Kansas split two games this week against a pair of Wildcats, beating Arizona 86-57 and then losing to Kentucky 77-74 in overtime. The loss to the Kentucky 'Cats, which snapped a 17-game win streak for the Jayhawks at Allen Field House, wasn't decided until the final seconds of OT, when Kansas Guard Tony Guy missed a 12-footer that would have given his team the lead. Instead, Kentucky rebounded and Forward Derrick Hord made a pair of free throws with four seconds to play. Guy, who scored 31 points, forced the extra period when he hit a jumper with only 13 seconds left in regulation play. The game was a nail-biter throughout: The lead changed hands 25 times, and at no juncture was either team in front by more than six points. Kansas' only other loss was by seven points to No. 1-ranked North Carolina. There was no such drama against Arizona as the Jayhawks charged ahead by as many as 30 during the second half. Said Wildcat Coach Fred Snowden, "I'm not going to slit my wrists because we lost. It's not the end of the world." Presumably Snowden felt his team's 63-55 loss to Kansas State two days later wasn't Armageddon, either.
"Greg became a man tonight," said Wichita State Coach Gene Smithson after his freshman center, Greg Dreiling, led the Shockers to a 75-60 win over Alabama-Birmingham, then ranked 12th in SI's poll. Dreiling racked up 14 points, seven rebounds and four blocked shots in only 22 minutes of play. The passage into manhood for the 7'1", 230-pound center came after he did his homework. "I never really got myself prepared for any game until tonight," Dreiling said, "but all day long I drilled on what they were going to do." The loss was no surprise to Blazer Coach Gene Bartow, who, after watching an earlier practice, felt his team wouldn't do many things right. "It was our worst of the year," said Bartow. "We were lucky not to have been more badly burned than the score indicated."
Precision basketball took a spill, but Tulsa still managed to drill Oral Roberts 80-63 and win their jointly sponsored Oil Capital Classic. The Golden Hurricane had 24 turnovers in the title game, 16 of them in the first half, and that, combined with their 36% shooting, helped to hold Tulsa's halftime lead to 30-28. Certainly the Titans didn't do much to make matters difficult for the Hurricane, hitting only 28% and committing 14 turnovers. After the intermission, Oral Roberts got into foul trouble, and Tulsa used that as a springboard to its 20th straight home win. Said Centenary Coach Tommy Canterbury after his Gents were routed 87-60 by Arkansas, "We stayed with them for 25 minutes and then lost our composure against their pressure defense. They just keep the heat on. It's not just five minutes, it's every minute. Sooner or later you say, 'Hell, take it.' " That's just what the Razorbacks did, moving from a 47-40 lead to a 67-41 spread six minutes later. Centenary's lone point in that span came when the Hogs' Darrell Walker hung on the rim after a shot. After the ensuing technical free throw was made, Walker stole the subsequent in-bounds pass and converted it for two of his 15 points. Walker also had 12 assists and seven steals, while teammate Scott Hastings scored 24 points.
SMU, losers of 20 games a year ago, played Alabama to a standstill for 35 minutes before falling to the Tide 69-62. 'Bama Guard Ennis Whatley, who scored 13 points and played 37 minutes without a turnover, sank a lay-up with 4:58 to play, breaking a 58-58 tie. SMU then held the ball for three minutes, looking for a good shot, but Jon Koncak missed a four-footer with 1:47 remaining. Shortly after that the Tide went into a stall and converted nine of 10 free-throw attempts in the last 35 seconds.
If it was hard to tell who was the winning coach after Kentucky's 85-69 pasting of Indiana, it was because the final margin wasn't big enough to suit Wildcat Coach Joe B. Hall. After the game he chastised his players for allowing the Hoosiers to lose by only 16 points. "It was a lack of killer instinct," Hall said. "This ball club has been missing that for three years. We went native in the second half and let them get back in the game. A great ball club doesn't have that kind of letdown." In essence, the game was over after Indiana Coach Bobby Knight was charged with a pair of technicals for protesting a foul call with 10:09 remaining in the first half. Kentucky Guard Jim Master then sank three of the four free throws, and the Wildcats went on to outscore the Hoosiers 22-12 en route to a 47-25 half-time lead. Still, Hall didn't reach the end of his bench until the game's final minute. "It was fun, but I was disappointed we didn't keep it up," said Kentucky's Derrick Hord. "Like Coach Hall told us, we won't ever have an opportunity like that again against an Indiana team."
The same opportunity wasn't available to Colorado State and Penn State, the Hoosiers' opponents in the Indiana Classic. Indiana dispatched Colorado State 82-41 in the tournament's opening round and routed the Nittany Lions 80-51 in the final. In the eight years the Classic has been played, Indiana's average winning margin has been more than 28 points a game. Ted Kitchel, the Hoosiers' 6'8" junior forward, was the eighth straight Indiana player to win the tourney's MVP award. Against Penn State, Kitchel was five of nine from the field and nine of nine from the line for 19 points. Against Colorado State he scored 25.
Injury-plagued Iowa showed good depth in beating Iowa State 79-68. Hawkeye freshman Center Michael Payne, who had a sprained ankle, didn't practice for two days before the game, while Guard Steve Carfino was still woozy from a charging foul he had taken the week before against Marquette. Filling their places against the Cyclones were another freshman center, Greg Stokes, and 6'5" Guard Bob Hansen, a starter much of last season. Stokes scored only six points, but still pleased Coach Lute Olson, who said, "We had him for three blocked shots and forcing three traveling violations with his intimidation." Payne came off the bench to contribute 17 points. Later in the week the Hawkeyes drubbed Northern Iowa 84-53 as Hansen scored 21 points.
It's that time of the year again for Minnesota, which remained unbeaten with an 80-55 win over Drake. "We're playing what I call December basketball," said Gopher Coach Jim Dutcher. "We play spotty for a few minutes and then pretty good for a few minutes, but we're not smooth throughout." Despite not having a starter taller than 6'6", the Bulldogs hung close to Minnesota, trailing only 23-21 before being outscored 13-3 in the last five minutes of the first half. "If we don't play without mistakes, without turnovers, the crowd gets on our case," said 7'3" Minnesota Center Randy Breuer. "It's almost as if we can't do enough to satisfy them."
Louisville beat Purdue 73-71 and Tennessee State 83-58. Against the Boilermakers, Wiley Brown saved the day by scoring the winning basket with only four seconds left after getting a one-handed rebound of a teammate's missed free throw.
Former Alabama Coach C.M. Newton returned to Tuscaloosa with his new Vanderbilt team, but the homecoming wasn't a happy one, because Alabama won 79-68. A pair of freshmen led the way for the Tide. Guard Ennis Whatley scored 20 points and had five assists, while Center Bobby Lee Hurt hit for 19 points, had nine rebounds and blocked three shots.
Arkansas State beat Wisconsin-Green Bay 24-23 in a defensive struggle of sorts. Neither team stalled, at least not intentionally, in the first half, which ended with Wisconsin-Green Bay leading 17-15. Unable to solve their opponents' zone defenses, Arkansas State Coach Marvin Adams put his team into a delay with 18 minutes to go in the game. During one stretch, both teams went 11 minutes without scoring. Wisconsin's lone field goal of the second half came on a goaltending call. The win gave Arkansas State a 6-0 mark, the best start in the school's history.
North Carolina, again eschewing the standard scheduling procedure of limiting non-conference, non-network TV games to those against weak teams, got a blowout nevertheless, pounding heralded South Florida 75-39. Unlike previous wins over Kansas, Southern Cal and Tulsa, the Tar Heels were in command from the start against the Bulls, hitting 16 of their first 19 shots en route to a 42-15 halftime lead. At one point in the first half, South Florida was held to just two field goals over 14 minutes. For the game, North Carolina shot almost 62% to South Florida's 33%. Said the shell-shocked Bulls coach, Lee Rose, "Dean Smith is a great coach, but he's a much better man. He could have won by 200 points, but he played his walk-ons, and some who couldn't walk on—everyone but the ushers."
Virginia's Ralph Sampson walked out onto the court early in the second half of the Cavaliers' game against Duke, with his team trailing 59-53. The result of his stroll was a 92-83 win. In 13 minutes of playing time, Sampson, who hadn't started because he was recovering from a broken right ring finger sustained two weeks before, scored eight points, had eight rebounds and blocked two shots. "I couldn't sit on the bench any longer," said Sampson. "I wanted to go in. We needed some kind of spark." Duke could have used a spark against Princeton, which handed the Blue Devils their fourth loss in five games, 72-55, as a pair of junior forwards, Gordon Enderle and Craig Robinson, combined for 46 of the Tigers' points.
According to Villanova Coach Rollie Massimino, his 6'8" junior center, John Pinone, was also lacking a certain something in the Wildcats' 65-54 win over Providence. "He wasn't very effective in my estimation," said Massimino. "...I didn't think he played good defense. He's usually a lot more aggressive than that. He kind of fell asleep on us." That makes one wonder what a wide-awake Pinone could do. Against the Friars he somnambulated his way to 27 points on 10-of-l4 shooting from the floor. Pinone then hit for 21 points in a 75-61 win over Penn.
Fordham defeated Syracuse 79-78 for its first victory over the Orangemen since 1970. Although the Rams scored only one basket in the final three minutes, they made 15 straight free throws to seal the win. For the game, they hit 35 of 41 foul-shot attempts, while slowing down their speedier opponents with a variety of zones. "We're normally a man-to-man team, but I was the only one who matched up with anyone they had," said Ram Coach Tom Penders. "I'm quicker than [Syracuse Coach Jim] Boeheim."
In a pair of easy wins, Dereck Whittenburg scored 26 points and 7'5" senior Center Chuck Nevitt collected 10 rebounds and blocked four shots to lead North Carolina State to its sixth straight win, 74-53 over Maryland, and Pat Ewing scored 20 points, hauled in 13 rebounds and blocked seven shots as Georgetown beat American University 75-63.
UCLA, put on two years' probation by the NCAA earlier in the week, throttled Boston University 77-43, with Mike Sanders getting 21 points. "I have too much pride to let this probation get me down," said Sanders, who, like his teammates, started the game at a comparative snail's pace. The Bruins led only by 11, 29-18, at the intermission, but then they took control. "The slow start could be attributed to what we've been through mentally," said Coach Larry Farmer, "but these players wouldn't let the clouds of probation hurt their performance."
Oregon State played as if in a cloud of fog, losing to Portland 68-63, before recovering the next evening with an 84-69 win over Pepperdine. Beaver Coach Ralph Miller inserted 6'7" freshman Forward A.C. Green into the starting lineup against Pepperdine, and Green responded with 17 points and 10 rebounds. The win was Miller's 200th at Oregon State. Maurice Williams and Dwight Anderson each scored 19 points as Southern Cal beat Long Beach State 74-66. Earlier in the week, Wichita State had defeated the 49ers 94-71 behind Cliff Levingston, who scored 25 points and had 19 rebounds, much to the delight of a cheering section of family and hometown friends who had traveled up from San Diego to watch the game. Levingston, who averaged only 10.7 points and 6.7 boards in the Shockers' first three games, had 17 and 10 by half-time against Long Beach. "I didn't want to let anyone down," said Levingston, who didn't.
Previously unbeaten Nevada-Las Vegas suffered a big letdown, losing a pair of games, 86-76 to Nevada-Reno and 82-70 to Cal-Irvine. The game against Reno matched Rebels Coach Jerry Tarkanian and his point-guard son, Danny, against the Wolf Pack's father-coach, point-guard-son combination of Sonny and Billy Allen. Not only did Sonny beat Jerry, but Billy also had 13 points and nine assists, while Danny went oh-for-nine from the field and ended up scoreless. "Danny just had a bad night," said Jerry. Cal-Irvine got revenge for a 124-95 beating by UNLV a year ago; Kevin Magee pointed the way for the Anteaters by getting 28 points and 12 rebounds and playing the final 8:41 with four fouls. "That's just the type of player he is," said Magee's coach, Bill Mulligan. "One minute he looks like he's in a world of hurt, and the next he looks like he's on top of the world." For the season, Magee is averaging 30.7 points per game.
Visiting DePaul put the hurt on a couple of opponents from the WCAC, beating Gonzaga 69-56 and Santa Clara 80-58.
"I had hoped to get tougher competition this week," said San Francisco Coach Pete Barry. He didn't, as the Dons rolled over Southern Utah State 78-66 and Chico State 105-69. "You can't really get up for a game like this," said Guard Quintin Dailey after he scored 24 points against Southern Utah. So in 26 minutes against Chico State, all Dailey did was score another 25 points.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
KEVIN MAGEE: Cal-Irvine's 6'8" forward scored 28 points and had 12 rebounds in the Anteaters' 82-70 upset of Nevada-Las Vegas. For the year, Magee has hit on 73 of 97 shots from the field.