"He might be the best player in basketball, but nobody's beyond reproach," said DePaul Coach Ray Meyer as he explained why he chewed out Mark Aguirre in the second half of a game with Gonzaga. Meyer, angered by his team's lackadaisical play, landed on Aguirre after he "threw the ball away three times in a row." Aguirre, who scored 26 points as the Blue Demons won that game 74-56, got back in Meyer's good graces even though he scored just 14 in an 88-71 victory over Santa Clara five days later. What pleased Meyer so much was Aguirre's "phenomenal" passing and his willingness not to take a shot "for eight or nine minutes." Said Aguirre, "I just wanted to get my guys into the offense. I don't want to dominate the game."
Notre Dame fattened up on Montana State 87-68, Texas Christian 79-63 and Cal Poly-Pomona 76-50. Kelly Tripucka of the Irish increased his scoring average to 00.0 with 68 points in the three games.
Michigan's rookie coach, Bill Frieder, paced the locker room before facing Arkansas, and his concern deepened when his team fell behind 17-9. Then came a convenient TV time-out, which Frieder exploited by switching his defense from a zone to man-to-man. Zingo—the Wolverines turned things around, led 34-27 at halftime and won 78-65 as Mike McGee got 23 points. During a 64-52 triumph at Kansas, McGee had 28 points.
After Iowa defeated Detroit 98-55, Coach Lute Olson gave his "best-game" award to 6'10" Steve Krafcisin, even though he had been outscored by teammate Vince Brookins 27-2. Olson's rationale was that "Krafcisin had seven assists, stole the ball five times, had no errors and Brookins got a lot of points off of Big K's assists." Ohio State, down 36-24 at the half, stopped Colgate 77-58. Another Big Ten power, Minnesota, downed Florida State 112-91 and Loyola of Chicago 100-83.
Guards Ethan Martin and Willie Sims provided the firepower as Louisiana State beat Tulane, 119-81, for the 19th straight time. Martin equaled the Tiger record for assists with 16, turned all six of his steals into baskets and scored 23 points. Sims came off the bench, flicked in 13 points in less than four minutes and wound up with 19.
Bradley had no such easy time at Illinois State, squandering an 11-point lead and being tied at 68-all. But Redbird freshman Hank Cornley, who scored 14 of his 16 points during State's surge, fouled out with 6:50 left, and the Braves went on to win 72-70.
"I did a heck of a job and I'm going to take credit for it," said Tulsa's new coach, Nolan Richardson, after a 68-60 upset of visiting Louisville. Much of the credit Richardson was unabashedly willing to accept centered on four players he wisely brought with him from Western Texas, last season's junior college champions. Those four—starters Paul Pressey, Greg Stewart and David Brown, plus sixth man Phil Spradling—teamed up for 48 points. The Cardinals hardly looked like reigning Division I titlists as they committed a school-record 35 turnovers and shot 39% from the field. It wasn't a work of art that the Golden Hurricane put together, either, but greyhound speed helped make up for 27 turnovers, 12 blown layups, 10 missed foul shots in 22 tries and a 45-34 case of the shorts in rebounding. Tulsa pulled away from a 50-50 tie, sank five straight free throws to go in front 64-60 and then got a rousing dunk from Brown. "They thought we were a bunch of rooty-toots—weak inside—so we had to show 'em we have heart," Brown said.
Two days later, Oklahoma State's Cowboys also utilized Louisville to prove they weren't a bunch of rooty-toots. The Cardinals led 41-29 after 20 minutes and 66-61 with five minutes to go. With four seconds left and his team down by one point, Eddie Hannon of the Cowboys rebounded a missed Louisville foul shot, drove up the middle, got one stride across midcourt and heaved a one-handed prayerball. The 45-footer banked off the backboard and through the net for Hannon's only field goal of the game and a 72-71 Oklahoma State triumph. That left Louisville a hard-to-believe 0-3. Once again, the Cardinals were ragged, being guilty of 27 turnovers and missing half their 42 free throws. And the Cowboys won despite being outrebounded 52-39 and playing most of the way without their finest athlete—foul-plagued Matt Clark.
Texas A&M trailed Texas Southern 25-24 at the half before a change of tactics produced a 61-50 Aggie victory. After a futile first half spent trying to shoot over the Tigers' zone, A&M chucked its offbeat 1-4 attack and put in a second guard, freshman Reggie Roberts. With Roberts and Tyrone Ladson doing most of the ball handling, the Aggies shot more discreetly.