EAST: One small corner of upstate New York may produce this area's two best teams in St. Bonaventure and Niagara. Coach Ed Donovan at ST. BONAVENTURE has the East's top sophomore prospect in Tom Stith, a strong rebounder and good shooter. He joins his brother Sam, Ken Fair-field and Don Newhook as sure starters. The fifth comes from among veterans Mike Schrauth, Mike Cavaliere, Stan Koliander and Lee Fitzpatrick. This is a tall, aggressive, give-and-go-style club with excellent potential. At NIAGARA Coach Taps Gallagher has lost four starters and will have only a 10-man squad, but its personnel will be very fast and fine shooters. The first five includes three sophomores, Al Butler, Don Jones and Sal Vergopia, plus veterans Dick Veith and Buddy Salamone. Reserves are Bob Johnston, Tom Truesdale, Bill Roberts, Len Whelan and Bill McLaughlin. Prospects are also fine at ST. JOHN'S, where Coach Joe Lapchick can expect great things from Tony Jackson. With him, as starters, are slick Alan Seiden, Lou Roethel, Gus Alfieri and Dick Engert, and backing them up are strong reserves led by John Ryan, Jack Daley and Mike Pedone. SYRACUSE has all its starters back: Jon Cincebox, a powerful rebounder; hot-shooting Ed Goldberg; Tom Mossey; Harold Noyes and Bruce Schmelzer. But someone will move over for Pete Chudy, a muchtouted forward. Again, PITTSBURGH builds its attack around All-America Don Hennon, as smooth a ball handler and sure a shot as can be seen anywhere. He'll get support from veterans Dave Sawyer and John Mills, and from sophomores John Fridley and Dick Falenski. Hennon alone is almost enough to ensure a successful season. A rising power is Coach Joe Mullaney's PROVIDENCE Friars. They bring up John Egan, a 23-point-average scorer from last year's freshmen, to join veterans Leonard Wilkens, James Swartz and John Woods. The fifth regular probably will be Pete Schementi, and a strong bench includes Dick Bessette, Dick Whelan, Ken Clements and Paul Martin. This is a fast bunch of smooth ball handlers, lacking only a few inches in average height. A strong squad of veterans and topflight sophomores breaks in a new gymnasium at BOSTON UNIVERSITY. The regulars include Bill Gates, who shot at a .500 clip last year, and Bob Cumings, Jack Leaman, Gene Prebola, Harold Supriano and Paul Rowles. Best of the newcomers is tall Ed Washington. At ST. FRANCIS of Loretto, Pa. Dentist-Coach Skip Hughes calls his team very possibly the best he has ever had, which means it could be among the nation's leaders. The starters-all tall, good shots, fine ball handlers—are Wilbur Trosch, Jack O'Malley, Joe Aston, Bobby Jones and Don Falenski. Sixth and seventh men are sophomores Charlie Snell and Tom Muriceak. Another potential powerhouse is MANHATTAN, whose coach, Ken Norton, is one of the best in the business. Rugged boardmen and good outside shooters abound in a veteran crew that includes Bob Mealy, Pete Brunone, Don McGorty, Mickey Burkoski, Joe Dougherty, Charlie Koenig and Bob Cleary. Four members of last year's unbeaten freshman team will likely start at VILLANOVA. They are Jim Kenny, Jim Huggard, John Driscoll and Bob Liberatore. The fifth will be veteran Joe Ryan. Speed, height and depth are more than adequate, but inexperience may cost some early-season games. With only three seniors on a strong squad, SETON HALL, coached by astute Honey Russell, is on the way back to former power. All Honey needs is scoring by tall Tom Cross. The top men, besides Cross, are Jack Rowley, Phil Samuels, Seth Hicks, Ken Walker, Angie Marotta, Bill Brooks and Connie Egan. At NYU new Coach Lou Rossini has two fine boardmen in Cal Ramsey and Tom Sanders, one excellent shooter in John Bucek and one play maker in Russ Cunningham. Finding a fifth man, organizing a bench and preparing for a tough early schedule will give Lou headaches, CANISIUS is still undersized and inexperienced, but some good sophomores bring a measure of balm to Coach Joe Curran. The best is Larry Sarafinas, who will probably team with veterans Frank Rojek, Jim MacKinnon and Ray McGuire. The fifth starter comes from among George Swift, Tom Rojek and Joe Loturco. ARMY seems on the way up, as basketball assumes importance at the Point. Darryle Kouns, a 23-point-average scorer, returns with three other veteran regulars: Chuck Darby, Fred Kaiser and Jim Klosek. The fifth starter will be sophomore Lee Sager, a 27-point-per-game man with last year's plebes. DUQUESNE, too, has a new coach, Jack Manning, who faces a strong list of opponents with only two veteran starters, Red Ryan and Bernie Matthews. However, if tall sophomore Center Bob Slobodnick proves himself quickly, a successful season is still possible. The other starters will be chosen from among George Brown, Frank Grabowski, James Lott, Mike Wolfe and Willie Joe Hunter. At HOLY CROSS Coach Roy Leenig is short on experienced players, especially rebounders. Two returning starters, Jack Whelan and Ralph Brandt, will team with two sophomores, George Blaney and Tim Shea, with the fifth to come from among Dennis Noschese, George Imwalle, Al Attar, Frank Foley and Pete Smith. At COLGATE Coach Howard Hartman hopes that Harold Jackson can make the switch quickly from football to basketball. His speed would help greatly. He and two other sophomores, David Davenport and Ken Norum, are counted on to play alongside veterans Arthur Brandon and Charles Hagenah. The average height is poor, the bench is shallow, the outlook bleak, BOSTON COLLEGE will play in a new gym with its best team in years—a strong nucleus of veterans supported by a host of good sophomores, three of whom, Kevin Loughery, Chuck Chevalier and Frank McArdle, may start. The leading older hands are George Giersch, John Magee, John McGrath and Bob Latkany. The squad has speed, depth and some fine shooters; it lacks only the outstanding big man. The same is true of PENN STATE, which will surely better last year's so-so mark. A long list of returning players includes Bob Edwards, Tom Hancock, Ted Kubista, Walter Colender and Paul Sweetland. Sophomores Mark DuMars and Jon Musser will see action, DuMars possibly as a starter. Johnny Bach will be put to the severest test this season at FORDHAM. Bach has lost practically all of his height and rebounding and much of his scoring through graduation. He will be forced to start either of two sophomores, John Coalmon or Frank Ascione, at center; probably another, John Samonsky, in the backcourt. Veterans John Brady and John Andariese and either Pat O'Donnell or Dan Altomare will hold down the other regular posts. The reserves are fair.
MIDWEST: It is a pleasure to report that DE PAUL has its best squad in five years, because not a smidgen of that talent will go to waste in the sure hands of Ray Meyer, as good a coach as can be found in action today. Starters will come from among three fine sophomores, Bill Haig, Howie Carl and Jim Flemming, and four veteran regulars, McKinley Cowsen, Mike Salzinski, Bill Coglianese and Paul Ruddy. This team should improve with each game and, since there is not a senior on the squad, it should be even better next season. NOTRE DAME seems fully capable of repeating its fine record, led by veterans Tom Hawkins, Gene Duffy and Mike Graney. Other starters will come from among Mike Ireland, Bob Bradtke, Mickey Bekelja, Emmett McCarthy and Mike Farrel, although sophomores John Tully, Bill Crosby or Bill Noonan have an outside chance of playing as regulars. This is a tall, well-balanced and speedy outfit. Though nine lettermen return at XAVIER from last year's NIT champs, hope of success this year depends on the performances of two tall sophomores, Charlie Phillips and Ron Nicolai, one of whom will have to take over at center. Elsewhere, the team is solid, sparked by Xavier's backcourt All-America candidate Hank Stein. The roster includes Joe Viviano, Ducky Castello, Rich Piontek, Jim Puthoff, Bill Middendorf, Ricky Jannott and Al Gun-drum, LOYOLA OF CHICAGO beat national champion Kentucky last year and four regulars from that crew are back: Frank Hogan, Paul Sheedy, Al Norville and Jim Gorman. The fifth starter will be sparkling sophomore Clarence Red, who averaged 25 points a game with the freshmen. Everything but a shallow bench points to another fine season. It will take time for new Coach Ed Hickey to install his system at MARQUETTE, but he has sound material to work with: veterans Jim Kollar, Walt Maghan, Mike Moran, Jim McCoy, and three standout sophomores in Ed Carter, Don Kojis and Joel Plinska. The talent is limited in numbers but the astute Hickey will surely get the most out of it. Only two regulars are back from last season's strong DAYTON team, but one is Frank Case, a strong driver and fine shooter, and the other is defensive ace Terry Bockhorn. Tall Joe Kennelly and taller Mike Allen will share the center post, and there are four good sophomores: Bob Jones, Stan Greenberg, Pat Allen and Phil Dubensky. Dayton will again be tough. There will be better height and depth than last year at DETROIT, but too many untried newcomers. Veterans Ray Albee, Ralph Uchison and John Belohlavek will start, along with two of three sophomores: Pete Corbett, Dick Dylus and Bob Wright, BUTLER'S 15-10 record is deceptive, because all of its opponents are not in the major-college class. The team is always strong, however, and well coached by Tony Hinkle. This year's squad will be led by veterans Ken Pennington and Bill Scott, includes two fine newcomers: Jess Blackwell and Larry Ramey.
SOUTH & SOUTHWEST: The NAVY grows with Army in basketball prestige this year, with six lettermen returning to form the nucleus of a sound, speedy team that lacks only extreme height. The old hands are John Mascali, Dick Johnson, Jim Bower, Dick Brown, Henry Egan, Jay Metzler and Frank Delano. Depleted by graduation, GEORGETOWN cannot hope even to match its so-so record. Three veterans are Jim Oravec, Ed Hargaden and Dick Razzetti. Four leading sophomore candidates for starting spots are Tom Coleman, Tom Matan, Brian Sheehan and Ray Ohlmuller. This is a year for acquiring experience. Four starters return to Coach Bob Vanatta at MEMPHIS STATE, and the Tigers will again be tall, deep, speedy and much feared. The regulars are Arnold Orby, Jim Hockaday, Skip Wolfe and George Price. A fifth starter will come from among Joe Gummersbach, Oscar Armer, Tim Buff and Gene Wilfong. New Coach Hank Kuzma brings the aura of his remarkable 95-19 record at fabulous little Steubenville College with him to LOYOLA OF THE SOUTH. He inherits an experienced, tall and deep squad, led by veterans Chester Doll, Bob McLaughlin, Carl Vogt, Art Radvilas, Larry Henneberger and Jack Morris, plus three good sophomores: Jack Flynn, Harriman Morgan and Bob Balch. MIAMI has only 7-foot Dick Berghoff back from its first string, and will likely surround him with untested sophomores. Best of the bunch are Ron Godfrey, Harry Manushaw and Dick Hickox. The schedule, fortunately, is not too trying. Most of the regulars are back at LOUISVILLE, but last year's record was poor by Coach Peck Hickman's standards, so all positions are open. Two sophomores likely to make the grade are Fred Sawyer and John Turner. Best of the vets are Don Goldstein, Harold Andrews, Alex Mantel and Roger Tieman. Hickman hopes he has a sleeper this season. Two slick transfer students, Bob Schaulat and Larry Gandal, join a tall, hot-shooting bunch of veterans at WASHINGTON OF ST. LOUIS to make up the best independent team in the area. The returnees are Lou Vesley, Hal Patton, Art Obrock, Jim Hascall, John Berger and Don Schleuter. Washington will have to play a better schedule to earn the national ranking it seeks. Perennial power OKLAHOMA CITY will feature two full-blooded Kiowa Indians on the squad, Fred Yeahquo and Bud Sahmaunt. There is a wealth of height and fair speed in Bill Hanson, Al Roberts, Troy Hill, Ed McCraw, Rod Campbell, Mike Kelley, Schweggmann Oeltjendiers, Harry Vines, David Hale and Fred Moses. FLORIDA STATE will be struggling to equal its 9-16 record this year, with a green club of only average size and depth. The squad is led by veterans Dan Boltz, Hugh Durham and Jim Liteky, includes sophomores Bill Archer, Mohler Hobbs and Charles Tinsley, as well as junior-college grad Don Bates.
FAR WEST: SEATTLE is the class again here, even without the great Elgin Baylor. Smooth, smart Charley Brown and three other regulars are back: Jerry Frizzell, Don Ogorek and Francis Saunders. If 6-foot-8 Tim Cousins can add scoring punch to his rebounding ability, new Coach Vinny Cazzetta will have no problems at all. Though only two starters, Jim Armstrong and Dick Jolley, return at PORTLAND, the future is bright. Both of these were double-figure scorers, and they are backed by a speedy, seasoned squad that includes Elmen Bloedel, Jim Altenhofen, Jim O'Donnell and Wally Panel. Lack of the strong, tall pivotman is the single outstanding flaw. With a year's experience behind him, GONZAGA'S 7-foot-3 Jean Claude Lefebvre should be even more effective than last season, when he averaged 14 points per game. Bob Turner's shooting eye has also improved, Denny Vermillion and Norb Trauba are experienced hands, and newcomer Frank Burgess supplies the floor leadership heretofore lacking. Gary Alcorn provides the only sure rebounding at FRESNO STATE, but elsewhere the squad is sound. Veterans Al Brown and Babe Williams appear set as starters, and sophomores Jan Barrett and Ray McCarty are the best of a good crew of newcomers. MONTANA STATE'S collection of fast-footed good shooters augurs a successful season, if no first-stringers get hurt. There is a sharp falling off in talent among the reserves. Veteran starters are Larry Chanay, Albert Harris, Jim Kelly and Jim Wallace. The fifth will come from among Len Broz, Bill Epperly, Harold Gaustad and Bob Ogren.
Man to watch
TOM HAWKINS, NOTRE DAME
A superb rebounder, a 25-points-per-game scorer, this rugged competitor is a cinch for All-America selection.
Man to watch
TOM STITH, ST. BONAVENTURE
Possibly the best all-round player produced in New York in years, he should lead the Bonnies to national ranking.