"It is not the critic who counts, not the one who points out how the strong man stumbled or how the doer of deeds might have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred with sweat and dust and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, if he wins, knows the triumphs of high achievement; and who, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat." - Theodore Roosevelt
For those who eat, sleep and breathe the NCAA Tournament although it came after Teddy Roosevelt's presidency, the sensory overload of the playoffs is a banquet and every year is a feast. Nourishing your appetite for assessing postseason play, the following questions linger before the 77th event commences this year: Who were the most pristine postseason players in the nation's premier multiple-week sports spectacle? Who always seemed hot and who was not? Who was a stud instead of a dud?
It's a cop-out to simply accept the instant visibility of one-name icons such as Magic, Bird and Michael and cite them among the greatest players in tourney history. The prolific pro careers of Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan, a trio combining to win nine consecutive NBA Most Valuable Player awards from 1983-84 through 1991-92 (three apiece), somewhat distorts their impact in college postseason play. Notwithstanding the TV appeal of the Bird/Magic championship game match-up in 1979 and Jordan's game-winning basket as a freshman in the 1982 national final against Georgetown, a closer examination of the facts than what was exhibited in 75th-anniversary polls two years ago by ESPN, Sports Illustrated and Sporting News shows that other collegians were more efficient more often in the NCAA Tournament. Consider the following tourney trauma for Johnson (ESPN 5/SN 7/SI 8), Bird (SI 5/ESPN 15/SN 24) and Jordan (SN 32/ESPN 57/SI 70) before accepting as gospel they were among the premier performers in NCAA playoff play:
Johnson shot a meager 27.8% from the floor (10 of 36) in three 1978 tourney games as a freshman for Michigan State before leading the Spartans to the NCAA title the next year. He had more turnovers (six) than assists (five) in the over-hyped 1979 final, a mediocre contest paling in comparison to the last eight finals of the 1980s when seven of them were decided by an average of two points. Johnson outscored and outrebounded teammate Greg Kelser in just one of eight playoff games they played together. Kelser simply contributed more than Magic to the Spartans' cause in NCAA competition.
Bird boosted Indiana State to the 1979 final in his lone NCAA tourney, but put the 'oops' in hoops by committing a Final Four-record 17 turnovers. He hit just 7 of 21 field-goal attempts and had three times as many turnovers (six) as assists (two) against Michigan State in the championship game, which was essentially the equivalent of a boring Super Bowl failing to live up to hype.
Jordan's NBA playoff scoring average with the Chicago Bulls more than doubled the NCAA Tournament scoring average he compiled for North Carolina. Jordan averaged 16.5 points per NCAA playoff game with the Tar Heels, scoring 20 or more in just two of 10 postseason games from 1982 through 1984. His Airness scored fewer than 18 points in two of the four playoff contests he led Carolina in scoring. Most people don't remember his inauspicious playoff debut when he collected six points, one rebound, no assists and no steals in 37 minutes of a 52-50 opening-round victory against James Madison in the East Regional. And Jordan's final NCAA Tournament appearance before he left school early for the NBA was nothing to write home about, either. The college player of the year was restricted to six points in the first 35 minutes of his collegiate swan song in the East Regional semifinals against Indiana, finishing with 13 points, one rebound, one assist and one steal in 26 foul-plagued minutes when the top-ranked Tar Heels were eliminated (72-68).
Generally, sizzling scorers have learned it's not a day at the beach in postseason play. For instance, former NBA sensation Clyde Drexler averaged more than 17 points per game each of his last 13 NBA seasons, but he scored more than 17 points in just one of 11 NCAA Tournament games for the University of Houston from 1981 through 1983. Premier playmaker Steve Nash managed only one field goal in three of five playoff contests in the mid-1990s, shooting a paltry 29.2% from the floor. Two-time NBA slam-dunk champion Jason Richardson (5th pick overall in 2001) was grounded by the NCAA playoffs, going scoreless in three consecutive contests as a Michigan State freshman in 2000. All-Americans Thomas Robinson (Kansas) and Tyler Zeller (North Carolina) each went scoreless in two NCAA playoff games. Eventual All-Americans Marcus Denmon (Missouri), Danny Ferry (Duke), Ben Gordon (Connecticut), Marcus Morris (Kansas) and Terrence Williams (Louisville) also went scoreless in a tourney game. Ferry scored fewer than 10 points in six straight tourney tilts before averaging 20 ppg in his last 11 playoff outings and Syracuse All-American Kris Joseph never scored more than 12 points in 11 NCAA playoff contests from 2009 through 2012.
Duke's Christian Laettner, the all-time playoff scoring leader with 407 points from 1989 through 1992, tallied fewer than 15 points in six of his first seven tournament games. Just four of the top 20 in career scoring in the NCAA playoffs accumulated more than 10 points in every tourney game they participated - UCLA's Lew Alcindor (1967-68-69), Princeton's Bill Bradley (1963-64-65), Arizona's Sean Elliott (1986-87-88-89) and Cincinnati's Oscar Robertson (1958-59-60).
Is an Amber Alert necessary for Len Chappell, Adrian Dantley, Tom Gola, Alex Groza, David "Big Daddy" Lattin, Jim McDaniels, Jeff Mullins, Cazzie Russell, Dennis Scott, Rony Seikaly, etc., etc., etc.? How could anyone forget the footprint (size-22) Bob Lanier left on postseason play? The NCAA, exhibiting all the expertise of voters claiming they can't provide identification, unveiled a stunning error-prone list last year of foremost NCAA Tournament players over the first 75 years. Were relatives of guards Shelvin Mack and Keith Smart on the nominating panel for such amateurish choices? Do backcourters B.J. Armstrong, Terry Dehere, Allen Iverson, Wally Jones, Brevin Knight, Bo Lamar, Mark Macon, Lawrence Moten, Anthony Peeler and Mitch Richmond mean anything to the misinformed? The NCAA, apparently incapable of discerning what comprises a "moment" rather than numerous playoff-pressure games or putting too much stock in input from self-serving media, probably needs to go back to focusing on vital task of shedding Indian nicknames from as many schools as possible.
In his State of the Union address, basketball buff POTUS probably should have focused on mental inequality in hoopdom rather than income inequality in his "I-have-a-phone-and-pen" kingdom. An NCAA probe similar to IRS targeting needs to be conducted stemming from the most glaring omission among impact players failing to be acknowledged. Incredibly, the shunned included Bob Pettit, who averaged 30.5 points in six outings with LSU in 1953 and 1954. Pettit is perhaps the most consistent big scorer in NCAA playoff annals with a single-digit differential between his high game (36 points) and low contest (27).
The Chris Webber Award for playoff competition brain lock goes to SN for citing Tom Thacker, a nice versatile player for Cincinnati teams participating in three consecutive NCAA championship contests, as #15 on its all-time list. Thacker committed a toxic total of 13 turnovers (with only four assists) in two Final Four games in 1963 after scoring only two points in 1962 national semifinals and shooting a paltry 8-of-28 from the floor at 1961 Final Four. UCLA by itself has had at least 15 more influential tourney players than Thacker, who was unranked by ESPN and SI. The only logical answer for this absurdity is a Cincinnati connection of some sort among the voting delegation or the fishy selection is a byproduct for why SN's print edition went belly up.
Michigan State All-American Draymond Green posted back-to-back triple doubles in 2011 and 2012 but still doesn't rank among the all-time best 77 players in tourney history as the event enters its 77th year. If some of these historical facts aroused your curiosity, here is additional tournament insight that should fuel debates concerning who should be on college basketball's Mount Rushmore after excelling the most as NCAA playoff performers (minimum of six tourney games):
1. Lew Alcindor, C, UCLA
The only individual selected the Final Four's Most Outstanding Player three times averaged 25.7 points and 18.8 rebounds and shot 64.1% from the floor in six Final Four games from 1967 through 1969. Alcindor, who later changed his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, is the only player to couple three unanimous first-team All-American seasons with three NCAA titles. Of the 10 different individuals to average more than 23 points per game for a national champion a total of 12 times, Alcindor achieved the feat all three of his seasons with the Bruins. He is also the only player to hit better than 70% of his field-goal attempts in two NCAA title games. UCLA '67, the first varsity season for Alcindor, set the record for largest average margin of victory for a champion when the Bruins started a dazzling streak of 10 consecutive Final Four appearances. They won their 12 NCAA playoff games with Alcindor manning the middle by an average margin of 21.5 points. The three Alcindor-led UCLA teams rank among the seven NCAA champions with average margins of victory in a tournament of more than 19 points per game. He led the Bruins in scoring in 10 of 12 playoff contests. It's no wonder a perceptive scribe wrote that the acronym NCAA took on a new meaning during the Alcindor Era - "No Chance Against Alcindor."
2. Bill Walton, C, UCLA
Averaged 28.8 points and 17.8 rebounds per game at the Final Four in 1972 and 1973. His championship game-record 44 points against Memphis State in 1973 when he hit 21-of-22 field-goal attempts will probably never be duplicated. On the other hand, he had one playoff game of fewer than 10 points each of the three seasons he was national player of the year.
3. Jerry West, G-F, West Virginia
He is the only player to score at least 25 points in eight consecutive tournament games (all of which he led in scoring). West is also the only player to rank among the top five in scoring average in both the NCAA Tournament (30.6 points per game) and NBA playoffs (29.1 ppg). He was denied a championship ring with West Virginia in his only Final Four appearance in 1959 when Cal center Darral Imhoff, a player who would become an Olympic and NBA teammate, tipped in a decisive basket in the closing seconds.
4. Elvin Hayes, F, Houston
He is the only player to lead a tournament in scoring by more than 60 points. Lew Alcindor and his UCLA teammates helped hold Hayes to 10 points in 1968 national semifinals, but the Big E finished with 167 points in five games with Houston that year. Alcindor was runner-up with 103 points in four contests. Hayes became the only player in tournament history to collect more than 40 points and 25 rebounds in the same game when he amassed 49 points and 27 rebounds in a 94-76 decision over Loyola of Chicago in first round of 1968 Midwest Regional. He holds the records for most rebounds in a playoff series (97 in five games as a senior in 1968) and career (222 in 13 games). Hayes had five games with at least 24 rebounds, including the first three playoff games in 1968, before being held to five in a 101-69 national semifinal loss against UCLA. He also holds the record for most playoff field goals in a career with 152.
5. Gail Goodrich, G, UCLA
Despite standing at least three inches shorter than both standout opponents, the 6-1 lefthander outscored consensus second-team All-American Jeff Mullins of Duke, 27-22, in 1964 final and unanimous first-team All-American Cazzie Russell of Michigan, 42-28, in 1965 final. Goodrich, the only guard to score more than 35 points in an NCAA final, averaged 35 points per game for UCLA in 1965 tourney. He was also the Bruins' leading scorer the previous year (21.5-point average as a junior) when he became the shortest undergraduate to average more than 20 points per game for an NCAA titlist. Goodrich and Walt Hazzard (18.6 ppg) represent the only backcourt duo to be the top two scorers on the season for an NCAA championship team. Of the eight times a school successfully defended its major college championship, Goodrich is the only guard to be the team's leading scorer in back-to-back years. The Bruins won 58 of 60 games in those two championship seasons although they didn't have a regular taller than 6-7.
6. Bill Bradley, F, Princeton
The former U.S. Senator (D-N.J.) and 2000 presidential candidate holds the record for most points in a single Final Four game (58 against Wichita State in 1965 national third-place game). He scored 39 points in the second half of the consolation game. The Rhodes Scholar was the only player to have a double-digit season scoring average (30.5 points per game) for Princeton's Final Four team. Bradley also holds the career playoff record for highest free-throw percentage (minimum of 50 attempts). He was 89 of 96 from the foul line (90.6%) from 1963 through 1965. In five of his nine playoff games, Bradley made at least 10 free throws while missing no more than one attempt from the charity stripe. He made 16 of 16 free throws against St. Joseph's in first round of 1963 East Regional and 13 of 13 foul shots against Providence in 1965 East Regional final to become the only player to twice convert more than 12 free throws without a miss in playoff games. He was the game-high scorer in eight of nine tourney contests.
7. Bill Russell, C, San Francisco
Grabbed an incredible 50 rebounds for USF at 1956 Final Four (23 against SMU in semifinals and 27 against Iowa in championship game). No other player has retrieved more than 41 missed shots in two Final Four games or more than 21 in the final. Averaged 23.2 points in winning all nine NCAA tourney contests.
8. Oscar Robertson, G-F, Cincinnati
Averaged at least 29 points and 10 rebounds per game each of his three years in the tourney with the Bearcats. The Big O isn't picked higher because California restricted him to a total of 37 points in two Final Four games (1959 and 1960). He hit just nine of 32 from the floor against the Bears. Robertson, the nation's leading scorer all three of his varsity seasons with averages of more than 32 points per game, is the only team-leading scorer to twice go more than 10 points below his season scoring average when his school lost in the national semifinals or final.
9. Sean Elliott, F, Arizona
Of the more than 60 different players to score at least 2,500 points and/or rank among the top 25 in career scoring average, Elliott is the only one to have a winning NCAA playoff record in his career plus post higher scoring, rebounding and field-goal shooting playoff averages than he compiled in the regular season. Elliott scored at least 17 points in all 10 of his NCAA playoff games with the Wildcats from 1986 through 1989.
10. Christian Laettner, F, Duke
Only player to start in four Final Fours became the tourney's all-time leading scorer (407 points) in helping the Blue Devils compile a 21-2 playoff mark in his career. Laettner's highest-scoring game was 31 against Kentucky in a 104-103 victory in 1992 East Regional final. Laettner capped a flawless offensive performance, hitting all 10 of his field-goal attempts and all 10 of his free throws against the Wildcats, by scoring Duke's last eight points in overtime, including a stunning 18-foot turnaround jumper at the buzzer after catching a pass from the baseline on the opposite end of the court. He also hit what probably was an even more difficult off-balance, last-second shot to give Duke a 79-78 win against Connecticut in 1990 East Regional final. Tallied fewer than 15 points in six of his first seven playoff contests.
11. Bob Pettit, F-C, Louisiana State
Of the more than 40 different players to score more than 225 points in the NCAA playoffs and/or average over 25 points per tournament game (minimum of six games), he is the only one to score more than 22 points in every postseason contest (six games with LSU in 1953 and 1954). He was perhaps the most consistent big scorer in NCAA Tournament history with a single-digit differential between his high game (36 points) and his low game (27). Pettit wasn't named to the 1953 All-Tournament team despite leading the Tigers to the Final Four and averaging 30.5 points per game in four NCAA playoff contests. He averaged the same number of points in two tourney games the next year.
12. Bobby Hurley, G, Duke
The 6-0 guard was selected Most Outstanding Player at the 1992 Final Four. He was the shortest player to earn the award since 5-11 Hal Lear helped Temple to a national third-place finish in 1956. The only Final Four Most Outstanding Player shorter than Hurley from a championship team was 5-11 Kenny Sailors of Wyoming in 1943. Hurley shot a mediocre 41% from the floor in his college career, but he was the Blue Devils' linchpin with his playmaking and intangible contributions. He holds the career record for most playoff assists (145) and three-pointers (42) although his bid to become the first player to start four consecutive NCAA finals was thwarted when California upset Duke in the second round of 1993 Midwest Regional despite Hurley's career-high 32 points. After averaging just 5.4 points per game in his first eight NCAA Tournament contests, he averaged 22.8 in his last five playoff outings.
13. Steve Alford, G, Indiana
Averaged 21.3 points in 10 NCAA Tournament games in 1984, 1986 and 1987 (8-2 record). He led the Hoosiers in scoring in seven of the contests.
14. Larry Johnson, F, UNLV
Juco jewel averaged 20.2 points and 11.5 rebounds in 11 games in 1990 and 1991 (10-1 record).
15. Miles Simon, G, Arizona
Averaged 18.6 points, 4.2 rebounds and 4.3 assists in 14 games from 1995 through 1998 (11-3 record). He was game-high scorer in his last three playoff contests.
16. Patrick Ewing, C, Georgetown
The Hoyas compiled a glittering 15-3 playoff record from 1982 through 1985 during his four-year reign of terror although he never scored as many as 25 points in a tournament game.
17. David "Big Daddy" Lattin, C, Texas Western
Averaged 19.4 ppg and 10.6 rpg in eight games in 1966 and 1967 (7-1 record). He averaged 21 points and 13 rebounds in first three games of 1966 playoffs, powering champion-to-be Miners to Final Four. Playoff scoring average was five points higher than his regular-season mark.
18. Clyde Lovellette, C, Kansas
The only individual to lead the nation in scoring average in the same season he played for a team reaching the NCAA Tournament championship game. Averaging 35.3 points per game in the 1952 tourney, he was the first player to score more than 30 points in a Final Four contest and the only player to crack the 30-point plateau in the national semifinals and final in the same season.
19. Dennis Scott, G-F, Georgia Tech
Averaged 25.9 ppg and 5.9 rpg in eight playoff games from 1988 through 1990 (5-3 record). He was game-high scorer in four of five contests in 1990 when the Yellow Jackets reached the Final Four.
20. David Thompson, F, North Carolina State
The last player to score the most points in a single game of a tournament and play for a championship team (40 against Providence in 1974 East Regional semifinals). He is the only undergraduate non-center to average more than 23 ppg for a national champion.
21. Austin Carr, G, Notre Dame
After scoring only six points in his first tournament game as a sophomore (re-injured against Miami of Ohio in 1969), Carr averaged 47.2 points in his last six playoff contests to finish with a tourney record 41.3-point mark. However, the Irish won only two of the seven games.
22. David Robinson, C, Navy
Averaged 28.6 points and 12.3 rebounds in seven games from 1985 through 1987 (4-3 record). He was game-high scorer in four playoff contests, including a school-record 50 points against Michigan in his final appearance.
23. Bob Kurland, C, Oklahoma A&M
Only player to score more than half of a championship team's points in a single NCAA Tournament (total of 72 accounted for 51.8% of the Aggies' output in three playoff games in 1946).
24. Jerry Lucas, C, Ohio State
Two-time NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player averaged 22.8 ppg and 12 rpg at the Final Four in 1960 and 1961. But he was limited to nine points in both of his tourney openers when earning national player of the year awards in 1961 and 1962.
25. Sean May, F-C, North Carolina
Final Four Most Outstanding Player for 2005 champion averaged 19.9 points and 9.9 rebounds in eight NCAA Tournament games in 2004 and 2005 (7-1 record).
26. Alex Groza, C, Kentucky
Two-time Final Four Most Outstanding Player is only individual appearing at a minimum of two Final Fours (1948 and 1949) and be the game-high scorer in every Final Four contest he participated.
27. Len Chappell, F-C, Wake Forest
Averaged 27.6 ppg and 17.1 rpg in eight games in 1961 and 1962 (6-2 record). He was the Demon Deacons' leading scorer in all eight contests.
28. Bob Lanier, C, St. Bonaventure
Averaged 25.2 points and 14.2 rebounds in six games in 1968 and 1970 (4-2 record; missed 1970 Final Four after tearing a knee ligament in East Regional final).
29. Corliss Williamson, F, Arkansas
Two-time All-NCAA Tournament selection averaged 20.2 points and 7.4 rebounds while shooting 59.4% from the floor in 15 games from 1993 through 1995 (13-2 record).
30. Al Wood, F, North Carolina
Averaged 20.1 points and 8.3 rebounds in eight games from 1978 through 1981 (4-4 record). He was the Tar Heels' leading scorer in six of those playoff contests.
31. Tim Duncan, C, Wake Forest
Averaged 17.6 points, 15 rebounds and 4.5 blocked shots in 11 games from 1994 through 1997 (7-4 record).
32. Glen Rice, F, Michigan
Averaged 23.7 points and 6.3 rebounds in 13 games from 1986 through 1989 (10-3 record). As a senior, he was the Wolverines' leading scorer in all six contests during their championship run when setting a single-tourney record with 184 points.
33. Danny Manning, F, Kansas
The only player to score more than 62% of his team's points in an NCAA Tournament game (42 in the Jayhawks' 67-63 victory against Southwest Missouri State in second round of 1987 Southeast Regional). He was the game-high scorer in all six of their contests en route to the 1988 national title as a senior. Averaged 20.5 points and 7.3 rebounds in 16 playoff games (13-3 record).
34. Bob Houbregs, F-C, Washington
Averaged 27.4 ppg in seven games in 1951 and 1953 (5-2 record). He averaged nearly nine more points per contest in postseason play than during the regular season.
35. Tom Gola, F, La Salle
The only individual to earn NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player and NIT Most Valuable Player awards in his career. He averaged 22 ppg in 10 NCAA playoff games in 1954 and 1955 (9-1 record).
36. Rumeal Robinson, G, Michigan
Averaged 17.5 points and 8.5 assists in 11 games from 1988 through 1990 (9-2 record).
37. Lawrence Moten, G, Syracuse
Averaged 23.3 points and 4.7 rebounds in seven games in 1992, 1994 and 1995 (4-3 record).
38. Ray Allen, G, Connecticut
Averaged 19.5 points and 7 rebounds in 10 playoff games from 1994 through 1996 (7-3 record).
39. Isiah Thomas, G, Indiana
Averaged 19.7 points and 7.9 assists in seven games in 1980 and 1981 (6-1 record).
40. Greg "Bo" Kimble, F-G, Loyola Marymount
Averaged 29.1 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.3 steals in seven games from 1988 through 1990 (4-3 record). Scored at least 37 points for LMU in three of his last four playoff outings.
41. Randy Foye, G, Villanova
Averaged 22.1 points and 6.4 rebounds in seven games in 2005 and 2006 (5-2 record). He scored at least 24 points in four contests.
42. B.J. Armstrong, G, Iowa
Averaged 19.8 points and 4.9 assists in nine games from 1987 through 1989 (6-3 record; did not play in 1986 playoffs). He averaged seven more points per contest in postseason than during the regular season.
43. Jim McDaniels, C, Western Kentucky
Averaged 29.3 points and 12.2 rebounds in six games in 1970 and 1971 (4-2 record). He was WKU's leading scorer in five of the six playoff contests.
44. Brevin Knight, G, Stanford
Averaged 20 points, 4.6 rebounds and 6.6 assists in seven games from 1995 through 1997 (4-3 record).
45. Rony Seikaly, C, Syracuse
Averaged 18.8 ppg, 8.7 rpg and 2.8 bpg in 12 games from 1985 through 1988 (8-4 record). He averaged nearly seven more points per contest in postseason play than during the regular season.
46. Jeff Mullins, F, Duke
Averaged 25 ppg and 7.9 rpg in the playoffs for two Final Four teams in 1963 and 1964 (6-2 record). He scored more than 20 points in seven of eight tourney contests.
47. Mark Macon, G, Temple
Averaged 23.3 points and 5.1 rebounds in nine games in 1988, 1990 and 1991 (6-3 record.)
48. Mike Maloy, C, Davidson
Averaged 22.3 ppg and 12.4 rpg in seven games from 1968 through 1970 (4-3 record).
49. Adrian Dantley, F, Notre Dame
Averaged 25.4 points and 8.3 rebounds in eight games from 1974 through 1976 (4-4 record). Averaged 29.8 points in his last six playoff contests.
50. Dan Issel, C, Kentucky
Averaged 29.3 ppg and 11.3 rpg in splitting six contests from 1968 through 1970. He had at least 36 points in half of the tourney games.
51. Allen Iverson, G, Georgetown
Averaged 23.9 points and 4 rebounds in seven games in 1995 and 1996 (5-2 record). He was the Hoyas' leading scorer in all seven contests.
52. Ollie Johnson, C, San Francisco
Averaged 25.8 points and 16.2 rebounds in six games from 1963 through 1965 (3-3 record). Averaged six points per game higher in playoffs than regular season.
53. Paul Hogue, C, Cincinnati
Averaged 19 points and 16 rebounds in six Final Four games from 1960 through 1962. Posted higher averages (18.4 ppg and 13.3 rpg) in 12 NCAA Tournament contests (11-1 record) than his respective career marks.
54. Jameer Nelson, G, St. Joseph's
Averaged 22.4 points, 6 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 2.3 steals in seven games in 2001, 2003 and 2004 (4-3 record). He scored at least 24 points in four of his last five playoff contests.
55. Richard Hamilton, G-F, Connecticut
Averaged 23.4 points and 4.7 rebounds in 10 games in 1998 and 1999 (9-1 record). He led UConn in scoring in nine of the 10 contests.
56. Chuck Person, F, Auburn
Averaged 20.3 points and 9 rebounds in eight games from 1984 through 1986 (5-3 record). Scored at least 20 points in six of his last seven playoff contests.
57. Don Schlundt, C, Indiana
Averaged 27 points in six games in 1953 and 1954 (5-1 record). He was the Hoosiers' leading scorer in five of the playoff contests.
58. Cazzie Russell, G, Michigan
Averaged at least 24 ppg each of his three years in the tourney (5-3 record). Leading scorer for third-place team in 1964 NCAA playoffs and 1965 national runner-up.
59. Jamal Mashburn, F, Kentucky
Averaged 21.4 points and 8 rebounds in nine games in 1992 and 1993 (7-2 record). He was the Wildcats' leading scorer in five consecutive playoff contests.
60. Les Hunter, C, Loyola of Chicago
Averaged 18.9 points and 13.3 rebounds in eight games in 1963 and 1964 (7-1 record).
61. Henry Finkel, C, Dayton
Averaged 27.8 points and 13.8 rebounds in six games in 1965 and 1966 (3-3 record). He was game-high scorer in five of the six contests.
62. Johnny Green, F-C, Michigan State
Averaged 16.2 points and 19.7 rebounds in six games in 1957 and 1959 (3-3 record). He was the leading rebounder in all four contests as a sophomore in 1957 when the Spartans reached the Final Four.
63. Anthony Peeler, G, Missouri
Averaged 24.3 points, 3.3 rebounds and 6.3 assists in six games in 1989, 1990 and 1992 (3-3 record). His scoring average was almost eight points higher in the postseason than regular season.
64. Dwight "Bo" Lamar, G, Southwestern Louisiana
Averaged 29.2 points in six Division I Tournament games in 1972 and 1973 (3-3 record). Supplied game-high point total in all six contests, including 35 plus a tourney-high 11 assists in a 112-101 victory against Marshall as the Ragin' Cajuns scored the most points in tourney history for a school in its playoff debut.
65. Greg Kelser, F, Michigan State
Leading scorer and rebounder as a senior for 1979 NCAA titlist averaged 24 ppg and 11.3 rpg in eight playoff contests (7-1 record). His scoring average was almost seven points higher in the postseason than regular season. Celebrated teammate Magic Johnson outscored and outrebounded Kelser only once in their eight postseason outings together.
66. Barry Kramer, F, New York University
Averaged 25.2 points and 9.3 rebounds in six games in 1962 and 1963 (3-3 record).
67. Nick Collison, F, Kansas
Leading scorer and rebounder as senior for 2003 NCAA Tournament runner-up (30-8 record) and second-leading scorer and rebounder for 2002 Final Four team (33-4). Averaged 16.7 points and 11.3 rebounds in 16 games (12-4 record).
68. Juan Dixon, G, Maryland
After struggling as a redshirt freshman, Dixon averaged 21.2 points in his last 13 games from 2000 through 2002. The Terrapins won 10 of the last 11 of those playoff contests when he was the leading scorer for back-to-back Final Four teams.
69. Mitch Richmond, G-F, Kansas State
J.C. recruit averaged 23.3 points, 9.2 rebounds and 4.8 assists in six games in 1987 and 1988 (4-2 record).
70. George Thompson, F, Marquette
Averaged 23.2 points and 5.7 rebounds in six games in 1968 and 1969 (4-2 record). He was the Warriors' leading scorer in five of the six playoff contests.
71. John Wallace, F, Syracuse
Averaged 20.3 points and 8.8 rebounds in 11 games from 1994 through 1996 (8-3 record). Leading scorer and rebounder for Syracuse's national runner-up as a senior was the top point producer for the Orangemen in his last eight playoff contests.
72. Jimmy Collins, G, New Mexico State
Averaged 19.9 points and 3.8 rebounds in 11 games from 1968 through 1970 (7-4 record). He at least shared the Aggies' team-high scoring output in all 11 contests.
73. Tony Price, F, Penn
Averaged 21.9 ppg and 9 rpg in eight games in 1978 and 1979 (5-3 record). He was the Quakers' leading scorer in all six contests when they finished fourth in the nation in 1979. Price's playoff scoring average was 6.5 points higher than his regular-season mark.
74. Wally Jones, G, Villanova
Two-time All-East Regional selection averaged 22.5 ppg and 5.5 rpg in six games in 1962 and 1964 (4-2 record). He scored a game-high 25 points as a sophomore in a regional final loss against Wake Forest and a game-high 34 points as a senior in a 74-62 victory over Bill Bradley-led Princeton in a third-place contest. It was the only time in Bradley's nine playoff games that he wasn't the leading scorer. Jones outscored All-American Len Chappell in the Wake Forest contest.
75. Mel Counts, C, Oregon State
Averaged 23.2 points and 14.1 rebounds in nine games from 1962 through 1964 (5-4 record), averaging 25 points and 15 rebounds in two West Regional finals.
76. Terry Dehere, G, Seton Hall
Averaged 23.2 points in nine games from 1991 through 1993 (6-3 record). He paced the Pirates in scoring in all nine outings.
77. Kenny Anderson, G, Georgia Tech
The only freshman to score more than 20 points in four playoff games averaged 27 ppg in his first four outings. Averaged 25.7 points and 5 assists in seven NCAA tourney games in 1990 and 1991 (5-2 record).
Beneath its vibrant veneer, college basketball has a description-defying rap sheet cast recently ranging from self-absorbed Final-Four-player-turned-broadcaster such as looking-for-a-good-time Greg Anthony to two community-college players from Allan Hancock (Calif.) arrested on suspicion of murder. Of course, there is a significant difference between computer prepping for a hooker rather than game analysis regarding next-day assignment and disturbing loco-juco "Dialing M For Murder."
Entering dangerous terrain when comparing athletes to the public-at-large segment of our population, there is a seemingly congested intersection populating hot hoop prospects who become prime suspects. Rarely exposed to the rigid word "no," some of the hero worshiped think the world revolves around them and develop a sordid sense of "out-of-bounds" entitlement. Many of the misguided go from the brink of the NBA to the clink put away, donning a jumpsuit rather than a uniform.
"When you are among the high-flying adored, your view of the world becomes blurred," wrote psychologist Stanley Teitelbaum of the flouting-of-the-law behavior in the book "Sports Heroes, Fallen Idols: How Star Athletes Pursue Self-Destructive Paths and Jeopardize Their Careers."
"Off the field, some act as if they are above the rules of society; hubris and an attitude of entitlement become central to the psyche of many athletes. They may deny that they are vulnerable to reprisals and feel omnipotent and grandiose as well as entitled."
Far too many depraved derelicts can't resist and make the toxic transition from game-breakers to lawbreakers when seduced by the dark side. There have been a striking number of heart-breaking stories rocking the world of sports, derailing dreams and creating miscreants who are poster boys for bad behavior.
Idaho professor Sharon Stoll was not surprised when sports pages occasionally read like a police blotter focusing on 15 minutes of shame.
"In sport, we have moved away from honorable behavior," said Stoll, who operated the Center for Ethical Theory and Honor in Competitive Sports and conducted a 17-year study during which 72,000 athletes filled out questionnaires. "The environment of athletics has not been supportive of teaching and modeling moral knowing, moral valuing and moral action. Many of these young people have no sense of what is acceptable behavior."
It's unnerving when active or former narcissistic players go from the big time breaking ankles to the big house donning ankle bracelets. Infinitely more disconcerting is when deaths are involved amid the life and crimes. Despite some of the repulsive garbage, college hoops is too great a game to be ruined by moral malfeasance.
Anthony wasn't chilling in infamous hot-tub photograph with three beer-drinking UNLV teammates and convicted sports-event fixer Richard Perry. But Anthony's recent actions put him in hot water and add to negative portrayal of the Rebels' program he tried to defend at a 20th anniversary celebration several years ago.
"It was just assumed that we were all thugs and incompetent and ignorant and uneducated," Anthony told his former workplace (ESPN). "We just wanted to enjoy the ride and, unfortunately, it was a bumpy one."
The accompanying "Thugs R Us" profiles aren't designed to defile hoopdom. Actually, if college basketball can survive such unsavory incidents and classless ambassadors, it must be a helluva sport. Kinda like our nation coping with a wily West Wing's feeble definition of what comprises radical Islam and serving as booster for a textbook deserter (swapping five four-star generals for a buck sergeant). At any rate, how many schools wouldn't be tainted if they had just embraced modest academic standards? What went awry for the following alphabetical list of slam dunkers who wound up in the slammer after murder/manslaughter probes?:
Richie Adams, UNLV (coached by Jerry Tarkanian) - A 1989 conviction for larceny and armed robbery led to a five-year prison term for the two-time Big West Conference Tournament MVP. Following his parole, Adams was convicted of manslaughter in September 1998 after being accused of stalking and killing a 14-year-old Bronx girl in a housing project where both lived. The girl's family said Adams attacked her because she rejected his advances. Adams, nicknamed "The Animal" because of his intense playing style, was considered a defensive whiz and led the Rebels in scoring, rebounding and blocked shots for their PCAA champions in 1983-84 and 1984-85. "I used drugs occasionally, when I wanted to do it," Adams said. "When I went to play basketball, if I needed a pain reliever, I would sniff some cocaine." His trouble with the law escalated in 1985, a day after he was drafted in the fourth round by the Washington Bullets, when the two-time All-PCAA first-team selection was arrested for stealing a car. In high school, Adams and several teammates allegedly stole their own coach's auto.
Clifford Allen, UNLV (Jerry Tarkanian) - November 1985 J.C. signee by the Rebels was sentenced to 45 years in prison after pleading no contest to second-degree murder as part of a plea bargain in the 1989 death of a man in Milton, Fla. Allen, a native of Los Angeles, said in a recorded statement that he used a steak knife to kill a 64-year-old guidance counselor after the man allegedly made sexual advances in the counselor's trailer. Allen, driving the victim's auto when he was arrested, enrolled at several jucos and also reportedly considered an offer to play for Tim Floyd at New Orleans.
Alwayne Bigby, Northeastern (Bill Coen)/Rhode Island (Dan Hurley) - Forward who averaged 2.7 ppg and 2.5 rpg from 2009-10 through 2012-13 was one of two suspects charged in mid-April 2014 with first-degree murder in the drive-by shooting of a 33-year-old mother of 4 in Ontario.
Takais Brown, Georgia (Dennis Felton) - Juco recruit who led the NIT-bound Bulldogs in scoring with 14.2 ppg in 2006-07 before he was dismissed for a violation of team policies the following season was one of three men charged in mid-August 2014 in connection with the slaying of an elderly man found dead from a gunshot wound inside his Flint, Mich., residence. One of the trio is the son of the victim's gardener.
Justin "Spider" Burns, Cal State Fullerton (Bob Burton) - Two-year starter for the Titans (10.4 ppg and 6.7 rpg in 2005-06 and 2006-07; second-leading rebounder as junior and senior) was arrested in Jackson, Miss., in the spring of 2011 on a murder charge related to the strangulation slaying of his ex-girlfriend the previous fall. Her body was found by target shooters in a valley desert area under a pile of blackened rocks. According to Burns' arrest report, the brother of rapper Jason Douglas Burns (a/k/a WorldWideWebbb) was the last person to be seen with the West Covina, Calif., resident and had argued with her the night before she was killed after coming to Las Vegas to visit him. In the weeks after her burned body was found, his father (former UNLV player Michael "Spiderman" Burns) refused to cooperate with police about his son's whereabouts, the report said.
Javaris Crittenton, Georgia Tech (Paul Hewitt) - All-ACC third-team selection as a freshman in 2006-07 was indicted on charges of murder and gang activity stemming from charges in late August 2011 after a woman was a drive-by shooting victim on an Atlanta street by someone inside a dark-colored SUV. She wasn't the intended target in what appeared to be retaliation for a $50,000 robbery of jewelry in the spring when Crittenton was a victim. Crittenton, who pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor gun charge in late January 2010 and received probation, was suspended 38 games by the NBA after he and teammate Gilbert Arenas acknowledged bringing guns into the Washington Wizards locker room following an altercation stemming from a card game on a team flight. While out on bond, Crittenton was arrested in mid-January 2014 in a drug sting taking down more than a dozen persons accused of selling multiple kilos of cocaine and several hundred pounds of marijuana.
Carlton Dotson, Baylor (Dave Bliss) - J.C. recruit was sentenced to 35 years in prison after pleading guilty to murdering Baylor roommate/teammate Patrick Dennehy with a hand gun in the summer of 2003. Dennehy, shot twice above the right ear, was New Mexico's leading rebounder (7.5 rpg) in 2001-02 under coach Fran Fraschilla before he was dismissed from the squad when Ritchie McKay succeeded Fraschilla. Dotson was arrested upon telling FBI agents he shot Dennehy after the player tried to shoot him. Bliss was fired by Baylor, the world's largest Baptist school, before reports surfaced about his direct involvement in a Hall of Shame coverup attempting to hide drug use and NCAA violations within his program by encouraging an assistant coach and Bears players to depict the slain Dennehy as a drug dealer.
Parish Hickman, Michigan State (Jud Heathcote)/Liberty (Jeff Meyer) - Spartans regular for three seasons before transferring and becoming Liberty's second-leading scorer and rebounder in 1992-93 pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to 3-to-15 years in prison for the January 2001 murder of a Detroit man outside a Westside gas station. Acquitted after appearing before a federal judge on cocaine charges in the spring of 1991 following his on-campus arrest at MSU.
Baskerville Holmes, Memphis State (Dana Kirk) - A starting forward who averaged 9.6 points and 5.9 rebounds per game for the Tigers' 1985 Final Four team, he was arrested twice for domestic violence. Later, Holmes, an out-of-work truck driver, and his girlfriend were found shot to death March 18, 1997, in an apparent murder-suicide in Memphis. He was 32.
LaKeith Humphrey, Kansas State (Lon Kruger)/Central Missouri State (Jim Wooldridge) - Sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of first-degree murder in the late November 2006 death of his former girlfriend, who was shot through her bedroom window about 3:40 a.m. in his hometown of Memphis. Humphrey, a J.C. recruit, averaged 12.6 ppg and 3.6 apg for K-State's NCAA playoff team in 1988-89.
William Langrum II, McLennan County Community College TX - Starting power forward and H.S. teammate of Georgia Tech/NBA star Chris Bosh on Texas' 4A state championship club in 2002 was charged with capital murder in the fall of 2011 after a 50-year-old woman was stabbed to death in an apparent robbery outside her Dallas-area condominium as she returned from church.
Leonel Marquetti, Southern California (Bob Boyd and Stan Morrison)/Hampton (Hank Ford) - Former McDonald's All-American was sentenced to life in prison without parole after being found guilty of first-degree murder in a March 25, 2010, slaying in Plant City, Fla. Prosecutors portrayed Marquetti as a hoarder who was jealous of a wrongly-assumed relationship with an ex-girlfriend, a German-born dog breeder. Marquetti shot a white handyman four times - once as he faced him and three times as his victim lay facedown. Jurors also found him guilty of aggravated battery with a firearm and false imprisonment. The Los Angeles native averaged 4.8 ppg in 1978-79 and 1979-80 with USC before transferring.
Howard McNeil, Seton Hall (Bill Raftery) - Convicted at Norristown, Pa., in early February 1999 of third-degree murder in the stabbing death of a suspected prostitute. Police said the woman's skull was cracked when she was pushed into a wall before being stabbed to death. According to prosecutors, McNeil also stole a safe filled with drugs from the house. McNeil, an All-Big East Conference third-team selection as a junior in 1980-81, was found guilty of related drug and theft charges, but not convicted on more serious first- and second-degree murder charges. In 1976, he shot a friend in the head with a handgun at a Valentine's Day party, but was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter and avoided jail.
Branden Miller, Montana State (Mick Durham) - Sentenced to 120 years in prison (100 for deliberate homicide, 10 for use of a weapon and 10 for tampering with evidence) after being charged with murder in late June 2006 in the shooting death of a suspected cocaine dealer whose body was found at the school's agronomy farm. Investigators said the murder weapon was one of two .40-caliber handguns Miller bought from a pawn shop two weeks before the incident. He was the Bobcats' third-leading scorer in 2004-05 before becoming academically ineligible.
Mike Niles, Cal State Fullerton (Bobby Dye) - After playing briefly with the Phoenix Suns, the enforcer for the Titans' 1978 West Regional finalist before being booted from the squad due to academic anemia was convicted in late January 1989 of hiring a man to murder his wife and served a life sentence without the possibility of parole. She died of a shotgun blast to the back of her skull from close range. The prosecution contended that Niles arranged to pay $5,000 to kill his wife, a prison guard, to collect $100,000 from a life insurance policy. A witness testified that Niles said he wanted his wife killed because she "messed me out" of money from basketball. The cycle of violence continued when his aspiring rapper son, Brandon, was buried at 17, the victim of a gunshot to the chest by a rival gang.
Stephen O'Reilly, North Florida (Matthew Driscoll) - Virgin Islands product who played briefly for UNF in 2009-10 was charged in the fatal stabbing of his roommate in Gwinnett County, Ga., in late March 2013.
Terry Pettis, Fresno State (Ray Lopes) - Sentenced to life in prison without parole for first-degree murder and armed robbery in the death of a junior college student who was behind the wheel of a car while her boyfriend sold marijuana in the seat next to her. Pettis had been arrested in his hometown of Minneapolis in May 2004 on charges of killing the woman when she tried to drive away during a botched drug robbery the previous month in Fresno, Calif., at a secluded lot near an apartment building. The crime was so grisly that the judge decided jurors couldn't see an autopsy photo showing the bullet's impact on the teenager's head. Pettis, a starting point guard for the Bulldogs in 2002-03 and 2003-04 before he was suspended for not completing a treatment program, pleaded no contest in September 2003 to misdemeanor vandalism and battery charges involving his girlfriend.
Andre Smith, Xavier (Skip Prosser) - Son of Tulsa All-American Bingo Smith was sentenced to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to voluntary manslaughter and tampering with evidence as part of a plea deal. Prosecutors say he used a survival tool that included a machete and a saw to kill his Russian teenage friend in May 2004 in his apartment complex. Andre played for the Musketeers in the mid-1990s.
Brett Studdard, Wyoming (Benny Dees) - J.C. recruit who averaged 4.3 ppg for the Cowboys in 1991-92 and 1992-93 shot his former girlfriend to death (once in the back and once in the head) before committing suicide in the fall of 2003 in Cobb County (Ga.). The altercation occurred two days after a permanent restraining order was issued prohibiting him from contacting the pharmacist.
Decensae White, Texas Tech (Bob Knight)/Santa Clara (Kerry Keating)/San Francisco State (Paul Trevor) - Arrested on a murder charge as part of an elaborate plot, including a Russian mobster, where a Louisiana rapper (Lil Phat) was killed in a revenge drive-by shooting the summer of 2012 in the parking deck of a hospital as his fiancee was preparing to give birth. White, extradited to Georgia in May 2013 before striking a deal with the prosecution, testified he was the one tracking Lil Phat's movements (after stealing 10 pounds of marijuana) via a GPS device installed in a rented white Audi vehicle. The vagabond hoopster averaged 4.7 ppg and 2.2 rpg for Texas Tech in 2006-07 and 2007-08, 3.4 ppg and 2.4 rpg in 10 games with Santa Clara in 2008-09 and team highs of 12.5 ppg and 7.1 rpg for San Francisco State in 2012-13.
Jayson Williams, St. John's (Lou Carnesecca) - All-Big East Conference second-team selection in 1988-89 pleaded guilty in January 2010 to aggravated assault and was slated to serve at least 18 months in prison for accidentally killing a limousine driver in his bedroom. Williams, boasting 25 stitches above his right eye after being charged with drunken driving when crashing his SUV into a tree the previous week, was awaiting retrial on a reckless manslaughter count before pleading guilty to to the lesser count. He had been cleared by jurors in the spring of 2004 of aggravated manslaughter, the most serious charge against him, but was found guilty of four lesser charges. He faced 55 years in prison if convicted on all counts stemming from a February 14, 2002, shooting with a 12-gauge shotgun of a limo driver at his mansion and an alleged attempt to make the death look like a suicide. Williams was acquitted of aggravated manslaughter, but the jury deadlocked on a reckless-manslaughter count. Williams gave the driver's relatives $2.5 million to settle a civil suit. In late April 2009 following his wife filing for divorce claiming he was abusive, adulterous and had a drug problem, Williams was zapped with a stun gun by police in a lower Manhattan hotel suite after the reportedly suicidal athlete resisted attempts by officers to take him to a hospital. The next month, he was charged with assault after allegedly punching a man in the face outside a North Carolina bar, but charges were dropped.
Oscar Williams Jr., Utah State (Dutch Belnap) - The Aggies' assists leader in multiple categories from his mid-1970s exploits was sentenced to two life prison terms without the possibility of parole for the 1982 shooting death of his wife. Prosecutors contended that he murdered her to collect $220,000 worth of life insurance benefits after he failed in an effort to hire a contract killer. Toy Williams, a 24-year-old model, was shot at least five times in an alley near the couple's Las Vegas apartment after returning from her job at a nearby shopping mall.
Roy Williams, Cleveland State (Kevin Mackey and Mike Boyd) - J.C. recruit was suspended while facing a rape charge stemming from an on-campus incident at a fraternity party involving an honor student in early November 1990. He was questioned by California authorities the previous year about the suspicious death of a Compton College female student, whose body was found in the trunk of her car. Williams, the last person seen with her according to police, initially told investigators that she overdosed at a San Diego crack house that the two had visited. An attorney defending him threatened to sue over disclosure that his client was convicted of murder in California in 1981 when he was 14 and reportedly served nearly five years in California youth institutions.
Stop the world from turning because I need to get off as the nanny state wants us to stay home when it actually snows in winter. Cold, hard reasons for the deterioration on and off the court also are debatable, but only a "fairness" fool believes the present state of college basketball is superior to previous generations when men were men. Let's consider for a second the remote possibility that college hoops is at its zenith. Okay, we're finished! Seriously, how many contemporary college players eventually will be mentioned in the same breath with All-Americans from 25 years ago (Derrick Coleman, Chris Jackson, Larry Johnson, Alonzo Mourning, Gary Payton and Dennis Scott in 1989-90), 30 years ago (Len Bias, Johnny Dawkins, Patrick Ewing, Xavier McDaniel, Chris Mullin, Mark Price and Wayman Tisdale in 1984-85), 40 years ago (Adrian Dantley, John Lucas Jr., Scott May and David Thompson in 1974-75), 50 years ago (Rick Barry, Bill Bradley, Gail Goodrich and Cazzie Russell in 1964-65) or 60 years ago (Tom Gola and Bill Russell in 1954-55)?
How could things change in the near future as long as shooting hasn't permanently gone into the witness-protection program? What about spending more quality time focusing on your shooting (or classwork for that matter) than designing tattoos? In regard to American sniping denigrated by demented Howard Dean, many "varsity" games these days replete with underclassmen resemble marksmanship in freshmen or JV contests from years gone by. No wonder, in a recent CBS Sports poll, half of the top 32 pro prospects playing for U.S. colleges were averaging fewer than 12 points per game. That seems to make as much sense as UCLA manning-the-middle mumbler Bill Walton eventually speaking eloquently enough to become a prominent TV commentator, providing ample "Grand Canyon" evidence for evolution of some sort.
Far too many coaches, remaining at schools too long and compromising any link to principles, are unaccountable to anyone on campus, resulting in bringing in "exemption" recruits far below the academic acumen of the average student. Over-hyped coaches, players and teams by today's lame-stream media, not under-inflated balls, are the principal culprits why this is nothing remotely close to the golden era of college basketball. Long-time coach Jeff Jones' following assessment not all that long ago matches Collegehoopedia.com's view regarding the state of the (college hoops) union: "You've got all these fake superstars. They're superstars because of perceptions, soundbites. They aren't (superstars) because they've won championships. They aren't (superstars) because of performance. Everything is spectacular because that's what shows up in the highlights. But they don't show the sloppy plays and standing around. That's why there aren't as many all-around good players, because people can attain star status without having earned it."
What can Brown do for SMU or what will Brown do to SMU? That remains the question! Hiring a coaching fossil such as Larry Brown generated more national publicity than Southern Methodist basketball enjoyed collectively since 1988, which was Brown's last year as a college coach before returning to SMU in 2012-13 and the Mustangs' last year to post an NCAA playoff victory.
Next Town Brown was probably comfortable with nomadic SMU because the Mustangs were joining their third different league since the SWC disbanded in 1996. If Brown can guide SMU to the NCAA playoffs in the next few years for the first time since 1993, it will be the equivalent of him directing UCLA to an NCAA runner-up finish in his debut season with the Bruins in 1980. If he can win an NCAA Tournament game with the Mustangs, it will be the equivalent of him capturing a national title in his swan song with Kansas in 1988.
SMU, a total of 55 games under .500 over the 24 seasons prior to Brown's arrival, is already vastly overpaying for an antique bench boss nearly a quarter century removed from the day-to-day college grind, a coach-in-waiting who has never had an NCAA playoff appearance in nine years and suspect recruiters hired from former powerhouses that have fallen on hard times. But is an even more critical cost in academic integrity looming? There was a shaky track record to worry about inasmuch as UCLA and Kansas each were on probation the season following Brown's departure.
After checking the national registry for truck drivers with standout sons/players (remember Danny Manning), Brown's first significant act with SMU was a down-and-dirty deed discarding several players at this late stage because they "weren't good enough to play for him." We're taking for granted that Brown's "good" refers to on-the-court performance rather than off-the-hardwood decorum. He apparently was more fond of trying to bring in a troubled transfer such as Josiah Turner from Arizona (before he abandoned ship for the pros during the summer) rather than retaining Jeremiah Samarrippas, who was SMU's captain as a sophomore. Perhaps Dean Smith should have treated a similar undersized guard the same shabby way when the Hall of Famer became North Carolina's head coach in 1961-62 after Brown averaged a modest 4.5 ppg as a sophomore the previous season.
Only a splendid tactician can be the lone individual ever to win NCAA and NBA titles. And Brown, who coached nearly half of the franchises in this year's NBA playoffs, turned things around quickly for the Mustangs primarily because the conference the school joined was a shell of its former self after Pittsburgh, Syracuse and West Virginia departed for other leagues. But isn't there something more important than selling your soul seeking nirvana?
Where will Duke's Jahlil Okafor rank among the all-time top big men in college basketball history? A championship ring in 2011-12 certainly propelled Kentucky's Anthony Davis into the discussion for acknowledging the best freshman center of all-time along with Patrick Ewing, Keith Lee, Greg Oden, Robert Parish, Jeff Ruland, Ralph Sampson, Joe Smith and Wayman Tisdale. The NCAA title is a credential making it easier to possibly place Davis atop the list of premium frosh pivotmen although Ohio State's Oden reached the NCAA final with comparable statistics a mere seven years ago.
In any credible assessment involving Okafor or any freshman flash, an observer shouldn't get too caught up in the moment. Actually, it's probably stretching credulity to proclaim Davis as the best freshman in SEC history, let alone the greatest yearling in NCAA annals. That's because the most fantastic frosh probably was Tennessee forward Bernard King, who averaged 26.4 ppg and 12.3 rpg while shooting 62.2% from the floor in 1974-75.
A huge difference between Davis and King was the quality of the competition. By any measure, the SEC's top players two seasons ago didn't come anywhere close to comparing to all-league choices King opposed such as Leon Douglas, Kevin Grevey, Eddie Johnson, Mike Mitchell and Rick Robey - all of whom played at least seven NBA seasons. Another SEC first-year sensation was Louisiana State guard Chris Jackson. Granted, Jackson didn't have the dynamic defensive presence of Davis but you simply can't ignore the fact Jackson averaged more than twice as many points in 1988-89.
UK fans could build a case that John Wall's freshman campaign only five years ago was more significant. After all, the Wildcats improved their record from the previous season with Wall in coach John Calipari's debut by a stunning 12 games, which was 50% higher than what they improved with Davis manning the middle.
Frankly, it's disconcerting how much many pundits either have memory loss or possess little more than an amateurish knowledge of hoops history outside the region where they work. Last year, Jabari Parker (Duke) and Andrew Wiggins (Kansas) were proclaimed as God's gifts to basketball. But they aren't included among the following CollegeHoopedia.com's national perspective of the all-time freshman squads:
Carmelo Anthony, Syracuse (2002-03: 22.2 ppg, 10 rpg)
Leading scorer and rebounder for 2003 NCAA Tournament champion was named Final Four Most Outstanding Player. Posted a remarkable 22 double-doubles in 35 games.
Kevin Durant, Texas (2006-07: 25.8 ppg, 11.1 rpg, 1.9 bpg, 40.4 3FG%)
Forced by the NBA's new rule requiring draftees to attend college at least one year, he became national player of the year. Finished fourth in the nation in scoring and rebounding. Led the Big 12 Conference in scoring, rebounding, blocked shots and double-doubles (20).
Chris Jackson, Louisiana State (1988-89: 30.2 ppg, 4.1 apg, 81.5 FT%)
Exploded for 53 points vs. Florida and 55 vs. Ole Miss en route to setting NCAA freshman scoring records with 965 points and 30.2 average. Consensus SEC player of the year was an AP and USBWA first-team All-American.
Bernard King, Tennessee (1974-75: 26.4 ppg, 12.3 rpg, 62.2 FG%)
No freshman has matched his overall statistical figures. The Volunteers improved their overall record by only one game from the previous season, however.
Robert Parish, Centenary (1972-73: 23 ppg, 18.7 rpg, 57.9 FG%)
Scored school-record 50 points at Lamar in a game he also grabbed 30 rebounds. Collected 31 points and 33 rebounds vs. Southern Mississippi and 38 points and 29 rebounds vs. Texas-Arlington. Contributed 14 contests with at least 20 rebounds as a frosh, averaging 21.3 rpg in a 14-game, mid-season stretch.
Mark Aguirre, DePaul (1978-79: 24 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 52.0 FG%)
Top freshman scorer in the nation broke the Blue Demons' scoring record with 767 points. He had a 29-point, eight-rebound performance vs. UCLA in his college debut and finished the season by being named to the All-Final Four team.
Anthony Davis, Kentucky ( 2011-12: 14.2 ppg, 10.4 rpg, 4.7 bpg, 62.3 FG%)
Lowest-ever scoring average for a national POY, but he set an NCAA record for most blocked shots by a freshman en route to becoming Final Four Most Outstanding Player despite scoring only six points on 1-of-10 field-goal shooting in NCAA championship contest.
Magic Johnson, Michigan State (1977-78: 17 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 7.4 apg)
Led the Big Ten Conference in league play in assists (6.8 apg), tied for third in scoring (19.8 ppg) and finished sixth in rebounding (8.2 rpg) to help the Spartans go from a 10-17 record the previous year to 25-5 and capture the Big Ten title.
Keith Lee, Memphis State (1981-82: 18.3 ppg, 11 rpg, 3.5 bpg, 53.8 FG%)
Led the Tigers in scoring, rebounding and blocked shots as they improved their record from 13-14 the previous season to 24-5. Set Metro Conference record with 11.5 rebounds per game in league competition.
Wayman Tisdale, Oklahoma (1982-83: 24.5 ppg, 10.3 rpg, 58.0 FG%)
NCAA consensus first-team All-American. Big Eight Conference player of the year broke Wilt Chamberlain's league scoring record with 810 points, including 46 vs. Iowa State.
Shareef Abdur-Rahim, California (1995-96: 21.1 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 51.8 FG%)
The first freshman ever to be named Pacific-10 Conference player of the year led the Bears in steals with 52. His best game overall was a 32-point, 18-rebound performance at Washington State.
Adrian Dantley, Notre Dame (1973-74: 18.3 ppg, 9.7 rpg, 55.8 FG%)
Led the Irish in free-throw shooting (82.6%) and was second on the team in scoring and rebounding. He had a 41-point outing vs. West Virginia. Notre Dame improved its record from 18-12 the previous season to 26-3.
Mark Macon, Temple (1987-88: 20.6 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 2.9 apg)
Scored in double figures in 33 of 34 games. Led the 32-2 Owls in scoring and was second in assists. He was the first freshman ever to be the leading scorer for a team ranking No. 1 in a final AP national poll.
Mark Price, Georgia Tech (1982-83: 20.3 ppg, 4.3 apg, 87.7 FT%)
First freshman ever to lead the vaunted Atlantic Coast Conference in scoring. He also paced the ACC in free-throw percentage and three-point field goals.
Ralph Sampson, Virginia (1979-80: 14.9 ppg, 11.2 rpg, 4.6 bpg, 54.7 FG%)
Led the Cavaliers to the NIT championship. He was the headliner of perhaps the greatest single crop of freshman recruits in NCAA history.
Quentin Richardson, DePaul (1998-99: 18.9 ppg, 10.5 rpg)
Conference USA player of the year when he led the league in rebounding and was second in scoring, seventh in field-goal percentage and ninth in free-throw percentage, making him the only player in the C-USA to rank in the top 10 in each of those categories. He led the Blue Demons in scoring 21 times and in rebounding on 23 occasions.
Derrick Rose, Memphis (2007-08: 14.9 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 4.7 apg)
Ringleader of team that should have won NCAA title but shoddy free-throw shooting enabled Kansas to frustrate the Tigers in overtime in the championship game.
Lionel Simmons, La Salle (1986-87: 20.3 ppg, 9.8 rpg, 52.6 FG%)
Set the stage for becoming three-time MAAC MVP and one of only four major-college players ever to score more than 600 points in each of four seasons. La Salle's Tom Gola is the only individual to finish his college career with a higher total of points and rebounds (4,663 from 1952-55).
TEN MOST OVERLOOKED FRESHMAN SEASONS
Freshman, School (Season: Statistical Achievements)
Jason Conley, Virginia Military (2001-02: 29.3 ppg, 8 rpg, 81.8 FT%)
Stephen Curry, Davidson (2006-07: 21.5 ppg, 85.5 FT%, 40.8 3FG%)
Jacky Dorsey, Georgia (1974-75: 25.8 ppg, 11.8 rpg)
Larry Hughes, Saint Louis (1997-98: 20.9 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 2.2 spg)
Harry Kelly, Texas Southern (1979-80: 29 ppg, 7.8 rpg)
Karl Malone, Louisiana Tech (1982-83: 20.9 ppg, 10.3 rpg, 58.2 FG%)
CJ McCollum, Lehigh (2009-10: 19.1 ppg, 5 rpg, 2.4 apg, 42.1 3FG%)
Jeff Ruland, Iona ( 1977-78: 22.3 ppg, 12.8 rpg, 59.4 FG%)
Rodney Stuckey, Eastern Washington (2005-06: 24.2 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 4.1 apg, 2.2 spg)
Gary Trent, Ohio University (1992-93: 19 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 65.1 FG%)
When is the proper time to leave via retirement for a competent coach such as Utah State's Stew Morrill? There are no hard-and-fast rules and discerning the right sequence to step aside is more elusive than one might think. But Morrill, perhaps the nation's most underrated coach thus far in the 21st Century, seems to have timed his departure at the end of this season just about right. After averaging nearly 26 victories annually in a 12-year span from 1999-00 through 2010-11, the Aggies had their streak of campaigns with more than 20 wins snapped at 14 last season.
It's patently clear not every coach can depart with pomp-and-circumstance style like luminaries John Wooden, Al McGuire, Ray Meyer and Dean Smith when they bowed out. From 1964 to 1975 with Wooden at the helm, UCLA won an NCAA-record 10 national titles, including seven straight from 1967 through 1973. McGuire's goodbye in 1977 with an NCAA title marked Marquette's eighth straight season finishing among the Top 10 in a final wire-service poll. Meyer directed DePaul to a Top 6 finish in a final wire-service poll six times in his final seven seasons from 1978 through 1984. Smith won at least 28 games with North Carolina in four of his final five seasons from 1992-93 through 1996-97.
But those fond farewells are the exception, not the rule, in trying to cope with Father Time. How many school all-time winningest mentors rode off into the sunset donning at least a partial black rather than white hat? How much they may have tarnished their legacy is debatable but hanging around too long probably caused a few of the following celebrated coaches to lose some of their luster:
Denny Crum, Louisville - breakeven mark last four seasons while winless in national postseason play after missing national postseason competition only twice in his first 26 campaigns from 1972 through 1997
Doggie Julian, Dartmouth - seven straight losing campaigns with fewer than eight victories after five consecutive first- or second-place finishes in the Ivy League with three NCAA playoff appearances from 1955-56 through 1959- 60
Speedy Morris, La Salle - 47 games below .500 his final six campaigns from 1995-96 through 2000-01 after appearing in national postseason competition each of his first six seasons from 1987 through 1992
"History is philosophy teaching by examples." - Thucydides, the History of the Peloponnesian War
John Calipari has time to mingle with Jay Z, spitefully remind us platoon-dissenter Dick Vitale got the ziggy (albeit just like him in NBA), develop a first-round philosophy regarding "Succeed and Proceed" scholars (not "One and Done") and create plausible denials (including settling lawsuit by disgruntled season-ticket holders). Of course, sycophants believe he bears zero responsibility for two of his previous outposts (Massachusetts and Memphis) vacating Final Four participation (unless the NCAA performs a Joe Paterno-like reinstatement). But Coach Cal doesn't seem to have time to teach his Kentucky charges a firsthand lesson about honoring history. If he isn't going to capitalize on an opportunity to significantly enhance their learning experience, just let them attend free community college.
UK, exhibiting all of the diplomatic dignity of reporting-for-duty John Kerry in a French sing-along with James Taylor, reportedly backed out of a proposed game next season with the UTEP Miners slated for Cole Field House at the University of Maryland. The rematch would have celebrated the 50th anniversary of the historic NCAA Tournament championship game between the Wildcats and the school previously known as Texas Western. In 1966, Don Haskins-coached Texas Western, starting five black players (three of them 6-1 or shorter), won the national title, 72-65, in College Park, Md., against an all-white UK lineup directed by Adolph Rupp.
In the aftermath of UTEP's defining-moment on-court performance, major Southern schools started modifying their unwritten bigoted directives by recruiting more African-American players. Center Tom Payne broke the color barrier at UK five seasons later in 1970-71 when he was an All-SEC first-team selection in his only varsity season with the Wildcats.
The '66 title tilt inspired the film Glory Road. A significant history lesson is shunned while Big Blue Nation continues to glory in overdosing on cupcakes in pre-conference competition at home. Since Calipari became UK bench boss in 2009-10, the Wildcats have picked on the following alphabetical list of 35 patsies (several of them more than once) combining to go winless in the NCAA playoffs thus far in the 21st Century: Austin Peay, Belmont, Boise State, Boston University, Buffalo, Chattanooga, Columbia, Coppin State, Drexel, East Tennessee State, Eastern Michigan, Grand Canyon, Hartford, Lafayette, Lamar, Lipscomb, Long Beach State, Long Island, Loyola (Md.), Marist, Marshall, Miami (Ohio), Mississippi Valley State, Montana State, Morehead State, Northern Kentucky, Penn, Portland, Radford, Rider, Robert Morris, Sam Houston State, Samford, Texas-Arlington and UALR. Still, there's no room for a trip down memory lane with a neutral-court contest against Texas-El Paso, which hasn't won an NCAA tourney game since 1992.
Kentucky could end up with a trip close to Maryland at the White House again to be honored as NCAA titlist. At least smug UK's snubbing of UTEP makes more sense than POTUS exhibiting an absence of priorities repeatedly meeting behind closed doors with Al "Not So" Sharpton (hopefully tutoring him on H&R Block tax bracket rather than community organizing NCAA bracket for ESPN) plus granting a forum to YouTube goofball Glozell Green rather than Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Calipari has several books with his name as author - Refuse to Lose, Bouncing Back and Players First. Perhaps he can provide several more volumes - Refuse to Play, Bouncing Back (Except to 1966) and Me-Myself-and-I Always Come First.
"Some kids need those two years to prepare them to come to a four-year school. We should not look down on those kids." - Western Kentucky/Minnesota coach Clem Haskins, an All-American for WKU
It wasn't long ago when only a splinter group of maverick coaches were sufficiently bold to liberally dot their rosters with junior college players stereotyped as discipline problems, academic risks or simply unsuitable to go directly from high school to major college programs. "Jucoland" was labeled by misguided observers as little more than basketball rehabilitation where free-lance players enjoyed free rein to make Great Plains arenas their own personal H-O-R-S-E stables.
But a glance at NBA rosters over the years and the backgrounds of many of the nation's prominent Division I coaches suggests there probably never should have been a stigma attached to the J.C. ranks. Observers seldom hear college or NBA commentators credit a J.C. beginning, but many premier NBA players competed for a two-year school at some point in their college careers - Tiny Archibald, Mookie Blaylock, Ron Boone, Ron Brewer, Fred Brown, Jimmy Butler, Mack Calvin, Sam Cassell, Michael Cooper, Mel Daniels, Steve Francis, Artis Gilmore, Harvey Grant, Spencer Haywood, Lionel Hollins, Avery Johnson, Dennis Johnson, Gus Johnson, Larry Johnson, Vinnie Johnson, Freddie Lewis, Jim Loscutoff, Shawn Marion, Bob McAdoo, Nate McMillan, Ricky Pierce, Mitch Richmond, Dennis Rodman, Latrell Sprewell, John Starks, Jamaal Tinsley, Nick Van Exel, Ben Wallace and Gerald Wilkins.
Denny Crum, Lute Olson, Nolan Richardson and Jerry Tarkanian are former juco coaches who eventually guided teams to NCAA Tournament titles. Versatile guard Delon Wright (Utah/Pac-12) could become the latest J.C. recruit (City College of San Francisco) to join the following alphabetical list of more than 90 individuals who were MVP/Player of the Year in an NCAA Division I conference:
|Player of Year||Pos.||School||Conference||Season(s)||Junior College(s)|
|Richie Adams||C||UNLV||PCAA||1983-84 & 1984-85||Massachusetts Bay|
|Tony Allen||G||Oklahoma State||Big 12||2003-04||Butler County (KS) & Wabash Valley (IL)|
|Delvon Anderson||F||Montana||Big Sky||1991-92||City College of San Francisco|
|Karvel Anderson||G||Robert Morris||Northeast||2013-14||Butler County (KS), Lake Michigan & Glen Oaks (MI)|
|Harold Arceneaux||F||Weber State||Big Sky||1998-99 & 1999-00||Eastern Utah & Midland (TX)|
|Mike Bell||F||Florida Atlantic||Atlantic Sun||2004-05||Palm Beach (FL)|
|Walter Berry||F-C||St. John's||Big East||1985-86||San Jacinto (TX)|
|Terry Boyd||G||Western Carolina||Southern||1991-92||Southern Union State (AL)|
|Odell Bradley||F||IUPUI||Mid-Continent||2003-04||Aquinas (TN)|
|Ron Brewer||G||Arkansas||SWC||1977-78||Westark (AR)|
|Brandon Brooks||G||Alabama State||SWAC||2008-09||North Lake (TX)|
|Tim Brooks||G||UT-Chattanooga||Southern||1992-93||Sullivan (KY)|
|Antonio Burks||G||Memphis||Conference USA||2003-04||Hiwassee (TN)|
|David Burns||G||St. Louis||Metro||1980-81||Navarro (TX)|
|Lawrence Butler||G||Idaho State||Big Sky||1978-79||Western Texas|
|Gilberto Clavell||F||Sam Houston State||Southland||2010-11||Collin County (TX)|
|Donald Cole||F||Sam Houston State||Southland||2002-03||Navarro (TX)|
|Derwin "Tank" Collins||F||New Orleans||American South||1990-91||Southern Idaho & Salt Lake (UT)|
|Lester Conner||G||Oregon State||Pacific-10||1981-82||Los Medanos (CA) & Chabot (CA)|
|Paul Crosby||F-C||Mississippi Valley State||SWAC||2011-12||Navarro (TX)|
|Jae Crowder||F||Marquette||Big East||2011-12||South Georgia Tech & Howard County (TX)|
|Greg Davis||G||Troy State||Atlantic Sun||2003-04||Bossier Parish (LA)|
|Miah Davis||G||Pacific||Big West||2003-04||Modesto (CA)|
|LaRon Dendy||F||Middle Tennessee State||Sun Belt||2011-12||Indian Hills (IA)|
|Ledell Eackles||F||New Orleans||American South||1987-88||San Jacinto (TX)|
|Blue Edwards||F||East Carolina||Colonial Athletic||1988-89||Louisburg (NC)|
|Muhammad El-Amin||G||Stony Brook||America East||2009-10||Lansing (MI)|
|Rosell Ellis||F||McNeese State||Southland||1996-97||Eastern Utah|
|James Ennis||G||Long Beach State||Big West||2012-13||Oxnard (CA) & Ventura (CA)|
|Al Fisher||G||Kent State||Mid-American||2007-08||Redlands (CA)|
|Darrell Floyd||G-F||Furman||Southern||1954-55 & 1955-56||Wingate (NC)|
|Carlos Funchess||G-F||Northeast Louisiana||Southland||1990-91||Copiah-Lincoln (MS)|
|Winston Garland||G||Southwest Missouri State||Mid-Continent||1986-87||Southeastern (IA)|
|Armon Gilliam||F-C||UNLV||Big West||1986-87||Independence (KS)|
|Detric Golden||G||Troy State||Trans America||1999-00||Northwest Mississippi|
|Ed Gray||G||California||Pacific-10||1996-97||Southern Idaho|
|Faron Hand||F||Nevada||Big West||1996-97||Dixie (UT)|
|Tony Harris||G-F||New Orleans||American South||1989-90||Johnson County (KS)|
|Darington Hobson||G-F||New Mexico||Mountain West||2009-10||Eastern Utah|
|Lester Hudson||G||Tennessee-Martin||Ohio Valley||2007-08 & 2008-09||Southwest Tennessee|
|Bobby Jackson||G||Minnesota||Big Ten||1996-97||Western Nebraska|
|DeWayne Jefferson||G||Mississippi Valley State||SWAC||2000-01||East Mississippi|
|Avery Johnson||G||Southern||SWAC||1987-88||New Mexico|
|Larry Johnson||F||UNLV||Big West||1989-90 & 1990-91||Odessa (TX)|
|Vinnie Johnson||G||Baylor||SWC||1977-78 & 1978-79||McLennan (TX)|
|Arnell Jones||F||Boise State||Big Sky||1987-88||San Jose|
|Travele Jones||F||Texas Southern||SWAC||2010-11||Cerritos (CA)|
|Kevin Kearney||F||Montana||Big Sky||1990-91||State Fair (MO)|
|Eugene "Goo" Kennedy||F-C||Texas Christian||SWC||1970-71||Fort Worth (TX)|
|Larry Kenon||F||Memphis State||Missouri Valley||1972-73||Amarillo (TX)|
|Frankie King||G||Western Carolina||Southern||1993-94 & 1994-95||Brunswick (GA)|
|Orlando Lightfoot||F||Idaho||Big Sky||1992-93 & 1993-94||Hiwassee (TN)|
|Lewis Lloyd||F||Drake||Missouri Valley||1979-80 & 1980-81||New Mexico Military Institute|
|Quadre Lollis||F-C||Montana State||Big Sky||1995-96||Northland Pioneer (AZ)|
|Kevin Magee||F||UC Irvine||Big West||1980-81 & 1981-82||Saddleback (CA)|
|Marcus Mann||F-C||Mississippi Valley State||SWAC||1995-96||East Central (MS)|
|Andrew Mavis||F||Northern Arizona||Big Sky||1997-98||Snow (UT)|
|De'Teri Mayes||G||Murray State||Ohio Valley||1997-98||Wallace-Hanceville (AL)|
|Ed McCants||G||Wisconsin-Milwaukee||Horizon League||2004-05||Paris (TX)|
|Kellen McCoy||G||Weber State||Big Sky||2008-09||Northern Oklahoma|
|Cliff Meely||F-C||Colorado||Big Eight||1970-71||Northeastern (CO)|
|Mate Milisa||C||Long Beach State||Big West||1999-00||Pensacola (FL)|
|Lee Nailon||F-C||Texas Christian||Western Athletic||1997-98||Southeastern (IA) & Butler County (KS)|
|Ruben Nembhard||G||Weber State||Big Sky||1994-95||Paris (TX)|
|Charles "Bo" Outlaw||F-C||Houston||SWC||1992-93||South Plains (TX)|
|Ken Owens||G||Idaho||Big Sky||1981-82||Treasure Valley (CA)|
|Artsiom Parakhouski||C-F||Radford||Big South||2008-09 & 2009-10||Southern Idaho|
|Sonny Parker||G-F||Texas A&M||SWC||1974-75 and 1975-76||Mineral Area (MO)|
|Ricky Pierce||F||Rice||SWC||1981-82||Walla Walla (WA)|
|Chris Porter||F||Auburn||Southeastern||1998-99||Chipola (FL)|
|Isaiah "J.R." Rider||F||UNLV||Big West||1992-93||Allen County (KS) & Antelope Valley (CA)|
|Hector Romero||F||New Orleans||Sun Belt||2001-02||Independence (KS)|
|Tom Sewell||G||Lamar||Southland||1983-84||Amarillo (TX)|
|Curt Smith||G||Drake||Missouri Valley||1992-93||Compton (CA)|
|Mike Smith||G-F||Louisiana-Monroe||Southland||1999-00||Bossier Parish (LA)|
|Riley Smith||C-F||Idaho||Big Sky||1989-90||Odessa (TX)|
|Taylor Smith||F||Stephen F. Austin||Southland||2012-13||McLennan (TX)|
|Willie Smith||G||Missouri||Big Eight||1975-76||Seminole (OK)|
|Adarrial Smylie||C-F||Southern||SWAC||1998-99 & 1999-00||Pearl River (MS)|
|Omar Strong||G||Texas Southern||SWAC||2012-13||Cecil (MD)|
|Ryan Stuart||F||Northeast Louisiana||Southland||1991-92 & 1992-93||Lon Morris (TX)|
|Johnny Taylor||F||UT-Chattanooga||Southern||1996-97||Indian Hills (IA)|
|Thomas Terrell||F-C||Georgia State||Atlantic Sun||2001-02||Copiah-Lincoln (MS)|
|Martin Terry||G||Arkansas||SWC||1972-73||Hutchinson (KS)|
|Charles Thomas||G||Northern Arizona||Big Sky||1996-97||Cuesta (CA)|
|Joe Thompson||F||Sam Houston State||Southland||2004-05||Lee (TX)|
|Marcus Thornton||G||Louisiana State||Southeastern||2008-09||Kilgore (TX)|
|Jamaal Tinsley||G||Iowa State||Big 12||2000-01||Mount San Jacinto (CA)|
|George Trapp||F-C||Long Beach State||PCAA||1969-70 & 1970-71||Pasadena City (CA)|
|Darrell Walker||G||Arkansas||SWC||1982-83||Westark (AR)|
|David Wesley||G||Baylor||SWC||1991-92||Temple (TX)|
|Gary Wilkinson||F||Utah State||WAC||2008-09||Salt Lake (UT)|
|Isiah Williams||G||Utah Valley||Great West||2010-11||Eastern Utah|
|Sam Williams||F||Iowa||Big Ten||1967-68||Burlington (IA)|
|Tony Windless||F||Georgia Southern||Trans America||1991-92||Cowley County (KS)|
|Ricky Woods||F||Southeastern Louisiana||Southland||2005-06||Paris (TX)|
Fresh men. As in fresh blood or brand spanking new. Comparable to an excess of one thousand male teenagers who attempt each season to survive in the dog-eat-dog world of major-college basketball less than one year after being a top dog at the high school level. For many of the yearlings, it is a risk-filled voyage where "rookies" are thrown in the Division I ocean and asked to sink or swim. Some of the can't-miss prospects become studs such as Duke center Jahlil Okafor and Ohio State guard D'Angelo Russell this year while others turn into duds. And some are somewhere inbetween such as North Carolina's Harrison Barnes, the first freshman ever named a preseason All-American by the AP.
Complicating the high-expectations transition are misguided rush-to-judgment comments from experts such as Dick Vitale who hype recruits beyond reason during their senior season in high school. According to the effervescent ESPN analyst, Delray Brooks (Indiana/Providence) was going to be the next Oscar Robertson, Tito Horford (Louisiana State/Miami FL) was going to be the next Hakeem Olajuwon, Jeff Lebo (North Carolina) was going to be the next Jerry West, ad nauseam. Brooks, Horford and Lebo went on to become fine college players, but the only historical basketball byproduct they had in common with the Big O, the Dream and Mr. Clutch was they played in the same half century.
Freshmen played varsity college basketball in wartime years during the 1940s and early '50s because of manpower shortages, and at earlier times when eligibility requirements were lax. But for the most part prior to the 1972-73 campaign, colleges fielded freshman teams requiring extra scholarships and operating expenses. Consequently, the introduction of freshman eligibility trimmed costs and, of course, gave eager coaches instant access to high school phenoms who are immediately placed under the glare of the spotlight to help keep elite programs on a pedestal or possibly give struggling teams a chance to climb the ladder of success.
Former Marquette coach Al McGuire coined the phrase: "The best thing about freshmen is that they become sophomores." But a striking number of sudden impact freshmen combined sufficient physical maturity with quick adjustments to the speed and complexity of the college game. Where will Okafor rank among the all-time best freshmen? Celebrating the first 40 years of freshman eligibility, following is a ranking of the top 40 freshman seasons nationally including games improved by their school from the previous season:
Hofstra is showing signs of becoming a postseason participant after its top two scorers - Juan'ya Green and Ameen Tanksley - tagged along with coach Joe Mihalich when he moved from Niagara. Following is an alphabetical list of prominent players who transferred from one major college to another with the same head coach although he wasn't his father:
Player Pos. Head Coach First School Second School Mike Aaman F Dan Hurley Wagner Rhode Island 13 Brent Arrington G Sean Woods Mississippi Valley State 12 Morehead State 14 Pasha Bains G Larry Shyatt Wyoming 99 Clemson 00 Bill Brigham F Mike Jarvis Boston University 89-90 George Washington 92-93 Anthony Buford G Bob Huggins Akron 88-90 Cincinnati 92 Adrian Crawford G Steve Robinson Tulsa 97 Florida State 99-01 Greg Davis F Dave Bliss New Mexico 98-99 Baylor 01-02 *Nate Erdmann G Kelvin Sampson Washington State 94 Oklahoma 96-97 Josh Fisher G Lorenzo Romar Pepperdine Saint Louis 01-04 Prince Fowler G Billy Tubbs Oklahoma 95 Texas Christian 97-99 John David Gardner G Brad Brownell UNC Wilmington 05 Wright State 08-10 Juan'ya Green G Joe Mihalich Niagara 12-13 Hofstra 15 R.T. Guinn C Dave Bliss New Mexico 00 Baylor 02 Kevin Henry G Dave Bliss New Mexico 98-00 Baylor 02 Denard Holmes F Abe Lemons Texas 82 Oklahoma City 85 Gary Hooker F Ron Greene Mississippi State 76-78 Murray State 80 Shawn James C Ron Everhart Northeastern 05-06 Duquesne 08 LeDarion Jones F Larry Shyatt Clemson 96-97 Wyoming 99-00 Thomas Kilgore G Ben Braun Eastern Michigan California 98-99 Mark Lyons G Sean Miller Xavier 09 Arizona 13 Mike Mitchell F Boyd Grant Fresno State 86-88 Colorado State 90 Nic Moore G Tim Jankovich Illinois State 12 Southern Methodist 14 Anthony Pendleton G George Raveling Iowa Southern California 88-89 Scoonie Penn G Jim O'Brien Boston College 96-97 Ohio State 99-00 Merle Rousey G Hank Iba Colorado 34 Oklahoma A&M 36-37 Malik Smith G Richard Pitino Florida International 13 Minnesota 14 Ameen Tanksley G-F Joe Mihalich Niagara 12-13 Hofstra 15 Robert Vaden G-F Mike Davis Indiana 05-06 UAB 08 Ross Varner F Lorenzo Romar Pepperdine Saint Louis 02 Pax Whitehead G-F Jan van Breda Kolff Cornell 93 Vanderbilt 95-97 Sean Wightman F Bob Donewald Illinois State 89 Western Michigan 91-93 Jason Williams G Billy Donovan Marshall 95-96 Florida 98 Dedric Willoughby G Tim Floyd New Orleans 93-94 Iowa State 96-97 Jack Worthington G Abe Lemons Texas 82-83 Oklahoma City 85-86
*Erdmann played for a junior college between four-year school stints.
NOTES: Aaman committed to Wagner before choosing to enroll with Hurley at Rhode Island, Fisher signed with Pepperdine but never played there before choosing to follow Romar to SLU, Kilgore never played for EMU after transferring there from Central Michigan, Lyons was an academic partial qualifier in 2008-09 and Pendleton signed with Iowa but never played for the Hawkeyes because of scholastic shortcomings. . . . Mitchell played two seasons at Fresno State under Grant's successor (Ron Adams). . . . Varner went on an LDS Mormon mission for two years between stints at Pepperdine and Saint Louis.
The Baseball Hall of Fame is hallowed ground. Lefthanded pitcher Randy Johnson, among the four players elected to the Hall this year, was certainly tall enough but isn't among the versatile athletes who went from the basketball court to holding court by achieving stardom in baseball's HOF. The following individuals among the more than 300 MLB Hall of Famers were college hoopsters:
WALTER ALSTON, Miami (Ohio)
Managed the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers for 23 seasons (1954 through 1976), winning seven National League pennants and three World Series. In eight All-Star Game assignments, Alston was the winning manager a record seven times. He struck out in his only major league at-bat with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1936. . . . The 6-2, 195-pound Alston, a charter member of his alma mater's Athletic Hall of Fame, lettered in basketball in 1932-33, 1933-34 and 1934-35. He scored 10 of Miami's 15 points in a 32-15 defeat against Indiana in his senior season.
LOU BOUDREAU, Illinois
Infielder hit .295 in 15 seasons (1938 through 1952) with the Cleveland Indians and Boston Red Sox. Managed Indians, Red Sox, Kansas City Athletics and Chicago Cubs, starting his managerial career at the age of 24 in 1942. As player-manager in 1948, the shortstop led Cleveland to the A.L. title and earned MVP honors by hitting .355 with 116 RBI. He hit a modest .273 in the World Series. The seven-time All-Star led the A.L. with 45 doubles on three occasions (1941, 1944 and 1947) and paced the league in batting average in 1944 (.327). . . . Played two varsity basketball seasons for Illinois (1936-37 and 1937-38) under coach Doug Mills. As a sophomore, Boudreau led the Illini in scoring with an 8.7-point average as the team shared the Big Ten Conference title. Compiled an 8.8 average the next year. After helping the Illini upset St. John's in a game at Madison Square Garden, the New York Daily News described him as "positively brilliant" and said he "set up countless plays in breathtaking fashion." Averaged 8.2 points per game for Hammond (Ind.) in the National Basketball League in 1938-39.
ALBERT B. "HAPPY" CHANDLER, Transylvania (Ky.)
Twice governor of Kentucky (1935-39 and 1955-59), U.S. senator (1939-45) and commissioner of baseball (1945-51). He oversaw the initial steps toward integration of the major leagues. Democrat embraced the "Dixiecrats" in the late 1940s. . . . Captain of Transylvania's basketball team as a senior in 1920-21.
GORDON "MICKEY" COCHRANE, Boston University
Hall of Famer hit .320 (highest career mark ever for a catcher) with the Philadelphia Athletics and Detroit Tigers in 13 seasons from 1925 through 1937. Swatted three homers in a single game as a rookie. Lefthanded swinger was A.L. MVP in 1928 and 1934. Led the A.L. in on-base percentage in 1933 (.459) and ranked among the league top nine in batting average five times (1927-30-31-33-35). Participated in five World Series (1929-30-31-34-35). . . . Five-sport athlete with BU, including basketball (class of '24).
EARLE COMBS, Eastern Kentucky
Hall of Fame outfielder hit .325 with the New York Yankees in 12 seasons from 1924 through 1935. Lefthanded swinger led the A.L. in hits with 231 in 1927 when he also paced the the league in singles and triples. Also led the A.L. in triples in 1928 and 1930. Assembled a 29-game hitting streak in 1931. Leadoff hitter and "table-setter" for the Yankees' potent "Murderer's Row" offense ranked among the A.L. top six in runs eight straight years when he became the first player in modern major league history to score at least 100 runs in his first eight full seasons. Posted a .350 batting average in four World Series (1926-27-28-32) before a pair of serious collisons shortened his productive career. Served as coach with the Yankees (1936-44), St. Louis Browns (1947), Boston Red Sox (1948-54) and Philadelphia Phillies (1955). . . . Captain of his alma mater's basketball squad for three years when EKU was known as Eastern State Normal.
LARRY DOBY, Virginia Union
Outfielder hit .283 with 253 home runs and 969 RBI in a 13-year career from 1947 through 1959 with the Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox. The first black player in the American League twice led the A.L. in homers (32 in 1952 and 1954). He was the first African-American to lead a league in homers (1952 and 1954) and the first to participate in the World Series (1948). Hit 20 or more round-trippers eight consecutive seasons from 1949 through 1956 while finishing among the A.L. top nine in slugging percentage each year. The seven-time All-Star drove in 100 or more runs five times, leading the A.L. with 126 in 1954 when the Indians won 111 games before being swept by the New York Giants in the World Series. Appeared in 1948 and 1954 World Series with the Indians, winning Game 4 in '48 with a homer off Braves star Johnny Sain. Doby managed the White Sox for most of 1978 (37-50 record). . . . The 6-1, 180-pounder attended LIU on a basketball scholarship but transferred to Virginia Union prior to the start of the season after Uncle Sam summoned him for World War II service. Doby was told Virginia Union had a ROTC program and he could complete his freshman season before being drafted. He became eligible the second semester of the 1942-43 season and was a reserve guard on a team that won the CIAA title.
RICK FERRELL, Guilford (N.C.)
Catcher hit over .300 five times en route to a .281 career batting average with the St. Louis Browns, Boston Red Sox and Washington Senators in 18 years from 1929 through 1947. He set an A.L. record with 1,805 games behind the plate. Traded with his brother (pitcher Wes Ferrell) from Boston to Washington during the 1937 campaign. . . . The 5-10, 160-pounder was a basketball forward before graduating in 1928.
FRANKIE FRISCH, Fordham
Registered a run of 11 consecutive .300 seasons and set fielding records for chances and assists with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1927. As player-manager with the Cards, he instilled the rollicking all-out style of hardnosed play that prompted a team nickname of "The Gashouse Gang." His season strikeout total topped 20 only twice en route to a .316 average in his 19-year career, which also included a stint with the New York Giants. . . . According to his bio in Total Baseball, "The Fordham Flash" captained the Rams' basketball squad. In 1925, Frisch officiated the first-ever game played in the Rose Hill Gym (the oldest NCAA Division I facility in the nation).
BOB GIBSON, Creighton
Compiled a 251-174 pitching record with 3,117 strikeouts and 2.91 ERA in 17 seasons (1959 through 1975) with the St. Louis Cardinals. In 1968, he pitched 13 shutouts en route to a 1.12 ERA, the second-lowest since 1893 in 300 innings. Gibson notched a 7-2 mark and 1.89 ERA in nine games in the 1964, 1967 and 1968 World Series (92 strikeouts in 81 innings). He set a World Series record with 17 strikeouts against the Detroit Tigers on October 2, 1968. . . . First Creighton player to average 20 points per game for his career (20.2). Led the school in scoring in 1955-56 (40th in the country with 22 ppg) and 1956-57 and was second-leading scorer in 1954-55 before playing one season with the Harlem Globetrotters. Sketch from school brochure: "Possesses outstanding jump shot and for height (6-1) is a terrific rebounder."
TONY GWYNN, San Diego State
Padres outfielder hit .338 in 20 seasons (1982 through 2001), winning eight N.L. batting titles--1984, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1994, 1995, 1996 and 1997. Played in 15th All-Star Game in 1999 before topping the 3,000-hit plateau later in the year. Holds N.L. record for most years leading league in singles (six). Won a Gold Glove five times (1986-87-89-90-91). He hit .368 in the 1984 N.L. Championship Series to help San Diego reach the World Series against the Detroit Tigers. Also participated in the 1998 World Series against the New York Yankees. Became baseball coach at his alma mater after retiring from the major leagues. . . . Averaged 8.6 ppg and 5.5 apg in 107 games with the Aztecs in four seasons (1977-78 through 1980-81). The 5-11, 170-pound guard was named second-team All-Western Athletic Conference as both a junior and senior. Led the WAC in assists as both a sophomore and junior and was third as a senior. Paced San Diego State in steals each of his last three seasons. Selected in the 10th round of 1981 NBA draft by the San Diego Clippers.
MONTE IRVIN, Lincoln (Pa.)
Outfielder-first baseman hit .293 with 99 home runs and 443 RBI in eight major league years (1949 through 1956) with the New York Giants and Chicago Cubs. Irvin led the N.L. in RBI with 121 in 1951, the same year he led the World Series in hitting (.458 vs. crosstown Yankees) after collecting seven hits in the first two contests of the six-game set. He was a member of the Giants' squad that swept the Cleveland Indians in the 1954 World Series. The 6-1, 195-pounder was one of the first black players signed after baseball's color line was broken in 1947. Among the brightest stars in the Negro Leagues, he registered league highs of .422 in 1940 and .396 in 1941 before spending three years in the Army. . . . His athletic career was nearly prematurely ended when an infection from a scratched hand in a basketball game kept him close to death for seven weeks. Irvin participated in basketball for 1 1/2 years in the late 1930s for Lincoln, an all-black university in Oxford, Pa., before dropping out of school.
SANDY KOUFAX, Cincinnati
Compiled a 165-87 record and 2.76 ERA in 12 seasons as a lefthanded pitcher with the Brooklyn (1955 through 1957) and Los Angeles (1958 through 1966) Dodgers. Led the N.L. in ERA in each of his last five seasons, going 25-5 in 1963 (MVP), 26-8 in 1965 and 27-9 in 1966 (Cy Young Award). Pitched four no-hitters and had 98 games with at least 20 strikeouts. Notched a 4-3 record and 0.95 ERA in eight World Series games in 1959, 1963 (MVP), 1965 (MVP) and 1966. . . . The Brooklyn native attended Cincinnati one year on a combination baseball/basketball scholarship before signing a pro baseball contract for a reported $20,000 bonus. He was the third-leading scorer with a 9.7-point average as a 6-2, 195-pound forward for the Bearcats' 12-2 freshman team in 1953-54. Koufax compiled a 3-1 pitching record in his lone college baseball campaign, averaging 14.3 strikeouts and 8.4 bases on balls per game when his statistics are converted to a nine-inning game ratio. Ed Jucker, coach of Cincinnati's NCAA titlists in 1961 and 1962, coached the Bearcats' baseball squad and freshman basketball team in 1953-54. Jucker said of Koufax's basketball ability: "He could jump extremely well, was a strong kid and a good driver. He would have made a fine varsity player. We certainly could have used him." If viewers pay attention to CBS acknowledging celebrities in the stands during telecasts with crowd shots, they've probably noticed that Koufax regularly attends the Final Four.
TED LYONS, Baylor
Spent his entire 21-year career with the Chicago White Sox (1923 through 1942 and 1946) after never playing in the minors. Managed the White Sox from 1946 through 1948. Three-time 20-game winner compiled a 260-230 record and 3.67 ERA in 594 games. He pitched a no-hitter against the Boston Red Sox in 1926. In 1939, Lyons hurled 42 consecutive innings without issuing a walk. . . . Earned four basketball letters with Baylor from 1919-20 through 1922-23. Consensus first-team selection on All-Southwest Conference squad as a sophomore and senior.
CHRISTY MATHEWSON, Bucknell
Often regarded as baseball's greatest pitcher, the righthander compiled a 372-188 record and 2.13 ERA with 79 shutouts for the New York Giants in 17 years from 1900 to 1916 before winning his lone start with Cincinnati in 1916. Led the N.L. in ERA five times (1905-08-09-11-13). Hall of Famer ranked among the N.L. top five in victories 12 years in a row from 1903 through 1914. Paced the N.L. in strikeouts on five occasions in a six-year span from 1903 through 1908. Won 30 games or more in three consecutive seasons, leading the Giants in their 1905 World Series victory over the Philadelphia Athletics by hurling three shutouts in six days. Also appeared in three straight World Series from 1911 through 1913. . . . The 6-2 Mathewson also played football and basketball at the turn of the 20th Century for Bucknell (class of '02).
CUM POSEY, Penn State/Duquesne
Founder and co-owner of the Homestead Greys professional baseball team that won eight consecutive National Negro League titles. . . . Posey was the first African American to complete in intercollegiate athletics for Penn State in 1910-11. He later attended Duquesne. A legend in Pittsburgh sports history was owner/player for the famed Leondi Club, an independent basketball team that was the National Negro Championship team for many years.
EPPA RIXEY JR., Virginia
Compiled a 266-251 record with 3.15 ERA in 21 seasons (1912 through 1917 and 1919 through 1933) with the Philadelphia Phillies and Cincinnati Reds. He never played a minor league game and appeared in the 1915 World Series with the Phillies. Missed the 1918 campaign while serving overseas with an Army chemical-warfare division. Rixey won 19 or more games six years, including 1922 when he led the N.L. with 25 victories with the Reds. In his next to last season, he pitched a string of 27 consecutive scoreless innings at age 42. The N.L.'s winningest lefthanded pitcher until Warren Spahn broke his record was selected to the Hall of Fame in 1963. . . . The 6-5, 210-pound Rixey, who also played golf at Virginia, earned basketball letters in 1911-12 and 1913-14.
ROBIN ROBERTS, Michigan State
Compiled a 286-245 record in 19 seasons (1948 through 1966) with the Philadelphia Phillies, Baltimore Orioles, Houston Astros and Chicago Cubs. He was a twenty-game winner for six consecutive seasons with the Phillies (1950 through 1955), leading the N.L. in victories the last four years in that span. The seven-time All-Star lost his only World Series start in 1950, 2-1, when the Yankees' Joe DiMaggio homered off him in the 10th inning. . . . Roberts played three seasons of basketball with the Spartans (1944-45 through 1946-47). He averaged 10.6 points per game as a freshman (team's third-leading scorer as he was eligible because of WWII), 9.8 as a sophomore (second-leading scorer) and 9.0 as a junior (second-leading scorer). The 6-0, 190-pound forward led the team in field-goal percentage as a junior captain. Sketch from MSU's guide: "Regarded by newsmen as one of the greatest players today in college basketball. A poll by Detroit Free Press named him the 'most valuable' collegiate player in Michigan. He is not especially fast, but he's extremely well-coordinated, passes exceptionally well, and is a beautiful one-hand shot artist."
JACKIE ROBINSON, UCLA
Infielder hit .311 with 137 homers as a regular on six N.L. pennant winners with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 10 seasons (1947 through 1956). After becoming Rookie of the Year in 1947, Robinson was named MVP in 1949 when he led the N.L. with a .342 batting average and 37 stolen bases. The six-time All-Star homered in the 1952 All-Star Game. He had two homers and seven doubles in World Series competition. . . . Football, basketball and track standout at Pasadena City College in 1937-38 and 1938-39. Named to All-Southern California Junior College Conference Western Division all-star basketball team both years, a span in which UCLA was winless in league competition. First athlete in UCLA history to letter in football, basketball, baseball and track. Forward compiled the highest scoring average in the Pacific Coast Conference both of his seasons at UCLA (12.3 points per league game in 1939-40 as an all-league second-team selection and 11.1 in 1940-41). In his last UCLA athletic contest, he accounted for more than half of the Bruins' output with 20 points in a 52-37 loss to Southern California.
DAVE WINFIELD, Minnesota
Outfielder hit .283 with 465 home runs, 1,833 RBI and 3,110 hits in 22 seasons (1973 through 1988 and 1990 through 1995) with the San Diego Padres, New York Yankees, California Angels, Toronto Blue Jays, Minnesota Twins and Cleveland Indians. Appeared in 12 All-Star Games after never playing in the minors. Participated in the World Series with the Yankees (1981) and Blue Jays (1992). . . . Played two seasons of varsity basketball as a 6-6, 220-pound forward with the Gophers, averaging 6.9 ppg and 5.4 rpg as a junior in 1971-72 and 10.5 points and 6.1 rebounds as a senior in 1972-73. He played the entire game in Minnesota's first NCAA Tournament appearance in 1972 under coach Bill Musselman. Selected by the Atlanta Hawks in the fifth round of the 1973 NBA draft and the Utah Stars in the sixth round of the 1973 ABA draft. Didn't play college football, but was chosen in the 17th round of the 1973 NFL draft by the Minnesota Vikings. Excerpt from school guide: "Recruited out of intramural ranks to lend depth, became a starter and was a giant in the stretch drive. Amazing athlete leaps like a man catapulted. Soft touch from medium range."
Mike Brey has come a long way in college basketball since commencing his playing career by averaging 5 points per game with Northwestern State (Natchitoches, La.) in 1977-78 and 1978-79 when the then NCAA Division I newcomer Demons compiled a 19-34 two-season record while losing to Louisiana College three times and East Texas Baptist once.
It might not duplicate the lifetime contract of Brey's former mentor, Duke's Mike Krzyzewski, but his deal with Notre Dame through 2021-22 is among the longest defined coaching contracts. Only West Virginia's Bob Huggins, Pittsburgh's Jamie Dixon, Akron's Keith Dambrot, Valparaiso's Bryce Drew and Virginia Commonwealth's Shaka Smart surpass them by one year.
The length of Brey's pact certainly can be justified if he eventually directs the Irish to its initial NCAA Tournament championship game, but he first needs to guide them to first Sweet 16 appearance since 2003. A shaky economy is not deterring universities from dishing out long-term agreements as Arkansas' Mike Anderson joined the following alphabetical list of coaches boasting contracts extending at least five additional seasons into the next decade:
"Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Extensive coaching turnover and league realigning left Duke's Mike Krzyzewski as one of a mere three coaches to be in the same alliance more than the last 20 years. Coach K moved atop the dean-of-coaches list last season after Syracuse and Jim Boeheim switched to the Atlantic Coast Conference after 34 years in the Big East.
As league play shifts into gear, following are the longest-tenured active coaches in their present Division I conference (including 2014-15 campaign):
NOTE: Alexander's first 16 seasons in MEAC were with South Carolina State, Dambrot's first two seasons in MAC were with Central Michigan and Hinson's first nine seasons in MVC were with Missouri State.
Former Oregon coach Ernie Kent returned to the Pac-12 Conference in a similar capacity at Washington State. After retirements and realignments, Kent joins the following alphabetical list of active coaches who were bench bosses of two different schools in the same DI conference:
If guard Marcus Thornton avoids injury and keeps averaging 19 points per game the remainder of his senior season, he will become William & Mary's all-time leading scorer just before the start of the 2015 CAA Tournament.
Thornton is on a pace to snap the longest-running career scoring mark for universities that have always competed at the NCAA Division I level. Chester "Chet" Giermak has been the Tribe's foremost point producer since finishing among the nation's top 13 scorers each of his final three seasons from 1947-48 through 1949-50. Following are the 10 longest-running individual career scoring records for schools classified as major colleges as early as the late 1940s (including years streak has remained intact):
|All-Time Scoring Leader||Pos.||DI School||Years Intact||Points||College Career|
|Chester "Chet" Giermak||C||William & Mary||64||2,032||1946-47 through 1949-50|
|Ernie Beck||F||Penn||61||1,827||1950-51 through 1952-53|
|Frank Selvy||F||Furman||60||2,538||1951-52 through 1953-54|
|Dick Ricketts||F-C||Duquesne||59||1,963||1951-52 through 1954-55|
|Ed Conlin||C||Fordham||59||1,886||1951-52 through 1954-55|
|Jesse Arnelle||C||Penn State||59||2,138||1951-52 through 1954-55|
|Ned "Dickie" Hemric||F-C||Wake Forest||59||2,587||1951-52 through 1954-55|
|Cleo Littleton||F||Wichita State||59||2,164||1951-52 through 1954-55|
|Joe Holup||C||George Washington||58||2,226||1952-53 through 1955-56|
|Phillip "Red" Murrell*||F||Drake||56||1,657||1955-56 through 1957-58|
*Murrell played one junior college season for Moberly (Mo.) Area in 1954-55.
"Stepping onto a brand new path is difficult, but not more difficult than remaining in a situation which is not nurturing." - Maya Angelou
Whether schools are simply filling out a roster with a backup or chasing a pot of gold at the end of a Larry Bird rainbow, they seem to be looking around every corner and under every rock for a transfer. Bird left a potential powerhouse at Indiana but never played for the Hoosiers before becoming national player of the year with Indiana State.
How many All-Americans actually played varsity basketball for two different four-year schools? The average is about one every two years. Duke and Kansas, two of the five schools with the most All-Americans in history, had their first transfer in that category two seasons ago - Duke guard Seth Curry (Liberty) and KU center Jeff Withey (Arizona). If voters are paying attention, there could be an all-time high of transfer All-Americans this season as guards Sterling Gibbs (Texas to Seton Hall), Angel Rodriguez (Kansas State to Miami FL), Juwan Staten (Dayton to West Virginia) and Dez Wells (Xavier to Maryland) guided their respective schools to a Top 25 ranking.
Mississippi State lost a transfer All-American several seasons ago when Ben Hansbrough departed for Notre Dame but the Bulldogs had their own player in this category earlier this century after Lawrence Roberts left Baylor. In an era when transfers have almost become an obsession for various reasons, there was a modest uptick in the ratio with seven All-Americans in this category in a six-year span from 2000 through 2005 before Louisville's Luke Hancock (George Mason) became Final Four Most Outstanding Player two years ago. After departing Kentucky, forward Kyle Wiltjer of Gonzaga, averaging 17 points in only 26 minutes per game, is a prime candidate to join the following alphabetical list of All-Americans who began their collegiate career at another four-year school:
*Attended junior college between four-year school stints.
NOTE: Burgess was an Air Force veteran.
Did you know that power-conference members Arizona State, Baylor, Butler, California, Clemson, Colorado, Creighton, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Iowa, Kansas State, Louisville, Maryland, Miami FL, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Carolina, Northwestern, Oregon, Oregon State, Rutgers, Southern California, Stanford, Texas, TCU, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest and Washington State never have won as many as 30 consecutive home contests?
Which opponents broke school-record home-court winning streaks of at least 30 games? Oddly, more than half of the aforementioned power-league schools are in this category, including Texas on three occasions (ended school-record HC streaks for Arkansas, Kansas and Texas A&M). Following is an alphabetical list after Miami ended Florida's 33-game home-court winning streak earlier this season:
|School||Record Streak||Date Started||Date Ended||Opponent Ending School-Record Streak||Score|
|Austin Peay||31||1-25-75||3-5-77||Middle Tennessee State||77-65 in OVC Tournament final|
|Brigham Young||53||11-26-05||1-3-09||Wake Forest||94-87|
|College of Charleston||38||1-9-95||12-28-97||Rider||65-58|
|Coppin State||42||12-19-92||1-15-97||North Carolina A&T||76-70|
|Iowa State||39||2-16-99||1-12-02||Oklahoma State||69-66|
|Lamar||80||2-18-78||3-10-84||Louisiana Tech||68-65 in SLC Tournament|
|Long Beach State||75||11-20-68||12-4-74||San Francisco||94-84 in OT|
|Louisiana Tech||39||12-6-82||11-25-85||Stephen F. Austin||67-58|
|Loyola of Chicago||41||2-25-61||12-31-64||St. Louis||90-57|
|Middle Tennessee State||33||12-11-73||1-7-76||UT Chattanooga||83-72|
|Murray State||47||11-23-96||1-15-00||Southeast Missouri State||84-78|
|New Mexico||41||2-10-96||2-26-98||Brigham Young||83-62|
|New Mexico State||34||12-16-68||12-1-71||Angelo State TX||77-71|
|New Orleans||38||12-12-69||2-28-72||Louisiana Tech||80-73|
|North Carolina A&T||37||1985-86||11-30-88||North Carolina Central||66-54|
|North Carolina State||38||2-19-72||2-1-75||Maryland||98-97|
|Oklahoma State||49||1-9-36||12-21-40||Southern California||28-25|
|Pacific||45||3-8-69||1-7-73||Long Beach State||91-85|
|Pepperdine||30||11-27-84||12-11-86||Long Beach State||86-77|
|Pittsburgh||40||1-19-02||2-29-04||Syracuse||49-46 in OT|
|Seton Hall||46||1-10-51||1-1-54||William & Mary||57-55|
|South Carolina||34||1-12-72||2-16-74||Notre Dame||72-68|
|Southern Illinois||33||1-11-04||2-1-06||Indiana State||63-54|
|Southern Methodist||44||2-??-54||3-1-58||Texas A&M||43-42|
|Stephen F. Austin||34||2-18-12||11-18-14||Northern Iowa||79-77 in OT|
|Tennessee||37||11-10-06||1-7-09||Gonzaga||89-79 in OT|
|Tennessee Tech||33||12-2-00||1-4-03||Morehead State||72-70|
|Utah State||37||11-9-07||12-5-09||Saint Mary's||68-63|
|Villanova||72||12-6-47||3-4-58||Saint Francis PA||70-64|
|Virginia Commonwealth||33||12-18-76||2-10-78||Virginia Tech||71-63|
|Virginia Military||35||2-5-76||1-17-79||Appalachian State||73-58|
|Washington||32||1-29-04||12-31-05||Arizona||96-95 in 2OT|
|Western Kentucky||67||2-5-49||1-10-55||Xavier||82-80 in OT|
|West Virginia||39||12-10-80||1-20-83||St. Bonaventure||64-63|
Louisiana State's Pete Maravich, the NCAA's career scoring leader, still holds the all-time single-game scoring mark by an individual opponent against eight universities (Alabama, Auburn, Duquesne, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi State, Tulane and Vanderbilt). Do you know who holds the mark for highest output against the Tigers? It was achieved this month by Ole Miss' Johnny Neumann, who fired in a school-record 63 points at LSU the season after Maravich's eligibility expired.
This month also features UCLA's single-game rebounding record and the mark wasn't established by Lew Alcindor or Bill Walton. Speaking of rebounding, existing single-game standards against a Division I opponent for Lamar and Oral Roberts were set in the same contest in 1972 and USC's single-game mark against a DI foe came from two different players on the same day 22 years apart. Following is a day-by-day calendar citing memorable moments in January college basketball history:
1 - Hank Luisetti (50 points vs. Duquesne at Cleveland in 1938) set Stanford's single-game scoring record. . . . Seton Hall's school-record 46-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by William & Mary (57-55 in 1954). . . . Penn opposed Yale in 1927 in debut game at the legendary Palestra in Philadelphia. . . . Bailey Howell (34 vs. Louisiana State in 1957) set Mississippi State's single-game rebounding record.
2 - Georgia State's Chris Collier (49 points vs. Butler in 1991), Quinnipiac's Rob Monroe (41 vs. Longwood in double overtime in 2005) and Wofford's Ian Chadwick (40 at Georgia Southern in 2001) set school Division I single-game scoring records. . . . Mississippi State's school-record 35-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Auburn (64-48 in 1960). . . . Steve Hamilton (38 vs. Florida State in 1957) set Morehead State's single-game rebounding record.
3 - Jamal Barney (41 points at Canisius in 2009) set Division I single-game scoring record for Loyola (Md.). . . . Wake Forest snapped North Carolina State's school-record 36-game winning streak (83-78 in 1975). . . . Brigham Young's school-record 53-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Wake Forest (94-87 in 2009). . . . DePaul's Ken Warzynski (28 vs. Harvard in 1970), Long Beach State's Michael Zeno (22 vs. Loyola Marymount in 1983) and Wisconsin's Paul Morrow (30 vs. Purdue in 1953) set school single-game rebounding records against a major-college opponent.
4 - Ball State's Chris Williams (48 points at Akron in overtime in 2003), Jacksonville State's Trenton Marshall (37 at Southeast Missouri State in 2010), Lamar's Mike James (52 vs. Louisiana College in 2011), Loyola Marymount's Bo Kimble (54 at St. Joseph's in 1990) and Texas-El Paso's Jim Barnes (51 vs. Western New Mexico in 1964) set school single-game scoring records. . . . In 2003, Butler's Darnell Archey established an NCAA Division I standard by converting his 74th of 85 consecutive free throws. . . . Illinois' school-record 31-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Iowa (60-59 in 1986). . . . Delaware's Jack Waddington (31 vs. Rutgers in 1956), Middle Tennessee State's Mike Milholland (32 vs. Austin Peay State in 1965), Nebraska's Bill Johnson (26 vs. Iowa State in 1954), Nevada's Pete Padgett (30 vs. Loyola Marymount in 1973) and Valparaiso's Chris Ensminger (24 vs. Northeastern Illinois in 1996) set school single-game rebounding records.
5 - Eastern Washington's Rodney Stuckey (45 points at Northern Arizona in 2006), Michigan State's Terry Furlow (50 vs. Iowa in 1976), Stephen F. Austin State's Scott Dimak (40 at Texas Southern in 1989) and West Virginia's Hot Rod Hundley (54 vs. Furman in 1957) set school Division I single-game scoring records. . . . Derrick Dial (45 vs. Marshall in 1998) set Eastern Michigan's single-game scoring record against a DI opponent. . . . In 1991, Loyola Marymount's 186-point output is the highest in NCAA history by a team in a single game and Kevin Bradshaw's 72-point outburst for U.S. International CA is the most ever for a player against a major-college opponent. . . . Fairfield's Darren Phillip (25 vs. Marist in 2000), Texas-San Antonio's Lennell Moore (25 vs. Centenary in 1987) and Tulane's Mel Payton (31 vs. Mississippi State in 1951) set school single-game rebounding records against a DI opponent.
6 - Drexel's John Rankin (44 points vs. Rider in 1988), Pepperdine's William "Bird" Averitt (57 vs. Nevada-Reno in 1973) and Xavier's Steve Thomas (50 vs. Detroit in 1964) set school single-game scoring records. Averitt's output is also a West Coast Conference record in league competition. . . . Ernie Losch (41 vs. Utah State in 1973) set Tulane's single-game scoring record against a Division I opponent. . . . Bob Mortell (24 vs. Virginia Military in 1960) set Virginia's single-game rebounding record against a DI opponent.
7 - UC Riverside's Rickey Porter (40 points at Pacific in 2006), Campbell's Clarence Grier (39 vs. Virginia Wesleyan in 1987), Michigan's Rudy Tomjanovich (48 vs. Indiana in overtime in 1969) and Southwest Texas State's Lynwood Wade (42 vs. Sam Houston State in double overtime in 1993) set school Division I single-game scoring records. . . . Odell Johnson (40 vs. Pepperdine in 1956) set Saint Mary's single-game scoring record against a major-college opponent. . . . North Carolina hit an NCAA-record 94.1% of its second-half field-goal attempts (16 of 17 vs. Virginia in 1978). . . . Niagara's Gary Bossert set an NCAA single-game record by hitting 11 consecutive three-point field-goal attempts against Siena in 1987. . . . Long Beach State ended UNLV's Big West Conference-record 40-game winning streak (101-94 in 1993), Pacific's school-record 45-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Long Beach State (91-85 in 1973), Tennessee's school-record 37-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Gonzaga (89-79 in overtime) and UNLV's school-record 72-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by New Mexico (102-98 in 1978). . . . Alex "Boo" Ellis (31 vs. Kent State in 1957) set Niagara's single-game rebounding record.
8 - Arizona State's Eddie House (61 points at California in double overtime in 2000) set the school and tied the Pac-12 Conference single-game scoring record. . . . Michael Hicks (47 points at Cal Poly in overtime in 2001) set Texas A&M-Corpus Christi's single-game scoring record. . . . Georgia Tech snapped Kentucky's NCAA-record 129-game homecourt winning streak and SEC-record 51-game winning streak in 1955. . . . Nelson Richardson (26 vs. Manhattan in 1977) set Siena's single-game rebounding record.
9 - Cincinnati sophomore Oscar Robertson (56 points) personally outscored Seton Hall in a 118-54 rout of the Pirates at Madison Square Garden in 1958. . . . Alabama's Jerry Harper (28 vs. Mississippi State in 1956), Texas-Arlington's Albert Culton (24 vs. Northeastern in 1981), Villanova's Howard Porter (30 vs. St. Peter's in 1971) and Virginia Tech's Chris Smith (36 vs. Washington & Lee VA in 1959) set school single-game rebounding records against a major-college opponent.
10 - Connecticut's Bill Corley (51 points vs. New Hampshire in 1968), John Conforti of St. Francis NY (45 vs. Wagner in 1970), Washington's Bob Houbregs (49 vs. Idaho in 1953) and Winthrop's Melvin Branham (45 at Charleston Southern in 1994) set school single-game scoring records. . . . Navy's David Robinson (45 at James Madison in 1987) set CAA scoring record in league competition. . . . Saint Joseph's and Xavier combined to have an NCAA-record eight players foul out in 1976. . . . Connecticut's school-record 31-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Marquette (73-69 in 2007) and Western Kentucky's school-record 67-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Xavier (82-80 in overtime in 1955). . . . Ed Diddle made his Western Kentucky head coaching debut in 1923 with a 103-7 decision over the Adairville Independents en route to a school-record 759 victories. . . . Kentucky's Adolph Rupp became the coach to compile 500 victories the fastest with a 92-59 win over DePaul in 1955 (584 games in 23rd season). . . . Louisiana-Lafayette's Roy Ebron (28 vs. Northwestern State in 1972) and Vanderbilt's Clyde Lee (28 vs. Mississippi in 1966) set school single-game rebounding records.
11 - Don Scaife (43 points at Samford in 1975) set Arkansas State's Division I single-game scoring record. . . . Texas Tech's school-record 35-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Colorado (80-78 in 1997). . . . Alcorn State's Larry Smith (21 vs. Mississippi Valley State in 1979), UC Santa Barbara's Eric McArthur (28 vs. New Mexico State in 1990) and Dartmouth's Rudy LaRusso (32 vs. Columbia in 1958) set school single-game rebounding records against a DI opponent.
12 - Bucknell's Al Leslie (45 points vs. American in 1980) set the East Coast Conference single-game scoring record. . . . Mike Olliver (50 at Portland State in 1980) set Lamar's single-game scoring record against a Division I opponent. . . . Iowa State's school-record 39-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Oklahoma State (69-66 in 2002) and Michigan State's school-record 53-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Wisconsin (64-63 in 2002). . . . Monmouth's Karl Towns (23 vs. Morgan State in 1985) and Robert Morris' Mike Morton (20 vs. Baltimore in 1980) set school single-game rebounding records.
13 - Bowling Green's Jim Darrow (52 points vs. Toledo in overtime in 1960), Cal Poly's Shanta Cotright (43 vs. George Mason in 1996), Charleston Southern's Dwyane Jackson (43 at Virginia Military in 2007), Kentucky's Jodie Meeks (54 at Tennessee in 2009), Sacramento State's Loren Leath (41 at Northern Colorado in 2009), Southeastern Louisiana's Sam Bowie (39 at Central Florida in 1996), Southeast Missouri State's Daimon Gonner (37 at Tennessee State in double overtime in 2005) and UAB's Andy Kennedy (41 vs. Saint Louis in 1991) set school Division I single-game scoring records. . . . Marquette's school-record 81-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Notre Dame (71-69 in 1973). . . . Doug Hess (27 vs. Marshall in 1971) set Toledo's single-game rebounding record against a DI opponent.
14 - Syracuse's Bill Smith (47 points vs. Lafayette in 1971) and Virginia Commonwealth's Chris Cheeks (42 vs. Old Dominion in overtime in 1989) set school Division I single-game scoring records. . . . Arizona's Damon Stoudamire (45 at Stanford in 1995) and Louisville's Butch Beard (41 at Bradley in 1967) set school single-game scoring records against a DI opponent.
15 - Coppin State's school-record 42-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by North Carolina A&T (76-70 in 1997), Murray State's school-record 47-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Southeast Missouri State (84-78 in 2000) and Virginia's school-record 34-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by North Carolina (101-95 in 1983). . . . Bob Reiter (27 vs. Kansas State in 1955) set Missouri's single-game rebounding record.
16 - Columbia's school-record 34-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Penn (66-64 in 1952).
17 - New Mexico State's John Williamson (48 points at California in 1972) and UNC Wilmington's Brian Rowsom (39 at East Carolina in 1987) set school single-game scoring records. . . . Virginia Military's school-record 35-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Appalachian State (73-58 in 1979). . . . Steve Stiepler (22 vs. Charleston Southern in 1977) set James Madison's single-game rebounding record.
18 - Stan Mayhew (45 points vs. Utah State in 1977) set Weber State's single-game scoring record. . . . A weekly ritual began when the Associated Press announced results of its first weekly basketball poll in 1949 (SLU was initial #1). . . . Indiana State's Jim Cruse (25 vs. Drake in 1997) and North Texas' Ken Williams (29 vs. Lamar in 1978) set school single-game rebounding records.
19 - UC Davis' Corey Hawkins (40 points at Hawaii in 2013), Charleston Southern's Ben Hinson (43 vs. Edward Waters FL in 1985) and New Hampshire's Brad Cirino (39 at Maine in four overtimes in 1996) set school Division I single-game scoring records. . . . Jim Ashmore (45 vs. Mississippi in 1957) set Mississippi State's single-game scoring record against a DI opponent. . . . Notre Dame came from behind in the closing minutes to end visiting UCLA's NCAA-record 88-game winning streak in 1974. . . . George Mason's Andre Smith set an NCAA single-game record by sinking all 10 of his shots from beyond the three-point arc against James Madison in 2008. . . . Ron deVries (24 vs. Pacific in 1974) set Illinois State's single-game rebounding record against a DI opponent. . . . Chris Street, Iowa's top rebounder with 9.5 per game, died instantly in 1993 in a collision between the car he was driving and a county dumptruck/snowplow.
20 - Austin Peay's James "Fly" Williams (51 points vs. Tennessee Tech in 1973), Fordham's Ken Charles (46 vs. St. Peter's in 1973), Memphis State's Larry Finch (48 vs. St. Joseph's IN in 1973) and Oklahoma City's Gary Gray (55 at West Texas State in 1967) set school Division I single-game scoring records. . . . Houston ended UCLA's 47-game winning streak (71-69 in Astrodome in 1968), Minnesota's school-record 40-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Nebraska (22-21 in 1905) and West Virginia's school-record 39-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by St. Bonaventure (64-63 in 1983). . . . Visiting Texas-El Paso snapped Memphis' NCAA-record 52-game winning streak in regular-season conference competition (C-USA/72-67 in 2010). . . . Cliff Robinson (28 vs. Portland State in 1978) and David Bluthenthal (28 vs. Arizona State in 2000) set and tied Southern California's single-game rebounding record against a DI opponent.
21 - Howard's Ron Williamson (52 points vs. North Carolina A&T in 2003) and Saint Joseph's Jack Egan (47 at Gettysburg PA in 1961) set school single-game scoring records. . . . Kansas' school-record 69-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Texas (74-63 in 2011) and DePaul's school-record 36-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Dayton (67-63 in 1985). . . . Terry Rutherford (21 vs. Marshall in 1978) set Western Carolina's single-game rebounding record against a Division I opponent.
22 - Lee Campbell (20 vs. Cleveland State in 1990) tied his own Missouri State single-game rebounding record against a Division I opponent.
23 - Eastern Illinois' Jay Taylor (47 points vs. Chicago State in 1989), East Tennessee State's Mike Milholland (44 vs. Austin Peay in 1965), Nicholls State's Anatoly Bose (46 at Northwestern State in double overtime in 2010), South Florida's Dominique Jones (46 at Providence in overtime in 2010) and Tennessee State's Anthony Mason (44 at Eastern Kentucky in 1988) set school Division I single-game scoring records. . . . Jacksonville's James Ray (45 vs. South Florida in 1980) set Sun Belt Conference single-game scoring record in league competition. . . . Northeastern's Steve Carney (23 vs. Hartford in 1988) and Ohio University's Howard Joliff (28 vs. Kent State in 1960) set school single-game rebounding records against a DI opponent.
24 - Appalachian State's Stan Davis (56 points at Carson-Newman TN in 1974), Chattanooga's Oliver Morton (50 vs. Pikeville KY in 2001), IUPUI's Odell Bradley (41 vs. Oral Roberts in triple overtime in 2004), Loyola of New Orleans' Ty Marioneaux (53 vs. Virginia Commonwealth in 1970), Oakland's Travis Bader (47 vs. IUPUI in 2013) and Texas-Arlington's Steven Barber (43 at Texas-San Antonio in 2002) set school Division I single-game scoring records. . . . San Diego State's Ben Wardrop set an NCAA record for shortest playing time before being disqualified by fouling out in only 1:11 at Colorado State in 2004. . . . Notre Dame's school-record 45-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Connecticut (69-61 in 2009).
25 - Connell "C.J." Wilkerson (41 points at North Carolina A&T in 2011) set North Carolina Central's single-game scoring record against a Division I opponent. . . . Southern's Avery Johnson tied an NCAA single-game record with 22 assists against Texas Southern in 1988. . . . Brigham Young's school-record 44-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Utah (79-75 in 2003). . . . East Carolina's Erroyl Bing (24 vs. South Florida in 2003), Kansas State's David Hall (27 vs. Oklahoma in 1971), Lamar's Steve Wade (27 vs. Oral Roberts in 1972), Oral Roberts' Eddie Woods (30 vs. Lamar in 1972) and Seton Hall's Nick Werkman (32 vs. Boston College in 1963) set school single-game rebounding records against a DI opponent.
26 - Gonzaga's Frank Burgess (52 points vs. UC Davis in 1961) and Youngstown State's Tilman Bevely (55 vs. Tennessee Tech in 1987) set school Division I single-game scoring records. Bevely's output also tied Ohio Valley Conference record in league competition. . . . Arizona and Northern Arizona combined for an NCAA-record 130 free-throw attempts in 1953. . . . Herb Neff (36 vs. Georgia Tech in 1952) set Tennessee's single-game rebounding record.
27 - Georgia Southern's Johnny Mills (44 points vs. Samford in 1973), Indiana's Jimmy Rayl (56 vs. Minnesota in 1962), James Madison's Steve Stiepler (51 vs. Robert Morris in 1979), UNC Greensboro's Trevis Simpson (41 vs. Chattanooga in 2013) and West Texas State's Simmie Hill (42 at Texas Western in 1968) set school Division I single-game scoring records. . . . Visiting New Mexico State overcame a 28-0 deficit to defeat Bradley in 1977. . . . Perennial cellar dweller Northwestern upset Magic Johnson and NCAA champion-to-be Michigan State by 18 points in 1979. . . . Centenary's Robert Parish (33 vs. Southern Mississippi in 1973) and Florida's Neal Walk (31 vs. Alabama in 1968) set school single-game rebounding records.
28 - Syracuse's Sherman Douglas tied an NCAA single-game record with 22 assists against Providence in 1989. . . . Jim Loscutoff of Oregon (32 vs. Brigham Young in 1955), Maurice Stokes of Saint Francis PA (39 vs. John Carroll OH in 1955) and Willie Naulls of UCLA (28 vs. Arizona State in 1956) set school single-game rebounding records. . . . Barney Cable (28 vs. Marquette in 1956) set Bradley's single-game rebounding record against a major-college opponent.
29 - Arkansas State's Jeff Clifton (43 points vs. Arkansas-Little Rock in 1994), Jacksonville's Ernie Fleming (59 vs. St. Peter's in 1972), Seton Hall's Nick Werkman (52 vs. Scranton PA in 1964), Utah Valley's Ryan Toolson (63 at Chicago State in quadruple overtime in 2009), Vermont's Eddie Benton (54 vs. Drexel in 1994) and Wagner's Terrance Bailey (49 vs. Brooklyn in triple overtime in 1986) set school Division I single-game scoring records. Benton's output is also an America East Conference record in league competition. . . . Columbia's Jacob "Jack" Molinas (31 vs. Brown in 1953), North Carolina State's Ronnie Shavlik (35 vs. Villanova in 1955) and Penn State's Jesse Arnelle (27 vs. Temple in 1955) set school single-game rebounding records.
30 - Maryland-Eastern Shore's Tee Trotter (42 points at Howard in overtime in 2003), Mississippi's Johnny Neumann (63 at Louisiana State in 1971), New Orleans' Ledell Eackles (45 at Florida International in 1988), Seattle's Elgin Baylor (60 vs. Portland in 1958), Tennessee Tech's Kevin Murphy (50 vs. SIU-Edwardsville in 2012) and Western Kentucky's Clem Haskins (55 vs. Middle Tennessee State in 1965) set school Division I single-game scoring records. Haskins' output is also an Ohio Valley Conference record in league competition. . . . Rick Barry (51 vs. Oklahoma City in 1965) set Miami's single-game scoring record against a major-college opponent. . . . William & Mary ended West Virginia's Southern Conference-record 44-game winning streak in 1960. . . . UC Irvine's Kevin Magee (25 vs. Long Beach State in 1982), Miami's Rick Barry (29 vs. Oklahoma City in 1965) and Oklahoma State's Andy Hopson (27 vs. Missouri in 1973) set school single-game rebounding records.
31 - LSU's Pete Maravich, despite having 13 regular-season games remaining in 1970, passed Cincinnati's Oscar Robertson with 4:43 left against Mississippi to become the NCAA's career scoring leader. . . . Gerhard "Jerry" Varn (51 points vs. Piedmont GA in 1953) set The Citadel's single-game scoring record. . . . Holy Cross' Jim McCaffrey (46 vs. Iona in 1985) set MAAC scoring record in league competition. . . . Loyola Marymount outgunned U.S. International CA (181-150 in 1989) in the highest-scoring game in major-college history. . . . Manhattan's Bruce Seals established an NCAA single-game record with 27 three-point field-goal attempts (making nine vs. Canisius in 2000). . . . Canisius' Darren Fenn (22 vs. Manhattan in 2000), George Mason's Kenny Sanders (22 vs. American in 1989), Loyola Marymount's Hank Gathers (29 vs. U.S. International CA in 1989), Princeton's Carl Belz (29 vs. Rutgers in 1959) and St. Bonaventure's Bob Lanier (23 vs. Niagara in 1970) set school single-game rebounding records against a DI opponent.
With Auld Lang Syne chords playing in the background, the final day of the calendar year offered another time to say goodbye by acknowledging the passing away in 2014 of a striking number of major-college basketball movers and shakers. Following is an alphabetical list of deceased players and coaches who didn't drop the ball on the court at midnight or any other time:
Brian Anselmino - Duquesne's leading rebounder as a junior and senior was 45 when another vehicle lost control, crossed the median and hit his car head-on. Anselmino averaged 7.7 ppg and 6.2 rpg from 1986-87 through 1989-90.
Marvin Barnes - Providence All-American in 1973-74 when pacing the nation in rebounding died at 62 after succumbing to drug addiction again. NCAA runner-up in rebounding in 1972-73 when the Friars reached the Final Four.
Kerry Benson - Walk-on letterman for Kentucky in 2007-08 died at 24 when vehicle he was driving struck a utilitypole upon reportedly hitting a patch of ice.
Matt Derenbecker - Forward who averaged 6.3 ppg and 2.2 rpg for LSU, Dayton and New Orleans in three seasons (2010-11, 2012-13 and 2013-14) died at 22. Derenbecker was found in the swimming pool at a friend's residence where he was house sitting.
Jack Devine - One of Villanova's all-time leading rebounders was 82. He averaged 11.2 ppg and 10.5 rpg in the early 1950s.
William Donovan - Loyola Marymount's all-time winningest coach (107-101 record in eight seasons from 1953-54 through 1960-61) was 86. Donovan was the school's first player to reach the 1,000-point plateau.
Roy Ebron - Center who teamed with All-American guard Bo Lamar to give Southwestern Louisiana one of the nation's premier inside/outside combinations was 63. Ebron averaged 21.2 ppg and 13.2 rpg in 1971-72 and 1972-73 during a span when national POY Bill Walton averaged 20.8 ppg and 16.2 rpg for UCLA.
Fred W. Enke - Three-year All-Border Conference first-team selection under his father (Arizona coach Fred A. Enke) was co-captain as a senior swingman in 1947-48. After leading the nation his senior year in total offense, the younger Enke passed for 4,169 yards and 31 touchdowns in seven NFL seasons (1948 through 1954) with the Detroit Lions, Philadelphia Eagles and Baltimore Colts.
Hal Dean Ferraro - North Carolina player in late 1940s and early 1950s was 85.
Nate Fox - Two-time All-America East Conference selection with Maine in 1998-99 and 1999-00 after transferring from Boston College was 37. He was fatally shot in his Chicago suburb driveway after getting home from work and getting out of his 2013 Jaguar XJ. Prosecutors claim he was ambushed by the CEO of an Internet company who stalked him with a pistol surreptitiously taken from relatives. The businessman was motivated by envy, mistakenly believing Fox was having an affair with an acquaintance.
Sgt. Clinton J. Holtz - Center who averaged 11.3 ppg and 6.4 rpg as a George Washington freshman in 1988-89 before transferring to Niagara died at 44 when he collapsed from an aneurism while on duty as a U.S. Capitol Police officer.
Jack Kraft - St. Joseph's letterman in early 1940s who compiled a 361-191 coaching record (.654) with Villanova and Rhode Island in 20 seasons from 1961-62 through 1980-81 was 93. National coach of the year in 1971 when he guided Nova to the NCAA tourney championship contest.
Jim Lacy - First player in NCAA history to reach the 2,000-point plateau was 87. All-time leading scorer for Loyola (Md.) paced the country in scoring in 1946-47 with 20.8 ppg before finishing among the top 14 scorers in 1947-48 and 1948-49.
Jason Rabedeaux - UTEP coach for three seasons from 1999-00 through 2001-02 (46-46 record) died at 49 in Vietnam while coaching a professional team (Saigon Heat).
Earl Robinson - Three-time All-PCC second-team selection who averaged at least 10 ppg each of three varsity campaigns under California coach Pete Newell from 1955-56 through 1957-58 was 77. Robinson, the Bears' first African-American varsity letterman, hit .268 in four seasons from 1958 to 1964 as an outfielder with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Baltimore Orioles.
Dave Strack Sr. - Michigan coach who compiled a 113-89 record (.559) in eight seasons from 1960-61 through 1967-68 was 90. After one campaign with Idaho (11-15 in 1959-60), he captured three consecutive Big Ten Conference crowns and guided the Cazzie Russell-led Wolverines to back-to-back Final Fours (1964 and 1965).
Alan Taylor - Two-time All-WAC center for Brigham Young was 55 when he died after a long battle with diabetes. He led the WAC in field-goal shooting as a sophomore in 1977-78 and rebounding as a senior in 1979-80.
Rob Williams - Houston's leading scorer for 1982 Final Four squad passed away from congestive heart failure at 52 after suffering a stroke 15 years earlier that left him blind in his left eye and partially paralyzed on his left side.
Holiday festivities can go awry between Christmas and New Year's Eve. In ghosts of Christmas' past, just ask top-ranked Virginia, which lost at tiny Chaminade in 1982, and NCAA champion-to-be Michigan, which bowed to Alaska-Anchorage on a neutral court in 1988.
Amid the celebrations as Al Bore devotees finally shut up briefly about global warming when their vehicles don't start or they're stranded because of winter storms, a Christmas holiday week absolutely can not go by without the time-honored tradition of making a list and checking it twice. The wish list, a stocking stuffer focusing on the naughty and nice, doesn't change much from the previous month at Thanksgiving but does have a little different perspective. Some of them may fall in the Christmas Miracle category, but following is a healthy serving of food-for-thought wishes presented to college hoop observers:
Wish peace and comfort to family and friends of striking number of All-Americans who passed away this year - Marvin Barnes (Providence), A.W. Davis (Tennessee), Robin Freeman (Ohio State), Tom Gola (La Salle), Bob Houbregs (Washington), Lou Hudson (Minnesota), Wah Wah Jones (Kentucky), Billy McGill (Utah), George Munroe (Dartmouth), Eddie O'Brien (Seattle), Terry Rand (Marquette) and Ernie Vandeweghe (Colgate).
Wish deserving mid-major players earn All-American acclaim this season.
Wish ex-college hoopsters continued success as prominent NFL tight ends.
Wish fans understand how good the Atlantic 10 Conference remains after numerous defections.
Wish special seasons for standout seniors because they didn't abandon college hoops early and give the sport at least some modicum of veteran leadership.
Wish the best for the Ivy League and Patriot League, which seem like the last bastions replete with textbook student-athletes. Five Ivy League institutions - Brown, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard and Yale - can still hold their heads high despite each of them posting all-time losing records. The Ivy League deserves extra kudos for not conducting the money-grubbing gimmick otherwise known as a postseason conference tournament.
Wish proper acclaim for pristine playmakers who show again and again that "pass" is not a dirty four-letter word amid the obsession with individualistic one-on-one moves by self-absorbed one-and-done scholars.
Wish many highlights for entertaining little big men (players 5-10 or shorter) who inspire us with their self-confidence and mental toughness in the Land of the Giants.
Wish junior college players and foreigners could overcome perceptions in some misguided quarters that they are the rogues of recruiting.
Wish patience for the numerous promising first-year coaches assuming control of programs this season. They need to remember the fortitude exhibited by many of the biggest names in coaching who rebounded from embarrassing defeats in their first season as a head coach. An active luminary who lost multiple games to non-Division I colleges in his initial campaign before ascending to stardom as the all-time winningest coach is Duke's Mike Krzyzewski (lost to SUNY-Buffalo, Scranton and King's College in 1975-76 while coaching Army).
Wish Division I schools will soon find their bearings amid the chaotic restructuring of conferences forsaking tradition although the quest for mega-leagues could be delusional because they're vying for television revenue that might not exist.
Wish more accuracy for recruiting services incapable of discerning that Creighton's Doug McDermott, the unanimous national player of the year last season, should have been a Top 100 recruit coming out of high school in 2010. Ditto to announcers who infect the sport by spreading this virus without ever seeing any of the players enough to properly evaluate them.
Wish marquee coaches wouldn't serve up assistants as sacrificial lambs resembling Grinch when the heat of an investigation of their program intensifies.
Wish prominent programs would reduce, if not eliminate, academic exceptions. Of course, the quality of play will diminish by emphasizing textbook student-athletes but it's not as if half of the non-league games on TV aren't mismatches, anyway.
Wish wisdom for anyone who incessantly castigates the majority of undergraduates declaring early for the NBA draft. Before accepting the party line that many of the players are making monumental mistakes by forgoing their remaining college eligibility, remember that more than half of the NBA's All-Pro selections in the last quarter century or so left college early or never attended a university.
Wish a heart for any school not promptly granting a recruit seeking to enroll elsewhere a release from its letter-of-intent when he wants to attend another institution for legitimate reasons.
Wish jaws wired shut for "Me Generation" showmen who've failed to comprehend their respective teams don't benefit on the court from a trash-talking Harlem Globetrotter routine.
Wish self-absorbed players will finally see the light and spend less time getting tattoos and practicing macho dunks and more on team beneficial free throws. It all hinges on dedication. There is a reason they're supposed to be "free" throws instead of Shaq-like "foul" shots.
Wish high-profile coaches would show more allegiance rather than taking off for greener pastures despite having multiple years remaining on their contract. Also wish said pacts didn't include bonus for graduation ratio or GPA insofar as many coaches become Sgt. "I Know Nothing" Schultz whenever academic anemia issues surface.
Wish network analysts would refrain from serving as apologists for the coaching community. When their familiar spiels echo throughout hoopdom, they become nothing more than the big mouths that bore.
Wish marquee schools will vow to stop forsaking entertaining non-conference games with natural rivals while scheduling a half-dozen or more meaningless "rout-a-matics" at home. Aren't two or three gimmes enough?
Wish a generous dose of ethics to defrauding coaches who manipulate junior colleges and high schools into giving phony grades. Ditto coaches who steer prize high school prospects to third parties toying with standardized test results.
Wish authenticity for those "fatherly-advice" coaches who don't mandate that any player with pro potential take multiple financial literacy courses. Did they notice in recent years that products from Alabama, Georgia Tech, Georgetown, Kentucky and Syracuse filed for bankruptcy after combining for more than half a billion dollars in salaries over their NBA careers? What kind of classes are taken in college anyway if a staggering 60% of NBA players file for bankruptcy five years after retirement? There's personal responsibility, but shouldn't the universities they attended feel some sort of culpability? And don't you wish most agents would become extinct if such a high percentage of pros end up with holes in their pockets?
Wish overzealous fans will stop flogging freshmen for not living up to their high school press clippings right away. The impatient onlookers need to get a grip on themselves.
Wish many of the excessive number of small schools thinking they can compete at the Division I level would return to DII or DIII. There are far too many examples of dreamy-eyed small schools that believe competing with the big boys will get them national recognition, make big bucks from the NCAA Tournament and put the institutions on the map. They don't know how unrealistic that goal is until most of the hyphenated and directional schools barnstorm the country during their non-conference schedules in college basketball versions of Bataan Death Marches.
Wish lapdog-lazy media would display more energy exhibiting enterprising analysis. Why do almost all of the principal college basketball websites "progressively" look and read virtually the same? It's a byproduct of predictably pathetic press needing a jolt of adversarial reporting.
Wish ESPN would cease giving forums to "experts" who either lie to NCAA investigators as a coach, drop their pants for locker-room motivation, get fired for intoxication, can't quite figure out that Dell Curry's sons could also be All-Americans or practice reprehensible race-baiting with the intellectually-bankrupt "Uncle Tom" bomb.
Today is the anniversary of a "David vs. Goliath" game hailed as one of the biggest upsets in college basketball history when national player of the year Ralph Sampson and Virginia got coal in their Christmas stocking by losing at Chaminade, 77-72, in Hawaii in 1982-83. The contest triggered one of the greatest achievements in small-college history as Chaminade went on to defeat an NCAA Division I school winning at least one NCAA playoff game in three consecutive campaigns. Following is a chronological list of victories by small schools over major universities going on to win at least one NCAA playoff game that season:
Small College NCAA Playoff Team (Record) Score Georgetown College (KY) Louisville (19-12 in 1958-59) 84-78 St. Mary's (TX) Houston (25-5 in 1969-70) 76-66 Chaminade (Hawaii) Virginia (29-5 in 1982-83) 77-72 Chaminade (Hawaii) Louisville (24-11 in 1983-84) 83-72 Chaminade (Hawaii) Southern Methodist (23-10 in 1984-85) 71-70 Alaska-Anchorage Michigan (30-7 in 1988-89) 70-66 UC Riverside Iowa (23-10 in 1988-89) 110-92 Alaska-Anchorage Wake Forest (21-12 in 1993-94) 70-68 American-Puerto Rico Arkansas (24-9 in 1997-98) 64-59 Bethel (IN) Valparaiso (23-10 in 1997-98) 85-75 Elizabeth City State (NC) Norfolk State (26-10 in 2011-12) 69-57
"People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it." - George Bernard Shaw
Could a short ex-hoopster in college contribute in a big way in the first college football playoff? Oregon wideout/punt returner Johnathan Loyd, who caught a TD pass from Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota against Wyoming and returned a punt for 51 yards at Utah, is the winningest player in the Ducks' basketball history (97 victories). Loyd led them in assists last season when he supplied a game-high six scoring feeds in an NCAA tourney opening-round win against BYU and team-high five assists when they were eliminated by Wisconsin.
Loyd isn't the first such versatile athlete. South Carolina football wide receiver/basketball guard Bruce Ellington, after throwing a touchdown pass to the Gamecocks' quarterback on a reverse and catching a go-ahead TD pass in the second half of the Capital One Bowl against Wisconsin last year, is among the all-time Top 10 "Men For All Seasons." In an era of specialization, preliminary research reveals Ellington is the first major-college basketball regular to compete the same academic school year in three consecutive football bowl games. Living up to George Bernard Shaw's credo, he joined Terry Baker (Oregon State), Rick Casares (Florida), Ronald Curry (North Carolina), Charles Davis (Purdue), Pete "Bump" Elliott (Michigan), Fred Gibson (Georgia), Teyo Johnson (Stanford), Matt Jones (Arkansas), Terry Kirby (Virginia), Dave Logan (Colorado) and Tony "Zippy" Morocco (Georgia) as athletes who scored a touchdown in a bowl game shortly before or after switching uniforms and making significant contributions to the school's basketball squad. Ellington, after pacing USC in pass receptions, cut short both his college football and basketball career by declaring early for the NFL draft (started two of three early-season hoop contests).
In the ultimate one-and-only achievement, Baker is the lone football Heisman Trophy winner to play in the basketball Final Four (1963). Kirby, a running back, and Matt Blundin, a quarterback, were teammates who competed in back-to-back years for Virginia football squads in bowl games (Florida Citrus following 1989 season and Sugar following 1990) before becoming members of Cavaliers hoop teams participating in the NCAA playoffs.
A striking number of athletes did Loyd one better by playing both sports at the highest collegiate level in the same school year. Retiring from the NFL last season, all-time great tight end Tony Gonzalez (California) is among the following alphabetical list of versatile athletes since the end of World War II who played in at least one football bowl game the same school year they were a hoop regular (bowl year denotes when regular season was played):
|Football-Basketball Player||College||FB Pos.||Bowl Game(s)||Two-Way Athlete Summary in Same Academic School Year|
|Doug Atkins||Tennessee||DE||1950 Cotton||Eventual NFL first-round pick helped defeat Texas 20-14 before averaging 9.9 ppg for Volunteers' basketball squad.|
|Terry Baker||Oregon State||QB||1962 Liberty||MVP's 99-yard run from scrimmage accounted for only points in 6-0 victory against Villanova before becoming runner-up in scoring (13.4 ppg) with Beavers' NCAA Tournament fourth-place finisher.|
|Connor Barwin||Cincinnati||TE||2006 International||One solo tackle in 27-24 triumph against Western Michigan before averaging 1.2 ppg and 1.4 rpg for Bearcats' basketball team.|
|Matt Blundin||Virginia||QB||1989 Florida Citrus/1990 Sugar||Backup in two defeats (31-21 vs. Illinois and 23-22 vs. Tennessee) while averaging 3.3 ppg and 4.6 rpg with two NCAA playoff teams for Cavaliers.|
|Larry Brown||Georgia||TE||1997 Outback||Defeated Wisconsin 33-6 before averaging 6.3 ppg and 4.2 rpg for Bulldogs' NIT third-place team.|
|Rick Casares||Florida||FB-PK||1952 Gator||Rushed 21 times for 86 yards, scoring first TD in Gators' bowl history, and kicked both extra points in 14-13 nod over Tulsa before All-SEC second-team selection paced hoop squad in scoring (15.5 ppg) and rebounding (11.5 rpg).|
|Ronald Curry||North Carolina||QB||1998 Las Vegas||Curry's 48-yard TD scamper put Tar Heels in front to stay in 20-13 win over San Diego State before averaging 2.8 ppg and 1.7 apg for hoop squad upset in first round of NCAA playoiffs by Weber State.|
|Charles Davis||Purdue||TE||2004 Sun||His 6-yard TD reception from Kyle Orton put Boilermakers ahead with just over one minute remaining but Arizona State marched 80 yards in four plays to win 27-23 before Davis averaged 2.9 ppg and 3.1 rpg in coach Gene Keady's swan song.|
|Matt Davison||Nebraska||SE||1999 Fiesta||Leading Husker receiver in three bowl games, including 31-21 nod over Tennessee, before starting two Big 12 Conference basketball contests.|
|Rickey Dudley||Ohio State||TE||1994 Florida Citrus||Caught two passes for 26 yards in 24-17 setback against Alabama before averaging team-high 7.5 rpg.|
|Bruce Ellington||South Carolina||WR||2011 Capital One/2012 Outback/2013 Capital One||Season-long 45-yard kickoff return in 30-13 win over Nebraska and caught game-winning TD pass with only seconds remaining in 33-28 victory against Michigan before averaging 10.5 ppg while finishing Gamecocks' leader in either assists or steals.|
|Pete "Bump" Elliott||Michigan||B||1947 Rose Bowl||Rushed seven times for 53 yards and caught 1-yard TD pass in 49-0 romp over Southern California before averaging 6 ppg for Wolverine hoopsters.|
|Percy Ellsworth||Virginia||S||1994 Independence||Integral part of defense leading nation in interceptions helped Cavaliers end four-game bowl losing streak with 20-10 verdict over TCU before appearing in all four contests with Midwest Regional runner-up in NCAA tourney.|
|James Francis||Baylor||LB||1986 Bluebonnet||Eventual NFL first-round pick helped Bears beat Colorado 21-9 before averaging 2.2 ppg and 2.2 rpg while shooting 52.2% from floor.|
|Fred Gibson||Georgia||WR||2001 Music City||Opened scoring with 15-yard TD reception but Boston College rallied to prevail 20-16 before Gibson averaged 4.9 ppg with Bulldogs' NCAA playoff team.|
|Tony Gonzalez||California||TE||1996 Aloha||Established Cal bowl record with nine receptions in 42-38 reversal against Navy before averaging 6.8 ppg and 4.5 rpg with Bears' squad losing against North Carolina in East Regional semifinals.|
|Gregg Guenther||Southern California||TE||2003 Rose||Part-time starter for national champion managed one reception for 19 yards from QB Matt Leinart in 28-14 win against Michigan before averaging 5.6 ppg and 4.7 rpg with Trojans' hoop squad.|
|Ross Hales||Indiana||TE||1993 Independence||Caught 34-yard pass in second quarter of 45-20 loss against Virginia Tech before making token appearance for Coach Bob Knight in Hoosiers' 67-58 win over Temple in NCAA playoffs.|
|Cecil Hankins||Oklahoma A&M||B||1945 Cotton||Two-way back and top pass receive for Aggies team that trounced TCU before playing forward and leading basketball squad in scoring in NCAA playoffs for 1945 national titlist.|
|Joe Howard||Notre Dame||WR||1983 Liberty||Caught one pass for 43 yards in 19-18 decision over Doug Flutie-led Boston College before averaging 5.5 ppg and 3.3 apg as part-time starter with Irish NIT runner-up.|
|Teyo Johnson||Stanford||WR||2001 Seattle||A 4-yard fourth-quarter TD reception closed gap prior to bowing against Georgia Tech 24-14 before averaging 5.8 ppg and 4 rpg with Cardinal NCAA playoff squad.|
|Matt Jones||Arkansas||QB||2003 Independence||Scored go-ahead TD, rushed 7 times for 74 yards and completed 6 of 14 passes in 27-14 verdict over Missouri before averaging 5 ppg and 4.5 rpg as Hogs hoop freshman.|
|Wallace "Wah Wah" Jones||Kentucky||SE||1947 Great Lakes||Leader in pass receptions from QB George Blanda under legendary coach Paul "Bear" Bryant for squad beating Villanova 24-14. All-SEC first-team selection in basketball averaged 9.3 ppg for Adolph Rupp's 1948 NCAA titlist.|
|Jeff King||Virginia Tech||TE||2004 Sugar||Caught three passes for 12 yards in 16-13 setback against Auburn before collecting 18 points and 23 rebounds in 16 games as hoop freshman with Hokies.|
|Terry Kirby||Virginia||RB||1989 Florida Citrus/1990 Sugar||Rushed for 139 yards in 29 carries with one TD in losses against Illinois (31-21) and Tennessee (23-22) before averaging 2.8 ppg in two seasons with Cavaliers' hoops squad.|
|Dave Logan||Colorado||WR||1975 Bluebonnet||His 4-yard TD reception gave Buffaloes 14-0 lead prior to them succumbing against Texas 38-21 before becoming basketball team's runner-up in scoring (12.7 ppg) and rebounding (6.5 rpg).|
|Leonard Mitchell||Houston||DE||1978 Cotton||UH squandered 34-12 lead when Joe Montana-led Notre Dame scored 23 unanswered points in fourth quarter to win by one before Mitchell averaged 5.4 ppg and 5.6 rpg for Cougars' hoop squad.|
|Tony "Zippy" Morocco||Georgia||HB||1950 Presidential Cup||Scored two second-half touchdowns (30-yard run from scrimmage and 65-yard punt return) as Co-MVP in 40-20 setback against Texas A&M before averaging 9.7 ppg with Bulldogs' basketball team.|
|Nate Robinson||Washington||CB||2002 Sun||His QB sack helped Huskies get off to strong start before bowing against Purdue 34-24 prior to freshman pacing hoopsters in scoring (13 ppg).|
|Reggie Rogers||Washington||DL||1984 Orange||Eventual NFL first-round draft choice helped upend Oklahoma 28-17 before averaging 5.7 ppg and 3.9 rpg with Huskies' hoop squad.|
|Bill Saul||Penn State||LB||1959 Liberty||Defeated Alabama 7-0 before averaging 6.1 ppg and 4 rpg with Nittany Lions' hoopsters.|
|Dick Schnittker||Ohio State||E||1950 Rose||Rushed once for five yards in 17-14 victory against California before All-Big Ten Conference first-team selection was game-high scorer in two 1950 NCAA playoff contests for Buckeyes.|
|Austin Seferian-Jenkins||Washington||TE||2011 Alamo||Caught five passes for 59 yards in highest-scoring regulation bowl game in history (67-56 loss to RGIII-led Baylor) before collecting seven points and nine rebounds in four NIT contests for Huskies' semifinalist.|
|Dick Soergel||Oklahoma State||QB||1958 Bluegrass||Completed 6 of 12 passes for 77 yards and 2-point conversion in 15-6 win against Florida State before averaging 8.5 ppg and 4.9 rpg for Pokes' basketball squad plus posting 8-1 pitching record and winning national championship baseball game.|
|Wilson Thomas||Nebraska||WR||2001 Rose||Huskers leading receiver caught three passes for 36 yards in 37-14 loss against Miami (Fla.) before averaging 4.6 ppg and 3.8 rpg.|
|Willie Townsend||Notre Dame||WR||1972 Orange||Irish's top pass catcher and teammates lost to Johnny Rodgers-led Nebraska 40-6 before averaging 2.1 ppg for Digger Phelps-coached hoop squad.|
|Charlie Ward||Florida State||QB||1992 Orange/1993 Orange||Completed 39-of-73 passes for 473 yards in back-to-back victories over Nebraska (27-14 and 18-16) while pacing FSU in assists and steals average his final two hoop campaigns.|
|Ron Widby||Tennessee||P||1965 Bluebonnet/1966 Gator||Nation's top punter for coach Doug Dickey's second of first two Vols football teams that both went to bowl games (wins over Tulsa 27-6 and Syracuse 18-12) while also being an All-SEC basketball selection (including 50-point outburst in final home game).|
"We will either find a way or make one." - Hannibal, Carthaginian military commander
UCLA, in a stellar 10-year stretch from 1963-64 through 1972-73 ruling the scene much like Hannibal, accounted for four of only 12 squads to go undefeated since the start of national tournament postseason competition in the late 1930s. After Louisville failed to catch Kentucky with a post-Christmas hangover, the Wildcats could become #13 insofar as the SEC appears particularly mediocre.
UK was soundly whipped by undefeated LIU in 1938-39 before the Wildcats went unbeaten themselves 15 years later. The average number of defeats the previous year for the first 12 unbeaten teams was five. Thus the Wildcats will need to buck history because they dropped 11 games last season. The only time in major-college history that two undefeated major colleges met in a national postseason tournament was the 1939 NIT final between Loyola of Chicago and Long Island University. LIU (23-0) defeated Loyola (21-1), 44-32.
In a seven-year span, all-time greats Lew Alcindor (UCLA in 1966-67), Bill Walton (UCLA in 1971-72) and David Thompson (North Carolina State in 1972-73) weren't freshmen but they were in their first season of varsity eligibility when leading their unbeaten teams in scoring. Following are the schedules and team statistics for the 12 squads, including the last one to achieve the feat in 1975-76 (Indiana won five regular-season games by fewer than five points or in overtime), to go undefeated since the start of national tournament postseason competition:
Long Island (23-0 in 1938-39)
Coach: Clair Bee (eighth of 18 seasons with Blackbirds)
|1938-39 LIU Opponents||Score||LIU's High Scorer|
|Newark University (N.J.)||64-14||George Newman 14|
|Panzer College||41-35||Daniel Kaplowitz 15|
|Princeton/Seminary||82-37||John Bromberg/Irv Torgoff 10|
|McGill University (Quebec)||77-39||Irv Torgoff 12|
|Montclair Teachers College (N.J.)||63-40||Irv Torgoff 10|
|East Stroudsburg Teachers (Pa.)||63-33||John Bromberg 14|
|Southern California||33-18||Daniel Kaplowitz 12|
|Kentucky||52-34||John Bromberg 12|
|Marquette||41-34||Arthur Hillhouse 14|
|New York Athletic Club||64-43||Arthur Hillhouse 15|
|Toledo||46-39||Irv Torgoff 18|
|Geneva College (Pa.)||48-39||Irv Torgoff 15|
|Duquesne||48-31||John Bromberg 13|
|Scranton (Pa.)||65-53||Daniel Kaplowitz 16|
|Canisius||62-50||Myron Sewitch 15|
|St. Francis (N.Y.)||61-20||Ossie Schechtman 13|
|St. Bonaventure||70-31||Irv Torgoff 12|
|University of Baltimore||52-34||Daniel Kaplowitz 9|
|John Marshall College||65-25||Irv Torgoff 11|
|at La Salle||28-21||Daniel Kaplowitz 7|
|New Mexico State (NIT)||52-45||Irv Torgoff 14|
|Bradley (NIT)||36-32||John Bromberg 12|
|Loyola of Chicago (NIT)||44-32||Irv Torgoff 12|
NOTES: La Salle game technically played on a neutral court (Philadelphia Convention Hall). . . . NIT games played at Madison Square Garden.
INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS FOR LIU REGULARS
|Oscar "Ossie" Schechtman||G||Soph.||22||4.8|
|Seymour "Cy" Lobello||C||Soph.||22||4.4|
*Hillhouse completed eligibility at the end of the first semester.
**King became eligible at the start of the second semester.
Seton Hall (19-0 in 1939-40)
Coach: John "Honey" Russell (fourth of 18 seasons with Pirates)
|1939-40 Seton Hall Opponents||Score||Pirates High Scorer|
|Alumni||45-29||Nick Parpan 12|
|Mount St. Mary's||58-32||Ed Sadowski 13|
|Tulane||53-25||Bob Davies 9|
|Florida||43-41||Bob Davies/Ed Sadowski 13|
|William & Mary||51-35||Ed Sadowski 17|
|at Scranton||48-32||Ed Sadowski 17|
|Becker||69-29||Ed Sadowski 14|
|at Kutztown (Pa.)||42-34||Ed Sadowski 15|
|Loyola (Md.)||50-40||Ed Sadowski 13|
|at St. Peter's||55-27||Bernie Coyle 13|
|at Brooklyn||51-34||Bob Fischer 13|
|Rider||44-32||Bob Davies/John Ruthenberg 8|
|St. Francis (Pa.)||48-36||Bob Davies 17|
|St. Bonaventure||46-41||Bob Davies 19|
|Kutztown (Pa.)||53-33||Bob Davies 15|
|Canisius||52-46||Bob Davies 17|
|Catholic (D.C.)||53-27||Edward Ryan 13|
|Brooklyn||43-41||Frank Delany 16|
|Scranton (Pa.)||68-39||Bob Davies 16|
NOTE: Seton Hall played its home games at five different arenas - East Orange High School, Elizabeth Armory, Orange Armory, Orange High School and Dickinson High School (Jersey City).
INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS FOR SETON HALL REGULARS
*Sadowski missed the second half of the season because of a broken kneecap.
Army/U.S. Military Academy (15-0 in winter of 1944)
Coach: Ed Kelleher (first of two seasons with Cadets)
|1943-44 Army Opponents||Score||Army's High Scorer|
|Swarthmore (Pa.)||80-29||Bob Faas 20|
|Colgate||69-44||Dale Hall 18|
|St. John's||49-36||Dale Hall 21|
|at Columbia||55-37||Dale Hall 17|
|Penn State||49-38||Dale Hall 14|
|Coast Guard||55-37||Doug Kenna 11|
|West Virginia||58-31||Dale Hall 18|
|at Rochester (N.Y.)||57-43||Dale Hall 23|
|Pittsburgh||66-32||Ed Christl 16|
|Hobart (N.Y.)||69-36||Dale Hall/Doug Kenna 20|
|Pennsylvania||55-38||Dale Hall 18|
|Villanova||34-22||Dale Hall 23|
|New York University||46-36||Dale Hall 18|
|Maryland||85-22||Dale Hall 32|
|Navy||47-40||Doug Kenna 17|
INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS FOR ARMY REGULARS
Kentucky (25-0 in 1953-54)
Coach: Adolph Rupp (24th of 41 seasons with Wildcats)
|1953-54 UK Opponents||Score||UK's High Scorer|
|Temple||86-59||Cliff Hagan 51|
|at Xavier||81-66||Frank Ramsey 27|
|Wake Forest||101-69||Cliff Hagan 18|
|at St. Louis||71-59||Frank Ramsey 21|
|Duke||85-69||Cliff Hagan 27|
|La Salle||73-60||Cliff Hagan 28|
|Minnesota||74-59||Frank Ramsey 23|
|Xavier||77-71||Cliff Hagan 20|
|Georgia Tech||105-53||Cliff Hagan 34|
|DePaul||81-63||Cliff Hagan/Frank Ramsey 22|
|Tulane||94-43||Frank Ramsey 26|
|at Tennessee||97-71||Frank Ramsey 37|
|at Vanderbilt||85-63||Frank Ramsey 24|
|Georgia Tech*||99-48||Cliff Hagan 23|
|Georgia||106-55||Frank Ramsey 29|
|Georgia*||100-68||Cliff Hagan 29|
|at Florida||97-55||Cliff Hagan 22|
|Mississippi||88-62||Cliff Hagan 38|
|Mississippi State||81-49||Cliff Hagan 26|
|Tennessee||90-63||Cliff Hagan 24|
|at DePaul||76-61||Cliff Hagan 29|
|Vanderbilt||100-64||Cliff Hagan 22|
|Auburn*||109-79||Frank Ramsey 28|
|at Alabama||68-43||Cliff Hagan 24|
|Louisiana State* (SEC Playoff)||63-56||Frank Ramsey 30|
*Neutral court games.
INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS FOR KENTUCKY REGULARS
San Francisco (29-0 in 1955-56)
Coach: Phil Woolpert (fifth of nine seasons with Dons)
|1955-56 USF Opponents||Score||USF's High Scorer|
|Chico State (Calif.)||70-39||Bill Russell 15|
|Southern California||58-42||Bill Russell 24|
|San Francisco State||72-47||Bill Russell 20|
|Marquette*||65-58||Bill Russell 16|
|at DePaul||82-59||K.C. Jones 23|
|at Wichita||75-65||Bill Russell 17|
|at Loyola of New Orleans||61-43||Bill Russell 20|
|La Salle*||79-62||Bill Russell 26|
|Holy Cross*||67-51||Bill Russell 24|
|UCLA*||70-53||Bill Russell 17|
|Pepperdine||62-51||Bill Russell 20|
|Santa Clara||74-56||Mike Farmer 18|
|at Fresno State||69-50||Bill Russell 22|
|at California||33-24||K.C. Jones 15|
|San Jose State||67-40||Bill Russell 21|
|Loyola of Los Angeles||68-46||Carl Boldt 20|
|at Pacific||77-60||Bill Russell 24|
|Fresno State||79-46||Bill Russell 23|
|at San Jose State||76-52||Bill Russell 21|
|at St. Mary's||76-63||Bill Russell 28|
|at Santa Clara||80-44||Bill Russell 29|
|Pacific||87-49||Bill Russell 28|
|at Pepperdine||68-40||Carl Boldt 14|
|at Loyola of Los Angeles||65-48||Bill Russell 24|
|St. Mary's||82-49||Bill Russell 22|
|UCLA* (NCAA Tournament)||72-61||Gene Brown 23|
|Utah* (NCAA Tournament)||92-77||Bill Russell 27|
|Southern Methodist* (NCAA Tournament)||86-68||Mike Farmer 26|
|Iowa* (NCAA Tournament)||83-71||Bill Russell 26|
*Neutral court games.
INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS FOR USF REGULARS
*Ineligible for NCAA Tournament as a fifth-year player.
North Carolina (32-0 in 1956-57)
Coach: Frank McGuire (fifth of nine seasons with Tar Heels)
|1956-57 UNC Opponents||Score||Carolina's High Scorer|
|Furman||94-66||Lennie Rosenbluth 47|
|Clemson*||94-75||Pete Brennan 28|
|George Washington||82-55||Lennie Rosenbluth 27|
|at South Carolina||90-86||Tommy Kearns 29|
|Maryland||70-61||Lennie Rosenbluth 26|
|at New York University||64-59||Bob Cunningham 16|
|Dartmouth*||89-61||Lennie Rosenbluth 30|
|Holy Cross*||83-70||Lennie Rosenbluth 23|
|Utah*||97-76||Lennie Rosenbluth 36|
|Duke*||87-71||Lennie Rosenbluth 32|
|Wake Forest*||63-55||Lennie Rosenbluth 18|
|at William & Mary||71-61||Pete Brennan 20|
|Clemson||86-54||Lennie Rosenbluth 34|
|Virginia||102-90||Lennie Rosenbluth 30|
|at North Carolina State||83-57||Lennie Rosenbluth 29|
|at Western Carolina||77-59||Lennie Rosenbluth 26|
|at Maryland||65-61 (2OT)||Lennie Rosenbluth 25|
|Duke||75-73||Lennie Rosenbluth 35|
|at Virginia||68-59||Lennie Rosenbluth 23|
|Wake Forest||72-69||Lennie Rosenbluth 24|
|North Carolina State||86-57||Lennie Rosenbluth 28|
|South Carolina||75-62||Pete Brennan 26|
|at Wake Forest||69-64||Lennie Rosenbluth 30|
|at Duke||86-72||Lennie Rosenbluth 40|
|Clemson* (ACC Tournament)||81-61||Lennie Rosenbluth 45|
|Wake Forest* (ACC Tournament)||61-59||Lennie Rosenbluth 23|
|South Carolina* (ACC Tournament)||95-75||Lennie Rosenbluth 38|
|Yale* (NCAA Tournament)||90-74||Lennie Rosenbluth 29|
|Canisius* (NCAA Tournament)||87-75||Lennie Rosenbluth 39|
|Syracuse* (NCAA Tournament)||67-58||Lennie Rosenbluth 23|
|Michigan State* (NCAA Tournament)||74-70 (3OT)||Lennie Rosenbluth 31|
|Kansas* (NCAA Tournament)||54-53 (3OT)||Lennie Rosenbluth 20|
*Neutral court games.
INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS FOR NORTH CAROLINA REGULARS
UCLA (30-0 in 1963-64)
Coach: John Wooden (16th of 27 seasons with Bruins)
|1963-64 UCLA Opponents||Score||Bruins High Scorer|
|Brigham Young||113-71||Walt Hazzard 20|
|Butler||80-65||Walt Hazzard 21|
|Kansas State*||78-75||Gail Goodrich 21|
|Kansas*||74-54||Gail Goodrich 23|
|Baylor*||112-61||Walt Hazzard 23|
|Creighton*||95-79||Walt Hazzard 26|
|Yale||95-65||Gail Goodrich 25|
|Michigan||98-80||Gail Goodrich 30|
|Illinois||83-79||Gail Goodrich 21|
|at Washington State||88-83||Gail Goodrich 28|
|at Washington State||121-77||Gail Goodrich 21|
|Southern California||79-59||Walt Hazzard 21|
|Southern California||78-71||Gail Goodrich 23|
|Stanford||84-71||Gail Goodrich 23|
|Stanford*||80-61||Walt Hazzard 31|
|UC Santa Barbara||107-76||Gail Goodrich/Walt Hazzard 21|
|UC Santa Barbara*||87-59||Gail Goodrich 31|
|at California||87-67||Gail Goodrich 26|
|at California||58-56||Walt Hazzard 17|
|Washington||73-58||Walt Hazzard 17|
|Washington||88-60||Gail Goodrich 22|
|at Stanford||100-88||Walt Hazzard 27|
|at Washington||78-64||Keith Erickson/Walt Hazzard 21|
|Washington State||93-56||Walt Hazzard 19|
|California||87-57||Gail Goodrich 23|
|Southern California||91-81||Gail Goodrich 23|
|Seattle* (NCAA Tournament)||95-90||Walt Hazzard 26|
|San Francisco* (NCAA Tournament)||76-72||Walt Hazzard 23|
|Kansas State* (NCAA Tournament)||90-84||Keith Erickson 28|
|Duke* (NCAA Tournament)||98-83||Gail Goodrich 27|
*Neutral court games.
INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS FOR UCLA REGULARS
UCLA (30-0 in 1966-67)
Coach: John Wooden (19th of 27 seasons with Bruins)
|1966-67 UCLA Opponents||Score||Bruins High Scorer|
|Southern California||105-90||Lew Alcindor 56|
|Duke||88-54||Lew Alcindor/Lucius Allen 19|
|Duke||107-87||Lew Alcindor 38|
|Colorado State||84-74||Lew Alcindor 34|
|Notre Dame||96-67||Lew Alcindor 25|
|Wisconsin||100-56||Lew Alcindor 24|
|Georgia Tech||91-72||Lew Alcindor 18|
|Southern California||107-83||Lew Alcindor 25|
|at Washington State||76-67||Lew Alcindor 28|
|at Washington||83-68||Lew Alcindor 28|
|California||96-78||Lew Alcindor 26|
|Stanford||116-78||Lew Alcindor 37|
|Portland||122-57||Lew Alcindor 27|
|UC Santa Barbara||119-75||Lew Alcindor 37|
|at Loyola of Chicago||82-67||Lew Alcindor 35|
|Illinois*||120-82||Lew Alcindor 45|
|at Southern California||40-35 (OT)||Lew Alcindor 13|
|Oregon State||76-44||Lew Alcindor/Lucius Allen 22|
|Oregon||100-66||Lucius Allen 20|
|at Oregon||34-25||Lew Alcindor 12|
|at Oregon State||72-50||Lew Alcindor 28|
|Washington||71-43||Lew Alcindor 37|
|Washington State||100-78||Lew Alcindor 61|
|at Stanford||75-47||Lew Alcindor 20|
|at California||103-66||Lew Alcindor 30|
|Southern California||83-55||Lew Alcindor 26|
|Wyoming* (NCAA Tournament)||109-60||Lew Alcindor 29|
|Pacific* (NCAA Tournament)||80-64||Lew Alcindor 38|
|Houston* (NCAA Tournament)||73-58||Lynn Shackelford 22|
|Dayton* (NCAA Tournament)||79-64||Lew Alcindor 20|
*Neutral court games.
INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS FOR UCLA REGULARS
UCLA (30-0 in 1971-72)
Coach: John Wooden (24th of 27 seasons with Bruins)
|1971-72 UCLA Opponents||Score||Bruins High Scorer|
|The Citadel||105-49||Henry Bibby 26|
|Iowa||106-72||Henry Bibby 32|
|Iowa State||110-81||Bill Walton 24|
|Texas A&M||117-53||Bill Walton 23|
|Notre Dame||114-56||Henry Bibby 28|
|Texas Christian||119-81||Bill Walton 31|
|Texas||115-65||Bill Walton 28|
|Ohio State||79-53||Bill Walton 14|
|at Oregon State||78-72||Henry Bibby 17|
|at Oregon||93-68||Bill Walton 30|
|Stanford||118-79||Bill Walton 32|
|California||82-43||Bill Walton 20|
|Santa Clara||92-57||Keith Wilkes 16|
|Denver||108-61||Henry Bibby/Larry Farmer 19|
|at Loyola of Chicago||92-64||Henry Bibby/Bill Walton 18|
|at Notre Dame||57-32||Henry Bibby 15|
|Southern California||81-56||Bill Walton 22|
|Washington State||89-58||Bill Walton 25|
|Washington||109-70||Bill Walton 27|
|at Washington||100-83||Bill Walton 31|
|at Washington State||85-55||Larry Hollyfield/Keith Wilkes 16|
|Oregon||92-70||Bill Walton 37|
|Oregon State||92-72||Bill Walton 26|
|at California||91-71||Bill Walton 24|
|at Stanford||102-73||Greg Lee 16|
|at Southern California||79-66||Bill Walton 20|
|Weber State* (NCAA Tournament)||90-58||Henry Bibby 16|
|Long Beach State* (NCAA Tournament)||73-57||Henry Bibby 23|
|Louisville* (NCAA Tournaqment)||96-77||Bill Walton 23|
|Florida State* (NCAA Tournament)||81-76||Bill Walton 24|
*Neutral court games.
INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS FOR UCLA REGULARS
UCLA (30-0 in 1972-73)
Coach: John Wooden (25th of 27 seasons with Bruins)
|1972-73 UCLA Opponents||Score||Bruins High Scorer|
|Wisconsin||94-53||Bill Walton 26|
|Bradley||73-38||Bill Walton 16|
|Pacific||81-48||Keith Wilkes 18|
|UC Santa Barbara||98-67||Bill Walton 30|
|Pittsburgh||89-73||Keith Wilkes 20|
|Notre Dame||82-56||Keith Wilkes 18|
|Drake*||85-72||Bill Walton 29|
|Illinois*||71-64||Bill Walton 22|
|Oregon||64-38||Larry Farmer/Keith Wilkes 14|
|Oregon State||87-61||Keith Wilkes 19|
|at Stanford||82-67||Larry Farmer/Larry Hollyfield/Bill Walton 18|
|at California||69-50||Larry Farmer/Keith Wilkes 18|
|San Francisco||92-64||Bill Walton 22|
|Providence||101-77||Larry Farmer 21|
|at Loyola of Chicago||87-73||Bill Walton 32|
|at Notre Dame||82-63||Keith Wilkes 20|
|at Southern California||79-56||Bill Walton 20|
|at Washington State||88-50||Bill Walton 17|
|at Washington||76-67||Bill Walton 29|
|Washington||93-62||Bill Walton 26|
|Washington State||96-64||Bill Walton 29|
|at Oregon||72-61||Keith Wilkes 18|
|at Oregon State||73-67||Bill Walton 21|
|California||90-65||Bill Walton/Keith Wilkes 15|
|Stanford||51-45||Bill Walton 23|
|Southern California||76-56||Bill Walton/Keith Wilkes 17|
|Arizona State (NCAA Tournament)||98-81||Bill Walton 28|
|San Francisco (NCAA Tournament)||54-39||Larry Farmer 13|
|Indiana* (NCAA Tournament)||70-59||Tommy Curtis 22|
|Memphis State* (NCAA Tournament)||87-66||Bill Walton 44|
*Neutral court games.
INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS FOR UCLA REGULARS
Assists leader: Walton 168.
North Carolina State (27-0 in 1972-73)
Coach: Norman Sloan (seventh of 14 seasons with Wolfpack)
|1972-73 N.C. State Opponents||Score||Wolfpack High Scorer|
|Appalachian State||130-53||David Thompson 33|
|Atlantic Christian||110-40||David Thompson 32|
|Georgia Southern||144-100||David Thompson 40|
|South Florida||125-88||David Thompson 30|
|Wake Forest*||88-83||David Thompson 29|
|North Carolina*||68-61||David Thompson 19|
|Davidson*||103-90||Joe Cafferky 25|
|at Georgia||97-83||David Thompson 26|
|at Virginia||68-61||Monte Towe 17|
|Duke||94-87||Monte Towe/Tom Burleson 20|
|Lehigh||115-53||Tom Burleson 30|
|at Maryland||87-85||David Thompson 37|
|at Clemson||86-76||David Thompson 24|
|at Furman||98-73||David Thompson 27|
|Maryland||89-78||David Thompson 24|
|Virginia||64-59||David Thompson 18|
|North Carolina||76-73||David Thompson 22|
|Clemson*||68-61||David Thompson 30|
|Georgia Tech*||118-94||David Thompson 36|
|East Carolina||105-70||David Thompson 33|
|at Wake Forest||81-59||David Thompson 21|
|at Duke||74-50||David Thompson 31|
|UNC Charlotte||100-64||Tom Burleson 26|
|at North Carolina||82-78||David Thompson 18|
|Wake Forest||100-77||Tom Burleson 27|
|Virginia* (ACC Tournament)||63-51||Tom Burleson/David Thompson 14|
|Maryland* (ACC Tournament)||76-74||Tom Burleson 14|
*Neutral court games.
INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS FOR N.C. STATE REGULARS
INDIANA (32-0 in 1975-76)
Coach: Bob Knight (fifth of 29 seasons with Hoosiers)
|1975-76 IU Opponents||Score||IU's High Scorer|
|UCLA*||84-64||Scott May 33|
|Florida State*||83-59||Scott May 24|
|Notre Dame||63-60||Scott May 25|
|Kentucky*||77-68 (OT)||Kent Benson/Scott May 27|
|Georgia||93-56||Scott May 18|
|Virginia Tech||101-74||Scott May 27|
|Columbia*||106-63||Kent Benson 15|
|Manhattan*||97-61||Scott May 32|
|at St. John's||76-69||Scott May 29|
|at Ohio State||66-64||Scott May 24|
|Northwestern||78-61||Kent Benson 22|
|at Michigan||80-74||Kent Benson 33|
|at Michigan State||69-57||Kent Benson 23|
|at Illinois||83-55||Scott May 27|
|Purdue||71-67||Scott May 32|
|at Minnesota||85-76||Tom Abernethy 22|
|at Iowa||88-73||Scott May 32|
|Wisconsin||114-61||Scott May 30|
|Michigan||72-67 (OT)||Scott May 27|
|Michigan State||85-70||Kent Benson 38|
|Illinois||58-48||Kent Benson 17|
|at Purdue||74-71||Scott May 26|
|Minnesota||76-64||Tom Abernethy 22|
|Iowa||101-81||Quinn Buckner 24|
|at Wisconsin||96-67||Scott May 41|
|at Northwestern||76-63||Scott May 24|
|Ohio State||96-67||Kent Benson/Scott May 21|
|St. John's* (NCAA Tournament)||90-70||Scott May 33|
|Alabama* (NCAA Tournament)||74-69||Scott May 25|
|Marquette* (NCAA Tournament)||65-56||Kent Benson 18|
|UCLA* (NCAA Tournament)||65-51||Kent Benson 16|
|Michigan* (NCAA Tournament)||86-68||Scott May 26|
*Neutral court games.
INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS FOR INDIANA REGULARS
Assists leader: Wilkerson 171.
Blocked shots leader: Benson 39.
Steals leader: Buckner 65.
John Groce inherited a gross situation three years ago after two fellow mid-major coaches rejected overtures from Illinois. The Illini are one of the 10 schools with the most Top 20 appearances and aspire to avoid the disarray of the 1970s when they failed to finish in the Top 20 of a final wire-service poll or appear in the NCAA playoffs the entire decade.
There is no question Gross' program is progressing but Illini Nation won't be all it can be unless he fends off Duke (lost Jahlil Okafor this year to Chicago native Mike Krzyzewski) and Kansas (Cliff "Hat Trick" Alexander) for elite in-state recruits. Illini fans are disheartened because close only counts in hand grenades and bombs, horseshoes plus drive-in movies; not recruiting. Former Illini coach Bill Self previously lured Chicago-area All-Americans Sherron Collins and Julian Wright to KU. Additional Windy City regal recruits shunning the Illini since they reached the NCAA title game in 2005 include Jalen Brunson (Villanova), Quinn Cook (Duke), Anthony Davis (Kentucky), Eric Gordon (Indiana) and Derrick Rose (Memphis).
After compiling a losing Big Ten Conference record over the last eight years, it boils down to in-state recruiting. Among the Illinois natives who earned All-American status during the '70s with other universities were DePaul's Mark Aguirre (from Chicago), Minnesota's Jim Brewer (Maywood), Indiana's Quinn Buckner (Dolton), Penn's Corky Calhoun (Waukegan), Illinois State's Doug Collins (Benton), DePaul's Dave Corzine (Arlington Heights), Marquette's Bo Ellis (Chicago), Michigan's Rickey Green (Chicago), Kentucky's Dan Issel (Batavia), Iowa's Ronnie Lester (Chicago), Colorado's Cliff Meely (Chicago), Bradley's Roger Phegley (East Peoria), Kansas' Dave Robisch (Springfield), Marquette's Lloyd Walton (Chicago) and Jerome Whitehead (Waukegan) plus Georgia Tech's Rich Yunkus (Benton). Four of these standouts were All-Americans in the same season - Buckner, Ellis, Green and Walton in 1975-76.
Kansas has been a thorn in the Illini's side for an extended period. Alexander, Collins, Wright, Robisch and current frontcourter Jamari Traylor were joined at KU by the following '70s recruits from Illinois:
- Roger Brown (Chicago) - Leading rebounder for KU's 1971 Final Four squad.
- Seven of top eight scorers for Jayhawks' 1974 Final Four team - Norm Cook (Lincoln/All-Big Eight Conference first-team selection), Dale Greenlee (Rockford), Tom Kivisto (Aurora/all-league first-team selection), Roger Morningstar (Dundee/two-time all-league second-team selection), Tommie Smith (Kewanee), Rick Suttle (East St. Louis/three-time all-league selection) and Dave Taynor (Bethalto).
- Donnie Von Moore (Chicago) - End-of-the-bench forward for 1974 Final Four squad averaged 8.2 ppg, 5.8 rpg and 1.6 bpg the next three seasons.
- Herb Nobles (East St. Louis) - Leading rebounder and second-leading scorer in 1976-77.
Comparable to several decades ago, focusing its recruiting on Chicago won't be a panacea for the Illini. The "audacity-of-hype" truth is that the Windy City might be delusional and won't always supply a Messiah providing the "hope and change" you're seeking. Groce's staff needs to take every back road in the state. After all, Issel and Yunkus were among 22 different major-college All-Americans in less than 30 years to come from Illinois high schools in towns with populations smaller than 20,000. Bigger isn't always better or worth your time and energy. The Illini can't let a player such as Fred VanVleet (Rockford) leave the state and become an All-American at Wichita State.
"Holy shadows of the dead, I am not to blame for your cruel and bitter fate, but the accursed rivalry which brought sister nations and brother people to fight one another. I do not feel happy for this victory of mine. On the contrary, I would be glad, brothers, if I had all of you standing here next to me, since we are united by the same language, the same blood and the same visions." - Alexander the Great
After 105 years steeped in history amid off-the-chart contempt, the rivalry between Kansas and Missouri expired for the foreseeable future when Mizzou departed the Big 12 Conference for the SEC. KU has a commanding edge in nearly every category (winning percentage, victories away from home and close games decided by single digits), but the Tigers have been enough of a tormentor to make the series as energetic and entertaining as you can find anywhere. Their border war stacked right up there with the more nationally-acclaimed "Clash of the Titans" between Duke and North Carolina.
Making about as much sense as Dennis Rodman becoming the de facto U.S. ambassador to North Korea, it was shortsighted of KU and Mizzou to let their rivalry end. They simply join top six conference members DePaul/Illinois, Maryland/Georgetown, Pittsburgh/West Virginia and Cincinnati/Ohio State as potentially great natural non-league match-ups that their fans can't enjoy.
If bruised egos heal in the near future, perhaps sounder minds will prevail with Mizzou annually opposing KU in Kansas City much like it does in St. Louis against Illinois. But Mizzou can't complain if the Jayhawks continue to act like a jilted lover because the self-centered Tigers fail to oppose competent in-state foes such as Missouri State and Saint Louis.
By almost any measure including Alexander the Great's perspective, KU has a superior program to Mizzou. But Jayhawks coach Bill Self should rein in his rhetoric as the divorce dialogue intensified or at least take a crash course in college basketball history. When comparing the significance of the Kentucky/Louisville rivalry to the termination of KU's home-and-home conference conflicts with the Tigers, Self said: "Well, they've always played every year (out of league). That's all they know."
Well, Self needs to "always know" that UK and Louisville went 61 years from 1923 through 1983 without a regular-season matchup before they came to their senses and saw the light. Speaking of light, KU and Mizzou simply have to shed one lightweight apiece to keep a good thing going for the sport in general and for their fans specifically like the entertaining Philly Big 5. KU shouldn't also deny hoop fans a Top 20 matchup with Wichita State.
By toning down picking on patsies, there is plenty of room on their respective non-league schedules to keep playing each other. Ditto for Indiana and Kentucky plus Memphis and Tennessee resuming their rivalries, which would definitely be among the top 10 such confrontations in the country. If the century-old KU/Mizzou spectacle returns, it could immediately surpass Kentucky/Louisville and go atop the following list of the nation's top 20 non-conference rivalries if only because of longevity:
- Indiana/Notre Dame
- Brigham Young/Utah
- Iowa/Iowa State
- St. Joseph's/Villanova
- Georgia/Georgia Tech
- Florida/Florida State
- Clemson/South Carolina
- New Mexico/New Mexico State
- Utah/Utah State
- La Salle/Villanova
- Florida/Miami (FL)
- Iowa/Northern Iowa
- Colorado/Colorado State
T20. Providence/Rhode Island