Rebuilding Mu rray Green, Promising By LOU YOUNKIN Cwrl Jwnil t Times Staff Writer Shed a tear for Murray State University basketball coach Cat Luther. But one tear ought to do it. Luther, who lost three starters from his 1967-68 club that won 16 of 24 games and tied for the Ohio Valley Conference championship with a 104 record, is understandably worried about inexperience. The three graduation losses were 6-foot-10 center Dick Cunningham (now with the pro Milwaukee Bucks), 6toot suard Billy Chumblcr and 6-3 forward Tom Moran. They scored 1.098 points last season, rebounding star Cunningham getting 373 for a 15.5-point average, Chumbler 372 for a similar 1)5 average and Moran 353 for an average of 14 7. Funneman, Yirden Return Returning regulars are 6 1 guard Don Funneman. a 2t-ycarold armed forces veteran, and 65 forward Claude Virden. l'.'ith juniors, they are a couple of good men to have around. Funneman. although averaging only 74 points a yenr an, is a standout A, f W a t - . it -r w 3 A RETURNING regular at Murray, 26-year-old Don Funneman is a standout on defense. MURRAY SCHEDULE Nay. 30 U of Texos at Arlington Murray Doc. 2-Trinity (Te ) Murray Oec. 7 Son Fornondo (Calif.) Stat Murray Dec 9 Corson-Newman Murray Dec II Bradley Murray Dec. 14 Canisivi Buffalo, N.Y. Dec. 16 Kontat . ... Lawrence, Kan. Dec 18 Georgia Southern . Murray Dec 10-Abilene Chriitian Abilene, Tex. Dec. Jl Hacdin-Simmons Abilene, Tex. Jon. 4 Morehead Morehead Jon. 4 Eottern Kentucky Richmond Jan. 11 Tennessee Tech Murray Jon. 13 Eost Tennessee . Murray Jon. 15 on American .... . Murray Jan. 18--Middle Tennessee Murray Jon. 25 Louisiana College Murray Feb. 1 Austin Peoy . Clarltiville, Tenn. Feb. 3 Western Kentucky . Bowling Green Feb. 5 Middle Tennessee Murfreesboro, Tenn. Feb. 8 Austin Feoy - . . Murray Feb. 10 Tennessee Tech Cookeville, Tenn. Feb. 15 Eastern Kentucky Murray Feb. 17 Morehead . Murray Feb. 22 East Tennessee Johnson City, Tenn. Mar. 1 Western Kentucky Murray on defense, while Virden led Murray in scoring average with a 17.7 marie after missing the first seven games with a sprained ankle. And Virden, the smooth, high-jumping native of Akron, Ohio, was named the OVC's Sophomore of the Year for his efforts. Also back are 64 forward Ron Romani and 6-7 forward-center Jim Stocks, both of whom started on occasion last season. "But we're very, very green," Luther said. "We're so doggoned inexperienced that we have more people around here who weren't here last year than were here." Murray of 1968 69 will be unlike Murray teams of the past few years which have played a slow, deliberate style to take advantage of the talents of Cunningham. "We're going to play a different style entirely," Luther said, "both offensively and defensively. We won't use the single pivot anymore. We're going to run. We aren't nearly as big as we were so w e're going to have to run." Lost To East Tennessee Murray lost to Fast Tennessee 79 75 in a playoff for the right to represent the OVC in the NCAA tournament. But how does this season stack up? "We'll be way down the ladder." Luther said. "This is definitely a rebuilding year, but we have some potential and by the end of the season we might be fair. But that's all. "The rest of the conference? Wow! Eastern has four starters back. Morehead has four starters back and 11 of its top 12, Western has all those great sophomores coming up to replace the key men it lost and those Tennessee schools just keep on improving." But before you shed that second tear for Luther and his crew, there are a few things to consider. Not only do juniors Steve Riley and Gary Wilson (the only true blue Ken-tuckian on the squad) return from last year's team, there are guys like this around ready to do or die for Murray State: Jimmy Young, Bill Mancini. Cary Steverson. Ron Rippetoe. Ron Johnson, Hector Blondet and Frank Streety. Young, a 6 foot sophomore guard, led the Murray frosh in scoring last season after averaging 35 points a game for Montgomery Central High in Clarksville. Tenn. Mancini, a ti-5 forward, was the freshmen's second leading scorer and No. 1 rebounder. The 6-2 Steverson. a guard who averaged 32 points in high school at Millinglon, Tenn., was the No. 3 freshman scorer. Played as Junior in Kentucky Rippetoe. a 6 3 guard forward, played his junior year in high school at Henderson before moving to Tennessee. He was redshirted last year after transferring from the University of Tennessee. Johnson, Blondet and Streety are junior college products. The 6 6 Johnson averaged 16 points and 20 rebounds for Northeast Oklahoma, while Blondet. 64. scored 17 points a game for tough Paducah. And then there's Streety. Although only 5 feet 10, Streety was a junior college All American at Broome Tech in Binghamton, N.Y. He averaged 26 points and led his team to the quarterfinals of the national junior college tournament. There, that stopped that second tear, didn't it? MURRAY ROSTER NO. NAME HT. WT. CLASS AGE HOMETOWN 10 Frank Streety 5-11 160 Jr. 20 Brooklyn, N.Y. 12 Jimmy Young 6-0 180 So. 19 Clarksville, Tenn. 22 Stev Riley 6-2 18S Jr. 21 Marlton, N.J. 23 Gary Steverson 6-2 175 So. 19 Millinglon, Tenn. 24 Dan Funneman 6-1 180 Jr. 26 Effingham, IM. 30 Claud Virden 6-5 195 Jr. 20 Akron, Ohio 31 Gary Wilson 6-7 205 Jr. 21 CampbellsviMe 32 Ron Rippetoe 6-3 18S Jr. 21 Donelson, Tenn. 33 Hector Blondelt 6-4 180 So. 21 Brooklyn, N Y. 34 Ron Romani 6-4 190 Sr. 22 Washington, 111 40 Ron Johnson 6-6 21$ So. 19 Newark, N J. 41 Jim Stock 67 ... 21 5 11 Akron.Ohio 45 Bill Mancini' " "r-5" 1 90 So. 20 Eattchetter, N.Y.