We at Bradley were extremely upset by your reason for picking the Braves 12th in the nation. You devote almost a full column to the length of the varsity players' socks. Where would they finish with short socks?
I hope you, and Mervin Hyman in particular, have taken due notice of the short Shocks (average height 6 feet 1[1/5]) of Wichita State and their exciting 100-94 victory over a fine Michigan team.
TOM J. GILMORE
Many thanks for your interesting and informative article, A Press that Panics Them All (Dec. 6). Not only do you manage to provide entertainment in this essay, you also provide ideas and instruction for the volunteer coaches who work with the many youth teams in our YMCA basketball league.
The "coaching clinics" that our part-time coaches attend are limited to mimeographed sheets passed out following a 15-minute talk given by a local coach or official. More informative and diagramed articles of this type will help to improve on our clinics—so keep them coming!
Sioux Falls, S. Dak.
Mervin Hyman discusses the now-famous zone press of UCLA as a relatively new weapon in college basketball. Well, it certainly is not new to Illinois high school basketball.
In the Illinois Sweet 16 tournament of 1952, George Latham and his Quincy High Blue Devils used the zone press to beat Mt. Vernon High School in the semifinal game. As I recall, it was a 2-2-1 press. Latham, a master of pattern-style basketball, introduced the zone press as a surprise tactic to break the rhythm of the opponent's offense and force them into costly mechanical errors.
Last year Sherrill Hanks, present Quincy High coach, used the zone press to overcome half-time deficits in the final five games of the Illinois tournament against the state's finest teams, losing finally in the championship game to Collinsville, Ill. by three points. Incidentally, the game was an interesting clash between two teams who each use the zone press as a basic plan of attack.
Latham used to say that a good defense was the best offense. UCLA, Quincy High and Collinsville High are certainly proving him correct.
I have devised an easy five-step plan to beat the zone press: 1) Oscar Robertson, 2) Jerry West, 3) Bill Russell, 4) Jerry Lucas and 5) Wilt Chamberlain.
JOHN OAKLEY JR.
DIAMOND IN THE FLUFF
I thought your readers might like to know that your article on western powder has given Alta the impetus to introduce the Alta Diamond. This will be a prestige award given to people who ski at Alta and will be awarded on the basis of such skiers' ability to handle all types of off-trail skiing and especially powder.