Georgia Southern played Florida State even in the first half of the Seminoles' opening game, but Richard Wallace's 27 points could not keep the Floridians from scoring a 109-97 victory. Seminole Ron King had 24 points and JC transfer Forwards Benny Clyde and Otis Johnson totaled 30 points. "It's tough for us to match up with a club like Georgia Southern," Coach Hugh Durham complained. Besides being good shooters, he said, the Georgians are—too small.
Maryland broke all sorts of school records by tanning Brown 127-82. Freshman John Lucas Jr., starting at guard, hit eight straight shots, made 19 points and said, "Coach was more nervous than I was."
JC transfer Robert ( Turkey) Wilson came off the bench to gobble up 12 rebounds and make seven out of eight field-goal attempts, putting Southwestern Louisiana on the track to a 102-92 opening win over University of Nevada at Las Vegas. Working against a box-and-one, high-rolling Guard Dwight Lamar still scored 30 points. "We tried to get UCLA, Notre Dame, Kentucky and Florida State," North Carolina State Coach Norm Sloan said, presumably tongue-tucked as he explained the turkeys on State's schedule. "But none of them wanted to come to Raleigh." The Wolfpack played Appalachian State and Atlantic Christian instead, and devoured those opponents by 147 points, 130-53 and 110-40.
Memphis State mopped up Missouri Western 108-74. In a considerably more interesting contest, Tennessee trailed South Carolina by three points a minute from half-time. Some of his own home crowd booed when Ray Mears had the Vols stall for a last shot, but Mears ignored the hoots. "I told the team that the crowd wasn't playing South Carolina, we were," he said. Mears' message worked. Tennessee stormed past the Gamecocks to win 55-45.
Fans entering the Louisville-Vanderbilt game were handed a sheet of paper titled "The Denny Crum Game Plan." It quoted Crum, "We don't have one single player that has ever started a varsity game. Vanderbilt should be quite a ways ahead of us in their development." This was hardly poor-mouthing. Vandy made off with a 66-57 victory over the higher-rated Cardinals. Alabama belabored Cornell 107-84 but was beaten by Wake Forest 94-88 in the Twin City Classic at Winston-Salem.
1. FLORIDA STATE (1-0)
2. MARYLAND (2-0)
The East as usual was slow getting into the season. Penn played half an opponent, King's College from flood-stricken Wilkes-Barre, Pa., and ran riot 94-54. Rutgers defeated Georgetown 98-83 and Colgate 82-76 as freshman Phil Sellers scored 30 and 28 points.
La Salle bombed dovish Army 73-63, thanks partly to the hustle and 19 points of its new forward from Tuskegee, Ala., Bill Taylor, and dumped Lehigh 75-59. Villanova and Penn State upended Princeton and Niagara ran over St. Francis of Loretto, Pa. 99-66 using three freshmen. "I thought Frank Layden [ Niagara coach] was being nice by subbing early," St. Francis' Dick Conover said, "and found that the guys coming in were better than the ones going out."