College basketball coaches once barely tolerated sophomores, because, as one coach complained, "Every one you play costs you a couple of games." Now sophomores play and win games for their teams, and this season there is an unusually fine crop. Among the best are Providence's Jim Walker, who is one big reason why the Friars are unbeaten; Western Kentucky's Clem Haskins, who last week scored 55 points against Middle Tennessee; and Duke's Bob Verga, a stylish shooter who is averaging 20.6 points a game.
THE TOP THREE:
1. PROVIDENCE (14-0)
2. ST. JOSEPH'S (17-1)
3. ST. JOHN'S (12-3)
It started out like an easy week for undefeated PROVIDENCE. Once the quick, young Friars solved Rhode Island's zone, it was all over for Rhodey, and Providence won 73-56. The Friars' long winning streak seemed safe enough when some heavy early bombing by sophomore Jim Walker and Bill Blair put them 10 points ahead of visiting St. Bona-venture with only 10 minutes to play. Then Providence's shooting cooled. George Carter, the Bonnies' husky sophomore, took control of the boards, Roger Bauer began hitting on long pop shots, and St. Bonaventure led 76-75 with 21 seconds to go. But Blair calmly plunked in two free throws, and Providence eked out its 14th straight 77-76.
Once-beaten ST. JOSEPH'S, playing better than ever and determined to give Coach Jack Ramsay his 200th win (in only 10 seasons), went at Centenary full speed. Sophomore playmaker Matt Guokas passed off deftly, sophomore Center Cliff Anderson fired in 27 points and snapped up 20 rebounds, and St. Joe's won 117-90 to set another Palestra scoring record.
Villanova was beginning to perk up, too. The Wildcats battered Penn 75-46 and Duquesne 71-55. So was LA SALLE. The Explorers took Lafayette 91-73 and Loyola of New Orleans 72-69. But Temple, which does not seem to fare well when it gets away from the friendly environs of Philadelphia, was taken by a strong CONNECTICUT team at Storrs. The Huskies swarmed all over the Owls with a three-quarter-court press, 6-foot-8 Toby Kimball grabbed 20 rebounds, sophomore Wes Bialosuknia scored 18 points, and Connecticut won 71-60. Life was more pleasant for TEMPLE back in the Palestra. There the Owls stormed from behind to beat NYU 77-68.
Fordham's Johnny Bach is finally beginning to look forward to his Saturdays. A week earlier his Rams upset Temple and last Saturday they outmuscled a pressing Army team 60-53. SYRACUSE, apparently over its early-season jitters, held off Bowling Green 80-79 for its fourth in a row. BOSTON COLLEGE'S flashy John Austin scored 30 points to lead the Eagles past Fairfield 96-88 and then put in six foul shots in the last 80 seconds to save a 78-73 win over Seton Hall. PENN STATE, having its best season in years, routed Colgate 95-65.
Penn tried everything against PRINCETON'S superb Bill Bradley—a 2-3 zone, box-and-one and a real tough muscle job. All the Quakers got for their trouble was 27 fouls called, four players fouled out and an 83-72 licking. Bradley scored 36 points, including 16 out of 19 from the foul line.