In his 42 seasons as coach at DePaul, Ray Meyer was 32-0 in home openers. But as a radio announcer for Chicago's WGN he was nearly 0-1. Said Meyer's son, Joey, after sweating out a 59-58 win over Northern Illinois in his head coaching debut, "If I'd had time to think about it I'd have thought Coach Ray and I would change places. I wasn't nervous coming in, but if I knew what was going to happen, I'd have been petrified." De-Paul trailed the Huskies 45-44 with 9:03 to play and finally built a 58-49 lead after Marty Embry's three-point play five minutes later. The Blue Demons scored only one more point in the final 3:56, but it was just enough to win.
UCLA was so horrid in a 93-72 exhibition loss to Athletes In Action that all new coach Walt Hazzard could say afterward was, "At least it didn't count." The Bruins' 87-58 rout of hapless Idaho in Hazzard's regular-season debut did, but, unfortunately for Hazzard, so did the next night's 68-60 loss to Santa Clara. Senior guard Harold Keeling got 23 points and 7'2�" center Nick Vanos had 19 points and 13 rebounds as the Broncos defeated UCLA for the first time since 1959.
Virginia Tech used a tenacious pressing defense to hammer Old Dominion 102-76 and win against intrastate competition at home for the 56th time in 57 tries. The Hokies forced the Monarchs into 22 turnovers, including 10 in the first 13 minutes. Guard Dell Curry scored 26 points to lead the Hokies, while Perry Young had 21 points and 10 rebounds. Oklahoma rebounded from its 81-64 loss to Illinois in the Hall of Fame Tip-off Classic on Nov. 18 to hammer Morehead State 94-48. Wayman Tisdale, held to just 19 points by the Fighting Illini, exploded for 31 points and 15 rebounds against the outclassed Eagles.
Joe Kleine scored 23 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead Arkansas past Southeastern Louisiana 65-62, but afterwards Hog coach Eddie Sutton was hardly in a celebratory mood. Arkansas had blown most of a 14-point second-half lead, so after the fans had departed Barn-hill Arena, a furious Sutton reassembled the Razorbacks for practice. "There have been too many guys give their blood and guts for this program for these guys not to," he snapped. "And they had better learn that." It seems that Sutton has been conducting a cram course in character; he had the Hogs work out twice on Thanksgiving Day.
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