If nothing else, Kansas achieved the distinction of making a 15-point win look difficult. The Jayhawks did it by missing 19 of their first 26 shots, by being outrebounded 52-47 and by trailing by nine points midway through the first half. And they did all these dismal things against Northeast Missouri State, a squad from the small-college ranks. The Jayhawk starters had to pay for their obvious overconfidence with extra exertion. Coach Ted Owens was forced to keep them on the floor for almost all of their lackluster 65-50 victory.
Kansas' performance no doubt was encouraging to Big Eight rival Kansas State, which also received a big boost in the form of a dazzling 30-point effort from freshman Mike Evans. In a 96-73 frolic over Montana State, Evans hit 14 of 18 field-goal tries and, according to Coach Jack Hartman, "is going to be one of the alltime great Kansas State point guards." The other Wildcat guard, Chuckie Williams, whom effusive Hartman labels "probably the best shooter I have ever coached," added 17 points.
After years of searching, Oklahoma State may have found a playmaker. Ronnie Daniel, a 5'10" sophomore from Louisville, Ky. who directed the Cowboys to an 89-85 win over Oklahoma City, also played the point in the Cowboys' zone defense and filled the nets with 32 points.
1. LOUISVILLE (0-0)
2. KANSAS (1-0)
"This is the best freshman class I've had since the ones at West Virginia with Jerry West and Rod Thorn," said Purdue Coach Fred Schaus after zapping Indiana State 98-80. With the score at 20-20, Schaus sent in four freshmen, then watched gleefully as they played the rest of the half and built a 55-42 margin. Although senior John Garrett led the scoring with 20 points, the newcomers stole the show, particularly Walter (Cheerleader) Jordan. When not busy celebrating Boilermaker scores by patting teammates on the rump or raising a clenched fist, Jordan pumped in 15 points in 19 minutes.
For Wayne Yates, the new Memphis State coach, the catalyst was junior college transfer John Tunstall. With his Tigers trailing Montclair State 19-18, Yates sent in Tunstall, who scored eight straight points and spurred State to a 96-60 laugher.
Michigan also needed help from the bench. There were times against Toledo when the Wolverines seemed to be waiting for Campy Russell to return from the pros and get them going. It was not until 6'7" freshman Joel Thompson entered the game late in the first half and tipped in two shots that they took charge. They went on to a 78-64 victory.
"If our rebounding was any indicator, it's going to be a short March," said Florida State coach Hugh Durham, already trying to gauge his team's chances for a postseason tournament bid. The Seminoles were outrebounded 44-38 by Valdosta, but they forced 31 turnovers and won 81-74.