacksonville for the first time since 1970 when Sidney Wicks battled Artis Gilmore in the NCAA finals. This time, however, most of the excitement was in the backcourt, where the Bruins have been without a consistent scoring threat for some time. Now they seem to have a pair of snipers in sophomore Guards Roy Hamilton and Brad Holland, who shot the Dolphins' 2-1-2 zone to ribbons and led the way to a 99-68 UCLA victory.
Hamilton, a 6'2" lefty from Los Angeles, who adds drive and penetration to the UCLA offense, hit five of his first seven shots and finished with 15 points. Holland, a 6'3" student-body president from La Crescenta, Calif., canned six of his first eight and wound up with 18 points as Coach Gene Bartow substituted freely. "Our guards are gaining the confidence they are going to need for us to be a Pac-8 contender," said Bartow. Pac-8 contender! Clean Gene sounds more like the Wizard every day.
A wrestling match preceded the basketball game at Las Vegas between Nevada-Las Vegas and Oregon, but after all the rough stuff was over there was little to distinguish between the two sports. UNLV won both tests of strength, defeating Oregon in the basketball war 78-67 as the Rebels went to the foul line 51 times, the Ducks only six. Oregon Coach Dick Harter engaged in a nose-to-nose shouting match with Vegas Assistant Ralph Readout, but Jerry Tarkanian said, "I admire the way they play." The Rebels ran their home-court winning streak to 42 games with a 115-80 pasting of Iowa State. Guard Reggie Theus scored 24 points and in two games was 27 for 30 from the free-throw line.
December 13, 1976
Oregon was in much better shape by the weekend, having won the Sun Devil Classic in Tempe, Ariz. by beating pretournament favorite Wichita State 57-49 and then stopping host Arizona State 57-47. Ducks Forward Greg Ballard, who wasted a 34-point, 15-rebound performance against Las Vegas, got 16 points and 15 rebounds in the ASU game to win the tournament MVP award. The Sun Devils' Mark Landsberger set a school record with 27 rebounds in their 86-65 opening-night triumph over San Diego State.
Arizona enjoyed a three-win week. Bob Elliott, Herm Harris and Phil Taylor totaled 66 points to help beat Cal State-Fullerton 91-80. The Wildcats' defense then held Oregon State without a field goal for nearly 10 minutes in an 81-73 victory in Corvallis. Elliott's 24 points in a 95-40 wipeout of Idaho gave him Arizona's career scoring record with 1,770 points.
James Hardy, a San Francisco forward who refused to play in a game last year because of what he considered a lack of teamwork on the Dons, said he was delighted with the way things were going after USF rapped California-Davis 120-71. "We're working together and the game is fun," said Hardy, who proved his point with four dunks including one behind the back. "Just a little something for the fans," he added. His forward mate, Marlon Redmond, gave USF early-season bragging rights in the Bay Area by scoring a total of 37 points in victories over California (93-70) and Stanford (73-59).
"I wouldn't want to play Seattle a month from now," said a relieved George Raveling after Washington State had fought back from a 27-9 deficit to win 76-68. Seattle, which started two freshmen and two sophomores, was hurt when its 7-foot Center Jawann Oldham got in foul trouble after scoring 14 points in the first half. His absence allowed State's 6'11½" Steve Puidokas, a 250-pound giant, to score 19 of his game-high 25 points in the second half.
In Las Vegas, in the first big women's tournament of the year, Rebel forward Debra Waddy popped in 23 points to put away last year's national runner-up Immaculata 92-85 and another 22 points to upset defending champ Delta State 82-76. Lucy Harris, Delta's 6'3" center, fouled out with five minutes to play after scoring 17 points.
1. UCLA (3-0)
2. NEV.-LAS VEGAS (3-0)
3. ARIZONA (4-0)
Louisville's Ricky Gallon is turning out to be a quart, at best. The 6'11" junior was locked out of practice this fall for not going to class, and from the manner in which he performed last week, Coach Denny Crum probably wishes he had kept him out. Gallon played inconsistently in the Cards' 81-76 overtime win at Vanderbilt, then provided only four points and four rebounds as Syracuse upset Louisville 76-75 before a record opening-game crowd of 16,332 in Freedom Hall. Indeed, Gallon was so unintimidating that Crum may be the only coach in America who can replace a near 7-footer with a 6'3" player—Darrell Griffith, the freshman everybody had come out to see—and pick up an edge in "size." Griffith, a great leaper from Louisville's Male High, gave the locals 11 points and several eye-opening moves in his home debut, but missed a jumper in the last three seconds that would have made it a night to remember. Forward Marty Byrnes led a balanced Syracuse attack with 17 points, while Wesley Cox put in 29 points for the losers.
The University of Cincinnati's early-season schedule is scarcely testing. Yet after the Bearcats had blasted three of their helpless opponents by 36, 68 and 34 points, Coach Gale Catlett had the temerity to blame the sparse crowds (average: 5,758) at the 17,000-seat Riverfront Coliseum on bad weather. "If I was a fan, I don't know if I would have come out," he said. For the record, Cincy's victims were Akron (95-59), Wright State (120-52) and South Florida (103-69). The Bearcat heroes were Guard Steve Collier, who tallied 22 points against Akron; running mate Gary Yoder, who sank seven of seven from the floor against Wright State; and Freshman Eddie Lee from Queens, N.Y., whose 20 points sank South Florida.
Host Missouri won the Show Me Classic for the fourth year in a row by beating Illinois 76-75 and North Texas State 97-84. Creighton got by Drake 81-80 and defeated Montana 74-65. Oral Roberts clobbered neighbor Tulsa 106-62 and Abilene Christian 88-63. Southern Illinois dismantled a couple of outclassed opponents, destroying William Jewell 73-60 and Missouri-Kansas City 96-78, as sharpshooter Mike Glenn warmed up with 19-and 16-point nights.
1. CINCINNATI (3-0)
2. LOUISVILLE (1-1)
3. SO. ILLINOIS (3-0)
The Big Ten is very big on its basketball these days, having placed two conference teams in the NCAA finals last year. However, Toledo and Miami of Ohio put a couple of shiners on two of the Big Ten's best. In Oxford, Ohio on Monday night, Miami Guard John Shoemaker's two late baskets stopped Purdue 69-67. But that was nothing to the furor in Toledo two nights later when the Rockets threw up an Indiana-like defensive net around Kent Benson & Co. and upset the Hoosiers 59-57 before 9,662 screaming partisans at the dedication game of the new Toledo arena.
The player who really put the tourniquet around IU's neck, halting its regular-season winning streak at 58 games, was a man after Bobby Knight's own heart, 6'2" non-letter-man Jeff Seemann, who scored nary a point but received the game ball for his scrappy defense. It was Seemann who pressured Knight's guards and made it difficult for them to get the ball to Benson. Once he got the ball Kent made only five of 22 shots from the floor and scored 17 hard-earned points. Stan Joplin topped Toledo with 21 points.
For Knight, who steamed afterward, "We got outhustled...and I do not like getting out-hustled," the moral was clear: never invite an enemy into your own camp. Toledo Coach Bob Nichols traveled to Bloomington two years ago and spent several days with Knight watching IU practices, studying films and discussing coaching philosophies.
Purdue bounced back from an 0-2 start to beat Butler 77-56 and win at Providence 68-62 in overtime. Guard Eugene Parker hit a basket to tie the Friars and added six more points in overtime to even the Boilermakers' record. Freshman Center Joe Barry Carroll, a 6'11" reserve from Colorado, totaled 33 rebounds in the three games. While all this was going on, top-rated Michigan was taking a physical beating from one of Dick Harter's Oregon disciples, Dick Stewart, now the coach at Fordham. The Rams shoved, grabbed, held, tripped and even lost a man when freshman Tom Kavanagh low-bridged Wolverine Guard Steve Grote who was driving for an unmolested layup. Kavanagh was ejected from the game, and three teammates later fouled out. In the end it was Michigan 78-57, but Coach Johnny Orr was fuming. "When you tackle guys going to the basket, that's not physical," he said. "That upsets me. My guys aren't exactly patty-cakes either. I'm surprised Grote didn't pop that guy."
Alabama's "new look"—a motion, pass-oriented offense coupled with a pressing defense—has made it the hottest team in the country during the first two weeks. The Tide came from 11 behind with 12 minutes to play and blew out Purdue 97-80 two weeks ago, then won three times last week to run its record to 4-0. Everybody is pitching in to help at 'Bama, but Forward Reggie (Mule) King is carrying the biggest load, averaging nearly 20 points and 12 rebounds per game.
Tennessee played UNC-Charlotte minus Bernard King, whose suspension will be lifted earlier than expected, and without Coach Ray Mears, still hospitalized because of exhaustion. In the absence of these celebs, the Vols trotted out new football Coach Johnny Majors at halftime. Apparently, Majors' appearance produces victories wherever he goes, because Tennessee rallied from a 42-32 deficit to win 69-67 when freshman Center Reggie Johnson hit his seventh basket without a miss as the game clock wound down to :03.
Marquette outscored St. Leo 30-2 at one point, eventually winning 80-39 in a game that never should have been scheduled. Kentucky's margin was even wider in a 103-53 yawner over Texas Christian.
1. MICHIGAN (2-0)
2. KENTUCKY (2-0)
3. MARQUETTE (1-0)
COLUMBIA: A MOUSE THAT ROARED, read one New York City headline after the Lions' stunning 85-75 upset of Rutgers, the second member of last year's final four to go down to defeat in as many nights. "No funny lines tonight, fellas," said an elated Tom Penders, the Columbia coach who made a habit of self-deprecating postgame remarks during 4-22 and 8-17 seasons. "I don't know if they were ready for us," said 5'8" playmaker Alton Byrd.
Rutgers was aware that the Lions had fine young players in 6'5" Forward Juan Mitchell (26 points), Brooklyn's Ricky Free (19 points) Center Elmer Love (14 points) and Byrd (eight assists). What the Scarlet Knights weren't ready for was foul trouble. Their two big men, Jim Bailey and Abdel Anderson, went to the bench with three each in the first half: Bailey finished with three points and Anderson got none. Guard Ed Jordan shot 6 for 20 and committed nine turnovers in a rare confrontation with Eastern players that neither he nor his teammates could outrun. Columbia's fairy tale was played out in less than 48 hours, when Iona College tamed the Lions 84-69.
Elsewhere in the East, Navy's strongest front line in years held a 41-29 edge in rebounding over Penn and surprised the Quakers at Annapolis 71-67. What Georgetown Forward Al Dutch calls "that beautiful rhythm"—the Georgetown fast break—got the Hoyas back on track after a sluggish first half against St. Bonaventure. The running game created a 24-6 streak and a 76-60 win over the Bonnies. The Hoyas also beat Upsala 66-46. Holy Cross freshman Ronnie Perry Jr., son of the school's athletic director, made his home debut with 31 points in a 96-85 win over Vermont.
Lefty Driesell, never a tranquil figure on the bench, looks as menacing as Long John Silver since his Achilles tendon surgery. When Ball State recovered from a 14-point Maryland lead, Lefty beat the floor with his crutch. When the Cardinals closed to within four points late in the game he stomped with his good left leg and again whacked the floor with his crutch. All this seemed to spark Maryland to an 86-70 victory, but a pair of slow-down victories over LIU (49-45) and Princeton (58-45) threatened to burst Lefty's cast. The Blackbirds held the ball for 10½ minutes at one point. Said Lefty, "This game proves again that we need a 30-second clock." When reminded by a reporter that he had used a slow-down game to defeat South Carolina 31-30 in 1971, Driesell replied, "That was a conference game. We had to play them. I wouldn't schedule a team unless I thought I could play them."
North Carolina Coach Dean Smith used all 16 players in a 90-70 win over Marshall.
1. NORTH CAROLINA (2-1)
2. MARYLAND (3-1)
3. GEORGETOWN (2-0)