With Sellers and Dabney at the wings, Jordan directs a "rip and run" offense that occasionally will fast break on the out-of-bounds play after an opponent's goal. Jordan also is Rutgers' best defender, the kind of light-fingered operator that Karl Maiden warns about in those traveler's check commercials.
Sophomore Copeland was the fourth Scarlet Knights starter to average in double figures last season, and he and Palko are expected to shoulder most of the rebounding chores. But by tournament time this season they should be receiving some help from 6'7" Anderson and 6'9" Bailey.
With its new-found depth, Rutgers should move up among the big basketball powers. If the Knights pull that off, the excitement in their 2,800-seat gym will be at its highest since the night in the mid-'50s when Dr. Alfred Kinsey lectured the student body on what people do when they are not watching basketball games.
Berkeley was the capital of basketball in 1959 and 1960 when Pete Newell coached the University of California to one title and a second-place finish in the NCAA tournament. But thereafter free speech, not free throws, became the hot topic on campus.
Professors say these things run in cycles, and now basketball has come around again at California. There are two hot new prospects on hand, a midget and a giant, plus four starters and all the reserves from last year's team that compiled a 17-9 record, the Golden Bears' best since 1960.
The heart of Cal's club is 6'3" Rickie Hawthorne, a 14.9-points-a-game guard who must feel like a vice-presidential selection. He has been on the All-Pac-8 second team for the last three years. Now he appears to be a cinch for a top spot on the ticket.
Coach Dick Edwards' squad includes 6'9" Center Jay Young, and there is also real size on the bench, although you have to look closely to see it. Freshman Tom Schneiderjohn, 6'11", has such long arms that he can stand flat-footed and touch the bottom of the backboard. Of course, at a mere 185 pounds he needs something to hold on to.
Cal probably will be forced to play a zone defense at times to help improve its rebounding. Last year Young was the best on the boards, but his 7.5 average would get him thrown off some teams. Guard Connie White, 6'4", tied for second in rebounding behind Young, and it would help the Golden Bears' board work if he could be shifted full time to forward.
There are two things holding up the switch. One is freshman Guard Gene Ransom, a 5'9" dervish of a ball handler. Ransom can run the offense, but his defense is Las Vegas style. He likes to gamble, and too frequently he comes up broke.