If the Vols' defeat underscored the widely held belief that the Southeastern Conference is without a standout team this season, Georgia was at least able to uphold a bit of the league's honor—not to mention state bragging rights—with a 80-69 win over previously unbeaten Georgia Tech at the Omni in Atlanta.
The Bulldogs' fine freshman guard Litterial Green played tough defense against Tech bomber Dennis Scott (four of 14 from the floor), but the main man for Georgia was 6'11", 262-pound freshman Elmore Spencer, whose box score line sparkled with 13 points, five rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocks. Spencer isn't talking to the media, apparently because he doesn't want to be asked about his off-the-floor problems of the past 15 months, including a stay in a psychiatric ward for manic depression; but Spencer's spokesman, assistant coach Tevester Anderson, said, "He told me to say thanks to all the Georgia people who have been so nice to him. Right now he's in the locker room feeling very excited, very proud."
After six seasons of watching Bob Weltlich's conservative teams, Texas fans have quickly become enamored of the fast-paced attack of new coach Tom Penders. In 175 games under Weltlich, the Horns never hooked anybody for 100 or more points; this season they did it four times in their first eight games. How appreciative are the fans? One booster recently spotted Penders in a supermarket and asked if he could please buy his groceries....
The return of Louisville point guard Keith Williams, just off academic suspension, relegated Craig Hawley to the bench—and oblivion. Hawley, who had been averaging almost 20 minutes, didn't play one second in the Cards' 92-90 win over Oklahoma State last Saturday, while Williams got 26 minutes (and 13 points). Coach Denny Crum, not one to mince words, said of Williams, "He's better than Craig."
...The ACC and Big East are discussing a plan that next season would pit the eight ACC schools against eight of the nine Big East members in a series of four doubleheaders, tentatively set for Dec. 4-7. Among the cities under consideration are Charlotte, Atlanta, New York City and Philadelphia....
Pitt sophomore Brian Shorter scored a career-high 29 in a 96-83 win over Toledo, but coach Paul Evans wasn't exactly overjoyed. "We did some good things, but sometimes we were dumber than a bucket of rocks," said Evans. "Brian scored 29, but gave up 31."
...Ex-Purdue great Rick Mount is miffed that his No. 10 is being worn by Boilermaker freshman Woody Austin. "There is only one No. 10 and that's me," Mount says. "I don't appreciate it." Responded AD George King, who was the Purdue coach during Mount's career, "We decided as a staff a number of years ago not to retire numbers."
...After suddenly resigning as Tennessee Tech coach during a tournament in Hawaii, Tom Deaton was asked what he intended to do. "Be a sportswriter or a referee," he said. "They aren't accountable to anybody."
VERY SHORT SHOT
Tyrone Thurman, an All-America kick returner for the Texas Tech football team, has joined the basketball team. At 5'3" and 130 pounds, he is the smallest player in Division I-A. At week's end, Thurman hadn't played yet, but after their 1-5 start it was clear that the Red Raiders could use, uh, a little help.