xt7x3f4kmr92 https://nyx.uky.edu/dips/xt7x3f4kmr92/data/mets.xml Wildcat News Company 1978 Volume 2 -- Number 30 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 Macy, Kyle NCAA Men's Basketball Final Four (1978) Ledford, Cawood Pratt, Mike Shidler, Jay statistics schedules Cats' Pause Combs, Oscar The Cats' Pause,  25-Mar-78 text The Cats' Pause,  25-Mar-78 1978 2012 true xt7x3f4kmr92 section xt7x3f4kmr92 University Archives
Macy With Ba
Of Sports Illustrated PAGE 2   THE CATS' PAUSE, MARCH 25, 1978
THE
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SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE
SCORING - TOP TWENTY
PI	ayer & School	G	FGM	FTS	TPS	AVE.	
I.	Mike Mitchell, 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	.2
4.	Stan Pietkiewicz, Auburn	27	194	128	516	19	. 1
5.	Durand Macklin, LSU	27	217	79	513	19	.0
6.	Terry Crosby, Tennessee	25	198	79	475	19	.0
7.	Mike Rhodes, Vanderbilt	27	202	103	509	18	.8
8.	John Stroud, Mississippi	27	207	74	488	18	. 1
9-	Jack Givens, Kentucky	30	210	9^	514	17	.1
10.	Charles Davis, Vanderbilt	25	178	63	419	16	8
11 .	Walter Daniels, Georgia	27	184	76	444	16	4
12.	Ray Wh i te, Miss. State	26	151	76	378	14	5
13.	Rick Robey, Kentucky	30	156	120	432	14	4
14.	Joe Kyles, Mississippi	27	161	54	376	13	9
15.	Kenny Higgs, LSU	27	129	112	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	109	385	12.	8
20.	Al  Bonner, Florida	27	138	60	336	12	4
	FIELD GOAL SHOOTING	- TOP	TEN				
Player S School		G	FGM	FGA	AVE .	
1 .	Rick Robey, Kentucky	30	156	246	63	4
2.	Durand Macklin, LSU	27	217	349	62	0
3.	Mike Phillips, Kentucky	29	123	200	61	5
4.	Larry Brewster, Florida	27	104	175	59	4
5.	Reggie King, Alabama"	27	218	371	59	0
6.	James Lee, Kentucky	29	128	223	57	4
7.	Wiley 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.	9
10.	Gary Hooker, Miss. State	27	120	214	56.	1
REBOUNDING - TOP TEN
P1ayer s School
REBS
2.
3.
4.
5-
6.
7.
8.
9-10.
Regg i e King.
Durand Mackli n Reggie Johnson DeWayne Scales Reggie Hannah, Mike Mi tchel1, Lavon Mercer
A1 abama
LSU
Tennessee , LSU Flor fda Auburn Georg ia
John Stroud, Mississippi Lucius Foster, Georgia Wiley Peck, Miss. State
27
27 27
26 22
27 27 27
26
27
354
286 258 244 203 241 231 230 221 228
ASSISTS - TOP TEN
Player S School
1. Johnny Darden, Tennessee
2. Kyle Macy, Kentucky
3. Stan Pietkiewicz, Auburn
4. Anthony Murray, Alabama
5. Ethan Martin, LSU
6. Henry Jackson, Mississippi
7. Bubba Price, Aubur
8. Richard Glasper
9. Kenny Higgs, 10. Ray White, M
LSU
Ray Whi te, Miss. State
jrn Flori
da
FREE THROW SHOOTING - TOP TEN
Player  School
1. Kyle Macy, Kentucky
2. Stan Pietkiewicz, Auburn
3. Myles Patrick, Auburn
4. Mike Rhodes, Vanderbilt
5. Larry Brewster, Florida
6. Ethan Martin, LSU
7. Mike Mitchell, Auburn
8. Jack Givens, Kentucky
9. John Stroud, Mississippi 10. Mike Phillips, Kentucky
AVE
13.3 10.6 9-6 9-4 '9-2 8.9 8.6 8.5 8.5 8.4
G	NO.	AVE.
23	1 92	8.3
30	167	5-6
27	128	4.7
27	1 23	4.6
26	108	4.5
27	117	
26	109	4.2
27	109	4.0
27	108	4.0
26	97	3.7
G	FTM	FTA	AVE.
30	109	121	90. 1
27	128	146	87.7
27	65	79	82.2
27	103	127	81.1
27	91	114	79.8
26	66	84	79.0
27	105	135	77.8
30	94	122	77.0
27	74	98	75.5
29	61	81	75.3
 PAGE 3    THE CATS'  PAUSE, MARCH 25,  1978
Cats' Pause Publisher
WILDCATS
I I
4
it's Hog-Rooting Time In St. Looie
Suddenly, writers and sportscasters across the country are talking about kids like Kyle Macy and Rich Branning, not to mention the "Three Basketeers" of Arkansas and Duke's Jim Spanarkel.
Three weeks ago, all you could hear about were such performers as Butch Lee of Marquette and Phil Ford of North Carolina. To hear the national media representatives talk, you could all but wrap up a final spot for the two schools because Ford and Lee are so great.
Suddenly, they're on the sidelines and look who's in the Final Four.
This should be a good lesson for the experts. Maybe they should keep their eyes open more often. Just because a team was in the Final Four a year ago doesn't guarantee a high spot the following vear.
It will be interesting to see the preseason predictions next season. Of course, names like Macy and Branning ..will be at the top of the list. Both are 1f'),'V-.Tnmrn But ii is unfair to recognize only those who make it to the big event.
The current Final Four is a good example of this. Yes, Kentucky has been ranked No. 1 most of the season, but Macy has been virtually ignored on all the all-star clubs. Surely, he didn't blossom the last three weeks.
This should be the most exciting finish in the NCAA in many years. All four clubs are very close to being equal. The games should be high-scoring and close, right to the buzzer.
It wouldn't be surprising to find Kentucky and Notre Dame squaring off again Monday night (it could be for either the championship or consolation honors). Should those two meet, look for one of the wildest hoop contests in history.
If Dale Brown doesn't want to watch physical play, then he'd better flick off his set if those two clubs match up. This one will put some NBA games to shame.
#
Kentucky coach Joe B. Hall believes the Wildcats will have to play at the top of their game if they're to have a chance of defeating the Arkansas Razorbacks Saturday in the NCAA semi-finals.
"Boy, they look tougher and tougher every time you watch them on film," said Hall. "Those 'Three Basketeers' are just super. They're so quick and can leap out of the gym. And can they shoot I" exclaimed Hall. "They present problems for us that we haven't been faced with this year."
Earlier in the season, LSU coach
Dale Brown predicted Arkansas is the one team which can beat Kentucky in the NCAA this year. Brown said Kentucky wouldn't be able to do things against Arkansas that Kentucky does against other clubs.
The big three for Eddie Sutton's Razorbacks are Ron Brewer, Sidney Moncrief and Marvin Delph.
If Arkansas has a weakness, it's the bench -- where coach Eddie Sutton rarely goes for help. Against Fullerton State, Arkansas starters played 198 of the 200 minutes.
Arkansas is the second club in the history of the NCAA to reach the Final Four after being selected as the No. 2 team from a conference. In 1976, Michigan won an at-large spot and advanced to the title game before falling to its Big Ten rival Indiana in the final game.
#
#
All-star games are coming up by the dozens and several Kentucky players will be competing. The most recent selection is that of Mike Phillips and James Lee to an all-star game of top players from the Southeast Region against the Atlantic Coast region in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The game will be played April 1 and proceeds will go to a charity. The game is being televised regionally in some parts of the South.
Kentucky's seniors were high in the running for the Pizza Hut Basketball Classic early, but all four have fallen from the leading spots in the latest tabulations released. Rick Robey is No 13 in vote-getting for the East while Jack Givens is No. 15 and Mike Phillips No. 21.
A spokesman for Pizza Hut said the voting is completed but that some one million ballots are yet to be tabulated. Some 1.6 million votes have been counted.
It's unlikely either Robey or Givens would have played in the classic anyway. There are reports the two will play only in the World Invitational Tourney after the season is over.
According to reports, both have been advised not to risk any potential injury with the pro basketball draft coming up this spring.
The top eight-vote-getters automatically win a spot on the Pizza Hut team. The leading vote-getter in the most recent results was Indiana State's Harry Morgan. Only seniors qualify for the game.
#
HITS AND MISSES . . . "Tombstone" Johnny Owens has to rate as one of the, if not the, top Wildcat Boosters in the country. Johnny, who gets his name from being in the memorial stone business, says he has failed to reach coach Joe B. Hall by telephone on garre days only twice this season, to wish him luck. "And both of those times we lost," said Johnny. He aims to be in St. Louis when the Cats meet Arkansas this Saturday. "I'll be there," said Johnny from his home in Algoma, Iowa, Sunday. "But if I ain't you can count on me getting hold of Coach Hall before the game." . . . You wouldn't believe the telephone calls we received from Wildcat boosters around the country Sunday. Fans from Ohio, Mighigan, Iowa, Indiana, Tennessee, New York, Texas, Illinois and Idaho all phoned, wanting to congratulate the Wildcats or seeking tickets for the Final Four. We gladly passed along their Congrats and just plain passed on the ticket requests; none to be had around these parts, either . . . The best joke line heard around Dayton last week was the one which had NBC sending Curt Gowdy to Dayton a week early so he could learn all the players' names by Saturday. It may have worked Saturday, but during Sunday's game between Duke and Villanova, Gowdy had Kentucky playing Arizona instead of Arkansas before he was corrected. It's time someone at NBC review the network's own productions. NCAA college basketball deserves announcers with halfway decent knowledge of the game and its participants. Gowdy doesn't fit that category . . . Ironically, most Kentucky fans said they turned the television volume off and the television screen on. That way, they could watch the action and listen to Cawood Ledford. One fan in the Midwest said he used the same trick, only the radio play-by-play was about five seconds behind the screen. Why? Because he was listening to the Armed Forces Network, which picked up the game . . . Kentucky's two wins in the Mideast Regional last week gave the SEC a 61-32 record against outside opposition, for a 65.6 winning percentage this season . . . Strange, isn't it, that three of the final four teams in the NCAA tourney also finished in the Top Ten in football? All but Duke finished high in the Top Ten in the grid sport as well. In fact, Kentucky, Arkansas and Notre Dame all finished with identical 10-1 regular season records; while the Hogs and the Irish won big in the Orange and Cotton Bowls, respectively . . . The semifinals and finals will be played on Indiana University's home floor. The NCAA
decided to use the IU portable floor after dead spots were discovered in the floor normally used at St. Louis' Checkerdome. They were detected back a couple of years ago during other collegiate basketball games. The IU floor was trucked to St. Louis earlier this week. . . . Although Kentucky was allotted 1,200 tickets for the finals, as were the other three schools, UK athletics director Cliff Hagan said he believes each of the four participating schools should receive at least 2,000 tickets each. There was no public sale of the tickets at UK. Approximately thirty percent went to the students. wrhile the others were taken up by the band, players, coaches, athletic personnel and university officials . . . UK's headquarters during its stay in St. Louis will be Stouffer's Inn in downtown St. Louis. The team was expected to arrive in St. Louis either late Thursday or early Friday morning by plane ... It was a repeat performance of those great Northern Kentucky Wildcat fans when the Cats morored down 1-75 Saturday evening after winning the Mideast Regional. Fans, young and old, poor and rich, white collar and blue collar, gathered on the over-passes, along the side roads and held banners high, welcoming the players back to the Bluegrass State . . . Our good friend Dr. Gary Hayes of Lebanon, Ohio, called Sunday to say a lot of transplanted Kentuckians had wet eyes after the UK band struck up "My Old Kentucky Home" in the Dayton Arena after the Cats' thrilling 52-49 decision over Michigan State . . . Some people may forget their home country, but that complaint can never be leveled against a native Kentuckian. And there were about 9,000 at Dayton Arena for the two games. One Michigan State supporter was wanting to know how so many Wildcat fans got tickets. Let's just say where there's a will, there's a way . . . Remember back in the winter when Sports Illustrated ran a story saying a basketball recruit was offered a racehorse to attend UK? Well, we pointed out that the incident proved to involve football and not basketball. Now, Larry Keith of Sports Illustrated told us last week that Notre Dame's Dave Batton told him personally he was offered the horse to attend UK . . . Of course, everyone knows Notre Dame decided to take Batton over UK's Rick Robey that year during the recruiting race, and Robey hasn't allowed Irish coach Digger Phelps to forget. Robey could get one last chance to prove his worth during the Final Four while Phelps and Batton, no
(Continued On Page 34)  PAGE 5    THE CATS'   PAUSE;  MARCH 25, 1978
- ?
VIEWPOINT J j
Letters To The Editor   ' * 1 ^
Mail  All  Letters To:  VIEWPOINT, The Cats'  Pause,  Box 7297,  Lexington,  Ky. 40502
Another Goose
Dear Sir:
Just thought I'd drop a line and let you all know there is another "Goose" over here in Southern Indiana. That's right, Jack Givens' cousin, Tony Givens, plays for Mount Vernon High School.
It just so happens they are also Wildcats. My wife and I went to watch him last Friday and you would have thought you were at a UK game. When they introduce him you hear everyone yell "Goose, Goose." Tony has a touch just like Jack: deadly. He also had som e impressive stats: 13-22 from the field, 2-3 from the line and 9 rebounds for 28 points. He likes the same kind of shot Jack does. They both are deadly from the side. Don't know if Tony could play division one ball. He a little slower than Jack.
Keep up the good work and your outstanding paper.
P.S. He hit the winning shot with one second left to give his team a 70-68
Sincerely, Mike Stephan Evansville, Indiana
On Women's Sports
Dear Sir:
Having seen Coach Debbie Yow appear on TV's religious talk show, THE 700 CLUB, I have nothing but the highest respect for her. She is undoubtedly a devout Christian, a fine young lade, and I wish her well.
But, personally, I wouldn't give two hoots for all the women's basketball in the country.
The whole idea of being big, hard, fast, aggressive and athletic does nothing but degrade women -- it distinctly diminishes their femininity, something without which a woman is sadly lacking. Scholarships for needy girls are fine; but intensifying efforts to achieve excellence in the aforementioned "qualities" with all the accompanying pressures and skyrocketing budgets borders on lunacy.
Men's intercollegiate sports are based upon the principle of devotion to all-out excellence -- that is, becoming as good as you can get and playing as hard as you can. And in the process it isn't all fun. It can be extremely demanding. Yet this is precisely the direction the women are heading. In a couple of yars they'll demand equal TV time.
Administrators of women's sports should stress participation and should emphasize the fun factor. Athletics should be treated as mere games -- not a life or death win, win, win at any cost
with money and more money the goal. I hate to see games becomes programs, for when that occurs emphasis is placed on the wrong things: chiefly becoming coarse, muscular, gracelss amazons out practicing driving the baseline. Isn't it easy to see that the values are all upside down?
Terrence Tucker knows whereof he speaks. And there are a lot of us who agree with him.
Sincerely,
Virgil B. Trapnell
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Spring Football
Dear Sir:
I am a subscriber to The Cats' Pause and I am hopeful you can provide me with some information.
1) How can I obtain the Kentucky spring football preview?
2) Who is the publisher and what year was Cawood Ledford's book published. Is it still available anywhere?
Very truly yours,
Donald Mankin
Oak Park, Illinois
[Editor's Note: Write UK Sports Information for football preview.
Anyone have the info on Ledford's book?]
Kyle Is Favorite
Dear Sir:
I think Coach Joe B. Hall is the best coach UK has had besides Coach Rupp. I have been reading Viewpoint and I think it is good, but I hate to read it when people are cutting down Joe B. Hall. UK has the best coach in the whole NCAA. I hope coach Hall thinks nothing of the people who cut him down. My dad and I keep up writh the Cats in all sports. My favorite player is the one and only Kyle Macy. My other player is Jack Givens. I will miss him, along with the other seniors. The best of luck goes to the Big Blue.
Sincerely, Terry Cain Berea, Kentucky
Four Good Years
Dear Sir:
I think it's time I expressed my viewpoints about Coach Hall and the team. I have read The Cats' Pause for a year and have read the pros and the cons. Regardless of what people say, Hall has done a super job of coaching. And this is the greatest team I've seen since Rupp and his Runts. I have
listened and watched every game this year except one and they gave given me a lot of enjoyable hours. I am looking forward to their going all the way in the NCAA. If they don't go all the way, what the heck . . . they've had four good years.
Sincerely, Ronald Ison Pickerington, Ohio
Talking To Myself
Dear Sir:
The SEC and Boyd McWhorter have me talking to myself. Now we need a tournament to cure our ills. McWhorter feels this way the SEC can get two representatives in the NCAA tourney. After all, didn't everyone else? He is burying his head in the sand and the SEC members are going along with him.
What the SEC needs is a commissioner who when confronted with a situation sutch as the player from Georgia who struck the Florida player, will do more than wring his hands and say, oh my. We do need someone to announce the SEC Game of the Week other than "Jackass and Jingle Bells," the comedy team now assigned and we need a top-notch publicity program for the league.
What is going to happen to the other schools when the regular season wanner also wins the tourney? I feel for Mississippi State and believe they or LSU either for that matter would have done an admirable job of representing our league in the NCAA tourney.
Now the talk is, even though money is what the tournament is all about, maybe a smaller arena would be better than giving Kentucky a home-court advantage by holding it at Rupp Arena. I, too, would like to bury his head in the sand.
Sincerely, Harold R. Miller Russell, Kentucky
Shocked
Dear Sir:
I have just finished reading The Cats Pause dated March 4, 1978. I am truly shocked and dismayed to see that sexism has crept into this otherwise Fine publication.
I refer specifically to the article "On the Rebound . . ." with Terrence Tucker. Did the editor need this poor column as a filler? Does Mr. Tucker have a sizable investment in The Cats' Pause? What sensible reason can you give for allowing boorishness of this magnitude to offend the devoted fans< of the athletic teams of the University
of Kentucky, both male and fernxfer
Under the title of the magXzine is: "Spotlighting University of Kentucky and Southeastern Conference." This simple description of what goes on within the publication indicates that all sprots at the University will be covered. As we all know, they are not. This is an example of what Coach Yow incomplaining about: the lack of support from the media and the lack of objectivity from those of us who support the men's programs. If the finer qualities of women's sports are emphasized and the efforts of such capable coaches as Debbie Yow are simply reported to the fans, the following of the women's basketball team will increase.
However, the negative machismo which Mr. Tucker exudes can only intimidate those fans who might wish to become more involved with w-hat happens to female sports team, especially when it is sanctioned by The Cats' Pause. I therefore call upon you to require Mr. Tucker to apologize to the readers who were offended by his unhealthy attitude. Name-calling such as ".. .knotted and rockhard...wouldbe amazons" does not belong in an objective magazine.
In conclusion, I respectfully suggest that the editor of The Cats Pause return the magazine to the high standards we are so familiar with, and not resort to sensational editorializing to keep us interested. The activities of the Wildcats will do that.
Sincerely yours,
Vernon G. Goins
S. Glastonbury, Connecticut
[Editor's Note; This publication was and is designed basically for UK men's football and basketball. Other sports are covered on a very limited basis. Anyone subscribing because of other presumptions is requested to contact us for a refund and we'll gladly oblige.
Mr. Tucker has no investment in The Cats' Pause. Everyone's views, including Mr. Tucker's and Mr. Goins', are welcomed. The content of CP columns represent the columnist's views and not necessarily the publication's stand, just like letters in Viewpoint. ]
Thanks Seniors
Dear Sir:
I would like to thank the fine seniors on this year's football and basketball squads for making this a memorable year in UK athletics -- Mssrs. Ramsey, Martin, Still, Blanton, Owens, Ko-vach, Siganos, Robey, Phillips, Givens, Lee, et al. May you find success in all your future endeavors.
Sincerely, Leonard Hardy Ashland, Kentucky PAGE 6   THE CATS' PAUSE, MARCH 25, 1978
KENTUCKY BASKETBALL NO. 1 FOR 50-YEAR PERIOD (1926-75)
It comes as no surprise to Kentucky basketball fans that the Wildcats are "NO. 1"but proving it to your contemporaries may end in the usual sports hassleno absolute proof.
Look no more, our friends. Steve Boda of the NCAA Statistical Bureau has come up with the clinchera 50-year record of the nation's winningest collegiate teams which shows Kentucky perched firmly at the top with no other team in sight. Here is how the top ten stack up.
Team
1. Kentucky
2. St. John's
3. North Carolina
4. Western Kentucky
5. Duquesne
6. Kansas
7. North Carolina State
8. Notre Dame
9. UCLA 10. St. Bonaventure
*49 Seasons
Years	Won	Lost	Winning Pe
50*	991	246	.801
50	899	330	.731
50	922	361	.719
50	932	371	.715
47	754	319	.703
50	800	367	.686
50	815	386	.679
50	815	391	.676
50	841	411	.672
49	669	329	.670
WHO WERE THE 'FABULOUS FIVE'?
The most frequently asked question tossed at basketball historians and sports authorities is "Who were the 'Fabulous Five' of Kentucky?" The answer is Alex Groza (center), Ralph Beard and Kenny Rollins (guards), Wah Wah Jones and Cliff Barker (forwards). This famous 1948 team, captained by Rollins, won 36 and lost 3 while sweeping to Kentucky's first NCAA title and went on to participate as a unit in the Olympic Gameshelping the USA team capture the world championship. Rollins graduated after the '48 season, but the remaining foursome continued to play havoc with collegiate basketball and copped another NCAA title for Kentucky in 1949 on a record of 36-2.
????????????????????????
Kentucky
N.CA.A. TOURNAMENT (Record 23 Appearances4 championships)
(Not  Including Current Tourney)
1977 1975 1973 1972
Won Won Won Won
Lost Lost Lost Lost
1971   Won 0, Lost 2.
1970 1969 1968 1966 1964
1962 1961 1959
1958
1957
1956 1955
1954 1952 1951
1949
1948
1945 1942
Won Won Won Won -Won
Won
Won Won
1, 1, 1, 3,
0,
1, 1, 1.
Lost Lost Lost Lost Lost
Lost Lost Lost
1. 1. 1.
1.
2.
1.
1.
Lost to North Carolina in East Regional Finals. Lost to UCLA in Championship Game Eliminated by Indiana in Mideast Regional Finals. Eliminated  by  Florida State in Mideast Regional Finals.
Lost to Western Kentucky in Mideast Regional first game.
Eliminated by Jacksonville in Mideast Regional finals. Lost to Marquette in Mideast Regional first game. Eliminated by Ohio State in Regional finals. Lost to Texas Western in championship game. Lost to Ohio University in Mideast Regional first game.
Eliminated by Ohio State in Mideast Regional finals. Eliminated by Ohio State in Mideast Regional finals. Eliminated by Louisville in Mideast Regional first round.
NATIONAL CHAMPIONS.
Won 4, Lost 0.   Defeated Seattle for title.
Won 1, Lost 1.   Eliminated by Michigan State in Midwest Regional finals.
Won 1, Lost 1.   Eliminated by Iowa in Eastern Regional finals. Won 1, Lost 1.   Eliminated by Marquette in Eastern Regional first round.
Withdrew after winning automatic berth as SEC champion.
Won 1, Lost 1.   Eliminated by St. Johns in Eastern Regional finals.
NATIONAL CHAMPIONS.
Won 4, Lost 0.   Defeated Kansas State for title. NATIONAL CHAMPIONS.
Won 3, Lost 0.   Defeated Oklahoma A&M for title.
NATIONAL CHAMPIONS.
WON 3, Lost 0. Defeated Baylor for title.
Won 1, Lost 1.   Eliminated by Ohio State in first round.
Won 1, Lost 1.   Eliminated by Dartmouth in second game.
Joe HalVs Parents At Dayton
????????????????????????
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Also Located in Richmond & Winchester PAGE 7    THE CATS'  PAUSE, MARCH 25, 1378
Kentucky's Wildcats: basketball powerhouse
THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR
By Phil Elderkin
The University of Kentucky basketball team seems to be on a marvelous timetable of its own!
When Kentucky's current seniors were freshmen, the Wildcats were NCAA run-ners-up to UCLA; as sophomores they won the NIT; and last year they were often rated as high as second in both press association polls.
With no place to go but to the moon this season, Kentucky has responded with a
Change of pace
blend ol firepower, defense, aggressiveness, and balance that a lot of pro teams would like to have.
This combination has kept the Wildcats (19-2) at or near the top of the polls for most of the current campaign. They held the No. 1 spot for several weeks, and even after an upset loss to LSU last weekend they are still a close second to Marquette in the latest UPI rankings and third behind Arkansas and the Warriors in the AP balloting.
The 1977-78 team is also constantly being criticized for being too muscular, particularly on the boards. But whether that accusation is more sour grapes than real, the Wildcats have a coach who is the very opposite of their personalities - a man named Joe Hall, who probably would forget to wear his six-gun to a real shootout. Certainly he does not come across as an officer who would be hired to train mercenaries.
But Hall does start two 6ft., lOin. monsters up front in center Mike Phillips and 4HMMMMkuHick Robey, plus Jack Givens,
whose shooting accuracy suggests that he may be concealing a bow and arrow. Joe can also get instant points from his bench in 6-5 James Lee, who some pro scouts
see as a possible first round draft pick.
Also waiting in the wings are 6-10 freshmen Chuck Alaksanis and Scott Courts, who could probably start for a lot of teams and who will never require police escorts to get from the top of the key to the basket.
The Wildcats' floor leader is Kyle Macy, a sophomore transfer from Purdue who sat out last year while Larry Johnson (who has since graduated) ran the show. But even if there were some way of bringing Johnson back, the job would still belong to Macy.
Offensively Kyle does not score that many points. But when it comes to pushing the ball up court, hitting the open man, and making sure that plays are run .to their conclusion, Macy is in a class by' himself.
He also works well with Kentucky's two other guards - Truman Claytor (wh starts) and Jay Srridler (who comes off the bench yet often logs as much playing
time*
Pulling the Wildcats' strings like a puppet master is Hall, whose personality is more banker than politician. Joe is much like you'd expect a man to be who played for, was an assistant coach under, and then succeeded a legend named Adolph Rupp.
Hall is smart enough to know he can never be something he isn't, so he doesn't try. He just coaches winning basketball programs and lets the record speak for itself.
However, noboby should be allowed to get the idea that Joe is just another good coach. He is much more than that. But so far his ability to teach defense and employ some of the best trap-zone in the business hasn't gotten him the recognition he deserves.
People also forget that Hall had to endure some early sniping from Kentucky fans back in 1972, when he first took over
Physical Play
from Rupp. Most of them expected a national chamionship overnight, and when they didn't get it, they brooded and wrote complaining letters to the newspapers.
But oh. how things have changed! One visiting writer claims the first thing Kentucky players do now when they reach the locker room is grab for an empty score-sheet, fill in what looks good in the way of points, and then go out and score them.
Actually, the Wildcats have relied more on a superb defense for their continued success. Basically it's a John Wooden concept where you upset the tempo and style of your opponents by running them so
much that they become disorganized
Kentucky is also very good at harassing the man with the ball; making him give it up before he's ready; and then eliminating any second shots by controlling the backboard.
Even though being awarded an NCAA championship in the newspapers in February is no different than winning a pennant in August, the Wildcats are so good that they have sometimes won this year without playing all that well.
In the upcoming NCAA playoffs, Kentucky should regard that fact as both a comfort and a warning.
Player Of The Year
Balloting by the Associated Press
player, team votes
Butch Lee, Marquette ................... 121
Phil Ford, North Carolina ...............62
Larry Bird, Indiana State ............... 44
Mychal Thompson, Michigan Stat ... 33 Freeman Williams, Portland State . 13 Others receiving votes: Jack Givens of Kentucky; Ron Brewer of A