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"You've got a chance to be as good as Tom Gola, Lee," said McGuire. He tapped his forehead. "As soon as you get a little more up here."
Shaffer grinned and dribbled away, with astonishing grace for his height and weight (215) at 18 years of age. He took a shot with the lazy-looking ease of perfect coordination. He was the leading scorer of last year's freshman team with an average of 22.1 points per game.
"Shaffer," said McGuire, "is a fine student. I was kidding him about something else. He came to me some time ago and wanted my opinion of a car he was going to buy for $1,400. He claimed he had beaten the price down from $1,900. I took a look at it and told him I'd give him a 100 to 1 if he could go out and find a buyer for the car at $700. I doubt if it was worth that. I finally told him that if he wanted to make this ball club, he'd better wait until spring to get a car. He went along with the idea. Lee is very serious about making the team."
"Did you mean it," said the spectator, "when you said he had a good chance to be as good as Gola?"
"Where do you rate Wilt Chamberlain?" the spectator asked.
"The greatest in college basketball today," said McGuire. "And second only to Gola among all the players I've ever seen. That's just my opinion."
The spectator sauntered away and joined a group of onlookers that included (among others) a professor, a dentist, a veterinarian, a retired automobile dealer named Grady Pritchard, an alumnus and a member of the athletic committee that selected McGuire as coach in 1952. Pritchard was telling a story of his student days.
"I was in school," said Pritchard, a rugged-looking, gray-haired man, a native of North Carolina, "with Tom Wolfe, the writer. The reason he comes to mind is that Tom liked basketball and he certainly had the height for it. He went out for the team, but he was too frail. Stood 6 feet 6, but I don't think he weighed any more than 145 pounds."
"I thought he was a very heavy man," a man said.