Some of these teams may break into the list of the elite, and all of them should be interesting to watch. They are capable of causing the season's big upsets
The big Boilermakers have enough offensive potential to outscore a lot of teams. Dave Schellhase (24.5 average) is already being compared to Terry Dischinger and can play either forward or guard. Coach Ray Eddy finally will have senior Center Bill Jones for a full season plus Bob Purkhiser, Ron Hughes and Earl Brown. Tom Niemeier, the 6-foot-9 celebrity high school boy, is on the varsity now, too. But the Boilermakers do not hit the boards hard or hawk the ball well, and such cursory defense should cost them a real shot at the Big Ten championship.
Ron Krick averaged only 6.8 points a game and 5.8 rebounds last year, figures that are especially depressing when one considers that he is the best the Bearcats have back. A 6-foot-8 junior, Krick was showing his great promise near the end of the season, and if that helped his confidence Cincinnati may not be buried after all. There are five reliable guards on hand, and up front Coach Ed Jucker picks up two high-scoring 6-foot-6 sophs, Mike Rolf—who broke some of Oscar Robertson's freshman records—and Ken Calloway.
Appraising the Wildcats is like scouting a Chinese menu. There is: 1) Coach Tex Winter's Big Team. It has 7-foot-1, 245-pound, 20-E-shoe sophomore Nick (The Stick) Pino at center, and it plays a triple-post offense. But can Pino defend well enough, even if he docs score 20 a game? If not, color Pino red shirt and try 2) Second Big Team, with last year's red shirt, 6-foot-10, 220-pound Roy Smith at center. Will Smith find offensive finesse? No? O.K., move on to 3) Little Team, which will fast-break and full-court-press, with Gary Williams, Jeff Simons, Sammy Robinson, Ron Paradis and Dennis Berkholtz. The odds are Winter will go with No. 1 because the prospects for next year are so good that he will want Pino to have the experience to lead State to a national championship.
Bill Bradley's personal acclaim has obscured the fact that the Tigers have dominated Ivy League basketball for almost a decade. Coach Bill van Breda Kolff has averaged 18 wins a season over 13 years at three schools and now has his own recruits on the Princeton varsity. Even without Bradley the Tigers probably could handle their Ivy schedule easily. But with 6-foot-6 Ed Hummer, a high school All-America, 6-foot-9 Bob Brown and Gary Walters to give Bradley some help, the rest of the league will be ravaged.
The Wildcats are counting on six sophomores, and they are so good that in any other year Northwestern would be much more seriously considered in the Big Ten. The difficulty this year is that the five top conference teams have lost a total of only five starters. Forward Ron Kozlicki and Guards Jim Burns and Walt Tiberi are the best of the newcomers, and, despite his bad knee, junior Center Jim Pitts is one of the quickest big men around. Captain Don Jackson is back at forward and Rich Mason, a high school All-America, becomes eligible December 19. Coach Larry Glass's big men can run, so he will shift from last year's patterns to the fast break.
The Southeastern Conference should be a three-team race, and Tennessee is almost as good as Vanderbilt and Kentucky. With his 1-3-1 disciplined offense and a tough zone defense, Coach Ray Mears has knocked area code figures out of the scores and made the scoring totals of his own players useless gauges of their ability. A. W. Davis, who averaged 17.3 last year, is 6 feet 7 and, with Howard Bayne (6 feet 5 and 234) at center, the Vols have a front line that might be too strong for Kentucky's little men and Vanderbilt's bigger ones, too. Success, though, hinges on two junior college All-Americas: Jimmy Cornwall and Austin (Red) Robbins.
Coach Joe Lapchick's last team (he retires next spring) is built around a pair of surfers, an ex-marine, a baseball pitcher and a sophomore named Dove who is built more like a crane. The surfers are the brothers McIntyre. Ken, a guard, led the Redmen in scoring with a 15.9 average and Bob, a 6-foot-6 forward, was second with 14.9. Former Marine Bob Duerr is a forward who knows the value of an elbow. Six-foot-5 Ken Wirell, a fine pitcher, is a hound dog on defense (Lapchick may add a zone press to his standard man-to-man) and is excellent at setting up screens. Sonny Dove, 6 feet 7, 185 pounds, averaged 20 points for a freshman team that was 21-1. With better rebounding this could be a really outstanding team.
Coach Forrest Twogood had one of his rare losing seasons (10-16) last year, but only one starter is gone and, with some interesting newcomers, the Trojans should become UCLA's biggest threat in the Big Six. Three double-figure regulars return, including a really fine player, Forward Allen Young—plus Doug Bolcom and 6-foot-9 John Block, who seems to have conquered his awkwardness. Rod Alleman, a husky 6 feet 6 who can relieve Block or go to a forward spot, is up from the freshmen, and Twogood picked up a pair of good guards from junior college—John Bacon and Tony Oddo.
Nobody expected Coach Harry Litwack's Owls to come up 17-8 last year, but with the two leading scorers back, Temple must be taken seriously now. Jim Williams had an 18.1 average as a sophomore, is 6 feet 8 and is already regarded as the best center Temple has ever had. Dan Fitzgerald (12.2) also returns, and Litwack welcomes back 6-foot-6 Ken Morgan, who was out with an ankle injury last season, and Playmaker Don Cartwright. The Owls have more speed and Litwack's usual tough defense; they will not beat themselves, and not many others will beat them either.