YOU CAN'T GO wrong with basic black. That goes for NBA uniforms, as well as evening wear. Chicago, Orlando, Houston, Portland, San Antonio and Miami all have road uniforms that are virtually all black.

Soon you can add another to the list: the Jazz.The Deseret News has learned that if the coming NBA season actually occurs, the Jazz will have a set of black road uniforms, to be used for 12 games this year. The NBA, which designed the current Jazz uniforms, has already made up a prototype. The uniform is black with copper trim and says "Jazz" across the front; missing are the mountains in the back-ground.

Several years ago the Jazz were considering green road uniforms. The league eventually wants all teams to have at least three different uniforms. That way it can make up three different colors of merchandise.

But why do the Jazz need black in their uniforms? It sells better than anything else. Because when it comes to fashion and the NBA, you can never get too much black.

And you can never make too much money.

BULLY BALL: Having returned to coaching after sitting out since December 1988, Starzz coach Frank Layden has had a decade to observe the NBA from a more objective standpoint. There are, he allows, significant differences between the WNBA and the NBA.

Layden says WNBA players "were well-coached before I got them; they know the game and they are anxious to improve and learn. They're not players who think they know it all. It's more of a finesse game."

The NBA, however, is another matter. "The NBA is such a physical game," he says. "It's a banger's game. And in a way, I wish it wasn't. There's so much fouling in the NBA it scares me. I wish the NBA were not as rough a game. It's too physical a game."

Good thing Karl Malone never gets involved in that sort of rough stuff.

BENDING THE RULES: College basketball teams didn't fly on charter jets or stay in luxury hotels in the 1950s. But one thing was a lot easier to deal with when Hot Rod Hundley was playing ball: the NCAA. In an era in which a school can be reprimanded for giving a recruit a T-shirt, it's hard to believe what schools got away with back in the '50s.

In his soon-to-be-released book ("You Gotta Love It, Baby"), the Jazz announcer talks of being recruited by numerous colleges when he was still a high school star. North Carolina State, he claims, got him a summer job as a lifeguard at the campus pool - and he couldn't swim.

"I was assigned to the wading pool, but mostly I got paid for lying in the sun," he says.

Hundley continues, "I spent my days lying by the pool and spent my nights driving a fancy Olds and wearing the fancy duds they gave me. I was loving it. Like I said, they treated me well."

Indeed they did.

Once he signed with West Virginia University, it was more fun and games. There were alumni who "were happy to help me out financially. It wasn't a lot, $10 or $20 here and there."

Oh, and the car and free clothes there, too.

Even then, the NCAA frowned on such practices. When word got out about how Hundley was being treated and an investigation was about to be launched, Hundley and his coach confessed. He was let off without missing a game.

EUROPEAN VACATION: Just in time for the release of the World War II movie "Saving Private Ryan," BYU football coach LaVell Edwards has gained a new appreciation for the events that changed the world.

Edwards spent most of July traveling in Europe. He golfed, visited art museums and made a stop at Normandy, the site of the famous D-Day invasion.

Edwards speaks emotionally about his visit to the site. "That was one of the most impressive. . . ," he started to say, swallowing hard to keep his emotions in check. "I got choked up just being there."

While there, Edwards was approached by a European television crew, filming in conjunction with the release of the Tom Hanks movie. But when someone in his party noted he was a famous American football coach, the crew was disinterested. It was, predictably, more interested in Americans' feelings about D-Day than the breakup of the WAC.

Though Edwards was too young to participate in World War II, he does have a tie to the military. He played on service teams in Fort Mead, Md., and Fort Lee, Va.

It was on the latter team where Edwards got his first taste of coaching, where as a player-coach he led Fort Lee to a 6-3 record.

QUOTEFILE: Hundley on the thrill of having his old No. 33 hanging in the Great Western Forum: "Of course, it would have meant a lot more if the jersey . . . didn't have `Abdul-Jabbar' written across the top."