EAST: It isn't often that a team which loses four of its starting players can expect national ranking, but such is the case at ST. JOHN'S, where old Celtic star Joe Lapchick is bringing the school back to its former preeminence in basketball at top speed. Lapchick has a tall, fast, deep squad, led by Tony Jackson, who rated All-America status as a sophomore last year. Senior Bernie Pascal is back after a year's rest and recuperation from illness, so is slick Guard Mike Pedone, and at least four sophomores are good enough to start. They are LeRoy Ellis, 6 feet 9 and the tallest player here since Harry Boykoff; Willie Hall and Fred Edelman, two rugged forwards; and Ivan Kovac, a speedy, deceptive driver and play-maker. Reserves include Gary Marozas, Bob Larranga, Butch Dellecave, Frank O'Hara and Bill Goldy. On December 19 St. John's faces another school aiming for national ranking, PROVIDENCE, and the similarities between them are striking. Providence also has a new, tall post man in Jimmy Hadnot, 6-foot-10 graduate of the same California high school that produced Bill Russell. He is stronger than Ellis and a better shooter but not as fast. Here, too, is a superb backcourtman, John Egan, who is recovering from a knee injury but who should be ready for the big game. The supporting cast, not as deep as St. John's but about the same size, includes Len Wilkens, John Woods, Bob Gibson, Dick Whelan, Dennis Guimares, Dick Holzheimer, Tim Moynahan and another tall sophomore, Tom Nyrie. Hadnot's rebounding should enable this speedy bunch to fast-break often. ARMY, set to duplicate last year's fine record, has been seriously hurt by the loss of three veterans before the first game. Joe Bobula was hospitalized with a back injury, Harold Hannon was operated on for shoulder trouble and Captain Jim Klosek was suspended for an infraction of Academy regulations. This leaves only regulars Lee Sager and Fred Kaiser, who look for help from reserves Bob Strauss and Ross Gagliano and sophomores Stu Sherard, Al Dejardin and Phil Thompson. At SETON HALL Honey Russell's 19th and last year as coach should be one of his best. He has good size and speed, a veteran bench and three sophomores who supply the scoring punch sadly absent last season. Leading newcomers are Art Hicks, who scored more than 1,100 points in high school in Chicago, Hank Gunter and Al Senavitis. They will start with veterans Jack Rowley and Ken Walker, and reserves include Hugh Dunnion, Seth Hicks, Bill Brooks, Ron Olender and Angie Marotta. NIAGARA again is well stocked in every department but outsized pivotmen. Taps Gallagher has exceptional speed and outside shooting, and great depth at the guards, one of whom, Al Butler, is tops in his area. Just fair rebounding is the chief drawback. The experienced regulars are Butler, Sal Vergopia, Don Jones and Len Whelan. Reserves include Bob Johnson, Bill McLaughlin, Bill Roberts, Buddy Salamone and Tom Truesdale. Nearby ST. BONAVEN-TURE has the two Stith brothers, Tom and Sam, as a nucleus, and the hope is that sophomore Bob McCully, 6 feet 9, will come through at center so Tom can move to his accustomed spot in a corner. There he should score even more than his 403 points of last year, which set a Bonnie record. Sam is a fine floor leader and a good scorer himself. Except for Ron Martin and Bill Connery, the rest of the squad lacks experience. It includes Tom McHugh, Mickey Connelly, Tom Hannon, Orris Jirele and Ed Petrovick. FORDHAM gets some of the height it has needed from newcomers Joe Dempsey and Ed Kohler to supplement the fine shooting of veterans John Andariese, Pat O'Donnell and John Coalmon. Ira Sussman will play a lot also, and reserves include Frank Ascione, John Samon-sky, Don Altomare, Cornell Hess and Tom O'Connor. So-so boardwork is the rub. At VILLANOVA sophomore Hubie White should supply the offensive power that is the only ingredient the rest of the squad lacks. There is height, speed and experience. John Driscoll, Jim Huggard and Bob Liberatore are holdovers from the unbeaten frosh of two years ago, Captain George Raveling is set in the backcourt, and reserves include Donald McGinley, Jim McMonigle, Richard Kamanski, Tom Samulewicz and David Severance. The Wildcats will give St. Joseph's and LaSalle a battle for Philadelphia area honors. Four regulars return at HOLY CROSS, and are joined by 6-foot-5 Jack Foley, who averaged a whopping 32 points with the freshmen last year. It is a deep, seasoned squad that shoots well from outside. The veterans are George Blaney, Tim Shea, Ralph Brandt and George Imwalle; reserves are Spencer Thompson, Pete Smith, John Connors, Paul Cervini, Al Attar and Ted Breslin. Other sophomores, who complete the squad, are Dave Slattery, Ken McClory and Bill Canavan. MANHATTAN has some experienced hands for a change, good over-all size and shooting that may be the best in the East. Bob Mealy has completely recovered from a shoulder separation and should be one of the nation's best boardmen and a 20-point scorer. He is surrounded by veterans Joe Dougherty, Bob Cleary, Tom Leder, Pete Brunone and Charles Koenig. The bench consists of transfer student Arthur Orlando and sophomores Alex Osowick, Kevin Haggerty, John O'Connor, Larry Byrnes and Doug Rutnik. On a hot-shooting night this bunch will beat any of the local New York powerhouse teams. One of these is NYU, with veterans Tom Sanders and Al Barden up front and Russ Cunningham and sophomore speedster Ray Paprocky in the backcourt. The fifth man likely will be Jim Reiss, but Coach Lou Rossini can also choose from among Al Filardi, Mike DiNapoli, Leo Murphy and Richard Keith, with Art Loche a top reserve guard. NYU's strength is in the speed of the first five and the powerful rebounding of Sanders and Barden ; its chief weakness is a great falling off in speed on the bench, PENN STATE faces a rugged early schedule, with only two good backcourtmen from last year's winning season, Wally Colender and Mark DuMars. Elsewhere are inexperienced performers. Jon Musser and Paul Sweetland, reserves last season, must improve their boardwork, and sophomores Joe Bradshaw and Gene Harris have to gain poise quickly. The bench includes Dick Dibert, Larry Freedman, Mel Ramey, Don Wilson, Jake True-blood and Frank Shea. Unusual in a profession brimful of long-faced Cassandras is the perennially optimistic Dr. Skip Hughes, coach at ST. FRANCIS, who, happily, can count on a tall, well-balanced, speedy squad for a winning season. The veteran front line of Joe Aston, Wilbur Trosch and Bob Jones averages 6 feet 6, with equally rangy reserves in Don Crawford, Jerry Lacey and Mike Matta. The backcourt, led by regular Tom Muriceak, lacks experienced depth but provides fair shooting. Frank Libonati and sophomores Calvin Fowler and Ed Winters are available for the fifth starting spot. Rebounding is the potent weapon here. At SYRACUSE it is missing. Four speedy veterans are desperately shy of board strength, but they shoot well and have a fair bench behind them. Ed Goldberg is a fine playmaker, and he has holdovers Dick Conover, Pete Chudy and Tom Mossey with him. Hopefully, the rebounding will come from tall reserves Doug Yarnell, John Chaney and Bruce Kollath. Backcourt subs are Steve Berkenfeld, Sandy Salz and John Mustion. Don Hennon is gone at PITTSBURGH, which means a great loss in scoring punch, and there is also no one in sight to improve the weak rebounding situation. Veterans John Mills and John Fridley are the nucleus of a front line that probably will be completed by Darwin Smith, with sophomore Bob Sankey also in contention. The backcourt will come from among Dick Falenski, Bill Mauro and Howard Lockhart, and reserves are Paul Lazor, Lloyd Simpson and Don Keller. BOSTON COLLEGE starts from scratch, after losing 10 top players. Coach Don Martin has three good shooters, Jack Schoppmeyer, Jim Hooley and Bill Donovan, and hopes his two big men, Frank Quinn and Rudy Von Burg, develop quickly so he can use a double-post offense. The backcourt will be manned by Donovan, Bill Foley, Jack McAuliffe and Ray Falvey. Reserves include Vin McKeever and Bryan Fitzpatrick. CANISIUS has high scorer Frank Rojek but no one to help him in that department unless four sophomores come along fast. They are Phil Skilnik, Frank Slazyk, Bill Slicks and Bill Kretzer; the first two may start. Other returning veterans are John Gabbey and Ray McGuire, and reserves are Larry Sarafinas, Dick McCann and Joe LoTurco. New Coach Bob MacKinnon returns to the scene of his playing days, but his debut will be a trying one. The usual personnel situation is reversed at DUQUESNE, where Coach Red Manning has plenty of height and rebounding power but needs two fast little ball handlers who can shoot from outside. He had one in Ned Twyman, but kicked him and substitute Mike Wolff off the squad because of their "indifferent attitude." The solid front line includes pivotman Bob Slobodnik, George Brown and Frank Grebowski, with Ron Cygrenus, Paul Benec and Clyde Arnold in reserve. The guards likely will be sophomores Bill Strom and Bill Stromple, though Benec may be switched back there. At CCNY Nat Holman begins his 37th season as coach with three good veterans, a flock of enthusiastic candidates, practically no height and the prospect of meeting all of the local powers this year. He must build around Marty Groveman, Guy Marcot and Julio Delatorre. The fine BOSTON UNIVERSITY squad that beat Navy and Connecticut and went to the quarter-finals of the NCAA tournament last season is sadly depleted. Only Bill Gates and Dick O'Connell are back, the sophomore crop is disappointing and new Coach Johnny Burke has a minimum of manpower from which to choose. Newcomer Larry Isenberg probably will start with the two veterans, and the others must come from among John Alexander, Tom Chamberlain, John Murphy, Hans Slade, Marshall Hamilt and Lee Crutchfield.
MIDWEST: No one should have been surprised when Eddie Hickey came up with a good team at MARQUETTE last year, even though it was his first season. And this year the Warriors may be even tougher. Hickey's one problem is at center, but it may be solved by sophomore John Reitinger or Jerry Doyle, who had dropped basketball in favor of the books. If neither works out, veteran Don Kojis will handle the pivot, with no loss of effectiveness there, but that will weaken the forward positions. Also back are jumping jack Walt Mangham and playmaker Jim Kollar, plus a long list of reserves: Jim Kersten, Ed Carter, Tim Rogan, Gregory Ripp and Joel Plinska. Sophomore Jerry Keidel, Joe Scanlon and Reitinger are potential starters, and Mario Crivello and Patrick Below will make the squad, DAYTON has excellent height and scoring potential, good depth and a solid core of veterans. High-scoring Frank Case, Terry Bockhorn and Tom Hatton will handle the backcourt. Senior Joe Kennelly and sophomore Norm Schmotzer, both 6 feet 8, will alternate in the post, and Gary Roggenburk, who averaged 20 points and 20 rebounds per game with last year's frosh, brings more power up front. Others who will play a lot are Pat Allen, Phil Dubensky, Bill Cramsey and Hank Josefczyk. DETROIT counts on newcomers Dave DeBusschere and Charlie North to bring needed scoring and rebounding strength to go with Ray Albee's playmaking. Veterans George Heger and Larry Hughes are also back, and two other sophomores, Tom Villemure and Frank Chickowski, are potential backcourt starters. Reserves include Bob Wright, Tom Stumb, Pete Corbett and Dick Dylus. At LOYOLA OF CHICAGO 20-point man Clarence Red returns to his natural position in the corner, as center Jim Gorman, recovered from his knee operation, takes over the pivot. The result is a great increase in scoring potential for this fast, deep, veteran squad. Other sure starters are Marty Norville and Jimmy Mini in the backcourt. The second forward spot will go to Greg Griffin or Tom O'Connor, and top reserves are John Crnokrak, Ron Schwingen, Ron Beals and Al Denenberg. All five regulars who took DE PAUL to the second round of the NCAA tournament are back, but Coach Ray Meyer is still looking for some height to go with his speedy collection of good shooters. Rebounding is Meyer's implacable problem, but he has a great backcourt performer in Howie Carl, and hopes for more scoring from Jim Flemming in the post. The other veterans are Bill Haig, McKinley Cowsen and Mike Salzinski. Sophomore Elgin Dorsey is a potential starter up front, and reserves are John Bagley, Paul Ruddy, John Incardone and Dick Flaiz. XAVIER lost its two top scorers but has three newcomers who led last year's frosh to a 15-1 season and can field a very tall, surprisingly fast first five. The sophomores are Jack Thobe, 6 feet 8, Frank Pinchback and Billy Kirvin. Returning regulars are Rich Piontek and Ron Nicolai (both 6 feet 8), Ducky Castelle, Al Gundrum, Jim Haffner and Charlie Phillips (who is 6 feet 9). Reserves are Ricky Jannott, Bill Middendorf and Ed Tepe. NOTRE DAME surely will miss All-America Tom Hawkins and Gene Duffy, but the squad's biggest problem is its poor shooting. The size and rebounding are fair and there is adequate depth at all positions. Veteran starters are Mike Graney and John Tully, and leading sophomore candidates are Eddie Schnurr and Armand Reo. Other regulars will come from last year's reserves: Mickey Bekelja, Bill Crosby, Mike Farrell, Emmett McCarthy, Bill Noonan, Don McGann, Bob Skrzycki, Ray Vales and Denny Walljasper. BUTLER again takes on most of the Big Ten powers but does not appear up to the task this time. Ken Pennington, Jim Barrick, Larry Ramey and Orville Bose are a sound nucleus, and Larry Johnson may move up from last year's freshmen, but there is a bare minimum of size and not enough scoring punch.
SOUTH AND SOUTHWEST: Six lettermen, including four regulars from NAVY'S giant-killers of last year, are back and in their usual top condition. This squad is never deep, never tall (regulations limit the Academy to 6-foot-6 personnel) but always ready to run all night. Navy scored major upsets against both North Carolina and St. Joseph's in the NCAA tournament last March. One of the major weapons in its arsenal is Coach Ben Carnevale's very effective "adjusting" defense, which, like several in use today, combines a basic man-to-man approach with zone principles as the opponent develops his attack. Carnevale has the disciplined, balanced squad to make it work. His veterans are front courtmen Jay Metzler and Jim Bower, the two top scorers, and Guards Dick Brown and Frank Delano. The fifth starter will be either Hank Egan or Walt Land, and the bench includes Al Hughes, Dave Tremaine, Tom White and Gary Bagnard. GEORGETOWN was very weak on the boards last year, but expects much improvement from its predominantly sophomore and junior squad. There is reasonable height and good depth and shooting, but Coach Tommy Nolan's first task is to find a backcourtman who can take charge of operations once the game starts. Three veterans, high-scoring Brian Sheehan, Tom Matan and Tom Coleman, are the nucleus of a first team, and five sophomores are possible starters. They are Paul Tagliabue, Bob Sharpenter, Jim Carrino, Tom O'Dea and Vince Wolfington. LOUISVILLE has 10 men, including three starters, who went to the NCAA semifinals last March, and may well get that far again this time. Coach Peck Hickman can field a front line averaging 6 feet 7, using veterans Fred Sawyer, John Turner and sophomore Bud Olsen. Other tall front courtmen are George Burnette, Joe Kitchen, Jerry Watkins, John Ray and Larry Knott. Roger Tieman will again start at guard with one of the following: Buddy Leather, Ron Rubenstein, Bryan Hall, Howard Stacey. Much of the time the Louisville offense looks like helter-skelter run-and-shoot, but the shooting is nearly always good, and if it isn't, Fred Sawyer is under the basket to tip the ball in, stuff it, or flip it out to a teammate for another try. It's a great system. MEMPHIS STATE may hardly notice the fact that three of the team's top scorers are gone. The best height and depth of Coach Bob Vanatta's tenure is available, and he has two standout guards, Gene Wilfong and Skip Wolfe, and George Price, one of his best front courtmen for three years, around whom to build. Frank Snyder, 6 feet 6, and Wayne Yates, 6 feet 8, come out of service, Jim Donovan, 6 feet 8, and speedy Bill Koehler are redshirts, and Lou Jackson and Hunter Beckman are tall, rugged newcomers. In addition, there are last year's reserves: Oscar Ammer, Phil Kibbey, Lowery Kirk and Fred Mangum. A great improvement in rebounding is obviously in the cards. Coach Bill Gardiner comes to LOYOLA OF NEW ORLEANS after 13 years at Spring Hill and inherits a wealth of veteran talent and two tall sophomores who could help make his debut a happy one. Three seasoned starters are Art Radvilas, Larry Trunk and John Flynn; the two 6-foot-7 newcomers are Jim Monahan and Lou Zytkiewicz. There is depth at all positions and a number of good shooters among the vets. The list includes Bob Balch, Larry Henneberger, Harriman Morgan, Jack Morris, Len Nalty, John Henneberger, Bob Weber, Darryl Tschirn and Ron Churba. FLORIDA STATE'S Coach Bud Kennedy must build a new team around one returning starter and two of last year's reserves. There are five promising sophomores but very little size, and Florida will take a beating on the boards again. In addition, none of the veterans averaged better than eight points a game last season. They are Jim Savage, Fred Woodward and John Richter. The newcomers are David Fedor, Rufus Ashworth, Jack Davis, Ray Swain and Tim Edney. MIAMI led the nation in scoring last year with an 87.6-per-game average, though it is only fair to note that it was achieved with a very spotty schedule and that the opponents averaged 80.8 points themselves. Miami plays many of its games against other members of the Florida Intercollegiate Conference, but it is the only league team scouted here (as an "independent") because the general level of play of the other schools is not major-college caliber. Coach Bruce Hale has practically all of his key men back and adds two excellent newcomers in Julie Cohen and Dod Hammond. Cohen will join 5-foot-6 Dick Hickox in the backcourt, and Hammond will play opposite Ron Godfrey up front. Despite his size, Hickox averaged 18 points a game last year with a great variety of shots. Center and top rebounder is Harry Manushaw, and there is adequate depth everywhere but at the pivot. OKLAHOMA CITY has two of its three top scorers back but must count on considerable help from rookies to approach its fine record of last season. This is a slim squad and the experienced men lack size. Two of the veterans are Kiowa Indians, Fred Yeahquo and Bud Sahmaunt, the latter an excellent defensive player. A third Kiowa is sophomore Eugene Tsoodle, who may start on the strength of his outside shooting. Other returning veterans are top scorer Fred Moses and Harry Vines, and the newcomers are Rex Norton, Larry Jones, Bill Johnston and Chester Kyle.
FAR WEST: Seattle has lost three starters but can hardly miss high national ranking again. An excellent front line includes Don Ogorek, 6-foot-5 veteran of Seattle's tournament team two years ago; Tim Cousins, 6 feet 8; and junior college transfer Dave Mills, 6 feet 6. At the guards are two excellent shooters, sophomore Tommy Shaules and another transfer, Bob Gillum. Elbert Burton, 6 feet 11, has a lot to learn before he can start but has already made considerable progress. Veteran reserves are Lloyd Murphy and Don Piasecki, and other newcomers are Dan Stautz, Al Birtles and Bill Brupbacher. For its size, the squad is exceptionally fast and rebounds strongly. Having tried unsuccessfully to make a basketball player out of a 7-foot-3 Frenchman (Jean Lefebvre), GONZAGA now continues the experiment with a tall Greek, 7-foot-1 George Troutzos, and a rangy Swede, 6-foot-8 Hans Albertson. Fortunately, however, there is some genuine talent on the squad, especially Frank Burgess, who averaged 23 points a game last year as a sophomore. He's a mere 6 feet 1. Other veteran hands are Charles Jordon, Blake Elliott and George Morrison. Rookie Oscar McGuire is a potential starter, and reserves include Jerry Wasson and Mike Kelly. Aside from the overseas entries, the squad lacks height and adequate bench strength, FRESNO STATE has a deep, seasoned squad, plus a number of prospects from its best sophomore bunch in history. Veteran starters are Tom Gilcrest, high-scoring Babe Williams and Al Brown. Rookies Mike McFerson and Verne Grissman may start with them, to make up a first string of good average size but lacking the overpowering big man. Reserves include Bob Clerico, Jan Barrett, Ray McCarty, Floyd Gross, Frank Johnson and Earl Smith. At PORTLAND Coach Al Negratti has all the height he needs but hopes to find two shifty, small guards to go with his tall front line. The big men are Chuck Rogers, 6 feet 7, Jim Altenhofen, 6 feet 5, and Bill Garner, 6 feet 9—all veterans. In addition, there is reserve Roland Carpenter, as well as transfer student Art Easterly, both 6 feet 5. Negratti will choose his backcourt from among rookies Frank Bosone, Gary Gray and senior Frank Rector, who was out last year because of a back injury. A good bench includes Douglas Stewart, Jerry Burke and Ron Schult. MONTANA STATE has a new 12,000-seat field house and a strong squad coming up. It hopes to join a conference in the near future. Coach Keith Lambert has one of the area's top performers in 6-foot-4 Larry Chanay at forward, and both his regular guards, Jim Owens and Jim Murphy, are back with him. Two rookies who may start are Armando Erias and Tom Sawyer. Three others are Bert Emery, Gordon Haugen (a 6-foot-8 center) and Bob Parkins. Last year's reserves include Andy Matson and Conrad Strzelczyk. This bunch shoots well and has good speed, but may be weak on the boards.
JUMP SHOOTING over defender Dave Mills, tall Tim Cousins demonstrates some of the firepower in Seattle's rangy front line. Far right is star veteran Don Ogorek.
ABSORBING the wisdom of veteran Coach Taps Gallagher, one of the best in the business and now in his 26th year, is the talented Niagara squad, an eastern power.