Coach Adolph Rupp'smain problem in pointing the KENTUCKY Wildcats at their 20th conference title since 1933 is how to select five starters from a roster brimful of experience, depth and speed. Standouts at forward are Billy Lickert (Sophomore of the Year in the SEC last season) and Carroll Burchett. Don Mills is back at center but will be pressed by 6-foot-9 Ned Jennings, tallest man on the squad. Small, swift guards will again be a trademark of the pattern offense, with veterans Bennie Coffman, Dick Parsons and Sid Cohen driving hardest. Sharpest thorn in the Cats' paw is a trip to VANDERBILT, one of three teams to stop Kentucky last year. Coach Bob Polk will surround Center Bill Depp with veteran Forwards Larry Banks and Ben Rowan and sophomore Guards Bobby Bland and Bill Johnson, which means that the Commodores will need time to jell but will be a formidable foe by January. At AUBURN shooting and speed must compensate for lack of experienced tall men while two big sophomores are being groomed. Meanwhile, there is the dazzling play of Guard Henry Hart and Forwards Jimmy Fibbe and Dave Vaughn. The sophomore newcomers who must learn Auburn's shuffle offense are 6-foot-7 Leon Posey and 6-foot-6 Johnny Helmlinger. Porter Gilbert, Ray Groover and Bayward McManus vie for the job as Hart's playmate at guard. Defending champion MISSISSIPPI STATE has not only lost Bailey Howell, but saw five others depart with him. Coach Babe McCarthy has a pair of outstanding forwards, Jerry Graves and Charlie Hull, and a half dozen sophomores, three of whom may start. A 6-foot-8 soph center, Jim Edwards, and two decidedly shorter classmates, Guards Jack Berkshire and George Oakley, will be the nucleus of a starting lineup. Reserves are John Hutchison, Alex Singer, Roger Thomas, Gene Chatham, J. D. Gammel and Dave Glasgow. GEORGIA TECH'S progress chart continues upward, but not at a pace that will enable the Yellow Jackets to finish much higher than last year. Coach Wack Hyder has moved starters Dave Denton and Roger Kaiser to guard, while veteran Center Wayne Richards steps out to forward. The rest of the front line will be filled by sophomores Josh Powell and Keith Weekly. This tall, fast first five will be bolstered by Forward Jim Riley, Guard Bob Dews and John Hoffman and Bill Poteet, who play either forward or guard. Coach Cliff Wells will take TULANE'S strongest team in three years into the scramble for a first-division finish. He has four returning starters, led by the league's most versatile center, Vic Klinker. Ron Mitchell and Gus Wenzel join him on the front line while Dick O'Brien is back at guard. ALABAMA has Guard Lloyd Johnson back from last year's starters, with Forward Bart Vandemark the only other regular in camp. Newcomers Porter Powers, Bob Gavin and Howard Smith will try to halt the slight skid that started last year. High-scoring Jack Waters, the only Yankee on the roster at MISSISSIPPI, is joined by five returning lettermen who are determined to haul Ole Miss out of the cellar. Lou Griffin, Ivan Richmann and Tommy Washington constitute one of the tallest front lines in the league, while John King, Larry Wagster and Jamie Howell provide support. TENNESSEE lost four regulars, putting the heaviest share of this year's burden on Dalen Showalter, the SEC's top soph two years ago. Reserves who move up include Forwards Ron Carmichael and Bob Perigo, Centers Dick Fisher and Bill Gilley and Guards Glen Campbell and Bobby Carter. There are six veterans back at GEORGIA, including classy Guard Gordon Darrah. Center John Johnson and Forwards Pat Casey and Don Keiser should start again, with Ken Taylor and Clark Royer in contention. Al Johnson, Frank Clark and John Barnard are sophs who could stir things up on a team that has good height, needs speed and a new field house. Enthusiasm is high at LSU, a green club with speed and size. Tall sophomores Tom Conklin, Joe Borgini, Ray Lewis and George Nattin will start with junior Joe Clune. Phil Raisor and Cary Guglielmo lead returnees Tom Raborn, Stan Jacobs and Dick Davies. FLORIDA'S losses were light. Starters Bob Sherwood, Tom Simpson and Paul Mosny, with help from George Jung, Bob Shiver and soph Cliff Luyk, will pace a double-post offense for Coach John Mauer.
OLD MASTER Adolph Rupp reviews Kentucky play as assistant Harry Lancaster (left) looks on At right are Billy Lickert and Dick Parsons, stars of powerful Wildcats.