Among the independents there is not really anybody; there is not, in particular, Notre Dame, even with the addition of ex-Fordham Coach Digger Phelps. The firm of Austin Carr, Collis Jones and Sid Catlett has graduated, 6' 8" John Shumate has thrombophlebitis in his legs and Captain-elect Doug Gemmell broke one of his own wheels in a cycle accident. Phelps will have to live up to his nickname merely to achieve .500. A good Dayton club is rebuilding; Marshall has cornerman Russell Lee; Detroit leads the nation in player rebellions; Xavier and DePaul will not trouble anyone and Cincinnati, although it will have a 19th straight winning season with the addition of 6'5" sophomore Lloyd Batts, will not remind anybody of the Oscar Robertson days. Loyola of Chicago, despite the presence of 6'10" Center LaRue Martin, the nation's sixth-best rebounder, is still looking for that lost magic, too.
Southern Illinois won the new Midwestern Conference's first basketball title with ease, and Evansville, whose Don Buse stirs memories of Jerry Sloan, took the NCAA College Division championship for a record fifth time. However, neither school is used to the kind of treatment it will get this year. Greg Starrick, a 22.4 scorer and the nation's leading free-throw shooter, will lead the Salukis against taller and faster Northern Illinois. Butler's little Billy Shepherd has scored 1,347 points in two seasons, and if the Bulldogs improve themselves much in early games with Illinois, Drake, Minnesota, Western Kentucky, Ohio State, Michigan State, Indiana and Cincinnati, they'll be too much for the Indiana Collegiate Conference they still play in.