Dave Bike, who was once a homer-hitting prospect in the Detroit Tigers organization, is now the coach of defending Division II champion Sacred Heart. He has four double-figure scorers back, led by 6'4" Keith Johnson. The parts of this Pioneer quartet are almost interchangeable; Johnson, a forward, brought the ball up in last season's title game. Should Johnson's mates keep up their multidimensional attack, there would seem to be nothing to stop them from winning another title. But Bike should beware of Clark College's scoring thoroughbred Ernest (the Horse) Lee, who has outpointed everyone in the division (29.3 and 34.1 ppg) for two seasons running.
Potsdam plowed through 32 Division III games without a loss last season, becoming the first NCAA team at any level to go unbeaten since 1976, when Indiana went 32-0 and Bob Knight went by Bobby. The Bears lost five of their top seven players, but coach Jerry Welsh's successful defensive formula remains intact: A knot of not-so-large native New Yorkers will spare their own stats and spoil any foe's offense. A rivalry worth watching will take place in the Ohio Athletic Conference. Dick Hempy had dropped out of Otterbein during his freshman year after the collegiate pace at the Westerville campus became a bit too much to handle for a guy from Waldo, Ohio, (pop. 800). But, says Hempy, "You get out in the work world, four years in Westerville doesn't look so bad." So Hempy came back and last season was named the division's player of the year after he helped the Cardinals stop Wittenberg's 13-year string of winning either the OAC's regular-season or tournament championship. The 6'5" senior averaged 20.5 points per game to edge Wittenberg's sharpshooter, Steve Iannarino (18.7 ppg), for the conference scoring title as well.