Critics of Bill Cartwright who say they have been waiting...and waiting...and waiting for the San Francisco center to live up to the rave reviews he received in high school can relax. Cartwright has arrived. In a 93-87 win over Florida State the 6'11½" sophomore from Elk Grove, Calif. broke loose for a school record of 43 points.
Who held the old record? "I did!" replied USF Coach Bob Gaillard. "And I think it's great Cartwright broke it. Now a lot of people will know I played basketball here, too."
The Dons also beat Oral Roberts 86-76 and Cal-Poly Pomona 96-68.
The Ghost of Christmas Past seems to be haunting UCLA's Gene Bartow, the man who inherited a team history he could hardly hope to improve on. Against William & Mary, an opponent that John Wooden's old Bruin teams would have frightened right off the court, Bartow's 1977 contingent required eight pressure-packed free throws in the final minute to gain a 59-55 victory that seemed more like a loss.
Granted, the Bruins could not go to Marques Johnson, who scored 25 points in UCLA's 89-74 victory over San Jose State but missed most of the second half against William & Mary because of a bruised knee. But as one long-time UCLA season-ticket holder noted on his way out of Pauley Pavilion, "At least the games are exciting now."
Nevada-Las Vegas burned Murray State 104-77 and Oklahoma 100-89 as Forward Eddie Owens scored a total of 42 points. Owens had collected 39 in one game the previous week against Idaho on a near-perfect shooting night in which he swished 19 of 23 from the floor.
Long Beach State will soon be off its long three-year probation. But while the 49ers were looking forward to their precious date of freedom, Jan. 5, they took a swipe from Montana, 77-75. The Grizzlies also scared Arizona State half to death before succumbing 88-82 in Tempe.
Pepperdine jumped to a 30-12 lead against taller Washington State in Spokane and held on for a 71-67 triumph. Utah (6-3) beat Weber State in overtime 88-81 as Jeff Jonas scored 19 points and had 15 assists.
1. SAN FRANCISCO (12-0)
2. ARIZONA (8-1)
3. UCLA (7-1)
"I'd' pay to watch our kids play," said Arkansas Coach Eddie Sutton, who got in free and spent two very enjoyable nights on the bench last week as his red-hot Hogs completed a sweep of Kansas and Kansas State. In a 67-63 victory at Lawrence, Marvin Delph, one of Arkansas' three deadly shooters, hit 11 of 19 shots; Ron Brewer went 6 for 10 and Sidney Moncrief was 6 for 9. If Sutton had been obliged to buy a ticket for the KSU game in Fayetteville, he might have been in trouble. New football Coach Lou Holtz had to work overtime to find a stray ticket for a prospective assistant who was visiting, and the court-record 6,453 lucky people who did get a seat in Barnhill Arena saw Arkansas win 80-65. This time, Delph bagged 13 out of 19, Brewer hit 9 of 15 and Moncrief went 7 for 9. "If you don't watch out," Sutton chuckled, "those three guys will kill you."
Kansas beat St. Louis 69-68 when freshman Guard Hasan Houston, a top high school player in the St. Louis area a year ago, dropped in two free throws with 20 seconds to play in the second overtime. Said Coach Randy Albrecht of the Billikens' worst start (0-8) in 50 years, "This may put us on the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's 100 Neediest Cases list at Christmas."
Wichita State beat Brigham Young 69-63, as Big Moe and Cheese did most of the damage. Big Moe is 245-pound Center Bob Elmore, who scored a dozen points and grabbed 16 rebounds. Cheese is Lynbert Johnson, who recorded a season-high 21 points and snatched 11 rebounds.
Memphis State was stunned by the death of junior Center John Gunn, who was stricken with an illness that affects the body's mucous membranes. The Tigers learned of Gunn's death shortly before a game with Mississippi, discussed whether or not to play, then went out and won 88-83. Louisville coasted to an 81-71 victory over UT-Chattanooga. Cincinnati did not play.
1. CINCINNATI (7-0)
2. LOUISVILLE (5-2)
3. ARKANSAS (8-0)
Al McGuire's timing has never been what one would term impeccable. A pair of inopportune technical fouls against the Marquette coach cost his team a chance to win the 1974 NCAA finals, and two more outbursts by McGuire helped Indiana defeat Marquette in last year's Mideast Regional. But when Mr. Loquacious announced two weeks ago that he would retire at the end of the season to devote himself to business interests, the news appeared to suck the confidence out of his unbeaten team. The Warriors lost two straight at home—to Louisville 78-75 in overtime and to Minnesota 66-59—and that hadn't happened in Milwaukee Arena for a decade.
"I would hope there's something more to life than coaching guys in short pants," said McGuire, who will become vice-chairman for a company that specializes in making sports equipment. "I would prefer to work behind the scenes, rather than the way I do now."
Marquette could have beaten Louisville in regulation time if Guard Butch Lee had made a free throw with no time remaining. But Lee missed, spoiling a 30-point performance and allowing the Cardinals to prevail on a late basket by Center Ricky Gallon. While the Warriors were still reeling from that setback. Minnesota's unbeaten Gophers brought their probationary show to town. Using three players who, the NCAA says, should be declared ineligible, the Gophers jumped to an astonishing 24-point lead early in the second half. Center Mike Thompson, an NCAA target who allegedly sold a ticket for more than it was worth, rapped Marquette's knuckles with 23 points. Minnesota ran its record to 7-0 by beating Kansas State 62-60.
Marquette's woes and Minnesota's alleged misdeeds sounded familiar to Kentuckians, who suffered through the following four-day purge:
•Before the Kentucky Invitational tournament. Coach Joe B. Hall suspended three players, including 6'10" Center Mike Phillips and freshman Guard Jay Shidler, for curfew violations.
•Two nights later Utah upset the Wildcats 70-68 on a last-second basket by Guard Earl Williams, stopping the nation's longest winning streak at 16 games.
•The next day the NCAA placed Kentucky's football and basketball programs on probation for two years, limiting UK's scholarship allotment in basketball but stopping short of prohibiting the Wildcats from postseason play.
Tennessee Coach Ray Mears left St. Alban's Hospital in Radford, Va. after a five-week stay because of nervous exhaustion and is feeling much better, thank you, after what he has seen of his reinstated star Bernard King. The junior forward dismantled Xavier of Ohio 97-73 with 32 points, then roared on with 31 and 55 as the Vols reached the finals of the Real Madrid Christmas tournament in Spain. Tennessee is 6-2, including an 86-81 victory over previously unbeaten St. John's in the Vol Classic.
The University of Detroit lured an old Motown man, Arizona Coach Fred Snowden, back home and made sure he wouldn't forget the trip by springing a 70-68 upset on the Wildcats on a last-second shot by Guard Dennis Boyd. Titans Coach Dick Vitale went bananas, got tossed in the shower by his jubilant players and turned up at the post-game party soaking wet. Snowden said he didn't care to play at the U. of Detroit again, and took his players down to Purdue where the exam-rusty Boilermakers flunked out against Wildcat Center Bob Elliott. Elliott scored 22 points, blocked one shot all the way into the Purdue band and came within one of the Mackey Arena rebound record with 20 as Arizona won 85-76.
Counting an earlier loss at Notre Dame, Indiana had lost three straight. But the Hoosiers got rolling again with a 50-42 decision over DePaul and victories over Utah State 79-71 and Miami of Ohio 76-55 in the Indiana Classic. Bobby Knight started his sixth different lineup combination against Utah State, and freshman Guard Mike Woodson was the star with 26 points and 10 rebounds. Center Kent Benson wrecked Miami with 26 points and 15 rebounds.
It is becoming as difficult to get a ticket for a Michigan basketball game as it is for football. Crisler Arena was even sold out—13,609 strong—for the top-rated Wolverines' 104-63 slaughter of Central Michigan. Center Phil Hubbard scored a career-high 26 points. Notre Dame won by the same margin in its 89-48 conquest of Vermont. Trailing 2-0, the Irish ripped off 20 consecutive points. Michigan State topped North Carolina State 78-60 behind Greg Kelser's 24 points. DePaul beat Army 77-66 and Niagara 68-58.
Tennessee Tech was the surprise winner of a well-stocked women's tournament in Columbus, Miss., beating Mississippi U. for Women 87-58 in the semifinals and overwhelming Stephen F. Austin 102-68 in the finals.
1. MICHIGAN (5-0)
2. KENTUCKY (6-1)
3. NOTRE DAME (7-0)
Alabama won the Carolina Classic in South Carolina by handing Georgetown its first loss of the season in the semifinals 66-64, then outlasting the host Gamecocks 67-62 in the finals. This was important to the Crimson Tide in many respects: it was the second tournament 'Bama had won in five days; it marked the first time the school had won two tournaments in the same season; it spoiled South Carolina's upset plans following a 90-66 defeat at the hands of Alabama a month ago; it boosted the team's season record to 8-0; it exposed a new star in freshman Guard Robert Scott—and all this was accomplished despite sub-.400 shooting from the field.
Senior Center Rickey Brown also played a valuable role by ringing up 23 points against Georgetown. But his splurge was made possible, in part, by Scott's outside shooting which prevented the Hoyas' zone defense from collapsing around Brown and Forward Reggie King. Despite its overall poor shooting from the floor, Alabama did well at the foul line and drew numerous chances, sinking 22 of 29. Scott then helped stave off a late South Carolina surge with three baskets in the last six minutes, and 'Bama retained enough poise to make 10 of 14 free throws in the final 2:41.
When Ronnie Perry picked Holy Cross over North Carolina, Notre Dame and Davidson, his new coach, George Blaney, said, "Ronnie could have played for us when he was a junior in high school. But no one is going to believe he is only a freshman." As proof positive of this, Perry joined a veteran team that went 22-10 last year and quickly became its leader. Against Iona he connected on 13 of 16 shots, scored 29 points and chipped in with six assists as Holy Cross (7-0) won 95-79. Perry had 18 more in an easy 86-68 affair with Harvard.
North Carolina led Brigham Young 24-20 midway through the first half when the Tar Heels suddenly exploded, outscoring the Cougars 42-15 for a 66-35 halftime lead. The final score was 113-93. Said BYU Coach Frank Arnold, a former UCLA assistant, of the Tar Heels' Bruin-like outburst: "I've never seen such basketball in my 20-odd years of coaching. It was utterly devastating." The main culprit was Guard Phil Ford, who had five steals and racked up 14 assists in 27 minutes of play. Ford's whirling-dervish act included one spectacular save in which he flew toward the seats to knock a loose ball back in to Forward Mike O'Koren, who dunked. O'Koren continues to draw approval from Carolina fans, who mention him in the same breath with their three Olympians—Ford, Walter Davis and Tom LaGarde. Against BYU, O'Koren shot 10 times, made eight, scored 20 points and pulled down 11 rebounds.
Maryland's Lefty Driesell has a golf cart to get around the practice floor since his Achilles tendon operation but got so furious over his team's failure to use the backboard when shooting layups that he piled out of the cart, plastercast and all, to give a demonstration. "You guys look like you've never been coached." said Lefty, unmindful of the boomerang effect of such a line. No matter—the Terps swamped Bucknell 106-72 in one of those evenly matched, tooth-and-nail struggles that make the advent of the conference schedules such a pleasing prospect.
1. NORTH CAROLINA (5-1)
2. MARYLAND (6-1)
3. GEORGETOWN (5-1