Up went the ball to start the new season; down came a passel of teams that had been highly ranked in preseason polls. Utah's two powerhouses—Weber State and Brigham Young—both had their press clippings clipped. The Wildcats were 91-84 losers to Utah State. And the Cougars were jarred by Illinois 86-76 as Mark Smith scored 20 points and Rob Judson 18 during a game in which there were 18 ties and 25 lead changes. Both upset victims won the next day, Weber State beating Utah 91-79 and BYU defeating Baylor 100-58. Danny Ainge of the Cougars, who had 19 points in the opener, scored 20 against the Bears.
Nevada-Las Vegas didn't get a chance to atone for its opening-night setback, a 77-75 shocker by Pan American. The Broncs led by nine points in the first half, but needed Donald Knight's jumper with two seconds left to win. Pan Am's Kenneth (Apple) Green had 24 points and 12 rebounds, while Richard Box of the Rebels had one more of each.
In last year's tournament in Anchorage, Alaska, Indiana was jolted twice. This time it was Texas A&M that suffered double damage in the Great Alaska Shootout, dropping a 78-62 decision to Iona in the first round and a 61-60 squeaker to Lamar. Iona, which also beat Long Beach State 85-75, advanced to the finals against Kentucky, which defeated Bradley 79-58 and Alaska-Anchorage 97-68. The Gaels' upset of A&M was built around 26 points by Kevin Hamilton and 17 by Jeff Ruland, who several weeks ago broke his shooting hand, and then came down with the flu while in Alaska. Sam Bowie, Kentucky's 7'1" freshman, had 16 points against Bradley. Fred Cowan of the Wildcats added 19 points and 11 rebounds in the second-round game, which made Coach Joe Hall feel that a trip he took last season had been worthwhile. That journey—a 200-mile flight to Cowan's hometown of Sturgis, Ky.—came when Hall learned that his 6'8" forward had left the team because he was distressed by his lack of playing time. Hall talked Cowan into rejoining the Wildcats, who took the Shootout by knocking off Iona 57-50 in the finale despite 14 points by tournament MVP Ruland, who had 61 points in three games.
December 10, 1979
Purdue's Joe Barry Carroll is called Rocky Mountain High for two reasons: he stands 7'1" and he is from Denver. Last week, playing 65 miles north of Denver, Carroll paced the Boilermakers to a 65-55 triumph at Colorado State. It was Carroll who triggered Purdue's comeback from an 11-point first-half deficit. He pumped in 20 of his 29 points in the second half when the Boilermakers went into a zone, slowed the game's tempo, spread their offense and got the ball to the big man.
Oregon State and UCLA had little trouble winning. The Beavers, as tenacious as ever on defense, drubbed Eastern Washington 92-59 and Wisconsin-Parkside 74-46 behind 6'10½" Steve Johnson's superb shooting. Altogether, Johnson connected on 20 of 28 field-goal attempts and scored 50 points. Against Eastern, the relentless Oregon State defenders hounded the Eagles into committing a total of 24 turnovers.
UCLA hardly worked up a sweat while swamping Idaho State 82-40, allowing only four field goals in the first half, which closed with the Bruins leading 43-12. However, Hofstra put up a battle. After trailing 31-18, the Flying Dutchmen made it 34-32 at the intermission. Then UCLA's Kiki Vandeweghe began popping in shots, scoring the first 13 points of the second half. When the game ended, Vandeweghe had 31 and the Bruins a 90-71 victory. New Bruin Coach Larry Brown made his presence known as UCLA showed off an energetic zone press and a penchant for substitutions. Brown made 63 lineup changes in the two games.
1. UCLA (2-0)
2. OREGON STATE (2-0)
3. BYU (1-1)
Nowhere was there more vivid evidence that it's a new season than at Indiana State. Gone is Larry Bird. Back are Carl Nicks and Bob (Miracle Man) Heaton. Nicks scored 37 points against Division II Armstrong (Ga.) State, but Heaton, playing sparingly on a bum left ankle, had just 11—and no miracles. The Running Pirates got 20 points from Foy Balance and four last-minute free throws by Mike Pringle as they handed the Sycamores, 33-1 last season, a 66-63 loss.
The first seven minutes of Steve Stipanovich's Missouri career were miserable. During that span the much-heralded 6'11" freshman drew three fouls and failed to score against Southwest Texas State, which led by seven points. In the next 48 seconds, though, Stipanovich dumped in two field goals to get the Tigers—and himself—untracked. He wound up with 23 points as the Tigers won 86-70 and then added 19 as they beat South Dakota State 80-60. Another strong Big Eight team, Kansas, beat Nevada-Reno 93-75.
Metro Conference favorites Louisville and Virginia Tech were victorious, the Cardinals barely so. Louisville blew a 14-point lead over South Alabama, trailed 71-69 and needed a long jumper by Darrell Griffith and three foul shots by Scooter McCray to prevail 75-73. Tech dumped Campbell 87-62 as Wayne Robinson had 20 points.
Arkansas broke open a tight game—36—all at halftime—in the second half and went on to knock off Loyola Marymount 76-66.
1. VIRGINIA TECH (1-0)
2. ARKANSAS (1-0)
3. MISSOURI (2-0)
"He's like a bumblebee in a jar," said Louisiana State Coach Dale Brown of multitalented De-Wayne Scales. In a 112-81 rout of SEC rival Florida, Scales buzzed and bombed his way to 30 points, sinking 14 of 16 field-goal attempts. Also in on the Gator raid was Durand Macklin, who had 25 points and 11 rebounds.
Although Indiana and Ohio State won by wide margins, neither was impressive in the first half. It was not until Mike Woodson got hot that the Hoosiers pulled away from Miami of Ohio. Ahead only 42-41, Indiana reeled off the next 16 points—eight of them by Woodson—and went on to an 80-52 victory. Ohio State fattened its 31-29 halftime lead by outscoring Ohio 22-8 during the first 10 minutes of the second half and won 78-51.
Guard Mickey Dillard, who broke his leg after two games last season, and 6'10" Elvis Rolle, a transfer from Oral Roberts, got Florida State off to a blazing start. With Dillard scoring 26 points and Rolle contributing 32—and sinking 12 of 15 shots—the Seminoles walloped Florida A&M 101-63.
Year after year Valparaiso takes on Notre Dame. And year after year the Crusaders get whipped. Not even 28 points by Jeff Simmons could keep the Irish from romping 92-66 this time. Kelly Tripucka had 22 points for Notre Dame, but it was a couple of freshmen who wowed the South Bend crowd. Tim Andree scored 13 points and John Paxson had 12 in limited action.
1. INDIANA (1-0)
2. OHIO STATE (1-0)
3. NOTRE DAME (1-0)
With the front line shooting .710, Duke beat North Carolina 86-74 to win the Big Four tournament. The bull's-eye boys were Kenny Dennard (6 for 8), Gene Banks (8 for 11) and tournament MVP Mike Gminski (8 for 12). Even though the Blue Devils got only one field goal during the last 10:16 against Wake Forest, they made it to the finals by defeating the Deacons 72-70. There were also some improbable statistics in the Tar Heels' first-round 97-84 conquest of North Carolina State: the Heels committed 23 turnovers and took 23 fewer shots than the Wolfpack did.
It took one minute and 39 seconds for 7'4" freshman Ralph Sampson to register his first basket for Virginia as he converted an alleyoop pass into a dunk. Sampson played 22 minutes and had 17 points during a 93-58 drubbing of Johns Hopkins. "Boring. Boring," chanted Cavalier fans the next day when Georgia Tech made its ACC debut against Virginia and played stall-ball. Sampson had just four points as Virginia outyawned Tech 55-37. North Carolina-Charlotte shocked Toledo 64-60. Phil Ward, the 49ers' defensive specialist, was their scoring ace this time, with 21 points.
Syracuse and Georgetown coasted. The Orange used freshmen liberally as they beat Cornell 107-66. And the Hoyas defeated Bowie (Md.) State 98-47, with Eric Smith scoring 15 points and holding Chuck Jackson, who had averaged 32 points in his previous four games, to 10.
1. DUKE (3-0)
2. NORTH CAROLINA (1-1)
3. ST. JOHN'S (2-0)
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
MIKE GMINSKI: Duke's 6'11" senior center led the Blue Devils to the Big Four tournament title with 47 points, 28 rebounds and 12 blocked shots in wins over ACC rivals Wake Forest and North Carolina.