The last go-round for the PCC before dissolution promises to be a dilly, with at least four teams authentic contenders, though the majority choice is WASHINGTON'S Huskies. Coach Tippy Dye has 11 lettermen back, led by the high-scoring pair of Bruno Boin and Doug Smart. Earl Irvine, Al Murphy and George Grant complete a rugged first string, and Jim Greer, Don Dorland, Lou Coastan, John Pariseau, Ron Crowe and Warren Schmidt are top reserves. Shooting, depth, experience and size are all happily present. There were no seniors on last year's 12-man STANFORD squad, and so all 12 are available again, eager to upset the Huskies. With a little more height at center their chances would be vastly improved, but they still cannot be counted out. The veteran first five includes Dick Haga, John Arrillaga, Jerry Thuesen, Doug Warren and the sparkling backcourt star, Paul Neumann. All shoot well. For two years in a row CALIFORNIA has been largely ignored in all preseason estimates, and both times, affable, brilliant Coach Pete Newell has developed champions. This year, Pete's hopes rest on the 6-foot-9 frame of Center Darryl Imhoff, who is very green but appears to learn quickly. Pete will surround him with veterans Al Buch, Bob Dalton, Jack Grout and either Denny Fitzpatrick or Bernie Simpson, though a sophomore, Bill McClintock, may break into the starting lineup. The backcourt is strong; elsewhere, the reserves are thin. Focus of interest at SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA is 7-foot Sophomore Bill Engesser. If he develops sufficient stamina and finesse to start at center, Coach Forrest Twogood can move Jim Hanna up front with Jim White. In this lineup the guards will be Larry Hauser and either Bill Bloom or Jerry Pimm. Reserves include John Werhas, Steve Kemp, Mike Leskou and Phil Dye. Even without Engesser the Trojans will be a threat; they are fast, experienced and can shoot. A similar situation exists at UCLA, where Coach John Wooden welcomes the tallest player he has ever coached, 6-foot-9 sophomore Warnell Jones, who is also extremely green. But there is a solid veteran nucleus: Walt Torrence, Roland Underhill, decathlon star Rafer Johnson, Denny Miller, Bob Archer, Cliff Brandon and Denny Crum. Two sophomores have also shown well: Kent Miller and Sonny Skjvervheim. The big problem here is lack of a strong floor leader. OREGON STATE cannot hope to repeat last year's fine record. Coach Slats Gill has lost all his scoring punch and most of his board strength. He builds around two fine guards, Lee Harman and Jim Anderson. The other starters will come from among veteran reserves Gary Goble, Ted Miller, Roy Critser, Arnold Schroeder and Larry Copple and sophomore Steve Flynn. The remaining three teams will be trying to stay out of last place, with IDAHO the likeliest candidate to succeed in this struggle. Coach Harlan Hodges has good average size in his squad, but no one over 6 feet 5. Three veterans who contributed to last year's creditable showing return. They are standout guard Whaylon Coleman, John Liveious and Harold Damiano. They'll be joined on the first string by reserves Bob Walton and B. J. Schaffer. Sophomores Roland Williams, Weldon Wood and Roger Watts will also make the squad. Hodges will use his strongest asset, speed, in a fast-break offense. The height situation at OREGON is the same as at Idaho, and here, too, three regulars are back: Dale Herron, Chuck Rask and Bud Kuykendall. The last two give the Ducks excellent outside shooting. Three reserves—Stu Robertson, Jerry Anderson and Otis Davis—also return, and two sophomores—Dennis Strickland and Verlund Kimpton—have shown the potential to become starters. The bench includes Dale Jones, Bob Hunt, Murray Newton, Ron Anderson and Leon Hayes, all of whom helped last year's freshmen to strong performances. New Coach Marv Harshman finds little to cheer about at WASHINGTON STATE. The two tallest men are missing from last year's weak squad, and his four returning regulars cannot be considered adequate scorers. They are Dick Axelson, John Maras, Jim Rossand Mert Kennedy. Sophomore Frank Reed will likely be the fifth starter, with Bruce Baker, Jim Miles, Larry Barclay and Parke Hinman in reserve. Harshman's first task is to introduce his own style of play, which is always time-consuming. After that, he'll be worrying about rebounding, shooting and his shallow bench.
What all these schools will do about next year is still up in the air. There is some talk about a five-team league, in basketball at least, which would consist of UCLA, USC, Cal, Stanford and Washington. The teams would play each other three times during a season. Something will have to be done soon in time for complicated schedules to be arranged.
Man to watch
BRUNO BOIN, WASHINGTON
A superb hooker and rebounder, he brings back fond memories at Washington of the great Bob Houbregs.