5 SO. CAROLINA
Silver cuff links are in order for dapper Frank McGuire, whose 25th college team should be among his most sterling. It seems almost certain that South Carolina will enjoy its seventh straight 20-win season and earn its fifth consecutive NCAA tournament bid. But that does not indicate a thing about the Gamecocks' prospects once the postseason shooting begins. McGuire's St. John's team reached the national finals in 1952, and his North Carolina club won it all five years later, but with the Roosters it has been one early-round disappointment after another.
This South Carolina contingent breaks with the past in several respects, so there is hope that its tournament record also might change. The most recent Gamecock teams looked as if they all had hatched from the same egg: deliberate on offense, zone on defense, high scoring in the backcourt and thin on the bench. And, oh yes, a whole lot of New York-New Jersey kids saying, "Youse guys" in a region dominated by "Y'alls."
Times have changed. McGuire has netted enough fast-breaking, quick-handed, all-round talent to stock two contenders. And some of the best actually were raised on grits, not corned beef and cabbage. Junior Forward Alexander English, the leading returning scorer with an 18-point average, comes from right there in Columbia, where USC is located. So does 6'4" sophomore Nate Davis, the first man off the bench and, most likely, the first to jump clear out of Carolina Coliseum. The best player, 6'9" Center Tommy Boswell, transferred from South Carolina State where he averaged 24 points and 17 rebounds a game as a sophomore two years ago.
The remaining Yankees are just dandy, too. Freshman Jack Gilloon comes from New Jersey with ball-handling moves and long hair remindful of Pete Maravich. His arrival at the point position shifts Brooklyn's Mike Dunleavy to shooting guard. Dunleavy averaged 16 a game last year while setting things up for the lone graduate, Brian Winters. Joining Boswell and English on the formidable starting frontline is New Yorker Bob Mathias, a rugged 6'7" junior.
Add to this abundance a superior bench including defense-minded Mark Greiner, freshman Guard Billy Truitt, who is the team's best shooter, and fine playmaker Jimmy Walsh, and it's no wonder that McGuire is optimistic. "I'm expecting us to do well," he says, adding himself to that assessment now that he has recovered from a serious stomach disorder that caused him to miss five games last year. "We have a lot of possibilities, in what we can do and how far we can go."
McGuire has not been quite so upbeat about the Gamecocks' prospects since the John Roche teams, those marvelous clubs of a few years back that began the dual traditions of 20-game winners and failures in the clutch. Once again, the question for South Carolina is not how, but how far.
Cover your eyes, all you tradition-minded University of Kansas fans, because here they come now, marching down Jayhawk Boulevard and into your local X-rated movie house. Danny Knight and Rick Suttle, those twin 6'10" towers from over at Allen Field House have teamed up in the soon-to-be-released epic Linda Lovelace for President.
In recent interviews Knight and Suttle have gone to great lengths to create the impression that they co-starred with Lovelace. But Jayhawk rooters who missed the filming in Lawrence and do not plan to see the picture can breathe easy; their young heroes were only extras who carried a parade banner.