In relative strength, there will be little change here over last season, except in the two weakest teams. Last-place NEW MEXICO, plagued with injuries a year ago, has its full squad back and some tall and talented freshmen moving up. Coach Stockton may surprise his rival mentors who, almost to a man, pick the Lobos for the cellar again. Stockton's front line of 6-foot-6 John Teel, 6-foot-7 Dick Petersen and 6-foot-5 Myrl Goodwin is as big as any regular unit in the league, and there are tall reserves in Sulo Mattson, Billy Cates and Larry Neely. The backcourt may be somewhat weaker, but regulars Lindy Lanier and Bob Martin will do. WYOMING'S squad should be vastly improved also. Coach Shelton still has two of the best guards in the Skyline—Tony Windis and Terry Eckhardt—and they will have solid new support from three sophomores: John Bertolero, Don Hatten and Harold Gardner. There is more height—Don Carlson and Bob Rhynsburger, both 6 feet 5—and speed to spare for fast breaks. This is not a 4-10 team any more, UTAH and BYU may still finish at the top of the heap, but probably in reverse order to last season. Coach Gardner's Redskins welcome back DeLyle Condie after two years of Mormon missionary work in South America. Condie, a slender, graceful, 6-foot-4, will probably team with the conference's top scorer, 6-foot-5 Milt Kane, up front. There is help for the lumbering 6-foot-8 Pearl Pollard at center in Sophomore Carney Crisler, 6-feet-7. In the backcourt, Gary Hale makes the famous Utah fast break go, and he has veteran support in Dick Shores and R. L. Benson. Not a starter returns to Brigham Young and there is not a senior on the squad. Center Roy Thacker may regain eligibility by the winter quarter, and his 6 feet 6 inches and experience will be welcome. Otherwise, Dick Sawyer, a standout freshman last year, will fill the spot. Other sophomores likely to play are Lynn Gleave, 6 feet 5, and Don Helm, 6 feet 4, who will team with reserves John Gustin and Russ Jones up front. The backcourt will be held down by veterans Mel Wilkes, Jack Cravens, Doug Beck and Russ Peterson. Coach Watts will be building with a young crew, DENVER will likely start four sophomores and one junior, having lost seven of their top men. The junior is 6-foot-6 Steve LeSatz, center. The sophomores: Jack Hulstrom and Clare Skov up front, and Jim Peay and Herb Galchinsky in the backcourt. Coach Brawner has two senior forwards in Rocephus Sligh and Bill Peay, who appear slated for service as reserves. Chances are the four sophomores will make too many mistakes this season. MONTANA led the league in defense last year—hallmark of a Frosty Cox-coached team. The Grizzlies will be strong in this department again, with three starters returning: 6-foot-7 Russ Sheriff at center, Clancy Waters and Hal Erickson in the backcourt. Frosty Jr. and Jim Powell are also available again, plus four sophomores long on speed but lacking in size. Neither COLORADO STATE (formerly A&M) nor UTAH STATE is likely to improve in the standings; both are short on experience and size. Colorado has two sound guards in Stan Albert and Bob Anderson; they have one Veteran starting forward in Dick Gregory. Sophomores will probably fill the other slots: Chuck Newcomb, 6 feet 4½, at center, and either Larry Hoffner or John Gillen up front. At Utah State, the tallest veteran starter is 6-foot-2 Harold Theus, who can rebound with the big men because of his extraordinarily long arms and great spring. Two other lettermen are Guards Frank Polak and Larry Bailey, and there are plenty of reserves, led by Sam Haggerty, Jay Bates and Terry Conley. The center post may go to transfer student Bob Ipson, and two sophomores will complete the squad.
Man to watch: UTAH'S DeLYLE CONDIE