Only two certainties exist in the Skyline race: first, UTAH will win the title, and, second, there is no telling what will happen to the other seven spots. Colorful, confident Utah Coach Jack Gardner lost three starters, including all-conference DeLyle Condie, but ample replacements are at hand, the most noteworthy being 6-foot-9 Bill (The Hill) McGill and transfers Barry Epstein and Allen Holmes. The latter was chosen outstanding player in the 1959 national junior college tourney. Starting Forwards Gary Chestang and Rich Ruffell return, and Guard Joe Morton moves up to put speed in the fast break. Front-court reserves Carney Crisler, Jim Rhead and Jim Thomas are back with Guards Keith Ancell and Bill Cowan. Forward Joe Aufderheide is another top newcomer on a team that has won 20 of its last 21 conference games. No club has ever batted 1.000 in the Skyline, and one of the best reasons 1960 should be no exception is DENVER, which upset Utah last year; 80% of that team returns, led by All-America hopeful Jim Peay, solidly supported by veterans Jerry Cole, Bob Grinstead and George DeRoos. Sophomore Guard Bob Moe appears to be the fifth starter, while Clare Skov, Herb Galchinsky and Tom Hollis are experienced reserves. Soph Forward Rick Barrett is a possible starter later in the season. UTAH STATE may switch from a single pivot to an open offense because Coach Cecil Baker has no one to replace Bob Ipsen, last season's all-league center. However, three of the Aggies' top five scorers return—Jerry Schofield, Max Perry and Ralph Cullimore. Schofield also led the conference in rebounds. Reserves Ron Mich'l and Don Hull are also back, but the other starters will probably be transfers Tyler Wilbon and high-jumping Cornell Green. A definite lack of depth puts unusual pressure on Utah's good first five. BRIGHAM YOUNG'S potentially solid roster has been sapped by unforeseen circumstances. Academic trouble hurt last year, and this year a church mission has called the team's leading scorer, Bob Skousen. However, starters Gary Earnest and Dave Eastis return, along with seasoned reserves Burt Myers, Valoy Eaton, Frank Berrett and Jim Spencer. Soph Brent Peterson adds height at forward, and if 6-foot-11 Bob Inglis improves BYU will be a major threat. Transfers Ron Bell, Jim McIntyre, Roland Bevell and Jan Robinson also may help move the Cougars up from fourth place, the lowest finish in Stan Watts's 10 years as coach. COLORADO STATE is looking for scoring punch to blend with its league-leading defense. Returning starters are Chuck New-comb, Toby Richards and Larry Hoffner; the latter is one of the best forwards in the Skyline. Sophomores Tony Reales and Lyle Hunsaker, 6 feet 6 and 6 feet 7 respectively, add height, and Manny Lawrence is a promising arrival at guard. Veteran reserves are Kay McFarland, John Gillen, Smith Ellis, Jim Turner and Ollie Watts. MONTANA may well duplicate its .500 average in title play. Experience, depth and the proved scoring ability of Dan Balko and Terry Screnar are good reasons, and so is the return of Vince Ignatowicz and Center Duane Ruegsegger, the squad's one adequate big man. John Lands, Kay Roberts and Paul Miller are seasoned subs, but Coach Frosty Cox is justifiably concerned about the over-all lack of height, which is only partially alleviated by 6-foot-6 soph Forward Dan Sullivan, a likely starter. Bill Strannigan returns to coach his alma mater, WYOMING, after much success at Iowa State; his coaching talent will undoubtedly be felt in this league. But the first season is always tough, and Strannigan has lost Wyoming's alltime star, Tony Windis. He does inherit a squad of good size, led by Terryl Draney, John Bertolero, Clarence Lively and Terry Happel. Soph Monroe Hadden probably will be the fifth starter, with Ken Chase, Leroy Hulsebus and Bib Nelson in reserve. There is speed and height here but only fair shooting and depth, NEW MEXICO'S Coach Bob Sweeney has the difficult task of building a winning combination around seven new men, all junior-college transfers. They are Dale Hawk, Tom Fankell, Tom King, John Katrick, Francis Grant and Bill Ried—all, happily, 6 feet 3 or better—and Lanny Winters. Sweeney has two regulars from last year's cellar club, Bernard Brummell and Ralph Harryman, and a promising soph center, Francis Coffee, but a very tough row to hoe.
RUNNIN' REDSKIN Coach Jack Gardner demonstrates how to take up rebound position for special benefit of rookie Bill McGill (12), counted on for Utah's boardwork.