Before facing Butler in Indianapolis, Coach Al McGuire of Marquette said: "When my kids first meet me they think I'm a con man. But I let them talk and I talk to them." All of which, he claims, creates a healthy atmosphere. But in the locker room after the Warriors had struggled from a 66-61 deficit to a 67-66 win, the conversation was noticeably one-sided. McGuire was the speaker—shouter would be more correct—as he questioned his players' intestinal fortitude. Two nights later Marquette won its 10th game without a loss by beating DePaul 60-59 on Larry McNeill's hook shot with nine seconds remaining. Four of the Warriors' past five games have been decided by a total of eight points, and four times the other team had the last shot that could have won. Maybe it is the players who are conning McGuire, who said, "I need a psychiatrist."
"We just couldn't put the stupid ball in the hole early," said Ohio State Coach Fred Taylor after being jostled by Michigan 68-62 despite 28 points from Allan Hornyak. Wolverine Coach Johnny Orr had a more graphic analysis: "We boarded tremendously well, confused 'em with our 1-2-2 zone and kept them from shooting free throws." It also helped that Campy Russell connected for 23 points. It was the first time since 1966 that the Wolverines had won at Columbus, but the real shocker during the opening round of Big Ten play was Iowa's 65-62 overtime win at home over previously unbeaten Minnesota. "I don't know if we're willing to pay the price for what it takes to win." said Gopher Coach Bill Musselman, who also expressed disbelief at having been out-rebounded 47-44. Kevin Kunnert of the Hawkeyes dominated play, scoring 26 points and getting 15 rebounds. With Northwestern missing its first 11 shots, Michigan State had no trouble earning a 90-77 win.
A year ago Oklahoma Coach John MacLeod correctly noted that the quality of play in the Big Eight was "a little down," causing some fellow coaches to consider him a Benedict Arnold. This season MacLeod said he doubted that there was a stronger conference than the Big Eight, which won him friends but still left much to be proved. Neither Missouri (11-0) nor Kansas State (9-2) played last week and Oklahoma State lost to St. Louis 78-55, so MacLeod's Sooners did their best for the coach's theory, knocking off Texas 81-78 and SMU 84-68.
For the 10th time in succession Houston won the Bluebonnet Classic, drubbing West Texas State 130-84 and Texas A&M 114-85. North Texas State rarely gets a chance to take on Southwest Conference teams—the Eagles met their last SWC opponent five years ago—so it was ready when it played TCU, rallying to win 67-53.
Oral Roberts won twice, 81-76 over Marshall and 103-86 over Morehead State. Pan American jetted to a 35-20 lead over Southwestern Louisiana, then lost 86-75.
A sign urged Loyola of Chicago to "Beat MacMurray in a Hurry." The Ramblers did, rushing to a 45-15 advantage and a 103-79 win.
1. MARQUETTE (10-0)
2. MISSOURI (11-0)
Another coach who likes to interact with his players is Bucknell's Jim Valvano, 26, who says, "When I took the job I had a one-hour interview with each player, letting him do all the talking. Then I talked to the team for two hours. I'm not a front-of-the-bus coach. I want to be tight with my team." Visually, Valvano is tight with Joe Namath, whom he resembles. "The difference between Namath and me," he says, "is that Joe is rich and he's called ruggedly handsome. I'm poor and people say I have a big nose." After losing to Georgia 97-80 and beating Georgia Southern 68-63, Bucknell, with five wins, looked as handsome as it did all last year.
Conference play in the Missouri Valley was not yet in full swing, but Memphis State and Drake went into a double-over-time rumpus. The Tigers pulled ahead by 14 points, were tied at 71-all, avoided defeat when Bill Laurie sank a desperation basket with one second left in the first extra period and, finally, prevailed 97-92.
In the Southeastern Conference, Mississippi beat Kentucky for the first time since 1928, staving off a Wildcat rally and hanging on 61-58. Vanderbilt's Lee Fowler had been averaging seven points a game but scored 20 in a 71-66 victory over LSU and 26 when the Commodores trimmed Georgia 89-86 in overtime. Wingmen John Snow and Mike Edwards combined for 54 points as Tennessee flattened Mississippi State 86-67. A 110-71 edge in rebounds enabled Alabama to lick LSU 77-66 and Florida 69-56.
North Carolina State squeaked past Virginia 68-61 with the help of an unusual three-point foul. The Wolfpack led 57-55 when Virginia's Al Drummond was called for an infraction. The rule this year is a technical foul when two hands—not the required one—are raised by the accused fouler. Drummond raised both hands and 5'7" Monte Towe, who entered the game with a pinched leg nerve, stitches under his eye and a fractured bone in his wrist and then broke his nose in the first half, somehow sank all three free throws. Virginia narrowly avoided another loss, tweaking Duke in overtime 80-74. Maryland beat Clemson 79-75 and Kent State 76-58. North Carolina put down Furman 100-67 and Nebraska 79-62.
"That was probably Jacksonville's best game since Artis Gilmore left," said Dwight Lamar, who had 31 points, almost half the team output in Southwestern Louisiana's 120-78 defeat by the Dolphins.
Davidson lost to St. John's 78-77 when Bill Schaeffer sank the last of his 33 points on a jumper with three seconds left.
Kermit Washington of American University was the MVP of the Presidential Classic, getting 43 points and 40 rebounds in wins over Rice (80-61) and George Washington (103-86). Other tournaments were won by Michigan State, which took the Senior Bowl finale from South Alabama 86-78, and by Stetson, an appropriate winner of the Hatter Classic.
1. MARYLAND (9-0)
2. N.C. STATE (9-0)
Two years ago, when Temple Coach Harry Litwack suffered an ulcer attack, Assistant Coach Don Casey ran the team for three games and lost them all. Last week Litwack was felled by a virus and Casey got another chance. This time the assistant reversed game plans and began with a 70 63 win at Delaware. The new strategy? Casey, an inveterate growler, clammed up, Litwack style. "I tried not to change the character of the bench," he said, and then called out, "Where's John Wooden?" He might better have summoned Coach Herb Magee of Philadelphia Textile. Magee proved too much for Casey as Textile stunned the Owls 58-52, ending a string of 15 losses to Big Five rivals. Moaned Casey: "Camelot is over."
La Salle gave St. Joseph's fits in the first half before losing 68-55.
Providence was a three-time winner. The Friars toyed with Brown 83-53 and then, with Kevin Stacom scoring 30 points and with its zone working superbly in the second half, shut off Rhode Island 79-59. Last and sweetest victim was Canisius, 77-64.
There were four double winners as heavy Ivy competition began. Yale won 76-64 over Columbia and 95-68 over Cornell. Penn beat Dartmouth 65-55 and then zoned out Harvard 66-61. Shooting 60%, Brown blitzed Cornell 102-79 before stopping Columbia 86-68. And Princeton held off Harvard 71-70 and Dartmouth 75-60.
Boston College and Syracuse each won twice. Jere Nolan had 13 assists as BC downed Dartmouth 102-76, but the Eagles had to scramble to beat Villanova for the first time in 22 years. Syracuse upped its record to 9-2 with Mike Lee pumping in 56 points in victories over Holy Cross (80-71) and Pitt (74-66).
1. PROVIDENCE (8-1)
2. ST. JOHN'S (8-2)
With 27 seconds to go and his team leading Long Beach State by five points, San Jose State Coach Ivan Guevara called a time-out in the Pacific Coast AA game. Whereupon his Spartans, who had lost five straight games, whooped it up, linked hands and began dancing. "I was shocked," said Guevara, who had to pry his players apart to settle them down. The real shock belonged to the Long Beach 49ers, who lost their first game after 11 wins, 68-61. They recovered Sunday at Pacific, winning 91-85, handing the Tigers their first home loss in 46 games.
Bill Walton of UCLA had only six points in one game and sat out the last 15 minutes of the next, but the Bruins still won easily, whipping Oregon 64-38 and Oregon State 87-61. USC, playing without talented 5'6" Vic Kelly, who quit the team, got by Oregon State 90-72 and Oregon 66-65. Washington defeated California 71-59 and Washington State stopped Stanford 61-49.
Last summer Colorado State Coach Jim Williams vowed, "I'm going to beat BYU on its home court next season." Despite the laughter, his Rams did just that, knocking off the Cougars 93-86 even while being outshot 59% to 43% and outrebounded 48-41. Explained Williams, "It's a matter of mathematics. We got 15 more turnovers and 15 multiplied by our shooting percentage is 6.45 points. We beat 'em by seven."
Pepperdine opponents have been seeking a way to slow down high-scoring William (Bird) Averitt. The lessons of the previous week—1-3-1 zones that helped limit him to a total of 21 points in two games—were ignored by last week's foes for some reason and Averitt bombed man-to-man defenses for 143 points. He had 49 in a 107-75 drubbing of Drury, 37 in an 83-81 win over Nevada-Las Vegas, and set West Coast AC marks with 25 field goals and 57 points as the Waves swamped Nevada-Reno 110-94.
1. UCLA (10-0)
2. LONG BEACH STATE (12-1)