The largest basketball crowd in Florida history—more than 10,000—watched the final of the Sunshine Classic in Jacksonville but missed the night's most dramatic moment because it occurred off court. Shortly after his team lost to Jacksonville 114-108, Florida State Coach Hugh Durham threw his second-place trophy against a wall in the Seminole dressing room. Durham's free throw was not prompted by the game. State played well—hitting 57% of its shots—but could not match Jacksonville's ability to get the ball. Artis Gilmore, with 26 rebounds, had just one fewer than the entire Seminole team. No, Durham became disturbed at what Bill Basford, the president of Jacksonville Charities, said during the award ceremony: "We have to give FSU something," he said as he named two Seminoles to the all-tournament team. "The crowd was fine, the hospitality was fine and it was a great evening of basketball," said Durham, "but the presentation was bush."
Just as all those Archie buttons are becoming obsolete, the merchants and followers of the University of Mississippi have a new superstar to promote. His name is Johnny Neumann, and he plays, of all things, basketball. The flashy 6'6" sophomore attracted 5,500 fans to the Ole Miss Arena and charmed them with 39 points during the Rebs' 108-96 win over Auburn. Neumann is averaging 40 points a game to lead all Southern scorers and is beginning to receive rave reviews from rival SEC coaches. Says Georgia's Ken Rosemond: "He's been billed as the heir apparent to Pete Maravich, and he deserves it. The kid's for real."
Out East, South Carolina is quickly establishing its power in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Gamecocks smashed Duke 98-78 in a game that featured a 26-point performance by John Roche. But the ACC should remain interesting this year thanks to two surprise teams, Virginia and North Carolina. For years Virginia settled harmlessly near the bottom of the conference, awaiting an upset role in the league's postseason tournament. But this winter the Cavaliers have suddenly won their first six games, including the Mountaineer Classic with an overtime victory against West Virginia. It was the school's best start since 1915. North Carolina also remained unbeaten by upsetting Creighton 106-86.
With just seconds remaining Louisville's Larry Carter stole a Dayton pass at mid-court and drove in for the game-winning (72-70) basket. Said the jubilant hero, "I was just hoping for a cross-court pass."
It appeared that for the first time in years the Southern Conference would belong to someone other than Davidson. After all, Mike Maloy had gone to the pros and this season's stars. Guard Bryan Adrian and Center Erik Minkin, were injured. But the Wildcats' dynasty is far from over. They destroyed East Carolina, the preseason favorite, 77-61 for their 34th consecutive victory in the league.
1. S. CAROLINA (3-0)
2. JACKSONVILLE (5-0)
Philadelphia is not one of Jim Harding's favorite cities. The town brings back bleak memories, stemming from the time when he was basketball coach at La Salle and his team was placed on probation by the NCAA for recruiting violations. During the investigation Harding was involved in a bitter feud with one of the Philadelphia sportswriters. This season, as coach of the University of Detroit, his team boycotted practice for a week. "After the trouble, I must have received 300 favorable letters," Harding said. "Only two were unfavorable. One was from a crackpot in Dubuque—the other was from Philadelphia."
Last week Harding returned to Philadelphia to play unbeaten Villanova. This time Harding's antagonist was Chris Ford and the Villanova star turned the game into a one-man show. He scored 28 points, assisted on five baskets, took 12 rebounds and made six steals. The result was an easy 95-67 victory over the Detroit Titans. "The best way I can describe this game is that it was like a prizefight," said Harding. "They were mixing it up, and we were backpeddlin'."
Ken Durrett, La Salle's 6'7" senior, played guard, forward and center against Miami (Fla.), scoring 40 points as the Explorers sailed to a 97-77 win. The next night Durrett woke up with stomach pains and was rushed to a hospital, where it was determined that he was suffering from a virus, not appendicitis. Although he had been unable to practice for two days, Durrett scored 27 points to help La Salle past Marshall 76-75.
St. Joseph's went nearly 12 minutes without a field goal in the second half and lost to St. John's 66-53. "Amazing," said Coach Jack McKinney. "Shoot like that and get beat by only 13 points."
The brand-new Beanport Tournament was less than a success—only 2,500 fans in the Boston Garden watched the final between Harvard and Boston College. They were rewarded with an exciting finish when BC's Jim O'Brien intercepted a pass with a minute left and the score tied 71-71. With just 10 seconds on the clock O'Brien continued his heroics with a 15-foot game winner.
1. PENN (4-0)
2. VILLANOVA (4-0)
It is a familiar script whenever Brigham Young sends an athletic team on the road. First there is the demonstration protesting the treatment of blacks, then there is the attempt to cancel the scheduled contest. At Southern Cal last week the USC black student union marched in a circle in front of the student entrance of the Los Angeles Sports Arena chanting "USC, BYU, KKK." The game was played anyway, and maybe the BYU Cougars would have preferred that it had not been. They lost to the Trojans 101-65. Led by a tough defense and Guard Paul Westphal's 32 points, USC was never threatened after getting off to an 18-2 lead. "The best way to show our feelings was by playing as well as we could," concluded USC Coach Bob Boyd. Westphal scored 19 on Saturday as Southern Cal handled socially more acceptable Arizona State 88-68.
Sidney Wicks and Curtis Rowe, benched briefly two weeks ago against Rice when they appeared late for the pregame meal, showed up early Friday for UCLA's home opener against Pacific. The two Bruin stars arrived at the table 10 minutes ahead of their coach, John Wooden. Then the Bruins beat Pacific 100-88—a contest that is likely to be repeated in the first round of the NCAA tournament—and Wicks and Rowe combined for 49 points and 20 rebounds. Said a delighted Wooden: "They played as fine as I've ever seen two players perform. They have a tendency, on occasion, to be late getting certain places, but I don't believe that will be much of a problem from now on."
Freddie Goss, at 26, is not much older than the players he coaches at the University of California at Riverside, and his relationship with his team has been that of a tolerant leader. Last year he had no restrictions concerning the length of hair, and he never hassled late arrivals to practice. The Highlanders responded by winning 13 of their last 16 games and finishing third in the NCAA College Division tournament. But when the team lost its first two games this season Goss decided that his permissiveness had been overdone. During a lengthy team meeting he said, according to a squad member, "he was through being a nice guy and that from now on he was going to be a tyrant." Next Goss dropped senior Forward Reggie Greene from the team and announced that he was contemplating other cuts. The Highlanders, not surprisingly, beat troublesome Whittier 85-75.
Just two days after his coach nicknamed him Superman, Long Beach star Ed Ratleff turned his ankle in practice and missed the 49ers' 73-56 win over Valley State. But before the nickname became a campus joke Ratleff set a school record with 45 points as Long Beach defeated St. Mary's 110-76. The following night he added 27 more in an easy 81-73 win over PCAA rival Cal State.
California ran up 15 straight points in the first five minutes against Weber State and then hung on to win San Francisco's Cable Car Classic 75-65.
1. UCLA (4-0)
2. USC (4-0)
Last summer Coach Maury John spent his evenings in his office on the Drake University campus writing a book about his team's intimidating man-for-man defense. A flyer sent to 20,000 coaches by John's wife described the book as "no filler—all facts." John has nicknamed the defense "belly button," and last week the 7,000 partisans who crammed into Iowa State's crumbling armory learned to their dismay how effective the belly button could be. State managed only one field goal in the game's first 10 minutes. The Drake Bulldogs eventually won 87-63, and they kept Gene Mack, the Cyclones' leading scorer, from hitting a field goal in the first half.
On Saturday, however, Maury John and his Bulldogs returned home to Des Moines and trouble. The belly button worked fine against four of the Iowa Hawkeye starters, who were held to single figures. But the fifth, Guard Fred Brown, managed 32 points even though he was rested five times during the game because of a sprained ankle. Ironically, it was Brown who finally cost Iowa the game. With only 17 seconds to play and Drake leading 71-70, Brown was awarded two free throws. He missed both. "He was tense, he was hurting and he has nothing to be ashamed of," said Hawkeye Coach Dick Schultz.
Notre Dame, ranked sixth in the nation just ahead of Drake, was also given a scare last weekend. Only two minutes remained and the Irish were trailing St. Louis University 67-61 when Collis Jones scored twice and stole a pass. Then Austin Carr hit a free throw to draw Notre Dame to within one point of the Billikens and finally saved Notre Dame's pride and ranking with a 15-foot jump shot for a 68-67 Irish victory.
Marquette, which had not won its out-of-town opener since 1967, traveled to Minneapolis and reversed its luck. With Jim Chones, a 6'11" sophomore, grabbing 10 rebounds and scoring 18 points in the second half, Al McGuire's Warriors defeated well regarded Minnesota 70-61. "You beat the Big Ten on the road and you've really done something," McGuire said. "Maybe we do deserve to be ranked fourth in the country."
Eighth-ranked Pennsylvania, the East's top team, was also successful on a Big Ten court. The Quakers overturned a 56-49 Ohio State lead with just seven minutes to play and won with accurate foul shooting by Guards Steve Bilsky and Dave Wohl during the final minute 71-64. Earlier in the week Penn waltzed through New York University 91-62.
Bob Ford scored a game-high 26 points in Purdue's 90-63 win over North Texas State. The following evening Ford, a member of Purdue's glee club, sang bass in a Christmas concert. He once played the role of Emile de Becque in a high school production of South Pacific. "I like to sing," the 6'7" junior said. "It's something for me to fall back on, but I don't think I'll make it to Broadway." Maybe not Broadway, but Ford could find himself a block from there come March. The Big Ten has tentatively approved sending a league representative to the NIT at Madison Square Garden.
1. MARQUETTE (4-0)
2. NOTRE DAME (3-1)