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"My sophomore year I remember we played Indiana," he says. "That was when Indiana had Don Schlundt, the All-America, at center. I read everything I could about Schlundt in magazines and newspapers, trying to find out what he could do and what he couldn't. By the time we got into the game, I was so tied up I didn't know what I was doing. But I found out the first few times I brushed up against him out there that he was human just like me. I got 20 points in the first half and he got 9, but I fouled out in the second half and he went on to get 41. He taught me something, too. I used to put my hands up on the guy guarding me to get a quick start and beat him, and I got fouls called on me for shoving a lot. Schlundt would just kind of lean on me until he had me off balance, then go the other way quick, and he got the same effect and he didn't get any fouls. So I tried that too, and it worked."
Against Russell, Krebs experimented for a while, looking for a weakness. He faked to his left and cut back to his right for a layup, and Russell lifted a long arm and covered the shot. Then Krebs tried faking right and going to his left.
"I was really surprised," he says. "I expected to get the ball crammed down my throat and I went up and shot and looked around and Russell was way out of position. I kept faking that way all night and I found out he couldn't cover nearly as well to his left as he could to his right."
For the first two years Krebs played on the SMU varsity he had Tom Miller to relieve him and, because he tired easily, he needed the relief. A combination of rapid growth and the sinus infection which had kept him out of basketball his junior year in high school robbed him of stamina.
"They used to say he was not training," Hayes says. "But those big boys can't go at full speed for long when they're not mature without getting completely exhausted. We'd drive him until he was tired and then urge him to do some more. Gradually, he built up stamina and coordination."
This year, for the first time, Krebs can play a whole game without substitution. "I had to learn to pace myself," he says. "Coach Hayes lets me handle the time-outs if I figure I need one now. I found out you got to call time before you get real winded. If you wait too long and get too tired, you can't get your wind back at all. Then late in the game you go dead, and you're no good for rebounds or jumping."
Doc Hayes, who still makes a point of nursing Krebs's strength, has said, "Coaching is an overrated profession. When you got boys as good as these, there's not much you can show them."
Actually, Hayes is a resourceful coach who is wise enough to keep his offense fairly simple. Krebs is the first really big man he has had since he started coaching at SMU nine years ago. "When we knew we were going to get him we figured out all the things big men had been doing to plague us through the years," Hayes says. "Then we used the same things to plague everyone else."
Krebs's supporting cast is, of course, topnotch. Bobby Mills and Larry Showalter were all-conference players last year. Rick Herrscher is a cat-quick playmaker and a fine outside shot. Ned Duncan joined the team this year from Kilgore Junior College, where he was a junior-college All-America. Bob McGregor, who relieves the other four players, can do so without spoiling the rhythm or effectiveness of the team. He cannot relieve Krebs without damage, though.
Last week, three days after, the Arkansas victory, SMU played Baylor in Waco. Baylor, with Rice, is the strongest competition SMU has for the conference championship and might have moved into a tie for the lead had SMU lost.