This time of year college coaches—even winning ones—usually begin looking at their freshmen with more than a casual interest, and this season an unusual number believe they have freshmen who are potential All-Americas. Perhaps the most brilliant prospect anywhere is Louisville's Westley Unseld, a 6-foot-8 center whose achievements are indeed impressive: a 70% shooting average, 34.6 points and 23.9 rebounds a game. What's more, he has the agility and speed to trigger the fast break that Louisville Coach Peck Hickman favors.
Another bright hopeful is North Carolina's 6-foot-3 Larry Miller, a superb passer, driver and outside shooter (32.9 per game), who can play anywhere but probably will wind up in Coach Dean Smith's backcourt next year. Duke, too, has a budding star in Mike Lewis, a muscular 6-foot-7 forward from, of all places, Missoula, Mont., who likes to operate in close around the basket. West Virginia's freshman team, which has aroused more local interest this season than the mediocre varsity, is packed with outstanding players. The best is Ron Williams, a 6-foot-3 backcourt specialist who will be the first Negro ever to play basketball in the Southern Conference. Williams averaged 31 points and handed out 148 assists in 21 games. Despite his size, he also is the team's leading rebounder with 213.
Ohio State has 6-foot-7� Bill Hosket, an excellent shooter and tough rebounder who, Coach Fred Taylor says happily, "is good enough to make me enjoy coaching again." Minnesota's Tom Kondla, a strong 6-foot-8 center, is reported to be the best freshman the Gophers have ever had, while Illinois is ecstatic over Dick (Highpockets) Jones, a quick 6-foot-7 forward whose eyes, they say, fairly sparkle when he gets the ball. Houston's 6-foot-9 Elvin Hayes, who will be the first Negro to play for the Cougars, blocks shots like Bill Russell and already has broken eight freshman records. Not all the good ones, however, are big men. Tulsa's Eldridge Webb, a slick playmaker from New York, is only 6 feet, and Utah's Mervin Jackson, an extraordinary leaper, is 6 feet 2.
Other good ones include Penn's Tom Mallison, Princeton's Joe Heiser, Boston College's Jim Kissine, Niagara's Emanuel Leaks, St. Louis' Gene Moore, Dayton's Don May, Miami of Ohio's little Phil Snow, Kansas State's Earl Sayfert, Mike Williams and Tom Harvey, Kansas' Jo-Jo White, Vanderbilt's Bo Wyenandt and Kentucky's 6-foot-8� Cliff Berger, who is already being acclaimed as the Wildcats' best center since Bob Burrow in 1956.
THE TOP THREE:
1. PROVIDENCE (19-0)
2. ST. JOSEPH'S (23-1)
3. VILLANOVA (17-4)
All week long Philadelphians had argued about the relative merits of their two big teams, ST. JOSEPH'S and Villanova, and last Saturday night they crowded into the Palestra to watch them settle the issue. They filed out, too—all 9,238 of them—at half time, when some idiot phoned police to say that there was a bomb in the building. It was a false alarm, of course. But St. Joe's Cliff Anderson, a rangy sophomore center, was not. He eluded Villanova's sagging zone defense for 36 points and snapped up 24 rebounds as the Hawks won the big one 66-61.
Meanwhile unbeaten PROVIDENCE, which has already beaten St. Joe's, sharpened up its skills for Villanova. Everybody got into the act as the Friars shot a sizzling 63% while trouncing Rhode Island 88-72. PENN STATE, another hot Eastern independent with a 17-3 record, beat Colgate 85-76 and Syracuse 70-62 for its 10th straight. CONNECTICUT, now 19-2, rolled over Boston U. 89-78 and American U. 115-60. BOSTON COLLEGE and ST. BONAVENTURE, two NIT hopefuls, both bolstered their records. BC took Brandeis 81-51 and Holy Cross 95-94; the Bonnies routed Detroit 84-71.
New York's two best teams stumbled. NYU, which had looked so good while coming from 22 points behind to whip Georgetown 79-73 in Madison Square Garden, lost to tough ARMY 70-62. ST. JOHN'S, after an easy 80-61 win over West Virginia, was puzzled by FORDHAM'S sturdy 2-3 zone defense and lost to the Rams 60-46. MANHATTAN managed to escape. The Jaspers beat St. Peter's 77-71 and Temple 80-65.