Right from the beginning there was a strong suspicion that things would be different at Duke when Vic Bubas took over as basketball coach. Well founded, these suspicions. A young man with ideas and inexhaustible energy, Bubas began in 1959 to corral players from everywhere. "The best recruiter today?" a Big Ten coach said recently. "It's Bubas, that's who."
Now, after three years of getting ready, Bubas has the team most likely to challenge Cincinnati's supremacy. It is led by 6-foot-5 senior and two-time All-America Art Heyman (see page 36), who can play forward or guard with equal verve. But forward is where he's best and that's where he'll be used.
At the other forward is 6-foot-4 Jeff Mullins from Lexington, Ky. As a sophomore he scored every other time he shot (51%), and he shot often enough to average 21 points a game. Silky-smooth, he's not as exciting as Heyman—which is probably just as well—but he is as strong and nearly as good. No college team has a better pair of forwards.
Duke's No. 1 guard is Buzzy Harrison, a very fast and accurate shooter, who was a sophomore starter last season. Any one of several good men will be used with Harrison in the backcourt. Ron Herbster would be a sure choice except for a fragile knee. If Herbster doesn't hold up, Fred Schmidt or Denny Ferguson will start. Ferguson is a reluctant shooter, but good when he does shoot.
Bubas has plenty of height at center with 6-foot-10 junior Jay Buckley and 6-foot-11 sophomore Hack Tison. Tison has the moves, Buckley is the steadier, and neither is a high scorer. But the center plays well out in the Bubas offense and does little shooting. Picks, hand-offs and rebounding are his jobs.
Heyman, Mullins, Harrison and Herbster are all swift—which suits Bubas. This year, to prevent the opposition from surrounding his high-scoring forwards, Bubas has installed a unique, revolving pattern, executed at great speed, which is designed to break one of the fast four open for a short jump shot. Bubas now has height, speed, depth and an air-travel card. That's all he needs to make Duke a contender.
West Virginia, at Duke, Jan. 26
North Carolina, at North Carolina, Feb. 2
Wake Forest, at Wake Forest, Feb. 6