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Western Kentucky Poses Threat To M

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Western Kentucky Poses Threat To M

By Wayne DeNeff

A team with a high degree
of shooting skill, quickness
and dedication on defense—
that's the description of the
Western Kentucky basketball
team which will engage Mich-
igan on Friday in the Mid-
east Regional of the NCAA
Tournament at Iowa City.

"This is one of the good
teams . . . they could go a
' •-rn; way." said Loyola of Chi-

,i,o Coach George Ireland
aDout the Hilltoppers after
his Ramblers were routed,

105-86, in a first-round game
on '^ . •." •

'!. 'iblers were o u t-
hustlcd, out-shot and out-re-
bounded and generally caught
by surprise by Western
Kentucky, no neophyte in
tournament play.

While the famed Ed Did-
dle coached at the Bowling
Green school and under
Coach John Oldham, the Hill-
toppers have appeared in
eight National Invitation-
al Tournaments and four
NCAA events.

In 1942, they were runner-
up in the NIT .\ 1948

They have never advanced
beyond the NCAA regional?
but some are saying this is
the year for Oldham's crew
which is led by All - America
candidate Clem Haskins, a
slender, 6-3V2 junior.

Haskins, a prized high
school player in Kentucky
three years ago, is averaging
22.2 points per game and it's
Haskins and the Smith Broth
ers — Dwight and Greg — wlx
form the nucleus of a fine
group of shooters and re-


The Hilltoppers do not play
as tough a schedule as Michi-

o- •

Western Kentucky's only
losses were to Vanderbilt, 72-
69, and to Dayton, 77-57. Oth-
erwise. the Hilltoppers have
won 24, as a matter of habit
annexed the Ohio Valley
championship with a perfect
"'' " record and hit their high

of the season when
QiinKing the Ramblers.

Still, Oldham figures the

Hilltoppers did not play then-
best against Loyola.

"T h i s wasn't our best
\<\" he said.

L it wasn't it probably
would be hard to convince
Ireland whose Ramblers
trailed 49-43 at halftime and
then just weren't in it in the
second half when Western
Kentucky shot .620, forced
Loyola to shoot from outside
and commanded the boards.

The Hilltoppers have been
shooting a little better than
.500 for the season and they
put four men in double fig-
ures on Monday.

In addition to Haskins' 26,
Dwight Smith had 29, Greg
Smith 21 and senior Steve
Cunningham 14. Cunningham
is 6-6 while Dwight Smith is
6-3V2 and Greg Smith 6-5V2

Like Greg Smith, Wayne

ip man is a sophomore
Mr.rit-r who stands 6-41^.

In running up 100-point
games several times this sea-
son, the Hilltoppers have been
accused of ignoring defense
but those who have seen them
in action say they are alert
and quick to adjust on de-
fense. Their shooting success
gives the ball to the other
team a lot.

Oldham's men piled up 100
or more points against Camp-
bellsville, Memphis State,
Tennessee Tech (120), East-
ern Kentucky and Murray
State before Loyola.

Since <>r.;m,tion of the
Ohio Vali .iference in
1949, Western Kentucky has
been the champion for all but
a few years.

Dibble's re c o r d at the
school was a fabulous 750 vic-
tories while successor Old-
ham has been a winner 160
times against 92 losses as a
major college coach.

While from time to time
there has been agitation for

Kentucky and Western Ken-
tucky to play each other, ath-
letic administration officials
of both schools; ntly
have been contci- the
setup and the two scliools
have never come together on
the basketball court.

The HiBtoppers would like
nothing better th.
the Wildcats in is .
Regional finals and that will
be one of their incentives
when they take on the Wol-
verines at 9 p.m. (10 p.m.,
Ann Arbor time) following the
Kentucky-Dayton contest at 7

Oldham and his players ap-
parently have felt slighted
because of the headlines taken
by Coach Adolph Rupp and
his Wildcats as a result of
their long winning streak (23-
games) and championship in
the Southeastern Conference.

"We've lost only two
games," Oldham commented
recently, "but hardly anyone
seems to have heard of us."

Cage Scores

NAIA TOi, i-.T

First Kouna
Carroll Colle9e, /Wont., 91, Bethune

Cookman 88

Grambling 70, Central State, Wash., 65
Lake,and, Wis., 95, Linfield, Ore., 81
Midwestern 94, Monmouth, N.J., 92
Albuquerque 81, New Haven 74
Carson Newman 68, Indiana Central 67
Athens, Ala., 88, Pittsburg, St. Kan., 79
Illinois Wesleyan 86, Dickinson St.,

N.D., 76