If there is a clue as to how Tennessee will fare, it may come from Grunfeld, a Romanian-born New Yorker who won a gold medal, which, he says, "such great players as Julius Erving and David Thompson never did, because the Olympics occurred in the wrong year for them." Does Grunfeld have other goals? " Bernard and I never have won an SEC championship or an NCAA game," he says. As if they needed a reminder, the back of the Tennessee practice jersey bears an orange-colored (naturally) imprint of the Omni, site of the NCAA finals.
15 DE PAUL
In this age of Omnis, Marriott Centers and Superdomes, there is a gym called Alumni Hall that seats only 5,308 and has no stands behind the baskets. At a time when most top teams in the nation are scheduling a lot of patsies in order to look good in the polls, there is a team that beat seven nationally ranked opponents last year. While most programs are spending big bucks in a recruiting war that rages from New York to California, there is a coach with 529 victories who seldom looks outside the Chicago area for talent. And because getting a player to sign a tender often involves selling him on the beauties of a lush, God's-country campus, it is remarkable that there is a school backed up against the el tracks near Wrigley Field that has some pretty good players.
In other words, there is DePaul. Let's meet the Blue Demon starters:
?Forward Joe Ponsetto...6'7", 230 pounds...muscular paisano whose court savvy comes from playing with an otherwise all-black high school lineup...when he went to DePaul, friends thought he had quit school until they saw him on TV last year...scored 21 points against Marquette after vomiting for two days...wants to be a cop...local company of Grease should grab him instead.
?Center Dave Corzine...6'11" and needs every inch the way he jumps...had 13 assists to help beat Louisville 78-76 and break Cards' 24-game home-court winning streak...rang up 28 points and dozen rebounds in 70-60 victory over Cincinnati that was typical of DePaul's 20-9 season...holds NCAA record for bushiest Afro, particularly for white cat, which makes him look like a giant palm tree standing underneath the basket.
?Forward Curtis Watkins...6'5" pogo stick who is real threat to Corzine in hair department...parts Afro on rim...ferocious dunks may bring down old Alumni Hall walls.
?Guard Ron Norwood...started career at Providence, then went to junior college to get grades up (but didn't play ball there), wound up as one of few players to transfer from one major college to another and make it pay off...led team in assists, averaged 20 points, shot 50% from field...6'4" city player who likes to back the ball in Walt Frazier-style...third-round draft choice of Philadelphia 76ers.
?Guard Randy Ramsey...6'1" high school teammate of Watkins and eighth Chicagoan on team...while Norwood scored the points last year he guarded tough opponents like Lloyd Walton, Joe Hassett and Phillip Bond.
Not a bad crew for Coach Ray Meyer to have on hand for his 35th season in Chicago, and one that is sure to flatten a lot of the heavyweights on this year's schedule, which includes UCLA, Maryland, Indiana and Marquette.