The fact that Loyola uses its press for nearly the whole game without adequate bench strength—it is essentially a seven-man squad—gives some indication of just how tough this team is. Only during the recent All-College Tournament in Oklahoma City did Ireland let up on the all-court harassment. Three successive nights of it would have been too much, even for Loyola. "We used it in spots," said Ireland, "mostly as a tactical weapon." Loyola's scores dipped, but it went right on winning handily just the same.
Last week it was back to the full-time press again. Loyola of New Orleans used slowdown tactics to keep the Ramblers off their accustomed scoring pace in the first half, but a second-half splurge netted 58.
Loyola's stiffest competition comes in the second half of the season ( Houston, Bowling Green and Wichita), but even a good team may react to the prospect of playing against the Ramblers' press much the way one Marshall guard did last week. He started fearfully down the court with the ball, expecting to be challenged at once. Jerry Harkness, a full 15 feet away, stomped his foot hard on the floor. The unnerved Marshall player threw the ball backward over his own head, and out-of-bounds.
There was no stopping
, and two good teams tried last week.
attempted a zone defense, but Tom Thacker and Ron Bonham shot the Cougars out of it early and Cincinnati went on to win 79-56.
, the Bearcats' strongest foe to date, was slightly more obstreperous. But Cincinnati refused to panic, even when the Shockers shifted to a pressing defense. Defending militantly and attacking with their usual precision, the champions got the ball to George Wilson, who scored 20 points, and won 63-50. It was their 29th straight and 66th in a row at home.
But Cincinnati's Missouri Valley competition isn't willing to concede yet.
was still winning, over
North Texas State
, despite the loss of most of its muscle—6-foot-8 Gary Garrison was still nursing a knee injury and Dave Harris suffered a severe ankle sprain—looked good enough to concern the Bearcats. The close-guarding Bills, with Donnell Reid hounding
Kentucky's Cotton Nash to distraction, trounced the Wildcats 87-63, then beat North Texas State 71-59. When Tulsa threw up a collapsing zone, the Bills blooped passes over it to Bill Nordmann and St. Louis won easily, 70-45.
got off to an expected good start in the Big Ten race. The Illini, after losing their first game of the year to
, 90-88, beat
85-76 in the conference opener, while Wisconsin rallied to overtake
74-66. But defending champion
, hard put to hold off Brigham Young 97-91, had even more trouble with
. Only the helter-skelter hustle of Gary Bradds, who scored 27 points, and some last-minute outside shooting by little Dick Reasbeck saved a 78-76 victory for the young Bucks.
, too, had problems. The Wolverines edged Northwestern 78-75 on Tom Cole's three-point play.
finally righted itself to beat
, a recent tournament champion, learned the facts of Big Eight life in a hurry. The Jayhawkers swarmed over
Colorado's Ken Charlton. They double- and triple-teamed him and once even assigned four men to him. But they needed six. Charlton made 11 of 13 shots, 13 of 13 foul tries, and Colorado won 73-57. In other games,
In the Mid-American,
without Harold Komives, its ailing star guard, and beat the Falcons 61-56. Notre Dame, playing the off-tackle smash kind of basketball that Coach Johnny Jordan dearly loves but hasn't seen much of in recent years, beat Illinois and Indiana (73-70), before losing to
won twice, over
downed Baldwin Wallace 89-70 and Western Ontario 70-45. The top three:
1. CINCINNATI (11-0)
2. LOYOLA OF CHICAGO (13-0)
3. ILLINOIS (9-1)