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Last year the three Philadelphia teams lost—when they lost at all in their league—only to each other. They will keep the first three places once more, but not without some severe challenges from vastly improved outlanders. TEMPLE has an excellent team despite its limited height. Harry Litwack's Owls have speed, good shooting and the entire starting lineup back together for a third and final year. All five are Philadelphia natives, and all five scored in double figures last year, led by persistent Guard Bruce Drysdale, who averages 21.3. Earl Proctor, Ed Devery and John Koskinen average 10 to 12 points a game, as does 6-foot-4 Center Russ Gordon, who also outjumps his taller foes for at least 12 rebounds each game.
La Salle has good height with which to challenge Temple, and Coach Dudey Moore is well pleased with a starting lineup average of 6 feet 5. The Explorers have backcourt firepower in Bill Raftery (17.8 points) and Bob Mc Ateer (16.8 points), but the excitement is up front where Moore has acquired a 6-foot-8 center, Walter Sampson, from Pan American College in Edinburg, Texas. He shoots well and is a good rebounder. A sophomore, Frank Corace, may displace young Raftery. George Friedrich, a 12-point scorer, fills out a big, fast first five that is backed up by ex-starter Tony Abbott.
St. Joseph's fine coach, Jack Ramsay, was crushed by the revelation that three of his starters were involved in the point-shaving scandals, but six other returning lettermen and five sophomores should get him smiling again. Jim Lynam, Billy Hoy, and Harry Booth give the Hawks a very short, but experienced, backcourt with ample speed, finesse and scoring punch. There are problems up front. The choice is between speed, personified by Bob Dickey and sophomore Jim Boyle, or height, available in 6-foot-8 sophs Larry Hoffman and John Tiller. Tom Wynne, 6 feet 5, is the fifth starter.
Four teams bid for fourth place. BUCKNELL'S 6-foot-5 front line is led by sharpshooting Joe Steiner (21.6 points a game). His reliable partners are Don Lampus and Hal Smoker. Additional scoring help will come from two adept sophomores, Bill Fry and Bill Storch. Sophomores also supply reserve strength at the guard positions, but Coach Ben Kribbs needs depth in the forecourt.
Lafayette can match last year's record if starter Bob Kauffman, a 13-point scorer, recovers from a shoulder operation. Chip Lundy (18.5) and Gene Denahan (10.1) give Coach George Davidson two veterans from last year's effective offense. However, the Leopards did not get sophomore talent that can solve their problems, lack of height and depth.
Last season GETTYSBURG had a 19-6 record and still finished fourth in the conference. Now five starters are back to try one more time, with a 6-foot-6 sophomore along for luck. Coach Bob Hulton has two high-scoring guards—there are a lot of them this year—in Ron Warner, 24.9, and Bob Parker, 15.4. Doug Kepner is the big newcomer who may provide some extra rebounding. John Fleming, Bruce Simpson and George Burnett complete the frontcourt. An improved home schedule could make this the best year in Gettysburg's history.
Delaware has its best team in nine years, sparked by the league's No. 1 rebounder, 6-foot-6 Nate Cloud. Starters Bill Wagamon and John Barry will be helped by two forwards from last year's 13-2 freshman team, Pete Cloud and Dave Sysko, but Coach Irv Wisniewski's squad lacks speed.
Rutgers lost a big chunk of its offense to graduation, but Coach Tony Kuolt's strong man-to-man defense can keep the Scarlet Knights near .500 again. Joe Osofsky, Al Ammerman and Don Petersen are the nucleus of a team that lacks height and experienced reserves.
Lehigh's Norm Brandl will jump-shoot his way to a school scoring record by midseason, but the Engineers, who lost four tall players, have little rebounding and less depth. Guard Bob Happ is the only other good shot in Coach Tony Packer's roster, which also includes Playmaker Dave Usilton.