Back in the ACC, NORTH CAROLINA took a while to get started against Clemson. Then Larry Miller hit nine for nine in the second half, sophomore Dick Grubar stole the Tigers blind, and Carolina won 76-65. Penn State, a 76-53 loser to MARYLAND, fell to the Tar Heels 93-63 as Miller scored 26. SOUTH CAROLINA, playing without Mike Grosso, took Erskine 87-57.
West Virginia, the Southern Conference favorite, came up with the jitters and barely got by East Carolina 59-55 and William and Mary 73-67. The Mountaineers had better start worrying about DAVIDSON, which beat Wake Forest 73-63 and Pitt 97-59. LOUISVILLE was sharp enough to impress even critical Coach Peck Hickman while burying Georgetown (Ky.) 99-81. Sophomore Butch Beard got 27 points, and Westley Unseld, slimmer and quicker, scored 23 and picked off 18 rebounds.
Boston College's Bob Cousy got a scare one day last week when 6-foot-8 Willie Wolters, his star rebounder, suddenly collapsed during practice. It turned out to be nothing worse than a virus. So while lanky Jim Kissane took over the rebounding, Terry Driscoll, a fine 6-foot-7 sophomore, filled in for Wolters and scored 23 points as the Eagles routed Quantico Marines 101-80. Two nights later, with another sophomore—Billy Evans, a poised little left-hander—wheeling and dealing a la Cousy, and Steve Adelman shooting in 20 points, BC outran Massachusetts' slowdown 86-63.
Providence was not exactly overwhelming against tough little Assumption, but Coach Joe Mullaney saw enough to be hopeful. JC transfer Tony Koski gave the Friars some rebounding (18) and 15 points, slick Jim Walker threw in 19, and Providence won 73-59. ST. JOHN'S, another team with national aspirations, got away smoothly by beating Georgetown 70-62 as Sonny Dove and Rudy Bogad scored 39 points.
Philadelphia's Big Five has a new leader—LA SALLE. The Explorers, getting 43 points and 28 rebounds from their flashy sophs—Stan Wlodarczyk, Larry Cannon and Bernie Williams—and 47 more points from old-timers Hubie Marshall and George Paull, trounced Gettysburg 103-67. VILLANOVA'S prize sophomore, 6-foot-6 Johnny Jones, showed off all his good moves and scored 35 points as the Wildcats beat Philadelphia Textile 72-63. TEMPLE, down 30-29 at half time, had to scurry to overtake American U. The Owls did it, 81-63, with a 2-1-2 zone press. ST. JOSEPH'S had its troubles, too, but managed to beat Albright 76-59 and Hofstra 81-67. Penn, however, went down. RUTGERS' Guards Bob Lloyd and Jim Valvano bombed the Quakers for 45 points, and the Knights won 80-68. PENN recovered to edge Navy 77-76 in overtime while Rutgers went on to trim Boston U. 87-71.
Princeton and Yale, meanwhile, were hoping to succeed Penn in the Ivy League. The Tigers clobbered Lafayette 108-59 and beat Army 67-63, while Yale smashed Colgate 108-74 and upset Connecticut 65-57. Columbia lost its chance when ailing 7-foot-1 Dave Newmark dropped out of school for a year. Without him, the Lions lost to CCNY 50-48.
In other openers, NYU outscored Seton Hall 77-60; HOLY CROSS beat Dartmouth 72-55; SYRACUSE ran over George Washington 99-83; NIAGARA held off Fairfield 85-82; CANISIUS defeated Murray State 78-69 as Andy Anderson scored 41 points.
For weeks MICHIGAN STATE Coach John Benington has been talking down his good sophomore, Lee Lafayette. He makes mistakes, Benington protests. But Lafayette, it seems, plays better than he practices. Along with chubby 6-foot-7 Center Matthew Aitch, he wrecked Western Michigan 77-55 and more stubborn Miami of Ohio 63-51. Lafayette scored 43 points in the two games.