All of this, along with $12.95, will get you a piece of beef jerky down at the grocery when UCLA starts truckin' again this winter. But it is interesting to note that if anybody in any one year has been prepared to stop the Bruins' ritual slaughter it is the ACC in 1973-74.
First there will be those early-season clashes between UCLA and Maryland and North Carolina State that should provide opportunities for action and not just talk. Then there will be the Eastern regionals and the NCAA finals to be held in the ACC strongholds of Raleigh and Greensboro. In between will appear players, plans and possibilities galore.
At Maryland, besides McMillen and Elmore and the omniscient Driesell, there is John Lucas, the best left-handed black tennis player in college (and one of the best basketball players in back-court). He steadies a dangerous, veteran lineup.
At North Carolina State there are the tall Tom Burleson and tiny Monte Towe, who will move in lockstep with several burly forwards and a couple of talented junior-college transfers as the Wolfpack attempts to duplicate its 27-0 record of last year.
At North Carolina, joining the splendid Olympian Jones and Mitch Kupchak of the World University Games team, there are tall and able Ed Stahl and the best freshman class in school history, including a fellow named Walter Davis who is destined, says one coach given to superlatives, "for instant superdom."
At Virginia and Wake Forest there are Wonderful Wally Walker, back from the deck of the Cuban brawl in the World University Games, and Tony Byers, a smooth and serpentine operator in the pro mold.
At Clemson there is a new 7-footer, Wayne Rollins of Cordele, Ga., who turned his back on Kentucky among others just to play in the ACC. And at Duke there are some old (tradition), some new (Coach Neill McGeachy), some borrowed (time) and a lot of blue.
Above all, in the ACC and the state of North Carolina there is hope; and from the dusty potholes off Route 150 out of Boiling Springs to Room 206D of Sullivan Hall on the North Carolina State campus hard by the capitol, hope is David Thompson (see cover).
His name is just David Thompson. Mostly, just David. Unlike other paragons of truth, beauty, virtue and the 42-inch vertical leap, there are no snappy nicknames or capitalized initials for headlines' sake. No Dazzlin' Daves or Titanic Thompsons. Just David. Oh, the North Carolina State publicity office thought it over a few times, but nothing seemed to fit. Then there were the fans who shouted to him down at the Georgia football game in Athens—they called him "Dr. Rise,"—but that passed, too. Happily.
As his littlest teammate, Towe, says, "When basketball people around the country say David, everybody knows who they mean." Thompson himself acknowledges the simplicity. "I don't need any other names. David is enough."