Georgia Southern played Florida State even in the first half of the Seminoles' opening game, but Richard Wallace's 27 points could not keep the Floridians from scoring a 109-97 victory. Seminole Ron King had 24 points and JC transfer Forwards Benny Clyde and Otis Johnson totaled 30 points. "It's tough for us to match up with a club like Georgia Southern," Coach Hugh Durham complained. Besides being good shooters, he said, the Georgians are—too small.
Maryland broke all sorts of school records by tanning Brown 127-82. Freshman John Lucas Jr., starting at guard, hit eight straight shots, made 19 points and said, "Coach was more nervous than I was."
JC transfer Robert (Turkey) Wilson came off the bench to gobble up 12 rebounds and make seven out of eight field-goal attempts, putting Southwestern Louisiana on the track to a 102-92 opening win over University of Nevada at Las Vegas. Working against a box-and-one, high-rolling Guard Dwight Lamar still scored 30 points. "We tried to get UCLA, Notre Dame, Kentucky and Florida State," North Carolina State Coach Norm Sloan said, presumably tongue-tucked as he explained the turkeys on State's schedule. "But none of them wanted to come to Raleigh." The Wolfpack played Appalachian State and Atlantic Christian instead, and devoured those opponents by 147 points, 130-53 and 110-40.
Memphis State mopped up Missouri Western 108-74. In a considerably more interesting contest, Tennessee trailed South Carolina by three points a minute from half-time. Some of his own home crowd booed when Ray Mears had the Vols stall for a last shot, but Mears ignored the hoots. "I told the team that the crowd wasn't playing South Carolina, we were," he said. Mears' message worked. Tennessee stormed past the Gamecocks to win 55-45.
Fans entering the Louisville-Vanderbilt game were handed a sheet of paper titled "The Denny Crum Game Plan." It quoted Crum, "We don't have one single player that has ever started a varsity game. Vanderbilt should be quite a ways ahead of us in their development." This was hardly poor-mouthing. Vandy made off with a 66-57 victory over the higher-rated Cardinals. Alabama belabored Cornell 107-84 but was beaten by Wake Forest 94-88 in the Twin City Classic at Winston-Salem.
1. FLORIDA STATE (1-0)
2. MARYLAND (2-0)
The East as usual was slow getting into the season. Penn played half an opponent, King's College from flood-stricken Wilkes-Barre, Pa., and ran riot 94-54. Rutgers defeated Georgetown 98-83 and Colgate 82-76 as freshman Phil Sellers scored 30 and 28 points.
La Salle bombed dovish Army 73-63, thanks partly to the hustle and 19 points of its new forward from Tuskegee, Ala., Bill Taylor, and dumped Lehigh 75-59. Villanova and Penn State upended Princeton and Niagara ran over St. Francis of Loretto, Pa. 99-66 using three freshmen. "I thought Frank Layden [Niagara coach] was being nice by subbing early," St. Francis' Dick Conover said, "and found that the guys coming in were better than the ones going out."
Temple beat Hofstra 80-48, Canisius back-boarded Scranton to death 97-77, St. Joseph's did Albright in 67-49 and Harvard, the nation's most talented dark-horse team, remained in the dark. In a game tentatively scheduled at Madison Square Garden but displaced by a hockey game. Indiana humiliated the Crimson 97-76 while being out-rebounded 43-56, outgoaled 45% to 47% and out-freeshot 62.5% to 76.9%.
1. PROVIDENCE (0-0)
2. ST. JOSEPH'S (1-0)
Bradley tried to slow down UCLA and Pacific did, too. Both were destroyed. Held to 10 points in the first half, Bradley did not shoot until 5:54 had elapsed and did not score until after 7½ minutes. Foolishly trying to drive on Bill Walton, the Braves saw him block five shots in the first half. The second half was not much better as UCLA ran its streak to 47 games by immolating the Braves 73-38. Pacific went eight minutes and 14 seconds before hitting a field goal, and UCLA blew it out 81-48. At one point UCLA led 38-8. "Walton is the finest basketball player I have ever seen," eight-year Bradley Coach Joe Stowell said. "I want to see the team that can beat UCLA."
Long Beach State defeated North Texas State 90-63 as Forward-Guard Ed Ratleff scored 23 points, but Jerry Tarkanian claimed he was unhappy. "This thing didn't do me any good," he said. "I was hoping to find out who my starters are going to be, but I couldn't determine that tonight."
Two nights in a row Utah fans drove bumper-to-bumper to Marriott Center. Friday Brigham Young did in Santa Clara 84-73, but Saturday the Broncos staged a 66-64 upset. For the first time in 23 years, Stan Watts was in the press row instead of counting butterflies on the bench.
"We just don't have the type of player that picks up loose balls," New Mexico State Coach Lou Henson said after his Aggies lost 56-54. "UTEP had six or seven uncontested layups after picking up loose balls." Texas-El Paso's fourth straight win over the Aggies may cost them Olympian Jim Forbes, who reinjured a knee hurt in preseason practice.
Oregon State got by Wichita State as scheduled 78-73, but was upset by New Mexico 84-79 in overtime. USC took Hardin-Simmons 88-73, but Houston, after thrashing perennially losing Southern Mississippi and Washington State, was rained on at Seattle. The Chieftains under new Coach Bill O'Connor whipped the Cougars 65-61.
1. UCLA (3-0)
2. LONG BEACH STATE (1-0)
After a 92-81 ho-hummer over Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Ohio State Coach Fred Taylor said, "Their zone destroyed our tempo. I'm anxious to see our kids go against a man-to-man." He got the chance at Washington and was even more anxious afterward. The Huskies held Luke Witte to only nine points, hit 52% of their shots and upset the Buckeyes 67-63. Washington Coach Marv Harshman attributed the upset to "sincerity." "I've never had a team that played any more sincerely than tonight," he said. Minnesota and Michigan lived up to their preseason promises (page 30) while Iowa looked overpowering against little Chicago State, winning 101-44.
Marquette beat up badly outgunned St. Thomas of Minnesota 66-42, winning its 73rd straight home game before its 19th straight sellout crowd. But with Tennessee and Memphis coming next, Coach Al McGuire said, "The pie league is over."
Kansas State tipped off the season without a tip-off. San Diego State drew a technical for dunking the ball in warmups, Lon Kruger started the game by sinking the foul shot, and then K. State took the ball out of bounds, proceeding to a 79-67 victory. K. State also beat Eastern Kentucky 87-59. Missouri whomped Louisiana Tech 81-61 but had to struggle to whip scholarshipless University of California-Davis 77-70. Northern Illinois beat Wisconsin-Green Bay 84-78 with some difficulty and much sobering effect. "They're gonna be a delight to coach for about two weeks," an assistant said.
1. MARQUETTE (1-0)
2. MINNESOTA (2-0)