What began as glorious evening for Louisville, with the rededication of Freedom Hall (newly expanded to 19,000 seats) and the introduction of Howard Schnellenberger as the school's new football coach, ended on a sour note. Though the Cards beat Virginia Commonwealth 67-55, senior guard Milt Wagner fractured a bone in his right foot and will miss at least six weeks of the season. "I was coming down off a rebound and stepped on somebody's foot," said Wagner. His injury came just five days after coach Denny Crum had said that he'd probably have to redshirt Kevin Walls, the Cards' highly touted freshman guard, who will undergo arthroscopic surgery to his right knee.
Memphis State roared to a pair of victories, 79-62 over Arkansas State and 61-45 over Southern Cal in the Mid-South Classic. Senior forward Keith Lee scored a career-high 39 points on 13 of 18 shooting against the Indians, who in 1981 believed they had successfully recruited Lee out of West Memphis (Ark.) High. "I told Keith I thought he was trying to get me fired," said Arkansas State coach Nelson Catalina, who as an Indians assistant had nearly landed Lee.
During the showdown between the Georgia Lady Bulldogs, the No. 1 team in the SI women's preseason Top 10, and visiting Texas (No. 3), many Georgia fans waved white socks, passed out by the cheerleaders as substitutes for pompons. The Lady Longhorns responded by socking it to the Lady Dawgs 83-69 before the largest crowd—6,188—ever to watch a women's game at Georgia.
Before chugging into Chattanooga for the Choo Choo classic, North Georgia coach Bill Ensley was assured that his team's first-round game would be an easy one. Little did Ensley know how easy. The opponent was Crowley's Ridge College, a tiny (150 students) Christian school in Paragould, Ark. "It was obvious when they took the floor that they weren't a basketball team," said an embarrassed Ensley. "We only played our starters six minutes. If we hadn't pulled them, we would have scored 250 points." As it was, the Saints crushed the Eagles 133-44. Ensley tried to even the competition a little bit by keeping his team on the floor at halftime for an intra-squad scrimmage. North Georgia lost the tournament final to Tennessee Temple 84-74, but Crowley's Ridge improved somewhat—particularly on defense—in the consolation game. It lost to Shorter College, 119-50.
The basketball team at Washington is out to prove that the school's Orange Bowl-bound football team isn't the only pack of Huskies who can play defense. In rolling past host Fresno State 53-45 in the title game of the Sun Met Classic, Washington held the Bulldogs to only 13 first-half points. "It was like a fighter getting knocked down five times in the first five rounds," said Fresno coach Boyd Grant, "and the manager telling the fighter to go in there, he can still win." Tournament MVP Detlef Schrempf, who had scored 20 points in the Huskies' 66-55 opening-night defeat of Ball State, led Washington with 16 points and nine rebounds against Fresno.
After Nevada-Las Vegas defeated Colorado State 88-78 in the rarefied air of Fort Collins (elev. 5,100 feet), Rebels coach Jerry Tarkanian marveled at his team's stamina. "In the second half we really played super defense," said Tark. "Even with this altitude we came out and pressed. We've never pressed this well in altitude." UNLV forced the Rams into 23 turnovers and held them to 23.1% shooting in the second half.
Northern Arizona beat host New Mexico 64-56 to win the inaugural Tribune Classic in Albuquerque and notch its first victory over the Lobos since the 1951-52 season.
After Illinois ripped Oklahoma 81-64 the Hall of Fame Tip-off Classic in Springfield, Mass. on Nov. 18, there seemed to be no way the Sooners would turn the tables in Saturday's rematch in Champaign. But after the Illini rallied to defeat the Sooners 73-70, Illinois coach Lou Henson sounded like a guy who'd wound up on the short end of a rout. "If I just saw the stats," he said, "I'd say Oklahoma won by 12 or 14 points."
The Illini, who were outshot from the field 50.0% to 38.9% and outrebounded 41-38, prevailed because they again held Wayman Tisdale in check. Tisdale scored 19 in the Tip-off, and though he had 22 points this time, he worked hard for them, thanks to man-to-man coverage by George Montgomery and Efrem Winters and assistance from teammates who sloughed off onto Tisdale. Winters also tipped away an inbounds pass by the Sooners' Tim McCalister to seal the win with 31 seconds left.
With eight seconds to go before half-time in Kansas's 86-64 victory over Detroit, Jayhawk coach Larry Brown was slapped with a pair of technical fouls—one for stepping over (unwittingly, he said) the boundary line of the new 28-foot coach's box and the other for walking onto the floor to protest the first T. "I wasn't yelling at [the referees]," said Brown about the initial technical. "I was talking to a player. I thought I should have gotten a warning. That coach's box is going to be a problem for a few guys."
It doesn't pay to lose the season-opener when you play for Bob Knight. But if you do, as the Hoosiers did, says Indiana's Steve Alford, "don't ever lose when you go into a week of practice without a game." Right. Ohio U. was Indiana's second-game victim, losing 90-73. For his first time at Indiana, Alford was assigned to guard the opposition's most dangerous scorer and held the Bobcats' Robert Tatum to 13 points.
Another Olympian, Arkansas center Joe Kleine, was brilliant in the Razorbacks' 85-84 defeat at Ohio State. He scored 31 points, including 14 within 2:40 that gave the Hogs an 80-77 lead with 3:36 left. But the Buckeyes pulled off the upset when Dennis Hopson got his only two points of the game with a pair of free throws at 0:57.
Stepping to the foul line with 31 seconds left and his team leading Oral Roberts by one point, LSU guard Don Redden winked at color commentator Jordy Hultberg in the TV booth. "He was our free-throw shooting coach when I was a freshman," Redden explained later. "He told me to do something half decent in the clutch." Redden obliged by sinking the pair of foul shots that iced the Bengals' 74-71 victory. Freshmen John Williams and Jose Vargas sparkled in LSU's 102-96 defeat of Loyola of Chicago. Williams scored 22 points and had 12 rebounds, while Vargas, a native of the Dominican Republic, got 21 and 10.
After St. John's dunked its way to a 93-47 rout of Lafayette in the opening round of the Lapchick Memorial tournament, Redmen coach Lou Carnesecca had some words of caution for those St. John's faithful who were anxious to make reservations for the Final Four in Lexington, Ky. "It's only one game," he said. "I don't want to be like a balloon and go all the way up and then all the way down." In the second half the Redmen made like the Flying Wallendas, throwing down eight dunks, including a spectacular two-handed slam off a fast break by 6'8" sophomore Walter Berry, who made his long-awaited major-college debut.
But in the Lapchick championship game against St. Bonaventure, the Redmen nearly went bust. The Bonnies' sticky 2-3 zone slowed the speedy Redmen to a walk and they cut a 58-51 deficit with 1:26 to play to 58-57 by hitting both ends of three straight one-and-one free-throw situations. "This game brings us down to earth," said Chris Mullin, who scored 39 points in the tournament and was named the Lapchick MVP for the fourth straight year. "We're not indestructible and superhuman." St. Bonaventure had reached the final by whipping hapless St. Francis of New York and its new coach, Bobby Valvano, 73-59.
Meanwhile, Bobby's older brother Jim had an easier time in guiding North Carolina State to a 93-70 win over UC Santa Barbara. Six-eleven freshman center Chris Washburn scored 16 points and had seven rebounds for the Wolfpack in his first collegiate start.
After scouting Duke's season-opening rubouts of St. Louis (97-64) and William & Mary (92-60), St. Joseph's assistant coach Jimmy Black, the point guard on North Carolina's 1982 NCAA championship team and thus an expert on the delay game, recommended a slowdown to his boss, Hawks coach Jim Boyle. The Blue Devils were more than happy to play St. Joe's game. Up 43-36 midway through the second half of its 59-46 win in Durham, N.C., Duke went into its own delay game, going 3:37 without attempting a shot. With their top scorers, Maurice Martin and Bob Lojewski, each saddled with four fouls, the Eagles got just two field goals in the final 5:28.
Wagner, here breaking out for 17 points against Indiana, broke a foot against the Rams.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
JOE CONCHEK: Ohio State's 6'8" senior forward converted 10 of 15 shots from the field, scored a career-high 23 points and had seven rebounds to lead the Buckeyes to an 85-84 upset victory over Arkansas.