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Page B-S Tbe Stfte Journal Sunday, Nomnbtr », 1*1 » Aim tJvuuB v VIBIHU tnMUMj » *~imr'~TT •»> *•** _ • Question marks for Jayhawks By HAROLD BECHARD Sporti Editor LAWRENCE — No one has to tell Ted Owens that he has his work cut out for him this season. Owens, in his 18th year as the head coach at the University of Kansas, faces one of his toughest coaching challenges this season since taking over at KU in 1964. Here's what Owens is facing: • Seven of last year's players from the Jayhawks' 24-8 team have either graduated or decided not to return for the 198182 season. • Just two experienced players return from last year's NCAA tournament team. • A player who missed the entire season last year is slated as the starting center. • A less-than-outstanding recruiting year has left the Jayhawks thin in the depth department. • A killer schedule in December which includes such teams as Michigan State, Kentucky, Indiana, Southern Methodist, St. John's of New York and Villanova. But Owens is not throwing in the towel, not by a long shot. In fact, he was anxious for his team's first game of the season last night against nationally-ranked North Carolina. "In spite of all of our uncertainties which should make us pessimistic, we're optimistic about the season," Owens said. "We're really looking forward to the season." Owens' first priority is to find a replacement for four-time All-Big Eight guard Darnell Valentine, who is now playing pro ball in Portland. Also gone are three-year letter-men John Crawford and Booty Neal and two-year letterman Art Housey. Victor Mitchell, who averaged 8 points and 6 rebounds last year as a junior center, quit school and moved back to Amarillo, Texas. "I told our squad at the beginning of practice that there's no way we can replace the speed of Darnell Valentine, the jumping ability of John Crawford, the outside shooting of Booty Neal or the strength of Art Housey, but that's no reason why we can't win basketball games," Owens said. Kansas will win some basketball games this season because of the ability of 6-6 senior guard Tony Guy, a preseason ail-American pick by Playboy magazine. Guy averaged 16 points a contest last year and had a high-game of 36 against Arizona State in the NCAA tourney. The Towson, Md., native will play both the big guard and point guard positions. "I would not bMitate to uae Tony at point guard," Owens said. "But aa I look around, I can't aee that there's a better big guard in the nation, so I'd prefer to play him there." The other returning starter for the Jayhawks is 6-8 senior David Magley, who has started for the past two years. Magley scored 10 points a game last year and Owens expects big things from the former Mr. Basketball player from South Bend, Ind. "David is in the best condition of his career," Owens said. "His life is dedicated to basketball and to having a great senior year for KU." Owens also considers 6-8 sophomore Kelly Knight as a returning starter. The 1981-82 SCHEDULE Nov. 17 — Republic ot China National Team Nov. 28 — Al North Carolina (Charlotte) Nov. 30 — Arizona State Dec. 2 — Texas Southern Dec. S — Michigan State Dec. 7 — Arizona Dec. 12 — Kentucky Dec. 19 — Southern Methodist Dec. 28-29 — At Holiday Tournament in New York City (Indiana. Villanova, St. John's) Jan. 6 — Evansville Jan. 9 — Rollins Jan. 13 — At Nebraska Jon. 16 — Oklahoma State Jan. 20 — At Missouri Jon. 23 — At Kansas State Jan. 25 — Alcorn State Jon. 27 — Colorado Jan. 30 — Oklahoma Feb. 3 — At Iowa State Feb. 6 — At Oklahoma Stale Feb. 9 — Missouri Feb. 13 — Nebraska Feb. 17 — At Colorado Feb. 20 — Kansas State Feb. 24 — At Oklahoma Feb. 27 — Iowa State former Salina South all-stater missed the entire season last year with a knee injury, but played well for the Jayhawks at the end of his freshman year in 1980. "At the end of his freshman year, Kelly had earned a starting berth," Owens said. "With him, Guy and Magley, we . have three solid players to work with. We need to take the eight others and mesh them into a team." The other two returning lettermen are 6-2 sophomore guard Jeff Konek and 6-7 junior Mark Summers. Both are expected to see plenty of action this season. Satisfied with newcomers Although the new recruits aren't in the blue-chip category, Owens is satisfied with the newcomers. "We have a group of young men that will fit in well into our system and they all are good players," the KU boss said. Topping the list of Jayhawk recruits are guards Tyke Peacock (6-1 junior), Lance Hill (6-5 junior) and Tad Boyle (64 freshman) and forwards Mark Ewing (6-9 junior) and Jeff Dishman (6-5 Junior). Ewing played his high school ball at McPherson. Three of the starting berths are set (Guy, Magley and Knight) according to Owens, but said the other two positions are up for grabs. "We plan on using several types of lineups," he.said. "Mark Summers and Jeff Dishman are two players who will figure strong. One and maybe both of them will start. Tad Boyle is the leading candidate at point guard." Owens knows his team has some limitations and can only hope it stays healthy and out of foul trouble. "We can't afford to have Guy, Magley or Knight get into fqul trouble," he said. "We won't be as post-oriented as we've been in the past, but our greatest strength is we don't have a poor shooter." The Jayhawks open their home schedule at Allen Fieldhouse this Monday against Arizona State. Strong showing in NCAA statistics California-Irivine's Kevin Magee didn't win a national individual statistic title last season, but he did finish in the top four in scoring (27.5), rebounding (12.5) and field goal percentage (67.1), a feat unrivaled in major college basketball. Magee, a 6-8 senior this season, was second in the nation in field goal percentage, third in scoring and fourth in rebounding. Journal Photo TOP GUY — Tony Guy is one of two returning starters for Kansas this season. The 6-6 senior was the Jayhawks' leading scorer last year with 16 points per game. Baker, Burrton top Heart of America The dominating player in the Heart of America League is back, and that spells bad news for opponents of the Burrton Chargers. Rusty Baker, a 6-8 center, returns for his senior campaign. An all-stater last season, Baker averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds a game, and had 141 blocked shots during the Chargers 24-3 campaign. Baker is the only starter back from last year's Heart of America League championship team, but the Chargers are still the favorite in the HO A. race. Third-year Burrton coach Ralph Butler will rely on eight lettermen who guided the Chargers' junior varsity to a 14-0 record last season. If Bunion stumbles, Canton-Galva could grab its fourth HOA title in the put five yean. The Eagles, who finished third in the league and 15-6 overall last year, return three starters, including All- HOA forward Craig Macari. In addition to Macari, a 6-5 senior, sophomore center Brad Wedel and senior guard Dean Scott are back. Little River-Windom, Pretty Prairie and Goessel could also challenge for the top spot in the HOA. Little River has one of the state's premier players in guard-forward Bill Wempe. The 6-4 senior averaged 20.1 points and 10.3 rebounds as he led the Redskins to a 15-6 record last season. Starters Kevin Case, a 6-1 forward, and Pat Wempe, a 6-3 center, also re- H of A turn. Letterman guard Brent Hunsinger will also likely land a starting position this season. Pretty Prairie, 7-12 last season, has another of the league's outstanding players in 6-1 senior forward Robb Dickerson. He has a chance to become the school's second-leading scorer and all- time leading rebounder before he graduates. Goessel, which finished second in last year's HOA race, returns three starters from a 13-6 campaign. The best of the trio is 6-0 guard Chuck Voth. Other returning starters for Goessel are 6-2 forward Todd Ulsaker and 6-0 guard Joel Schmidt. DeWayne Hiebert is a returning letterman. Marquette coach John Gable is counting on four returning starters to help the Wolverines improve on last year's winless HOA campaign and 3-16 overall record. Junior starters Tad Geiman, Travis Hawkinson and Dean LeGron are back. So is senior Quint Hedberg. Lettermen Tom Spohn, Terry Spohn and Gil Rush will also see plenty of playing time this year. The Wolverines, however, are still •handicapped by their lack of size. No Marquette player who is expected to see extensive action stands over six feet tall.