If Indiana is looking more like the powerhouse most people expected it to be, it's because 7'2" Uwe Blab is finally making his presence felt. The Hoosiers turned the Indiana Classic in Bloomington into a hometown jamboree by clobbering Western Kentucky 80-57 in the opening round, then burying St. Joseph's (Pa.) 81-44 in the title game. Blab won the MVP trophy by totaling 47 points, 10 rebounds and 10 blocks, and seems to have regained his enthusiasm now that he has, for the moment at least, escaped from coach Bob Knight's doghouse. "The most pleasant thing to me," says Knight, "has been Uwe's play. Not the scoring, just the degree to which he's into the game, possession by possession."
During the Hoosiers' rout of St. Joe's, Blab made plenty of noise. He barked orders on offense and defense, and during a rare moment on the bench shouted, "Patience!" at teammate Steve Alford after Alford missed a hasty shot. When Indiana played lethargically with a 10-point, first-half lead, Knight yelled at his players, "You're dead, the crowd's dead." Blab then batted down three shots in a 90-second span early in the second half to highlight a 26-6 Indiana run.
Blab was not the only Hoosier to shed his dog collar. In Indiana's 69-67 win at Iowa State, junior Mike Giomi, whose scholarship was revoked in June because of his poor grades and attitude, played 40 workhorse minutes, got 17 points and 12 rebounds, and moved to center when Blab fouled out with four minutes left.
Prior to Kansas's game with Houston in Lawrence, Cougar guard Reid Gettys knew nothing about Jayhawk freshman Danny Manning. "Our scouting report said, 'I'm sure you all have heard of him,' " Gettys said. "I had never heard of him." Now Gettys has. Manning scored 28 points and had eight rebounds, five assists and three steals in Kansas's 87-75 win. Michigan ran its record to 6-0 with wins over Western Michigan (83-59), and Eastern Michigan (83-72).
In Oklahoma's second annual Let's-Break-The-School-Scoring-Record Holiday Classic, the Sooners smashed Southwestern ( Tex.) 126-76. The old record of 118 was set eleven months earlier against McNeese State. Wayman Tisdale missed his personal best by six points, scoring 55, many of them from the perimeter. The 6'7�" Tisdale even had his first run at point guard, taking up coach Billy Tubbs on his preseason promise. "Anytime we go 50 ahead, Wayman goes to point guard," Tubbs had promised.
UCLA trounced U.S. International 98-50 before the smallest crowd ever to see a game in 12,800-seat Pauley Pavilion—3,525. The Bruins thus spoiled the return to Westwood of Gull coach Freddie Goss, a former UCLA teammate of Bruin coach Walt Hazzard and a starter on the '64-65 NCAA championship team.
The main attraction for the tiny crowd was tiny (5'2�") Zach Lieberman, the Gulls' junior guard. Lieberman, a.k.a the Hully Gully Man, scored nine points and at one point in the second half scrambled for a loose ball and entangled himself with 6'11" Bruin center Brad Wright. What once might have been the most predictable jump ball in NCAA history was averted only by the alternate-possession rule, which did away with jump balls (except at the start of a game) in 1981. "Lieberman brought back memories," said UCLA point guard Nigel Miguel, who had played against Lieberman in high school in Los Angeles. "It was fun. He's very intense. He keeps pressure on you, and the little guy likes to scrap."
SMU won its third straight Dallas Morning News Classic, whipping Idaho 90-71 in the opening game and Oklahoma State 82-65 in the final. The Mustangs' Carl (World) Wright scored 44 points and was named the tournament MVP. UTEP stretched its record to 6-1 with victories over New Mexico State (83-62) and Lamar (69-62)