In Memoriam: RIP Look at 2012 Deceased Who Impacted College Basketball

With Auld Lang Syne chords playing in the background, the final day of the calendar year offered another time to say goodbye acknowledging the passing away in 2012 of a striking number of college basketball movers and shakers. Following is an alphabetical list of the deceased who didn't drop the ball:

  • Murray Arnold, 74, coached DI schools Tennessee-Chattanooga, Western Kentucky and Stetson. He guided UTC and WKU to the NCAA playoffs in the 1980s.
  • Gene Bartow, 81, coached Valparaiso, Memphis State, Illinois and UCLA before starting UAB's program. He directed Memphis and UCLA to the Final Four in a four-year span from 1973 through 1976.
  • Bob Boozer, 75, was the leading scorer and rebounder for Kansas State's 1958 Final Four team. He was an NCAA unanimous first-team All-American in 1959 and consensus first-team All-American in 1958.
  • Pete Brennan, 75, was the leading rebounder and second-leading scorer for North Carolina's undefeated 1957 NCAA Tournament champion (32-0 record). He became an NCAA consensus second-team All-American the next season.
  • Joe Curran, 89, coached Canisius in the 1950s. The Griffs' four-overtime 79-77 upset of North Carolina State in 1956 is one of the biggest upsets in NCAA playoff history.
  • Jim Dinwiddie, 63, averaged 3.8 ppg and shot 52.5% from the floor from 1968-69 through 1970-71 for Kentucky under coach Adolph Rupp. In an apparent suicide (gunshot wound), Dinwiddie was found in bedroom above his law office in a former hotel building he owned.
  • LeRoy Ellis Sr., 72, was an All-American center for St. John's as a senior in 1962. He helped power St. John's to national postseason competition all three of his varsity seasons, including an NIT runner-up finish in 1962.
  • Dick Harter, 81, won nearly 60% of his games decided by fewer than six points while coaching Penn, Oregon and Penn State. His 1971 Penn squad lost the East Regional final against Villanova.
  • Kenny Heitz, 65, was a regular for UCLA's three consecutive NCAA titlists in the late 1960s when all-time great Lew Alcindor manned the middle for the Bruins.
  • Art Heyman, 71, was the leading scorer and rebounder for Duke's national third-place team in the 1963 NCAA Tournament when he earned acclaim as Final Four Most Outstanding Player. Named national player of the year as a senior by AP, UPI and USBWA.
  • Andrew "Fuzzy" Levane, 92, was the third-leading scorer for St. John's in 1941-42 and 1942-43 under legendary coach Joe Lapchick.
  • Rick Majerus, 64, coached Marquette, Ball State, Utah and Saint Louis. Received Wooden Award as national coach of the year in 1998 when his Utah squad became the only Final Four team ever to feature three Academic All-Americans among its regulars.
  • Slater "Dugie" Martin, 86, was the second-leading scorer for Texas' national third-place team in 1947 NCAA Tournament (26-2 record). He became an All-SWC first-team selection the next two seasons and scored a school single-game record 49 points as a senior against TCU (subsequently tied).
  • Neil Reed, 36, is the former Indiana player who coach Bob Knight was caught on tape choking during a practice in 1997. Reed transferred to Southern Mississippi, where he led the Golden Eagles in scoring in 1998-99 with 18.1 points per game.
  • Peter Sauer, 35, was captain and third-leading rebounder for Stanford's 1998 Final Four squad.
  • Dwayne Schintzius, 43, was the center for Florida's first three NCAA playoff teams in the late 1980s.
  • Charlie Spoonhour, 72, coached Southwest Missouri State, St. Louis and UNLV. In 1994, he guided SLU to its first NCAA tourney in 37 years.
  • Jack Twyman, 78, was an All-American for Cincinnati as a senior in 1955. He led the Bearcats in scoring and rebounding his last three seasons.
  • Lou Watson, 88, was an All-Big Ten Conference first-team selection for Indiana as a senior in 1949-50. He coached his alma mater for five seasons as Bob Knight's predecessor.
  • Jerome Whitehead, 56, was the second-leading rebounder and third-leading scorer for Marquette's 1977 NCAA championship club. Whitehead became an All-American the next season when he averaged 14 ppg and 8.3 rpg.
  • Orlando Woolridge, 52, was a backup freshman frontcourter for Notre Dame's lone Final Four team in 1978.