UCLA took on Jacksonville for the first time since 1970 when Sidney Wicks battled Artis Gilmore in the NCAA finals. This time, however, most of the excitement was in the backcourt, where the Bruins have been without a consistent scoring threat for some time. Now they seem to have a pair of snipers in sophomore Guards Roy Hamilton and Brad Holland, who shot the Dolphins' 2-1-2 zone to ribbons and led the way to a 99-68 UCLA victory.
Hamilton, a 6'2" lefty from Los Angeles, who adds drive and penetration to the UCLA offense, hit five of his first seven shots and finished with 15 points. Holland, a 6'3" student-body president from La Crescenta, Calif., canned six of his first eight and wound up with 18 points as Coach Gene Bartow substituted freely. "Our guards are gaining the confidence they are going to need for us to be a Pac-8 contender," said Bartow. Pac-8 contender! Clean Gene sounds more like the Wizard every day.
A wrestling match preceded the basketball game at Las Vegas between Nevada-Las Vegas and Oregon, but after all the rough stuff was over there was little to distinguish between the two sports. UNLV won both tests of strength, defeating Oregon in the basketball war 78-67 as the Rebels went to the foul line 51 times, the Ducks only six. Oregon Coach Dick Harter engaged in a nose-to-nose shouting match with Vegas Assistant Ralph Readout, but Jerry Tarkanian said, "I admire the way they play." The Rebels ran their home-court winning streak to 42 games with a 115-80 pasting of Iowa State. Guard Reggie Theus scored 24 points and in two games was 27 for 30 from the free-throw line.
Oregon was in much better shape by the weekend, having won the Sun Devil Classic in Tempe, Ariz. by beating pretournament favorite Wichita State 57-49 and then stopping host Arizona State 57-47. Ducks Forward Greg Ballard, who wasted a 34-point, 15-rebound performance against Las Vegas, got 16 points and 15 rebounds in the ASU game to win the tournament MVP award. The Sun Devils' Mark Landsberger set a school record with 27 rebounds in their 86-65 opening-night triumph over San Diego State.
Arizona enjoyed a three-win week. Bob Elliott, Herm Harris and Phil Taylor totaled 66 points to help beat Cal State-Fullerton 91-80. The Wildcats' defense then held Oregon State without a field goal for nearly 10 minutes in an 81-73 victory in Corvallis. Elliott's 24 points in a 95-40 wipeout of Idaho gave him Arizona's career scoring record with 1,770 points.
James Hardy, a San Francisco forward who refused to play in a game last year because of what he considered a lack of teamwork on the Dons, said he was delighted with the way things were going after USF rapped California-Davis 120-71. "We're working together and the game is fun," said Hardy, who proved his point with four dunks including one behind the back. "Just a little something for the fans," he added. His forward mate, Marlon Redmond, gave USF early-season bragging rights in the Bay Area by scoring a total of 37 points in victories over California (93-70) and Stanford (73-59).
"I wouldn't want to play Seattle a month from now," said a relieved George Raveling after Washington State had fought back from a 27-9 deficit to win 76-68. Seattle, which started two freshmen and two sophomores, was hurt when its 7-foot Center Jawann Oldham got in foul trouble after scoring 14 points in the first half. His absence allowed State's 6'11�" Steve Puidokas, a 250-pound giant, to score 19 of his game-high 25 points in the second half.
In Las Vegas, in the first big women's tournament of the year, Rebel forward Debra Waddy popped in 23 points to put away last year's national runner-up Immaculata 92-85 and another 22 points to upset defending champ Delta State 82-76. Lucy Harris, Delta's 6'3" center, fouled out with five minutes to play after scoring 17 points.
1. UCLA (3-0)
2. NEV.- LAS VEGAS (3-0)
3. ARIZONA (4-0)