Courier-Journal All-OVC 1970
By JOHN FLYNN Courier-Journal A Times Staff Writer By landslide margins, Jim McDaniels and John Oldham have been selected as the top player and coach in the Ohio Valley Conference by The Courier-Journal & Times. No player and team have ever dominated the respected OVC more thoroughly than McDaniels and the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, who were glued together by Oldham this season after suffering through uncountable sophomore problems. When informed of his award, the easygoing Oldham attributed it to experience. Not his own, he hastened to add, but the experience of his players. "Experienced players can do wonders for a coach," said Oldham, smiling. McDaniels, meanwhile, topped an All- Davidson, Richmond Gain; Penn Ivy King from f and Special Dispatches semifinals of the College Athletic Con- Top-seeded Davidson scored 29 points ference tournament, in the last 10 minutes of the first half and Centre's Buddy Baker took game scor- went on to rout William & Mary 78-54 ing honors with 25 points as his team in the semifinals of the Southern Confer- suffered its 17th loss in 24 starts, ence basketball tournament at Charlotte, Seventh-ranked Penn whipped Colum- N. C, last night. bia 71-57 at Philadelphia to clinch the . , . . . , , . Ivy League championship and a berth Davidson will meet Richmond in the . ' h CAA tt. The victory championship game tonight Richmond , 24th . 25 and itg mh eliminated George Washington in the . th nation,s j t coll OVC first five that includes Murray State's Claude Virden, last year's Player of the Year, high-scoring Howard Wright of Austin Pcay, tough veteran Mike Kret.er of East Tennessee and a surprise, Morehcad State's Jim Day. McDaniels expressed surprise and pleasure at being named the Player of the Year. "I really am proud," he said, "because there are fine players in the OVC. 1 never expected to be selected." He shouldn't have been surprised, not after the year he has had. The 7-footer leads the OVC in scoring (28.7), shooting percentage (.565) and rebounding (13.9). More importantly, Western has been a big winner under his leadership. "Mac has improved in every department over last season," said Oldham, "and the happy prospect is that he'll continue to got better because he has such a good altitude about everything." McDaniels, however, expressed concern over his rebounding. "I know I can do better than 14 a game," said Mac. "My knees have been bothering me and I may have spurs removed from both of them this summer." Here's a look at the other first-teamers: Virden Sure to be a high professional draft choice, Claude's production has dropped off slightly this season although he still is, averaging 19.8 points and shooting 48.2 per cent from the field with his snake-like moves. 1 Wright The 6-2 Louisvillian is second only to McDaniels in OVC scoring with a 27.4 average built against stacked defenses. He has the best range of any shooter in the conference and, like Virden, is sure to be tabbed in the pro fessional draft. Krctzer A shooter by reputation, the 6-5 native of New Jersey prides himself on playing defense. He averages 20 points a game, usually takes the opponent's toughest inside player and is as consistent as any performer in the conference. Day He wrote the most unlikely story of the 1969-70 season by developing from a two-point scorer as a sophomore into Morehead's top player under the careful teaching of first-year coach Bill Harrell. He's averaging 22 points and over 10 rebounds and promises to get better next season. The second unit of Eastern Kentucky's Willie Woods, Middle Tennessee's Ken Riley, Murray's Jimmy Young, Western's Jerome Perry and Morehead's Ron Gathright has everything except size. Riley and Perry are the tallest at 6-4, but with players like Woods, a leaping 6-3 defensive standout; Young, a spirited driver and outside shooter; Gathright, a defensive ace, and the bullish Riley and Perry, great size is not necessary. The McDanielses, Virdens, Wrights, Kretzers and Days of tomorrow are usually found on the freshman teams and with this in mind, The Courier-Journal & Times chose the top five yearlings in the conference. Murray State has two of them in 6-3 Lcs Taylor of Carbondale, 111., and 6-4 Fred Towns of St. Louis, who off their freshman performances are expected to step into "varsity jobs next season. Each is averaging 21.5 points for the once-beaten Murray freshmen. Joining them on the All-Freshman five are Charles Mitchell of Eastern Kentucky, 6-10 Chester Brown of Middle Tennessee and Denton Willard of East Tennessee. Mitchell, an explosive 6-3 native of Louisville, is averaging 30 points and is ranked alongside Taylor and Towns as potential stars of tomorrow. Brown, an unpolished but nevertheless imposing Alabaman, is being counted on to lead Middle Tennessee out of the wilderness. He is averaging an impressive 20 rebounds and 16 points and, according to Middle coach Jimmy Earle, "looks even better when he works against our varsity." Willard, a 6-2 Virginian, is leading the East Tennessee frosh with a 21-point average. He's hitting 50 per cent from the field and 80 per cent at the line. "This is not a good year for freshmen in the OVC," said East Tennessee freshman coach Larry Castle, "but Willard's going to be a good one."