Consider, for a start, Tom Boerwinkle; at 7 feet and 260 pounds, he is hard to ignore. An amiable sort whose left foot once tended to go in the opposite direction from his right foot, Boerwinkle spent a year skipping rope and mastering the moves of a pivotman. He may never remind you of Nijinsky, but he no longer runs in more than one direction at a time. Tom Hendrix was just shy. He is an agile 6 feet 5 and used to have fine rapport with the basket, but anyone who so much as set foot on the court awed him. Hendrix even began addressing the water boy as "sir," and while that may earn an A for deportment it doesn't do much for self-confidence. Mears spent last year urging Hendrix to snarl all over the place, apparently with good effect. It will take more than the red shirts to win in the SEC, however, and fortunately there is more. Ron Widby, 6 feet 4, 215, was the best sophomore in the conference last year; even Mears can put up with that kind. So can the Tennessee football coach, for that matter; he uses Widby as punter on Saturday afternoons. One of the best rebounders in the country is Howard Bayne, whose boardwork alarms even his own teammates. Bayne is only tall (6 feet 5), not towering, but he does weigh 234 pounds and he uses his weight so violently that several professional football teams have made discreet inquiries. But if Tennessee is to be consistent this season, Red Robbins, the 6-foot-9 center who plays low post in Mears's 1-3-1 offense, will have to pay attention when Mears tells him: "You're mean." Mears told him that last year and Robbins replied: "I am?" He has all the necessary skills, and if he will kindly put his elbows to good use Tennessee will win a lot more than it loses.
20 KANSAS STATE
Like any successful coach, Kansas State's Tex Winter is well organized. When he becomes interested in a high school player he fills out a card on the boy and places it in his files. Sometime in the early spring of 1963 Winter made this notation on a card bearing the name Nick Pino: "Spindly giant. Has good shot. Must gain aggressiveness." The card also noted that Pino was 7 feet� inch tall and weighed 235 pounds.
Pino is still a giant but no longer spindly. He is 7 feet 1 and 270 pounds. He still has that good shot and lacks a certain boldness. Few men give the impression of hugeness that Pino does. Wilt Chamberlain first struck Kansans with his height, Clyde Lovellette with his bulk. Pino is a combination of the two. Nick is no great shakes as a jumper, but he doesn't need to be. He can reach 9 feet 3 inches without jumping. A laconic but pleasant giant, he grew up in Santa Fe, N. Mex., where Spanish was the family language. While he speaks perfectly good English, he gives the impression that he would prefer Spanish. Pino did not become a high school regular until his senior year, playing spasmodically and not very impressively as a junior. His high school coach, Dick Shelley, who was screening Nick's college offers, knew that Tex Winter had successfully developed another 7-footer, Roger Suttner, and that one reason for Suttner's success was the fact that Winter had red-shirted him. Shelley was convinced that if Pino was going to make it as a college player he would have to be red-shirted too. Winter agreed and got Pino.
Naturally, Kansas State's chances this year depend largely upon how Nick plays. He hooks with the same soft touch that made Lovellette so effective, and is almost as good with his left as with his right hand. But he does not move particularly well laterally, which hurts his defense. Nor does he run well. Winter has always liked a running offense and he is fearful of trying to fast-break with Pino in the game. "By the time he would get to midcourt," says Winter, "our opponents would probably meet him on their way back with the ball." So the chances are K-State will use a control style.
Behind Pino at center is 6-foot-10 Roy Smith. Earl Seyfert and Mike Williams are two big forwards. A dark-horse candidate up front is Galen Frick, who is smaller but a good ball handler. When Winter wants more speed he moves up Sammy Robinson from the backcourt, where Robinson normally teams with Playmaker Dennis Berkholtz. This squad has more muscle power than the Budweiser Clydesdales, but possibly no more finesse.