Extra! Extra! As a new season commences, read all about memorable major league baseball achievements, moments and transactions involving former college basketball players! Numerous ex-college hoopsters had front-row seats to many of the most notable games and dates in MLB history.
Baseball is portrayed as a thinking man's game but only 4% of active MLB players earned college diplomas. Unless you habitually pore over the content at baseballlibrary.com, baseballreference.com and nationalpastime.com, following is an April 12 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:
RHP Dick Hall (averaged 13.5 ppg from 1948-49 through 1950-51 for Swarthmore PA Middle Atlantic States Conference Southern Division champions) traded by the Kansas City Athletics to the Baltimore Orioles in 1961.
A pinch-hit homer by OF Lynn Jones (averaged 10.4 ppg for Thiel PA from 1970-71 through 1973-74) accounted for the Detroit Tigers' only runs in a 6-2 loss against the Toronto Blue Jays in 1981.
Detroit Tigers RHP Jeff Robinson (two-time NAIA All-District 3 honoree in early 1980s left Azusa Pacific CA as school's No. 9 all-time scorer) won his MLB debut, allowing only one run in seven innings in a 7-1 victory against the Chicago White Sox in 1987.
After a pair of rainouts, 1B-OF Norm Siebern (member of Southwest Missouri State's back-to-back NAIA Tournament titlists in 1952 and 1953) socked a decisive eighth-inning HR to give the New York Yankees a season-opening 3-2 win over the visiting Boston Red Sox in 1959.
Pittsburgh Pirates LHP Bob Veale (scored 1,160 points from 1955-56 through 1957-58 with Benedictine KS) outdueled San Francisco Giants P Juan Marichal, 1-0, in 1965.
San Diego Padres RF Will Venable (All-Ivy League first-team selection as junior and second-team choice as senior averaged 9.3 ppg under Princeton coach John Thompson III from 2001-02 through 2004-05) scored four runs against the Atlanta Braves in 2010.
North Dakota State's David Richman (23-10) posted the most first-year victories for an NCAA Division I coaching newcomer this season. Following are rookie NCAA Division I head coaches with the best winning percentages going back to 1963-64 when Tates Locke became Bob Knight's predecessor at Army:
|Season||First-Year Head Coach||School||W-L||Pct.||Predecessor|
|1963-64||Tates Locke||Army||19-7||.731||George Hunter|
|1964-65||Gary Thompson||Wichita State||21-9||.700||Ralph Miller|
|1965-66||Lou Carnesecca||St. John's||18-8||.692||Joe Lapchick|
|1965-66||Bob Knight||Army||18-8||.692||Tates Locke|
|1966-67||Tommy Bartlett||Florida||21-4||.840||Norman Sloan|
|1967-68||John Dromo||Louisville||21-7||.750||Peck Hickman|
|1968-69||Tom Gola||La Salle||23-1||.958||Jim Harding|
|1969-70||Terry Holland||Davidson||22-5||.815||Lefty Driesell|
|1970-71||Richard "Digger" Phelps||Fordham||26-3||.897||Ed Conlin|
|1971-72||Chuck Daly||Penn||25-3||.893||Dick Harter|
|1972-73||Norm Ellenberger||New Mexico||21-6||.778||Bob King|
|1973-74||Lute Olson||Long Beach State||24-2||.923||Jerry Tarkanian|
|1974-75||Tom Apke||Creighton||20-7||.741||Eddie Sutton|
|1974-75||Wayne Yates||Memphis State||20-7||.741||Gene Bartow|
|1975-76||Bill Blakeley||North Texas State||22-4||.846||Gene Robbins|
|1976-77||Jim Boeheim||Syracuse||26-4||.867||Roy Danforth|
|1976-77||Charlie Schmaus||Virginia Military||26-4||.867||Bill Blair|
|1977-78||Gary Cunningham||UCLA||25-3||.893||Gene Bartow|
|1978-79||Bill Hodges||Indiana State||33-1||.971||Bob King|
|1979-80||Bob Dukiet||St. Peter's||22-9||.710||Bob Kelly|
|1979-80||Dave "Lefty" Ervin||La Salle||22-9||.710||Paul Westhead|
|1980-81||Pat Foster||Lamar||25-5||.833||Billy Tubbs|
|1981-82||Jim Boyle||St. Joseph's||25-5||.833||Jim Lynam|
|1982-83||Ed Tapscott||American University||20-10||.667||Gary Williams|
|1983-84||Rick Huckabay||Marshall||25-6||.806||Bob Zuffelato|
|1984-85||Newton Chelette||Southeastern Louisiana||18-9||.667||Ken Fortenberry|
|1985-86||Pete Gillen||Xavier||25-5||.833||Bob Staak|
|1986-87||Pete Herrmann||Navy||26-6||.813||Paul Evans|
|1987-88||Rick Barnes||George Mason||20-10||.667||Joe Harrington|
|1988-89||Kermit Davis||Idaho||25-6||.806||Tim Floyd|
|1989-90||Jim Anderson||Oregon State||22-7||.759||Ralph Miller|
|1990-91||Alan LeForce||East Tennessee State||28-5||.848||Les Robinson|
|1991-92||Blaine Taylor||Montana||27-4||.871||Stew Morrill|
|1992-93||Fran Fraschilla||Manhattan||23-7||.767||Steve Lappas|
|1993-94||Kirk Speraw||Central Florida||21-9||.700||Joe Dean Jr.|
|1994-95||George "Tic" Price||New Orleans||20-11||.645||Tim Floyd|
|1995-96||Mike Heideman||Wisconsin-Green Bay||25-4||.862||Dick Bennett|
|1996-97||Bill Carmody||Princeton||24-4||.857||Pete Carril|
|1997-98||Bill Guthridge||North Carolina||34-4||.895||Dean Smith|
|1998-99||Tevester Anderson||Murray State||27-6||.818||Mark Gottfried|
|1999-00||Mark Few||Gonzaga||26-9||.743||Dan Monson|
|2000-01||Thad Matta||Butler||24-8||.750||Barry Collier|
|2001-02||Stan Heath||Kent State||29-6||.829||Gary Waters|
|2002-03||Brad Brownell||UNC Wilmington||24-7||.774||Jerry Wainwright|
|2003-04||Jamie Dixon||Pittsburgh||31-5||.861||Ben Howland|
|2004-05||Mark Fox||Nevada||25-7||.781||Trent Johnson|
|2005-06||Rob Jeter||Wisconsin-Milwaukee||22-9||.710||Bruce Pearl|
|2006-07||Anthony Grant||Virginia Commonwealth||28-7||.800||Jeff Capel III|
|2007-08||Brad Stevens||Butler||30-4||.882||Todd Lickliter|
|2008-09||Ken McDonald||Western Kentucky||25-9||.735||Darrin Horn|
|2009-10||Shaka Smart||Virginia Commonwealth||27-9||.750||Anthony Grant|
|2010-11||B.J. Hill||Northern Colorado||21-11||.656||Tad Boyle|
|2011-12||Steve Prohm||Murray State||31-2||.939||Billy Kennedy|
|2012-13||Kevin Ollie||Connecticut||20-10||.667||Jim Calhoun|
|2013-14||Brad Underwood||Stephen F. Austin||32-3||.914||Danny Kaspar|
|2014-15||David Richman||North Dakota State||23-10||.697||Saul Phillips|
Extra! Extra! As a new season commences, read all about memorable major league baseball achievements, moments and transactions involving former college basketball players! Numerous ex-college hoopsters had front-row seats to many of the most notable games and dates in MLB history.
Baseball is portrayed as a thinking man's game but only 4% of active MLB players earned college diplomas. Unless you habitually pore over the content at baseballlibrary.com, baseballreference.com and nationalpastime.com, following is an April 11 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:
RHP Roger Craig (forward with North Carolina State's 1949-50 freshman basketball team) released by the Cincinnati Reds and promptly signed as a free agent by the Philadelphia Phillies in 1966.
RHP Dallas Green (Delaware's runner-up in scoring and rebounding in 1954-55) purchased from the Philadelphia Phillies by the Washington Senators in 1965. Returned to the Phillies a month later.
In 1932, utilityman Harvey Hendrick (Vanderbilt letterman in 1918) is traded with P Benny Frey and cash by the Cincinnati Reds to the St. Louis Cardinals for holdout OF Chick Hafey, the previous year's N.L. batting champion.
1B Gil Hodges (played for Oakland City IN in 1947 and 1948) hit the first homer in New York Mets history (at St. Louis in 1962).
In his second MLB game, Boston Red Sox RF Joe Lahoud (New Haven CT letterman in mid-1960s) socked a homer off the Detroit Tigers' Denny McLain in 1968.
In 1961, Hall of Fame RHP Robin Roberts (one of Michigan State's top three scorers each season from 1944-45 through 1946-47) tied Grover Cleveland Alexander's N.L. record with a 12th straight Opening Day start for the Philadelphia Phillies.
CF Bill Virdon (played for Drury MO in 1949) traded by the New York Yankees to the St. Louis Cardinals in a deal involving OF Enos Slaughter in 1954. Seven years later, Virdon socked a two-out, three-run homer to give the Pittsburgh Pirates an 8-7 victory at San Francisco.
Mid-major schools supplied two NCAA consensus second-team All-Americans. (Northern Iowa's Seth Tuttle became the third different Missouri Valley Conference player in the last three years to earn NCAA consensus A-A acclaim while Kyle Wiltjer became the fifth different Gonzaga player in this category in the last 14 years.
Extra! Extra! As a new season commences, read all about memorable major league baseball achievements, moments and transactions involving former college basketball players! Numerous ex-college hoopsters had front-row seats to many of the most notable games and dates in MLB history.
Baseball is portrayed as a thinking man's game but only 4% of active MLB players earned college diplomas. Unless you habitually pore over the content at baseballlibrary.com, baseballreference.com and nationalpastime.com, following is an April 10 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:
Washington Senators 1B Frank Howard (two-time All-Big Ten Conference first-team selection in 1956-57 and 1957-58 when leading Ohio State in scoring and rebounding) hammered two homers against the New York Yankees in 1969.
In 1947, 1B Jackie Robinson (highest scoring average in Pacific Coast Conference both of his seasons with UCLA in 1939-40 and 1940-41) became the first black player of the 20th Century to sign a MLB contract (with the Brooklyn Dodgers).
OF Wally Roettger (Illinois letterman in 1921-22 and 1922-23) traded by the St. Louis Cardinals to the New York Giants in 1930.
Atlanta Braves LHP George Stone (averaged 14.7 ppg and 6.5 rpg for Louisiana Tech in 1964-65 and 1965-66) tossed a six-hit shutout against the Houston Astros in his first start of the 1970 campaign.
A pinch-hit grand slam by OF-1B Champ Summers (led SIUE in scoring in 1969-70 after doing same with Nicholls State in 1964-65) propelled the San Diego Padres to a 7-3 win against the St. Louis Cardinals in 1984.
RHP Billy Wynne (one of prime hoopsters in mid-1960s for Pfeiffer NC) returned by the Cleveland Indians to the New York Mets in 1967 after he was selected during the winter in the Rule 5 draft.
Only seven individuals have coached at least 14 All-Americans with one major college. Two years ago, Duke's Mike Krzyzewski broke a tie with Kentucky's Adolph Rupp and moved atop this list. This season, Coach K became the first with as many as 27 when center Jahlil Okafor was honored.
In one of the most overlooked achievements in NCAA history, Harry Combes amassed 16 different All-Americans in his first 19 of 20 seasons as Illinois' mentor from 1947-48 through 1966-67. No other coach has accumulated more than 13 All-Americans in his first 20 campaigns with a single school - North Carolina's Dean Smith (13 in first 20 seasons), Indiana's Bob Knight (12), Krzyzewski (12), Rupp (12), Indiana's Branch McCracken (11), Arizona's Lute Olson (11), UCLA's John Wooden (10) and Syracuse's Jim Boeheim (eight). Recruiting the Chicago metropolitan area won't be a panacea for the struggling Illini, which should remember how 22 different major-college All-Americans in less than 30 years in an earlier era came from Illinois high schools located in towns featuring populations smaller than 20,000.
As a means of comparison, keep in mind inactive NCAA Division I national coaches of the year P.J. Carlesimo, Perry Clark, Tom Davis, Eddie Fogler, Jim Harrick, Marv Harshman, Clem Haskins, Maury John, Jim O'Brien, George Raveling, Charlie Spoonhour and Butch van Breda Kolff combined for 17 All-Americans in a cumulative 251 years coaching at the major-college level. Moreover, prominent active coaches Tommy Amaker, Mike Anderson, Jim Baron, John Beilein, Randy Bennett, Brad Brownell, Mick Cronin, Ed DeChellis, Scott Drew, Fran Dunphy, Bruiser Flint, Tim Floyd, Travis Ford, Mark Gottfried, Brian Gregory, Frank Haith, Trent Johnson, Billy Kennedy, Jim Larranaga, Fran McCaffery, Bob McKillop, Dan Monson, Tubby Smith, Scott Sutton, Mark Turgeon and Gary Waters have combined for fewer All-Americans than Combes. Indiana boasts two of the following seven coaches with the most different All-Americans at one university:
|Coach||All-Americans With Single Division I School||School Tenure With Most All-Americans|
|Mike Krzyzewski||27 All-Americans in first 35 seasons with Duke||1980-81 through 2014-15|
|Adolph Rupp||23 in 41 seasons with Kentucky||1930-31 through 1971-72 except for 1952-53|
|Dean Smith||22 in 36 seasons with North Carolina||1961-62 through 1996-97|
|John Wooden||18 in 27 seasons with UCLA||1948-49 through 1974-75|
|Bob Knight||17 in 29 seasons with Indiana||1971-72 through 1999-00|
|Harry Combes||16 in 20 seasons with Illinois||1947-48 through 1966-67|
|Branch McCracken||14 in 24 seasons with Indiana||1938-39 through 1942-43 and 1946-47 through 1964-65|
NOTE: Respected retired mentors Gale Catlett, Mike Deane, Bill Henderson, Shelby Metcalf, Stan Morrison, Bob Polk, Charlie Spoonhour and Ralph Willard never had an All-American despite at least 18 seasons coaching at the major-college level.
Extra! Extra! As a new season commences, read all about memorable major league baseball achievements, moments and transactions involving former college basketball players! Numerous ex-college hoopsters had front-row seats to many of the most notable games and dates in MLB history. Did you know that outfielder "Sweet" Lou Johnson, an ex-Kentucky State hoopster, was traded three times the first nine days in April in deals involving Los Angeles-based teams?
In the minors, all-time basketball great Michael Jordan made his Organized Baseball debut on April 9, 1994, when the Chicago White Sox farmhand went hitless as an outfielder for the Birmingham Barons (Southern League). What in the world was Jordan thinking? Baseball is portrayed as a thinking man's game but only 4% of active MLB players earned college diplomas. Unless you habitually pore over the content at baseballlibrary.com, baseballreference.com and nationalpastime.com, following is an April 9 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:
RF George Altman (appeared in 1953 and 1954 NAIA Tournament with Tennessee State's basketball squad) stroked four hits against the New York Mets on Opening Day 1963 in his debut with the St. Louis Cardinals.
1B George Crowe (four-year letterman from 1939-40 through 1942-43 for Indiana Central after becoming first high school player named state's "Mr. Basketball") traded by the Milwaukee Braves to the Cincinnati Reds in 1956.
LF "Sweet" Lou Johnson (Kentucky State teammate of legendary HBCU coach Davey Whitney averaged 5.7 ppg and 2 rpg in 1951-52) traded by the Detroit Tigers with $10,000 to the Los Angeles Dodgers for P Larry Sherry in 1964.
In his first start of the 1992 campaign, Baltimore Orioles RHP Ben McDonald (started six times as freshman forward for LSU in 1986-87 under coach Dale Brown) tossed a two-hit shutout against the Cleveland Indians.
Syracuse junior forward Michael Gbinije, a transfer from Duke, secured the satisfaction of posting the highest single-game output this season against the NCAA champion-to-be Blue Devils when he scored 27 points in the Carrier Dome. Gbinije, who averaged a modest 12.7 points per game for the Orangemen, tallied only 12 points in a return match at Duke when he went hit only 5 of 20 shots from the floor against a couple of his former teammates.
Since UCLA's first NCAA championship in 1964, Louisville's Russ Smith has the lowest scoring average (11.5 ppg in 2011-12) for any player who posted the single-game high against an NCAA titlist. Some of the names probably will be surprising, but following is a look in reverse order at the last 52 individuals who posted the season-high scoring total against the NCAA kingpin:
Year Opposing High Scorer vs. NCAA Titlist Avg. Single-Game High 2015 Michael Gbinije, F, Jr., Syracuse 12.7 27 points vs. Duke 2014 Dustin Hogue, F, Jr., Iowa State 11.6 34 vs. Connecticut in NCAA playoffs 2013 Tyler Brown, G, Sr., Illinois State 18.1 25 at Louisville 2012 Russ Smith, G, Soph., Louisville 11.5 30 at Kentucky 2011 Dwight Hardy, G, Sr., St. John's 18.3 33 vs. Connecticut 2010 Trevon Hughes, G, Sr., Wisconsin 15.3 26 vs. Duke 2009 Kyle McAlarney, G, Sr., Notre Dame 15.0 39 vs. North Carolina at Maui 2008 Michael Beasley, F-C, Fr., Kansas State 26.2 39 at Kansas 2007 Al Thornton, F, Sr., Florida State 19.7 28 vs. Florida 2006 Chris Lofton, G, Soph., Tennessee 17.2 29 vs. Florida 2005 Will Bynum, G, Sr., Georgia Tech 12.5 35 vs. North Carolina in ACC Tournament 2004 Chris Thomas, G, Jr., Notre Dame 19.7 31 vs. Connecticut 2003 Chris Hill, G, Soph., Michigan State 13.7 34 vs. Syracuse 2002 Jason "Jay" Williams, G, Jr., Duke 21.3 34 vs. Maryland 2001 James "J.J." Miller, G, Sr., North Carolina A&T 16.0 34 at Duke 2000 A.J. Guyton, G, Sr., Indiana 19.7 34 vs. Michigan State 1999 Trajan Langdon, G, Sr., Duke 17.3 25 vs. Connecticut 1998 Brian Williams, G, Jr., Alabama 16.1 28 vs. Kentucky in SEC Tournament 1997 Isaac Fontaine, G, Sr., Washington State 21.9 32 vs. Arizona 1996 Marcus Camby, C, Jr., Massachusetts 20.5 32 vs. Kentucky at Great Eight 1995 Ray Allen, G, Soph., Connecticut 21.1 36 vs. UCLA in NCAA playoffs 1994 Gary Collier, F, Sr., Tulsa 22.9 35 vs. Arkansas in NCAA playoffs 1993 Chris Webber, F, Soph., Michigan 19.2 27 vs. North Carolina at Honolulu 1993 Randolph Childress, G, Soph., Wake Forest 19.7 27 vs. North Carolina 1993 James Forrest, F, Soph., Georgia Tech 19.5 27 vs. North Carolina in ACC Tournament 1993 Lester Lyons, G, Jr., East Carolina 15.4 27 vs. North Carolina in NCAA playoffs 1992 Malik Sealy, F, Sr., St. John's 22.6 37 vs. Duke at Greensboro 1991 Jeff Webster, F, Fr., Oklahoma 18.3 32 vs. Duke 1990 Greg "Bo" Kimble, F-G, Sr., Loyola Marymount 35.3 42 vs. UNLV in NCAA playoffs 1989 Roy Marble, F, Sr., Iowa 20.5 32 vs. Michigan 1988 Mitch Richmond, G-F, Sr., Kansas State 22.6 35 vs. Kansas 1987 Freddie Banks, G, Sr., UNLV 19.5 38 vs. Indiana in NCAA playoffs 1986 Ron Harper, F, Sr., Miami (oh) 24.4 36 vs. Louisville in Big Apple NIT at Cincinnati 1985 Len Bias, F, Jr., Maryland 18.9 30 vs. Villanova 1984 Chris Mullin, G-F, Jr., St. John's 22.9 29 vs. Georgetown in Big East Tournament 1983 Ralph Sampson, C, Sr., Virginia 19.1 33 vs. North Carolina State 1982 Ralph Sampson, C, Jr., Virginia 15.8 30 at North Carolina 1981 Mike McGee, F, Sr., Michigan 24.4 29 vs. Indiana 1980 Jeff Ruland, C, Jr., Iona 20.1 30 vs. Louisville 1979 Joe Barry Carroll, C, Jr., Purdue 22.8 27 vs. Michigan State 1979 Calvin Roberts, F-C, Jr., Cal State Fullerton 15.3 27 vs. Michigan State 1978 Freeman Williams, G, Sr., Portland State 35.9 39 at Kentucky 1977 Dave Corzine, C, Jr., DePaul 19.0 26 vs. Marquette 1976 Terry Furlow, F, Sr., Michigan State 29.4 40 vs. Indiana 1975 Kevin Grevey, F, Sr., Kentucky 23.5 34 vs. UCLA in NCAA final 1974 Billy Cook, G, Soph., Memphis State 16.2 33 vs. North Carolina State 1973 Billy Knight, F, Jr., Pittsburgh 23.7 37 vs. UCLA 1972 Fred Boyd, G, Sr., Oregon State 19.8 37 vs. UCLA 1971 Austin Carr, G, Sr., Notre Dame 38.0 46 vs. UCLA 1970 Pete Maravich, G, Sr., Louisiana State 44.5 38 vs. UCLA 1970 Rich Yunkus, C, Jr., Georgia Tech 30.1 38 vs. UCLA 1969 Vic Collucci, G, Soph., Providence 15.4 36 vs. UCLA 1968 Elvin Hayes, F-C, Sr., Houston 36.8 39 vs. UCLA 1967 Bill Hewitt, F, Jr., Southern California 19.5 39 vs. UCLA 1966 Jerry Chambers, F-C, Sr., Utah 28.8 38 vs. Texas Western in NCAA playoffs 1965 Ollie Johnson, C, Sr., San Francisco 21.6 37 vs. UCLA 1964 Tom Dose, C, Sr., Stanford 20.0 38 vs. UCLA
An average of four coaches per year leave NCAA playoff teams since seeding started in 1979. The first tournament mentor to depart this season was Shaka Smart, who abandoned Virginia Commonwealth for Texas to try to end Kansas' run of Big 12 Conference regular-season championships. The next coach in this category was Bobby Hurley, who switched from Buffalo to Arizona State.
In every year since 1968, directing a team to the NCAA Tournament has been a springboard to bigger and better things at a "poach-a-coach" school. Following are head coaches since the field expanded to at least 64 entrants in 1985 who had a change of heart and accepted similar job at a different major college promptly after directing team to the NCAA playoffs:
1985 (six) - J.D. Barnett (Virginia Commonwealth to Tulsa), Craig Littlepage (Penn to Rutgers), Nolan Richardson Jr. (Tulsa to Arkansas), Andy Russo (Louisiana Tech to Washington), Tom Schneider (Lehigh to Penn), Eddie Sutton (Arkansas to Kentucky)
1987 (two) - Jim Brandenburg (Wyoming to San Diego State), Benny Dees (New Orleans to Wyoming)
1990 (five) - Kermit Davis Jr. (Idaho to Texas A&M), Mike Jarvis (Boston University to George Washington), Lon Kruger (Kansas State to Florida), Mike Newell (UALR to Lamar), Les Robinson (East Tennessee State to North Carolina State)
1992 (one) - Charlie Spoonhour (Southwest Missouri State to Saint Louis)
1993 (one) - Eddie Fogler (Vanderbilt to South Carolina)
1994 (eight) - Tom Asbury (Pepperdine to Kansas State), Rick Barnes (Providence to Clemson), Jeff Capel Jr. (North Carolina A&T to Old Dominion), Kevin O'Neill (Marquette to Tennessee), Skip Prosser (Loyola, Md. to Xavier), Kelvin Sampson (Washington State to Oklahoma), Ralph Willard (Western Kentucky to Pittsburgh), Jim Wooldridge (Southwest Texas State to Louisiana Tech)
1995 (three) - Dick Bennett (Wisconsin-Green Bay to Wisconsin), Scott Edgar (Murray State to Duquesne), Tubby Smith (Tulsa to Georgia)
1996 (one) - Ben Braun (Eastern Michigan to California)
1997 (five) - Ernie Kent (Saint Mary's to Oregon), Mack McCarthy (UT-Chattanooga to Virginia Commonwealth), Jim O'Brien (Boston College to Ohio State), Steve Robinson (Tulsa to Florida State), Al Skinner (Rhode Island to Boston College), Tubby Smith (Georgia to Kentucky)
1998 (seven) - Rick Barnes (Clemson to Texas), Larry Eustachy (Utah State to Iowa State), Rob Evans (Mississippi to Arizona State), Mark Gottfried (Murray State to Alabama), Mike Jarvis (George Washington to St. John's), Melvin Watkins (UNC Charlotte to Texas A&M), Tim Welsh (Iona to Providence)
2003 (eight) - Cy Alexander (South Carolina State to Tennessee State), Ed DeChellis (East Tennessee State to Penn State), Dennis Felton (Western Kentucky to Georgia), Ben Howland (Pittsburgh to UCLA), Oliver Purnell (Dayton to Clemson), Bill Self (Illinois to Kansas), Dereck Whittenburg (Wagner to Fordham), Roy Williams (Kansas to North Carolina)
2004 (eight) - Jessie Evans (Louisiana-Lafayette to San Francisco), Ray Giacoletti (Eastern Washington to Utah), Billy Gillispie (Texas-El Paso to Texas A&M, Trent Johnson (Nevada to Stanford), Thad Matta (Xavier to Ohio State), Matt Painter (Southern Illinois to Purdue), Joe Scott (Air Force to Princeton), John Thompson III (Princeton to Georgetown)
2006 (eight) - Mike Anderson (UAB to Missouri), Brad Brownell (UNC Wilmington to Wright State), Mick Cronin (Murray State to Cincinnati), Mike Davis (Indiana to UAB), Fran Dunphy (Penn to Temple), Greg McDermott (Northern Iowa to Iowa State), Kelvin Sampson (Oklahoma to Indiana), Herb Sendek (North Carolina State to Arizona State)
2008 (five) - Jim Christian (Kent State to Texas Christian), Tom Crean (Marquette to Indiana), Keno Davis (Drake to Providence), Darrin Horn (Western Kentucky to South Carolina), Trent Johnson (Stanford to Louisiana State)
2010 (five) - Tony Barbee (Texas-El Paso to Auburn), Steve Donahue (Cornell to Boston College), Bob Marlin (Sam Houston State to Louisiana-Lafayette), Fran McCaffery (Siena to Iowa), Oliver Purnell (Clemson to DePaul).
2011 (seven) - Mike Anderson (Missouri to Arkansas), Patrick Chambers (Boston University to Penn State), Ed DeChellis (Penn State to Navy), Sydney Johnson (Princeton to Fairfield), Lon Kruger (UNLV to Oklahoma), Jim Larranaga (George Mason to Miami FL), Mark Turgeon (Texas A&M to Maryland)
2012 (six) - Larry Eustachy (Southern Mississippi to Colorado State), Jim Ferry (Long Island to Duquesne), John Groce (Ohio University to Illinois), Frank Martin (Kansas State to South Carolina), Tim Miles (Colorado State to Nebraska), Sean Woods (Mississippi Valley State to Morehead State)
Baseball is portrayed as a thinking man's game but only 4% of active MLB players earned college diplomas. Unless you habitually pore over the content at baseballlibrary.com, baseballreference.com and nationalpastime.com, following is an April 8 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:
OF Babe Barna (two-year West Virginia basketball letterman in mid-1930s) purchased from the Philadelphia Athletics by the Washington Senators in 1939.
In 1974, Los Angeles Dodgers LHP Al Downing (attended Muhlenberg PA on hoop scholarship but left school before playing) yielded Hank Aaron's 715th homer bypassing Babe Ruth.
RHP Pete Sivess (played for Dickinson PA in 1935-36) traded by the Philadelphia Phillies with cash to the New York Yankees in 1939.
Kentucky (31), buttressed by Louisville (NCAA DI) and Georgetown (NAIA) in 2013, moved ahead of California two years ago as the state with the most national titles from each level of four-year college men's basketball - NCAA Division I, NIT, NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III and NAIA. But California moved into a tie with Kentucky last season when Vanguard (Calif.) captured the NAIA crown and moved back ahead of Kentucky this campaign when Stanford won the NIT.
Illinois and Ohio are the only states to boast at least one champion from all five levels. Among the 12 states amassing a total of more than 10 national crowns, Missouri is the only one in that group without a Division I championship. Drury (Mo.) and Central Missouri won back-to-back DII titles earlier this decade but the state's two headline schools - Mizzou and Saint Louis - never have reached the Final Four.
The biggest surprise among states never to capture a national title is Iowa. Following is how states stack up by national titles including the NIT and various levels of small-college basketball:
State DI NIT DII DIII NAIA Total California 15 8 5 0 4 32 Kentucky 11 3 10 0 7 31 Ohio 3 6 3 5 2 19 North Carolina 12 2 3 0 1 18 Illinois 1 6 1 6 1 15 New York 2 10 0 3 0 15 Oklahoma 2 2 1 0 10 15 Wisconsin 2 1 0 12 0 15 Indiana 5 2 6 0 1 14 Missouri 0 1 3 2 8 14 Pennsylvania 2 6 2 3 0 13 Kansas 3 1 1 0 6 11 Texas 1 2 0 0 7 10 Virginia 0 4 5 1 0 10 Minnesota 0 3 2 1 3 9 Michigan 3 3 0 2 0 8 Tennessee 0 2 1 1 4 8 Georgia 0 0 1 0 6 7 Alabama 0 0 3 0 3 6 Connecticut 4 1 1 0 0 6 Massachusetts 1 1 1 3 0 6 Maryland 1 1 2 0 1 5 Arizona 1 0 0 0 3 4 Florida 2 0 2 0 0 4 South Carolina 0 2 0 0 2 4 Utah 1 3 0 0 0 4 West Virginia 0 2 0 0 2 4 Colorado 0 1 2 0 0 3 District of Columbia 1 0 1 1 0 3 Louisiana 0 0 0 0 3 3 New Jersey 0 2 0 1 0 3 Arkansas 1 0 0 0 1 2 Rhode Island 0 2 0 0 0 2 South Dakota 0 0 2 0 0 2 Washington 0 0 2 0 0 2 Hawaii 0 0 0 0 1 1 Mississippi 0 1 0 0 0 1 Montana 0 0 0 0 1 1 Nebraska 0 1 0 0 0 1 Nevada 1 0 0 0 0 1 New Mexico 0 0 0 0 1 1 Oregon 1 0 0 0 0 1 Wyoming 1 0 0 0 0 1
NOTE: Eight states - Alaska, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, New Hampshire, North Dakota and Vermont - never have had a four-year school win a men's national championship.
For whatever nefarious reason, guard Rasheed Sulaimon (scored 14 points in win at Wisconsin early in the season) missed out on some championship bling because he was dropped from Duke's "all good men" roster in mid-season. Ditto spring-fever transfers Michael Gbinije (Syracuse) and Alex Murphy (Florida). Gbinije and Murphy joined the following alphabetical list of transfer players denied receiving an NCAA championship ring because they left a school subsequently capturing a national crown:
*Played for a junior college between four-year schools
NOTES: McCaffrey and Palmer played for an NCAA champion with Duke in 1991 and Huertas did with Florida in 2006. . . . King played only one season for Villanova in 2009-10. . . . E. Williams left Memphis after 2009-10 campaign when he declared early for the NBA draft. Likewise for Smith at UNLV following 2013-14 season.
Herewith is ample evidence for those arguments dealing with whether a school winning an NCAA Tournament title was indeed the nation's premier team over the course of an entire campaign. How close did Notre Dame come to winning its first-ever Final Four game after the Irish lost by two points against Kentucky in the Midwest Regional final following two victories over new ACC rival and eventual NCAA champion Duke? The Fighting Irish have significantly more triumphs than any school over eventual NCAA kingpins (total of 14 after five in the last five years).
The first 38 NCAA titlists, from Oregon (29-5 record in 1938-39) through Indiana (the last unbeaten team with a 32-0 mark in 1975-76), averaged barely over two setbacks per season. No kingpin sustained more than six reversals until Marquette's Al McGuire-coached squad was 25-7 in 1976-77. However, McGuire's swan song was a sign of things to come as six of the 11 championship clubs from 1981 through 1991 finished with at least seven losses. Two of the six - Villanova '85 and Kansas '88 - entered the playoffs unranked in a wire-service final Top 20 since the AP and UPI both were conducting polls in 1951.
Feeling like a sixth-grader trying to collect $20G from ESPN after Bracket Boy tied for winning NCAA tourney contest, following is a list of the 13 titlists losing at least twice in their title season against a total of 20 different opponents:
|Season||NCAA Champion||Record||Team(s) Defeating Titlist at Least Twice|
|1953-54||La Salle||26-4||Niagara (24-6) defeated the Explorers twice by a total of 27 points before finishing in third place in the NIT.|
|1980-81||Indiana||26-9||Iowa (21-7) defeated the Hoosiers twice by a total of 16 points before losing its NCAA playoff opener in second round against Wichita State on the Shockers' home-court.|
|1982-83||North Carolina State||26-10||Maryland (20-10) defeated the Wolfpack twice by a total of 14 points before losing in second round against national runner-up Houston. Virginia (29-5) defeated the Wolfpack twice by a total of 19 points before losing against N.C. State by one point in West Regional final.|
|1984-85||Villanova||25-10||St. John's (31-4) defeated the Wildcats three times by a total of 22 points before losing against Georgetown in national semifinals. Georgetown (35-3) defeated the Wildcats twice by a total of nine points before losing against Villanova by two points in national final.|
|1985-86||Louisville||32-7||Kansas (35-4) defeated the Cardinals twice by a total of seven points before losing against Duke in national semifinals.|
|1987-88||Kansas||27-11||Kansas State (25-9) defeated the Jayhawks twice by a total of 26 points before losing against KU in Midwest Regional final. Oklahoma (35-4) defeated the Jayhawks twice by eight points in Big Eight Conference regular-season competition before losing against KU by four points in national final.|
|1988-89||Michigan||30-7||Illinois (31-5) defeated the Wolverines twice by a total of 28 points before losing against UM by two points in national semifinals. Indiana (27-8) defeated the Wolverines twice by one point before losing against eventual national runner-up Seton Hall in West Regional semifinals.|
|1996-97||Arizona||25-9||UCLA (24-8) defeated the Wildcats twice by a total of eight points before losing against Minnesota in Midwest Regional final.|
|2002-03||Syracuse||30-5||Connecticut (23-10) defeated the Orangemen twice by a total of 27 points before losing against Texas in South Regional semifinals.|
|2005-06||Florida||33-6||South Carolina (23-15) defeated the Gators twice by a total of 10 points before successfully defending its NIT championship. Tennessee (22-8) defeated the Gators twice by four points apiece before losing against Wichita State in second round of Washington Regional.|
|2010-11||Connecticut||32-9||Notre Dame (27-7) defeated the Huskies twice by three points each time before losing against Florida State in second round of South Regional. Louisville (25-10) defeated the Huskies twice by a total of 14 points before losing against Morehead State in opening round of South Regional.|
|2013-14||Connecticut||32-8||SMU (27-10) defeated the Huskies twice by nine points each time before finishing NIT runner-up. Louisville (31-6) defeated the Huskies three times by a total of 55 points before bowing against eventual national runner-up Kentucky in Midwest Regional semifinals.|
|2014-15||Duke||35-4||Notre Dame (32-6) defeated the Blue Devils twice by a total of 14 points before losing against Kentucky in Midwest Regional final.|
Baseball is portrayed as a thinking man's game but only 4% of active MLB players earned college diplomas. Unless you habitually pore over the content at baseballlibrary.com, baseballreference.com and nationalpastime.com, following is an April 7 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:
Minnesota Twins LF Brant Alyea (Hofstra's leading scorer and rebounder in 1960-61 after being runner-up in both categories the previous basketball season) amassed seven RBI, a major league record for opening day, against the Chicago White Sox in 1970. Alyea drove in 19 runs in P Jim Perry's first four starts that year.
RHP Bobby Humphreys (four-year letterman for Hampden-Sydney VA in mid-1950s) traded by the St. Louis Cardinals to the Chicago Cubs in 1965.
Boston Red Sox LHP Gary Peters (played for Grove City PA in mid-1950s), after allowing no earned runs in 32 spring training innings, secured a 4-3 season-opening win at New York in 1970.
Only one of Duke's eight-man rotation was a senior, showing again why a senior-laden lineup is not a prerequisite for capturing a national championship. An average of only two seniors were among the top seven scorers for NCAA Tournament titlists since the playoff field expanded to at least 64 teams in 1985.
Eight of the 16 NCAA champions from 1991 through 2006 boasted no more than one senior among its top seven scorers, which is what Duke had this year. Only three NCAA champions since Indiana '87 - UCLA (1995), Michigan (2000) and Maryland (2002) - featured seniors as their top two scorers. Following is a look at the vital seniors for the last 31 basically youthful championship teams (in reverse order):
2015 - Duke (one of eight-man rotation was a senior/Quinn Cook was second-leading scorer).
2014 - Connecticut (four of top 10 scorers were seniors/Shabazz Napier was leading scorer, Niels Giffey was fourth, Lasan Kromah was fifth and Tyler Olander was 10th).
2013 - Louisville (one of top eight scorers was a senior/Peyton Siva was second-leading scorer).
2012 - Kentucky (one of top seven scorers was a senior/Darius Miller was fifth-leading scorer).
2011 - Connecticut (none of top six scorers was a senior).
2010 - Duke (three of nine-man rotation were seniors/Jon Scheyer was leading scorer, Brian Zoubek was fourth and Lance Thomas was sixth).
2009 - North Carolina (two of top eight in scoring average were seniors/Tyler Hansbrough was leading scorer and Danny Green was fourth).
2008 - Kansas (one of top six scorers was a senior/Darnell Jackson was fourth-leading scorer).
2007 - Florida (two of nine-man rotation were seniors/Lee Humphrey was fifth and Chris Richard was sixth).
2006 - Florida (none of top seven scorers was a senior).
2005 - North Carolina (one of top five scorers was a senior/Jawad Williams was third).
2004 - Connecticut (one of top eight scorers was a senior/Taliek Brown was sixth).
2003 - Syracuse (one of top eight scorers was a senior/Keith Duany was fourth).
2002 - Maryland (three of top eight regulars were seniors/Juan Dixon was top scorer, Lonny Baxter was second and Byron Mouton was fourth).
2001 - Duke (two of top nine scorers were seniors/Shane Battier was second and Nate James was fifth).
2000 - Michigan State (three of top 11 scorers were seniors/Morris Peterson was first, Mateen Cleaves was second and A.J. Granger was fifth).
1999 - Connecticut (one of top seven scorers was a senior/Ricky Moore was fifth).
1998 - Kentucky (two of top seven scorers were seniors/Jeff Sheppard was first and Allen Edwards was fifth).
1997 - Arizona (none of top seven scorers was a senior).
1996 - Kentucky (three of top 10 scorers were seniors/Tony Delk was first, Walter McCarty was third and Mark Pope was sixth).
1995 - UCLA (three of top seven scorers were seniors/Ed O'Bannon was first, Tyus Edney was second and George Zidek was fourth).
1994 - Arkansas (one of top 10 scorers was a senior/Roger Crawford was eighth).
1993 - North Carolina (one of top seven scorers was a senior/George Lynch was second).
1992 - Duke (two of top 10 scorers were seniors/Christian Laettner was first and Brian Davis was fifth).
1991 - Duke (one of top 10 scorers was a senior/Greg Koubek was seventh).
1990 - UNLV (two of top eight scorers were seniors/David Butler was third and Moses Scurry was sixth).
1989 - Michigan (two of top 11 scorers were seniors/Glen Rice was first and Mark Hughes was sixth).
1988 - Kansas (two of top 11 scorers were seniors/Danny Manning was first and Chris Piper was fourth).
1987 - Indiana (two of top eight scorers were seniors/Steve Alford was first and Daryl Thomas was second).
1986 - Louisville (three of top nine scorers were seniors/Billy Thompson was first, Milt Wagner was second and Jeff Hall was fifth).
1985 - Villanova (three of top eight scorers were seniors/Ed Pinckney was first, Dwayne McClain was second and Gary McLain was fourth).
Which cliche is most accurate? If a team is on a winning streak entering the NCAA Tournament, it has momentum on its side and is peaking at the right time. On the other hand, some observers contend a loss before the start of the playoffs is deemed as a wake-up call. All five of Duke's champions under coach Mike Krzyzewski entered the tourney with fewer than eight straight triumphs.
Since the last undefeated team in Division I (Indiana was 32-0 in 1975-76), there have been 39 national champions. Twenty-two of those teams entered the tourney with a victory; 17 entered with a defeat after Duke bowed against Notre Dame in the ACC Tournament. The longest winning streak of a champion-to-be in that span was by UCLA, which won 13 in a row in 1995 before posting six more triumphs in the playoffs. Louisville accounted for two of the other double-digit victory streaks for champions-to-be entering the playoffs.
Of the 22 aforementioned squads entering on a winning note, the average winning streak was six in a row. Following in reverse order is how those 39 post-unbeaten IU titlists entered the NCAA playoffs (including conference tournaments):
There has been some smooth sailing, but it is usually a rugged road en route to becoming NCAA kingpin such as Duke after the Blue Devils won a pair of playoff games by fewer than seven points. Talk of the Kentucky squad three years ago hailed as one of the all-time greatest teams was somewhat silly insofar as intra-state rival Louisville, erasing 12-point deficits in both the semifinals and final two years ago, became the 42nd NCAA champion posting higher average victory margins than UK in the tournament.
North Carolina '09 became the 12th NCAA Tournament champion to win all of its playoff games by double-digit margins. The first nine champions in this category came before the NCAA field was expanded to at least 64 teams in 1985.
A total of 49 champions won a minimum of one playoff game by four points or less, including 22 titlists to win at least one contest by just one point. Wyoming '43 would have become the only champion to trail at halftime in every tournament game if the Cowboys didn't score the last three baskets of the first half in the national final to lead Georgetown at intermission (18-16). Four titlists trailed at intermission in both of their Final Four games - Kentucky '51, Louisville '86, Duke '92 and Kentucky '98.
UCLA '67, the first varsity season for Lew Alcindor (became Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), set the record for largest average margin of victory for a champion when the Bruins started a dazzling streak of 10 consecutive Final Four appearances. They won their 12 NCAA playoff games with Alcindor manning the middle by an amazing average margin of 21.5 points.
Which of John Wooden's 10 national champion UCLA teams did the Wizard of Westwood perceive as his best?
"I've never come out and said it," Wooden said before passing away two years ago, "but it would be hard to pick a team over the 1968 team. I will say it would be the most difficult team to prepare for and play against offensively and defensively. It created so many problems. It had such great balance. We had the big center (Alcindor) who is the most valuable player of all time. Mike Warren was a three-year starter who may have been the most intelligent floor leader ever, going eight complete games once without a turnover. Lucius Allen was a very physical, talented individual who was extremely quick. Lynn Shackleford was a great shooter out of the corner who didn't allow defenses to sag on Jabbar. Mike Lynn didn't have power, but he had as fine a pair of hands around the boards as I have ever seen."
The roster for UCLA's 1968 national champion included six players with double-digit season scoring averages, but senior forward Edgar Lacey dropped off the team with an 11.9-point average following a dispute with Wooden after a ballyhooed mid-season defeat against Houston before 52,693 fans at the Astrodome. Lacey, assigned to defend Cougars star Elvin Hayes early in the game, was annoyed with Wooden for singling him out following Hayes' 29-point first-half outburst. Lacey, the leading rebounder for the Bruins' 1965 NCAA titlist when he was an All-Tournament team selection, missed the 1966-67 campaign because of a fractured left kneecap.
The three Lew-CLA teams rank among the seven NCAA champions with average margins of victory in a tournament of more than 19 points per game. It's no wonder a perceptive scribe wrote the acronym NCAA took on a new meaning during the plunderous Alcindor Era - "No Chance Against Alcindor."
"Bill Walton might have been a better all-around player (than Alcindor)," Wooden said. "If you were grading a player for every fundamental skill, Walton would rank the highest of any center who ever played. But Alcindor is the most valuable, owing to the pressure he put on the other team at both ends of the court."
North Carolina won all six of its playoff contests by double digits in 2009 but the only titlist to win all of its tournament games by more than 15 points was Ohio State '60. Center Jerry Lucas, a first-team All-American as a sophomore, averaged 24 points and 16 rebounds in four playoff contests for the Buckeyes. He collected 36 points and 25 rebounds to help them erase a six-point halftime deficit in their Mideast Regional opener against Western Kentucky.
Duke's five kingpins under Mike Krzyzewski have all came with average winning margin of at least 12.5 points per playoff game. Following is a breakdown of the point differential and average margin of victory in the NCAA playoffs for the first 77 national champions:
*All-time tournament record (111-42 first-round victory over Tennessee Tech).
NOTE: Fifteen teams participated in a total of 21 overtime games en route to national titles - Utah (1944), North Carolina (two triple overtime Final Four games in 1957), Cincinnati (1961), Loyola of Chicago (1963), Texas Western (two in 1966, including a double overtime), North Carolina State (double overtime in 1974), UCLA (two in 1975), Louisville (two in 1980), North Carolina State (double overtime in 1983), Michigan (1989), Duke (1992), North Carolina (1993), Arizona (two in 1997), Kentucky (1998), Kansas (2008) and Connecticut (2014).
There have been times at the Final Four when a player not recognized as an All-American supplied a Herculean performance. One that stands out was in 1984 when Georgetown's Michael Jackson, a 6-1 guard averaging 1.4 rebounds per game entering the Final Four, retrieved 10 missed shots against Kentucky's formidable frontline to help the Hoyas overcome a seven-point halftime deficit in the national semifinals.
This year, Duke freshman guard Grayson Allen, averaging a modest 3.9 points per game entering this year's Final Four, became an overnight sensation by erasing a nine-point, second-half deficit virtually by himself to spark a rally against Wisconsin in the NCAA championship game.
From a historical perspective, only one unsung player in history had more of a Final Four impact than Allen, who finished with 16 points in the final after contributing nine in the national semifinals against Michigan State. Nothing compares to the version of Washington coming "out-of-the-valley forge" when UCLA's Kenny Washington was instrumental in helping venerable coach John Wooden capture his first NCAA Tournament championship in 1964. Washington, the only player with a single-digit season scoring average (6.1) to tally more than 25 points in a championship game, scored 26 points in a 98-83 triumph over Duke in the final. Teammate Gail Goodrich contributed 27 points as he and Washington became the only duo to each score more than 25 in an NCAA final.
Although Washington became the only player to score 25 or more points in a final and not be named to the All-Tournament team, he wasn't rebuffed again the next year. Washington, averaging a modest 8.9 points per game entering the 1965 Final Four, scored a total of 27 points in victories over Wichita State and Michigan as the Bruins successfully defended their title en route to 10 crowns in 12 years under Wooden. Washington joined teammates Goodrich and Edgar Lacey on the 1965 All-Tournament team with co-national players of the year Bill Bradley (Princeton) and Cazzie Russell (Michigan).
In 1969, UCLA was without two-time All-Tournament team selection Lucius Allen because of academic problems, but the Bruins got another significant increase in point production at the Final Four from an unlikely source. Guard John Vallely averaged 22 points in victories against Drake and Purdue after arriving at the national semifinals with a 10.2-point average. Only one senior is on the following list of six championship team rank-and-file players to average fewer than eight points per game entering the Final Four before seizing the moment and averaging double digits in scoring in their last two games with an increase of more than seven points per game from their pre-Final Four scoring mark:
|Unsung Hero||Class||Pos.||NCAA Champion||Season Avg.||Avg. Before Final 4||Final 4 Avg.||Avg. Increase|
|Kenny Washington||Soph.||F-G||UCLA '64||6.1||5.2||19.5||14.3|
|Grayson Allen||Fr.||G||Duke '15||4.4||3.9||12.5||8.6|
|Norm Mager||Sr.||F||CCNY '50||3.6||3.0||11.5||8.5|
|John Dick||Jr.||F||Oregon '39||6.7||6.3||14.5||8.2|
|Gene Brown||Soph.||G||San Francisco '56||7.1||6.6||14.0||7.4|
|Tommy Curtis||Jr.||G||UCLA '73||6.4||5.8||13.0||7.2|
NOTE: Washington State junior guard Kirk Gebert, who scored 21 points in a 39-34 loss against Wisconsin in 1941 final to finish the year with a 6.6-point average, is the only player other than Washington with a single-digit season average to score more than 20 points in a title game.
The latest Canadian earning All-American status and showing the nation is more than a hockey hotbed was Gonzaga guard Kevin Pangos (Ontario). Canada's recent basketball bounty had gone from Syracuse's Kris Joseph (Quebec) to Gonzaga's Kelly Olynyk (British Columbia) to three All-Americans last season in Iowa State's Melvin Ejim (Toronto), Michigan's Nik Stauskas (Ontario) and Kansas' Andrew Wiggins (Ontario).
Foreigners such as Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield have been much more than bit players in a modern-day immigrant version of "Coming to America." Following is an alphabetical list of hoop princes of sorts as Pangos and Hield became 22nd and 23rd All-Americans who spent most or all of their formative years in a country outside mainland U.S.:
|Foreigner||Pos.||College||Native Country||Year(s) All-American||NBA Draft Status|
|Andrew Bogut*||C||Utah||Australia||2005||1st pick overall by Milwaukee|
|Kresimir Cosic||C||Brigham Young||Yugoslavia||1972 and 1973||66th by L.A. Lakers|
|Tim Duncan*||C||Wake Forest||Virgin Islands||1995 through 1997||1st by San Antonio|
|Melvin Ejim||F||Iowa State||Toronto, Ontario||2014||undrafted|
|Patrick Ewing*||C||Georgetown||Jamaica||1982 through 1985||1st by New York|
|Adonal Foyle||C||Colgate||West Indies||1997||8th by Golden State|
|Buddy Hield||G||Oklahoma||Bahamas||2015||To be determined|
|Al Horford||F-C||Florida||Dominican Republic||2007||3rd by Atlanta|
|Kris Joseph||F||Syracuse||Quebec||2012||51st by Boston|
|Dikembe Mutombo||C||Georgetown||Zaire||1991||4th by Denver|
|Eduardo Najera||F||Oklahoma||Mexico||2000||38th by Houston|
|Hakeem Olajuwon||C||Houston||Nigeria||1983 and 1984||1st by Houston|
|Kelly Olynyk||C||Gonzaga||British Columbia||2013||13th by Dallas|
|Kevin Pangos||G||Gonzaga||Ontario||2015||To be determined|
|Juan "Pepe" Sanchez||G||Temple||Argentina||2000||undrafted|
|Detlef Schrempf||F||Washington||Germany||1985||8th by Dallas|
|Rony Seikaly||C||Syracuse||Greece||1988||9th by Miami|
|Doron Sheffer||G||Connecticut||Israel||1996||36th by L.A. Clippers|
|Nik Stauskas||G||Michigan||Ontario||2014||8th by Sacramento|
|Hasheem Thabeet||C||Connecticut||Tanzania||2009||2nd by Memphis|
|Mychal Thompson||F-C||Minnesota||Bahamas||1977 and 1978||1st by Portland|
|Greivis Vasquez||G||Maryland||Venezuela||2010||28th by Memphis|
|Andrew Wiggins||G-F||Kansas||Ontario||2014||1st by Cleveland|
*Named National Player of the Year.
Chicago product Jahlil Okafor is the 37th different individual to become an All-American for Duke (26 under coach Mike Krzyzewski). Incredibly, none of them spent their formative years in any of North Carolina's 100 counties and can be counted as in-state recruits. It doesn't seem possible, but North Carolina laid a Blue Devils' goose egg while states such as Alaska, Arizona, Connecticut, Louisiana, Montana, Oklahoma and Oregon contributed to their list of All-Americans.
The official web site of the State of North Carolina says the state is "a better place." But it hasn't been for Duke in regard to securing premium players. Following is an alphabetical list detailing the hometowns of Duke's 37 All-Americans coming from 19 different states plus the District of Columbia:
All-American Pos. A-A Year(s) Hometown Mark Alarie F 1986 Phoenix, AZ Tommy Amaker G 1987 Fairfax, VA Gene Banks F 1979 and 1981 Philadelphia, PA Shane Battier F 2000 and 2001 Birmingham, MI Carlos Boozer C 2002 Juneau, AK Elton Brand C 1999 Peekskill, NY Chris Carrawell F 2000 St. Louis, MO Johnny Dawkins G 1985 and 1986 Washington, DC Chris Duhon G 2004 Slidell, LA Mike Dunleavy F 2002 Lake Oswego, OR Danny Ferry F-C 1988 and 1989 Hyattsville, MD Mike Gminski C 1978 through 1980 Monroe, CT Dick Groat G 1951 and 1952 Swissvale, PA Gerald Henderson G-F 2009 Merion, PA Art Heyman F 1961 through 1963 Oceanside, NY Grant Hill F-G 1992 through 1994 Reston, VA Bobby Hurley G 1992 and 1993 Jersey City, NJ Ed Koffenberger F-C 1946 and 1947 Wilmington, PA Christian Laettner C-F 1991 and 1992 Buffalo, NY Trajan Langdon G 1998 and 1999 Anchorage, AK Mike Lewis C 1968 Missoula, MT Jack Marin F 1966 Farrell, PA Jeff Mullins F 1963 and 1964 Lexington, KY DeMarcus Nelson G-F 2008 Elk Grove, CA Jahlil Okafor C 2015 Chicago, IL Jabari Parker F 2014 Chicago, IL Mason Plumlee C 2013 Warsaw, IN Jonathan "J.J." Redick G 2004 through 2006 Roanoke, VA Austin Rivers G 2012 Winter Park, FL Jon Scheyer G 2010 Northbrook, IL Kyle Singler F 2011 Medford, OR Nolan Smith G 2011 Upper Marlboro, MD Jim Spanarkel G 1978 and 1979 Jersey City, NJ Jim Thompson F 1934 Washington, DC Bob Verga G 1966 and 1967 Belmar, NJ Jason "Jay" Williams G 2001 and 2002 Plainfield, NJ Shelden Williams C 2005 and 2006 Forest Park, OK
Baseball is portrayed as a thinking man's game but only 4% of active MLB players earned college diplomas. Unless you habitually pore over the content at baseballlibrary.com, baseballreference.com and nationalpastime.com, following is an April 6 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:
Baltimore Orioles CF Al Bumbry (Virginia State's runner-up in scoring with 16.7 ppg as freshman in 1964-65) scored four runs against the Kansas City Royals in 1983.
Detroit Tigers 1B Tony Clark (San Diego State's leading scorer in WAC games in 1991-92) contributed two sixth-inning hits, including a grand slam, in a 10-inning, 10-9 win over the Chicago White Sox in 2001. Eight years later, Clark clobbered back-to-back homers for the Arizona Diamondbacks in a season-opening, 9-8 win against the Colorado Rockies in 2009.
In 2006, LHP Mark Hendrickson (two-time All-Pacific-10 Conference selection paced Washington State four straight seasons in rebounding 1992-93 through 1995-96) hurled first complete-game shutout for the Tampa Devil Rays in a span of 349 contests (three-hit, 2-0 whitewash against the Baltimore Orioles).
RHP Joe Niekro (averaged 8.9 ppg and 3.8 rpg for West Liberty WV from 1963-64 through 1965-66) purchased from the Atlanta Braves by the Houston Astros for $35,000 in 1975.
RHP Darrell Sutherland (averaged 8.1 ppg and 2.2 rpg for Stanford from 1960-61 through 1962-63) awarded on waivers from the Philadelphia Phillies to the New York Mets as a first-year waiver selection in 1964.
RHP Jim Todd (played for Parsons IA before averaging 16 ppg with Millersville PA in 1968-69) traded by the Chicago Cubs to the Oakland Athletics for a player to be designated and cash in 1975.
After 159 MLB starts, RHP Chris Young (All-Ivy League first-team selection as Princeton's leading scorer and rebounder in 1999-00) made his debut with the Seattle Mariners as a reliever (two hitless innings against the Oakland Athletics in 2014).
CollegeHoopedia.com hopes the rigors of our daily Q&A didn't give you an inferiority complex. Emphasizing a "one-and-only" theme for a "one-and-only" event, this is the climax of 23 days featuring a treasure-trove of tantalizing NCAA Tournament trivia questions from (10 per day from Selection Sunday until a grand finale added value of 20 on the day of the championship game) tracking the only coach, conference, player or school to be linked to a distinguished or dubious achievement (click here for answers or conduct research digesting historical morsels in CollegeHoopedia.com's year-by-year highlights):
1. Name the only automatic qualifier to enter the NCAA playoffs with an overall losing record despite compiling a winning conference mark. Hint: The school lost in the first round to the nation's top-ranked team, an opponent the school succumbed to four seasons earlier when eventual NBA guard Lindsey Hunter scored a then school-record 48 points.
2. Name the only one of the different teams to twice defeat an eventual NCAA champion in their title season to not appear in the NCAA Tournament that year. Hint: A former NBA coach guided the school to its only NCAA playoff victory against an opponent whose coach also later coached in the NBA.
3. Name the only team since seeding started to reach the Final Four without meeting a top eight seed. Hint: The team was eliminated in the national semifinals.
4. Name the only school to twice be denied an at-large bid in a 10-year span despite going undefeated in regular-season conference competition. Hint: The school reached a regional final the next time it went unbeaten in league play.
5. Name the only school in the 20th Century to compete for the national championship in both football and basketball in the same academic school year. Hint: The school lost both games.
6. Who is the only individual to win tournament games while coaching schools from the three conferences with the top winning percentages in NCAA Tournament competition reflecting actual membership (ACC, Big East and Big Ten)? Hint: He is the only coach to win playoff games with as many as three different schools when they were seeded ninth or worse.
8. Who is the only leading scorer in an NCAA Tournament championship game to subsequently serve as an admiral in the U.S. Navy? Hint: He was an NCAA consensus first-team All-America the next season before eventually commanding the aircraft carrier Saratoga for two years.
9. Who is the only championship game starter in the 20th Century to be the son of a former NCAA consensus All-American? Hint: The father was a U.S. Olympic team member and the star player for the first black coach at a predominantly white Division I school.
10. Name the only teammate twosome to each score more than 25 points in an NCAA final. Hint: They combined for 53 points to lead their school to its first of multiple NCAA Tournament titles.
11. Name the only starting backcourt to combine for more than 50 points in a Final Four game. Hint: They combined to shoot 39 percent from the floor in the two Final Four games that year.
12. Who is the only individual to coach teams in the NAIA Tournament, NCAA Division III Tournament, NCAA Division II Tournament, National Invitation Tournament and NCAA Division I Tournament? Hint: He took two different schools to the five levels of national postseason competition in a 13-year span beginning with an appearance as an interim head coach.
13. Who is the only individual to be the team-high scorer for both winning and losing teams in NCAA championship games although his season scoring average was less than half of the team leader each year? Hint: He played in the shadow of an All-American whose total of points and rebounds (4,663) is the highest in NCAA history.
14. Who is the only coach to guide teams from the same school to the football Rose Bowl and basketball Final Four? Hint: The Rose Bowl and Final Four appearances were 17 years apart.
15. Name the only son of a member of one of the first classes of baseball Hall of Fame selections to start for a school in its first NCAA Tournament appearance. Hint: The son pitched for four major league teams before becoming a prominent executive. His father was a first baseman.
16. Name the only school to reach the Final Four and College World Series championship game in the same year. Hint: The school advanced to the Final Four again the next season.
17. Who is the only coach to win three first-round games with teams seeded 12th or worse? Hint: The former coach was 4-1 in tournament games decided by fewer than five points. He played basketball at Fordham when NFL Hall of Fame coach Vince Lombardi was the Rams' freshman basketball coach.
18. Name the school that won all four of its first-round games despite being seeded eighth or worse each time. Hint: The four victories came in the first five tournaments after the NCAA introduced seeding.
19. Name the only school to appear in at least three NCAA Tournaments in the 20th Century and reach a regional final each time. Hint: The school's playoff appearances were in successive years.
20. Who is the only player to obtain NCAA and NBA championship rings without participating in postseason competition for either the college or pro title teams? Hint: The 7-0 center was in his first year with both of the championship squads.
Paul George, Mr. Versatility for Fresno State in 2009-10, was shunned by inept All-American voters before promptly blossoming into an NBA All-Star with the Indiana Pacers. George, returning to the lineup with his stock soaring despite a severe injury, is the latest textbook example of the chronic problem exhibited by low-information A-A voters and their shoddy treatment of mid-major standouts. Is the mess media spending too much time reading a contrived-narrative slanted story in "Rolling to Get Stoned"?
Questioning the qualifications of misguided media members quickly comes to mind when assessing their longstanding track record failing to acknowledge stellar mid-level players as All-Americans. Despite superb collegiate careers, including player of the year acclaim in a mid-major conference, a striking number of individuals didn't generate sufficient national recognition to be chosen as an All-American. For instance, Louisiana Tech's Paul Millsap led the nation in rebounding three straight seasons from 2003-04 through 2005-06 but wasn't accorded All-American status.
Incredibly, the overlooked features two prominent floor generals who went on to lead the NBA in assists a total of 14 times - John Stockton (nine) and two-time MVP Steve Nash (five) - plus Tim Hardaway, who averaged 8.2 apg during his 13-year pro career; Joe Dumars, a six-time NBA All-Star guard and 1989 NBA Finals MVP, and Derek Fisher, who received five championship rings with the Los Angeles Lakers in the first decade of the 21st Century. Among shunned frontcourters, two-time conference MVPs Chris Gatling, Brian Grant, Popeye Jones and Rik Smits each played at least 11 seasons in the NBA.
Whether they are coaches who need to come out of the film-watching closet or members of the lame-stream media, many incompetent voters should be deep-sixed for overdosing on the premier leagues while condescendingly looking upon mid-level players such as Cleveland State's Norris Cole. Georgia State's R.J. Hunter, a two-time MVP in the Sun Belt Conference, could eventually be among the following alphabetical list of Division I conference MVPs left behind in regard to securing All-American status before they enjoyed NBA/ABA careers of at least six seasons:
Duke center Jahlil Okafor and Ohio State guard D'Angelo Russell achieved something luminaries Mark Aguirre, Carmelo Anthony, Patrick Ewing, Phil Ford, Tyler Hansbrough, Magic Johnson, Bernard King, Alonzo Mourning, Shaquille O'Neal, Derrick Rose and Ralph Sampson failed to do. Okafor and Russell each became a first-team All-American as a freshman.
After a 16-year frosh A-A drought from 1991 through 2006, 11 DI newcomers were named first-team selections in the last nine seasons. Following is a chronological list of yearlings in this rare-air category:
|Freshman First-Team All-American||Pos.||College||Year||Freshman All-American Recognition|
|Tom Gola||C-F||La Salle||1952||C1|
|Keith Lee||C||Memphis State||1982||C1, AP2|
|Wayman Tisdale||F-C||Oklahoma||1983||AP1, C1, USBWA1, UPI2, NABC3|
|Chris Jackson||G||Louisiana State||1989||AP1, UPI1, USBWA1, NABC2|
|Kenny Anderson||G||Georgia Tech||1990||NABC1, AP3|
|Kevin Durant||F||Texas||2007||AP1, NABC1, USBWA1|
|Greg Oden||C||Ohio State||2007||AP1, NABC2, USBWA2|
|Michael Beasley||F||Kansas State||2008||AP1, NABC1, USBWA1|
|Kevin Love||C||UCLA||2008||AP1, USBWA1, NABC2|
|DeMarcus Cousins||C||Kentucky||2010||AP1, NABC2, USBWA2|
|John Wall||G||Kentucky||2010||AP1, NABC1, USBWA1|
|Jared Sullinger||F-C||Ohio State||2011||AP1, NABC1, USBWA1|
|Anthony Davis||C||Kentucky||2012||AP1, NABC1, USBWA1|
|Jahlil Okafor||C||Duke||2015||AP1, NABC1, USBWA1|
|D'Angelo Russell||G||Ohio State||2015||AP1, NABC1, USBWA1|
KEY: AP-Associated Press; C-Converse; NABC-National Association of Basketball Coaches; UPI-United Press International; USBWA-United States Basketball Writers Association.
Baseball is portrayed as a thinking man's game but only 4% of active MLB players earned college diplomas. Unless you habitually pore over the content at baseballlibrary.com, baseballreference.com and nationalpastime.com, following is an April 5 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:
INF Frank Baker (Southern Mississippi basketball letterman in 1965-66 and 1966-67) traded by the New York Yankees to the Baltimore Orioles in 1973.
Detroit Tigers 1B Tony Clark (San Diego State's leading scorer in WAC games in 1991-92) smacked two homers among his four hits in a 15-12 win against the Chicago White Sox in 1997. Four years later, Clark contributed four hits against the Minnesota Twins in 2001.
LHP Fred Kipp (two-time all-conference selection for Emporia State KS in early 1950s) traded by the Los Angeles Dodgers to the New York Yankees in 1960.
RHP Roger Mason (multiple-year letterman for Saginaw Valley State MI in late 1970s) traded by the Detroit Tigers to the San Francisco Giants in 1985.
OF Ted Savage (led Lincoln MO in scoring average in 1955-56) purchased from the Cincinnati Reds by the Milwaukee Brewers in 1970.
OF Ken Singleton (Hofstra freshman squad in mid-1960s) traded with Tim Foli and Mike Jorgensen by the New York Mets to the Montreal Expos for Rusty Staub in 1972.
Atlanta Braves reliever Cecil Upshaw (led Centenary in scoring as a junior while averaging 13.7 ppg and 6 rpg from 1961-62 through 1963-64) registered the victory in a season-opening 7-4 success at Cincinnati in 1971. Upshaw missed the previous campaign after almost losing the ring finger on his right hand when it go entangled in a net while dunking a basketball.
RHP Chris Young (All-Ivy League first-team selection as Princeton's leading scorer and rebounder in 1999-00) became the first hurler in New York Mets history to collect two hits in an inning (pair of singles in third against the Philadelphia Phillies in 2011). Young contributed a third single in the fifth in his first start with the Mets.