Publish date:

THE WEEK (Jan. 15-21)



"Thank God he's righthanded," said North Carolina Coach Dean Smith after Al Wood sank a 24-foot jumper with three seconds left for a 54-53 Tar Heel victory at Maryland. Wood was playing with nine stitches in his left hand after having fallen through a glass window two days earlier. Carolina, which is atop the ACC with a 5-1 record, had to play without two starters: Mike O'Koren, who had a severe ankle sprain, and Dave Colescott, who was recovering from a fracture of the eye socket. O'Koren was hurt during Carolina's 70-69 win at North Carolina State, where the Tar Heels led 40-19 at halftime. State surged back as Hawkeye Whitney scored 17 of his 19 points and Ken Matthews 12 of his 14 during the second half. Matthews put the Wolfpack in front 69-68 with 33 seconds left. But after State rebounded a missed Tar Heel shot. Dudley Bradley of Carolina stole the ball from Clyde Austin and stuffed a shot in the final three seconds to pull out the decision.

Duke and Virginia, both 3-1, shared second place. The Blue Devils beat Wake Forest 81-69 behind Kenny Dennard's 21 points and got 31 from Mike Gminski to polish off North Carolina State 75-69. Jeff Lamp pumped in 47 points as Virginia triumphed 61-54 at Clemson and jarred non-conference opponent Virginia Tech 93-78.

Temple held off Bucknell 70-69, and Georgetown won twice. After beating Fordham 75-65, the Hoyas played at Penn, where they pulled out a 78-76 victory behind Tom Scates. A 6'11", 245-pounder, Scates, who was averaging 1.6 points and 3.8 rebounds, scored 11 points, pulled down eight missed shots and blocked nine field-goal attempts.

Syracuse set a Division I scoring high for the season by smashing Siena 144-92 for its 39th straight home-court victory. After that, the Orangemen were 103-92 victors at Canisius despite 32 points by Ron Peaks. Canisius won its other two games—90-74 over St. Francis (Pa.) and 90-72 over Scranton—as Peaks tossed in 53 points.

Jacksonville boosted its Sun Belt Conference record to 5-1 by defeating North Carolina-Charlotte 61-57 in overtime and New Orleans 53-52. The Dolphins' victory over UNCC was clinched by Mike Hackett, who sank four free throws in the extra period.

Drexel, which had begun the season 10-0, lost 67-66 at Bucknell. Al Leslie of the Bisons finished off the Dragons by scoring 34 points, the last two by sinking a pair of free throws with six seconds remaining.

Sly Williams of Rhode Island, angered by a scuffle with a St. John's player, turned on the juice to give the Rams a 71-70 road victory. When not agitating the Redmen's bench and fans, Williams flicked in 33 points. During an earlier 86-42 rout of Providence, Williams scored 28 points.

Army ran its record to 10-3 by whipping Manhattan in a rugged contest during which there were 68 fouls. The Cadets shot 78%, converted 48 of 59 free throws and got 35 points from Bob Brown.

Furman, which entered the week 4-0 in the Southern Conference and 12-1 overall, dropped a 91-85 decision to non-league opponent Stetson and lost conference games to Western Carolina, 67-61, and The Citadel, 78-76. In a Southern matchup, VMI's 36-game home-court victory streak was ended 73-58 by Appalachian State, which made all of its shots—13 field goals and 11 free throws—in the first 17:49 of the second half.

And then there was the State University at Buffalo, whose 6-18 record of last season seemed positively sparkling compared to its 0-9 start this time. But the Bulls ended their misery by beating Geneseo State 69-63.

2. TEMPLE (13-1)
3. GEORGETOWN (14-2)


With all of the Big Eight teams sporting 1-1 conference records at the start of the week, Nebraska Coach Joe Cipriano said, "Some of us are tied for first place and some of us are tied for last place." When the second week of conference play ended, three teams—Missouri, Iowa State and Oklahoma—were on top with 3-1 records.

Missouri's youthful Tigers began the week with a 58-55 upset at Kansas. Trying to stress how young his team is, Missouri Coach Norm Stewart said, "This was the first time our players took a bus trip all season and, heck, they liked it." The Tigers also got a bang out of the play of 6'7" Curtis Berry, who three weeks ago moved from forward to center after 6'10" Lex Drum had knee surgery. Berry, who was matched up against 7'1" Paul Mokeski, had 20 rebounds and 20 points. In an attempt to be philosophical about the loss, Kansas Coach Ted Owens said, "If you keep struggling, there's blue sky somewhere." But Owens may well have felt like Chicken Little after a visit to Kansas State. The Wildcats set a school record by shooting 70% from the floor while winning 96-69. Two Wildcats bombarded the nets, Steve Soldner scoring 28 points and Rolando Blackman 27.

Kansas was not the only Big Eight squad not living up to expectations. Nebraska was drubbed 76-60 at Missouri, where the Tigers shot 63%. Missouri, which had been last in the Big Eight tournament in December, thus earned a share of the conference lead. The Big Eight's other surprise team, Oklahoma, won twice at home, 72-64 over Colorado and 64-59 over Oklahoma State.

Iowa State also won a pair of home games as Andrew Parker settled down and brought his point production up. For most of the week, Parker heeded Coach Lynn Nance's advice to "pass more, because if they are doubling up on you somebody has to be open" and to be more cautious about his shot selection. But with 18 seconds left and three Colorado players crowding him, Parker fired away. His shot went in and gave the Cyclones a 60-59 win. Against Oklahoma State, Parker popped in 32 points as Iowa State won 72-70.

Indiana State's one-two punch of Larry Bird and Carl Nicks kept the Sycamores unbeaten and atop the Missouri Valley Conference. Vital, too, were a pair of free throws by Bob Heaton that put the Sycamores in front 71-69 with 17 seconds to go against New Mexico State. Bird then stole the ball and Nicks sealed the 73-69 victory with a layup. Bird had 24 points, Nicks 20. At Wichita State, Bird got 31 and Nicks 19 as Indiana State prevailed 94-84. Then it was on to Creighton, where Nicks scored 16 of his 18 points in the first half and Bird 20 of his 29 after the intermission in State's 90-80 triumph.

Second-place Drake lost 84-75 at New Mexico State, beat Wichita State 114-109 in overtime at home and won 93-84 at West Texas State. Wichita State got 28 points from Bob Trogele, 26 from Steve Kalocinski and 25 from Richard Williams, but Drake had five players in double figures, led by Chad Nelson with 27 points.

Texas Tech was knocked out of a share of first place in the Southwest Conference when Southern Methodist pulled off a 69-65 shocker. Guiding the Mustangs was Guard Billy Allen, who had 11 points and 10 assists after spending most of the day in bed with the flu. Tied for first were Texas and Texas A&M. The Longhorns won 94-81 at Rice and, in a non-league game, beat Southern Cal 87-68. "It looks like we're getting our act together," was the accurate assessment of Tyrone Branyan, who had 25 points against USC.

Opposing coaches lavishly praised 6'11" freshman Center Rudy Woods of Texas A&M. In a 74-69 overtime verdict over Arkansas, Woods had 20 points, 14 rebounds, seven assists and no turnovers. "He could be one of the great ones ever to play in this conference," Razorback Coach Eddie Sutton said. The Aggies then downed Texas Tech 68-63 as Woods scored 21 points. Coach Jim Haller of Baylor, which had lost to A&M the previous week, was so impressed by Woods that he said about him. "He is the most agile, the most coordinated and the quickest big man of his age that I have ever seen."

Also coming on strong was Louisville's Darrell Griffith, who credited his improvement to several sessions with Dr. Stanley Frager. Psychologist Frager describes his treatments as "a form of hypnosis" in which "Darrell's not in a trance. I try to reinforce his skills." Thus reinforced, Griffith has greatly improved his play on defense, in which he had long been a laggard. And in his past five games he has fired in 132 points.

In Louisville's first game last week, a 77-76 win at Dayton, Griffith outscored the Flyers' Jim Paxson 25-23. Louisville then began its Metro 7 season with two road victories. First came an 82-77 triumph over Cincinnati in which Griffith had 23 points and freshman Scooter McCray 22. Pat Cummings of the Bearcats led all scorers with 30 points. At Florida State, the Cardinals held off a late Seminole spurt, got 24 points from Griffith and won 67-65.

2. TEXAS A&M (15-3)
3. LOUISVILLE (15-3)


"When we set up the play, we thought John Smith would be the only one not getting much attention," said Arizona Coach Fred Snowden of his strategy during the waning moments against UCLA. The score was 69-69 when the play began. As Snowden had hoped. Smith, who had not scored in the game, got little attention, and when the ball was passed to him, he went to the basket and drew a foul with six seconds left to play. Now all the attention was on Smith, who missed his first shot. On his next try, Smith scored his first point, and the Wildcats won 70-69. UCLA continued its travels by storming past Arizona State 96-79.

Southern Cal also played at Arizona State, but not before Coach Bob Boyd announced at home that he would be retiring at the end of this, his 13th season with the Trojans. USC blew all except two points of a 22-point lead at State and hung on for a 69-65 win.

Weber State ran its record to 18-4 and its Big Sky mark to 6-0 by squeaking out a pair of road victories, 62-61 at Gonzaga and 42-39 at Idaho.

1. UCLA (12-3)
3. BYU (13-5)


"Notre Dame players keep their hands up like they are praying, but they are really beating you to death with their bodies," said South Carolina Coach Frank McGuire after losing 82-73 at South Bend. The No. 1-ranked Irish, who began the week leading the country in field-goal shooting with a .564 percentage, hit 60% against the Gamecocks. In two other home wins, the Irish shot 56% while clobbering Lafayette 91-66 and 62% while beating San Francisco 88-69. Another reason Notre Dame handled the Dons with ease was that USF's Bill Cartwright was held to nine points and eight rebounds. Sophomore Tracy Jackson, who has never started for Notre Dame, continued to fill his Supersub role by coming in to score 49 points in three games.

After busting in front in both of its games and frittering away much of its advantage each time, Ohio State earned victories that left it 6-0 in the Big Ten. Minnesota fought back from a 13-point deficit at Columbus, only to have Buckeye Jim Smith snap a 70-all tie with a three-point play. In that 83-80 Ohio State win, Kelvin Ransey had 20 points and seven assists. Herb Williams 19 points and 13 rebounds and Smith 17 points and 13 rebounds. At Michigan, the Buckeyes had an 11-point lead trimmed to five with 10 minutes to go. But then Ransey, who finished with 25 points, and Williams came through with baskets and the Buckeyes won 78-69.

Two games behind Ohio State were Illinois, Michigan State and Iowa. Wisconsin gave the visiting Illini all they could handle before succumbing 81-74. Sophomore Larry Petty, who was booed by Badger fans last season when he was a rather inept 275-pounder, received a standing ovation this time. With his weight down to 240, Petty hit on nine of 10 shots, scored 25 points and hauled in 12 rebounds. But Petty was not enough for the Badgers, whose bench was outscored 39-4 by the Illinois reserves. Purdue, though, had the ingredients to stop the Illini—24 points from Joe Barry Carroll and lots of stalling. The Boilermakers held the ball for the final 5:30 of the first half and the last 6:30 of the second as they won 69-57 at Illinois.

Iowa triumphed 56-46 at Purdue and then lost 83-72 in overtime at Michigan State. Pulling the Spartans through were Earvin Johnson, who had 25 points, nine assists and eight rebounds, and Mike Brkovich, a reserve guard from Canada, whose two free throws sent the game into overtime and who sank two more foul shots in the extra period to put State ahead for good. Michigan State earlier decked Indiana 82-58 as Johnson put in 22 points and Brkovich came off the bench to get 16. Thirty-one points by Kevin McHale enabled Minnesota to subdue Wisconsin 82-72.

For much of the time during its two games, Vanderbilt looked like a goner. But the Commodores wound up a loner, all by themselves at the top of the SEC with a 5-1 record. At Alabama, Vanderbilt, which had trailed 25-15, was ahead 57-48 with six minutes left. Then the Tide roared back, sending the game into overtime when Reggie King tipped in a missed shot with four seconds to go. Vandy went on to win 75-73 on a last-second shot by Charles Davis, who wound up with 19 points and 17 rebounds. Mike Rhodes led the Commodores with 25 points. At home, where Vanderbilt once trailed Georgia 38-16, the Commodores went ahead 75-74 on a free throw by Davis with 39 seconds remaining. But Georgia regained the lead 14 seconds later on Ron Webb's field goal. On his team's final possession, Guard Tommy Springer of Vandy cashed in on a three-point play that gave the Commodores a 78-76 win. Rhodes again led the scoring, this time with 24 points.

Tied for second at 5-2 were Alabama, which won 83-76 at Auburn as King scored 23 points, and Louisiana State, twice a winner. The largest crowd ever to see a college game in Louisiana—14,568—was at Baton Rouge as the Tigers beat Auburn 94-82. LSU's unorthodox Mr. Inside and Mr. Outside combination produced 52 points. Al Green, who is 6'2", operated inside as usual and scored 27 points, while 6'9" DeWayne Scales worked from long range and had 25. At Mississippi, the Tigers played without Scales and Greg Cook, who were sidelined for disciplinary reasons, and without their ace, Durand Macklin, who has been hurt most of the season. John Stroud of the Rebels, the SEC's top scorer, with a 24.8 average, poured in 33 points and had nine rebounds. And Ole Miss outrebounded the Tigers 37-28. Nevertheless, LSU won 70-69 in overtime when freshman Gus Rudolph sank both ends of a one-and-one foul try after time had expired.

Fourth-place Tennessee won 66-55 at Kentucky, while Mississippi State split a pair of two-point verdicts. The Bulldogs nipped Kentucky 63-61 on Ray White's jumper with five seconds left. Playing in Florida's infamous Alligator Alley, State lost 77-75 as Malcolm Cesare scored 21 points.

Marquette turned back Long Beach State 99-80 as substitute Jim Dudley ignited a Warrior spurt that built their lead from one point to 10. In a span of three minutes and 10 seconds, Dudley scored six points, grabbed two rebounds and stole the ball twice. Bernard Toone of Marquette did his thing, too, sinking 12 of 20 shots—some 25-and 30-foot zingers—and finishing with 26 points. Marquette then knocked off Xavier of Ohio 67-50.

Dayton upended visiting DePaul 68-64 in overtime, Jim Paxson scoring 28 points.

First place in the Ohio Valley belonged to Eastern Kentucky, which beat Murray State 73-69 and Tennessee Tech 112-84. By defeating Miami 63-54 and Western Michigan 80-72, Toledo ran its Mid-American Conference record to 6-0.

1. NOTRE DAME (11-1)
2. OHIO STATE (11-4)
3. ILLINOIS (16-2)


LARRY BIRD: Indiana State's 6'9½" senior scored 84 points, grabbed 34 rebounds, had 13 assists and stole the ball five times as the Sycamores won three Missouri Valley Conference games and ran their record to 16-0.