The offense, however, will not change much unless Chones becomes so good that the Warriors decide to give up their stylish patterns. These involve breaking Brell and 6'6" JC transfer Bob Lackey open in the corners; freeing the coach's son, Allie, a sophomore and fine shooter, on the outside; and firing the elusive Meminger away to all areas of the court. Hughie (The Enforcer) McMahon is back for board muscle while another sophomore, 6'4" George (Sugar) Frazier, has good speed. Early in the season, the Warriors will lack the cohesiveness of past Marquette teams since Lackey, especially, lacks something on defense. But Meminger is a brilliant player, and McGuire's "reassessment" is accurate. "We may pick up all the sweet gravy," he says. But which gravy this year, NCAA or NIT?
It dawned on Penn's Jim Wolf one day recently that he and his roommate had the dean of men and a minister as fraternity advisers. "You know, it's nice to have both God and the dean of men on your side," said Wolf. Coach Dick Harter has a simpler view. Pointing for his own Judgment Day—the NCAA tournament—he is pleased to have five proven disciples.
The team that gave Penn its best season in years (25-2) returns intact. Wolf, who held Villanova's Howard Porter to a career low of three points, will start at center. Bob Morse, the Quakers' leading scorer on an evenly balanced club (four of the five starters were in double figures, with only two points separating them), will return at one forward. At the other will be steady-handed, unflappable Dave (Corky) Calhoun. Trainer Bob Mathews says, "I've never heard him say one hell or damn. The only time I ever saw him even change expression was once when he missed a layup. He frowned." While Calhoun is calm, the opposition may well be rattled. He has a deadly jumper and can go after the ball with the best, which includes Wolf, who tied Calhoun last season as the team's surest rebounder. Harter did not hear of Calhoun until February of his senior year in high school. Then Penn coaches began "just passing through the neighborhood" in Waukegan, Ill. Said Calhoun one day, "I don't know where you guys are coming from or where you're going to, but you're doing a lot of stopping by."
One place the coaches almost missed entirely was the doorstep of Dave Wohl, who will be at guard. A standout quarterback at East Brunswick (N.J.) High, Wohl had about 70 schools interested in him for football, but only five for basketball. One school definitely not interested in his basketball was Penn, which ignored two glowing letters from Wohl's basketball coach. Fortunately for Penn, Wohl showed the same persistence that characterizes his play on the court and overcame Quaker indifference. Steve Bilsky, noted for his unusual play under pressure, will handle the other guard position, even though he joined preseason drills late because of a dislocated shoulder.
Two substitutes who won several games for Penn, Alan Cotler and John Koller, will be back, and up from the freshman squad are Craig Littlepage, an alert defensive player, and 6'8" Phil Hankinson, who set a freshman record with 429 points in 19 games. Both are excellent shooters and rebounders and can be used at forward or center.
Last season the one weakness in the Quaker game was rebounding. Morse and Calhoun, determined to repair that flaw, spent the fall training season going to the basket. In the way of college coaches, Harter has hung a sign on his office door. "You did it once," it reads. "You can do it again. Today's the day. Go Quakers Go." Nobody is quite sure what it is the Quakers did once, but the team is ready to go, perhaps to the very top.
The weeks before the basketball season are always a time of keen anticipation in Lexington, Ky., but this year the suspense for University of Kentucky fans borders on the unbearable. Just consider some of the questions to be resolved: Will this finally be the last season for Adolph Rupp, the winningest coach of all time? Will 7'2" Thomas Payne, the first black to play for Rupp and the school's tallest player ever (Bill Spivey, some 20 years earlier, was a mere 7 feet), be as devastating as advertised? Will senior Guard Mike Casey, all-Southeastern Conference as a sophomore and junior, be able to come back successfully after sitting out a season with a broken leg? And do the Kentucky Wildcats, after a 12-year drought, at last have the material to present Rupp with his fifth NCAA national championship?
The latter, of course, is paramount with Rupp, who experienced in the '60s the most frustrating era of his 40-year career. His 1966 team made it to the NCAA finals, only to be upset by a lightly regarded Texas at El Paso team, then known as Texas Western. His last three teams, led by high-scoring All-America Center Dan Issel, won three straight SEC titles (doesn't Kentucky always win the SEC?) but failed each time to survive the NCAA Mideast Regional. Now time is running out for Rupp. He is 69 and bothered incessantly by painful foot and back injuries. To coach after this season, Rupp would have to persuade the university to waive its mandatory retirement rule. In apparent recognition that it is twilight time for the Rupp Era, plans are afoot in Lexington to replace the 11,500-seat Memorial Coliseum with a new 28,000-seat palace to be named the Adolph F. Rupp Memorial Coliseum. "Oh, that's very nice," says Rupp, "very nice, except I'm not so sure about that memorial part."