McGuire walked across the gymnasium floor and stood watching his players. The national collegiate champions, with the exception of Lennie Rosenbluth, who had graduated, were peppering the basket from all angles. They were a handsome, confident-looking lot: Bob Cunningham of New York City, 6 feet 4; Pete Brennan of Brooklyn, 6 feet 6; Joe Quigg of Brooklyn (this was a few days before he broke his leg in practice, and was lost to the team for this season), 6 feet 9; Tommy Kearns of Bergenfield, N.J., the midget of the regulars, 5 feet 11.
A Strong New York-New Jersey flavor was assured for the 1957-58 squad. From last year's varsity squad, there were Danny Lotz of Northport, Long Island, 6 feet 7; Tony Radovich of Hoboken, N.J., 6 feet 2; Mike Steppe of New York City, 6 feet 3; Harvey Salz, Brooklyn, 6 feet 1. From last year's freshman team had come Ray Stanley of Brooklyn, 6 feet 4; John Crotty of Bayonne, N.J., 5 feet 11. North Carolina was not unrepresented: there were Gerhmann Holland of Beaufort, 6 feet 3; Roy Searcy of Draper, 6 feet 4; Grey Poole of Raleigh, 6 feet 5. From other areas there were Dick Kepley of Roanoke, Va., 6 feet 8; Wally Graham of Miami, 6 feet 1, and Lee Shaffer from Pittsburgh, 6 feet 7. Only three basketball scholarships were granted this year; two went to Brooklyn and one to New Jersey. Since McGuire took over in 1952, scholarships have been offered to 18 North Carolina boys, but only five accepted them.
McGuire mused aloud: "Right-now it looks like Kepley behind Quigg [this became the more likely with the later loss of the 6-foot-9 center], Crotty or Salz behind the backcourt men, Stanley as corner man, Shaffer behind Brennan, or maybe Shaffer will turn out to be a starter." (With a wealth of other material, McGuire will be able to vary his lineups, matching some opponents for height, others for speed.)
The national collegiate champions do not have exclusive use of the gymnasium unless, as happened last year, McGuire holds his practice sessions at night. This season he plans to practice during the afternoons, despite the fact that physical education classes and intramural team workouts will be going on in other parts of the gymnasium. Everyone agrees that a field house is a crying need at Chapel Hill; as things stand now, only about half the student body are admitted to any one game. McGuire himself would like to see a field house (like those pictured on pages 31-34) in which basketball would be just one of the activities that could be accommodated. All such ideas must await the appropriation of state funds for which, presumably, there are other and more urgent needs.
As McGuire stood watching his players, a spectator moved over to him and asked, "Coach, who was the greatest college player you ever saw?"
" Tom Gola of La Salle," McGuire said promptly.
"Gola, eh?" said the man.
Just then Lee Shaffer, looking like a tall Mickey Mantle, bounded up to McGuire to retrieve a ball.
"Lee," said McGuire, "I was just saying that Tom Gola was the greatest player I ever saw."
Shaffer looked at him wonderingly.