May, Benson named all-Americans again

May, Benson named all-Americans again

by Bob Hammel, H-T Sports Editor

March 10, 1976

From the March 10, 1976 Bloomington Daily Herald – Telephone

Indiana’s Scott May was the only senior and Hoosier center Kent Benson also was a first-team selection as Basketball Weekly magazine announced its college all-American basketball team today.

With May and Benson on the first five were junior Adrian Dantley of Notre Dame and sophomores Bernard King of Tennessee and Phil Ford of North Carolina – the youngest team ever picked by the Detroit-based magazine.

The announcements came with the Hoosiers well into game-week preparations for their first-round NCAA test at South Bend Saturday against St. John’s (23-5).

The Hoosiers and Redmen will meet at 2:15 p.m. in a nationally televised game – the second time around for the two teams, which played for the Holiday Festival championship at New York’s Madison Square Garden in December with Indiana coming out a 76-69 winner.

St. John’s coach Lou Carnesecca insists he won’t be predicating his preparations on memories from that first game with the Hoosiers.

“That was a game in December, three months ago,” he said. “You can’t play yesterday’s game.

“You’ve just gotta approach this as another ball game, because situations probably won’t develop the same way at all.”

Situations included severe foul problems for both teams as officials whistled 49 fouls. At one point, late in the game, each team was playing with four men who had four fouls, and St. John’s ultimately lost its starting front line – forwards John Farmer and Beaver Smith and center George Johnson, all in the final seconds.

“I thought we played exceedingly well,” Carnesecca said of the first game – one considered at the time as a collegiate showpiece in New York.

“We ain’t gonna blow anybody off,” Carnesecca said. “Every game has been a cliffhanger.”

The St. John’s overtimes came in a seven-game stretch, and they broke even – beating Hawaii (74-71) and Army (87-75) and losing to Princeton (58-55) and Georgetown (74-73). The Redmen’s other losses were to Indiana, Providence (67-53, the only non-cliffhanger on the Carnesecca list) and unbeaten Rutgers (70-67).

“The Rutgers game was a hell of a game,” Carnesecca said. “They’re a good basketball team.

“You couldn’t believe how bad we shot. We played well but we just couldn’t put the ball in the basket. But it was a great basketball game.”

Kent Benson (54) knocks the ball towards Scott May (42).

St. John’s is shooting .460 for the season, and the Redmen hit .482 against Indiana in the first game, so the Hoosiers are aware of their shooting skills.

The team has four double-figure scorers, guard Gene Williams leading with a 14.6 average, while sophomore center Johnson (who had 23 against Indiana) is averaging 13.8, Smith 14.2 and playmaking guard Frank Alagia 10.0.

Alagia is averaging almost 6 1/2 assists a game, and he and Johnson are high in steals – Johnson 48 and Alagia 47.

St. John’s will arrive in South Bend after Indiana, the Redmen checking in Thursday night and getting their first workout at the Athletic and Convocation Center that evening. They’ll have a second one Friday, the day Indiana will arrive for its pre-tourney workout.