Frank McGuire's troubles at NORTH CAROLINA will make this race tighter than it appeared likely to be. The Tar Heels were slight favorites in the ACC and a sure bet for high national ranking, with 10 tall, fast, smart veterans and a number of good sophomores. Then Doug Moe, high scorer and fine rebounder, lost his battle with the books; he will be ineligible until the second semester. And tallest regular Dick Kepley, 6 feet 8, sprained his ankle so badly that it had to be put in a cast; he will not be available until mid-January. There remains the slick backcourt combination of York Larese and Harvey Salz, and Forward Lee Shaffer, one of the best in the league. Sophomore Jim Hudock may start until Kepley returns, and a host of reserves includes Ray Stanley, Hugh Donohue, Grey Poole, John Crotty, Lou Brown, Don Walsh and George Poteet. DUKE also has an all-veteran crew: Howard Hurt, Carroll Youngkin, John Frye, Fred Kast and Doug Kistler. There is excellent size and speed here and more in reserve, but the shooting, except for Youngkin's, is just fair. It is not often that a new coach comes into such wealth in his first season, but Duke's Vic Bubas, formerly assistant at N.C. State, is a lucky (and smart) young man. He also has a sophomore guard, Jack Mullen, good enough to start, and some veteran subs in Larry Bateman, Doug Albright and Jay Beal. WAKE FOREST should leapfrog more places in the standings than any other team; just how far up will be more apparent after their opening game, when their rugged sophomore star, Len Chappell, faces Jerry Lucas and his Ohio State crew. With Chappell, Coach Bones McKinney has two tall, veteran front-liners, Dave Budd and Winston Wiggins, and last year's fine backcourt of George Ritchie and Charles Forte. One of these two will likely go to the bench in favor of another brilliant newcomer, Billy Packer. Bones also has adequate subs in Bull Cullen, Allie Hart, Gene Compton and Frank Loeffler. The Deacons may well be the best re-bounders in the conference. It is always foolhardy to discount an N.C. STATE squad of Ev Case's, even when it has lost four top regulars, as this one has. An excellent sophomore bunch moves up, after a 13-4 record as frosh, and there is a wealth of experienced reserve talent, plus starter Dan Englehardt. The old hands are Bob McCann, Bob DiStefano, Stan Niewierowski, Bruce Hoadley, Don Gallagher and Ken Clark. The speedy newcomers are headed by three likely starters: Russ Marvel, John Key and George Finnegan. A fifth team that should be in contention all the way is MARYLAND, well stocked with veterans who can run, shoot and rebound with the best. If Coach Bud Millikan decides on a third big man to go with tall, veteran starters Al Bunge and Charles McNeil, it will be either of two reserves, Bob Wilson or Bob McDonald. If he wants more outside shooting to add to Pete Krukar's and Jerry Bechtle's, the fifth man will be either of two fine newcomers, Bruce Kelleher or Paul Jelus. And there are still Jerry Shanahan, Ted Marshall, Steve Alpert and Dave Schroeder on the bench. Coach Bob Stevens comes to SOUTH CAROLINA after serving his apprenticeship under the shrewd Forddy Anderson at Michigan State. He will install Forddy's so-called "continuous-motion" offense, in which players and ball keep moving in planned patterns until a scoring opportunity arises. Stevens has eight tall veterans and two especially good sophomores to teach it to: returning starters Mike Callahan, Mel Quick and Walt Hudson, and Bob Frantz, Larry Dial, Ron Johnson, Fred Luigs, Bury Hudson, Art Whisnant and Bud Cronin. At CLEMSON Coach Press Maravich is still looking for re-bounders and a pivotman. He has a great deal otherwise in the shooting and speed of George and Ed Krajack, Earle Maxwell, Glenn Shample, Walt Gibbons and Don Carver, and two fine newcomers, Larry Patterson and Tom Mahaffey. The team will have good floor balance and has learned Maravich's defense lessons, but there is no substitute for a big fellow in the slot. VIRGINIA'S Coach Bill McCann has one of the league's best backcourtmen, Paul Adkins, and a long list of problems. He has lost nearly his whole front line, must use reserves or sophomores up there and has no size on his bench. With Adkins, John Haner is a probable starter, and McCann hopes for consistent performance from his one big man, 6-foot-8 Bob Mortell.
INJURED ANKLE forces Dick Kepley to sit at chalk session with Tar Heel Coach McGuire and teammates (from left) York Larese, Harvey Salz, Lee Shaffer, Doug Moe.