Still, none of the starters from that team is a regular for the Stars this year. Beaty has taken over at center, and Wayne Hightower, who missed most of last season with a back injury, is fully recovered. The former starting center, Craig Raymond, was traded—even though he is a BYU alumnus—for Red Robbins, one of the best rebounders in the ABA. Boryla then gave up Mack Calvin, the explosive little guard, to obtain his starting backcourt of Freeman and playmaker Jeff Congdon, only Mormon among the regulars.
The Stars now have genuine frontline depth to match that of Indiana, which dominated the ABA last year. Freeman gives them the type of player, like the Pacers' Roger Brown, who can control the offense and score in the closing moments of tight games. In the Stars' overtime 125-122 loss to the Pacers last week—Utah's only defeat in four meetings with Indiana—Freeman scored 15 points in the fourth period and six in overtime.
Bill Daniels flew in from Denver to see 9,367 fans fill the red, white and blue seats for that game. The ushers all wore starred ties in the same colors, and the usherettes wore red blouses with white stars and blue slacks. Though the Stars lost, they still led the division by 2� games and things could hardly have been red, white and blue-er.