12 Weekender Friday, December 2, 1977
Clemson headaches: probation and no Tree
Back in the summer of 1975, Stan Rome
was quite impressed with the prospects of the
Clemson football team for the coming fall.
The Tigers were ranked tops in the ACC in
preseason polls and Rome, a gifted athlete
by any standard, wanted to share in the
experience awaiting the inhabitants of Death
Little did he know that the glory he
anticipated would soon turn to infamy.
The Tigers that year were the biggest flops
since the Edsel. And by mid-November,
when Rome went to trade his cleats for
sneakers, he realized the exchange would be
a permanent one. His four-month stint as a
wide-receiver taught him that his home was
Littlcjohn Coliseum not Frank Howard
Field. And, most importantly, it showed him
it's no fun to lose.
"It was a good experience for me," Rome
said. "It was the first time 1 was really ever on
a losing team. 1 hate to lose. I d idn't feel like 1
was helping either team."
Rome is satisfied playing basketball and
isn't bothered knowing he'd be catching
passes for a bowl team this fall if he'd stuck
with football. If anything, it's made him long
for an equally successful Clemson basketball
And with some of the problems the Tigers
face this winter, the players need every bit ol
incentive they can find.
For one, Clemson's basketball program is
in the last year of a three-year probation for
violations while Tates Locke was coach. No
matter how good the Tigers are, their season
ends with the ACC Tournament.
"1 don't think it affects the team that
much," Rome said. "Maybe subconsciously
a little. Everybody on the team likes to win.
It only means that we can't go to postseason
play. The last two years we haven't been able
to go anyway."
Secondly, the Tree has been transplanted
to the NBA. And without Wayne Rollins
all seven feet of him around to grab
rebounds and block shots as he's done for
four years, coach Bill Foster has a number of
adjustments to make.
"Everybody's going to have to contribute
a- little more," said Foster, who begins his
third year at Clemson. "We'll have to
improve our defense, shore up what we lost.
We can't gamble defensively like we used to.
We'll have to rely on each other more and be
a better defensive team."
Foster has brought in John Campbell, a 6-foot-9,
234-pound transfer from Anderson
J unior College, to fill Rollins' post. "He's got
a lot of tools," Foster said. "But he doesn't
have much experience. He only played one
year in high school. He's got a lot of
potential. With time I think he can be a
pretty good center."
If Campbell can't handle the job, Stewart
Zane (6 feet 11, 228) will get a try.
Although Rome (6 feet 5, 205) can play
guard, he'll probably start at forward,
joining the team's best shooter, Colon
Abraham (6 feet 5, 208). Marvin Dickerson
(6 feet 6, 190), Jim Howell (6 feet 7, 210) and
Jim "Chubby" Wells (6 feet 6, 205) will also
see extensive playing time up front in
Foster's fee-substitution system.
It won't matter much who starts at guard
because Greg Collins (6 feet 3, 205) Bobby
Conrad (6 feet 2, 165) and Derrick Johnson
(6 feet 2, 206) will split much of the playing
time. Juco transfer Billy Williams (6 feet 4,
205) could also contribute.
The competition for the starting
assignments has made for interesting
practices, Foster said. "We've got 10 or 1 1
people who can play. Practice has been like
But once the season starts, he hopes it's the
opponents not the Tigers - who've lost
- LEE PACE
Cavs need glowing offense, shining Lamp
I f Carolina basketball fans were to vote on
the sports figures they dislike the most, the
odds are excellent that Marc lavaroni would
rank among the leaders.
UNC supporters have been incensed
several times during the past three basketball
season when Virginia's occasionally-brilliant
forward would throw an elbow, charge into a
defender or involve himself in some other
conduct not deemed in the best interests of
Carolina's hallowed basketball team.
And lavaroni hasn't helped his image any
by being one of the masterminds of the Great
Landover Hijack of 1976 and by nearly
leading the Cavaliers to a second consecutive
ACC Tournament upset over Carolina last
Opposing fans, however, aren t the only
folks that get down on him. Marc lavaroni
does too. Sometimes to an extreme.
"Marc expects to win every night out,"
said his coach, Terry Holland. "He takes it
personally when we lose. Sometimes this
lavaroni is aware of the problem and he's
willing to work on it. Both he and Holland
have admitted that the success of Virginia's
efforts this winter might depend on it.
"One of the keys will how well I respond to
adversity," says lavaroni, a stringy 6-foot-9,
215-pound senior forward. "I've got to
handle the pressure and not let things get to
Holland says: "He plays his best when the
team is playing its best. I hope we can win
enough this year so that he doesn't get down
There are, of course, other keys besides
lavaroni's mental attitude. Holland's most
pressing concerns involve the Cavs' scoring
ability, the play of freshman guard Jeff
Lamp and a shortage of depth in the front
"We've got to improve offensively this
season without sacrificing anything
defensively," Holland says of his team,
which hit only 45 percent of its field goal
attempts. "We came on on strong near the
end of last season and we've got to continue
If preseason play is any indication, that
shooting mark will be helped enormously by
Lamp, who Holland helped lure to
Charlottesville by hiring his high school
coach and signing a teammate. In his initial
effort in a Virginia uniform the Blue
Orange game Lamp scored 30 points.
"Lamp's not spectacular, but he's very,
very good," Holland says. "He does
everything well. He's capable of scoring; he's
smart, aggressive: he's a good team player.
He can turn a game around for you when
thines aren't eoina so Rood.
Lamp will start in the big-guard slot,
giving V irginia a height advantage over most
opponents, "but he'll wind up inside a lot,"
Veteran Bobby Stokes and Tommy H icks,
a transfer from Tulane, are the leading
candidates for the starting point-guard
Although Virginia boasts of talented
compliments to lavaroni up front, there just
aren't many of them. Center Steve Castellan
improved each night last season and by the
tournament the 6-foot-9, 222-pound junior
was averaging nearly 10 points a game and
over seven rebounds. Mike Owens (6 feet 6,
210) will use his soft shooting touch at small
forward with Jeff Klein and Lee Raker
(Lamp's high school teammate) backing him
But Klein and Raker have no experience,
and second team center, Ed Shetlick, doesn't
have much either. "One of our chief
weaknesses will be a lack of depth in the
front line," Holland says.
"But we should be better offensively, have
good overall size and quickness, and I think
we'll be able to exploit our strength better."
If they do, the Cavs could make the ACC
finals for the third time in a row.
- LEE PACE
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