Nevada-Las Vegas Coach Jerry Tarkanian needed a new point guard this season. So he recruited one—his son Danny, who played last year at Dixie College, a junior college in St. George, Utah. Smart move. Danny had a total of 25 assists as the Rebels won their first two games this season, and last week at BYU he sank two foul shots with 34 seconds remaining to clinch a 66-63 win. The speedy Rebels harassed the taller Cougars with a pressing defense—first a zone and then a switching man-to-man—and Danny directed a nifty delay game for 30 minutes. Mainly he directed the ball to forwards Michael Burns and Sidney Green, who scored 18 points apiece.
A day earlier, Oregon State also put the clamps on BYU's front line. The Beavers forced 19 turnovers and outrebounded the Cougars 30-29 en route to a 56-44 victory. Together, Brigham Young's big three—Fred Roberts, Steve Trumbo and Greg Kite—had been scoring 45.3 points a game, but they were held to 16 by a tenacious Beaver defense and to 24 by the Rebels. UNLV's defense was superb at Arizona, too, limiting the Wildcats to a McKale Center-record low of 16 points in the second half of a 69-49 victory.
California's spread offense puzzled San Francisco, but what amounted to a four-point play by Wallace Bryant put the Dons ahead to stay in a 72-64 win. Bryant sank a free throw to make the score 56-56, missed his next try, got the rebound, hooked the ball in while being fouled and then added another free throw. Quintin Dailey had 22 points, 11 of them in a row, as the Dons defeated San Francisco State 94-67.
In the first two nights of college hoops at New Jersey's new Byrne Meadowlands Arena, a pair of games were as closely contested as the state's recent gubernatorial election that was won by only 1,677 votes out of 2.3 million cast. UCLA players, who learned the day before their game against Rutgers that the NCAA likely will place them on two-year probation and bar them for this season's NCAA tournament for still-unconfirmed violations, blew a 33-21 halftime lead and lost 57-54. A rule that former Bruin Coach John Wooden had fought for and that was installed this year—the elimination of jump balls (except to start a game) in favor of awarding possession of tied-up balls to the two teams on an alternating basis—helped do in UCLA. The Scarlet Knights led 55-54 with 15 seconds left when they were awarded the ball under just such circumstances. Brian Ellerbee took the inbounds pass and dribbled the length of the court for a layup that settled matters. (The application of the same rule was one of the reasons for the Bruins' defeat by BYU the previous week.) The next night at the Meadowlands, Seton Hall, paced by Dan Callandrillo's 34 points, jolted Houston 87-85 in overtime.
Villanova was one favorite that won at the Meadowlands. Led by Stewart Granger, who had 19 points and a Big East-record 14 assists, the Wildcats defeated Boston College 97-75. Earlier, Granger had 18 points and 10 assists in a 93-63 rout of St. Francis (N.Y.). Teammate John Pinone scored a total of 45 points in those games.
"It was like watching master craftsmen," said Southern Cal Coach Sam Morrison after his team lost 73-62 at North Carolina. "They chopped us up inside. Then they backdoored us. We collapsed the defense to stop all that, and they started scoring from the perimeter." When it came to rebounding, though, Tar Heel Coach Dean Smith thought his players were given a lesson by the highly physical Trojans, who led in that department 33-31. A 78-70 defeat of Tulsa also left Smith somewhat concerned. This time North Carolina made 24 turnovers and blew most of a 24-point advantage. In that win Tar Heel freshman Michael Jordan scored 22 points; James Worthy added 17 and had 11 rebounds; and Jimmy Black directed a rabbit-quick fast break, made seven steals and passed for seven assists.
Virginia got along fine without Ralph Sampson, who has a broken right ring finger. A 6'7" sophomore walk-on, Kenton Edelin, replaced Sampson and scored 16 points as the Cavaliers drubbed Randolph-Macon 82-50. Three nights later, Guard Othell Wilson got 20 points as Virginia beat VMI 76-49.
Notre Dame fans, aware of the rumors that the NCAA's probe of UCLA was triggered by reports that a Bruin booster had allegedly helped finance cars for some players, tried to unnerve the Bruins by rattling car keys when the visitors took free throws. When a UCLA player missed, the crowd chanted, "Take away his car!" Unperturbed, the Bruins made 25 of 30 foul shots, got 24 points from Mike Sanders and won 75-49.
Indiana Coach Bobby Knight, angered by his starters' lack of intensity during the previous week's season-opening defeat of Miami of Ohio, started four freshmen against Notre Dame. They got the Hoosiers off to a 6-4 lead before Knight sent in three upperclassmen, Ted Kitchel, Randy Wittman and Steve Bouchie. Kitchel scored 22 points and Wittman 15, all in the second half, as Indiana ran away Tom the Irish 69-55.
Minnesota's 7'3" center, Randy Breuer, had 79 points as the Gophers defeated San Francisco State 88-69, Dayton 90-74 and Loyola of Chicago 61-60. Loyola led 50-39 with 9:12 to play, but a surprisingly effective Gopher press and John Wiley's tip-in with two seconds left did in the Ramblers.
"I told them at halftime, 'Go out and play like Iowa. Don't play like whoever you've been playing like,' " said Hawkeye Coach Lute Olson. As confusing as those words may have been, Olson got his message across, and Iowa, trailing 37-26 at Marquette, won 68-65 in overtime. Hawkeye Guard Bob Hansen scored 12 of his 18 points after the intermission, and 6'11" freshman Michael Payne had 11 of his 17 during the same span.
"We have three small guards, a forward who hasn't played much and a center who's not that strong," says Illinois Coach Lou Henson. That's why Henson uses a three-guard offense, a pressure defense and, if he has a late lead, a four-corners spread. All those components clicked as the Illini surprised Kansas State 55-49.
Against Purdue, DePaul showed it has something it lacked last season—a bench. When star Guard Skip Dillard's fourth foul put him on the bench with 8:45 remaining, only one Blue Demon regular, Forward Terry Cummings, was on the floor. Nonetheless, DePaul stretched a 52-50 lead to 62-50 in the next five minutes and held on to win 73-67. Cummings finished with 23 points and 19 rebounds. The Boilermakers got 30 points from Center Russell Cross, but they turned the ball over 20 times. Ohio State gave Kentucky fits with a three-guard offense it used because Forward Clark Kellogg was out with a fractured jaw, and trailed only 53-48 with 9:37 left. Wildcat Guard Dirk Minniefield hit seven field goals down the stretch to lift Kentucky to a 78-62 victory.
Louisville scored nine baskets in a row from underneath early in the second half to pull away from host Western Kentucky in the championship game of the Wendy's Classic. The Hilltoppers, who led 39-32 before the Cardinals surged, lost 71-66. Tulane outrebounded Louisville 36-28 in the opening round, but Derek Smith's 21 points salvaged a 55-54 win for the Cardinals.
For the first time in four tries, Alabama-Birmingham beat Mississippi; with Oliver Robinson scoring 24 points and Craig Lane 23, the Blazers romped to a 72-58 victory.
Georgia's showstopper, Dominique Wilkins, and its short stopper, 5'6" freshman Darryl Lenard, enabled the Bulldogs to survive. Wilkins twice scored 20 points as the Dawgs beat Florida State 70-67 and Georgia Tech 62-61. After coming off the bench in the late going at Tallahassee, Lenard converted a steal into a basket to put Georgia ahead 66-64. He then hounded the Seminoles into a critical five-second violation.
Youngstown State's 65-57 defeat of Gannon gave Dom Rosselli, 66, his 1,000th victory as a Penguin coach. It was his 582nd basketball triumph in 40 seasons. His 418 other wins have come in baseball, a sport he has coached for 28 years.
It was basketball, not football, but that didn't keep San Diego State Guard Keith Smith from tackling Arkansas Guard Darrell Walker. Walker, who had made layups after twice stealing the ball from Smith in the opening minutes, was headed toward the basket again after picking off a pass when Smith brought him down. Walker was uninjured, and Aztec Coach Smokey Gaines benched Smith. San Diego State, which had averaged 100 points in its first two games, trailed 34-15 at half-time and lost 85-68.
Wichita State won its third straight McDonald's Classic by beating District of Columbia 100-76 and Cincinnati 87-67. The Shockers' Antoine Carr, who had 39 points in the tournament, gave his MVP plaque to teammate Tony Martin, who had 15 points and six assists in the title game.
Alcorn State was so intent on winning at Missouri that it showed up in Columbia two days early to prepare. The Braves' efforts were of no avail as the Tigers prevailed 82-51 behind Steve Stipanovich's 16 points and 14 rebounds. Missouri then defeated East Carolina 87-55 and Wyoming 64-54 to win its Show-Me Classic. The Tigers didn't go ahead for good in the finale until Mark Dressier hit a jumper for a 51-50 lead with 7:45 to play.
Even closer was Alabama's 95-93 victory over Texas Tech. The Crimson Tide trailed 89-82 before Ennis Whatley put on a burst, getting seven of his 21 points in the final four minutes.
Tulsa had its hands full with St. Mary's, an NAIA team from San Antonio. The Golden Hurricane had a 13-2 spurt in the last six minutes, locking up a 57-43 win.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
DAN CALLANDRILLO: Seton Hall's 6'2" guard had 34 points, including the deciding hoop with four seconds left in OT, as the Pirates upset Houston 87-85. He scored 21 in a 71-64 defeat of Fordham.
SI TOP 20
N. CAROLINA (3-0)
WICHITA STATE (3-0)
SAN FRANCISCO (3-0)
KANSAS STATE (3-1)
NEV.-LAS VEGAS (4-0)
OREGON STATE (2-0)
* Last week