10 Weekender Friday, December 2. 1977
Deacon hopes rest on Griffin s knee
- . i
""k. " jap m
"3 f e
The fate of the Wake Forest basketball
team this season could be swaying on a
Rod Griffin, the Deacons' only claim to
fame, pulled up lame with a cartilage tear in
his right knee during the preseason and had
only limited practice then. The powerful
forward. Player of the Year in the ACC last
year, will be a major factor in the success of
the Wake squad this year, which has been
ranked in the Top 15 or 20 by most polls.
"The polls are based on last year's good
finish," Wake Coach Carl Tacy says. "Right
now I look at our club, and 1 don't see the
same club we had last year."
With the loss of sparkplugs Skip Brown
and Jerry Schellenberg, Wake must rely on
young or untested players to come through,
particularly at the guard position.
Frank Johnson (6 feet 2, 180), a
sophomore who played in the backcourt
with Brown last season, should play at the
point position this year, even though he
probably is better suited for the big-guard
spot. Junior Mark Dale (5 feet 8, 148), who
has seen only spotty action during his time at
Wake, should get the starting nod to play
"Johnson is much improved," Tacy says.
"He has been outstanding. He's doing a
better job of guiding our attack."
Leroy McDonald (6 feet 5, 195) probably
will start at the other forward spot opposite
Griffin. McDonald played a valuable reserve
role last year and played in every game.
Larry Harrison (6 feet II, 225) will be the
Deacons' center and will be relied on to help
Griffin on the boards to compensate for the
inexperience in the backcourt.
"I hate setting goals, but I'd like to score 15
to 20 points per game," H arrison says. "W ith
age, I'm looked up to more for leadership.
They're looking inside more than last year,
even without Rod."
Harrison, who averaged only 7.3 points
per game last year, is expected to go against
the big centers from around the conference,
such as Duke's Mike Gminski, Carolina's
Rich Yonakor and Maryland's Larry
"I'm not jinxed," he says. "1 haven't
learned to win. Last year helped a lot. I've
learned what it'll take to win. In the past,
Wake has taken what was given to us. Now,
we have to go and get it."
Forward Wilbert Singleton is the
freshman most likely to contribute
significantly to the Deacons this season, but
Tacy says frosh Ed Thurman, Fran
McCaffery (both guards) and 6-foot-10
center Justin Ellis could contribute.
"Thurman and McCaffrey will be good
players once they settle down," he says. "Ellis
is the most sound of all the players."
But Griffin remains the key. He is
expected to start during the season unless his
knee gives him more problems. The players
and Tacy say the biggest problem so far has
been his absence from practice.
"He's been out since the first week in
practice," Tacy says. "If it heals correctly, we
can get through the season all right. He
wants to put it through a stern test early so
we can tell if it's going to hold up. We hope
He's much of our inside game."
- GENE LPCHURCH
Terps' biggest test on court not in class
Regardless of whether Rod Griffin
remains healthy all season, Wake Forest
won't challenge for the ACC title unless
the Deacs can get a steady performance
from 6-foot-10 center Larry Harrison.
Although he's had several outstanding
games in his career, Harrison is prone to
inconsistency. Staff photo by Allen
Most of the preseason talk concerning the
Maryland basketball team this fall has
surrounded the learning capabilities of
several Terrapin players. Four of them, it
seems, are on academic probation and
without good fall semester grades, could be
banished from the College Park campus.
Maryland Coach Lefty Driesell isn't
overly concerned with how well his players
master their reading, writing and arithmetic,
"There's no problem," he says. "All this
publicity about these guys' grades is just
going to make them work that much harder
and go to class more. They'll be okay. No one
needs to worrv about the Marvland
On the Cat's Cradle
Videoscreen You Can
See the Game Better
Than Dean Smith
We're happy to announce that at the
Cat's Cradle we have added a 10' Advent
Videoscreen, the largest T.V. available in
the area, with the best color. You can
drink beer, bring all your friends, and
cheer for THE TAR HEELS. We will
show all Sat. and Wed. night ACC games
with NO COVER CHARGE. So come
early and get into the action of the ACC.
ni r .. yl mr-i
The most important learning, Driesell
says, will come on the basketball floor. If he
can do a decent job teaching his players how
to play tough defense, get the offensive
rebounds, set picks and dive for loose balls,
he feels the Terps will be good bets to rejoin
the nation's elite after a year's absence. "1
didn't like being out of the Top 10 last year
one bit. I'd like to get back in. Whether we do
depends on how well we learn to do these
Driesell also might have problems finding
the right man for the right slot in his lineup,
which is missing two of last year's starters.
Steve Sheppard. the leading scorer last year,
graduated to the pros and playmaker Brad
Davis, the 1975 freshman sensation, opted to
join the pros a year early. Also gone are
reserve sharpshooter Brian Magid, who
transferred across town to George
Washington after two years of bench
warming, and forward James Tillman, who
quit the team.
Davis' absence presents the biggest
problem. Sophomore Jo Jo Hunter (6 feet 2,
180 pounds) has the physical attributes to
play the position, but lacks the fiery
leadership qualities Driessel wants in his
point guard. "Jo Jo's introverted, quiet,"
Driesel says. "I like a take-charge guy out
there, someone with vocal leadership. Jo Jo
has the physical capabilities, he just doesn't
have the confidence like(John) Lucas had. If
he did. he could be as good as Lucas."
If Driesell isn't happy with Hunter,
sophomore Bill Bryant (6 feet 4, 1 98 pounds)
or freshman Greg Manning (6 feet 1, 166
pounds) could step in.
Leading rebounder and shot blocker
Larry G ibson (6 feet 9, 200 pounds) is back at
center, with Lawrence Boston (6 feet 7, 210
pounds) and Mike Davis (6 feet 8, 220
pounds) returning to back up Gibson and fill
the big forward spot.
Joining the animals on the front line likely
will be the nation's top high school prospect
from last year, although Driesell hedges
when asked if Albert King will start. "Albert
is 17 years old. There's an awful lot of
pressure on him and all these other freshmen
in the league. It's unfair of us to throw these
freshmen in. Don't expect them to set the
world on fire."
But if the past is any indicator, at least two
or three of the league's rookies will warm to
the task by March. And Driesell would like
nothing better than for his King to rule the
- LEE PACE
A pair of cushions, seat and back
DO YOUR OWN! fireside seatng ,
CONVERSATION PITS, SOFAS, and
CHAIRS Zippered fabric in...
PLAIDS, PATTERNS, Polished
COTTON, CORDUROY, VELOURS
REFLECTIONS 102 W. Franklin ST.
405 W. Rosemary St.