xt7rjd4pks27 https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7rjd4pks27/data/mets.xml Wildcat News Company 1978 Volume 2 -- Number 31 athletic publications  English Wildcat News Company Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. The Cats' Pause UKAW University of Kentucky Men's Basketball (1977-1978) coaches Hall, Joe B. Rupp Arena players Givens, Jack (Goose) Robey, Rick Lee, James Holland, Joey UK vs. University of Arkansas (1978) St. Louis (Mo.) NCAA Men's Basketball Championship (1978) statistics schedules Cats' Pause Combs, Oscar The Cats' Pause,  1-Apr-78 text The Cats' Pause,  1-Apr-78 1978 2012 true xt7rjd4pks27 section xt7rjd4pks27  PAGE 2   THE CATS'  PAUSE, APRIL 1, 1978
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A Collector's Item
A Wildcat Record
The Kentucky Wildcats' First Year in Rupp Arena
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Player & School		G	FGM	FTS	TPS	AVE.	
1 .	Mike M'i tchel 1 , Auburn	27	283	105	671	24.	9
2 .	Reggie Johnson, Tennessee	27	229	115	573	21 .	2
3-	Reggie King, Alabama	27	218	136	572	21 .	9
4 .	Stan Pietkiewicz, Auburn	27	194	128	516	19-	1
5,	Durand Mackli n, LSU	27	217	79	513	19-	0
	Terry Crosby, Tennessee	25	198	79	475	19.	0
1 %	Mike Rhodes, Vanderbilt	27	202	103	50^	18.	8
8.	John Stroud, Mississippi	27	207	74	488	18.	1
9-	Jack Givens, Kentucky	30	210	4	514	17	1
10 .	Charles Davis, Vanderbilt	25	178	63	419	16	8
11.	Walter Daniels, Georgia	27	m	76	444	16	4
12.	Ray Whi te, Miss . State	26	151	76	378	14	5
13 	Rick Robey, Kentucky	30	156	1 20	432	14	4
14.	Joe Kyles, Mississippi	27	161	54	376	13	9
15-	Kenny Higgs, LSU	27	129	1 12	370	13	7
16.	Reggie Hannah, Florida	22	109	81	299	13	6
17.	Ricky Brown, Miss. State	26	140	69	349	13	4
18.	Richard Glasper, Florida	27	146	58	350	12	9
19-	Kyle Macy, Kentucky	30	138	1 09	385	1 2	8 .4
20.	Al  Bonner, Florida	27	138	60	336	1 2	
Player S School		G	FGM	FGA	AVE .	
1 .	Rick Robey, Kentucky	30	1 56	246	63-	4
2.	Durand Mackli n, LSU	27	217	349	62.	0
3-	Mike Phi 11ips, Kentucky	29	123	200	61 .	5
4.	Larry Brewster, Florida	27	1 04	175	59-	4
5-	Reggie King, Alabama	27	218	371	59-	0
6.	James Lee, Kentucky	29	128	223	57-	4
7.	Wi ley Peck, Miss . State	27	98	171	57 .	3
8.	Reggie Hannah, Florida	23	109	191	57-	1
9-	Lavon Mercer, Georgia	27	124	218	56.	q j
10.	Gary Hooker, Miss. State	27	1 20	214	56	1
PI	ayer 6 School	G	REBS		AVE .	
1 .	Reggie King, Alabama	27		354	13	3
2.	Durand Mackli n, LSU	27		286	1 0	6
3-	Reggie Johnson , Tennessee	27		258	9	6
4.	DeWayne Scales, LSU	26		244	9	4
5-	Reggie Hannah, Florida	22		203	9	.2
6.	M i ke Mi tchel1, Aubu rn	27		241	8	 9
7.	Lavon Mercer, Georgia	27		231	8	.6
8.	John Stroud, Mississippi	27		230	8	 5
9.	Lucius Foster, Georgia	26		221	8	 5
10.	Wiley Peck, Miss. State	27		228	8	.4
Player S School	G	M0 .	AVE .	
1. Johnny Darden, Tennessee	23	1 92	8.	3
2.  Kyle Macy, Kentucky	30	167	5.	6
3. Stan Pietkiewicz, Auburn	27	128	4.	7
4. Anthony Murray, Alabama	27	123	4.	6
5. Ethan Martin, LSU	26	108	4.	5
6. Henry Jackson, Mississippi	27	117	4.	3
7. Bubba Price, Auburn	26	109	4.	2
8. Richard Glasper, Florida	27	109	4.	0
9. Kenny Higgs, LSU	27	108	4.	0
10. Ray Whi te, Miss. State	26	97	3.	7
Player & School	G	FTM	FTA	AVE	-
1.  Kyle Macy, Kentucky	30	109	121	so.	1
2. Stan Pietkiewicz, Auburn	27	128	146	87.	7
3. Myles Patrick, Auburn	27	65	79	82.	2
4. Mike Rhodes, Vanderbilt	27	103	127	81 .	1
5. Larry Brewster, Florida	27	91	114	79-	8
6. Ethan Martin, LSU	26	66	84	79-	0
7. Mike Mitchell, Auburn	27	105	135	77.	8
8. Jack Givens, Kentucky	30	94	122	77.	0
9. John Stroud, Mississippi	27	74	98	75	5
10. Mike Phillips, Kentucky	29	61	81	75	3
Cats' Pause Publisher
Joe B. Is "The" Coach At Kentucky
Regardless of what most people think or what Joe B. Hall says, I've a sneaking suspicion that the UK head boss knew all along his Wildcats would be wearing the No. 1 crown Monday night.
Fans and writers alike have penned millions of words about how uptight Hall and his Wildcats have been all season, playing under the pressure of being No. 1 and being tabbed as having to win it all.
Most of the time Hall would smile, saying he believed his club would use the No. 1 ranking to their own benefit. Few believed him. Few believed that the pressure could be anything but a liability to the Wildcats.
But, oh, how fans do forget so quickly!
What about all those great UCLA teams back in the sixties? They were ranked No. 1 so consistently that a proof editor would question the typesetters if anyone else occupied the No. 1 spot.
Then there was Indiana two years ago, atop the mountain, ranked No. 1 and undefeated throughout the regular season. Now there's pressure, my friend. But the UCLAs and Indianas withstood the pressures (with the exception of Kentucky in 1975).
In the end, the pressure of being No. 1 is really on the shoulders of the opposition, trying to unseat the top-ranked team. That's one reason why the underdog cannot stand the stress of a strong rally from the champs late in a game. Pressure is on the challenger.
So what was going on in the mind of Joe B. Hall some twenty-four hours before the NCAA title game against Duke in St. Louis?
He was playing king of the mountain, or something like that; maybe even a Boston's Red Auerbach.
Standing outside his room on the tenth floor of Stoffer's Riverfront Towers and looking out at the scenery below, the man who followed Rupp smiled, laughed and even joked as he puffed on a big cigar.
People who didn't know him would swear he was cocky. "Joe B." isn't a cocky person. Confident? Yes, but never cocky.
Confident that his club would do the job it set out to do a year ago to the day. After losing a heartbreaking 79-72 decision to North Carolina in the finals of the East Regional, members of the squad vowed to return with even more, dedication.
No one was disappointed.
The North Carolina lesson was a valuable, yet costly, one. With a break or two here and there, Kentucky could be celebrating the second straight NCAA title. But that's the game of ifs.
Players agreed the loss to the Tarheels taught them to never take anything for granted, to never let up, not even for a couple of minutes. As was proven time and time again, seldom will a team recover in NCAA play after being down by fourteen points or more.
This season, the players were ready, the coaches were ready and the fans were ready.
Kentucky fought a hard trip to the finals. The Cats waded through a tough non-conference schedule and then faced a much tougher league round-robin than they had expected. All in all, it prepared them well for the finals.
So with the title game just a few short hours away, Joe B. Hall mellowed into Joe B. Hall, the fan. You could see it in his eyes. You could see it in his movement. You could almost sense Joe B. smiling underneath when he picked up the morning newspapers, as if to say, "We'll have the fun tonight."
The most excitement around Hall Suite 1057 was the circulation of reports that Hall would retire from UK if his Wildcats won the national championship.
He tried to act mad, mad because such stories could be circulated. Even
then, Hall was unable to hide his happiness. Oh, he growled about such talk, but that's all.
All said and done, Kentucky No. 1 and no prisoners taken, how do you size up a Joe B. Hall?
Sure, he doesn't spen a lot of time working on one-liners and he doesn't waste a lot of time trying to win sportswriters to his camp. That's not to say those philosophies are bad -they're just not Joe B. Hall's style.
In six years at Kentucky as head coach, Hall has watched his teams: win two national tournaments, the NCAA this year and the NIT in 1976; finish second in the NCAA to UCLA in 1975; win four Southeastern Conference crowns; win five of six Kentucky Invitational Tourneys, and play in post season tourneys five of the six years. His overall record at Kentucky is 135-42. Ain't bad for an ole farm boy.
So if Joe Hall wants to spend all his time studying basketball, having some old-fashioned home-cooked meals with his players and wet a line or two in the ole fishing hole, it's perfectly all right with me.
I'll take his record any time of the day, any day of the year.
What do some former Joe Hall players thing of ole coach?
We had the opportunity to talk with a couple of guys who played under Hall  at  Regis  College   in Denver,
Hall In The Finals
Colorado, which was Hall's first college coaching assignment.
What did they think about all the press ink on Joe Hall this season?
"I don't believe it that much," said Denny Crane of the 1962 team. "I know him and I know how he treats my kids when I come back. When you play for him, it's different. But he's the type of fellow who knows what you can do better than you know yourself.
"He's the kind of guy I'd like my boys to play for when they go to school," said Crane. "I played for other coaches after I left Regis and he's the best coach I've ever played under.
"I just hope people realize how-fortunate they are in Kentucky to have a man like him," Crane added.
If you don't believe Kentucky is basketball-crazy, you haven't heard about the 15,000 fans at the Victory Celebration Tuesday night at Memorial Coliseum.
There to commend the Cats was everyone from UK President Otis Singletary and athletics director Cliff Hagan to Lexington Mayor Jim Amato and Kentucky Governor Julian Carroll. You expected all of them, but how about Louisville Mayor Bill Stansbury, who proclaimed it "Wildcat Day" in the Derby City.
Stansbury may have had another motive in mind, though, and the 15,000 wasted no time in voicing their feelings.
After the Louisville mayor went through the usual routine of congratulating the players and noting that the best dunkers in the world are within the boundaries of Kentucky (he expanded that apparently to include you-know-who), Stansbury suggested that the next step might be for Kentucky and Louisville to get together on the hardwood.
The boos were staggering and left no doubt to the thousands watching on television that the 15,000 at Memorial Coliseum are not among those UK fans (to whom the press often refers) who want to see such a game.
When asked how the Louisville mayor earned a spot on the podium, one UK official said the Louisville mayor's office called and wanted to offer the proclamation honoring the Wildcats so UK accepted.  PAGE 5    THE CATS'  PAUSE, APR 1L 1 ,   1378
See the Worlds Best Amateur Basketball Players Compete In Rupp Arena
U.S. vs. Soviet Union Cuba vs. Yugoslavia
April 9,1978 Rupp Arena
David Greenwood (UCLA) Darrell Griffith (Louisville) Larry Bird (Indiana State) Joe Barry Carroll (Purdue) Ervin Johnson (Michigan State) Phil Ford (North Carolina) Mike O'Koren (North Carolina) Sidney Moncrief (Arkansas)
Last Name (Type or Print)
First Name
Mailing Address
Zip Code
Date	Game	No. Tkts.	@	Amount
April 9	International Tournament		$7.00	
		Handling		$1.00
Amt Rpr	r.K mo	Total Due		
Amateur Basketball Association  USA  PAGE 7    THE CATS'  PAUSE, APRIL I, 1978
Future Tournament Sites
1979 First-Round
East: Providence College. Providence Civic Center, Provi-
dence, Rhode Island
North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina
Mideast:    University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana
Middle Tennessee State University, Murlreesboro, Tennessee
Midwest:   University of Kansas, Lawrence. Kansas
Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas
West:        University of Arizona, Tucson. Arizona
University of California, Los Angeles, California '
1979 Regionals
East: Greensboro Coliseum, (Atlantic Coast Conference,
host), Greensboro, North Carolina Mideast:    Butler University, Market Square Arena, Indianapolis,
Midwest:   University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati Riverfront Coliseum, Cincinnati, Ohio West:        Bngham Young University, Provo, Utah
1979 The University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah
1980 The Market Square Arena, Indianapolis, Indiana
1981 The Spectrum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1982 Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana
Future Tournament Dates
Year First-Round
1979 March 10 and 11 March 15 thru 18 March 26 and 26
1980 March  8 and  9 March 13 thru 16 March 22 and 24 '
1981 March 14 and 15 March 1 9 thru 22 March 28 and 30
1982 March 13 and 14 March 18 thru 21 March 27 ?nd 29
1983 March 12 and 13 March 17 thru 20 March 26 and 28
Cats' Shidler Fought Two Tough Battles
Back The Cats
Dear Sir:
Each issue of The Cats' Pause has been a welcome sight in the mail since my aunt, Dorothy Sinkhorn of Louisville, sent me a subscription last year. It's been especially nice because I was unable to see the Wildcats in person this season.
Since I moved to Tampa in 1974, I have gone to Gainesville for each UK game and one football game. (We lost 48-3 or some such.) The University of Kentucky had its own section. We were small in number but very enthusiastic. But this year Florida sold all the tickets in Alligator Alley as season tickets, as you probably know. They sent me an application for tickets, then later refunded the money. I think the conference should require that some tickets be reserved for fans of the visiting team, don't you? So next year Florida will have its big, new, empty arena. Think I'm going to buy their tickets?
Keep up the good work, Cats' Pause, and hang in there Cats; a lot of homesick Kentuckians are watching and hoping for youl
Beverly J. Vance, M.D. Tampa, Florida
By Doug Grow Of the Post-Dispatch Staff
Kentucky guard Jay Shidler had long, hard thoughts about the priorities of his life beiore he stepped on to the Checker-dome basketball court Saturday after-Only flours before Shidler was to play a key role in Kentucky's 64-59 victory over Arkansas in the semifinals of the NCAA basketball tournament, his mind was back home in Lawrenceville, 111.
Shidler had received a call from home early Friday afternoon. His mother was ill. Could Jay be at her side at the Evansville, Ind., Hospital? Suddenly, the NCAA basketball tournament  the dream of every collegiate player  didn't seem important.
Shidler talked with the Wildcats' coach, Joe Hall.
"Coach told me, 'Go back and stay at home however long you're needed,'" said Shidler. "He said that there are some things that are more important than this tournament."
So Friday afternoon, a Kentucky assistant coach and a Kentucky state trooper, who is a fan of the Wildcats, escorted Shidler to his mother.
Shidler stayed only for "three or four hours."
"I really don't want to talk about what's wrong with Mom," he said. "She's terrible sick, it's a nervous thing. When I got there, I could see there was nothing I could do about it. It's hard to explain."
Shidler rejoined the Wildcats Friday evening. Had he done the right thing? Was he placing basketball above family?
"I didn't sleep hardly at all Friday night," Shidler said. "There were so many things on my mind, but back home there was nothing I could do. Here, I could do my best to help the team. It was hard to keep my mind on basketball, but..."
Then the bands played and the Wildcats and the Arkansas Razorbacks raced onto the floor in front of the cheering fans. The adrenalin flowed and for a
couple of hours Saturday afternoon, Shidler thought nothing, save basketball.
Shidler has had a back-and-forth career in his two years at Kentucky. As a freshman, he was out beyond curfew and found himself suspended for a couple of games. Still, for the most part, he was a starter.
Then, Kyle Macy, a transfer from Purdue gained his eligibility at Kentucky at the start of this season, guard Truman Claytor won Hall's favor as the other starter and Shidler suffered a broken bone in his foot the second day of practice.
Shidler, who had been an all-every-thing high school star, was on the bench.  The man who probably is the best longdistance shooter on the Kentucky roster averaged just 3.7 points a game this season. His high point totals for the season were eight points in a couple of games.
Measuring all that was stacked against him, it seemed unlikely that Shidler would do much more than watch these final two games of the 1977-78 season.
Appearances, however, were deceiving.
Against Arkansas, Shidler played 25b minutes  very productive minutes.
He bombed home three of the five long-range shots he took, two of those coming midway through the second half when Arkansas kept clinging close to the favored Wildcats. In addition, Shidler had two rebounds and led both teams in assists with four. He committed only one turnover.
"I felt good out there," said Shidler "I kept my mind on basketball. I had my legs, maybe that was because I missed practice Friday. I got out there and felt real good  maybe it was because it was such a big game. I seem to play my best in big games.
But now, the big game was over and there wouldn't be another until Monday night.
Jay Shidler leaned back against a wall in the Kentucky dressing room. His mind had drifted back to other things, things he can't control.
featuring Coach Hall and his staff as instructors along with many outstanding high school coaches throughout the country.
Boys ages eight and older are invited
Camp features:
 Individual Instruction
 2 Full Court Games Daily
 Station Drills
 Elimination Drills
 Housed in Modern University Dormitories
 Instructional Films
 Guest Lectures
 Indoor and Outdoor Facilities
If you would like to receive more information for yourself or to recommend the name pf a young player, please notify us.
Mail to:
c/o Coach Joe B. Hall
Memorial Coliseum       Lexington, Ky. 40506
Letters To The Editor
Dislikes Announcers
Dear Sir:
When I watch the Cats on TV, I always turn down the sound and listen to Cawood. But when the Cats played Michigan State I could not get a radio. I had the absolute misfortune of watching and listening to the great Curt Gowdy. All I heard was how great Earvin Johnson is and also what defense Michigan State was playing. If Gowdy has to do the games, he should know both teams; it was a disgrace to the #1 team in the country. I wish NBC would find an announcer who knows what is going on. No wonder the Kansas fans got upset.
Joe Hall, The Cats' Pause, and the Cats are #1.
Sincerely, Rexie Cope Mayfield, Kentucky
Best Wishes
Dear Sir:
I'd like to take a few minutes and tell Jack how we really do love his playing. Jack had forty-one points and each point that he made was terrific. I really think the Goose is greatl I'd just like to wish him the best of luck in his upcoming year.
Sincerely, Carroll Lockard
& Teresa & Cheryl Bronston, Kentucky
On Kyle Macy
Dear Sir:
I just can't let the basketball season go by without writing to thank Kentucky's Wildcats for a thrilling winter I Who cares if the snowdrifts are five feet high out front of our house . . . or if we have all the lights out because of the energy crunch . . . just be sure to have good strong batteries in the radio when the Wildcats are on the move! We sure have enjoyed it all. . . and we have also read and enjoyed -- and saved every issue of -- The Cats' Pause. Wasn't it a sneaky birthday present to buy my husband? I can't remember getting him a present that I have enjoyed more.
We  were  able  to  get  down to Lexington for a few games in you beautiful Rupp Arena. Believe me Southern Hospitality is alive and well in Lexington. The fans down there are
special. We knew right away that our Kyle Macy was in good hands. It was sad for us to see him go so far away but that big smile you have put on his face has made all the difference. When you love someone you want him to be happy and he sure is. Kyle Macy has really found himself at Kentucky.
Back home here we still have Mom and Dad Macy. They are two really wonderful people. Bob is always ready and willing to help any child that is interested in learning more about basketball. The hours that he has put in for the betterment of basketball in Peru have been tremendous. Bob is a great coach and has encouraged so many kids. Evelyn is ever ready to put up with we adoring fans . . . and I wonder how many meals she has tried to keep warm while Bob and Kyle were out practicing or trying to help some kids? She has shared it all with us and we love it. I sure hop I haven't embarrassed them but they all really deserve a lot of credit. I could easily go on but I won't. I am sure that each player for Kentucky has some wonderful parents behind him.
We also wish all the very best to the parting seniors. We will be watching and waiting for another wonderful basketball year from the great ones waiting in the wings.
Mrs. Beverly Enyeart Peru, Indiana
Hall Is OK
Dear Sir:
Thank you for the pleasure of having a paper about the UK sports program. My whole family enjoys it. Even my son, stationed in Turkey with the Air Force, enjoys it. UK has a stronghold of die-hard fans even here in Buckeye Country. Every one compares notes and opinions about the teams at UK All seem to agree. They're great.
Also, Joe Hall is OK. As a matter of fact, he's great, too. We'd like to see them go all the way this year, but if not we'll just cry a little and hope for better days in the future.
Sincerely, Gene H. Runyan Columbus, Ohio
one year subscription to find more interesting facts on the University of Kentucky.
I am presently enrolled at Indiana State University, Terre Haute, where we have one of the nation's finest players in Larry Bird. Come April 9, the fans of Kentucky can personally see this young man's talents at the First World Invitational Tournament game set for Rupp Arena. I am very anxious to see Larry, Givens, Lee, Macy, and Robey take to the floor, because we may never see a better group of talented individuals play basketball on the same team again. Oh yes, by the way, 12th floor Cromwell says: GO CATS . . .
Sincerely Dave Collins Princeton, Indiana
Mike Phillips Fan
Dear Sir:
I would like to know if it is at all possible to order past copies of your magazine.
I saw and read you magazine recently, and I was really impressed by it.
The reason I want past copies is that my favorite players is a senior this year. I would like to get as much information and pictures on him as possible
I know this may be an unusual request. But these four seniors mean a lot to me. You could say they're the ones with whom I grew to love UK basketball. I hope it is possible to get these copies. I would even be willing to pay extra.
My favorite player is Mike Phillips. I saw his picture in the Wildcats Photo Album, or something of that nature. I loved it. If nothing else, I want that picture.
Please send me information about the past copies. I really would appreciate it
Thank you, Sheila Critzer Kevil, Kentucky
Go Cats
Dear sir:
Being from Southern Indiana, I have been following the Wildcats for the last five years on the delayed telecasts from Evansville. Then a few weeks ago a friend of mine came across a Cats' Pause where he works and I sent in my
On Recruiting
printing some the garbage written in about him. Knoxville papers do that enough.
I think Rick, Jack, James and Mike are fantastic people. It's been a great four years and they deserve the NCAA championship. Win or lose, I love 'em. Look forward to next year with new recruits Anderson, Taylor, Lee and Tillman. If UK gets these guys, they'll have a good year. All the way Big Blue!
Sincerely. Tim DeVaney Rockwood, Tennessee
Backs The Cats
Dear sir:
First, I want to say that I have enjoyed your fine publication all year long and have handed out subscription forms to other Kentucky fans here in Oak Ridge. I also want to thank Cawood Ledford for his fine accounts of UK football and basketball over WHAS and WCKY. He does an excellent job even though sometimes these stations fade out down here.
I was able to see Kentucky play Tennessee in football and basketball, twice, as well as the Florida State game in Knoxville. Several of us at the K-25 Plant in Oak Ridge bought tickets in January for that game. Glad to see the Big Blue take all four encounters.
I want to wish the Cats the best of luck in St. Louis. They are #1 to me and I hope they show everybody else --including Curt Gowdy and these still-skeptical Tennessee fans. I hope UK will also look this way in recruiting in football. Oak Ridge High has compiled a 42-4-0 record in football since 1974 with a state championship in 1975 and two wins over Lexington schools (Bryan Station and Lafayette in 1976). There is a fine football program here under Coach Emory Hale and excellent talent. I hope UK scouts will give these Wildcats (named after UK) a look this fall.
Good luck from Oak Ridge, Walter K. Hyatt
and Carl Powers Juke D. Ibeck Wayne Lawson Oak Ridge, Tennessee
Dear Sir:
Here's my renewal check. You subscription is fantastic. I don't get too much information on UK sports here in Big (Rotten) Orange country. Look forward to every weekend to read up on the Big Blue. I have been a die-hard fan since Rupp's Runts. Joe Hall is a great coach and person. UK is lucky to have him. I don't see why you bother
Reggie Warford Rooted The Wildcats To Title
ST. LOUIS NOTES ... It wasn't surprising to see unanimous opposition to the consolation game from all four coaches in the Final Four. After the Saturday games, both Notre Dame's Digger Phelps and Arkansas' Eddie Sutton spoke out sharply against the third-place game, saying it was unfair to ask a losing team to play again, especially with one of the clubs having to finish the season with two straight losses. Phelps had a good idea in suggesting that the East-West all-star game (which was held Sunday) be used as the preliminary in the future. Sutton got the most laughs when he offered a game of HORSE between himself and Phelps as the preliminary . . . One of the major functions here Sunday was the Eastman Kodak Player of the Year and Coach of the Year awards. Phil Ford of North Carolina was voted the MVP while Abe Lemons of Texas and Bill Foster of Duke were selected as co-coaches of the year. Lemon told reporters a fan had noted he had been in coaching for many years and had wanted to know how long it took him to win the NIT. "About an hour and forty-five minutes," was Abe's one liner . . . Had North Carolina not lost the Atlantic Coast Conference tourney, it probably would have been a re-match of last year's East Regional finals in the NCAA championship game. It's doubtful North Carolina would have been sidetracked in the East Regional this year, either . . . Who knows the most about basketball, LSU's Dale Brown or former Mississippi State coach Ron Greene? Before you answer too quickly, let me point out that the two coaches were asked to size up Kentucky. Each played Arkansas once and Kentucky twice. Greene said he'd pick Arkansas and our good gospel preacher from the Bayou Country picked Kentucky. So? . . . And you have to remember that Brown was the man who said in early January that Arkansas was one team which possibly could beat Kentucky. Maybe Dale figures his upset win over the Cats in Baton Rouge made Kentucky a better team in the long . . . Notre Dame's Digger Phelps wouldn't pick a winner in the final game because "those Wildcat fans already hate me and the ACC fans feel the same way. So there's no need to add any more fuel to the fire. But the team which wins the boards, makes the fewest turnovers and hits the free throws down the stretch will win it all." . . . Look for a change in the freshman eligibility rule, if the big-time schools have any say. Just about every coach around wants to go back to the days when freshmen
were not eligible for varsity competition their first year. Kentucky coach Joe Hall preached on the issue during the Mideast Regional in Dayton and the other Final Four coaches got their sermons in over the weekend. They all insist there's too much pressure on a freshman the way it is, especially with the adjustment to college life on the academic and social side. Of course, smaller schools want the freshmen to play from day one because it helps their recruiting. At Notre Dame and Kentucky, staffs have a solid program and would like to develop the talent for twelve months, while smaller colleges would start a player right away. That's the whole problem, big-time schools
are often losing prized players because they can't guarantee a starting position the first year like a smaller school. So rather than sit on the bench for a year, he goes to a smaller school. Unfortunately for the athlete, he doesn't realize a year of waiting is well worth the investment . . . Wildcat star Kyle Macy has received so much mail in recent weeks he has been forced to draft a form letter to thank all his fans. "I'd love to write to each one of them personally," said the soft-speaking Macy, "but I just don't have the time, with all my work and books and being behind because of the tournament." . . . One of Kentucky's biggest rooters at the games in St. Louis was a young
Mike Phillips
fella by the name of Reggie Warford, now an assistant to Lynn Nance at Iowa State. Warford, of course, was one of the heros in the Cats' NIT championship two years ago in New York when Nance was an assistant at Kentucky   .   .   .   Tommy   Bell, the Lexington attorney and a member of the UK Athletics Board of Directors, just couldn't lose. Kentucky in the championship game with Duke and his son, Bruce, a member of the Blue Devils squad . . . You might say it was homecoming of sorts for UK athletics director Cliff Hagan last weekend. Hagan, who made All-American at Kentucky, had his  greatest professional playing days in St. Louis with the old NBA Hawks. "I really love the place,'' said Hagan. ' 'It was one of the toughest times in my life when I had to leave." All Hagan did in St. Louis was to make several All-Star teams and help   lead  the  Hawks   to  a World Championship during the St. Louis heydays . . . For that matter, it was almost a homecoming for Joe B. Hall. Sorta.  If you  remember,  Hall announced in 1969 he was resigning his assistant's job at Kentucky to become head coach at St. Louis University. However, the late Adolph Rupp talked him out of it when other UK officials promised Hall he was to get the head job at UK once Rupp retired. The St. Louis media never forgot and that could be one of the  reasons why neither Hall nor Kentucky was so popular with the St. Louis media . . . The   national   media,    now that's something else. The biggies seemed bent on "putting it to" Kentucky from the moment the Cats stepped off the plane. And forget about that stuff that reporters don't have favorites. Digger Phelps probably wishes that weren't true because his Fi