Duke's Gene Banks came home to Philadelphia and led the Blue Devils to an 88-82 win over Perm. Although he scored a season-high 28 points (nine of 12 from the field, 10 of 13 free throws) and ran his four-year record against Philly teams to 8-0, Banks insisted the locale was no big deal. "I don't get psyched up to play against Philly teams," he said. "I just enjoy it." Penn Coach Bob Weinhauer didn't enjoy the 50 free throws the Blue Devils received to the home team's 14. "We don't defend well against free throws," he said sarcastically. "Giving up 50 foul shots is unheard-of."
Virginia's Ralph Sampson is wondering if he'll ever hear the end of his roommate's chattering. Sampson's roomie, Louis Collins, a footballer turned reserve basketball player, was three for three from the floor as Virginia crushed Baltimore University 103-62. "It's a good thing I'm leaving for Christmas," Sampson said. "Hopefully he'll be all talked out when we get back." Sampson may want to compare his stats with Collins'. The 7'4" center had 15 rebounds, made 10 for 12 field-goal attempts and scored 24 points in 24 minutes. Sampson is shooting 70.1% from the field for the year.
Points weren't plentiful for Ernest Graham and Dutch Morley of Maryland. Although the Terrapins beat Georgia Tech 66-55, the two were held scoreless. For Graham, who averages 12.1, it was his first scoreless game in two years. He complained of a sore left ankle. "When you feel terrible, you're going to play terrible." Graham said. His running mate at forward. Albert King, felt fine, though, shooting 12 of 18 from the field, mostly from long range, and scoring 28 points.
Georgetown's main scorer, Eric (Sleepy) Floyd, played decoy in an 80-61 win over Texas Southern. Floyd, who averaged 19.4 points entering the game, took only seven shots and scored but four points. The difference was made up by forwards Mike Hancock and Jeff Bullis, who combined for 33 points.
The morning of the Indiana-Kansas State game, visiting Coach Bobby Knight said that he and Wildcat Coach Jack Hartman were anachronisms because they believed in "old-fashioned" teams built around discipline and defense. Later that evening Knight's squad lived up to the billing in a 51-44 win. The discipline came from a patient offense that took only 33 shots from the field but made 20 of them. The defense was a hard-nosed man-to-man that stifled the Wildcats. Still, Knight raved about his opponent. "That's the hardest any team has played against us since I've been at Indiana," he said.
Kansas State rebounded later in the week to defeat Arkansas 47-46 in overtime. With two seconds to play and the score tied at 46, the Wildcats' Rolando Blackman blocked a shot by Arkansas' Darrell Walker. The referee called for a jump ball, but the game was being played under a Big Eight rule that specifies alternating possessions on all jump ball calls. This time it was Kansas State's turn to have the ball. "I told my players, 'Don't foul,' " said Razorback Coach Eddie Sutton. Evidently Scott Hastings wasn't listening. Hastings fouled Ed Nealy, who hit a free throw for the win.
Defending NCAA champion Louisville slumped to 1-5, losing to Minnesota 62-56. The Cardinals blew a number of inside shots against the Golden Gophers, who average 6'9½" across the front line. Louisville Coach Denny Crum denied that his team was intimidated by its opponents' size, but Minnesota's 7'2" Center Randy Breuer felt otherwise. "When I put my arms up, I'm 9'6" or 9'7". To shoot over that is a little difficult."
Just before a game at Iowa State, Alabama-Birmingham Coach Gene Bartow claims he overheard an Iowa State professor tell referee Charles Greene that he (the prof) was keeping a chart for the Big Eight office and would record every call Greene made. Naturally, after a 71-70 loss to the Cyclones, Bartow was mad. "The Big Eight official really made high grades tonight," he said. "I told him that he was a dirty homer." It didn't help Bartow's demeanor that the Blazers shot only 43% from the field and committed 15 turnovers. Tulsa matched its entire victory total of a year ago, making its record 8-1 with a 90-76 defeat of Purdue. Last year the Golden Hurricane finished 8-19.
Notre Dame received an early Christmas present, beating Valparaiso 69-56, but the real goody was a 67-61 win over Kentucky in Louisville five days later, which broke a six-year losing streak to the Wildcats. "I told our players if we could play them in the 60s we could beat them." said Notre Dame Coach Digger Phelps. "Every game we've lost to them down here has been in the 70s or higher." The Irish held down the score this time with zone defenses and a patient offense. But the real key, according to Forward Kelly Tripucka, who scored a game-high 30 points, was composure. "We were more patient, more relaxed when we came down here this time," he said. "In the past we were superpsyched. This time Digger didn't yell as much."
After his team defeated Xavier of Ohio 78-62. Louisiana State Coach Dale Brown told the media: "This will be the shortest press conference I've held at LSU, because I don't want to ruin your Christmas and I don't want to ruin my Christmas." The Tigers had led for most of the game, but Brown was less than pleased with his squad's effort. "Our concentration was below zero," he said.
Fans in downstate Illinois were eager for a matchup of Bradley and Illinois in the finals of the Fighting Illini Classic. The schools, situated less than 100 miles apart, had met only once since 1937, but after Illinois beat Ohio University 84-54 in the semifinals, Bradley lost to Oklahoma 53-52 in overtime. Illinois won the championship by another 30-point margin, 93-63, over the Sooners.
With a trip to Hawaii scheduled the next day, Marquette started daydreaming in snowy Milwaukee and needed an overtime period to defeat lightly regarded Western Michigan 79-74. "It's human nature," said Marquette Coach Hank Raymonds. "We tried to warn them about it, but with the trip to Hawaii coming up, they just didn't have their minds on basketball." Freshman Glenn Rivers kept his mind on the mainland long enough to hit a game-tying shot with 19 seconds left in regulation play, then make a steal with three seconds left to force the game into overtime.
Marquette didn't give basketball enough attention when it got to Hawaii, either. The Warriors were dumped by Pan American in the first round of the Rainbow Classic 71-70. Forward Curtis Glasper converted a free throw with two seconds remaining for the upset.
Members of the Drake basketball team like to state their lot in life with a song: "It's so hard...so hard to be a Bulldog." The dog's life became a little easier after Drake defeated previously unbeaten Utah 69-68 in the first round of the Far West Classic in Portland. Of course, Drake did it the hard way. Star Forward Lewis Lloyd drew three fouls in the first four minutes and saw only 18 minutes of action thereafter. Still, the Bulldogs hung tough and tied the game at 68 on a jumper by Pop Wright with 48 seconds to play. Utah decided to go for the last shot, but with 12 seconds left, the Utes' Danny Vranes lost the ball and fouled Drake's Charlie Nichols. Nichols hit the first of two free throws, then intentionally missed the second to kill the clock and Utah's chances.
Oregon State's first-round contest wasn't as exciting—or as difficult—the Beavers routing Northwestern 90-70. "I thought the game went as we expected it to," said Oregon State Coach Ralph Miller. What the Beavers expected was that the Wildcats would open the game in a zone defense—which they did. State also anticipated forcing Northwestern out of that zone with long-range shooting—which they did. After the Wildcats switched to man-to-man, Oregon State worked backdoor plays and scored repeatedly. In all, the Beavers passed for 33 assists. Jeff Stout hit 11 of 14 shots from the field and scored 25 points in just 18 minutes of play.
Brigham Young won a pair of games against intrastate rivals, downing Weber State 85-78 and Utah State 104-89.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
KELLY TRIPUCKA: Notre Dame's 6'7" senior forward scored 46 points in leading the Fighting Irish to wins over Valparaiso and Kentucky. Against Kentucky, Tripucka made 14 of 15 free throws in the second half.
SI TOP 20
1. DePAUL (9-0)
2. OREGON STATE (6-0)
3. VIRGINIA (6-0)
4. UCLA (6-1)
5. NOTRE DAME (6-1)
6. KENTUCKY (6-1)
7. MARYLAND (7-1)
8. IOWA (6-1)
9. TEXAS A&M (7-0)
10. LOUISIANA ST. (7-1)
11. WAKE FOREST (8-0)
12. N. CAROLINA (8-1)
13. ARIZONA ST. (7-1)
14. ILLINOIS (7-1)
15. CLEMSON (8-1)
16. INDIANA (7-3)
17. MICHIGAN (7-0)
18. BRIGHAM YOUNG (8-2)
19. S. ALABAMA (7-1)
20. TULSA (8-1)