Fresh twist on that far-out Albuquerque rumor about Dean Smith maybe going home to coach Kansas and Larry Brown replacing Smith at North Carolina: Brown using Monday's NBA day off to look into the Kansas job. A Kansas City Times sleuth deduced, at least, that the Larry Brown at the Marriott in K.C. was the coach and the M. Johnson registered was UK Athletic Director Monte Johnson. At Capital Centre last night, Brown said he had not talked with Kansas people and was not going there . . . For real, George Raveling materialized in Iowa City as Hawkeyes' coach. And Raveling's assistant the last two of his 11 years at Washington State, Len Stevens, succeeds him there. Iowa gives Raveling-- voted runner-up by AP to its coach of the year, ahem, Guy Lewis of Houston--a five-year contract; $60,000 per, but radio-TV, summer camp, etc. will put him near the $200,000 tax bracket . . .

General Manager Bob Salyers got in front of a billboard in Indianapolis showing Uncle Sam, in Pacers uniform, saying, "Indy, We're Drafting for You. Join Our Team," to launch a reduced-prices ticket drive for next NBA season. But, he revealed, he had just talked with owner Sam Nassi in California with this upshot: "Yesterday, I would have said there's a possibility the team might not be here next year. Today there's a very high probability."