Andersen has had some good players on the Logan campus, including Cornell Green and Shaler Halimon. Before he brought in Roberts and Williams he had also experienced one of the game's memorable tragedies. On a cold February evening in 1965 Andersen was driving home from a game in which his finest player, a personable, baby-faced All-America senior named Wayne Estes, had scored 48 points. Suddenly the coach came upon flashing red lights, an automobile accident, knocked-down power lines and the supine form of his star player covered in blankets. Estes, after investigating the accident, had walked back to his own car, brushed his head on a telephone wire and been electrocuted instantly. Daily now Andersen passes a glass case in which Estes' uniform, sneakers, trophies and honors are enclosed, and he still shakes visibly when he talks of that evening.
For the present Roberts and Williams are truly a pleasing pair to have on the same side. The former is 6'8", a finesse player who shoots well from outside and is one of the best passers in college. Despite a tendency to laziness, he has averaged 25 points and 13 rebounds in his two years on the varsity. Williams, who is three inches shorter and five months younger, relies more on muscle and power for his points (21 a game last year). No selfishness seems to have intruded on the relationship between the two. "It was never a challenge when Nate came to the varsity," Roberts says. "It's a pleasure to play alongside him and get everybody off my back."
"I feel that when we're in trouble, Marv should put the ball in the air," says Williams, who nevertheless is more the beneficiary of the arrangement because of Roberts' passing ability.
Both men came to Logan from ghetto backgrounds. Roberts from Bedford Stuyvesant in Brooklyn, Williams from Oakland, where he grew up as one of seven children, worked in the rail yards at night to support his family and once lived in a room with no lights.
Roberts has felt the sting of what he calls "cats who jump off the bandwagon." The day after the West Texas game, perhaps his worst performance ever, he was walking downtown when a student passing in a car yelled out, "Roberts, you're a bum. You stink."
Over in Salt Lake City, Mike Newlin knows how Roberts felt. "He shouldn't be upset at that," said Newlin, a native Californian who admits to being a hot-dog on court. "That's what Utah people are like, I fall down a lot to protect myself. I never get hurt. I know the people swear at me, they hate me. I get less hassle on the road than here. People in Utah aren't afraid to tell you what they think. That's why I never go to classes the day after a game. I don't want to be susceptible to them. I hide." A pro-sized guard who has been the MVP in the Western Athletic Conference for two years and is now a Rhodes scholarship candidate, Newlin seems to have a preoccupation with foul shots. He ranked seventh in the nation last year and against USC last week missed once. "I won't miss any more this year," he said. "I guarantee it."
In his two previous trips to Logan, Newlin had a) two years ago missed a one-and-one opportunity that would have given Utah the lead with six seconds to go and b) last year fouled out of the game with 16 minutes left. Utah lost both games.
"We won't lose this time," Newlin said Friday night. "Everyone is aware we won't. I guarantee it."
Despite his guarantees, Utah State took a 50-38 halftime lead Saturday, due mostly to the work of Love and another good sophomore, Bob Lauriski. The Redskins cut the margin to seven points in the second half but then dropped back again. Mysteriously, Gardner removed Newlin from the game with nearly seven minutes left. The Redskins were behind by 15 at the time, but most observers felt they were still in it. " Newlin was tired," said Gardner. "I don't know why we gave up," said Newlin, who also missed a foul shot. "I don't know how I missed. The crowd was counting my bounces at the line [he takes up to 14 dribbles before putting the ball up]. I wasn't concentrating. I still love to play away from home. This game isn't over. It continues next month." By that time Utah and especially Utah State—a young and improving team with vast potential—should be ready to welcome out-of-staters in again.