"KNOCK ON WOOD"
(COACH: SHELBY METCALF)
There's good news and bad news at Texas A & M. The bad news is that Kenny Brown and his dynamite J, worth 17.4 points a game, went hardship. The good news is that Kenny Brown, whose behavior on the court left some teammates cold, went hardship. That means that A & M's two remaining virtuosos, Don Marbury and Winston Crite, can now play this season at fortissimo instead of mezzoforte.
Marbury, a 6'3" senior forward who had transferred from Farmingdale (N.Y.) Junior College, was the 1985 SWC Newcomer of the Year on the strength of his 16 points per game. "It was easy," he says. "I'd just fake, come back, get the ball, step and be gone." Over the summer Marbury honed his shot at "The Garden," a hoop 13 steps from his back door in the Coney Island section of Brooklyn.
Crite's daily entrance into the athletic dining hall strikes fear into Metcalf, who imagines A & M's football coaches eyeing a portion of tight-end stew. A jam-happy 6'7", 220-pound forward, Crite averaged 12.1 points and 8.2 rebounds in the power role. This season, to open up the floor more and to help Crite's NBA chances, Metcalf is moving the junior to small forward.
Between these two positives are question marks. Can Metcalf, an A & M lifer (360-241 in 22 seasons), tune his team to either outrun or slow down high-speed SWC favorites Houston and Arkansas? Will 6'9" Jimmie Gilbert, a three-year starter at center, finally assert himself? Can David Thompson, the new power forward from a farm in Seneca Falls, N.Y., overcome the pangs of his separation from his favorite cow, Lucy? If the answers are yes, the Aggies sans Brown should be in the pink.