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Alexander Wolff
November 29, 1982
These 32 teams should be among the 52 that receive bids to the expanded NCAA tournament
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November 29, 1982

The Rest Of The Best

These 32 teams should be among the 52 that receive bids to the expanded NCAA tournament

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MURRAY STATE lost 5'10" cruise-control Guard Lamont Sleets to a stress fracture three games into last season, so the Racers redshirted him and went 20-8 anyway. Now he and four other onetime starters—including two more former All-Ohio Valley Conference first-team choices, Glen Green (14.9 points per game in 1981-82) and Ricky Hood (13.5 with 8.9 rebounds)—are back.

Randy Breuer, a 7'3" center, is MINNESOTA's only returning starter, but he led the Golden Gophers in scoring (16.6) and rebounding (7.2). Junior Jim Petersen and senior Zebedee Howell will get a lot of time at forward, vacated by Trent Tucker and Darryl Mitchell. And Coach Jim Dutcher brought in three excellent recruits: 6'7" Roland Brooks, the MVP of the California State J.C. Tournament, and guards Marc Wilson and Alonzo Skanes, both high school All-Americas.

"We're more physical than we were a year ago," insists OHIO STATE Coach Eldon Miller, even though rugged Clark Kellogg made an early exit to the NBA. Three recruits will account for that: 6'9" Alan Kortokrax, Ohio's Class A Player of the Year, and the Smith (Clinton) and Wesson (Keith) boys, who go 6'5" and 6'9", respectively. A fourth freshman, Matt Lucas, is the adopted son of former Buckeye great Jerry Lucas.

Though nine of ILLINOIS' top 11 players are underclassmen, two of them—Forward Efrem Winters and Guard Bruce Douglas—were the best high school prospects in the state, and perhaps the entire Midwest. Among the three other all-state players, Guard Doug Altenberger is the third likely freshman starter. Veteran Guard Derek Harper led the Big Ten in assists (5.6) and steals (2.1) last season.

ST. JOHN'S beat North Carolina 78-74 last week and has its top eight back from a 21-9 team that came within a point of the East Region semifinals. But five of those nine losses were to Big East rivals Georgetown and Villanova, and that bodes ill. Chris Mullin did everything asked of him as a freshman guard, and senior Forward David Russell was often spectacular while amassing his 17.4 scoring average.

SYRACUSE doesn't lose a starter from the 16-13 team that beat Georgetown in the regular season. When Leo Rautins injured his knee last year and missed seven games, the Orange fast break became a lemon. But Rautins, a 6'8" Canadian who led his country's national team to a win over the U.S. at the Knoxville World's Fair in August, is healthy again and says, "We'll be running more than ever." Guards Gene Waldron and Erich Santifer, Forward Tony (Red) Bruin, and centers Andre Hawkins and Sean Kerins will be joined by four freshmen, including two more Canadians. At 6'8", 245 pounds, Hawkins is as solid as a curling stone, but must avoid foul trouble.

Last season was a rocky one for MARYLAND , whose Sylvester Stallone offense consisted of yelling, "Yo, Adrian," and dumping the ball in to freshman Forward Adrian Branch. His one-on-one moves led the Terps in scoring with 15.2 points a game. Maryland has seven players 6'8" or taller, but it was 6'6" Herman Veal who was third behind Virginia's Ralph Sampson and North Carolina's Sam Perkins in conference rebounding last year.

PEPPERDINE isn't particularly big or deep, but, says Coach Jim Harrick, "We resemble Louisville. We like to run and play good defense. And we've got good size that can jump." Even if the Waves can't come at you in waves, three starters return from the team that went undefeated in the WCAC last season. The best is Orlando Phillips (15.6 points per game, 8.7 rebounds).

He had a mission and chose to accept it. But now 6'7" Devin Durrant is back at BRIGHAM YOUNG , where he averaged 13.3 points a game in 1979-80 as a sophomore before going to Spain to spread the word. Thus the Cougars really have three starters returning, with senior Center Greg Kite and soph Guard Scott Sinek also back. Among five newcomers are two 29-point-a-gamers out of Utah. BYU won't win the WAC, but a stout schedule will help earn it a bid.

IONA was furious when it didn't make the tournament last March despite going 24-9 with a top eight of mostly freshmen and sophomores. So the Gaels slunk off to Australia for a summer tour, vowing new motivation. Steve Burtt, a 6'2" kangaroo who averaged 22.1 points a game in 1981-82, returns at one guard spot. Gary Springer, a 15.6 scorer, will get help up front from junior-college transfer Arnie Russell.

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