1. TEXAS WESTERN (12-0)
2. OKLAHOMA CITY (10-3)
3. HOUSTON (7-4)
Ask TEXAS WESTERN Coach Don Haskins how come his Miners are still unbeaten after 12 games and he might explain that you take three New York City players who can run, jump and pass, blend them with an assortment of quick, talented shooters and put them all into a full-court press. Sounds simple enough. Six-foot-7 Nevil Shed from New York is the team's leading scorer, and one night last week 5-foot-6 sophomore Willie Worsley, a jumping-jack playmaker who, Haskins insists, can dunk the ball, threw in 18 points as the Miners beat strong Tulsa 63-54. Another night, 6-foot-5 sophomore handyman Willie Cager came off the bench to score 16 points in 12 minutes, and Western beat Seattle 76-64. "I told people last year we would be good," says Haskins. "We have so many boys who can play."
While Oklahoma City faltered on the road, HOUSTON, another independent, polished off Trinity 95-52. The Southwest Conference, after the first week of play, had a leader whose position may be temporary. TEXAS A&M was the only team to win twice, beating Southern Methodist 85-78 and Rice 92-58.
1. BRADLEY (13-1)
2. KANSAS (11-2)
3. IOWA (8-2)
It had been 19 years since MICHIGAN last beat Ohio State in Columbus and not even Coach Dave Strack, an inveterate optimist, was sure of a win there last Saturday. Two Wolverines—Guards John Thompson and Jim Pitts—were ailing, and some of the "healthy" ones were held together with adhesive tape. Sure enough, it looked like curtains for Michigan when the hustling young Bucks led by nine points early in the second half. Then Cazzie Russell and Oliver Darden got going. Russell, shooting in baskets from all angles, scored 32 points. Darden put in 25 and the Wolves pulled it out 83-78. After a good try by Ohio State, Coach Fred Taylor was disconsolate. "Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades," he lamented. "That Cazzie! He's superhuman. He killed us."
While Michigan's win was not a big surprise, there were some real shockers in the Big Ten. WISCONSIN, picked for last place, upset Iowa 69-68, and MICHIGAN STATE, already showing the benefit of new Coach John Benington's fine hand on defense, drubbed Minnesota 85-65. NORTHWESTERN tumbled Purdue, too, 111-97, as Jim Burns scored 37 points. That left freelancing ILLINOIS, a 98-84 winner over Indiana, in first place with two victories.
Everybody knew that BRADLFY was the team to beat in the Missouri Valley (page 14). Everybody, that is, but TULSA. The Hurricanes came from behind to beat Louisville 84-79 as Eldridge Webb scored 28 points and then edged Cincinnati 73-71. "This is the best team with the best personnel we've faced so far," complimented Cincy's Tay Baker.
With or without 6-foot-11 Walt Wesley, KANSAS was tough to beat. When Wesley was held to four free throws in the first half by Colorado, Coach Ted Owens yanked him and went with 6-foot-5 sophomore Rod Bohnenstiehl, who rattled off seven points in a row to lead the surging Jayhawkers to a 69-55 victory. Back home in Allen Field House, where a new seating plan brought part of the student body down from the balcony and close to courtside ("now they can communicate better with the players," said Owens), Wesley broke away from Iowa State's sagging three-man defense for 39 points and Kansas won 82-65. But the Jay-hawkers had plenty of company at the top in the Big Eight. KANSAS STATE, once it got running, had no trouble beating Missouri 78-59 and Oklahoma State 67-47. NEBRASKA downed Iowa State 76-74 and Missouri 82-60 while OKLAHOMA defeated Oklahoma State 64-53 and Colorado 64-58.
Loyola of Chicago and DAYTON were easily the best of the midwestern independents. The aggressive Ramblers, pressing, running and scrambling for all they were worth, outhustled Indiana 91-68 and Marquette 87-65. Dayton's Donnie May, a 6-foot-4 homebred sophomore, had folks oohing and aahing. He scored 45 points as the Flyers zoomed past Xavier 105-79 and then destroyed DePaul with his left-handed hook shots. May fired in 32 points, 11 in the last four minutes, and Dayton beat the Blue Demons 81-70.
1. ST. JOSEPH'S (10-2)
2. PROVIDENCE (10-1)
3. SYRACUSE (10-2)
Somehow, things were not quite the same last Saturday in Philadelphia's murky Palestra. The old familiar din, as loud as ever, was there, Cholly Wieners was still Happing his feathers, but missing were the sometimes tasteless banners. They had been banned by Big Five athletic directors. But LaSalle put on a good show—for a while, anyway—against ST. JOSEPH'S. The plucky Explorers scrambled and clawed, and the Hawks led by only 39-34 at half time. But it was all to no avail. St. Joe's, with Cliff Anderson and Matt Guokas the high scorers, finally pulled away to win 92-69.
Earlier in the week TEMPLE, still shocked from its grim experience with St. Joe's, barely made it past Villanova 57-56 on Clarence Brookins' two foul shots with 21 seconds to go. But the Owls were sharper when they thrashed West Chester 79-50.
Providence and Boston college, headed for a replay Saturday at Providence, had problems. The Friars bumbled against Brown but still won 66-48. They were back to normal for Massachusetts. Mike Riordan scored 26 points, Jim Walker had 25 and the Redmen fell 87-73. Boston College shaded Rhode Island 99-91 and the Eagles had their troubles with NYU, an earlier 104-91 winner over West Virginia. They trailed badly until sophomore Steve Adelman put them back in the game with eight quick points just before the half. Adelman finished with 24, John Austin scored 26, and Boston College pulled through 88-75.
St. John's had to go into overtime to take improved Villanova 68-63. SYRACUSE, back home after an unsettling 103-87 defeat by CREIGHTON in Omaha, smothered Navy 83-73 as Dave Bing threw in 31 points, ST. BONAVENTURE routed Duquesne 96-73 while FAIRFIELD, a rising eastern power, clobbered Fairleigh Dickinson 82-65, then Holy Cross 82-61 for its 10th in a row.
Princeton, Penn, Columbia and Cornell all won twice in the Ivy League. Harvard, a two-time loser, suffered further humiliation, MIT beat the Crimson 86-84 for the first time in 22 years.
1. DUKE (11-1)
2. KENTUCKY (10-0)
3. VANDERBILT (12-1)
Kentucky, fast-breaking in its usual style against St. Louis, had a comfortable early lead when Buddy Brehmer, the Bills' rookie coach, suddenly came up with a way to harass the Wildcats. After every successful St. Louis foul shot, Brehmer sent in a substitute, thereby stopping the clock, cutting off Kentucky's break and, incidentally, giving the Bills time to set up their pressing defense. Kentucky won anyway 80-70, but Adolph Rupp did not quite appreciate Brehmer's gimmick. Grumped The Baron, "The rules-makers will look over this situation with bifocals."
Actually, Rupp had more to worry about than St. Louis' tricks. He had to get Kentucky ready for this Saturday's SEC showdown with VANDERBILT. The smallish Wildcats, led by sophomore Center Thad Jaracz's 26 points, thumped Florida 78-64. But Vandy, with 6-foot-9 Clyde Lee throwing in enough points (44) to break his school's career scoring record (he has 1,409), looked good enough to beat anyone as it smashed Tulane 91-69 and Georgia 77-63. And both teams will have to reckon with TENNESSEE. The classy Vols buried Tulane 64-46, Fur-man 82-63 and Mississippi 102-55.
Duke, propping for the big ACC game with North Carolina, experimented against Penn State. The Blue Devils put away their full-court press, tried out a few other defenses and won easily, 83-58. In the North Carolina game, Duke started with a man-to-man, went to a press for a while and then finished with a tight zone. Coach Vic Bubas even used his two big centers, 6-foot-7 Mike Lewis and 6-foot-8 Warren Chapman, on a double post. Everything worked. Jack Marin held Carolina's Bobby Lewis to 18 points and scored 23 himself, Bob Verga shot in 29 and the Devils won 88-77. NORTH CAROLINA STATE, however, was still very much in the running. The Wolfpack squeaked past South Carolina 55-54 and beat Virginia 86-69 to tie Duke for the ACC lead.
West Virginia's snappy start was turning into a disaster. DAVIDSON, young and coming on strong, took on the Mountaineers at Charlotte and trounced them 105-79 to hold first place in the Southern Conference. Dick Snyder, an old hand at that sort of thing, poured in 35 points, WESTERN KENTUCKY, now 10-1, routed Tennessee Tech 120-92 in an Ohio Valley opener.
It was a good week for some independents. VIRGINIA TECH knocked over William & Mary 76-69, Richmond 88-73 and Pitt 100-74 while MEMPHIS STATE surprised touring Oklahoma City 97-87. GEORGIA TECH, although crippled by injuries and academic casualties, still trimmed Pitt 89-77 and Clemson 87-72, prompting Coach Whack Hyder to admit, "We're living dangerously, so I'm going to take time to enjoy every victory." Alas, Hyder did not have much time. WAKE FOREST whipped his Jackets 96-80.
1. UCLA (9-3)
2. SAN FRANCISCO (10-2)
3. BRIGHAM YOUNG (10-1)
More and more it was apparent to West Coast teams that catching UCLA would be as frustrating as ever. Oregon State's Paul Valenti figured there was only one way to skin the talented Bruins: with a disciplined ball-control game. And, for a while, his Beavers did just fine with it. State had the Uclans in a 13-13 tie after the first 11 minutes. Then Coach Johnny Wooden's opportunists began to wheel and deal. They zone-pressed relentlessly, controlled both boards, ran like demons, and all of a sudden the Beavers were out of it. Edgar Lacey and Mike Warren each scored 18 points as the Bruins won 79-35. Oregon's lot was just as dismal the next night. UCLA had the boards again, this time Mike Lynn got 20 points and Kenny Washington 18, and the Bruins coasted 97-65 to their 35th straight AAWU victory.
Meanwhile, across town, SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA breezed past Oregon 92-66 Friday night and had OREGON STATE beaten 56-55 with 36 seconds to go on Saturday, but the Trojans blew it. A bad pass gave the Beavers the ball, and they quickly shoved in four points to win 59-56. Up north, CALIFORNIA took Washington State 71-70, and STANFORD beat Washington 83-78 in overtime.
San Francisco was off to a good start in the WCAC race. The Dons, setting up their shots carefully, beat Santa Clara 81-64. PACIFIC, however, had to come from behind to catch St. Mary's 81-68.
It was mostly a good week for runners and gunners in the Western AC. BRIGHAM YOUNG whipped Arizona State 95-81 and Arizona 87-74, while UTAH, another galloping team, outscored Arizona 87-78 and Arizona State 102-83. But Wyoming's fast breakers got cut down. Cautious NEW MEXICO shut off the Cowboys with a stifling defense, and the Lobos won 69-57.
REAR GUARD action by Seattle's Steve Lacour fails to stop shot by Bobby Joe Hill, one of Texas Western's speedy guards.