Extra! Extra! 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 a May 3 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:
In 1977, Chicago Cubs RHP Ray Burris (basketball-baseball standout in Southwestern Oklahoma State Hall of Fame) fired a five-hit shutout against the Houston Astros for his first of five victories in the month.
Pittsburgh Pirates 1B Donn Clendenon (four-sport letterman with Morehouse GA) cracked two-run homers in the 8th and 12th innings in a 5-4 win against the Cincinnati Reds in 1966.
Detroit Tigers C Mickey Cochrane (five-sport athlete with Boston University) collected four hits, including three for extra bases, against the Chicago White Sox in 1937.
Washington Senators C Rick Ferrell (played forward for Guilford NC before graduating in 1928) registered four hits against the St. Louis Browns in 1939.
First triumph in 1982 campaign for Baltimore Orioles LHP Mike Flanagan (averaged 13.9 ppg for UMass' freshman squad in 1971-72) was a three-hit shutout against the Seattle Mariners. Seven years later with the Toronto Blue Jays, Flanagan provided the final whitewash of his 18-year career (four-hitter against the Oakland Athletics in 1989).
INF Jake Flowers (member of 1923 "Flying Pentagon" championship squad for Washington College MD) traded by the St. Louis Cardinals to the Brooklyn Robins in 1927.
Teammates OF Irv Noren (player of year for California junior college state champion Pasadena City in 1945) and INF Tommie Upton (led Southeast Missouri State in scoring three years last half of 1940s and was school's career scoring leader upon graduation; while serving in military, he was All-EIBL first-team selection with Penn in 1945-46) traded by the Washington Senators to the New York Yankees for promising OF Jackie Jensen and three other players in 1952. Upton never played for the Yanks.
RHP Steve Roser (center for Clarkson NY before passing up senior season after signing professional baseball contract in 1940) purchased from the New York Yankees by the Boston Braves in 1946.
Chicago Cubs SS Roy Smalley Jr. (one of top scorers for Drury MO in 1942-43 and 1943-44) went 4-for-4 against the Philadelphia Phillies in 1950.
Boston Red Sox 3B Jim Tabor (Alabama letterman in 1936-37) jacked two homers against the St. Louis Browns in 1940.
St. Louis Cardinals RHP Ray Washburn (led Whitworth WA in scoring in 1958-59 and 1959-60 when named All-Evergreen Conference) tossed a two-hit shutout against the Cincinnati Reds in 1967.
Chicago Cubs RF Bob Will (all-league athlete was captain for Mankato State MN in 1954-55) stroked two doubles in midst of four consecutive two-hit contests in 1960.
Extra! Extra! 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 a May 2 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:
Chicago Cubs 2B Glenn Beckert (three-year basketball letterman for Allegheny PA) contributed three extra-base hits against the Atlanta Braves in 1972.
Baltimore Orioles CF Al Bumbry (Virginia State's runner-up in scoring with 16.7 ppg as freshman in 1964-65) stroked four hits against the Seattle Mariners in 1979.
Cincinnati Reds 1B George Crowe (four-year letterman from 1939-40 through 1942-43 for Indiana Central after becoming first high school player named the state's "Mr. Basketball") drove in six runs in a 7-3 victory at St. Louis in 1958.
Boston Red Sox C Gene Desautels (Holy Cross letterman in 1929 and 1930) went 4-for-4 against the Philadelphia Athletics in 1938.
San Francisco Giants 3B Darrell Evans (member of Jerry Tarkanian-coached Pasadena City CA club winning 1967 state community college crown) homered in both ends of a 1981 doubleheader split against the Philadelphia Phillies.
After winning four straight starts in April, Florida Marlins LHP Mark Hendrickson (two-time All-Pacific-10 Conference selection paced Washington State four straight seasons in rebounding 1992-93 through 1995-96) earned the triumph in a 6-4 verdict over the San Diego Padres in 2008.
New York Yankees rookie LF Charlie Keller (three-year letterman with Maryland from 1934-35 through 1936-37) scored four runs and chipped in with six RBI against the Detroit Tigers in 1939.
INF Buddy Myer (letterman for Mississippi State in 1923-24) traded by the Washington Senators to the Boston Red Sox in 1927.
3B Graig Nettles (shot 87.8% from free-throw line for San Diego State in 1963-64) swatted a pinch-hit grand slam for the Atlanta Braves in a 12-4 victory against the Houston Astros in 1987.
Philadelphia Phillies RHP Robin Roberts (Michigan State's second-leading scorer in 1945-46 and 1946-47) struck out 13 Chicago Cubs in a 4-2 triumph in 1957. No Philly infielder had an assist in the contest.
In 1958, Boston Red Sox RHP Dave Sisler (All-Ivy League second-team selection for Princeton's first NCAA Tournament team in 1952) fired his lone MLB shutout (against Detroit Tigers). The next year, Sisler was traded by the Red Sox to the Tigers on this date.
Chicago Cubs CF Cy Williams (Notre Dame forward in 1909-10) went 4-for-4 with two triples against the St. Louis Cardinals in a 1914 game.
First MLB win for RHP Jim Wilson (letterman for San Diego State's 1942 NAIA Tournament participant) was a four-hit shutout for the Boston Red Sox against the Washington Senators in 1945.
Do you want to be our hero? The last couple of years, Fox News has aired a riveting two-part program featuring Navy SEAL Team 6 member Robert O'Neill (senior chief petty officer is recipient of two Silver and five Bronze Stars) as "The Man Who Killed Usama Bin Laden." Amid focusing on the fifth anniversary ridding Planet Earth of UBL, it seems we should also be celebrating authentic courage from the college basketball ranks stemming from an individual instrumental in tracking the terrorist down. But the selfless ex-athlete from a Midwest university hasn't "come out of the closet" for security reasons and might be underground with a fake identification unless, of course, ax-grinding Left Coast Sen. Dianne Feinstein rats him out amid another of her vendettas.
In the documentation about dispatching UBL to hell (equivalent status even if nonsense about satisfying 72 virgins is what transpired), the White House unveiled a photograph of President Barack Obama and his Cabinet inside the Situation Room, watching the daring commando raid unfold on May 1, 2011. But POTUS (JV player for Occidental CA) apparently wasn't the tallest ex-college hoopster in the room. Standing just outside the frame of that famous pic was an anonymous Central Intelligence Agency officer ("CIA John") who pursued UBL as a dogmatic deputy chief and reportedly was also influential as one of the principal proponents of drone deterrence. Two days after the world's most-wanted man was transformed into marine treat when dumped into the North Arabian Sea, "CIA John" accompanied then CIA Director Leon Panetta to Capitol Hill, where the Senate Intelligence Committee received a full briefing on the mission.
According to AP accounts at the time, the meticulous senior intelligence analyst was the first individual to put in writing that a legitimate CIA lead had been assembled on possibly locating UBL. He spearheaded the collection of clues for nearly 10 years, leading the agency to a fortified compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, and its epic counter-terrorism success. Our freedom-loving nation is eternally grateful that his manhunt accuracy as a deep-cover agent in pinpointing UBL's whereabouts stood in stark contrast to his free-throw marksmanship as a deep-bench player (barely over 30%) as a member of multiple NCAA playoff teams.
Sy Hersh muckraking notwithstanding, box-office hit "Zero Dark Thirty" was an inspiring movie focusing on a young female CIA operative allegedly also from flyover country. She exhibited her tenacity, dedication and courage in primarily monitoring a vital courier for al-Qaeda's upper brass. According to Esquire, the shooter who killed UBL (subsequently acknowledged as Butte MT native O'Neill) gave the magazine out of his gun as a souvenir to bloodhound "Maya." While the film doesn't do justice to the male super spy, the patriot is likely to defer anyway to the concept "there is no 'I' in team" insofar as it was a remark his college hoops coach frequently cited. Naturally, Langley issued a perfunctory "no comment" because concern exists about publishing his name and running biographical details might make him a target for retribution.
Over the decades, there have been other notable "Secret Agent Men" in the CIA who were former college hoopsters. In fact, a Final Four player isn't required to hit a decisive basket or be selected Most Outstanding Player to be a hero. He doesn't even need to participate on the court. Bob Ames, a member of the Tom Gola-led La Salle teams in 1954 (national champion) and 1955 (runner-up to San Francisco), never got off the bench at the Final Four those two years although he was the only La Salle player to hit more than three-fourths of his free throws the season the Explorers won the NCAA title.
"Our coach, Ken Loeffler, only used seven guys, and Bob was the eighth man," said Frank Blatcher, a starter for the Explorers each season and their leading scorer with a total of 42 points at the Final Four on the championship team. "He had the talent. He just never got a chance to show it."
Ames, a pre-law major who scored a total of eight points in three NCAA playoff games in 1955, did have an opportunity to show his ability in another more vital endeavor, however. He joined the CIA and worked his way up the chain of command to become the Director of the CIA's Office of Analysis of the Near East and South Asia. "The Spy Who Loved Basketball" worked closely with both the Carter and Reagan administrations.
Regrettably, Ames was killed in Beirut in 1983. A truck loaded with TNT on a suicide mission rammed into the facility where Ames was staying while serving as a liaison trying to allay contacts among the Lebanese, Syrians and Israelis in hopes of calming the escalating discord.
"Here was a guy that turned out to have had a greater influence on our lives than just about any 1,000 other basketball players you can name," Blatcher said. "It just shows you that you don't have to be a star to accomplish something." Something like becoming a genuine American hero.
Elsewhere, the CIA's deputy director under George Bush in 1976 was Hank Knoche, the leading scorer in the Mountain States (Big Seven) Conference with 16.4 points per game for Colorado's 1946 NCAA Tournament team. Knoche, the father of former American University coach Chris Knoche, reputedly was the first player selected in the NBA's first college draft in 1947 after enrolling at Washington and Jefferson (Pa.) to play on a 16-4 team with two of his brothers. But he never appeared in the then-fledgling league, which doesn't have any official draft records prior to 1949. The franchise that selected him, the Pittsburgh Ironmen, folded shortly after the draft, and his rights reverted to the New York Knicks.
"I didn't know I was the first No. 1 pick until a writer from Atlanta called me for a story," Knoche said. "An NBA historian had informed him of my alleged status."
The elder Knoche, who went to live in the Denver area, chose not to play in an uncertain situation for little money. "I never received any contact from the Ironmen," he said. "The Knicks sent a contract offer in the mail, but it was for just $3,500 and that's if I made the team (many NBA standouts earn five times that amount every quarter).
"I chose to play industrial basketball, where I remember playing six times one year against seven-footer Bob Kurland (Oklahoma State three-time first-team All-American who never played in the NBA). That wasn't much fun going against Kurland because I was just a 6-4 center."
Knoche was recalled to the military during the Korean War, where he was assigned to intelligence work for the Navy and later embarked on a civilian career leading to a job with the CIA.
Another former college hooper who carved out a CIA career was Pete Sivess, a center for Dickinson PA in 1935-36 before compiling a 7-11 record as a righthanded pitcher with the Philadelphia Phillies in three years from 1936 through 1938. While Moe Berg is the most famous MLB player linked with the CIA, his career as a spy pales in comparison to baseball contemporary Sivess, who is credited with defining CIA policy for handling Eastern Bloc defectors. During the height of the Cold War, Sivess conducted a "first haven" on Maryland's Eastern Shore where defectors were shipped to be debriefed. Probably the highest-profile spy Sivess monitored was "notorious double agent" Nicholas Shadrin, who died on a trip to Vienna in 1975 in a kidnapping attempt by Moscow's counterspies.
In the shadowy world of the CIA, no precise clues exist as to whether a basketball background for "CIA John" contributed to helping POTUS develop a comfort-zone bond with him similar to other ex-college hoopsters in his inner circle - Secretary of Education Arne Duncan (Harvard), departing Attorney General Eric Holder (Columbia), former "body man" Reggie Love (Duke) and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen (Navy). But it isn't ridiculous to suggest there might not have been a second inauguration for President Obama if he didn't trust "CIA John."
A vital hurdle approving the raid came when the SEAL Squadron leader briefed Mullen on merits of the mission. According to O'Neill's anonymous interview with Esquire, Vice Admiral William McRaven, head of Joint Special Ops Command, compared the raid and its fighters to the basketball movie Hoosiers in a final briefing with the participants in Operation Neptune's Spear.
A pithy precept occasionally surfaces in basketball trash talking that "some talk a good game and some play a good game." Depending upon your point of view, Time's Person of the Year in 2011 and each subsequent year could have been "CIA John." Surely, ex-Time managing editor Rick Stengel, a backup for Pete Carril-coached Princeton in the mid-1970s, would have encouraged co-workers to give "CIA John" special consideration after the White House acknowledged him and his colleagues as "unbelievably competent professionals."
The Obama Administration admits doctoring State Department videos. Wanna bet whether "CIA John" was photo-shopped out of the famous Situation Room pic? Deserved or not, other ex-college hoopers may get the bulk of the glory ranging from taking credit for UBL's demise to some searing social issue actually paling in comparison. When, if ever, will our nation get the opportunity to pay homage to a genuine hoop hero comparable to Ames, Knoche and Sivess? Heaven only knows we need an authentic hero these days to offset riots in major U.S. cities, lying by eventual Presidential nominee in front of caskets as server-swiping Secretary of State, a lawless West Wing supported by ideologically-driven lame-stream media plus collegiate academic scandals and athletes treating women as bad as Sharia-Law zealot Islamic radicals. But at the moment, the stirring tale will simply be "The Greatest Hoop Story Never Fully Told."
Extra! Extra! 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 a May 1 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:
Seattle Mariners RHP Jim Beattie (Dartmouth's top rebounder in 1974-75 when selected basketball team MVP and honorable mention All-Ivy League) hurled a four-hit shutout against the Boston Red Sox in 1985.
After teammate Bill Parsons walked the first three Oakland A's batters, RHP Jim Colborn (Whittier CA in mid-1960s before studying for master's at Edinburgh where he was All-Scotland in basketball) came in and pitched a complete-game 4-3 victory for the Milwaukee Brewers in 1973.
California Angels RHP Eddie Fisher (played for Oklahoma's 1954-55 freshman squad) permitted his lone earned run in first 12 relief appearances in the 1970 campaign.
St. Louis Cardinals 2B Frankie Frisch (Fordham captain) furnished three extra-base hits and four RBI against the Cincinnati Reds in 1927.
Pittsburgh Pirates 3B Lee Handley (Bradley letterman from 1932-33 through 1934-35) banged out four hits against the Philadelphia Phillies in 1941.
Cleveland Indians LF David Justice (led Thomas More KY in assists in 1984-85) delivered two homers against the Oakland Athletics in 1997.
New York Yankees LF Charlie Keller (three-year letterman with Maryland from 1934-35 through 1936-37) collected seven RBI against the St. Louis Browns in 1941.
Detroit Tigers RF Rusty Kuntz (played J.C. hoops for Cuesta CA) went 3-for-3 with three RBI against the Boston Red Sox in 1984.
Pittsburgh Pirates SS Johnny Logan (played for Binghamton in 1948-49) went 4-for-4 in a 4-2 loss against the San Francisco Giants in 1962.
Kansas City Athletics RHP Rollie Sheldon (third-leading scorer as sophomore for Connecticut's 1960 NCAA Tournament team) hurled a three-hit shutout against his original team (New York Yankees) in the opener of a 1966 doubleheader.
Kansas City Athletics 1B Norm Siebern (member of Southwest Missouri State squads capturing back-to-back NAIA Tournament titles in 1952 and 1953) smacked two homers against the Cleveland Indians in the opener of a 1960 doubleheader, igniting a streak of five consecutive two-hit contests.
3B Billy Werber (first Duke hoop All-American in 1929-30) contributed a homer and double for the Cincinnati Reds during their eight-run fourth inning in 1940 when they defeated the Brooklyn Dodgers, 9-2.
A seventh-inning single by Boston Red Sox C Sammy White (All-PCC Northern Division first-five selection for Washington in 1947-48 and 1948-49) represented the only hit Hall of Fame P Bob Feller yielded in a 2-0 win for the Cleveland Indians in the opener of a doubleheader in 1955. It was Feller's MLB-record 12th one-hitter.
Philadelphia Phillies CF Cy Williams (Notre Dame forward in 1909-10) homered twice among his four hits and scored four runs against the Boston Braves in a 1923 game.
INF Dib Williams (played for Hendrix AR in mid-1920s) purchased from the Philadelphia Athletics by the Boston Red Sox in 1935.
All-time great Wilt Chamberlain's final season at Kansas in 1958 included one of the most amazing turnarounds in NCAA history. Nebraska, in the midst of 15 consecutive losing campaigns, was clobbered at Kansas by 56 points (102-46) before upsetting the Jayhawks (43-41) four games later in Omaha. In the Huskers' next outing, they defeated top-ranked Kansas State (55-48) after the Wildcats overwhelmed them by a total of 46 points in two previous match-ups. Nebraska never has won an NCAA Tournament game, making the Huskers treasure the moment even more when their second-division squad upended NCAA champion-to-be Kansas in the regular season in 1988.
Cincinnati, compiling only one winning record in Metro Conference competition (8-6 in 1985) in a 12-year span from 1978 through 1989, is the lone school registering a losing mark in a season it won a road game against a league rival later becoming NCAA kingpin. The 12-16 Bearcats, notching a 5-7 Metro worksheet, won at Louisville (84-82) midway through 1985-86 when guard Roger McClendon poured in 24 of his 35 points in the second half. The Cardinals recovered from their only home-court loss that year and the embarrassment of squandering a 13-point, second-half lead against Cincy to wind up capturing the NCAA title.
Michigan State dominated the 1979 NCAA tourney, handing all five playoff opponents, a quintet averaging 25.6 victories, their worst defeat of the year - Lamar (31-point margin), LSU (16), Notre Dame (12), Penn (34) and Indiana State (11). Consequently, most observers don't remember the glaring defect of the Magic Johnson-led Spartans earlier in the season when they succumbed to four Big Ten Conference second-division members (including three finishing at least four games below .500 in league play). One of MSU's setbacks was by 18 points against perennial cellar dweller Northwestern.
Florida '98 is the only school at least four games below .500 in league play to win on the road against a conference opponent (Kentucky) finishing season with an NCAA playoff crown. Following is a chronological list of the 11 schools at least four games under .500 in conference competition to defeat a league foe ending the season as NCAA titlist:
|Second-Division Team||League||League Mark||Overall Mark||Upset Against Eventual NCAA Champion|
|Oregon State '39||PCC||6-10||13-11||Beavers defeated Oregon, 50-31|
|Oregon '59||PCC||3-13||9-16||Ducks defeated California, 59-57|
|Illinois '79||Big Ten||7-11||19-11||Illini defeated Michigan State, 57-55|
|Northwestern '79||Big Ten||2-16||6-21||Wildcats defeated Michigan State, 83-65|
|Wisconsin '79||Big Ten||6-12||12-15||Badgers defeated Michigan State, 83-81|
|Nebraska '88||Big Eight||4-10||13-18||Huskers defeated Kansas, 70-68|
|Florida '98||SEC||6-10||14-15||Gators won at Kentucky, 86-78|
|Rutgers '03||Big East||4-12||12-16||Scarlet Knights defeated Syracuse, 68-65|
|South Carolina '06||SEC||6-10||23-15||Gamecocks defeated Florida, 68-62|
|Louisiana State '07||SEC||5-11||17-15||Tigers defeated Florida, 66-56|
|North Carolina State '10||ACC||5-11||20-16||Wolfpack defeated Duke, 88-74|
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 30 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:
Detroit Tigers 1B Dale Alexander (starting center for Milligan TN in mid-1920s) supplied his sixth straight multiple-hit game and 10th in last 17 contests to finish the first month of the 1931 season with a .519 batting average.
Philadelphia Phillies CF Ethan Allen (Cincinnati letterman in 1924-25 and 1925-26) went 4-for-4 in a 5-4 win against the Boston Braves in 1934.
New York Giants 2B Pat Crawford (Davidson captain in early 1920s) went 3-for-3 with two extra-base hits in a 1930 game against the Brooklyn Robins.
San Diego Padres RF Tony Gwynn (All-WAC second-team selection with San Diego State in 1979-80 and 1980-81) went 5-for-5 against the New York Mets in 1993 before adding four safeties against the Mets the next day.
Los Angeles Dodgers 1B Gil Hodges (played for St. Joseph's IN in 1943 and Oakland City IN in 1947 and 1948) homered in fifth of last seven games of the month in 1958.
Washington Senators LF 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) closed out the month by homering in three consecutive contests against the Milwaukee Brewers in 1970.
Baltimore Orioles rookie 2B Davey Johnson (averaged 1.7 ppg with Texas A&M in 1961-62) jacked two homers against the Detroit Tigers in 1966. Twelve years later with the Philadelphia Phillies, Johnson whacked a pinch grand slam against the San Diego Padres in 1978.
Chicago Cubs SS Don Kessinger (three-time All-SEC selection for Mississippi from 1961-62 through 1963-64 while finishing among nation's top 45 scorers each year) contributed his 10th multiple-hit outing in April of 1968.
Los Angeles Dodgers 2B Davey Lopes (NAIA All-District 15 selection for Iowa Wesleyan averaged 16.9 ppg as freshman in 1964-65 and 12.1 ppg as sophomore in 1965-66) stole four bases against the St. Louis Cardinals in a 1978 contest.
In 1937, Philadelphia Athletics INF Clarence "Ace" Parker (Duke letterman in 1935-36) became the first A.L. player to hit a pinch-hit homer in his MLB debut (against Wes Ferrell of Boston Red Sox).
1B Jack Phillips (leading scorer for 14-1 Clarkson NY in 1942-43) traded by the Detroit Tigers to the Boston Red Sox in 1957.
RF Richie Scheinblum (averaged 6.1 ppg and 3.6 rpg for C.W. Post NY in 1962-63 and 1963-64) traded by the California Angels to the Kansas City Royals in 1974.
SS Roy Smalley Jr. (one of top scorers for Drury MO in 1942-43 and 1943-44) purchased from the Milwaukee Braves by the Philadelphia Phillies in 1955.
RHP Lee Smith (averaged 3.4 ppg and 1.9 rpg with Northwestern State in 1976-77) posted saves in his first 12 relief appearances with the Baltimore Orioles in 1994 by failing to permit an earned run in a span covering 10 2/3 innings.
Rookie SS-LF Gary Sutherland (averaged 8.1 ppg and 2.2 rpg for Stanford from 1960-61 through 1962-63) smacked a two-run pinch double in the top of the ninth inning to give the Philadelphia Phillies a 6-4 win against the Atlanta Braves in 1967.
RF Dave Winfield (starting forward with Minnesota's first NCAA playoff team in 1972), who was on base at least once in every game this month, tied a MLB record for RBI in April with 29 for the New York Yankees in 1988.
Showing where the balance of power exists, the state governor jettisoned the university president and board of trustees before placing any responsibility on the basketball coach. When NCAA investigators interview Rick Pitino after the Kentucky Derby, it's a good bet they could hear a series of terse run-for-the-hills responses to their questions such as "just read my books, the answers to everything are there" or resurrecting his following hot-seat remarks:
- “There's no one in this business with more integrity (than me)."
- "I didn't make any mistakes, I don't care what anybody says."
- "I'm not going to comment on it anymore because I don't have to.”
- "We have the most compliant coaches in the NCAA, no matter what you hear."
- “We've built a very strong culture here of discipline and doing the right things.”
Pitino, immune from criticism in many quarters simply because he wins games more than most of his peers, probably will have no reservation calling an investigator the same thing he did a Big Ten school president ("pompous ass") for having the gall to question scholastic shortcomings of Louisville's scholars. At any rate, scrutiny of The Ville's program has had a shelf life lasting a mite longer than 15 seconds or any Churchill Downs race, leaving the white suit Pitino occasionally dons a drunk-on-power symbol for anything but purity. There is little doubt a self-imposed one-year postseason competition ban and future scholarship/recruiting reductions (a/k/a preemptive plea bargain) implied the Cardinals face more significant sanctions on down the road. If there was any good news, at least UL's upper brass didn't don Mexican garb for the "trick-or-treat" announcements and doesn't seem to buy stock into dimwitted deflection tactics blaming book publishing company owned by Indiana's largest-ever donor with law school named after him. However, it was disappointing Pitino didn't have an opportunity to cowardly boycott or conduct a Cam Newton-like walkout, departing hand gesture or not, at any postseason press briefing this year.
Amid full-figure female fallout from fact-filled tell-all tale (Breaking Cardinal Rules), pretentious Pitino recently said: “There's only one good thing about being 63 – you don't care what people think anymore.” The reprehensible regaling all sounded vaguely familiar. After all, it seems as if thin-skinned Pompous Pilot didn't care when he was in his 50s (restaurant affair with staffer's soon-to-be spouse), 40s (quit in mid-season after lured by $50 million to try to become reincarnation of Red Auerbach rather than next Adolph Rupp), 30s (BU Revue) and 20s (Hawaii infractions)?
Essentially, a tawdry timeline stems from philosophy of do as I say; not as I do. One of Pitino's books lecturing everyone else discusses how the past can haunt you. As an assistant at Hawaii, Pitino was implicated in eight of 64 violations leading to the Rainbows' two-year probation stint in the late 1970s. Nonetheless, the narcissist didn't care upon setting foot in Kentucky years ago as his one-day contract stump speech unfolded prior to incessant recycling. Is there any Pitino-linked symbolism this year when probation-bound Hawaii earned a berth in the NCAA playoffs while UL was banished?
“I think it's a positive because I know exactly what can go on the wrong way,” Pitino smugly self-assessed about suspect hoop activities in the Paradise of the Pacific shortly before he was hired by UK in the late 1980s. “There's no one in this business with more integrity (than me). It didn't happen in Hawaii as far as I'm concerned. I didn't make any mistakes, I don't care what anybody says. I'm not going to comment on it anymore because I don't have to.”
Need more I-don't-give-a-rip integrity? The alternate-reality program wallowed in self-absorption last fall when Louisville failed to care about providing anything but a lame spin-tour remark stemming from an inquiry regarding an anecdote in the incisive book Raw Recruits written by dying-breed respected journalists Alexander Wolff and Armen Keteyian (more on media later). With apologies to “dictator” Dick Vitale's personal library, Season on the Brink (written by John Feinstein) and Raw Recruits rank 1-2 or vice versa as the all-time most compelling behind-the-scenes books on college basketball. After a big win for Pitino-coached Boston University at Rhode Island in the early 1980s, Raw Recruits alleged he rewarded the Terriers by having their bus stop at a jiggle joint on the way back to campus and hand out dollar bills to players so they might tuck them into G-strings.
Thirty years later, a ridiculous response from condescending UL about the book's sewer snippet was the famished BU brigade innocently walked in to get food, presumably thinking neon lights and all were essentials for a lively restaurant, but promptly bailed with hands covering their eyes. How many times have you heard about a booby bar being confused with fast food unless it is difficult to differentiate between excessive makeup on a Dancin' Girl and same for Ronald McDonald? Of course, there's not much happy-deal difference between unwrapped buns “having a good day” at the Golden Arches and gold jewelry near strategic arches on naked bodies. Maybe the classy New England establishment was simply a topless diner for roadie academic tutors, unbeknownst to coach, keeping GPA (Great Party Atmosphere) of squad members up by cramming for anatomy class on trek home.
Dwelling a little more on distinguishing between day-of-reckoning dignity and depravity, how low can you sink when self-proclaimed Elvis Presley (ex-UL All-American Terrence “Why Would I Pay Anybody for Anything” Williams) is a credibility reference for Hookergate scoring considering his checkered past? It may be the equivalent of Pitino vouching for former UK guard Richie "He Can Do No Wrong" Farmer when he ran afoul of the law.
Here is what genuinely "doesn't make any sense at all" for someone who is kind of a big deal. Pitino, boasting a master-puppeteer reputation, has a penchant for "can't-find-one-person" pap not knowing what the hell is going on around him even if it is a relatively minor thing such as six-year UL assistant coach Steve Masiello failing to complete requirements for a diploma during and after his ex-Knicks ball-boy playing for him at UK before immersed in an academic controversy as Manhattan's coach.
Understandably, the contrived Sgt. “I know nothing” Schultz routine regarding the "we have a different way we recruit" rot really gets old. One of Pitino's books also honed in on when it's best not to delegate. Pitino, saying he was “still trying to understand the motive,” treats his former player/assistant coach Andre McGee as if aspiring to explain a Shakespearean production ("Et tu, Brutus?"). Actually, it would be helpful to know when fall-guy target McGee was first exposed to this scurrilous stagecraft before he is thrown under the intellectually-and-morally bankrupt bus. Can Pitino identify specific steps he undertook monitoring McGee's duties and if he has any financial-backer guess who the book's "Coach Mike" might be?
The bluster bus is driven by Pitino, who said: "We have the most compliant coaches in the NCAA, no matter what you hear." If relevant at all, did we hear if this commendable credential predated McGee as a player and/or coach or kicked in after McGee departed for UMKC and subsequently working as a driver for car service Uber? Did Pitino PI send his defense team to KC to see if McGee continued exhibiting a pattern of let-boys-be-boys in recruiting practices rather than emphasizing local barbecue?
Do Pitino's longstanding don't-care comments credibly pass a sincere threshold to where the nation should deluge him with speedy-recovery well wishes to help mend his broken heart? As most ardent hoop observers are aware, the BU rock-star sojourn wasn't the only time he mistook a restaurant for adult entertainment. Amplifying on the toxic topic via common sense, it is inconceivable to accept no-compulsion premise there was nothing abnormal maneuvering from normal extracurricular habits to chance stop-on-a-dime meeting with extortion-bound stranger on an upscale restaurant table. Just wondering, but did the fine-diner owner leave keys thinking the hangers-on were going to sweep the floor and clean the dishes exercising 15 seconds of shame? Perhaps they were waiting on UL football coach Bobby Petrino and hoop sage Bo Ryan to compare notes about exploits on and off the court.
Seems as if there was lack of credibility everywhere one turned. In the wake of such boorish behavior, should we bother to contemplate what went on to relieve stress at higher-stakes citadels such as New York (Knicks) and college cage capital (Lexington, KY)? It almost makes a Client 9-curious individual want to enlist the services of a PI to rummage through little black book of whomever the Manhattan Madam happened to be in late 1980s before conducting survey of coeds attending UK the first half of 1990s about any love lodge or perhaps big and blue van featuring tinted windows. First step learning about "good times" equipment might be giving amnesia antidote or truth serum to gatekeeper/chauffeur. Winston Bennett, an assistant under Pitino with UK and the Boston Celtics, may also be able to offer some insight based on the former All-SEC second-team selection admitting he "slept with 90 women a month" despite stature as the ultimate NBA scrub.
What transpired at UL is precisely why a control freak orchestrated construction of a basketball dormitory (named for his brother-in-law who tragically died in 9/11 attack) to monitor his roster and keep them from becoming salacious scholars. Instead, what repeatedly resulted was a classic example of lack of institutional control. So what if Pitino wasn't the whore-dorm booking agent or could pass a lie-detector test on a well-crafted question skirting the predatory activity. Doesn't his pact with UL have provision about “diligently supervise compliance of assistant coaches and any other employees for which he is administratively responsible”? Based on NCAA's scholastic "logic" in dealing with academic anemia at North Carolina, U of L would have been in better standing by sharing the wealth of excess including the minions - students-at-large - at dorm orgies.
“I'm totally saddened to the point of disbelief over the incidents,” Pitino said during one of his incredible sulks. “We've built a very strong culture here of discipline and doing the right things.” You've got to be kidding! If so, did a single disciplined student-athlete exhibit sufficient strength to do the right thing, go to him and describe detestable culture infecting Club Minardi? If not, why are his family-atmosphere players more loyal to a subordinate than head coach? He can't possibly believe the fear-factor nonsense as to reason every single player feared his retribution to such a degree they were petrified to tell him about the debauchery. Pleading with the Hoop Gods, please don't put public through more Nifong nonsense or the traditional "plausible-deniability" focus on disgruntled former "employees" defense.
Whether or not it was a byproduct of culture or karma, the Pitino brand also faced a brewing sex-lies-and-videotape scandal involving his son's recruits at Minnesota, which featured more suspended players than Big Ten Conference victories. Any video this year involving Gopher players, on or off hardwood, probably is filth and should be erased. Amid the disturbing credibility gap, it's probably time to shift gears and sarcastically add to the sad state of affairs with the following pointless plot lines for entertaining episodes on HBO's soon-to-be-announced Pitino Place show:
- Jilted Karen, after escaping confinement by having sex with prison security guard boasting slick black hair, undergoes race-and-name change becoming Katina and trying to extort main character Slick Rick again before going on the cover of Vanity Fair and “earning” some sort of ESPY courage award for her copious copulation commentary.
- In a what-might-have-been dream, Slick Rick learns in a confession booth about an innocent baby boy named Rowe Vee Wade if Catholic principles really meant more than abortion creating new definition for “health care” money. Rowe Vee Wade would have been a blue-chip playmaking prospect who played for half-brother and averaged more assists per game in college career than his look-alike estranged father (5.6 apg). Upon waking up from Rip Van Winkle slumber, Slick Rick decides to become a sperm donor to try to clone Mr. Nifty Jr. (donor's college nickname).
- Slick Rick groupie Vinny, moonlighting as an NCAA enforcement agent, taught boss to hold the tail during horse breeding and told tales about anything dealing with human breeding. But the aloof horse owner already was a thoroughbred Breeders' Cup Secretariat wannabee and only had eyes for what was under some of those gaudy race-track hats. Vinny, who was actually a double agent, eventually spilled his good-times guts to Looneyville authorities when he was supposed to be conducting opposition research on rival Coach Pay-pal Cal including going through trash in Memphis trying to unearth any Slick Rick-like transgressions or rookie salary-cap violations he could possibly find to help prevent ninth defeat in last 10 confrontations.
- Slick Rick blames Sick “You Better Put Some Ice On It” Willie for infecting him with some unnamed pants-dropping defect in front of stranger after shaking Bubba's cigar-stained hand before introducing President Stainmaker, still basking in the glow of an Arkansas title, at a campaign rally on the eve of the 1996 election. Finishing “expensive” speech on humility to Wall Street executives and meeting filing deadline for book on success, he had to take a rain check regarding using portion of Bubba's frequent-flyer miles on Lolita Airlines for a cheerleader-recruiting/saxophone-lesson trip with Shrillary's Secret Weapon and equally frail contemptible Clintonista cronies to “Orgy Island.” Wee Willie, subsequently choosing to visit Coach Cal while campaigning for spouse Shrillary Rotten during her campaign 20 years later, probably wanted some insight on how to become chancellor at UK or UL after his suspect financial windfall "serving" as honorary president of some obscure institution.
- Intervention for Slick Rick unfolds to stop drinking bourbon named after him. Becoming delusional as much as Kanye is in debt, he claimed his new Kanye West/adidas shoes helped him win a dunking contest as college freshman decades ago against varsity standout Julius Erving in 1970-71 before Dr. J became a professional basketball highlight reel. Boasting super-human strength capable of reeling in mammoth marlin, Slick Rick claimed he won a home-run derby against Mike Flanagan in 1971-72 when the eventual 18-year MLB pitcher averaged 13.9 ppg for the same school's frosh squad. In a bizarre rant by Slick Rick after pain killer wore off from getting a title tattoo, the egomaniac thought he should receive Bill Cosby's Presidential Medal of Freedom if award is stripped from the widely-condemned comic. Meanwhile, Kanye ($53 million in debt) makes guest star appearance begging Taylor Swift for 53 cents for his "Famous" ideas so he can impress fashionable Kim by having more "rep" cred than 50 Cent with music endorsement by Slick Rick linked to any affiliated dorm dance.
All silly-season sarcasm aside, the bottom-line drivel is what do you expect from a program where the coach can't control himself? Louisville native Muhammad Ali issued his support while Pitino's boss had his thoughts with the Pitino family and delusional AD Tom Jurich, apparently an abortion advocate, said Pitino “has a perfect track record.” We presume Jurich's perfection testimonial isn't hampered by Parkinson's and includes Pitino settling for more than $2,500 to get rid of evidence. Maybe some of these unprincipled folks would show a shred of humanity if a female member of their immediate family was affected.
Just like the majority of scandals, follow the money trail of a plot that may have had its genesis in a Barbershop sequel of sorts. Whatever the amount spent by McGee for physical activity by saving gas money moving party venue closer to home, it's virtually impossible to believe the bank-bundled funds came entirely from his personal account. Pitino, responding as if he was kneed in the groin by some unknown assailant, had Olympian gall telling McGee “to step up” after skating around issue crying “Why?” way more than Nancy Kerrigan.
Of course, the most disgusting “why” involved fathers/guardians tagging along for a recruiting ride to LarryFlyntVille when not busy helping prospects with their studies. In employing a perverted version of father-son bonding, why was there the incentive way horsing around driving it homeboy rather than “a dolt” just having fond memory of playing horse against his boy in the family driveway. What would the party-planner incentive be if the recruit actually helped UL reach a Final Four?
Pitino, who said bump-and-grind allegations against individuals other than himself made him “sick to my stomach,” can always cure chronic tummy tumult via some dessert delicacy at his favorite upscale restaurant. Actually, frequent health references simply raise suspicion about his mid-season walking-out-through-the-door “flight” to Cleveland Clinic in 2003-04 three years after the "wounded tiger" quit the Celtics because Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parish weren't walking back through their door.
An inalienable right exists to be stupid such as Apple protecting phone of Islamic terrorist, but we saw the outline of a clever problem-solving act just last season when problem-child guard Chris Jones was dismissed. You've got the comedy-relief brains of a doorknob if you believed Louisville's shedding of a little light via a door-opening salvo explaining life-without-Jones stemmed primarily from a 9 p.m. curfew violation. It's unclear whether Pitino, exhibiting a theatrical flop reminiscent of Jones' chin-rubbing charade in a match-up with cross-state rival Kentucky, includes himself in refuting any bad acting.
Jones, described by Pitino as “type of guy who always has his hands in the cookie jar,” dropped out of school to defend himself as rigorously as the ACC's leader in steals average defended opponents. Wouldn't you like an insider to drop some knowledge regarding the rigorous classes the scholar took and stack them up against North Carolina's no-show way or the intellectually-stimulating spring-semester coursework for the one-and-done crowd? Depending upon your perspective, didn't the culture Pitino portrayed “steal” a scholarship from perhaps an authentic student-athlete? Some viewers want to be assured they can't catch a STD from TV and seek to promptly take a shower after watching UL these days.
Chane Behanan, another Cardinals discard after earning a spot on the 2013 All-NCAA Tournament Team, said in an interview with Bleacher Report that he "began smoking weed regularly (at UL), often after a long practice or a tough, physical game - and almost always when he was alone." After capturing the NCAA title, Behanan said "there were parties every night. People were inviting us places all the time and trying to give us stuff. It was a good feeling. I got caught up in it. Everywhere you went, there was something to get into. It was so easy."
The shameless local and national media covering UL also are to blame, but they already have a laser-like fixation on touchy-feely timing of ban rather than incalculable more vital issues such as academic integrity and power-structure lack of accountability of coaching staffs for revenue-producing sports. There should be a one-year ban on reading or watching the presstitutes because of their failure to live up to news-gathering obligations by allowing an Escort Queen to “(hard)cover” the program better than they did. How in the name of Edmund R. Murrow did Katina discern more about what was going on than Pitino, university officials and a seemingly enabling press stripped naked by her firsthand research? Wouldn't you love to hear the results of what transpired on recruiting visits from a truth-serum induced focus group including McGee plus Pitino signees over the years such as Brandon Bender, Delray Brooks, Derrick Caracter, Richie Farmer, Bryan Harvey, Carlos Hurt, Chris Jones, Preston Knowles, Ron Mercer, Derrick Miller, Bryant Northern, Zach Price, Antoine Walker, Samaki Walker and Terrence Williams?
Pitino claimed he hasn't read Powell's expose but said “people will do anything for money.” Does the same assessment apply to Sextino regarding his series of what now seem like tainted hypocritical volumes (Success is a Choice, How to Add Value to Every Minute of Your Life, Lead to Succeed, Rebound Rules, etc.)? Taking the power of positive thinking to an extreme, he'll have additional exposure to a couple of bullet points in his 10-step plan – thriving on pressure and learning from adversity.
Collateral damage caught in the middle of mess created by others, do you think chattel-graduate transfers Damion Lee (Drexel) and Trey Lewis (Cleveland State) were credibly “recruited” with emphasis on prospect of participating in NCAA playoffs? Lee said last summer: "If we buy into the system and what coach Pitino preaches, then we can be successful." Standing O from UL fans notwithstanding, the betrayed duo "tabled" by Preacher Pitino's program should sue the system - coaching staff and school - for fraud after enduring the pressure connected to this adversity. Mercenaries Lee and Lewis were wronged, but they triggered the wrongdoing and suffered the consequences by wrongly choosing to attend UL. If the NCAA doesn't embrace a penalty for time served upon sanctioning UL, the media will predictably preach about this time next year regarding a players' rights pity party for ensuing graduate-school transfer (Tony Hicks from Penn). Perhaps the NCAA can compromise and let UL humbly compete in the NIT, CBI, CIT or Vegas 16 after interviewing Little Richard about what transpired during his second stint on daddy's staff in 2011-12.
Meanwhile, self-described “soldier-in-this-army” Pitino asked: “If I resign, would people feel better about it?” Answer: Well, yes, if anyone credible amid the debris remains boasting a moral compass rather than emphasizing morale-building comp-a__. Sticking with military references post-infiltration of his program, it's time for court-martial and discharge. Not caring what anyone says, such a departure would be a positive for going the wrong way. Securing generous dose of humility sooner rather than later, author Pitino can take an adult education refresher course ruminating on his own following words in "The One-Day Contract":
- "The egotistical coach, the arrogant athlete, they are stereotypes that too often ring true."
- "The longer I live and the more I experience, the more I believe that humility is the quality essential to sustained success, and a lack of it is the major stumbling block for those who find success for a time, then lose it."
- "There's no question when you coach at Kentucky, you fall into a trap of thinking you're much better than you really are, because of the adulation and attention. It is constant and seems to come in a never-ending supply. I did not know it in the midst of it, but that arrogance, that thinking of yourself as the best, is one of the biggest reasons successful people stumble and fail."
- "The consequences of not learning humility can be tragic. If we don't always see these consequences in our own lives, we should be able to recognize them all around us. Not learning humility is, for one, an expensive lesson."
- "Self-aggrandizement, alienation of friends, family, or teammates, a tragic tendency to overestimate one's talent that leads to overreaching, they all are traits of people who lack humility. This also is a story that is not new. The ancient Greeks had a word for this very situation: hubris."
- "The same cycle (of self-destruction) can be seen in many fields. The list of those for whom humility not only might have saved a fortune, but their future, is long and star-studded."
- "The decadent lifestyle, the entourages, the unrealistic expectation of stature and longevity - all this leads to poor choices and reckless decision making."
- "With humility, you are better able to enjoy and understand success, and you are better able to examine and handle failure."
- "Humble people always handle adversity so much better because they understand who they are. So many come to disappointing ends and wonder why it happened. Most often, it was a lack of humility, leading to arrogance, leading to the mistakes they made. They think they are more significant than they are and it makes them gamble with their lives and their professions. Then, when things go wrong, they lash out and blame others. Arrogant people spread around their failure with blame."
- "Not only is humility the key to finding lasting success, but it is the key to lasting happiness. Go back through history, literature, spiritual books, and this cycle is repeated throughout generations and cultures: arrogance, fall, acceptance, humility, healing. We're no different from people who came before us. I can't state enough how important a lesson this is to learn, and the importance of learning it before life forces you to."
Is it too much to ask, not force, schools to display some modicum of proper behavior? If our ciphering is correct (perhaps Syphering in this instance), the naked truth is Pitino and his ilk are unfit to coach impressionable teenagers. For $2 million a year (after $450,000 bonus at end of April), he should encourage his son to at least humor us by humbly announcing belatedly about Minnesota joining Get-Your-Fill-In-The-Ville by accepting a 2016 postseason ban because of deplorable off-the-court conduct.
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 29 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:
In 1953, Milwaukee Braves 1B Joe Adcock (LSU's leading basketball scorer in 1945-46) launched a homer into the center-field bleachers against the New York Giants at the Polo Grounds, a feat that had never been done before and would only be achieved twice more (by Hank Aaron and Lou Brock).
Detroit Tigers rookie 1B Dale Alexander (starting center for Milligan TN in mid-1920s) hit safely in his first 12 MLB games in 1929 before he was held hitless by the St. Louis Browns.
CF Taylor Douthit (California letterman from 1922 through 1924) awarded on waivers from the Cincinnati Reds to the Chicago Cubs in 1933.
In 1930, Pittsburgh Pirates LHP Ralph Erickson (played for Idaho State in mid-1920s) won his lone MLB decision.
Atlanta Braves 3B Darrell Evans (member of Jerry Tarkanian-coached Pasadena City CA club winning 1967 state community college crown) homered twice in a 1989 game against the Montreal Expos.
Brooklyn Robins 2B Jake Flowers (member of 1923 "Flying Pentagon" championship squad for Washington College MD) provided four hits, including three doubles, in a 19-15 win against the New York Giants in 1930. It was one of five games that month where he had at least three safeties.
Oakland Athletics rookie 3B Wayne Gross (led Cal Poly Pomona in assists in 1974-75) whacked two homers against the Boston Red Sox in 1977.
Los Angeles Dodgers 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) collected two homers and six RBI against the Chicago Cubs in 1961.
In the midst of a 15-game hitting streak, Chicago Cubs SS Don Kessinger (three-time All-SEC selection for Mississippi from 1961-62 through 1963-64 while finishing among nation's top 45 scorers each year) scored four runs against the Philadelphia Phillies in a 1969 contest.
Detroit Tigers rookie CF Lynn Jones (averaged 10.4 ppg for Thiel PA from 1970-71 through 1973-74) finished his first month with a .389 batting average after notching fourth straight two-hit game in 1979.
Toronto Blue Jays RHP Dave Lemanczyk (averaged 4.5 ppg and 3.5 rpg for Hartwick NY teams compiling 51-21 record from 1969-70 through 1971-72) sustained his fifth setback of the month in as many starts in 1978.
RHP Roger Mason (multiple-year letterman for Saginaw Valley State MI in late 1970s) purchased from the Philadelphia Phillies by the New York Mets in 1994.
2B Dutch Meyer (letterman for TCU in 1934-35 and 1935-36) traded by the Detroit Tigers to the Cleveland Indians in 1945.
In a 17-inning marathon where both starting pitchers went the distance, St. Louis Cardinals RHP Roy Parmelee (Eastern Michigan letterman in 1924-25 and 1925-26) outdueled New York Giants Hall of Famer Carl Hubbell, 2-1, in 1936.
Cleveland tied a MLB record by winning its first 10 games of the 1966 campaign before the Indians lost, 4-1, to Chicago White Sox LHP Gary Peters (played for Grove City PA in mid-1950s).
In 1975, LF Champ Summers (team-high scoring averages of 15.7 ppg for Nicholls State in 1964-65 and 22.5 ppg for SIUE in 1969-70) shipped by the Oakland Athletics to the Chicago Cubs to complete a deal made earlier in the month.
St. Louis Cardinals CF-1B Bill White (played two years with Hiram OH in early 1950s) contributed four hits for the second time in a six-game span in 1960.
Philadelphia Phillies CF Cy Williams (Notre Dame forward in 1909-10) provided at least three hits in each of his first four games in 1919.
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 28 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:
Oakland Athletics RHP Ray Burris (baseball-basketball standout in Southwestern Oklahoma State Hall of Fame) hurled a four-hit shutout against the Minnesota Twins in 1984.
In 1966, CF Billy Cowan (co-captain of Utah's 1960 NCAA playoff team) traded by the Atlanta Braves to the Chicago Cubs for cash and 3B Bobby Cox, who went on to become one of MLB's all-time winningest managers with the Braves.
Cincinnati Reds 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) collected two homers and five RBI against the Chicago Cubs in 1956.
In 1928, St. Louis Cardinals CF Taylor Douthit (California letterman from 1922 through 1924) collected four hits against the Chicago Cubs, giving him 13 safeties over the last four games.
San Diego Padres RF Tony Gwynn (All-WAC second-team selection with San Diego State in 1979-80 and 1980-81) collected five hits in a 7-3 victory over the Chicago Cubs in 1998, registering the ninth game of at least five hits in his career.
RF Jerry Martin (1971 Southern Conference MVP after he was Furman's runner-up in scoring the previous season) accounted for all of the Philadelphia Phillies' offense with a three-run homer in a 3-2 victory against the San Diego Padres in 1978.
INF Tim Nordbrook (letterman in 1968-69 for Loyola LA) traded by the Toronto Blue Jays to the Milwaukee Brewers in 1978.
RHP Sonny Siebert (team-high 16.7 ppg for Mizzou in 1957-58 as an All-Big Eight Conference second-team selection) defeated the Angels, 2-1, as the Cleveland Indians tied a MLB record by winning their first 10 contests of the 1966 season.
Baltimore Orioles RF Ken Singleton (Hofstra freshman team in mid-1960s) grounded into a double play against the Chicago White Sox to snap his streak of 10 consecutive safeties in 1981.
Washington Senators RHP Dick Such (averaged 8.9 ppg and 7.4 rpg in 1964-65 and 10.5 ppg and 6.9 rpg in 1965-66 for Elon) posted his lone MLB victory (against Milwaukee Brewers in 1970).
Pittsburgh Pirates LHP Bob Veale (scored 1,160 points with Benedictine KS from 1955-56 through 1957-58) fired his second three-hit shutout of the month in 1965.
Historically, the first 15 NFL drafts from 1936 through 1950 had a former college basketball regular selected among the top 10 picks. Four of the top six choices and five of the top 11 in the 1957 draft were ex-college hoopsters. To our knowledge, none of them featured the excess baggage of Jameis "Crab Legs" Winston, the #1 selection last year who was also a versatile athlete but in baseball.
Back in 1963 when men were men before all of the ESPC-contrived Sam Who I Am draft-day crying/kissing and diversity sensitivity training (#BringBackOurMen), five of the top 22 picks, including four from schools that have always been or subsequently became members of the Big Ten Conference, were in the same category. Following is an alphabetical list of NFL first-round draft choices who played varsity college basketball for a current NCAA Division I university:
|Hooper/1st-Round Choice||Pos.||College||Selected in Draft By||NFL Pick Overall|
|Neill Armstrong||OE-DB||Oklahoma A&M||Philadelphia Eagles||8th in 1947|
|Doug Atkins||DE||Tennessee||Cleveland Browns||11th in 1953|
|Terry Baker||QB-RB||Oregon State||Los Angeles Rams||1st in 1963|
|Sammy Baugh||QB||Texas Christian||Boston Redskins||6th in 1937|
|*Hub Bechtol||E||Texas Tech/Texas||Pittsburgh Steelers||5th in 1947|
|Johnny Bright||RB||Drake||Philadelphia Eagles||5th in 1952|
|Jim Brown||RB||Syracuse||Cleveland Browns||6th in 1957|
|Ray Buivid||QB||Marquette||Chicago Cardinals||3rd in 1937|
|Bob Carey||WR||Michigan State||Los Angeles Rams||13th in 1952|
|Fred Carr||LB||Texas Western||Green Bay Packers||5th in 1968|
|Shante Carver||DE||Arizona State||Dallas Cowboys||23rd in 1994|
|Lynn Chandnois||HB||Michigan State||Pittsburgh Steelers||8th in 1950|
|George Connor||OL-DT-LB||Notre Dame||New York Giants||5th in 1946|
|Olie Cordill||HB||Rice||Cleveland Browns||5th in 1940|
|Ernie Davis||HB||Syracuse||Washington Redskins||1st in 1962|
|Glenn Davis||HB||Army||Detroit Lions||2nd in 1947|
|Len Dawson||QB||Purdue||Pittsburgh Steelers||5th in 1957|
|Mike Ditka||TE||Pittsburgh||Chicago Bears||5th in 1961|
|Rickey Dudley||TE||Ohio State||Oakland Raiders||9th in 1996|
|Ray Evans||TB-DB||Kansas||Chicago Bears||9th in 1944|
|James Francis||LB||Baylor||Cincinnati Bengals||12th in 1990|
|Reuben Gant||TE||Oklahoma State||Buffalo Bills||18th in 1974|
|Tony Gonzalez||TE||California||Kansas City Chiefs||13th in 1996|
|Otto Graham||QB||Northwestern||Detroit Lions||4th in 1944|
|Harry "Bud" Grant||E||Minnesota||Philadelphia Eagles||14th in 1950|
|Bob Griese||QB||Purdue||Miami Dolphins||4th in 1967|
|Kevin Hardy||DL||Notre Dame||New Orleans Saints||7th in 1968|
|Tom Harmon||HB-DB||Michigan||Chicago Bears||1st in 1941|
|Todd Heap||TE||Arizona State||Baltimore Ravens||31st in 2001|
|King Hill||QB||Rice||Chicago Cardinals||1st as bonus pick in 1958|
|Elroy "Crazy Legs" Hirsch||OE||Michigan||Cleveland Rams||5th in 1945|
|DeAndre Hopkins||WR||Clemson||Houston Texans||27th in 2013|
|Paul Hornung||RB||Notre Dame||Green Bay Packers||1st as bonus pick in 1957|
|Jack Jenkins||FB-LB||Vanderbilt||Washington Redskins||10th in 1943|
|Ed "Too Tall" Jones||DL||Tennessee State||Dallas Cowboys||1st in 1974|
|Matt Jones||E||Arkansas||Jacksonville Jaquars||21st in 2005|
|Billy Kilmer||QB||UCLA||San Francisco 49ers||11th in 1961|
|Ron Kramer||WR||Michigan||Green Bay Packers||4th in 1957|
|Johnny Lattner||HB||Notre Dame||Pittsburgh Steelers||7th in 1954|
|Bobby Layne||QB||Texas||Chicago Bears||3rd in 1948|
|Ronnie Lott||DB||Southern California||San Francisco 49ers||8th in 1981|
|Johnny Lujack||QB||Notre Dame||Chicago Bears||4th in 1946|
|Don Lund||FB-LB||Michigan||Chicago Bears||7th in 1945|
|Bob MacLeod||B||Dartmouth||Brooklyn Dodgers||5th in 1939|
|Jim McDonald||B||Ohio State||Philadelphia Eagles||2nd in 1938|
|Banks McFadden||HB||Clemson||Brooklyn Dodgers||3rd in 1940|
|Rich McGeorge||TE||Elon||Green Bay Packers||16th in 1970|
|Donovan McNabb||QB||Syracuse||Philadelphia Eagles||2nd in 1999|
|R.W. McQuarters||CB||Oklahoma State||San Francisco 49ers||28th in 1998|
|Leonard Mitchell||DE||Houston||Philadelphia Eagles||27th in 1981|
|Mack Mitchell||DE||Houston||Cleveland Browns||5th in 1975|
|Julius Peppers||DE||North Carolina||Carolina Panthers||2nd in 2002|
|Pat Richter||TE||Wisconsin||Washington Redskins||7th in 1962|
|Andre Rison||WR||Michigan State||Indianapolis Colts||22nd in 1989|
|Jack Robbins||QB||Arkansas||Chicago Cardinals||5th in 1938|
|Reggie Rogers||DL||Washington||Detroit Lions||7th in 1987|
|Art Schlichter||QB||Ohio State||Baltimore Colts||4th in 1982|
|Del Shofner||E||Baylor||Los Angeles Rams||11th in 1957|
|Norm Snead||QB||Wake Forest||Washington Redskins||2nd in 1961|
|Joe Stydahar||T||West Virginia||Chicago Bears||6th in 1936|
|Doak Walker||HB-DB||Southern Methodist||New York Bulldogs||3rd in 1949|
|Byron "Whizzer" White||B||Colorado||Pittsburgh Steelers||4th in 1938|
|Alfred Williams||DE||Colorado||Cincinnati Bengals||18th in 1991|
|Jack Wilson||HB||Baylor||Cleveland Browns||2nd in 1942|
|Kendall Wright||WR||Baylor||Tennessee Titans||20th in 2012|
*Bechtol played in the AAFC, where he was a second-round pick (9th overall).
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 27 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:
Pittsburgh Pirates SS Bill Almon (averaged 2.5 ppg in half a season for Brown's 1972-73 basketball team ending school's streak of 12 straight losing records) supplied three extra-base hits in a 13-5 victory against the Philadelphia Phillies in 1986.
Two NBA players - Gene Conley of the Boston Celtics and Dave DeBusschere of the New York Knicks - opposed each other as RHPs in 1963. Conley (All-PCC first-team selection led the North Division in scoring in 1949-50 as a Washington State sophomore) hurled 4-plus innings as starter for the Boston Red Sox while DeBusschere (three-time All-American for Detroit from 1959-60 through 1961-62) relieved for 2/3 of the fourth inning with the Chicago White Sox.
First MLB hit for INF Pat Crawford (Davidson captain in early 1920s) was a pinch homer for the New York Giants in a 1929 game against the Boston Braves.
Baltimore Orioles RHP Dick Hall (averaged 13.5 ppg from 1948-49 through 1950-51 for Swarthmore PA Middle Atlantic States Conference Southern Division champions) hurled a two-hit shutout against the Washington Senators in 1961.
1B Mike Hargrove (Northwestern Oklahoma State letterman) stroked a bases-loaded double in the top of the 19th inning to spark the Cleveland Indians to an 8-4 win over the Detroit Tigers in 1984. Six years earlier with the Texas Rangers, Hargrove homered in his third consecutive contest in 1978.
Brooklyn Dodgers 1B Gil Hodges (played for St. Joseph's IN in 1943 and Oakland City IN in 1947 and 1948) homered twice against the Philadelphia Phillies in 1951.
Cleveland Indians DH David Justice (led Thomas More KY in assists in 1984-85) delivered three extra-base hits against the Chicago White Sox in 1998.
Minnesota Twins LHP Bill Krueger (led WCAC in free-throw percentage as freshman en route to averaging 5.1 ppg for Portland from 1975-76 through 1979-80) won for the fourth time in as many starts this month in 1992, compiling an 0.84 ERA in first 32 innings.
C Hugh Poland (Western Kentucky letterman from 1931-32 through 1933-34) traded by the New York Giants to the Boston Braves in 1943.
In 1981, Baltimore Orioles RF Ken Singleton (Hofstra freshman squad in mid-1960s) went 4-for-4, including a pair of doubles for the second straight game.
Chicago Cubs SS Roy Smalley Jr. (one of top scorers for Drury MO in 1942-43 and 1943-44) tripled twice and scored three runs against the Cincinnati Reds in 1949.
Cleveland Indians 2B Riggs Stephenson (Alabama letterman in 1920) assembled three straight three-hit games against the Chicago White Sox in 1922.
RHP John Stuper (two-time all-conference junior college player in mid-1970s with Butler County PA) tossed his lone complete game with the Cincinnati Reds (two-hit, 2-1 win against San Francisco Giants in 1985).
St. Louis Cardinals RHP Ray Washburn (Whitworth WA leader in scoring in 1958-59 and 1959-60 when named All-Evergreen Conference) notched his second shutout and fourth complete-game win in as many starts at the beginning of the 1963 campaign.
Boston Braves rookie RF Chuck Workman (two-time All-MIAA first-five selection was leading scorer in 1937 when Central Missouri won inaugural NAIA Tournament) went 8-for-11 against the New York Giants in his first three games of the 1943 campaign.
Did North Carolina hire Hillary Clinton's vigorous lawyers experienced at redacting documents before negotiating and releasing NCAA allegations stemming from a shady African and Afro-American independent study course? Amid the "Four Corners" stalling (administration/coaching staff/press/politicians), could we at least have some entertainment such as a spirited dunk contest among foot-dragging Chancellor, Sgt. Schultz-like coach Roy "I Know Nothing" Williams, backpedaling NCAA officials, look-the-other-way media represented by Dick Vitale and mum state politicians more enthused about prospect of contending for another Final Four appearance? The dunk-a-thon should be conducted on a kids goal because that is the Sepp Blatter-like way principals involved in this ruse played footsie with onlookers.
If the Heelhole of a selling-your-scholastic-soul scheme was solely for GPA boosting while making diploma from the school worth the equivalent of a sheet of Charmin, Carolina's 2005 (10 of 15 members were AFAS majors with total of 35 "pretty doggone good" bogus classes over two semesters) and 2009 NCAA titles should be in jeopardy of being vacated. Shrouded in more secrecy than Area 51, candid commentary probably will hinge on subpoena-related deposition details emerging from suing players promised a good education but major-manipulated into AFAS, Communications plus Exercise and Sport Science.
At any rate, for the sake of supplying a good chuckle to offset a portion of the angst, the public should have an opportunity to digest a sampling of the pithy prose from those unread Prime Time 10-page papers (assigned mostly A grades with few B+ marks since a player or two may have misspelled his name). Pilfering POTUS lingo, pinhead purveyors simply seek to say: "You didn't write (or build) that!" UNC, admitting "regrettable actions" even before an academic accreditation sanction, may deserve the death penalty simply because disgraceful no-show classes came under the umbrella of a Center For Ethics. To date, there has been no delusional discrimination claim among UNC athletes or regular students failing to have access to Asian-American, Cuban-American, Irish-American, Latin-American or Mexican-American studies.
The university has paid millions of dollars in PR costs dealing with the scholastic scandal but that's an affordable expense insofar as there was significant savings over these many years when no faculty was necessary to actually provide instruction for bogus bookwork. Rather than learning classy pass fakes on the court, the courted players passed by "learning" in fake classes. It's no excuse but, if the let's-not-dwell-on-the-negative media would get off its royal cushion, how many other schools across the nation have comparable compromising courses? This is not exactly virgin territory among power-league members after a former Minnesota tutor claimed she wrote or helped write more than 400 papers or pieces of coursework for in excess of 20 Gophers players in the mid-1990s. Amid notice of allegations to UNC, the NCAA should remember: "If you don't stand for something (such as higher scholastic standards), you'll fall for anything (excessive number of suspect student-athletes)."
How in Heel is having athletic department personnel steering players into sham classes for 18 years not, at its core curriculum, a textbook definition of "lack of institutional control?" On the other hand, it may be the "institution (athletic department)" was very much in control and knew damn well it was playing puppeteer as much as POTUS using the "N" word in a radio interview. What exactly were the names of these equally undignified 101 classes offered and graded by an African studies department office manager who wasn't a professor? Perhaps the AFAS coloring-book syllabus included: Duke is Really Spelled P-U-K-E; Urban Riots Honoring Michael Brown, Freddie Gray and Trayvon Martin; Hands Off! Don't Loot!; Black Lives Matter Except For Aborted Innocent Babies; Rap is Crap But Deserves National Anthem; Cultural Impact of Hair Braiding and Pants On the Ground; Dignity and Ethics in Setting O.J. Free; Profiling Welfare Kings and Queens; Where's Your Baby Daddy?; Race-Hustling Leaders Rev Al, Jesse Jackson and Van Jones; Reasons Why Black Sheep Vote More Than 90% For Dimorats; Impact of Tattoo Misspellings; How Jailin' Rose Bombs Uncle Toms; Dancin' On Their Graves Like Father of the Year Ray Lewis; Ranking Marching Bands Heavy Breathing Around ESPN's Undefeated Rather Than Grantland, etc., etc., etc.
When will ESPN, while shedding influence of "right radicals" Mike Ditka and Curt Schilling, get to the bottom of the chicanery yielding answers via another orchestrated interview with Coy Roy serving as master of "really-bothered-by-whole-thing" ceremonies featuring backdrop of supportive ex-players? ESPN, in a stimulating move as vital as the Bunny Ranch endorsing Shrillary Rotten, should have just gone ahead and issued Williams' support group some "Game Day" posters for their journalistic juvenile pep rally. Defining courage down via crass tabloidism, the network has gone so far let-it-be left it Jennerly defended decision to give ESPY Courage Award to Bruce or Caitlyn or whatever he or she is rather than infinitely more obvious choice of Army veteran Noah Galloway or the late women's hoopster Lauren Hill. At least ESPC, after first expressing laughable "piracy concerns," cancelled a 30 for 30 documentary fawning over sad-sack Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson prior to showing its "bloody" true colors editing out segment focusing on Schilling in a Boston Red Sox documentary.
Amid all of the press posturing and Carolina's scholastic shenanigans, even if you have to fabricate, don't let integrity icon Dean Smith's last two Final Four teams in the mid-1990s be involved in any way or else no coach on the planet can be trusted. It seems totally out of character, but time will tell if liberal "do-anything-for-them" overkill via "fairness" control-freak tendencies polluted UNC's program at the genesis of the academic scandal and will eventually stain his legacy. If so, we'll all be weeping like a Villanova pep-band piccolo player before the Wildcats had fans weeping for joy after winning NCAA title a year later.
How difficult would it have been for Williams, instead of pleading educational mission ignorance amid unraveling of Wayne's World (academic advisor Walden), to take a few minutes out of his busy schedule per semester to assess academic progress of each of his players? Didn't Roy acknowledge there was "class clustering" early in his Carolina head coaching tenure? If so, did Walden simply continue the charade or add a Kansas twist(er) or two to the charade? How efficient was former UNC point guard Melvin Scott in directing Roy's Boys to any classes they need to attend? It is the height of hypocrisy for Williams and other "father-figure" DI mentors to have contract bonus provisions stemming from APR/graduation rates. Will UNC's extension into the next decade demand he apologize to whistle-blower tutor Mary "Just Keep My Players Eligible" Willingham? Didn't Williams figuratively assault her (triggering death threats in aftermath of additional administration admonishments) by impugning Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary's character saying her illiteracy claims were untrue and totally unfair about a striking number of scholars boasting middle-school reading skills?
Said Willingham prior to settling a lawsuit with UNC for $335,000 (about $1,000 per basketball player enrollment in paper class minus attorneys' fees): "I went to a lot of basketball games in the Dean Dome, but Roy never came and sat with me while I tutored his guys." Heaven help us if Williams' "sad-time" excuses regarding the academic debris are typical of the coaching community level of interest in authentic advancement toward a genuine diploma. Reminiscent of escaped convicts in New York deserving inclusion in a penitentiary honors program, two-time All-American Rashad McCants claims he made Dean's List at UNC one semester despite failing to attend any of the four classes in which he "earned" straight A's on his way out (at least not via manhole cover).
In this absence-of-standards era, Williams is virtually guaranteed a job with ESPN as an analyst if he fibs to NCAA investigators similar to certifiable liar Bruce Pearl. Amid the pimpish compartmentalization, there are also "clever" guys such as Oregon stemming from its timing in waiting to expel three players implicated in an alleged sexual assault in order to avoid a reduction in its Academic Progress Rate score. Meanwhile, fellow Pac-12 Conference member California adopted a stricter admissions policy when it comes to academics. Will Cal set a nationwide trend for increased scholastic standards or will majority of universities duck the issue? Not if the condescending NCAA headquarters appears much more concerned about Indian nicknames and total restroom access for transgenders.
Former Duke starter Jay Bilas, who succeeded Vitale as ESPN's Prime Time Performer in the GameDay color commentator role, has experiential ACC knowledge competing against colorful North Carolina State coach Jim Valvano's suspect squads (735 average SAT score - featuring Chris Washburn at 470 - and excessive number of positive drug tests during the 1980s). Bilas should confirm how many NCSU frontcourt starters he competed against coherently conveyed a complete sentence to him. A tutor reportedly claimed Washburn thought the country directly south of the U.S. was Canada or Spain and directly north was England. While pondering rigorous courses washout Washburn passed to remain academically eligible for more than a season, a cold-blooded question surfaces as to whether the academic anemia at UNC is worse than what occurred at N.C. State, which probably gains the negative nod if only because of Washburn teammate Charles Shackleford's following animal-expert quote: "Left hand, right hand, it doesn't matter. I'm amphibious." The "A" in "bring your A-game" in an ACC ad apparently doesn't stand for academics.
If bookish Bilas genuinely knows self-evaluation "toughness," he will maneuver upstream and shift his passion from lambasting the NCAA about paying these gentlemen and scholars to a lawyerly focus on stopping the NCAA from preying on players who have no business representing universities because they aren't authentic student-athletes. Granted, such an academic-values modification will translate into an inferior product for him and his network to promote (and for luminaries such as Jim Boeheim, John Calipari, Bob Huggins, Mike Krzyzewski, Rick Pitino plus Williams to coach for that matter). But does a mediocre Duke player such as Lance Thomas need more than $30,000 as down payment on jewelry? What about multiple Memphis players reporting they were robbed of more than $66,000 worth of vital items for Calipari-coached college students (mink coats, diamond earrings, stereo equipment, flat-screen TV)? Of all people, Bilas knows basketball players at a school such as Duke are treated differently than secondary sports such as lacrosse; let alone regular students.
Moreover, Syracuse's Boeheim, cleverly distinguishing "difference between breaking rules and cheating," wouldn't have an opportunity to be "impressed" about one-and-done Carmelo Anthony's 1.8 gpa before failing to mention if Anthony attended more classes than games his second semester. Did BMOC Melo mellow out in Orange-hot Child and Family Studies? Too many self-serving schools and their athletic departments are living an academic lie as much as the white NAACP chapter president and are ignorant as much as CNN anchor calling Dallas gunman "brave and courageous" for shooting at police headquarters.
When there are games and national crowns to win, how interested could Bilas' alma mater and Carolina's chief rival possibly be in education these days, anyway? Another departing freshman sensation gives Duke seven one-and-done "graduates" in a six-year span. When Karl-Anthony Towns (Minnesota Timerwolves) and Willie Cauley-Stein (Sacramento Kings) became the seventh and eighth Kentucky product in a six-year span among the NBA's top eight draft picks, the gifted group may have pooled credit-hour resources for a single shared diploma (hopefully not useless AFAS). The pair of rookies and five of the other early Big Blue picks - including DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings), Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans), Brandon Knight (Phoenix Suns), Julius Randle (Los Angeles Lakers) and John Wall (Washington Wizards) - on six different NBA teams combined for a paltry 173-319 record this season (.352), a mark even worse than Calipari's 72-112 worksheet (.391) in three seasons with the New Jersey Nets in the late 1990s. UK provided 21 selections in the previous six years, averaging three first-round picks annually while combining to earn in excess of $85 million this campaign. But if winning on the hardwood is more vital than the draft lottery, UK hasn't been more valuable. With Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Charlotte Hornets) missing majority of season because of an injured right shoulder, none of those 21 UK Calipari-coached draft choices started for an NBA postseason participant this year.
Whether it's a single season or redshirt with five years, what quality of classes are taken in college by mercenary professional-caliber athletes if a mind-numbing 60% of NBA players file for bankruptcy five years after retirement? Openness in revealing UNC's academic allegations and the NCAA's mission-statement response to this subterfuge will determine once and for all how ethically bankrupt major-college athletics has become under the present leadership and corrosive press incompetently covering the corruption.
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 26 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:
Philadelphia Phillies LF Harry Anderson (averaged 7.7 ppg and 8.9 rpg for West Chester PA in 1951-52) went 4-for-4 against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the nightcap of a 1959 twinbill.
Cleveland Indians player-manager Lou Boudreau (leading scorer for Illinois' 1937 Big Ten Conference co-champion) banged out five hits, including a pair of doubles and pair of triples, in a 12-11, 14-inning victory against the Chicago White Sox in 1948.
Pittsburgh Pirates SS Dick Groat (two-time All-American with Duke in 1950-51 and 1951-52 when finishing among nation's top five scorers each season) amassed four hits and five RBI in a 9-2 triumph against the Philadelphia Phillies in the opener of a 1959 doubleheader.
Cleveland Indians rookie RHP Wynn Hawkins (Little All-American was all-time leading scorer for Baldwin-Wallace OH upon graduation in 1957) toiled 11 innings in outdueling Jim Bunning in a 2-1 win against the Detroit Tigers in 1960.
Cleveland Indians RHP Oral Hildebrand (Butler All-American in 1928-29 and 1929-30) fired a one-hitter against the St. Louis Browns in 1933, giving him back-to-back shutouts.
Los Angeles Dodgers 1B Gil Hodges (played for St. Joseph's IN in 1943 and Oakland City IN in 1947 and 1948) contributed five RBI against the St. Louis Cardinals in 1959.
Chicago Cubs LF Bill Nicholson (Washington College MD guard for two years in mid-1930s) provided five RBI against the Cincinnati Reds in 1940. Two years later, Nicholson amassed two triples and five RBI against the Reds in 1942.
First appearance of the 1933 campaign for New York Giants RHP Roy Parmelee (Eastern Michigan letterman in 1924-25 and 1925-26) resulted in a one-hitter against the Philadelphia Phillies.
Baltimore Orioles DH Ken Singleton (Hofstra freshman squad in mid-1960s) supplied three extra-base hits against the Boston Red Sox in 1981.
New York Giants rookie 1B Babe Young (Fordham letterman in 1935-36) manufactured multiple hits in his fifth consecutive contest in 1940.
If you need more unassailable evidence proving who are the best team-sport athletes in the world, check out some of the premier tight ends in NFL history (past and present). Will Baylor brute Rico Gathers (6-7, 275 pounds) be the next hooper-turned-TE after he was selected in the sixth round by the Dallas Cowboys? A striking number of the elite players at that rigorous position are former college basketball players although ESPN (Engineering Social Priorities Network) probably is more interested in positioning Michael Sam for another destination after he was "kissed" adrift by multiple professional squads. In the past, what kind of "picks" do you think imposing Mike Ditka (Pittsburgh) and John Mackey (Syracuse) set back in the day before the Big East Conference was formed? Wouldn't you love to see LeBron James maneuver down the field like Charles Atlas the same way he does when forcefully driving down the lane?
Gathers, the latest Ivan Drago-like football specimen, became Baylor's all-time leading rebounder, including a Big 12 Conference-record 28 boards in a game against Huston-Tillotson. Gathers' family is familiar with the gridiron as his older brother, Greg, was a two-time All-ACC defensive end and Georgia Tech's all-time sacks leader for 11 years until 2013.
Although ex-California hoopster Tony Gonzalez failed to reach the 2013 postseason with the Atlanta Falcons in his quest to finally win a playoff game before retiring, succeeding in the NFL remains a "Battle of the Titans" at the TE position. Former hoopsters Antonio Gates (Kent State) and Jimmy Graham (Miami FL) spark the San Diego Chargers and Seattle Seahawks, respectively. Coming on strong at the same position is fellow ex-college hoopster Julius Thomas, the most sought-after free agent two years ago after originally being a relatively obscure player for the Denver Broncos until exploding on the scene two seasons ago as their runner-up in touchdowns with 12 and contributing a team-high eight pass receptions in an AFC title-game victory against the New England Patriots.
Thomas, an All-Big Sky Conference hoopster with Portland State, flashed potential as the next game-changing tight end when he caught nine touchdown passes in the Broncos' first five games two seasons ago en route to signing with the Jacksonville Jaguars. A 74-yard TD strike to "It's So Easy" at San Diego in mid-season two years ago illustrated how QB Peyton Manning capitalized on Thomas' athleticism the same way he did ex-hoopster Marcus Pollard (Bradley) with the Indianapolis Colts. Pollard, a J.C. transfer who was the Braves' leading rebounder in 1992-93, caught at least three touchdown passes each of Manning's first seven NFL seasons from 1998 through 2004.
Ditka, muzzled by ESPC for boasting sufficient fortitude to tackle mom-jeans POTUS, had a quality successor as an ex-hoopster tight end with the Bears in Martellus Bennett (Texas A&M) before Bennett wound up with the New England Patriots. A superior athlete to keep an eye on in the future is Texas Southern dual-sport player Derrick Griffin, who originally committed to A&M before aligning with Miami FL and subsequently sitting out and remaining in home state for academic reasons. Griffin, averaging 13.3 ppg and 11.1 rpg with 12 double-doubles in a row as a redshirt freshman under Tigers coach Mike Davis, boasts the physical credentials to become the latest SWAC multi-sport standout in the mold of Harold Carmichael (Southern), Andrew Glover (Grambling) and Otis Taylor (Prairie View A&M). Griffin, 6-7, led TSU with 36 pass receptions, 709 receiving yards and league-leading 11 touchdown catches before seamlessly swapping uniforms and collecting 19 points and 12 rebounds against Mississippi State plus 20 points and nine boards against Syracuse. Will Gathers join Thomas, Bennett and Jordan Cameron of the Miami Dolphins plus ex-UCI hooper Darren Fells of the Arizona Cardinals moving up the following list of Top 25 NFL tight ends who were former college basketball players:
|Rank||Former College Hoopster||Alma Mater||Summary of NFL Tight End Career|
|1.||Tony Gonzalez||California||First tight end in NFL history with 100 touchdowns completed his 17-year career in 2013 with 1,325 receptions for 15,127 yards and 111 TDs. He was 13-time Pro Bowl selection.|
|2.||Antonio Gates||Kent State||Set an NFL single-season record with 13 TD receptions in 2004 en route to becoming San Diego Chargers' all-time leader for TD catches, receptions and receiving yards.|
|3.||Mike Ditka||Pittsburgh||Five-time Pro Bowl selection caught 427 passes for 5,812 yards and 43 TDs in 12 seasons.|
|4.||John Mackey||Syracuse||Hall of Famer caught 331 passes for 5,236 yards and 38 TDs in 10 seasons.|
|5.||Jimmy Graham||Miami (Fla.)||Led New Orleans Saints in pass receptions in 2012 and 2013. Twice has had streaks of at least four games with more than 100 yards in pass receptions. After only four years, he ranked second all-time among New Orleans Saints' tight ends in receiving.|
|6.||Todd Heap||Arizona State||Caught 467 passes for 5,492 yards and 41 TDs with the Baltimore Ravens from 2001 through 2010, leading them in receptions in 2002 with 68.|
|7.||Ben Coates||Livingstone (N.C.)||Established NFL single-season record for most receptions by a TE with 96 in 1994.|
|8.||Marcus Pollard||Bradley||Finished his 13-year career with 349 receptions for 4,280 yards and 40 TDs (long of 86 yards in 2001 midway through stint as starter for the Indianapolis Colts).|
|9.||Pete Metzelaars||Wabash (Ind.)||Played in more games at TE than any player in NFL history when he retired. Led the Buffalo Bills with 68 receptions in 1993.|
|10.||Julius Thomas||Portland State||Began 2014 campaign with a bang by catching three first-half TD passes in season opener from Peyton Manning en route to nine TDs in first five games for the Denver Broncos. Thomas, Denver's runner-up with 12 TD receptions the previous year, went on to sign as a high-value free agent with the Jacksonville Jaguars.|
|11.||Martellus Bennett||Texas A&M||Caught 348 passes for 3,586 yards and 23 TDs with the Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants and Chicago Bears in first eight years from 2008 through 2015 prior to trade to New England Patriots.|
|12.||Joe Senser||West Chester State (Pa.)||Caught 165 passes for 1,822 yards and 16 TDs in four-year career with the Minnesota Vikings in early 1980s.|
|13.||Andrew Glover||Grambling State||Caught at least one TD pass each of his 10 pro seasons from 1991 through 2000, finishing with 208 receptions for 2,478 yards and 24 TDs.|
|14.||Rich McGeorge||Elon (N.C.)||Caught 175 passes for 2,370 yards and 13 TDs with the Green Bay Packers in nine years from 1970 through 1978.|
|15.||Rickey Dudley||Ohio State||Scored 29 TDs in five seasons with the Oakland Raiders before hooking on with two other teams.|
|16.||Derrick Ramsey||Kentucky||Caught 188 passes for 2,364 yards and 21 TDs with three different teams from 1978 to 1987.|
|17.||Jordan Cameron||BYU/Southern California||Blossomed in third year with Cleveland Browns in 2013, catching 80 passes for 917 yards and seven TDs (three in game at Minnesota). He had three contests with at least nine receptions.|
|18.||Reuben Gant||Oklahoma State||Caught 127 passes for 1,850 yards and 15 TDs with the Buffalo Bills in seven seasons from 1974 through 1980.|
|19.||Bob Windsor||Kentucky||Caught 185 passes for 2,307 yards and 14 TDs with the San Francisco 49ers and New England Patriots in nine years from 1967 through 1975.|
|20.||Keith McKeller||Jacksonville State (Ala.)||Caught 124 passes for 1,464 yards and 11 TDs with the Buffalo Bills in seven years from 1987 through 1993.|
|21.||Greg Latta||Morgan State (Md.)||Caught 90 passes for 1,081 yards and seven TDs with the Chicago Bears in five years from 1975 through 1979.|
|22.||Pat Richter||Wisconsin||Caught 99 passes for 1,315 yards and 14 TDs in nine seasons for the Washington Redskins after being their first-round pick in 1962.|
|23.||Jeff King||Virginia Tech||Registered 93 receptions for 802 yards and seven TDs with the Carolina Panthers and Arizona Cardinals in first seven years from 2006 through 2012.|
|24.||Ulysses Norris||Georgia||Best season of seven-year career was in 1983 when he had seven TDs with the Detroit Lions.|
|T25.||Dee Mackey||East Texas State||Caught 94 passes for 1,352 yards and eight TDs in six NFL/AFL seasons from 1960 through 1965.|
|T25.||Al Dixon||Iowa State||Caught 84 passes for 1,248 yards and eight TDs with four different teams from 1977 through 1984.|
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 25 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:
Chicago Cubs 2B Glenn Beckert (three-year letterman for Allegheny PA) banged out four hits against the Houston Astros in 1970.
Detroit Tigers 2B Frank Bolling (averaged 7.3 ppg for Spring Hill AL in 1950-51) collected four hits and four RBI against the Cleveland Indians in 1954.
In 1969, Montreal Expos 1B Donn Clendenon (four-sport letterman with Morehouse GA) contributed four hits against his original team (Pittsburgh Pirates).
Two weeks after helping the Boston Celtics capture the 1961 NBA title, RHP Gene Conley (All-PCC first-team selection led North Division in scoring in 1949-50 as Washington State sophomore) earned his first A.L. victory (6-1 for the Boston Red Sox over the Washington Senators).
Cleveland Indians RF Larry Doby (reserve guard for Virginia Union team winning 1943 CIAA title) tied MLB record by striking out five times in a single game (at Detroit in 1948).
LF David Justice (led Thomas More KY in assists in 1984-85) went deep twice for the Cleveland Indians as they hit a team-record eight homers in an 11-4 triumph over the Milwaukee Brewers in 1997.
Los Angeles Dodgers LHP Fred Kipp (two-time all-league selection as four-year letterman for Emporia State KS from 1950 through 1953) won his first MLB start (5-3 against the St. Louis Cardinals in 1958).
New York Giants CF Hank Leiber (played for Arizona in 1931) supplied five RBI against the Boston Braves in 1936.
Only 14 games into the 1982 season, New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner fired manager Bob Lemon and replaced him with Gene Michael (Kent State's leading scorer with 14 ppg in 1957-58), the man Lemon succeeded the previous September.
3B Graig Nettles (shot 87.8% from free-throw line for San Diego State in 1963-64) put the Minnesota Twins ahead with a three-run pinch homer in the eighth inning but they wound up losing at Chicago, 6-5, in 1969.
RHP Joe Niekro (averaged 8.9 ppg and 3.8 rpg for West Liberty WV from 1963-64 through 1965-66) traded by the Chicago Cubs to the San Diego Padres in 1969.
En route to hitting safely in seven of his first nine pinch-hit appearances with the San Diego Padres, utilityman Gary Sutherland (averaged 7.4 ppg with USC in 1963-64) socked a homer against the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1977.
Atlanta Braves RHP Cecil Upshaw (Centenary's leading scorer as junior in 1962-63) secured his fifth relief victory in the first month of the 1971 campaign.
Big games demand big plays such as junior Kris Jenkins' decisive three-pointer in the NCAA playoff title tilt. More than one-fourth of the NCAA Tournament's games were determined in overtime or in regulation by fewer than three points since the field expanded to at least 32 teams in 1975. Four riveting national finals in eight years from 1982 through 1989 furnished memories etched indelibly in our minds because clutch players appeared impervious to pressure by producing in last-second situations when a national crown was on the line.
Nothing compares to a late big play as the hallmark of success. The heroics down the stretch with a title in the balance usually don't come from the most likely source, however. The larger-than-life plays usually originate from undergraduates such as Jenkins hitting opponents with their best shots. The following look at the waning moments of the 10 vintage championship contests decided in the last half-minute by a buzzer-beater field goal or tension-packed free throw reveals the player supplying the decisive shot in the closing seconds neither was a senior nor the title team's leading scorer for the season or in the final game:
2016: Villanova 77, North Carolina 74 - On the heels of a miraculous game-tying three-pointer by Carolina's Marcus Paige with fewer than five ticks remaining, Jenkins nailed a trey off a nifty pass and brush screen by Final Four MOP Ryan Arcidiacono. Unsung hero Phil Booth Jr. led the Wildcats in scoring in the final with 20 points while Jenkins, Nova's #2 scorer on the season (13.6 ppg) behind Josh Hart, chipped in with 14.
1989: Michigan 80, Seton Hall 79 (OT) - Junior guard Rumeal Robinson, a 65.6% free-throw shooter on the season, canned two free throws with three seconds remaining in overtime following a questionable foul call. Robinson scored 21 points in the final to finish the season with a scoring average of 14.9 ppg. Forward Glen Rice was the Wolverines' leading scorer in the title game (31 points) and for the season (25.6 ppg).
1987: Indiana 74, Syracuse 73 - Junior college recruit Keith Smart, IU's fifth-leading scorer, tallied 12 of the Hoosiers' last 15 points, including a 15-foot jumper from the left baseline with five seconds remaining. Smart scored 21 points in the final to finish the season with a scoring mark of 11.2 ppg. Fellow guard Steve Alford was IU's leading scorer in the final (23 points) and for the season (22 ppg).
1983: North Carolina State 54, Houston 52 - Lorenzo Charles, a sophomore forward averaging a modest 8.1 ppg after scoring four points in the title game, converted guard Dereck Whittenburg's off-line desperation shot from well beyond the top of the free-throw circle into a decisive dunk. Forward Thurl Bailey was the Wolfpack's leading scorer in the final (15 points) and for the season (total of 601 for 16.7 ppg). Whittenburg, who missed 14 games after incurring a broken foot, led the team in scoring average (17.5 ppg).
1982: North Carolina 63, Georgetown 62 - Michael Jordan, a freshman guard who averaged 13.5 ppg after scoring 16 points in the title game, swished a 16-foot jumper from the left side with 16 seconds remaining to provide the game's final points. Georgetown guard Fred Brown's errant pass directly to Tar Heels forward James Worthy prevented the Hoyas from attempting a potential game-winning shot in the closing seconds. Worthy was Carolina's leading scorer in the final (28 points) and for the season (15.6 ppg).
1963: Loyola of Chicago 60, Cincinnati 58 (OT) - Junior forward Vic Rouse leaped high to redirect center Les Hunter's shot from the free-throw line into the basket to climax the Ramblers' first year in the playoffs. Rouse scored 15 points in the title tilt to finish the season with a scoring average of 13.5 ppg. Loyola, storming back from a 15-point deficit with 14 minutes remaining, is the only team to use only five players in the final. Hunter was Loyola's leading scorer in the final (16 points) and forward Jerry Harkness was the team's leading scorer for the season (21.4 ppg).
1959: California 71, West Virginia 70 - Two-time first-team All-American swingman Jerry West was denied an NCAA championship ring when Cal junior center Darrall Imhoff, West's future teammate with the Los Angeles Lakers for four seasons in the mid-1960s, tipped in a basket with 17 seconds remaining. Imhoff tossed in 10 points in the title game to finish the season with a scoring average of 11.3 ppg. Guard Denny Fitzpatrick was the Bears' leading scorer in the final (20 points) and for the season (13.3 ppg).
1957: North Carolina 54, Kansas 53 (3OT) - Junior center Joe Quigg sank two free throws with six seconds remaining in the third overtime to tie the score and provide the decisive point. Quigg scored 10 points in the title game to finish the season with an average of 10.3 ppg. Forward Lennie Rosenbluth was the Tar Heels' leading scorer in the final (20 points) and for the season (28 ppg).
1953: Indiana 69, Kansas 68 - Junior guard Bob Leonard supplied the decisive point by hitting one of two free throws with 27 seconds remaining. Leonard amassed 12 points in the title game to finish the season with a scoring average of 16.3 ppg. Center Dick Schlundt was the Hoosiers' leading scorer in the final (30 points) and for the season (25.4 ppg).
1944: Utah 42, Dartmouth 40 (OT) - Freshman swingman Herb Wilkinson nailed a desperation shot from beyond the head of the key with three ticks remaining. Wilkinson scored seven points in the title game to finish postseason competition with an average of 9 ppg. He became an NCAA consensus second-team All-American the next season for Iowa, where he played for three seasons. Freshman forward Arnie Ferrin was the Utes' leading scorer in the final (22 points) and for postseason play (14 ppg). Ferrin beame a consensus first-team All-American in 1945 and second-team All-American in 1947.
Villanova's success enabled the state of Pennsylvania to become the sixth state boasting at least three NCAA Tournament titles. The only time two different schools from the same state captured three consecutive NCAA titles was from 1960 through 1962 when Ohio State and Cincinnati reigned supreme. North Carolina was twice involved in back-to-back crowns with an in-state counterpart - 1982 and 1983 (N.C. State) plus 2009 and 2010 (Duke).
California is the only state with as many as four different universities win an NCAA Division I Tournament championship. The following eight different states have multiple schools capturing an NCAA DI Tournament crown:
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 24 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:
San Diego Padres SS Bill Almon (averaged 2.5 ppg in half a season for Brown's 1972-73 basketball team ending school's streak of 12 straight losing records) contributed four hits for the second time in four days in 1978.
Philadelphia Phillies LF Morrie Arnovich (played for Wisconsin-Superior in early 1930s) went 4-for-4, including three doubles, in a 7-3 win against Brooklyn in 1937.
Baltimore Orioles rookie 2B Marv Breeding (played for Samford in mid-1950s) went hitless for the only time in his first 12 MLB games.
Boston Braves SS Dick Culler (#9 jersey retired by High Point for Little All-American in 1935 and 1936) went 4-for-4 in an 8-6 win against the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1945.
Brooklyn Dodgers rookie SS Ben Geraghty (Villanova letterman from 1933-34 through 1935-36) supplied his fourth straight multiple-hit game in 1936.
Oakland Athletics rookie 3B Wayne Gross (led Cal Poly Pomona in assists in 1974-75) went 4-for-4 with four RBI against the Chicago White Sox in the nightcap of a 1977 doubleheader.
Los Angeles Dodgers LHP Sandy Koufax (Cincinnati's freshman squad in 1953-54) tied a MLB record by striking out 18 batters in a nine-inning game at Chicago in 1962.
Toronto Blue Jays RHP Dave Lemanczyk (averaged 4.5 ppg and 3.5 rpg for Hartwick NY teams compiling 51-21 record from 1969-70 through 1971-72) tossed a one-hitter against the Texas Rangers. It was one of three shutouts for him in 1979.
LF Danny Litwhiler (member of JV team with Bloomsburg PA three years in mid-1930s) collected four of 22 hits by the Boston Braves and chipped in with four RBI in a 14-5 victory over the New York Giants in 1947. Johnny Mize, who later had a basketball arena named after him at Piedmont College GA, socked three successive homers for the Giants. Five years earlier with the Philadelphia Phillies, Litwhiler went 4-for-4 against the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1942.
Kansas City Athletics 2B Jerry Lumpe (member of Southwest Missouri State's 1952 NAIA Tournament championship team) provided his fifth multiple-hit game in as many outings to start the 1960 campaign en route to compiling a .471 average while hitting safely in his first 13 contests of the season.
San Diego Padres RHP Roger Mason (multiple-year letterman in late 1970s for Saginaw Valley State MI) didn't allow an earned run through his first nine relief appearances in 1993.
Washington Senators rookie CF Irv Noren (player of year for California community college state champion Pasadena City in 1945) went hitless for the only time in his first 13 MLB starts in 1950.
Oakland Athletics CF Billy North (played briefly for Central Washington in 1967-68) stole three bases against the Chicago White Sox in the nightcap of a 1977 twinbill.
RHP John Pyecha (led Appalachian State in scoring, rebounding and field-goal shooting in 1951-52 and 1954-55) lost his only MLB pitching appearance with the Chicago Cubs in 1954.
New York Yankees 3B Red Rolfe (played briefly with Dartmouth in 1927-28 and 1929-30) ripped two homers against the Philadelphia Athletics in a 1940 game.
New York Giants RHP Hal Schumacher (multiple-sport athlete for St. Lawrence NY in early 1930s) and Hall of Fame teammate Mel Ott each socked two homers against the Philadelphia Phillies in a 1934 game.
Baltimore Orioles RF Ken Singleton (Hofstra freshman squad in mid-1960s) smacked two homers against the California Angels in 1979 in the midst of seven multiple-hit outings in an eight-game span.
Chicago Cubs LF Riggs Stephenson (Alabama letterman in 1920) clubbed three doubles for the second time in a six-game span in 1932.
Boston Red Sox rookie 3B Jim Tabor (Alabama letterman in 1936-37) tallied four hits for the first of four times in a 30-game span to early June in 1939.
Chicago White Sox LHP Matt Thornton (averaged 5.8 ppg and 2.4 rpg for Grand Valley State MI from 1995-96 through 1997-98) yielded his only run in 12 relief appearances during the month in 2012.
Pittsburgh Pirates CF Bill Virdon (played for Drury MO in 1949) went 4-for-4 against the New York Mets in 1964.
Boston Red Sox SS Billy Werber (first Duke All-American in 1929-30) went 4-for-4 against the Washington Senators in 1934.
Villanova, among many achievements this season, joined another set of Wildcats (Arizona '97) as the only squads to go ahead and capture an NCAA Tournament title after eliminating the nation's top-ranked team prior to the Final Four. In both instances, the AP pole-setter victim was Kansas. Following is a chronological list of what happened to the 24 opponents defeating the nation's top-ranked team in the NCAA playoffs prior to the national semifinals (including Duke knocked from #1 pedestal on three occasions the first seven years of 21st Century):
|Year||Pre-Final Four Round||Top-Ranked Loser||Opponent||Score||Playoff Finish for Winner|
|1952||West Regional Finals||Kentucky||St. John's||64-57||National runner-up|
|1958||East Regional 1st Round||West Virginia||Manhattan||89-84||Lost regional 3rd-place game|
|1959||Midwest Regional Final||Kansas State||Cincinnati||85-75||National 3rd place|
|1970||Mideast Regional Final||Kentucky||Jacksonville||106-100||National runner-up|
|1977||Mideast Regional Final||Michigan||UNC Charlotte||75-68||National 4th place|
|1980||West Regional 2nd Round||DePaul||UCLA||77-71||National runner-up|
|1981||Mideast Regional 2nd Round||DePaul||St. Joseph's||49-48||Lost regional final|
|1984||East Regional Semifinals||North Carolina||Indiana||72-68||Lost regional final|
|1988||East Regional Final||Temple||Duke||63-53||National T3rd|
|1989||West Regional Semifinals||Arizona||UNLV||68-67||Lost regional final|
|1990||Midwest Regional 2nd Round||Oklahoma||North Carolina||79-77||Lost regional semifinal|
|1993||Midwest Regional Final||Indiana||Kansas||83-77||National T3rd|
|1994||East Regional 2nd Round||North Carolina||Boston College||75-72||Lost regional final|
|1997||Southeast Regional Semifinals||Kansas||Arizona||85-82||National champion|
|2000||East Regional Semifinals||Duke||Florida||87-78||National runner-up|
|2002||South Regional Semifinals||Duke||Indiana||74-73||National runner-up|
|2003||Midwest Regional Final||Kentucky||Marquette||83-69||National T3rd|
|2004||West Regional 2nd Round||Stanford||Alabama||70-67||Lost regional final|
|2006||South Regional Semifinals||Duke||Louisiana State||62-54||National T3rd|
|2009||Midwest Regional Final||Louisville||Michigan State||64-52||National runner-up|
|2010||Midwest Regional 2nd Round||Kansas||Northern Iowa||69-67||Lost regional semifinal|
|2011||East Regional Semifinals||Ohio State||Kentucky||62-60||National T3rd|
|2013||West Regional 2nd Round||Gonzaga||Wichita State||76-70||National T3rd|
|2016||South Regional Final||Kansas||Villanova||64-59||National champion|
Former Memphis coach Josh Pastner had difficulty defeating ranked opponents but expected more positive results upon linking with the Lawson sons. There was every indication a new colossal clan would be added to the "First Families of Hoops" in the next few years. Keelon Lawson, who averaged 14.6 ppg and 10.9 rpg for Memphis-based LeMoyne-Owen in 1991-92 and 1992-93, steered two prominent sons - K.J. (H.S. class of '15) and Dedric ('16) - to the Tigers with a third - Chandler ('19) - on the way after the Tigers hired him as an assistant coach. Keelon coached his two oldest sons for a Memphis high school before all of the siblings were slated to attend a prep school in Jacksonville, Fla.
Pastner successor Tubby Smith promptly encountered a dilemma on how to handle the Lawsons while assembling his first staff and roster at Memphis. How he deals with fragile egos (including restoring one of his sons to assistant status) likely will influence a normally strong local recruiting pipeline and how soon he becomes the first coach guiding six different universities to the NCAA playoffs. Ethical questions are raised when hiring the coach of a prize high school prospect but the Lawson "My Three Sons" represent nothing new when it comes to high school reunions.
Package deals have been a relatively common practice over the years. Josh Hart, perhaps the top pro prospect from Villanova's NCAA titlist aligned with the Wildcats during a period when his AAU coach (Doug Martin) departed after a short stint as Nova assistant coach because of resume fabrication. In 1989, Michigan was the 10th different school in a 20-year span to reach the Final Four with the help of a "coattail" franchise (assistant coach Perry Watson/starting guard Jalen Rose). There also were 10 first- and second-team consensus All-Americans in that stretch stemming from such high school reunions.
There have also been some other unique recruiting cases over the years. For instance, consensus first-team All-American Danny Manning was recruited by Kansas' Larry Brown, who brought in Manning's father as an assistant in the mid-1980s although Ed Manning had been working as a truck driver. Similarly, standout guard Dajuan Wagner went from New Jersey to Memphis, where his father, former NBA guard Milt Wagner, was working under Tigers coach John Calipari. Elsewhere, Daniel Hackett played for USC under Tim Floyd when his former Syracuse All-American father Rudy Hackett was hired as strength and conditioning manager.
Michael Porter Sr., taking care of his entire family including both genders, became an assistant for women's team at Missouri with two daughters before accepting a similar position at Washington, where he also could be joined in the not-too-distant future by two sons (Michael Jr. and Jontay). The elder Porter eschewed moving over to men's staff at Mizzou and rejected a similar job offer from Texas A&M.
Australian Ben Simmons, the nation's premier prep prospect last year, joined his godfather (former LSU assistant David Patrick) with the Tigers. Prior to AAU posses, high school reunions were routine recruiting ploys. There are usually more than a dozen active Division I head coaches who got their start as a college assistant by tagging along directly or being reunited with one of their prize high school prospects. Following is an alphabetical list of NCAA Division I schools featuring star players whose high school coach was reunited with that standout as a college assistant:
AKRON: Lannis Timmons joined Dan Hipsher's staff directly with Darryl Peterson in 2001. Peterson was the Zips' second-leading scorer (13.1 ppg) and rebounder (5 rpg) as a freshman and third-leading scorer (13.8 ppg) and second-leading rebounder (4.4 rpg) as a sophomore. . . . Former Central Michigan coach Keith Dambrot joined Hipsher's staff one year before high-scoring junior college recruit Derrick Tarver arrived in 2002 and two years before Dru Joyce III and Romeo Travis. Tarver led the Mid-American Conference in scoring in 2003-04. Travis and Joyce paced the Zips in scoring and assists, respectively, in 2005-06. Dambrot, who succeeded Hipsher as Akron's head coach in March 2004, coached Tarver, Joyce, Travis and acclaimed NBA prospect LeBron James locally at St. Vincent-St. Mary.
ARIZONA STATE: Scott Pera joined Herb Sendek's staff directly with point guard Derek Glasser in 2006 and one year before James Harden in 2007. Glasser paced ASU in assists each of his first two seasons while averaging more than six points per game. Harden led the Sun Devils in scoring (17.8 ppg) and steals (2.1 spg) as a freshman in 2007-08.
BAYLOR: Harry Miller joined Darrel Johnson's staff directly with his son, Roddrick, and teammate Brian Skinner in 1994. Miller became interim head coach shortly before the start of the season and then was given a five-year contract two months later. Roddrick Miller averaged 10.2 ppg in his career and was the Bears' third-leading scorer as a senior with 11.9 ppg. Skinner finished his career as their all-time leading rebounder and No. 3 scorer before becoming a first-round draft choice of the Los Angeles Clippers. . . . Brian O'Neill joined Dave Bliss' staff at New Mexico one year before center R.T. Guinn enrolled in 1999. They both subsequently moved with Bliss to Baylor where Guinn was the Bears' third-leading rebounder (4.3 rpg) as a sophomore in 2001-02 and second-leading rebounder 5.6 rpg) as a junior in 2002-03. . . . Jerome Tang joined Scott Drew's staff one year before forward Richard Hurd enrolled in 2004. Hurd averaged 4 ppg and 2 rpg as a freshman in 2004-05 before playing sparingly tghe next three seasons.
BETHUNE-COOKMAN: Owen Harris, Kevin Bradshaw's high school assistant coach, joined Cy McClairen's staff with Bradshaw in 1984. Bradshaw was the Wildcats' second-leading scorer with a 19-point average as a sophomore. He subsequently enrolled at U.S. International after a hitch in the Navy and led the nation in scoring in 1990-91 with 37.6 points per game.
BOSTON COLLEGE: Kevin Mackey joined Tom Davis' staff directly with Joe Beaulieu in 1977, which was one year before former high school teammate Dwan Chandler enrolled. Beaulieu, a transfer from Harvard, led the Eagles in rebounding in 1979 and 1980 and has the third-highest career field-goal shooting (57.1 percent) in school history. Chandler, a two-year starter, was runner-up to John Bagley in assists in 1980-81 and held the school record for most games played when his eligibility expired. Mackey went on to coach Cleveland State for seven seasons from 1983-84 through 1989-90, guiding the Vikings to the 1986 East Regional semifinals.
CAL STATE FULLERTON: Phil Mathews joined George McQuarn's staff directly with Tony Neal in 1981. Neal, the Titans' all-time leader in rebounding and steals, was their No. 3 career scorer in Division I when his eligibility expired. He was a sixth-round draft choice of the Los Angeles Lakers in 1985. Mathews eventually became coach at San Francisco.
CAL STATE LOS ANGELES: Caldwell Black, Raymond Lewis' high school assistant coach, joined Bob Miller's staff with him in 1971. After finishing runner-up in the nation in scoring as a sophomore with 32.9 ppg, Lewis became a first-round draft choice of the Philadelphia 76ers in the initial NBA draft where players could claim hardship status.
CANISIUS: Phil Seymore joined Marty Marbach's staff with Damone James, who averaged 10.3 points per game as a sophomore and was a key member for the Golden Griffins' NIT teams his last two years in 1994 and 1995.
CENTENARY: Ron Kestenbaum joined Riley Wallace's staff directly with Kevin Starke in 1976, which was the same year former high school teammate George Lett transferred from Hawaii. Lett, the Gents' No. 2 all-time leading rebounder (behind Robert Parish) and No. 3 scorer (behind Parish and former NBA player Tom Kerwin) when his eligibility expired, was a fifth-round draft choice of the Warriors in 1979. Starke led the Gents in assists as a freshman before transferring back home to St. Francis (N.Y.). Kestenbaum coached Arkansas-Little Rock for five seasons from 1979-80 through 1983-84, including a 23-6 record in 1982-83.
CINCINNATI: Mick Cronin, Damon Flint's high school assistant coach, joined Bob Huggins' staff two seasons after Flint started playing for the Bearcats in 1994-95. Flint was co-captain as a senior in 1996-97 after averaging 12.8 points and 3.5 assists per game as a junior. Cronin went on to become Murray State's head coach before accepting a similar position with the Bearcats in 2006.
COLORADO STATE: Ronald Coleman joined Tim Miles' staff only months before Chicago product Jermaine Morgan signed in the fall of 2011. Miles and Coleman subsequently departed at the end of the season for Nebraska.
DAYTON: Larry Miller joined Jim O'Brien's staff one year before Chip Jones and Derrick Dukes enrolled in 1990. Jones, a junior college transfer, was Midwestern Collegiate Conference Newcomer of the Year in 1991 (20.2 ppg and 5.6 rpg) but he didn't play as a senior because of academic problems. Dukes, the Flyers' principal playmaker during his career, was their second-leading scorer as a junior in 1992-93 (12.8 ppg). Dukes had 13 assists in a game against Southern.
DELAWARE: Larry Davis joined Steve Steinwedel's staff one year before Elsworth Bowers enrolled in 1986. Bowers was the Blue Hens' leading scorer and rebounder in his senior season. Davis went on to become Furman's coach for nine seasons from 1997-98 through 2005-06.
DETROIT: Charlie Coles joined Don Sicko's staff directly with Kevin McAdoo in 1982, which was one year before former high school teammate Brian Humes enrolled. McAdoo is the Titans' all-time assists leader. Humes was the Titans' 11th all-time leading scorer when his eligibility expired in 1987. Coles went on to become coach at Central Michigan and Miami (Ohio). . . . Jim Boyce joined Dick Vitale's staff with Terry Tyler, who averaged 15 points and 10.5 rebounds per game for the Titans from 1974-75 through 1977-78 before playing 11 seasons in the NBA with the Detroit Pistons, Sacramento Kings and Dallas Mavericks. Boyce eventually coached Eastern Michigan for seven seasons from 1979-80 through 1985-86.
DUKE: Notre Dame coach Mike Brey, Danny Ferry's high school assistant coach, joined Mike Krzyzewski's staff two years after Ferry enrolled in 1985. Ferry, a first-team consensus All-American in 1988-89 after being a second-teamer the previous year, was the Blue Devils' No. 4 all-time leading scorer and No. 5 rebounder when he graduated. Ferry, the second pick overall in the 1989 NBA draft, played 13 seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers and San Antonio Spurs after spending one year in Italy.
DUQUESNE: Barry Brodzinski joined Mike Satalin's staff one year before Clayton Adams enrolled in 1987, which was one year before former high school teammate Mark Stevenson transferred from Notre Dame. Adams passed Norm Nixon to become the Dukes' all-time assists leader. Stevenson set an Atlantic 10 Conference record for scoring average in 1989-90 (27.2 ppg). . . . Mike Rice Sr. joined John Cinicola's staff directly with Baron "B.B." Flenory in 1976. Flenory was the Dukes' No. 5 all-time leading scorer and No. 2 in assists when his eligibility expired in 1980. Rice was promoted to head coach in 1978 and directed the Dukes for four seasons before coaching Youngstown State for five years.
FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL: Junior college recruit Marshod Fairweather rejoined coach Shakey Rodriguez in 1997, averaging 10.7 points per game in two seasons.
ILLINOIS: Wayne McClain joined Bill Self's staff three years after All-American guard Frank Williams enrolled in 1999. Williams averaged 14.3 ppg and 4.3 apg in three seasons with the Illini before entering the 2002 NBA draft as an undergraduate and becoming a first-round draft choice. McClain's son, Sergio, and J.C. recruit Marcus Griffin, a former high school teammate, were regulars for the Illini under Lon Kruger and Self in the seasons immediately before Wayne arrived.
ILLINOIS STATE: Ron Ferguson joined Will Robinson's staff three years after Mike Bonczyk enrolled in 1972. Bonczyk was the Redbirds' all-time leader in assists when his eligibililty expired in 1976.
INDIANA: Ron Felling joined Bob Knight's staff after Illinois "Mr. Basketball" Marty Simmons enrolled in 1983. Simmons transferred to Evansville following the 1984-85 campaign and was the Purple Aces' leading scorer two seasons before eventually becoming their head coach in 2007-08. Knight paid $25,000 to Felling, fired in December 1999, after signing an agreement in which he admitted to shoving him in anger into a television. Felling claims Knight assaulted him after eavesdropping on a private conversation with a former colleague in which he discussed Knight's propensity to "rant and rage." IU settled with Felling for $35,000.
INDIANA STATE: James Martin joined Tates Locke's staff directly with Darrin Hancock in 1993 when the forward transferred from Kansas. But Hancock, who played for Martin in Griffin, Ga., before attending junior college, dropped out of school to play professionally in Europe.
IOWA: Rick Moss joined Tom Davis' staff directly with Ray Thompson in 1988. Thompson scored more points than any freshman in Hawkeyes' history except for Roy Marble and was their leading scorer the next season when he was suspended. Thompson subsequently enrolled at Oral Roberts, where he averaged 24.6 ppg and 9.6 rpg.
JAMES MADISON: Ernie Nestor joined Lou Campanelli's staff three years after Sherman Dillard enrolled in 1973. Dillard, the Dukes' No. 2 all-time leading scorer with 2,065 points, was a sixth-round draft choice of the Indiana Pacers in 1978. Nestor eventually coached George Mason for five seasons from 1988-89 through 1992-93 before becoming head coach at Elon.
KANSAS: Duncan Reid joined Ted Owens' staff directly with Norm Cook in 1973. Cook, who declared early for the NBA draft after leading the Jayhawks in scoring in his junior season, still ranks among the top rebounders in school history. Cook, a first-round draft choice of the Celtics in 1976, also played briefly with the Nuggets. . . . Lafayette Norwood joined Owens' staff directly with Darnell Valentine in 1977. Valentine, the Jayhawks' all-time No. 4 scorer and third-leading assists man, was a first-round draft choice of the Portland Trail Blazers in 1981. He played nine seasons in the NBA with four different teams. . . . Ronnie Chalmers joined Bill Self's staff directly with his son, Mario, in 2005. Mario, a 6-1 guard, was a three-time Alaska 4A Player of the Year. He left college early for the NBA after being named Most Outstanding Player of the 2008 Final Four, finishing his Jayhawks career with 12.2 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 3.8 apg and 2.6 spg.
KANSAS STATE: Mark Reiner joined Jack Hartman's staff directly with Curtis Redding and Tyrone Ladson in 1976. Redding was the Wildcats' No. 2 scorer (behind eventual pro guard Mike Evans) in 1976-77 and 1977-78 before transferring to St. John's. Redding was an eighth-round draft choice of the Denver Nuggets in 1981. Ladson received one letter at K-State before transferring to Texas A&M. Reiner later coached Brooklyn College for 10 seasons from 1980-81 through 1989-90.
KENTUCKY: Bob Chambers joined Joe B. Hall's staff one year after Derrick Hord enrolled in 1979. Hord, the Wildcats' leading scorer as a junior, was a third-round draft choice of the Cleveland Cavaliers in 1983. . . . Simeon Mars joined Rick Pitino's staff as an administrative assistant directly with center Jamaal Magloire in 1996. Magloire, UK's all-time leader in blocked shots, paced the team in scoring, rebounding and field-goal shooting in 1999-00. Mars remained on Tubby Smith's staff after Pitino departed.
LONG BEACH STATE: Bobby Braswell joined Joe Harrington's staff directly with Lucious Harris in 1989, which was one year after Tyrone Mitchell transferred from Arizona. Harris became the Big West Conference's all-time leading scorer. Mitchell led Long Beach State in assists in 1989-90 and 1990-91. Braswell coached Cal State Northridge, his alma mater, for 17 seasons from 1996-97 through 2012-13.
LOUISIANA-MONROE: Mike Vining joined Lenny Fant's staff three years after Calvin Natt and Jamie Mayo enrolled in 1975, which was one year before high school teammates Kenny Natt and Eugene Robinson arrived on campus at what was then called Northeast Louisiana. Calvin Natt, a second-team consensus All-American as a senior, is the school's all-time leading scorer and rebounder. He was a first-round draft choice of the Nets in 1979 and played 10 seasons in the NBA with four different teams. Mayo is one of the school's all-time leaders in assists. Kenny Natt, who led NLU in scoring in his senior season, was a second-round draft choice of the Pacers in 1980 and played briefly in three seasons with three different NBA teams. Robinson is the school's all-time leader in field-goal percentage and led the team in rebounding his senior season. Vining went on to become the school's all-time winningest head coach, compiling a 401-303 record (.570) in 24 seasons from 1981-82 through 2004-05.
LOUISIANA STATE: Ron Abernathy joined Dale Brown's staff directly with Rudy Macklin in 1976. Macklin, a second-team consensus All-American in 1981, is the Tigers' all-time leading rebounder and second in career scoring (behind NCAA all-time leader Pete Maravich). Macklin, a third-round draft choice of the Atlanta Hawks in 1981, also played briefly for the New York Knicks in his three-year NBA career. Abernathy became coach at Tennessee State for two seasons in the early 1990s. . . . Rick Huckabay joined Brown's staff directly with Howard Carter in 1979. Carter, the Tigers' No. 3 all-time scorer, was a first-round draft choice of the Denver Nuggets in 1983. He also played briefly with the Dallas Mavericks in his two-year NBA career. Huckabay went on to become Marshall's coach for six seasons, directing the Thundering Herd to the NCAA Tournament three times in the mid-1980s. . . . Gary Duhe joined Brown's staff two years after Derrick Taylor enrolled in 1981. Taylor, who ranks among the Tigers' top 10 in career scoring and assists, was a fourth-round draft choice of the Indiana Pacers in 1986. . . . Mike Mallett joined LSU's athletic department as an aide directly with Nikita Wilson in 1983. Wilson, who ranks 10th in career scoring for the Tigers, was a second-round draft choice of the Portland Trail Blazers in 1987. . . . Jim Childers joined Brown's staff directly with Stanley Roberts in 1989. Roberts was the Tigers' No. 2 scorer and rebounder (behind Shaquille O'Neal) in his only season with them before turning pro. Roberts was a longtime backup center in the NBA after spending one year in Spain.
LOUISIANA TECH: Johnny Simmons joined Keith Richard's staff directly with Antonio "Tiger" Meeking in 1999. Meeking was the Bulldogs' leading rebounder and No. 3 scorer en route to becoming Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year. He was an All-WAC first-team selection as a senior in 2002-03 when he averaged 17.9 ppg and 7.3 rpg, finishing his career with 13.5 ppg and 7.1 rpg while shooting 52.1% from the floor.
LOUISVILLE: Wade Houston joined Denny Crum's staff directly with Darrell Griffith and Bobby Turner in 1976. Griffith, a first-team consensus All-American as a senior, is the Cardinals' all-time leading scorer. Griffith played 10 seasons with the Utah Jazz after being its first-round draft choice in 1980. Turner was a two-year starter before succumbing to scholastic shortcomings. Houston eventually coached Tennessee for five seasons from 1989-90 through 1993-94 where his son, Allan, became the Volunteers' all-time leading scorer. . . . Scott Davenport joined Crum's staff in guard DeJuan Wheat's senior season (All-American in 1996-97). Wheat, a second-round draft choice of the Los Angeles Lakers, finished runner-up to Griffith in career scoring at UL with 2,183 points (16.1 ppg). . . . Kevin Keatts joined Rick Pitino's staff shortly before guard Luke Hancock transferred from George Mason and redshirted during the 2011-12 campaign before becoming Final Four Most Outstanding Player in 2013. Hancock had played for Keatts at Hargrave Military Academy (Va.). The next season, forward Montrezl Harrell aligned with the Cardinals after the Hargrave product de-committed from Virginia Tech following coach Seth Greenberg's firing.
MASSACHUSETTS: Ray Wilson joined Jack Leaman's staff one year after Julius Erving enrolled in 1968. Erving, the Minutemen's all-time leading scorer when he left college as an undergraduate in 1971, became MVP in both the ABA and NBA. Nine-time first-team All-Pro played 11 seasons in the NBA with the Philadelphia 76ers after five years in the ABA with the Virginia Squires and New York Nets. Wilson succeeded Leaman as UMass' head coach for two seasons in the early 1980s.
MEMPHIS: Lamont Peterson, Tyreke Evans' personal trainer was hired by John Calipari as an administrative assistant prior to Evans' lone season in 2008-09, spurring the NCAA to prohibit schools from hiring "associates" of recruits for non-coaching positions. . . . Keelon Lawson joined Josh Pastner's staff one year before son K.J. for 2015-16 campaign.
MICHIGAN: Bill Frieder joined Johnny Orr's staff one year after Wayman Britt enrolled in 1972. Britt, the Wolverines' all-time leader in assists when his eligibility expired, was the Los Angeles Lakers' fourth-round draft choice in 1976. Frieder succeeded Orr in 1980 and coached Michigan for nine seasons before accepting a similar position at Arizona State. . . . Perry Watson joined Steve Fisher's staff in 1991 directly with Jalen Rose, the leading scorer for the Wolverines' Fab Five Final Four team in 1992. Rose left for the NBA as an undergraduate while Watson coached the University of Detroit for 15 seasons from 1993-94 through 2007-08.
MINNESOTA: Jessie Evans joined Jim Dutcher's staff two years before swingman Trent Tucker enrolled in 1978. Tucker averaged 12.6 points per game in his career with the Golden Gophers before becoming a first-round draft choice of the New York Knicks in 1982 (sixth pick overall). Evans went on to coach Southwestern Louisiana, which is now known as Louisiana-Lafayette, and San Francisco.
MISSISSIPPI: Wayne Brent joined Rod Barnes' staff two years before his Provine Posse - academic redshirt Aaron Harper, freshman Justin Reed and J.C. transfer David Sanders - accounted for three of the Rebels' top six scorers in powering them to their first Sweet 16 appearance in school history and all-time winningest season (27-8 in 2000-01 as Barnes was named national coach of year). Reed became an All-SEC selection the next three seasons and Brent went on to become coach for Jackson State.
MISSOURI: Rich Grawer joined Norm Stewart's staff two years after Mark Dressler enrolled in 1978, which was one year before former high school teammate Steve Stipanovich arrived on campus. Dressler was the "super sub" for three Big Eight Conference championship teams. Stipanovich, a second-team consensus All-American as a senior, ranks No. 2 among the Tigers' all-time leading rebounders and is No. 4 in scoring. Stipanovich, the second pick overall in the 1983 draft, played five seasons with the Indiana Pacers before his pro career was curtailed by a knee ailment. Grawer went on to coach Saint Louis for 10 seasons from 1982-83 through 1991-92. . . . Rob Fulford joined Kim Anderson's staff in 2014 directly with wing Montaque "Teki" Gill-Caesar.
NEBRASKA: Arden Reid joined Danny Nee's staff in 1987 directly with his son, Beau, a forward who was the Huskers' top scorer as a sophomore before suffering a severe knee injury prior to the next season. . . . Cleo Hill Jr., the son of a former St. Louis Hawks guard, joined Nee's staff one year before forward Kenny Booker and junior college center George Mazyck, who started his college career with Missouri. Hill was an assistant at Mt. Zion Academy in Durham, N.C.
NEW MEXICO: Ron Garcia, Kenny Thomas' high school assistant coach in Albuquerque, joined Dave Bliss' staff one year after Thomas enrolled in 1995. Thomas, a third-team All-American as a junior, is the Lobos' all-time leading rebounder and No. 2 scorer. He was a first-round NBA draft choice of the Houston Rockets. . . . Brian O'Neill joined Bliss' staff one year before center R.T. Guinn enrolled in 1999. Guinn was the Lobos' third-leading rebounder (4.8 rpg) as a freshman. O'Neill and Guinn subsequently moved with Bliss to Baylor. . . . Indiana-based prep coach Alan Huss joined Craig Neal's staff two years after Sudanese center Obji Aget enrolled and directly with Sam Logwood in 2014 after the wing was granted a release from his grant-in-aid by Auburn following a coaching change.
NEW ORLEANS: Joey Stiebing joined Tim Floyd's staff directly with Melvin Simon in 1990, which was one year after high school teammate Darren Laiche enrolled and two years before high school teammates Gerald Williams and Dedric Willoughby arrived on campus. Simon, hailed as the top freshman prospect in the country who didn't attend a school in a high-profile conference that year, finished his career as the Privateers' No. 2 rebounder and No. 4 scorer. Laiche was a spot starter as a swingman. Williams was a starter after playing for Tyler (Tex.) Junior College. Willoughby became a star for Iowa State after transferring there with Floyd before playing for Floyd with the Chicago Bulls. Stiebing was promoted to head coach at UNO and guided the Privateers for four seasons from 1997-98 through 2000-01.
NORTH CAROLINA STATE: Mark Phelps joined Herb Sendek's staff directly with Damon Thornton in 1996, which was one year before former high school teammate Kenny Inge arrived on campus. Thornton and Inge were the top two rebounders for the Wolfpack for two seasons. Phelps went on to coach Drake for five seasons from 2008-09 through 2012-13.
NORTH TEXAS: Jimmy Gales joined Bill Blakeley's staff one year after Kenneth Williams enrolled in 1974. Williams, the Eagles' all-time leading rebounder, led the nation in rebounding as a senior (14.7 rpg in 1977-78). Gales eventually coached North Texas for seven seasons from 1986-87 through 1992-93.
OKLAHOMA: Mike Mims joined Billy Tubbs' staff one year before Wayman Tisdale enrolled in 1983. Tisdale, a first-team consensus All-American three straight seasons from 1982-83 through 1984-85, is the Sooners' all-time leader in scoring (2,661 points), rebounding (1,048) and field-goal shooting (57.8%) despite leaving school a year early. Tisdale, the second pick overall in 1985 draft, played 12 seasons in the NBA with the Indiana Pacers, Sacramento Kings and Phoenix Suns.
OLD DOMINION: James Johnson, who went on to become Virginia Tech's coach, joined the staff of Jeff Capel Jr. directly with guard Michael Williams in 1997 from Hargrave Military Institute. Williams averaged 7 points per game in his four-year career and was the Monarchs' runner-up in assists as a sophomore.
PROVIDENCE: Nick Macarchuk joined Dave Gavitt's staff three years after Ernie DiGregorio enrolled in 1969. DiGregorio, a first-team consensus All-American as a senior, is the Friars' all-time assists leader (7.7 per game) and among Top 10 in scoring (1,760 points). DiGregorio, the third pick overall in 1973 draft, played five seasons in the NBA with three different teams. Macarchuk went on to coach Canisius for 10 seasons and Fordham for 12 seasons before accepting a similar position at Stony Brook. . . . Jimmy Adams joined Gavitt's staff two years after Marvin Barnes enrolled in 1970. Barnes, a first-team consensus All-American as a senior when he led the nation in rebounding, is the Friars' all-time leading rebounder (1,592) and is fourth in scoring (1,839 points). Barnes, the second pick overall in the 1974 NBA draft, played four seasons in the NBA with four different teams after spending two years with the ABA's Spirits of St. Louis.
RHODE ISLAND: Jerry DeGregorio, who coached Lamar Odom at St. Thomas Aquinas H.S. in New Britain, Conn., was on Jim Harrick's staff. Odom left the Rams after only one season to become the fourth pick overall in the 1999 NBA draft by the Los Angeles Clippers. DeGregorio was promoted to head coach after Harrick departed for Georgia.
RICHMOND: Gary DeCesare joined Jerry Wainwright's staff directly with point guard Daon Merritt in 2003. Merritt was a part-time starter as a freshman for the Spiders despite missing all of his high school senior season because of a broken foot. He averaged 11.1 ppg and 4.3 apg as a sophomore with the Spiders in 2004-05 before transferring to South Alabama.
ROBERT MORRIS: Jim Elias joined Matt Furjanic's staff two years after Chipper Harris enrolled in 1980. Harris is the Colonials' No. 2 all-time leading scorer (1,942 points) and ranks among the top five in career assists.
ST. JOHN'S: Darren Savino, a local assistant high school coach, joined Fran Fraschilla's staff in 1996 one year before celebrated center James Felton enrolled. Embattled Felton was booted off the squad for repeated violations before his freshman semester was over. . . . Dermon Player, an assistant high school coach in the Bronx, joined Mike Jarvis' staff in 1998 directly with Anthony Glover and two years after Chudney Gray enrolled. Player also coached in the Riverside Church program, where many New York standouts play, including Red Storm playmaker Erick Barkley, who became an NBA first-round draft choice in 2000 after his sophomore season. In 1999-00, Gray averaged 8 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 2.8 apg and 1.3 spg as a senior while Glover contributed 10.2 ppg, 5.2 rpg and 1.5 spg as a sophomore. Glover was the school's leading rebounder and second-leading rebounder as a junior and senior.
SAINT LOUIS: Dick Versace joined Bob Polk's staff directly with Leartha Scott in 1973. Scott was the Billikens' No. 2 scorer as a freshman with 12.4 ppg before encountering academic problems and transferring to Wisconsin-Parkside. Scott was a fourth-round pick of the Golden State Warriors in the 1977 NBA draft. Versace eventually coached Bradley for eight seasons from 1978-79 through 1985-86 before heading to the NBA and coaching the Indiana Pacers a couple of years. . . . Mitch Haskins joined Ron Coleman's staff directly with Ricky Frazier in 1977. Frazier, the Billikens' leading scorer as a freshman before transferring to Missouri, was a second-round draft choice of the Chicago Bulls in 1982. . . . Lee Winfield, Darryl Anderson's high school assistant coach, joined Rich Grawer's staff two years after Anderson enrolled in 1980 when Ron Ekker was coach. Anderson averaged 7.2 ppg in his four seasons. Winfield went on become an assistant with Missouri when his versatile son, Julian, led the Tigers in a variety of categories (rebounding and field-goal percentage in 1994-95 and assists in 1995-96). . . . Larry Hughes, the Bills' standout who was C-USA Freshman of the Year in 1997-98 (20.9 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 2.2 spg) for coach Charlie Spoonhour, rejoined SLU assistant Derek Thomas, who had coached Hughes early in his career at a local high school. Prep teammate Justin Tatum joined SLU's roster the next season after sitting out a year because of academic deficiencies. Tatum, the father of Duke prize prep prospect Jayson Tatum, finished his SLU career with 8.2 ppg and 5.3 rpg. Thomas subsequently accepted similar assistant positions at Minnesota and UNLV before becoming head coach at Western Illinois for five seasons from 2003-04 through 2007-08.
SAN DIEGO STATE: Jim Tomey joined Steve Fisher's staff one year before Chris Walton enrolled for his freshman campaign in 2000-01. Chris, one of four sons of former national player of the year Bill Walton (UCLA) to play Division I basketball, averaged 5.1 ppg and 3.4 rpg in his four-year career with the Aztecs.
SAN FRANCISCO: Don Risley joined Bob Gaillard's staff directly with Bill Cartwright in 1975. Cartwright, a second-team consensus All-American as a sophomore and senior, is the Dons' all-time leading scorer (2,116 points) and is third in rebounding (1,137). Cartwright, the third overall pick in the 1979 draft, played 15 seasons with the New York Knicks, Chicago Bulls and Seattle SuperSonics.
SETON HALL: Dwayne "Tiny" Morton joined Kevin Willard's staff directly with gifted guard Isaiah Whitehead in 2014. Whitehead had three 20-point outings against NCAA champion-to-be Villanova in 2015-16. Morton's son, Trevonn, was a redshirt freshman with the Pirates in 2014-15.
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: Rudy Washington joined Bob Boyd's staff one year before Leonel Marquetti and Maurice Williams enrolled in 1978. Marquetti, who transferred to Hampton (Va.) Institute after two seasons with the Trojans, was a ninth-round draft choice as an undergraduate by the Spurs in 1981. Williams, whose last-second basket beat UCLA in Pauley Pavilion in 1981, was a two-year All-Pacific-10 first-team forward. Washington went on to coach Drake for six seasons from 1990-91 through 1995-96 before becoming executive director of the Black Coaches Association.
SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI: Former New Mexico/San Francisco player Billy Reid joined Larry Eustachy's staff directly with guard Sai'Quon Stone from Laurinburg Prep in 2006. Stone was the No. 2 scoring freshman in Conference USA in 2006-07 with 10.2 ppg before leading the Eagles in rebounding as a sophomore with 5.8 rpg.
SOUTH FLORIDA: Terrelle Woody, an aide/personal trainer at the private Maryland prep school home schooler Augustus Gilchrist played for as a senior, joined Stan Heath's staff directly with Gilchrist in 2008 when the 6-10 center transferred from Maryland. Gilchrist averaged 10.2 ppg and 4.4 rpg in 2008-09 and 13.4 ppg and 5.9 rpg in 2009-10.
TENNESSEE: Ray Grant joined Jerry Green's staff directly with Vincent Yarbrough in 1998. Yarbrough's brother, backup guard Del Baker, aligned with the Volunteers the previous year. Yarbrough, a three-time All-SEC selection, finished his career with 13.7 ppg and 6.8 rpg.
TEXAS A&M: John Reese joined Billy Kennedy's staff in 2011 one year before his son, J-Mychal, arrived and averaged 6.2 ppg as a freshman. Father left the Aggies' program midway through the 2013-14 campaign after his sophomore son was booted from the squad reportedly for multiple violations of team rules involving drug use.
TOWSON: Kenny Johnson joined Pat Skerry's staff directly with Deon Jones in 2011 although Jones had transferred from Johnson's high school in Virginia to one in Delaware his final two prep seasons. Jones started every game as a freshman, averaging 7 ppg and 4.5 rpg, before Johnson departed for a similar position at Indiana.
TULANE: Brock Kantrow joined Perry Clark's staff one year before Nick Sinville enrolled in 2000 as a transfer from Minnesota. With the Green Wave, Sinville averaged 9.5 ppg and 5.5 rpg as a junior in 2001-02 and 8.4 ppg and 4.7 rpg as a senior in 2002-03.
UAB: Joe Evans joined Gene Bartow's staff three years after Eddie Collins enrolled in 1984, which was two years before former high school teammate Larry Rembert arrived on campus. Collins, a two-year starter, was selected to the All-Sun Belt Conference Tournament team in his junior season. Rembert, a three-year starter, led the Blazers in rebounding in his sophomore and senior seasons. . . . Jim Armstrong helped monitor UAB's strength and fitness program for Bartow when Alan Ogg enrolled. Ogg, who set school and Sun Belt single-season and career blocked shot records and led the Blazers in rebounding in 1989-90, was on the Miami Heat's roster a couple of seasons. . . . Robert Scott joined Murry Bartow's staff one year before LeAndrew Bass and Myron Ransom enrolled in 1997. Scott subsequently moved on to a similar position at his alma mater (Alabama). Bass and Ransom combined for 20.3 ppg and 9.4 rpg as juniors in 1999-00.
UNLV: George McQuarn joined Jerry Tarkanian's staff three years after Lewis Brown enrolled in 1973. Brown, who ranks second in school history in rebounding (behind Sidney Green), was a fourth-round draft choice of the Milwaukee Bucks in 1977. Brown played briefly with the Washington Bullets in the 1980-81 campaign. McQuarn eventually coached Cal State Fullerton for eight seasons from 1980-81 through 1987-88. . . . Todd Simon, who previously served as a video coordinator for two years under former UNLV coach Lon Kruger, joined Dave Rice's staff in 2013 directly with Christian Wood, who led the Rebels in rebounding and was runner-up in scoring and blocked shots in 2014-15. Anthony Bennett, the top overall pick in the 2013 NBA draft, attended the same prep school when Simon was an assistant. Simon served as interim coach for UNLV half of the 2015-16 campaign before becoming bench boss for Southern Utah.
UTAH: Kerry Rupp joined Rick Majerus' staff one year after center-forward Lance Allred enrolled in 1999. Allred started six games in 2001-02 for the Utes. Rupp, who compiled a 24-9 record as the Utes' interim coach in 2003-04 when Majerus was sidelined for health reasons, eventually coached Louisiana Tech for four seasons from 2007-08 through 2010-11.
UTAH STATE: Jim Harrick joined Dutch Belnap's staff one year before Mike Santos and high school teammate Oscar Williams enrolled in 1974. Santos, the Aggies' fourth-leading all-time scorer when his eligibility expired, was a third-round draft choice of the Buffalo Braves in 1978. Williams still holds school assists records for a game, season and career. Harrick went on to direct four different schools to multiple NCAA Tournament appearances (Pepperdine, UCLA, Rhode Island and Georgia).
VILLANOVA: Jimmy Salmon joined Steve Lappas' staff directly with star forward Tim Thomas, who averaged 16.9 ppg and 6 rpg in 1996-97 as a freshman before turning pro early and becoming the seventh pick overall in the NBA draft.
VIRGINIA: Richard Schmidt joined Terry Holland's staff directly with Jeff Lamp and Lee Raker in 1977. Lamp, a consensus second-team All-American as a senior, is the Cavaliers' all-time No. 2 scorer (behind Bryant Stith). Lamp, a first-round draft choice of the Portland Trail Blazers in 1981, played six years in the NBA with four different teams. Raker, the seventh-leading scorer in school history when his eligibility expired, was a fourth-round draft pick of San Diego. Schmidt was head coach with Tampa for 25 seasons after the school resurrected its basketball program in 1983-84.
VIRGINIA TECH: Bob Schneider joined Charlie Moir's staff directly with his son, Jeff Schneider, in 1978. Jeff was the 11th-leading scorer in the Hokies' history when his eligibility expired. Jeff Schneider went on to coach Cal Poly for six seasons from 1995-96 to 2000-01.
WESTERN CAROLINA: Terry Rogers joined Phil Hopkins' staff directly with his son, Casey Rogers, and prep teammate Cory Largent in 1998. They both started in their initial seasons. Casey was named Southern Conference Freshman of the Year after leading all league freshmen in scoring and finishing second in the entire conference in assists. Casey averaged 10.2 ppg, 3.3 rpg and 5.7 apg while Largent contributed 12 ppg and 4.3 rpg in their four-year careers with the Catamounts.
WYOMING: Alumnus Tom Asbury joined Don DeVoe's staff one year after Joe Fazekas in 1976-77. After lettering one year with the Cowboys, Fazekas transferred to Idaho State, where he led the Bengals in scoring, rebounding, both shooting categories and blocked shots in 1979-80. He is the father of eventual Nevada All-American Nick Fazekas. Asbury went on to coach Pepperdine and Kansas 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 23 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:
New York Giants LF Ethan Allen (Cincinnati basketball letterman in 1924-25 and 1925-26) went 4-for-4 in a 7-2 loss against the Philadelphia Phillies in 1932.
Milwaukee Braves rookie LF Howie Bedell (averaged 3.5 ppg and 3.5 rpg for West Chester PA in 1955-56) banged out a career-high three safeties against the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1962. Bedell hit safely in his first eight MLB games earlier in the month.
In a celebrated fracas, New York Giants SS Alvin Dark (letterman for LSU and USL during World War II) confronted Jackie Robinson (Pacific Coast Conference leading scorer both seasons with UCLA in 1939-40 and 1940-41) after the Brooklyn Dodgers' INF bowled over a Giants pitcher covering first base on a bunt in 1955. The previous year, Robinson swiped second, third and home in the sixth inning before doubling in the winning run in the 13th in a 6-5 decision over the Pittsburgh Pirates. Two years earlier, Dark delivered three extra-base hits against the Pirates in 1953.
A pinch-hit homer in the bottom of the 10th inning by Dick Gernert (Temple letterman in 1948-49 when averaging 2.7 ppg) tied the score for the Detroit Tigers in an eventual 3-2 victory against the Los Angeles Angels in 1961.
In 1983, San Francisco Giants P Atlee Hammaker (averaged 5.3 ppg as freshman in 1976-77 and 4.9 ppg as sophomore in 1977-78 under East Tennessee State coach Sonny Smith) hurled his second of back-to-back shutouts en route to pacing the N.L. in ERA (2.25).
RHP Jay Hook (Northwestern's third-leading scorer as a sophomore with 10.7 ppg in 1955-56) posted the expansion New York Mets' first-ever victory (9-1 at Pittsburgh in 1962) after they dropped their initial nine contests.
Detroit Tigers rookie SS Harvey Kuenn (played briefly for Wisconsin in 1951-52 after competing on JV squad previous season) supplied his fourth three-hit game in first nine outings of the 1953 campaign.
St. Louis Cardinals SS Doc Lavan (played for Hope MI from 1908 through 1910) delivered four hits against the Cincinnati Reds in 1922.
St. Louis Cardinals rookie CF Wally Moon (averaged 4.3 ppg with Texas A&M in 1948-49 and 1949-50) went 5-for-5 but the Milwaukee Braves won, 7-5, in 14 innings in 1954 when Hank Aaron hammered his first of 755 MLB homers.
First MLB homer for C Cal Neeman (Illinois Wesleyan's leading scorer in 1947-48 and 1948-49), a 10th-inning blast off the Milwaukee Braves' Lew Burdette, was the difference in a 3-2 win for the Chicago Cubs in 1957.
OF Ted Savage (led Lincoln MO in scoring average in 1955-56) involved in four-player swap going from the Chicago Cubs to the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1968.
Chicago Cubs LF Riggs Stephenson (Alabama letterman in 1920) went 4-for-4 against the St. Louis Cardinals in 1929.
LHP Matt Thornton (averaged 5.8 ppg and 2.4 rpg for Grand Valley State MI from 1995-96 through 1997-98) held opponents scoreless in his first 25 relief appearances with the Washington Nationals until yielding a run against the St. Louis Cardinals in 2015.
St. Louis Cardinals 1B Bill White (played two years with Hiram OH in early 1950s) went 4-for-4 against the Houston Colt .45's in 1963.
In the aftermath of Jake Arrieta's second no-hitter in span of 11 regular-season starts for the Chicago Cubs, it's time to take a look at former college hoopsters who went on to hurl a no-no at the major-league level. Brooklyn native Sandy Koufax attended Cincinnati one year on a combination baseball/basketball scholarship under coach Ed Jucker in both sports before signing a pro baseball contract. Koufax was the third-leading scorer with 9.7 ppg for the Bearcats' 12-2 freshman squad in 1953-54 before hurling no-hitters in four straight seasons the first half of the 1960s.
|Date||No-Hit Ex-Hooper||MLB Team||Opponent||Score||Basketball College|
|5-14-1977||Jim Colborn||Kansas City Royals||Texas Rangers||6-0||Whittier CA|
|8-24-1975||Ed Halicki||San Francisco Giants||New York Mets||6-0||Monmouth NJ|
|7-30-1973||Jim Bibby||Texas Rangers||Oakland A's||6-0||Fayetteville State NC|
|8-14-1971||Bob Gibson||St. Louis Cardinals||Pittsburgh Pirates||11-0||Creighton|
|9-18-1968||Ray Washburn||St. Louis Cardinals||San Francisco Giants||2-0||Whitworth WA|
|6-10-1966||Sonny Siebert||Cleveland Indians||Washington Senators||2-0||Missouri|
|9-9-1965||Sandy Koufax||Los Angeles Dodgers||Chicago Cubs||1-0*||Cincinnati|
|6-4-1964||Sandy Koufax||Los Angeles Dodgers||Philadelphia Phillies||3-0||Cincinnati|
|5-11-1963||Sandy Koufax||Los Angeles Dodgers||San Francisco Giants||8-0||Cincinnati|
|6-30-1962||Sandy Koufax||Los Angeles Dodgers||New York Mets||5-0||Cincinnati|
|8-20-1957||Bob Keegan||Chicago White Sox||Washington Senators||6-0||Bucknell|
|6-12-1954||Jim Wilson||Milwaukee Braves||Philadelphia Phillies||2-0||San Diego State|
|9-3-1947||Bill McCahan||Philadelphia Athletics||Washington Senators||3-0||Duke|
|8-21-1926||Ted Lyons||Chicago White Sox||Boston Red Sox||6-0||Baylor|
|5-5-1917||Ernie Koob||St. Louis Browns||Chicago White Sox||1-0||Western Michigan|
|6-13-1905||Christy Mathewson||New York Giants||Chicago Cubs||1-0||Bucknell|
|7-15-1901||Christy Mathewson||New York Giants||St. Louis Cardinals||5-0||Bucknell|
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 22 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:
Cincinnati Reds OF Ethan Allen (Cincinnati basketball letterman in 1924-25 and 1925-26) provided four hits in a 9-4 triumph against the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1929.
New York Giants 2B Frankie Frisch (Fordham captain) furnished four hits against the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1923.
Chicago Cubs SS Don Kessinger (three-time All-SEC selection for Mississippi from 1961-62 through 1963-64 while finishing among nation's top 45 scorers each year) contributed three hits, including an inside-the-park homer, in a 7-5 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals in 1970, snapping P Mike Torrez's 11-game winning streak dating back to previous season.
OF Lyle Mouton (starter in LSU's backcourt with All-American Chris Jackson for 1989 NCAA playoff team) shipped by the New York Yankees to the Chicago White Sox in 1995 to complete an earlier deal involving P Jack McDowell.
New York Yankees 3B Graig Nettles (shot 87.8% from free-throw line for San Diego State in 1963-64) went 4-for-4 against the Texas Rangers in 1979.
Brooklyn Dodgers rookie 1B Preston Ward (second-leading scorer for Southwest Missouri State in 1946-47 and 1948-49) went 2-for-5 against the New York Giants in each of his first three MLB games in 1948.
Kentucky and North Carolina continue to rank 1-2 for most All-American honorees over the years. Duke isn't far behind UK (total of 71) and UNC (71) although none of the Blue Devils' All-Americans came from the state of North Carolina (19 different states plus District of Columbia).
Illinois, Notre Dame and Purdue never have won an NCAA championship despite all three schools ranking among the top 10 in supplying the most All-Americans. Following is a list of the top 10 universities boasting the most All-Americans since 1928-29 (AP, Converse, NABC, UPI and USBWA).
Rank School (Different Individuals) Rank School (Total # of All-Americans) 1. Kentucky (46) T1. Kentucky (71) 2. North Carolina (42) T1. North Carolina (71) 3. Indiana (41) 3. Duke (61) 4. Duke (38) 4. Indiana (56) 5. Kansas (34) 5. Kansas (52) T6. Illinois (31) 6. UCLA (47) T6. UCLA (31) 7. Ohio State (46) 8. Ohio State (29) 8. Notre Dame (43) 9. Notre Dame (25) 9. Illinois (36) T10. Michigan (20) 10. Purdue (30) T10. Purdue (20) T10. Syracuse (20)
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 21 calendar focusing on such versatile MLB athletes:
Lone MLB RBI for 3B Ernie Andres (NCAA consensus first-team basketball All-American with Indiana in 1939) helped the Boston Red Sox outlast the Philadelphia Athletics, 12-11, in the opener of a 1946 doubleheader.
St. Louis Browns rookie RF Beau Bell (two-year letterman for Texas A&M in early 1930s) contributed four hits and four RBI against the Chicago White Sox in 1935.
Baltimore Orioles CF Al Bumbry (Virginia State's runner-up in scoring with 16.7 ppg as freshman in 1964-65) supplied four hits against the Boston Red Sox in 1982.
Pittsburgh Pirates INF Gene Freese (West Liberty WV captain of 1952 NAIA Tournament team) pinch-hitting for Willie Stargell, delivered a decisive three-run homer in the top of the ninth inning for an 8-5 win against the Chicago Cubs in 1964.
Chicago White Sox RHP Howie Judson (Illinois' third-leading scorer with 8.5 ppg as sophomore in 1944-45) won his 1949 season debut (5-2 against Detroit Tigers) before dropping next 14 decisions through August.
California Angels C Art Kusnyer (led Kent State in field-goal percentage in 1965-66 as team's third-leading scorer and rebounder) contributed a career-high three hits against the Texas Rangers in 1972.
Oakland Athletics CF Billy North (played briefly for Central Washington in 1967-68) went 4-for-4 against the Detroit Tigers in 1976.
Boston Red Sox SS Billy Werber (first Duke All-American in 1929-30) registered multiple extra-base hits in his third consecutive contest in 1934.
St. Louis Cardinals 1B Bill White (played two years with Hiram OH in early 1950s) supplied multiple hits in five of his first seven games in 1962.
Chicago White Sox RHP Jim Wilson (letterman for San Diego State's 1942 NAIA Tournament participant) opened the 1957 campaign with a 10-inning shutout against the Kansas City Athletics.