No NCAA Division I men's team has compiled an undefeated record since Indiana in 1975-76. Gonzaga was the last remaining unbeaten team this season until the Zags bowed at home against Brigham Young in their 30th contest of the campaign.
The historical odds are against the Zags winning the NCAA title because only three final undefeated teams in the previous 37 years - (Duke '92, UConn '99 and Florida '06) - went on to capture the national crown.
Prior to probation-shackled SMU last season, Clemson (winner of its first 17 outings in 2006-07), was the only school in this last-of-the-unbeaten category to fail to participate in the NCAA playoffs. The Tigers finished runner-up in the NIT.
Gonzaga became the 11th of these 39 last-remaining-standing teams to suffer their first defeat at home. Following in reverse order are vital facts on final unbeaten teams since the Hoosiers a half-century ago:
|Season||Last Unbeaten (Wins)||First Defeat||Date||Score||Final Record/Postseason|
|2016-17||Gonzaga (29)*||Brigham Young||2-25-17||79-71||To be determined|
|2015-16||Southern Methodist (18)||at Temple||1-24-16||89-80||25-5/Probation|
|2014-15||Kentucky (38)*||vs. Wisconsin||4-4-15||71-64||38-1/NCAA Final Four|
|2013-14||Wichita State (35)*||vs. Kentucky||3-23-14||78-76||35-1/Second Round|
|2012-13||Michigan (16)||at Ohio State||1-13-13||56-53||31-8/NCAA Runner-up|
|2011-12||Murray State (23)*||Tennessee State||2-9-12||72-68||31-2/Second Round|
|2010-11||Ohio State (24)||at Wisconsin||2-12-11||71-67||34-3/Regional Semifinal|
|2009-10||Kentucky (19)||at South Carolina||1-26-10||68-62||35-3/Regional Final|
|2008-09||Wake Forest (16)||Virginia Tech||1-21-09||78-71||24-7/First Round|
|2007-08||Memphis (26)||Tennessee||2-23-08||66-62||38-2/National Runner-up|
|2006-07||Clemson (17)*||at Maryland||1-13-07||92-87||25-11/NIT Runner-up|
|2005-06||Florida (17)*||at Tennessee||1-21-06||80-76||33-6/NCAA Champion|
|2004-05||Illinois (29)*||at Ohio State||3-6-05||65-64||37-2/NCAA Runner-up|
|2003-04||Saint Joseph's (27)*||vs. Xavier||3-11-04||87-67||30-2/Regional Final|
|2002-03||Duke (12)||at Maryland||1-18-03||87-72||26-7/Regional Semifinal|
|2001-02||Duke (12)||at Florida State||1-6-02||77-76||31-4/Regional Semifinal|
|2000-01||Stanford (20)||UCLA||2-3-01||79-73||31-3/Regional Final|
|1999-00||Syracuse (19)||Seton Hall||2-7-00||69-67||26-6/Regional Semifinal|
|1998-99||Connecticut (19)||Syracuse||2-1-99||59-42||34-2/NCAA Champion|
|1997-98||Utah (18)||at New Mexico||2-1-98||77-74||30-4/NCAA Runner-up|
|1996-97||Kansas (22)||at Missouri (2OT)||2-4-97||96-94||34-2/Regional Semifinal|
|1995-96||Massachusetts (26)*||George Washington||2-24-96||86-76||35-2/NCAA Final Four|
|1994-95||Connecticut (15)||at Kansas||1-28-95||88-59||28-5/Regional Final|
|1993-94||UCLA (14)||at California||1-30-94||85-70||21-7/First Round|
|1992-93||Virginia (11)||at North Carolina||1-20-93||80-58||21-10/Regional Semifinal|
|1991-92||Duke (17)||at North Carolina||2-5-92||75-73||34-2/NCAA Champion|
|1991-92||Oklahoma State (20)||at Nebraska||2-5-92||85-69||28-8/Regional Semifinal|
|1990-91||UNLV (34)||vs. Duke||3-30-91||79-77||34-1/NCAA Final Four|
|1989-90||Georgetown (14)||at Connecticut||1-20-90||70-65||24-7/Second Round|
|1988-89||Illinois (17)||at Minnesota||1-26-89||69-62||31-5/NCAA Final Four|
|1987-88||Brigham Young (17)*||at UAB||2-6-88||102-83||26-6/Sweet 16|
|1986-87||DePaul (16)||at Georgetown||1-25-87||74-71||28-3/Regional Semifinal|
|1985-86||Memphis State (20)||at Virginia Tech||2-1-86||76-72||28-6/Second Round|
|1984-85||Georgetown (18)||St. John's||1-26-85||66-65||35-3/NCAA Runner-up|
|1983-84||North Carolina (21)||vs. Arkansas||2-12-84||65-64||28-3/Regional Semifinal|
|1982-83||UNLV (24)||at Cal State Fullerton||2-24-83||86-78||28-3/Second Round|
|1981-82||Missouri (19)||Nebraska||2-6-82||67-51||27-4/Regional Semifinal|
|1980-81||Oregon State (26)*||Arizona State||3-7-81||87-67||26-2/Second Round|
|1979-80||DePaul (26)*||at Notre Dame (2OT)||2-27-80||76-74||26-2/Second Round|
|1978-79||Indiana State (33)*||vs. Michigan State||3-26-79||75-64||33-1/NCAA Runner-up|
|1977-78||Kentucky (14)||at Alabama||1-23-78||78-62||30-2/NCAA Champion|
|1976-77||San Francisco (29)||at Notre Dame||3-5-77||93-82||29-2/First Round|
Kansas matched UCLA for most consecutive regular-season conference championships with 13. The Jayhawks had four ties in that span while all of the Bruins' titles were undisputed. sterling Big 12 Conference track record of titles under coach Bill Self while surviving the loss of 16 undergraduates in the previous 10 NBA drafts - 2007 (Julian Wright), 2008 (Darrell Arthur, Mario Chalmers and Brandon Rush), 2010 (Cole Aldrich and Xavier Henry), 2011 (Marcus Morris, Markieff Morris and Josh Selby), 2012 (Thomas Robinson), 2013 (Ben McLemore), 2014 (Joel Embiid and Andrew Wiggins), 2015 (Cliff Alexander and Kelly Oubre Jr.) and 2016 (Cheick Diallo).
UCLA's streak of 13 straight undisputed league titles from 1967 through 1979, divided among three coaches, is considered one of the foremost achievements in NCAA history. Kansas' regular-season league losses in the last 13 seasons came against Baylor (one), Iowa State (five), Kansas State (five), Missouri (four), Oklahoma (three), Oklahoma State (six), Texas (four), Texas A&M (one), Texas Christian (one), Texas Tech (three) and West Virginia (four). National player of the year candidate Frank Mason III is averaging more than 20 points per game after none of the Jayhawks' previous 11 teams had a player reach that plateau.
Jerry Tarkanian was coach for two of the schools boasting the longest league streaks (Long Beach State and UNLV). Following is a summary of the eight schools securing at least eight straight regular-season league titles:
Kansas (13 in Big 12; 183-37 from 2004-05 through 2016-17)
|Season||League Mark||Scoring Leader||Rebounding Leader||Coach||Overall Mark|
|2004-05||12-4||Wayne Simien (20.3)||Wayne Simien (11)||Bill Self||23-7|
|2005-06||13-3||Brandon Rush (13.5)||Brandon Rush (5.9)||Bill Self||25-8|
|2006-07||14-2||Brandon Rush (13.8)||Julian Wright (7.8)||Bill Self||33-5|
|2007-08||13-3||Brandon Rush (13.3)||Darnell Jackson (6.7)||Bill Self||37-3|
|2008-09||14-2||Sherron Collins (18.9)||Cole Aldrich (11.1)||Bill Self||27-8|
|2009-10||15-1||Sherron Collins (15.5)||Cole Aldrich (9.8)||Bill Self||33-3|
|2010-11||14-2||Marcus Morris (17.2)||Markieff Morris (8.3)||Bill Self||35-3|
|2011-12||16-2||Thomas Robinson (17.7)||Thomas Robinson (11.9)||Bill Self||32-7|
|2012-13||14-4||Ben McLemore (15.9)||Jeff Withey (8.5)||Bill Self||31-6|
|2013-14||14-4||Andrew Wiggins (17.1)||Joel Embiid (8.1)||Bill Self||25-10|
|2014-15||13-5||Perry Ellis (13.8)||Perry Ellis (6.9)||Bill Self||27-9|
|2015-16||15-3||Perry Ellis (16.3)||Perry Ellis (6.1)||Bill Self||33-5|
|2016-17||16-2||Frank Mason III (20.3)||Landen Lucas (8.3)||Bill Self||TBD|
UCLA (13 in Pacific-8/10; 171-15 league record from 1966-67 through 1978-79)
Gonzaga (11 in West Coast; 143-15 from 2000-01 through 2010-11)
|Season||League Mark||Scoring Leader||Rebounding Leader||Coach||Overall Mark|
|2000-01||13-1||Casey Calvary (19)||Casey Calvary (6.7)||Mark Few||26-7|
|2001-02||13-1||Dan Dickau (21)||Cory Violette (8.3)||Mark Few||29-4|
|2002-03||12-2||Blake Stepp (18)||Cory Violette (8)||Mark Few||24-9|
|2003-04||14-0||Ronny Turiaf (15.5)||Cory Violette (8.2)||Mark Few||28-3|
|2004-05||12-2||Adam Morrison (19)||Ronny Turiaf (9.5)||Mark Few||26-5|
|2005-06||14-0||Adam Morrison (28.1)||J.P. Batista (9.4)||Mark Few||29-4|
|2006-07||11-3||Derek Raivio (18)||Josh Heytvelt (7.7)||Mark Few||23-11|
|2007-08||13-1||Matt Bouldin (12.6)||Josh Heytvelt (4.9)||Mark Few||25-8|
|2008-09||14-0||Josh Heytvelt (14.9)||Austin Daye (6.8)||Mark Few||28-6|
|2009-10||12-2||Matt Bouldin (15.6)||Elias Harris (7.1)||Mark Few||27-7|
|2010-11||11-3||Steven Gray (13.9)||Robert Sacre (6.3)||Mark Few||25-10|
Connecticut (10 in Yankee; 71-8 from 1950-51 through 1959-60)
|Season||League Mark||Scoring Leader||Rebounding Leader||Coach||Overall Mark|
|1950-51||6-1||Vin Yokabaskas (15.5)||William Ebel (9)||Hugh Greer||22-4|
|1951-52||6-1||Vin Yokabaskas (16.8)||Burr Carlson (14.5)||Hugh Greer||20-7|
|1952-53||5-1||Art Quimby (16.7)||Art Quimby (20.5)||Hugh Greer||17-4|
|1953-54||7-0||Art Quimby (16.3)||Art Quimby (22.6)||Hugh Greer||23-3|
|1954-55||7-0||Art Quimby (23.2)||Art Quimby (24.4)||Hugh Greer||20-5|
|1955-56||6-1||Gordon Ruddy (16.6)||unavailable||Hugh Greer||17-11|
|1956-57||8-0||Bob Osborne (15.6)||Al Cooper (11.8)||Hugh Greer||17-8|
|1957-58||10-0||Jack Rose (13)||Al Cooper (11)||Hugh Greer||17-10|
|1958-59||8-2||Jack Rose (16)||Ed Martin (12.1)||Hugh Greer||17-7|
|1959-60||8-2||John Pipczynski (15.2)||Walt Griffin (11.5)||Hugh Greer||17-9|
UNLV (10 in PCAA/Big West; 165-13 from 1982-83 through 1991-92)
|Season||League Mark||Scoring Leader||Rebounding Leader||Coach||Overall Mark|
|1982-83||15-1||Sidney Green (22.1)||Sidney Green (11.9)||Jerry Tarkanian||28-3|
|1983-84||16-2||Richie Adams (12.7)||Richie Adams (6.7)||Jerry Tarkanian||29-6|
|1984-85||17-1||Richie Adams (15.8)||Richie Adams (7.9)||Jerry Tarkanian||28-4|
|1985-86||16-2||Anthony Jones (18)||Armon Gilliam (8.5)||Jerry Tarkanian||33-5|
|1986-87||18-0||Armon Gilliam (23.2)||Armon Gilliam (9.3)||Jerry Tarkanian||37-2|
|1987-88||15-3||Gerald Paddio (19.4)||Jarvis Basnight (6.9)||Jerry Tarkanian||28-6|
|1988-89||16-2||David Butler (15.4)||Stacey Augmon (7.4)||Jerry Tarkanian||29-8|
|1989-90||16-2||Larry Johnson (20.6)||Larry Johnson (11.4)||Jerry Tarkanian||35-5|
|1990-91||18-0||Larry Johnson (22.7)||Larry Johnson (10.9)||Jerry Tarkanian||34-1|
|1991-92||18-0||J.R. Rider (20.7)||Elmore Spencer (8.1)||Jerry Tarkanian||26-2|
Idaho State (eight in Rocky Mountain; 76-4 from 1952-53 through 1959-60)
|Season||League Mark||Scoring Leader||Rebounding Leader||Coach||Overall Mark|
|1952-53||10-0||Les Roh (16.6)||unavailable||Steve Belko||18-7|
|1953-54||9-1||Les Roh (17.1)||unavailable||Steve Belko||22-5|
|1954-55||9-1||Les Roh (21.7)||unavailable||Steve Belko||18-8|
|1955-56||9-1||Les Roh (20.8)||unavailable||Steve Belko||18-8|
|1956-57||12-0||Jim Rodgers (15)||Jack Allain (12.5)||John Grayson||25-4|
|1957-58||10-0||Lloyd Harris (14.7)||LeRoy Bacher (9)||John Grayson||22-6|
|1958-59||9-1||Jim Rodgers (17.4)||Homer Watkins (11.6)||John Grayson||21-7|
|1959-60||8-0||Myrl Goodwin (16.4)||unavailable||John Evans||21-5|
Kentucky (eight in SEC; 82-3 from 1944-45 through 1951-52)
|Season||League Mark||Scoring Leader||Rebounding Leader||Coach||Overall Mark|
|1944-45||4-1||Jack Tingle (11.7)||unavailable||Adolph Rupp||22-4|
|1945-46||6-0||Jack Parkinson (11.3)||unavailable||Adolph Rupp||28-2|
|1946-47||11-0||Ralph Beard (10.9)||unavailable||Adolph Rupp||34-3|
|1947-48||9-0||Alex Groza (12.5)||unavailable||Adolph Rupp||36-3|
|1948-49||13-0||Alex Groza (20.5)||unavailable||Adolph Rupp||32-2|
|1949-50||11-2||Bill Spivey (19.3)||unavailable||Adolph Rupp||25-5|
|1950-51||14-0||Bill Spivey (19.2)||Bill Spivey (17.2)||Adolph Rupp||32-2|
|1951-52||14-0||Cliff Hagan (21.6)||Cliff Hagan (16.5)||Adolph Rupp||29-3|
Long Beach State (eight in PCAA; 75-13 from 1969-70 through 1976-77)
|Season||League Mark||Scoring Leader||Rebounding Leader||Coaches||Overall Mark|
|1969-70||10-0||George Trapp (16.3)||Sam Robinson (7.8)||Jerry Tarkanian||23-5|
|1970-71||10-0||Ed Ratleff (19.9)||George Trapp (11)||Jerry Tarkanian||24-5|
|1971-72||10-2||Ed Ratleff (21.4)||Nate Stephens (10.3)||Jerry Tarkanian||25-4|
|1972-73||10-2||Ed Ratleff (22.8)||Leonard Gray (9.3)||Jerry Tarkanian||26-3|
|1973-74||12-0||Clifton Pondexter (15.6)||Clifton Pondexter (8.6)||Lute Olson||24-2|
|1974-75||8-2||Rich Johnson (17.8)||Bob Gross (8.5)||Dwight Jones||19-7|
|1975-76||6-4||Anthony McGee (14.8)||Clarence Ruffen (7.4)||Dwight Jones||14-12|
|1976-77||9-3||Lloyd McMillian (15.8)||Lloyd McMillian (7.9)||Dwight Jones||21-8|
Naturally, parental pride displayed from coast to coast during Senior Night or Day the end of February and early March doesn't necessarily need to stem from athletics. Amid proper priorities, your child didn't have to be the best but he had to try his level best.
A parent knows life goes on after the anticipation of a senior salute. But how can a mom and dad express appreciation for all of the memories shared together?
Adding sports as a factor for authentic student-athletes makes the lessons-learned equation more complex. Culminating at bittersweet senior celebration, it takes a significant amount of resilience to endure withdrawal from all of the devotion and emotion, last-second decisive shots, motivational talks coping with occasional slump, chance to dance in postseason competition, title dream dashed in close contest, team awards banquet, etc., etc., etc.
Who would have thought the first time he picked up a ball that he would make such a difference and stand so tall? Reflecting on all they've experienced, the parent is fortunate to still have a pulse whether their offspring is a walk-on or team standout.
It's easy enough to substitute girl for boy in the following poem portraying a parent trying to come to terms with an impending spread-their-wings departure; whether it be from high school to college or from college to the "real world." These reflections might be therapeutic if you went through a similar range of emotions amid whatever success your own flesh and blood enjoyed along the way.
Lord, there's a little thing I need to know
Where in the world did my little boy go?
Perplexed from time to time but one thing I know today
I'm a proud parent beyond words; what more can I say
Kids go through stages but not with this sort of speed
It was only yesterday he was unable to read
Wasn't it just months ago he went from crawl to walk
Hard-headed as a mule; certainly knew how to balk
Took one day at a time raising him the very best we could
Now inspires those around him just like we believed he would
High achiever turning a corner in his life
He has got what it takes to cope with any strife
Can't carry a tune but set school shooting star records
Now, the game-of-life clock dwindles from minutes to seconds
So angels above please watch over him daily
Although some of his antics may drive you crazy
He represents everything that I value the most
For that very reason, I'm offering a toast
But if he feels sorry for himself and about to give up
Do not hesitate to give him a gentle kick in the rump
Remembering what I did wrong but at least a couple things right
Always said you could do it; just try with all your might
I just yearn to see all of his grandest plans come true
God, it's my turn to have a great commission for You
Be with him, bless him and give him nothing but success
Aid his climb up that mountain; settle for nothing less
Guide his steps in the dark and rain
Pick up the pieces and ease any pain
Time to share our best with the remainder of the world
It is much like having a family flag unfurled
How can a once infant son make grown man cry
Groping for right words trying to say goodbye
To me, he'll always be a pure and spotless lamb
Cradled in our arms or holding his little hand
If I was Elton John, I'd tell everyone this is "Your Poem"
Simply sing how wonderful life was with you in our home
My soul swells with pride at any mention of you
How long gone are you going to be; wish I knew
Sure don't believe it is at all out of line
To seek to rebound for you just one more time
Although you're going to be many miles away
I will see you in my heart each and every day
So go down that windy path; don't you dare look back
You've found faith; it will keep you on the right track
He's headed for real world and all it offers
But first, here are your final marching orders
Always do the very best you possibly can
Refuse to lose even when you don't understand
There's no telling the goals you will be able to reach
By giving proper respect to instructors who teach
Aspire each and every day you wake
Not to waste a single breath you take
Might as well let all of your ability show
Because those gifts turn to dust whenever you "go"
Don't bury your talents in the ground
Lend helping hand to those you're around
I'll never forget the times when you were all you could be
Rose to the occasion and sent playoff game to OT
Cherish all the moments - the hugs and tears
For all your passion play through these years
My little guy is bound far beyond a Final Four
Poised for more success; prosperity at his door
All things are possible; he has found out
How much I love him is what I'm thinking about
Wherever you go, you'll be best from beginning to end
To that most truthful statement, I say Amen and Amen
After Senior Night, I'll stroll into your off-limits room
Try to keep my composure when it seems like doom and gloom
You will always be on my mind
But nothing like gut-wrenching time
When I ask the Lord a big thing I need to know
Where in His big world will His maturing man go?
Michigan State, which finished out of the AP's Top 20 three times in an eight-year span from 2003-04 through 2010-11 after the Spartans were ranked among the preseason Top 4, has been this campaign's biggest disappointment after ranking 12th in the preseason. There has been an average of one such squad failing to live up to enormous preseason hype each year thus far this century.
The previous 21 teams in this great-expectations category incurred at least double digits in defeats. Following is a chronological list of the first 25 teams included among preseason Top 5 selections since 1968-69 but finishing out of the AP's final Top 20 poll:
|Preseason Top 5 Team||Season||Preseason AP Ranking||Coach||Record||Top Players For Disappointing Squad|
|Notre Dame||1968-69||4th||Johnny Dee||20-7||Austin Carr, Bob Arnzen, Bob Whitmore, Dwight Murphy, Collis Jones and Sid Catlett|
|Purdue||1969-70||3rd||George King||18-6||Rick Mount, Larry Weatherford, George Faerber, Bob Ford, William Franklin and Tyrone Bedford|
|Southern California||1971-72||3rd||Bob Boyd||16-10||Paul Westphal, Joe Mackey, Ron Riley, Dan Anderson and Mike Westra|
|Florida State||1972-73||2nd||Hugh Durham||18-8||Reggie Royals, Lawrence McCray, Otis Cole, Benny Clyde and Otis Johnson|
|Indiana||1976-77||5th||Bob Knight||14-13||Kent Benson, Mike Woodson, Wayne Radford and Derek Holcomb|
|Kansas||1978-79||5th||Ted Owens||18-11||Darnell Valentine, Paul Mokeski, John Crawford, Wilmore Fowler and Tony Guy|
|DePaul||1984-85||3rd||Joey Meyer||19-10||Tyrone Corbin, Kenny Patterson, Dallas Comegys, Marty Embry, Tony Jackson and Kevin Holmes|
|Indiana||1984-85||4th||Bob Knight||19-14||Steve Alford, Uwe Blab, Stew Robinson, Dan Dakich, Delray Brooks and Daryl Thomas|
|Louisville||1986-87||2nd||Denny Crum||18-14||Herbert Crook, Pervis Ellison, Tony Kimbro, Mark McSwain, Keith Williams, Kenny Payne and Felton Spencer|
|Michigan State||1990-91||4th||Jud Heathcote||19-11||Steve Smith, Matt Steigenga, Mike Peplowski and Mark Montgomery|
|Clemson||1997-98||5th||Rick Barnes||18-14||Greg Buckner, Terrell McIntyre, Harold Jamison and Tony Christie|
|Auburn||1999-00||4th||Cliff Ellis||24-10||Chris Porter, Doc Robinson, Scott Pohlman, Daymeon Fishback, Mamadou N'diaye and Mack McGadney|
|UCLA||2001-02||5th||Steve Lavin||21-12||Jason Kapono, Billy Knight, Matt Barnes, Dan Gadzuric and T.J. Cummings|
|Arizona||2003-04||4th||Lute Olson||20-10||Hassan Adams, Salim Stoudamire, Channing Frye, Andre Iguodala and Mustafa Shakur|
|Michigan State||2003-04||3rd||Tom Izzo||18-12||Paul Davis, Chris Hill, Kelvin Torbert, Maurice Ager and Alan Anderson|
|Missouri||2003-04||5th||Quin Snyder||16-14||Arthur Johnson, Rickey Paulding, Linas Kleiza, Jimmy McKinney, Travon Bryant and Jason Conley|
|Georgia Tech||2004-05||3rd||Paul Hewitt||20-12||Jarrett Jack, B.J. Elder, Will Bynum, Luke Schenscher and Isma'll Muhammad|
|Michigan State||2005-06||4th||Tom Izzo||22-12||Maurice Ager, Paul Davis, Shannon Brown and Drew Neitzel|
|Louisiana State||2006-07||5th||John Brady||17-15||Glen Davis, Tasmin Mitchell, Terry Martin, Garrett Temple and Darnell Lazare|
|Texas||2009-10||3rd||Rick Barnes||24-10||Damion James, Avery Bradley, Dexter Pittman, J'Covan Brown, Gary Johnson and Dogus Balbay|
|Kansas State||2010-11||3rd||Frank Martin||23-11||Jacob Pullen, Rodney McGruder, Curtis Kelly and Jamar Samuels|
|Michigan State||2010-11||2nd||Tom Izzo||19-15||Kalin Lucas, Draymond Green, Durrell Summers, Delvon Roe and Keith Appling|
|Connecticut||2011-12||4th||Jim Calhoun||20-14||Andre Drummond, Jeremy Lamb, Ryan Boatright, Alex Oriakhi, Shabazz Napier, Roscoe Smith and Tony Olander|
|Kentucky||2012-13||3rd||John Calipari||21-12||Willie Cauley-Stein, Archie Goodwin, Ryan Harrow, Julius Mays, Nerlens Noel, Alex Poythress and Kyle Wiltjer|
|Kentucky||2013-14||1st||John Calipari||29-11||Willie Cauley-Stein, Aaron Harrison, Andrew Harrison, Dakari Johnson, Marcus Lee, Alex Poythress, Julius Randle and James Young|
Much is written about college basketball in the daily newspaper sports pages, weekly/monthly specialty magazines and on the internet. But you might be surprised the extent to which the written word beyond The Audacity of Hoop, much of it outside the world of sports, emanates from former college basketball players who became politicians.
For instance, politician extraordinaire Dean Rusk, Davidson's most noted alumnus pre-Stephen Curry who wrote his memoirs in the book As I Saw It, was a star center in the late 1920s and early 1930s with former Davidson President Dr. D. Grier Martin (1957 until 1968).
"Basketball at Davidson reminds me of the old French proverb, 'Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose,'" said Rusk, who served as Secretary of State under Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson during the Vietnam War era. "The game itself has been revolutionized since I played it. We once beat North Carolina 17-12; it was not a slowdown game. We both were trying like everything. What has remained the same has been the sheer fun of it, the stimulation of competition, the experience of losing as well as winning and the recognition that basketball is a sport in which a small college can take on the big fellows."
Former Princeton All-American Bill Bradley, a three-term U.S. Senator (Democrat-N.J.) until 1995, took on the "big fellows" as a presidential candidate in 2000 and wrote a book called We Can All Do Better. Bradley, a tax and trade expert with a strong voice on race issues and campaign finance reform, authored two basketball volumes (Life on the Run in 1976 and Values of the Game in 1998).
"The lessons learned from it (basketball) stay with you," Rhodes Scholar Bradley wrote of the sport he still loves. "I was determined that no one would outwork me."
The information is as difficult to pry loose as transcripts of Shrillary's overpaid speeches before Wall Street benefactors. You might not know it, but there is a striking number of luminaries who displayed determination in the political arena and wrote books after "working the crowd" in a college basketball arena. Essentially, the following lineup represents a rebuttal to the chronic complainers who cite politicians generally and writers specifically as individuals who don't know anything about sports generally and college hoops specifically. In deference to Presidents' Day and the prospect of former college hooper Scott Brown becoming Donald Trump's running mate, following is an alphabetical list of additional politicians-turned-authors who played the game:
SCOTT BROWN, Tufts (Mass.)
Stunning upset victory in special election in January 2010, becoming the first Republican elected to represent Massachusetts in the U.S. Senate since 1979. Brown, filling the Senate seat that opened when Ted Kennedy died the previous August, drove his GMC Canyon pickup with over 200,000 miles on it everywhere during a savvy campaign. Authored a book Against All Odds released in 2011.
At Tufts (class of '81), he was known as "Downtown" Scotty Brown because of his long-range marksmanship. Averaging 9 ppg as a freshman in 1977-78, he earned an ECAC Rookie of the Week award that season. As a sophomore, he averaged 9.9 ppg and scored 35 points in a victory against Bowdoin. As a junior, he made 54.3% of his shots and had back-to-back games of 26 and 25 points against Curry and Trinity, respectively, en route to averaging 10.8 ppg. Senior co-captain capped his career with a 10.3-point scoring average, including a 35-point outburst against Brandeis. "He was not born with great basketball attributes," said his coach (John White) in a feature about Brown during his senior season. "He has gone beyond his limitations, which is very admirable." Converted more than half of his career field-goal attempts (422 of 853). Brown's 6-0 daughter, Ayla, was a starting guard most of her career with Boston College from 2006-07 through 2009-10, posting career highs of 18 points against Clemson and 14 rebounds against Wake Forest. Ayla has also released three albums after being a semifinalist in the fifth season of "American Idol," impressing the judges with her rendition of Christina Aguilera's "Reflection."
ROBERT CASEY, Holy Cross
Pennsylvania's 42nd governor served two terms from 1987 to 1995 after winning in his fourth attempt for the office. Casey, a coal miner's son, ran in the Democratic presidential primary in 1996. Pro-life candidate suffered from a rare hereditary disease that caused him to become a heart-liver transplant recipient. He died in late May, 2000, at the age of 68.
He was a 6-2 freshman in 1949-50 when Holy Cross senior Bob Cousy was an NCAA unanimous first-team All-American. The 6-2 Casey averaged 1.3 ppg in 1950-51 and 1952-53. Excerpt from Casey's 1996 autobiography Fighting for Life: "I remember best the moments I was on the court with Cousy. He was an icon in the making - a genius with a basketball. Our freshman team provided cannon fodder for Cousy and the rest of the varsity team in practice. What I remember most about Cousy was that he was always the first guy on the court at night, refining his moves a hundred times before practice even started."
WILLIAM COHEN, Bowdoin (Maine)
Moderate Republican was Secretary of Defense in President Clinton's administration after serving as a Senator from Maine. He moonlighted as an author and had a stint in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1973 to 1979. Cohen's first bask in the national spotlight came when he voted, as a House member, to impeach President Nixon. In 1992, he pushed to reauthorize the "independent counsel" law and became a founder of the Republican Majority Coalition. "In team sports, there's a game plan," Cohen said in Ira Berkow's Court Vision. "When you're talking military it's still a game plan, but it's a war plan.
It's either how to prevent a war from taking place or what happens if you have to go to war and how you structure your forces, what happens if, what are the contingency plans, what is the escalation. All of that is not identical to a game plan, but it's training and practice." Cohen wrote The New Art of the Leader among several books, including mysteries, poetry and (with George Mitchell) an analysis of the Iran-contra affair. His second wife is author Janet Langhart, who was known as "First Lady of the Pentagon" during Cohen's tenure as Secretary.
The New England Basketball All-Star Hall of Fame inductee led Bowdoin in scoring all three varsity seasons from 1959-60 through 1961-62 (career-high 16 ppg as a junior). "A two-handed set shot was obsolete in college when I was playing, but I shot it," Cohen said. "I was able to shoot it from very far and get it off very fast. Dolph Schayes was kind of a role model for me."
ROBERT J. DOLE, Kansas
Represented Kansas in the U.S. Senate from 1969 to 1997. Senate majority leader from 1985 to 1987 and again starting in 1995 when he began his third quest for the Republican presidential nomination. He was the Republican nominee for Vice President as Gerald Ford's running mate in 1976.
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Ben Cramer described Dole as a good player who "could handle the ball, shooting that newfangled one-hand push shot, and big and tough under the boards." Member of Kansas freshman basketball team in 1942-43 for one semester before enlisting in the Army during World War II, where his right shoulder was destroyed in a mortar barrage in the Italian mountains. He spent 39 months in and out of hospitals, returning to his hometown of Russell, Kan., to recuperate from the wound that also cost him a kidney. A book about his recovery, A Soldier's Story, was published in 2005.
JOHN H. GLENN JR., Muskingum (Ohio)
U.S. Senator (Democrat from Ohio) for 24 years and former astronaut. In 1962, Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth. Nearly 40 years later, he became the oldest human to enter space when he joined the crew of the Space Shuttle Discovery in 1998. Among the seven candidates who lost to Walter Mondale for the 1984 Democratic Party nomination.
In Glenn's memoir, he wrote: "I went out for the freshman basketball squad and made that, but I noticed that while I had not gotten any faster or grown any taller, the other players had." He also played freshman football in college before World War II interrupted his career. "Each individual has to prepare himself to do his very best, whether it's in an individual or team sport," Glenn said. "In team sports, you have to have great teamwork to reach any goal, which is exactly what we have to do in life after athletics and college."
AL GORE, Harvard
Democratic Presidential nominee against George W. Bush in 2000 waged a long-shot campaign for president in 1988, when he was 39. Vice President in Bill Clinton's administration was a Senator from Tennessee after serving in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1977 to 1985. Shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize after his film An Inconvenient Truth, a documentary on global warming, won an Academy Award. Gore's book with the same title was published concurrently with the theatrical release. For the "Unabomber" crowd that believes dinosaurs became extinct because they burped and farted too much, he subsequently wrote similar environmental-related books called The Assault on Reason, Our Choice and Earth in the Balance.
Gore averaged 2.8 points per game for Harvard's 12-4 freshman team in 1965-66. In the biography Inventing Al Gore, he was described as "rarely playing but working on his game incessantly." His competitive drive led him to challenge roommates "out of the blue" to push-ups, a vestige of the boyhood regimen imposed by his Senator father. He "wanted to challenge you or himself, intellectually or physically. He was always, `I bet I can beat you at the last thing you did.'"
LEE H. HAMILTON, DePauw (Ind.)
Vice Chairman of 9/11 Commission and co-chair of Iraq Study Group in 2006 was a leading Democratic voice on foreign policy and a steadying force in the House of Representatives for 34 years from 1965 through 1998. He chaired three committees - Foreign Affairs, Intelligence and Joint Economic - and was the ranking minority member of the House International Relations Committee. Representing Indiana's Ninth District, he retained not only his crew cut but also his moderate, common-sense approach and a Methodist work ethic that got him to his office nearly every day before 6 a.m. Wrote a book called How Congress Works and Why You Should Care.
Ranked fourth on DePauw's career scoring list when he graduated in 1952. The 6-4 Hamilton led the team in scoring as a junior (11.4 ppg) and was the second-leading scorer as a sophomore (9.8 ppg) and senior (10.9 ppg).
HENRY "HANK" HYDE, Georgetown/Duke
Starting out as a Democrat, he became a 12-term Republican Congressman from Illinois and eventual chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. His towering stature as a lawmaker made him the ideal GOP point-man to lead an impeachment inquiry of President Clinton. Wrote books called Moral Universe and Forfeiting Our Property Rights.
He was a forward-center for Georgetown's 1943 NCAA Tournament runner-up that compiled a 22-5 record. The 6-3 Hyde scored two points in a 53-49 victory over a Chicago hometown team, DePaul, and fellow freshman George Mikan in the Eastern Regional final (playoff semifinals) before going scoreless in a championship game loss against Wyoming. "I can only say about the way I guarded him (Mikan scored one point in the second half) that I will burn in purgatory," Hyde deadpanned. "The rules were considerably bent." The next season as a Naval trainee at Duke, he earned a letter but was scoreless in the Blue Devils' 44-27 Southern Conference championship game victory over North Carolina. Hyde served as an ensign in the Asiatic and Pacific Theaters during World War II before re-enrolling at Georgetown, where he graduated in 1947. Twenty-one years later, Clinton earned his diploma from the same university. Sketch of Hyde in Georgetown guide: "Possesses a pivot shot, difficult to stop, and a shot made while cutting from the bucket to give his scoring threats a double edge."
TOM McMILLEN, Maryland
Co-chairman of the President's Council on Physical Fitness under Bill Clinton. Elected in 1987 as a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Maryland. From 1991 to 2003, he served on the Knight Foundation's Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics investigating abuses within college sports. He is co-author of Out of Bounds, a book on sports and ethics in America.
The 6-11 center averaged 20.5 points and 9.8 rebounds per game in three seasons for Maryland from 1971-72 through 1973-74. Member of 1972 U.S. Olympic team is the only player in Terrapins history to have a career scoring average above 20 ppg. Averaged 8.1 points and four rebounds in 11 NBA seasons (1975-76 through 1985-86) with four different franchises.
GEORGE MITCHELL, Bowdoin (Maine)
Devout Democrat assumed position as Majority Leader in 1989 after arriving in the Senate from Maine in 1980. The son of a janitor received more than 80% of the vote in 1988. He served as independent chairman of talks that culminated in the signing of the Northern Ireland peace accord in April, 1998 and was tapped by MLB Commissioner Bud Selig to spearhead an investigation into the use of performance-enhancing drugs by players. Mitchell served as Disney Chairman of the Board from March 2004 until January 2007. He has written several books - Not For America Alone, World on Fire and Making Peace.
Wiry point guard was a senior in 1953-54 when he scored eight points in eight games.
SAM NUNN, Georgia Tech
Democratic Senator from Georgia retired in 1996 after four six-year terms. Chairman of the Armed Services Committee, who served in the Coast Guard, helped defeat President Clinton's intention to allow open gays and lesbians in the military. He authored books on working to reduce the global threats from nuclear, biological and chemical weapons.
His sketch is included in the 1957-58 Georgia Tech guide as a non-scholarship sophomore. However, Nunn is not included in the 1957-58 school scoring statistics, which include all players who scored, and is not listed on the 1958-59 roster. His son, Brian, played for Emory University in Atlanta.
BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA, Occidental (Calif.)
U.S. Senator from Illinois outlasted Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination in the 2008 presidential election before defeating Republican John McCain to become the nation's first African-American commander-in-chief. Authored a book entitled Audacity of Hope.
The 6-1 1/2 lefthander played on Occidental's junior varsity squad in 1979-80 before transferring to Columbia and subsequently attending Harvard Law School. In Dreams From My Father, Obama described basketball as a comfort to a boy whose father was mostly absent, and who was one of only a few black youths at his school in Hawaii. "At least on the basketball court I could find a community of sorts," he wrote. Pickup basketball was his escape from the sport of politics. Brother-in-law Craig Robinson, a two-time Ivy League MVP with Princeton, was Oregon State's coach when Obama was elected.
ALAN K. SIMPSON, Wyoming
U.S. Senator from Wyoming (1978-96) was a staunch conservative and loyal lieutenant to Republican leader Bob Dole. Simpson's father, Milward, served in the same capacity (1962-67). The younger Simpson, who garnered 78% of the vote in 1984, served as chairman of Veterans' Affairs and Social Security and Family Policy. He charmed the Washington establishment with his earthy wit and folksy wisdom, becoming somewhat of a media darling because of his pithy quotes. Simpson authored a book Right in the Old Gazoo - a lifetime of scraping with the Press.
Forward-center earned a letter in 1952-53 after scoring seven points in six games for a team that went on to participate in the NCAA Tournament. He also played football for the Cowboys.
MORRIS "MO" UDALL, Arizona
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives (1961 to 1991) and candidate for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination. Brother of former Secretary of the Interior Stew Udall served as Chairman of the House Interior and Insular Affairs. Stemming from his wit, columnist James J. Kilpatrick labeled him "too funny to be president," which wound up being the title of his autobiography.
He was the Wildcats' captain and second-leading scorer with an average of 10 points per game for the 1946-47 Border Conference titlist finishing with a 21-3 record. The next year, he was the leading scorer (13.3 average) on an Arizona squad that successfully defended its league crown. The 6-5, 200-pound forward-center was named to the first five on the 1947-48 Border Conference all-star team and finished second in the league in scoring. He played with Denver in the National Basketball League in 1948-49.
The most ardent college hoops observer probably didn't realize Akron zips along as one of only four NCAA Division I schools posting more than 20 victories each of the past 12 seasons. After Memphis and Pittsburgh fell off the consecutive 20-win list two seasons ago and Ohio State bowed out this campaign, the Zips are joined by Gonzaga and bluebloods Duke and Kansas with a look at their best and worst campaigns during these streaks:
|School||Years||Coach(es)||Best Record (Season)||Worst Record (Season)|
|Kansas||28||Roy Williams and Bill Self||34-2 (1996-97)||23-10 (1998-99)|
|Duke||21||Mike Krzyzewski||37-2 (1998-99)||22-11 (2006-07)|
|Gonzaga||20||Dan Monson and Mark Few||36-1 (2016-17)||23-11 (2006-07)|
|Akron||12||Keith Dambrot||26-7 (2006-07)||21-14 (2014-15)|
"The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools." - Confucius
UCLA's Steve Alford, an All-American for Indiana in 1986 and 1987, is the only active coach to have been an A-A player before coaching an A-A (New Mexico's Darington Hobson in 2010 and UCLA's Kyle Anderson in 2013-14). There is as little doubt about Bruins freshman playmaker Lonzo Ball becoming an A-A this season as his UCLA-committing younger brother - LaMelo - "snowbirding" in fourth quarter in order to score 92 points in a recent high school game. Previously, Indiana native John Wooden was the only All-American player to eventually coach All-Americans for two different universities (Indiana State and UCLA) with neither of them being his alma mater (Purdue). Unbelievably, Wooden had multiple A-As in 10 of his final 12 campaigns guiding the Bruins.
Confucius would say the Hoosier State has sharpened a lot of basketball tools. Indiana's Branch McCracken, the only one of more than 40 All-Americans who became major-college mentors to compile a higher winning percentage as a coach than as a player, produced 14 A-As with his alma mater. Alford, McCracken and Wooden are among the following alphabetical list of 15 major-college All-Americans who went on to coach at least one major-college A-A:
Big-time hoops is not all comparable to the women's program at UConn reaching 100 victories in a row. Even the most prominent universities have men's programs enduring periods of futility playing like girls. Missouri, enduring perhaps its most stagnant stint since Norm Stewart's coaching predecessor in the mid-1960s, tied a school-record 13-game losing streak it established only two seasons ago. At least Mizzou hoops isn't the biggest embarrassment from the Show-Me State this side of "Dim" Senator Air Claire McCaskill by avoiding becoming the first winless member in SEC competition since Georgia Tech in 1953-54. But the Tigers' two tailspins are fewer consecutive setbacks than half of the all-time longest losing streak by a current power-conference member - 27 by Syracuse in early 1960s.
Jim O'Brien was the only individual to coach two current power-league members (Boston College and Ohio State) when they incurred their longest existing losing streak until BC dropped 20 in a row extending to the opener this season. Former Big East Conference rival Rutgers incurred 15 consecutive reversals to end the 2014-15 season before St. John's bowed in 16 straight decisions in 2015-16. Mizzou was the only Tigers' program in SEC sidelined by tranquilizing-inducing losing streak. LSU dropped 15 consecutive contests as coach Johnny Jones frequently looked as strategically befuddled as a chief recruiter losing a satchel full of cash on a recruiting trip. Meanwhile, Washington lost nine in a row for the fifth time in school history before reaching double digits in successive setbacks for the first time (13 following Pac 12 tourney opener). Georgetown, Iowa and North Carolina State also struggling this season but they remain among the elite basketball schools - including Creighton, Duke, Kentucky, North Carolina, Purdue, UNLV, Utah and West Virginia - never reaching double figures in consecutive setbacks:
|School (Longest Losing Streak)||Coach(es)||Date Started||Date Ended||Opponent Ending Streak||Score|
|Arizona (16)||Fred Enke||12-19-58||2-14-59||Hardin-Simmons||66-64|
|Arizona State (15)||Herb Sendek||12-22-2006||2-18-2007||Southern California||68-58|
|Arkansas (10)||Lanny Van Eman||1-9-71||2-20-71||at Texas||88-87 in OT|
|Auburn (13)||V.J. Edney||12-13-46||2-8-47||Florida||36-30|
|Baylor (17)||Harry Miller||1-2-99||11-20-99||Eastern Washington||68-61|
|Boston College (20)||Jim Christian||1-2-2016||11-15-2016||UMES||73-57|
|Brigham Young (21)||Roger Reid/Tony Ingle||12-13-96||11-14-97||at San Diego State||73-59|
|Butler (14)||Joe Sexson||1-31-81||12-12-81||Valparaiso||85-76|
|California (10)||Rene Herrerias||1-5-62||3-3-62||at Washington||68-65 in OT|
|Cincinnati (10)||Mick Cronin||1-24-2007||2-28-2007||Seton Hall||70-67 in OT|
|Clemson (15)||Banks McFadden||12-14-54||2-21-55||Georgia||105-94|
|Colorado (17)||Tom Apke||1-8-86||11-28-86||Weber State||73-57|
|Connecticut (10)||John Donahue||1918||1919||Boston College||46-27|
|Connecticut (10)||Burr Carlson||11-30-68||1-8-69||Syracuse||103-84|
|Creighton (9)||Dana Altman||1-23-95||2-23-95||at Wichita State||50-47|
|Creighton (9)||Greg McDermott||12-21-2014||1-28-2015||St. John's||77-74|
|DePaul (18)||Jerry Wainwright||12-31-2008||3-10-2009||Cincinnati||67-57 in Big East Tournament|
|Duke (8)||James Baldwin||2-13-22||3-?-22||Durham YMCA||37-26|
|Florida (14)||Don DeVoe||1-17-90||2-27-90||Louisiana State||76-63|
|Florida State (13)||Don Loucks||1-10-48||2-21-48||Florida Southern||55-48|
|Georgetown (9)||Jack Magee||12-13-71||1-27-72||William & Mary||85-79 in OT|
|Georgia (13)||Harbin "Red" Lawson||12-28-51||2-6-52||Georgia Tech||72-64|
|Georgia Tech (26)||John "Whack" Hyder||2-7-53||2-18-54||South Carolina||58-53|
|Gonzaga (10)||Dan Fitzgerald||1-19-90||2-23-90||at San Francisco||76-75|
|Illinois (11)||Harv Schmidt||1-12-74||2-23-74||Iowa||91-84|
|Indiana (11)||Harry Good||1-8-44||2-19-44||at Minnesota||48-47|
|Indiana (11)||Tom Crean||1-24-2010||3-6-2010||Northwestern||88-80 in OT|
|Iowa (8)||Rollie Williams||2-15-30||12-23-30||at Creighton||28-22|
|Iowa (8)||Dick Schultz||1-7-74||2-11-74||Purdue||112-111 in 3OT|
|Iowa State (14)||Louis Menze||1-2-37||12-3-37||Simpson IA||41-37|
|Kansas (10)||Phog Allen||1-21-48||3-12-48||Iowa State||61-54|
|Kansas State (15)||E.C. Curtiss||2-28-22||2-17-23||at Nebraska||17-14|
|Kentucky (9)||George Buchheit||1-25-23||2-23-23||Sewanee TN||30-14|
|Louisiana State (15)||Johnny Jones||1-7-2017||3-1-2017||Tennessee||92-82|
|Louisville (19)||Laurie Apitz||2-18-39||2-22-40||Berea TN||56-55|
|Marquette (15)||Eddie Hickey||1-8-64||3-7-64||at Xavier||98-95|
|Maryland (22)||Howard Shipley||3-1-40||2-22-41||Washington College MD||26-18|
|Memphis (20)||Zach Curlin||1-7-38||1-26-39||Arkansas State||53-45|
|Miami FL (17)||Leonard Hamilton||1-8-94||11-25-94||Northeastern Illinois||66-48|
|Michigan (11)||Bill Frieder||12-12-81||1-28-82||Ohio State||62-60 in OT|
|Michigan State (11)||Forddy Anderson||1-9-65||3-1-65||Purdue||110-92|
|Minnesota (17)||Clem Haskins||1-10-87||11-30-87||Western Illinois||84-52|
|Mississippi (16)||Robert "Cob" Jarvis||12-30-75||3-1-76||Vanderbilt||81-72|
|Mississippi State (14)||Paul Gregory||1-7-55||2-26-55||at Louisiana State||84-80|
|Missouri (13)||Kim Anderson||1-10-2015||2-24-2015||Florida||64-52|
|Missouri (13)||Kim Anderson||12-10-2016||2-4-2017||Arkansas||83-78|
|Nebraska (13)||Charles Black/William Browne||2-10-32||1-14-33||Kansas State||31-25|
|North Carolina (8)||Tom Scott||12-20-50||1-11-51||Wake Forest||65-56|
|North Carolina State (9)||Les Robinson||1-25-92||2-22-92||at North Carolina||99-94|
|North Carolina State (9)||Sidney Lowe||2-9-2008||11-15-2008||at New Orleans||65-59|
|Northwestern (20)||Maury Kent||3-3-23||12-22-24||Michigan State||26-17|
|Notre Dame (13)||Johnny Dee||12-18-65||2-9-66||Butler||84-61|
|Ohio State (17)||Jim O'Brien||12-28-97||2-25-98||at Wisconsin||61-56|
|Oklahoma (10)||Bob Stevens||1-6-64||2-21-64||Missouri||86-84|
|Oklahoma State (13)||James Pixlee||1-24-20||1-14-21||Oklahoma Baptist||34-19|
|Oklahoma State (13)||John Maulbetsch/George Roddy||1-12-29||1-7-30||Oklahoma||28-22|
|Oklahoma State (13)||George Roddy||1-10-30||1-5-31||Grinnell IA||23-16|
|Oregon (22)||George Bohler||12-22-21||2-20-22||Nevada||33-29|
|Oregon State (25)||Jay John/Kevin Mouton/Craig Robinson||12-22-2007||11-30-2008||at Fresno State||62-54|
|Penn State (17)||Bruce Parkhill||1-21-84||12-5-84||Navy||66-63|
|Pittsburgh (10)||Charles "Buzz" Ridl||12-7-68||1-28-69||West Virginia||90-87|
|Providence (12)||Lawrence Drew||2-5-49||3-9-49||Clark MA||46-45|
|Purdue (8)||Ray Eddy||1-12-52||2-11-52||Wisconsin||78-67|
|Purdue (8)||Ray Eddy||1-5-63||2-4-63||Michigan State||103-81|
|Rutgers (16)||Craig Littlepage||12-23-87||2-18-88||Penn State||65-61|
|St. John's (16)||Chris Mullin||12-18-2015||2-17-2016||DePaul||80-65|
|Seton Hall (15)||John Colrick/Honey Russell||2-5-36||1-22-37||St. Peter's||30-23|
|Seton Hall (15)||P.J. Carlesimo||1-2-85||3-2-85||Connecticut||85-80|
|South Carolina (15)||Absalon "Rock" Norman||1-12-31||1-8-32||Clemson||31-23|
|Southern California (16)||Bob Boyd||1-8-76||12-1-76||Idaho||104-64|
|Stanford (11)||John Bunn||1-15-32||12-23-32||at Utah||41-37|
|Syracuse (27)||Marc Guley||2-22-61||3-3-62||at Boston College||73-72|
|Temple (11)||Don Casey||12-10-75||1-26-76||Dickinson PA||89-55|
|Tennessee (14)||W.H. Britton||2-21-27||12-28-28||South Carolina||29-20|
|Texas (15)||Thurman "Slue" Hull||12-4-54||2-5-55||Arkansas||75-74|
|Texas A&M (17)||Melvin Watkins/Billy Gillispie||1-10-2004||11-19-2004||North Carolina A&T||89-56|
|Texas Christian (24)||Johnny Swaim/Tim Somerville||12-11-76||12-3-77||Wayland Baptist TX||67-53|
|Texas Tech (20)||Gerald Myers||1-4-90||11-25-90||Nevada||81-69 at Anchorage|
|UCLA (14)||Pierce "Caddy" Works||12-28-37||1938-39 opener||L.A. City College||44-28|
|UNLV (9)||Michael Drakulich||12-5-58||1-14-59||at Nellis AFB||52-47|
|Utah (9)||Vadal Peterson||12-30-35||2-1-36||at Utah State||35-34|
|Vanderbilt (14)||Josh Cody||2-15-35||1-9-36||Auburn||47-27|
|Villanova (10)||John "Rube" Cashman||1927-28||season finale||Alumni at Rosemont||33-18|
|Virginia (13)||Billy McCann||1-9-60||2-27-60||Washington & Lee VA||86-59|
|Virginia Tech (18)||Gerald "Red" Laird||12-29-54||2-21-55||The Citadel||88-53|
|Wake Forest (22)||Murray Greason||1-26-43||1944-45||Catawba NC||41-38|
|Washington (13)||Lorenzo Romar||1-21-2017||TBD||TBD||TBD|
|Washington State (18)||Kelvin Sampson||12-30-89||11-28-90||BYU-Hawaii||112-81|
|West Virginia (9)||Marshall Glenn||1-12-37||2-17-37||Penn State||36-31|
|West Virginia (9)||Gale Catlett||12-28-2001||1-30-2002||Providence||89-81|
|West Virginia (9)||Drew Catlett/John Beilein||2-2-2002||11-22-2002||Delaware State||59-46|
|Wichita State (14)||Kenneth Gunning||1-10-50||12-5-50||Oklahoma Baptist||53-45|
|Wisconsin (14)||John Powless||1-8-76||3-1-76||at Ohio State||91-79|
|Xavier (13)||Dick Campbell||1-29-73||12-1-73||Aquinas MI||88-48|
A road victory without your leading scorer against Big Ten Conference leader Wisconsin probably sealed the deal. If Northwestern finally emerges from "Never Never Land" by earning its initial berth in the NCAA Tournament, the following schools will be the "Final Four" never to participate in national championship playoffs despite designation as major colleges since the late 1940s (number of coaches during that span in parentheses):
If a sensation such as Stephen Curry doesn't do it, then can anyone just do it? Curry (25.3 ppg for Davidson from 2006-07 through 2008-09) fell just shy of supplanting Fred Hetzel (25.7) as the Wildcats' leader in career scoring average. Hetzel also holds the school mark in rebounding average. In the midst of Purdue's Caleb Swanigan dominating with double-doubles (first to 20 such outings this campaign), he doesn't have a chance to become the Boilermakers' all-time leader in ppg (Rick Mount with 32.3 from 1967-68 through 1969-70) or rpg (Terry Dischinger with 13.6 from 1959-60 through 1961-62). If a standout such as Swanigan can't achieve the feat, a question bubbles up as to what players for other major colleges are atop both of these career average lists with double-digit figures?
But first things first. Double-crossing enabled Purdue to progress to an authentic Final Four candidate when Swanigan de-committed from a pledge with Michigan State two years ago and aligned with the Boilermakers, giving them one of the nation's most imposing frontcourts. Swanigan's reversal dropped a load on the Spartans even more than the weight he shed as a 350-pound high schooler. Roosevelt Barnes, Swanigan's guardian, averaged 2.7 points and 1.1 rebounds per game as a senior in 1980-81 under Boilers coach Gene Keady, who played football for Kansas State before becoming a 19th-round choice as a back by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1958 NFL draft. Barnes, a 6-2 guard, collected 14 points and 23 rebounds in 24 games for Purdue's 1980 Final Four team after scoring 39 points in 43 games the previous two campaigns. College teammate of longtime coach Kevin Stallings played briefly for Fort Wayne in the CBA. Barnes, who led the Boilers in tackles for loss with nine in 1981, was a 10th-round NFL draft choice before competing four years from 1982 through 1985 with the Detroit Lions.
All-time greats Rick Barry (Miami FL), Larry Bird (Indiana State), Wilt Chamberlain (Kansas), Julius Erving (Massachusetts), Elvin Hayes (Houston), Bob Lanier (St. Bonaventure), Oscar Robertson (Cincinnati) and Bill Russell (San Francisco) aren't the only players to excel in scoring and rebounding at the collegiate level. CollegeHoopedia.com assembled the following list of individuals holding both the career scoring and rebounding average standards with double-digit figures for their schools while classified as major colleges at least 30 years (minimum of two seasons):
NOTE: Fogle, Hagan and Walk are among the 10 first-time All-Americans who posted a scoring average at least 15 ppg higher than they did the previous season.
"You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them." - Desmond Tutu
At first glance to God-fearing fans, it appeared as if Grant's Army was retreating after Jerian Grant exited Notre Dame because of academic shortcomings. But Jerian's departure was somewhat offset in the giving Grant household by the emergence of brother Jerami as Syracuse's leading rebounder. Combined with older brother Jerai, the leading rebounder for Clemson's 2011 NCAA playoff team, and father Harvey, an All-American for Oklahoma's 1988 NCAA Tournament runner-up, the "College Grants" rank among the top five hoop families in NCAA annals regarding a legacy list; especially since Jerian followed through on his promise to return to the Irish and if youngest son Jaelin is comparable to his brothers when he arrives on the four-year college scene after taking the juco route at Independence (Kan.) like dear old dad.
If Jaelin makes as much progress as his other siblings, the Grant clan could march past Rick Barry's brood as the "First Family of Hoops" although it's not underhanded to proclaim the Barrys have impacted power conferences from sea to shining sea - ACC, Big Eight (predecessor to Big 12), Pacific-10/12 and SEC (after Canyon Barry aligned with the Gators and established school record for most consecutive successful free throws). It seems only fitting that Canyon, the latest contributor from the highest-rated hoop nuclear family, majors in nuclear engineering.
Elsewhere, it appeared somewhat ridiculous for a power conference school such as Indiana to offer a scholarship to an eighth-grader (Eron Gordon) several years ago. But that is before examining his family tree. His father, Eric Sr., averaged 14.1 points per game with Liberty from 1981-82 through 1983-84, leading the Flames in scoring as a senior with 18.1 ppg before the school moved up to the NCAA Division I level later in the decade. Oldest brother Eric Jr. led the Big Ten Conference in scoring as a freshman All-American in his lone season with IU in 2007-08 before moving on to the NBA. Older brother Evan was named to the Big South Conference All-Freshman team with Liberty in 2009-10 before becoming an all-league second-team selection as a sophomore prior to transferring to Arizona State and moving on again to Eric Jr.'s old stomping grounds with the Hoosiers. If Eron lives up to billing, the Gordons could become one of the most influential families in college basketball history.
Hoopdom's "Focus on the Family" also concentrated on the Plumlees after youngest brother Marshall Plumlee finally overcame his foot problems and improved as much as Duke siblings Mason and Miles. They combine with their father, former Tennessee Tech frontcourter Perky, to comprise one of the all-time premier family units. Mason became the Blue Devils' go-to plumb line to keep them on the straight and narrow after forgoing leaving school early for the NBA.
Until we have a final reading on the Gordons, following are a dynamic dozen nuclear-power families. The "HoopDaddys" comprised of college players who had at least three sons also go on to compete in a significant way at a similar level include:
BARRY BARRY GOOD
1. Barry - Father Rick Barry, a first-team All-American as a senior when he led the nation in scoring, averaged 29.8 ppg and 16.5 rpg for Miami (FL) from 1962-63 through 1964-65. Son Scooter averaged 3.3 ppg for Kansas' 1988 NCAA titlist before leading the Jayhawks with 5.7 apg the next season. Son Jon, a junior college transfer, averaged 14.4 ppg, 3.6 rpg and 4.5 apg for Pacific and Georgia Tech in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Son Brent averaged 12.1 ppg, 3.7 rpg and 3.3 apg for Oregon State from 1991-92 through 1994-95. Son Drew, an All-ACC second-team selection as a senior, averaged 10.7 ppg, 4.1 rpg and 6.2 apg for Georgia Tech from 1992-93 through 1995-96, leading the ACC in assists each of his last three seasons. Son Canyon averaged 9.4 ppg and 2.7 rpg in the College of Charleston's debut season in the CAA as a redshirt freshman and leading the Cougars in scoring in an injury-plagued season before eventually transferring to Florida. Jon, an All-ACC third-team selection as a junior in 1991-92, and Brent, an All-Pacific-10 Conference choice as a senior, were late bloomers who went on to have productive NBA careers. Rick, Jon and Brent were NBA first-round draft choices while Drew was a second-round pick. Bruce Hale, Rick's father-in-law and a Santa Clara alumnus, coached him at Miami (FL) after playing five years in the NBA.
WALTON MOUNTAIN GANG
2. Walton - Father Bill Walton, a three-time national player of the year, averaged 20.3 ppg and 15.7 rpg for UCLA from 1971-72 through 1973-74. Son Adam lettered with LSU before incurring a rest-of-season suspension in Dale Brown's final year as coach in 1996-97 and subsequently transferring to a small college in California. Son Nate was an All-Ivy League first-team selection for Princeton as a senior in 2000-01, becoming the fourth player in school history with two seasons of at least 100 assists. Son Luke, a two-time All-Pacific-10 Conference choice, averaged 9.1 ppg, 5.1 rpg and 4.5 apg for Arizona from 1999-2000 through 2002-03. Son Chris finished among the top 15 in the Mountain West Conference in assists and rebounding as a junior in 2003-04 for San Diego State, finishing his four-year career with averages of 5.1 ppg and 3.4 rpg.
PRICE IS RIGHT CONTROL
3. Price - Father Dennis Price, an All-Big Eight Conference second-team selection as a junior, averaged 10.9 ppg for Oklahoma from 1957-58 through 1959-60. Son Mark, a three-time All-ACC first-team selection and All-American, averaged 17.4 ppg and 4 apg for Georgia Tech from 1982-83 through 1985-86. Son Matt scored 23 points in 18 games as a freshman for Appalachian State in 1984-85. Son Brent, an All-Big Eight Conference first-team selection as a senior, averaged 18 ppg and 5.8 apg for Oklahoma in 1990-91 and 1991-92 after transferring from South Carolina, where he averaged 12.6 ppg and 3.5 apg in 1987-88 and 1988-89.
GRANT'S ARMY MARCHES ON
4. Grant - Father Harvey Grant was an All-American in 1988 as the leading rebounder and second-leading scorer for Oklahoma's NCAA Tournament runner-up. Eldest son Jerai was the leading rebounder for Clemson's 2011 NCAA playoff squad. Son Jerian was Notre Dame's three-time leader in scoring average. Son Jerami was the leading rebounder for Syracuse's inaugural ACC club in 2013-14 before leaving school after sophomore season and becoming a second-round pick in the NBA draft by the Philadelphia 76ers.
JACOBSENS TESTAMENT TO GREAT BLESSINGS
5. Jacobsen - Father Von Jacobsen, who led San Diego State in scoring as a sophomore and junior, averaged 15.4 ppg and 4.9 rpg from 1968-69 through 1970-71. Son Adam averaged 12.6 ppg, 2.9 rpg and 3.6 apg as a three-time All-Big West Conference second-team selection with Pacific from 1993-94 through 1997-98. Son Brock averaged 8.4 ppg, 3 rpg and 2.8 apg for San Diego from 1995-96 through 1998-99. Son Casey, an All-American for Stanford as a junior before declaring early for the NBA draft, averaged 18.1 ppg and 3.8 rpg from 1999-00 through 2001-02. The trio of brothers combined for 625 three-pointers.
HIGH ON HAARLOW
6. Haarlow - Father Bill Haarlow Jr., a three-time All-Western Conference selection for the University of Chicago from 1933-34 through 1935-36, was the league's third-leading scorer as a sophomore (9.9 ppg), leading scorer as a junior (13) and second-leading scorer as a senior (12.6). He had three sons play for Princeton in the 1960s - A. William III averaged 10.8 ppg and 5 rpg in 1962-63, Bob averaged 8.5 ppg and 4.4 rpg from 1963-64 through 1965-66 (second-leading scorer for the Tigers' 1965 Final Four team as a teammate of All-American Bill Bradley) and John averaged 12.6 ppg and 7.3 rpg from 1965-66 through 1967-68 (All-Ivy League second-team selection as a junior). With Bill Jr. cited on CollegeHoopedia.com's comprehensive list of all-time All-Americans, the Haarlows might have been the initial most impactful family on the sport.
7. Paterno - Father Bill Paterno averaged 3.4 ppg with St. Francis (N.Y.) in 1948-49 and 1949-50 after scoring 18 points in nine games in 1947-48. Son Billy averaged 9.8 ppg and 4.7 rpg for Notre Dame from 1973-74 through 1976-77 under coach Digger Phelps, finishing team runner-up in scoring to All-American Adrian Dantley as a sophomore with 13.3 ppg. Son Mike averaged 3.1 ppg for Monmouth in 1987-88. Son Joe averaged 14.6 ppg and 5.1 rpg with Fordham from 1985-86 through 1988-89, leading the Rams in scoring in three seasons and finishing his career as their all-time second-leading scorer. Son Steve averaged 10.8 ppg and 3.6 rpg with Marist from 1987-88 through 1990-91, leading the Red Foxes in scoring as a junior before finishing runner-up as a senior.
TOASTING THE RAIVIOS
8. Raivio - Father Rick Raivio, a three-time All-WCAC selection who led Portland in field-goal shooting all four seasons, finished as the Pilots' all-time leading rebounder (910/9.4 rpg) while averaging 17.2 ppg before becoming a fifth-round draft choice by the Los Angeles Lakers. Son Derek, the WCC co-player of the year as a Gonzaga senior (18 ppg and nation-leading 96.1 FT%), averaged 11.5 ppg and 2.8 apg while shooting 41.6% from beyond the arc from 2003-04 through 2006-07 with Gonzaga en route to becoming the #2 all-time free-throw shooter in DI history (92.7%). Son Nik, a J.C. recruit, was an All-WCC selection as a junior with Portland in 2008-09 when he averaged 16 ppg and 6.5 rpg before heading overseas to play professionally after finishing his Pilots' career with 14.3 ppg and 5.3 rpg. Son Matt averaged 9.4 ppg, 2.8 rpg and 2.8 apg for Simon Fraser (Vancouver) in 2011-12 and 2012-13 after transferring from Santa Rosa (CA) JC.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH
9. Pollard - Father Pearl Pollard (6-9), a second-team All-Skyline Conference choice as a senior, averaged 10.5 ppg and 7.9 rpg for Utah from 1956-57 through 1958-59 with three national postseason tournament teams, leading the Utes in scoring and rebounding as a senior. Son Carl, 7-2, played briefly for BYU as a freshman in 1983-84 before redshirting in 1984-85, going on a two-year Mormon mission and transferring with a brother to Southern California, where he didn't play prior to competing with Southern Utah in 1989-90 and averaging 1.5 ppg and 2.9 rpg. Son Alan, 6-9, averaged 5.6 ppg and 5.3 rpg while splitting four seasons between Brigham Young and USC from 1984-85 through 1988-89, leading BYU in rebounding as a freshman. Son Mark, 6-11, played briefly for San Diego State in 1990-91 before also leaving at the same time with a brother. Son Neal, 7-0, redshirted at San Diego State in 1988-89 before going on a Mormon mission to New England, playing three games with the Aztecs in 1991-92 and transferring to Utah State, where he didn't play. Son Scot, 6-11, averaged 9.4 ppg, 6.6 rpg and 1.7 bpg for four Kansas teams reaching NCAA playoff regional semifinals from 1993-94 through 1996-97 before becoming an NBA first-round draft choice.
CAN'T FOIL THE DOYLES
10. Doyle - Father Dan Doyle averaged 13.7 ppg and 12.2 rpg for Belmont Abbey (N.C.) in his four-year career. He was selected by the Detroit Pistons in 5th round of 1961 NBA draft (44th pick overall) after pacing Al McGuire-coached teams in scoring average his final three seasons and rebounding as a junior and senior. Son Danny averaged 7.4 ppg and 2.1 rpg with Iona from 1989-90 through 1993-94, leading the Gaels in assists and steals as a senior. Son Joe led then-DII Sacred Heart in scoring, assists and steals as a senior in 1996-97. Son Tim played sparingly for St. John's in 2002-03 before transferring to Northwestern, where he averaged 8.1 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 3.7 apg and 1.3 spg from 2004-05 through 2006-07, leading the Wildcats in assists his last two seasons and in steals as a senior.
PLUMB LINE PLUMS
11. Plumlee - Father Millard (nicknamed "Perky") was a 6-8 backup frontcourter who averaged 3.6 ppg and 3 rpg while shooting 58% from the floor for Tennessee Tech from 1980-81 through 1982-83. Sons Miles (4.8 ppg and 4.8 rpg from 2008-09 through 2011-12), Mason (two-time All-ACC selection; 9.8 ppg, 7.7 rpg and 1.4 bpg from 2009-10 through 2012-13) and Marshall (1.2 ppg and 1.8 rpg from 2011-12 to 2014-15 prior to starting entire senior season while averaging 8.3 ppg and 8.6 rpg) all attended Duke.
HUGGY BEARS ALL
12. Huggins - Father Charlie Huggins was an All-WVIAC first-team selection for Alderson-Broaddus (W. Va.) in 1957-58 after transferring from West Virginia. Son Bob averaged 8.4 ppg and 2.8 rpg while shooting 45.9% from the floor and 79.4% from the free-throw line with West Virginia in the mid-1970s after transferring from Ohio University. Son Harry was a two-year letterman for Texas Lutheran in the late 1970s after transferring from Rice. Son Larry averaged 5.6 ppg, 2 rpg and 2.1 apg while shooting 46.3% from the floor and 79.3% from the free-throw line as a captain for Ohio State in the early 1980s.
Christensen - Father Harold, a member of Brigham Young's 1951 NIT championship team, averaged 7.8 ppg and 4.4 rpg. He was chosen by the Minneapolis Lakers in 1953 NBA draft before having three sons play for the Cougars - Craig averaged 5.1 ppg in half a season in 1981-82, Kurt averaged 4.5 ppg in 1992-93 and 1993-94, and Todd averaged 5.8 ppg in 1995-96, 1998-99 and 1999-00.
Fife - Father Dan Fife, a 10th-round draft choice by the Milwaukee Bucks before pitching briefly for the Minnesota Twins, averaged 12.6 ppg and 4.9 rpg for Michigan from 1968-69 through 1970-71. Son Dugan, overlooked during the Fab Five era, averaged 4.6 ppg and 2 rpg for Michigan from 1992-93 through 1995-96. Son Jeremy led Grand Valley State (MI) in assists in 1996-97 and 1997-98. Son Dane averaged 5.6 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 2.3 apg and 1.4 spg while shooting 38.2% from three-point range for Indiana from 1998-99 through 2001-02 before becoming a DI head coach with IUPU-Fort Wayne.
McGee - Father Anthony McGee led Long Beach State in scoring in 1975-76 with 14.8 ppg before contributing 4.5 ppg for the 49ers' NCAA playoff team the next season. Son Tony averaged 4 ppg for Eastern Washington in 1997-98 and 1998-99. Son Antoine averaged 1.4 ppg and 1.7 apg with Colorado from 2002-03 through 2005-06. Son Andre averaged 5.2 ppg and 1.8 apg while shooting 36.5% from beyond the arc with Louisville from 2005-06 through 2008-09, leading the Cardinals in three-point field-goal shooting as a junior (39.4%), before gaining national recognition as a UL rogue assistant coach.
Woolridge - Father Orlando averaged 10.6 ppg and 5 rpg with Notre Dame from 1977-78 through 1980-81. Son Zach played sparingly for Princeton from 2005-06 through 2007-08 (23 points in 14 games). Son Renaldo averaged 3.2 ppg and 2.3 rpg for Tennessee from 2008-09 through 2011-12 before transferring to USC (20 points in 20 games in 2012-13). Son Royce played sparingly for Kansas in 2010-11 (nine points in 16 games) before transferring to Washington State (9.2 ppg in 2012-13 and 2013-14) and Grand Canyon (12.9 ppg in 2014-15). Orlando and Renaldo played in games where their teams defeated the nation's #1-ranked club.
Rutgers, loser in 32 consecutive contests against Big Ten Conference opponents until defeating Minnesota in last year's regular-season finale, might need to visit school archives and bring ulcer-causing Dick Vitale back as a recruiter despite finally winning a Big Ten road games in league competition (at Penn State). The Scarlet Knights, losing by a staggering 50 points at home a year ago against Purdue, couldn't do any worse upon falling on hard times as the nation's only NCAA Division I school failing to have an all-conference choice in the previous 10 seasons. Vitale helped lure departed coach Eddie Jordan to Piscataway before the Scarlet Knights reached the 1976 Final Four. Jordan was an All-Atlantic 10 Conference second-team choice as a senior in 1976-77 before leaving college without a diploma.
Rutgers, failing to secure an all-league choice since Quincy Douby in 2005-06, has been blanked in three different alliances during the dry spell. The Knights' arrival gave the Big Ten Conference additional Nebraska/Northwestern/Penn State mediocrity - a famine-relief trio combining for three NCAA playoff victories in the previous 61 years (all by Nittany Lions), making their hoop fans believe in the power of positive drinkin'.
Five struggling schools - Louisiana-Monroe (Sun Belt), Pepperdine (WCC), Sacramento State (Big Sky), Southern Illinois (Missouri Valley) and Texas Tech (Big 12) - left this dubious category in 2013-14. Rutgers and DePaul each had one league triumph entering the second half of league competition this campaign. Rutgers, eliminated by Louisville by 61 points in the AAC Tournament three seasons ago, is joined by DePaul and Samford on the following list of schools enduring honor droughts having no all-league picks at least the previous eight seasons:
Showing the nation is more than a hockey hotbed, Oregon's Dillon Brooks (Ontario) is a good bet for streak of Canadians earning All-American status reaching six seasons in a row. On the other hand, Brooks might not be the best Canadian on the Ducks' roster as Chris Boucher (Quebec) exhibits promising pro potential. Canada's previous five-year basketball bounty went from Syracuse's Kris Joseph (Quebec) to Gonzaga's Kelly Olynyk (British Columbia) to three All-Americans three seasons ago in Iowa State's Melvin Ejim (Toronto), Michigan's Nik Stauskas (Ontario) and Kansas' Andrew Wiggins (Ontario) to Gonzaga guard Kevin Pangos (Ontario) in 2014-15 to Kentucky's Jamal Murray (Ontario) in 2015-16.
Last season, foreigners such as Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield (Bahamas), Utah center Jakob Poeltl (Austria) and Louisiana State swingman Ben Simmons (Australia) were much more than bit players in a modern-day immigrant version of "Coming to America." Following is an alphabetical list of hoop princes of sorts after Murray and Poeltl became 24th and 25th All-Americans who spent most or all of their formative years in a country outside mainland U.S.:
|Foreigner||Pos.||College||Native Country||Year(s) All-American||NBA Draft Status|
|Andrew Bogut*||C||Utah||Australia||2005||1st pick overall by Milwaukee|
|Kresimir Cosic||C||Brigham Young||Yugoslavia||1972 and 1973||66th by L.A. Lakers|
|Tim Duncan*||C||Wake Forest||Virgin Islands||1995 through 1997||1st by San Antonio|
|Melvin Ejim||F||Iowa State||Toronto, Ontario||2014||undrafted|
|Patrick Ewing*||C||Georgetown||Jamaica||1982 through 1985||1st by New York|
|Adonal Foyle||C||Colgate||West Indies||1997||8th by Golden State|
|Buddy Hield||G||Oklahoma||Bahamas||2015 and 2016||to be determined|
|Al Horford||F-C||Florida||Dominican Republic||2007||3rd by Atlanta|
|Kris Joseph||F||Syracuse||Quebec||2012||51st by Boston|
|Jamal Murray||G||Kentucky||Ontario||2016||7th by Denver|
|Dikembe Mutombo||C||Georgetown||Zaire||1991||4th by Denver|
|Eduardo Najera||F||Oklahoma||Mexico||2000||38th by Houston|
|Hakeem Olajuwon||C||Houston||Nigeria||1983 and 1984||1st by Houston|
|Kelly Olynyk||C||Gonzaga||British Columbia||2013||13th by Dallas|
|Jakob Poeltl||C||Utah||Austria||2016||9th by Toronto|
|Juan "Pepe" Sanchez||G||Temple||Argentina||2000||undrafted|
|Detlef Schrempf||F||Washington||Germany||1985||8th by Dallas|
|Rony Seikaly||C||Syracuse||Greece||1988||9th by Miami|
|Doron Sheffer||G||Connecticut||Israel||1996||36th by L.A. Clippers|
|Nik Stauskas||G||Michigan||Ontario||2014||8th by Sacramento|
|Hasheem Thabeet||C||Connecticut||Tanzania||2009||2nd by Memphis|
|Mychal Thompson||F-C||Minnesota||Bahamas||1977 and 1978||1st by Portland|
|Greivis Vasquez||G||Maryland||Venezuela||2010||28th by Memphis|
|Andrew Wiggins||G-F||Kansas||Ontario||2014||1st by Cleveland|
*Named National Player of the Year.
In any credible assessment involving Kentucky's Malik Monk or fellow freshman flash, an observer shouldn't get too caught up in the moment. Actually, it's probably stretching credulity to proclaim Monk as the best UK 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. King's initial season triggered one of the most overlooked significant achievements in NCAA history - five consecutive victories for him against UK, which has 25 seasons with fewer than five defeats since the start of the NCAA tourney in 1939.
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 eight years ago prior to flopping in the NBA.
A huge difference between Davis and Monk to King was the quality of the competition in the SEC. SEC players in the last three seasons ago don'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 points in 1988-89 than Monk will this season.
UK fans could build a case that John Wall's freshman campaign only six 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. Moreover, neither Davis nor Wall would have been a bench giggler in a defeat by more than 20 points on the road in league competition. It's also unconscionable as to why an individual with Monk's athleticism managed more than three rebounds only twice in a 22-game span before retrieving a career-high eight boards against Tennessee.
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. Two years ago, 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.
Jahlil Okafor, Duke (2014-15: 17.3 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 1.4 bpg, 66.4 FG%)
Centerpiece for the Blue Devils' freshman-dominated NCAA Tournament championship club.
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%)
"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. The majority of All-American transfers depart from universities that currently are power-league members.
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 three seasons ago - Duke guard Seth Curry (Liberty) and KU center Jeff Withey (Arizona). If voters are paying attention and not buffoons-at-large, guard Nigel Williams-Goss (top-ranked Gonzaga after leaving Washington) is a shoo-in for A-A status this season.
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 three years ago. California, Oklahoma State and Texas each had two transfer All-Americans, but Williams-Goss should become Gonzaga's fourth transfer on the following alphabetical list of A-As 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.
College basketball fans shouldn't be assessed an unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty if the NFL isn't their favorite sport, but they should rush to hold on because following is more super stuff to digest while blitzed by enough notes, quotes and anecdotes to have one seeking a sedative when assessing Super Bowl 51 in Houston between the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots.
A "Super" hoop-related nugget is Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett played for Texas A&M in 2006 NCAA Tournament against Glen "Big Baby" Davis-led LSU before the Tigers wound up at the Final Four. While Bennett is a versatile athlete who probably would have accepted Donald Trump's hefty check as free-agent signee with the old New Jersey Generals (USFL), he doesn't possess diversity of thought and indicated disinclination to visit White House after Patriots won Super Bowl despite Owner Robert Kraft's friendship with President stemming from Trump's extended solace after spouse died.
For what it's worth hoop-wise, did you know former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue was a 6-5 forward who averaged 11.4 points and nine rebounds per game for Georgetown in three varsity seasons from 1959-60 through 1961-62? He led the Hoyas in rebounding as a sophomore (8.9 rpg) and junior (8.2 rpg) and was their second-leading rebounder as a senior captain. Well-rounded trivia buffs should also know that Tagliabue's predecessor, Pete Rozelle, was the basketball publicist for 1949 NIT champion San Francisco before orchestrating events leading to the Super Bowl becoming a national phenomenon.
The Super Bowl's link to college basketball is much more extensive than these commissioners and has had more impact than unveiling of new commercials plus halftime entertainers. Actually, there are a striking number of ex-college hoopsters who participated in the Super Bowl as players. In fact, the inaugural Super Bowl in 1967 featured several former four-year college varsity basketball players for schools currently classified at the NCAA Division I level: Bobby Bell, Reg Carolan, Len Dawson, Otis Taylor and Fuzzy Thurston.
In deference to the 51st anniversary of the Super Bowl, following are 51 questions tackling versatile players such as Bell, Carolan, Dawson, Peppers, Taylor and Thurston in this distinctive two-way athlete category that should surprise you with some of the marquee names. If you get them all correct before peeking at answers at the end of this gridiron quiz, then you boast inflated brainpower sufficiently omnipotent to know in advance what Lady Gaga will do at halftime.
1. Name the three-time Pro Bowl quarterback with the Cincinnati Bengals who appeared in Super Bowl XVI following the 1981 season after finishing his career as the fifth-leading scorer in his college's history. The high school teammate of Kentucky All-American and All-Pro Dan Issel led Augustana (Ill.) in field-goal accuracy and free-throw shooting as a freshman and sophomore.
2. Name the linebacker who was one of only two first-year players on the Miami Dolphins' undefeated team in 1972 and was still with the franchise the next season when the Dolphins repeated as Super Bowl champions for a 32-2 two-year mark, the best ever in the NFL. He played briefly for Louisville's varsity basketball squad before Cardinals football coach Lee Corso persuaded him to concentrate on the gridiron.
3. Name the nine-time All-Pro linebacker who was with the Kansas City Chiefs for their Super Bowl IV winner after becoming the first African American to play basketball for Minnesota when he appeared in three games in the 1960-61 season.
4. Name the two-time Pro Bowl defensive end who appeared in Super Bowl III with the Baltimore Colts vs. the New York Jets after becoming a first-team selection as a basketball center for South Dakota in the All-North Central Conference when he averaged 7.8 points per game in 1952-53 and 11 points in 1953-54.
5. Name the first black starting quarterback in the NFL who was later converted to wide receiver and caught two passes to help the undefeated Miami Dolphins beat Minnesota in Super Bowl VIII after averaging 9.5 ppg and 3.6 rpg in 14 basketball games for Nebraska-Omaha in 1964-65.
6. Name the four-time Pro Bowl wide receiver who caught five passes for 83 yards in Super Bowl XV for the Philadelphia Eagles after he was the top rebounder for two seasons with Southern (La.). He established an NFL record for most consecutive games with a pass reception (127).
7. Name the 1963 Pro Bowl selection who participated in Super Bowl I as a defensive end with the Kansas City Chiefs after the 6-6, 235-pounder played three varsity seasons with Idaho's basketball team, averaging four points and 4.7 rebounds per game.
8. Name the 1994 first-round draft choice who was a defensive end on the Dallas Cowboys' last Super Bowl team after playing nine games during the 1992-93 season for Arizona State's hoop squad that was decimated with injuries.
9. Name the Pro Bowl selection who appeared in Super Bowl XXXI with the New England Patriots after the 6-5, 245-pounder played basketball one season for Livingstone (N.C.). He held the NFL single-season record for most receptions by a tight end with 96 in 1994.
10. Name the four-year starter who set school career records for total offense, passing yards and rushing yards by a quarterback plus rushing touchdowns by a QB. Most Outstanding Player in the 2002 Peach Bowl as a quarterback was activated for Super Bowl XXXVII as a rookie with the Oakland Raiders before succeeding all-time great Tim Brown as a starting wide receiver. He was North Carolina's leader in assists during 2000-01 when he directed the Tar Heels to a basketball No. 1 ranking and an 18-game winning streak.
11. Name the Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs who was MVP in Super Bowl IV after playing in two basketball games as a 6-0, 180-pound guard for Purdue in the 1956-57 campaign.
12. Name the defensive left end on Miami's undefeated team in 1972 who played in four Super Bowls with the Dolphins after the 6-6, 220-pound basketball center finished his four-season career at Central College as the Pella, Iowa-based school's all-time leading scorer (15.5 ppg) and rebounder (12.4 rpg). He grabbed a school-record 29 rebounds in a game his senior season (1970-71).
13. Name the Hall of Fame tight end who played in two Super Bowls with the Dallas Cowboys, catching a TD pass to cap the scoring in Super Bowl VI, before coaching the Super Bowl-winning Chicago Bears following the 1985 season after the 6-2, 205-pound forward averaged 2.8 points and 2.6 rebounds per game in two seasons with the Pittsburgh Panthers.
14. Name the defensive back for the Baltimore Colts' Super Bowl V champion who led the NFL in kickoff return average (35.4) in 1970 after playing basketball for Maryland-Eastern Shore.
15. Name the prominent ex-NFL coach who was a defensive back for the Pittsburgh Steelers' Super Bowl XIII champion after averaging 2.6 ppg in 16 basketball contests with the Minnesota Gophers in 1973-74 under coach Bill Musselman.
16. Name the starting middle linebacker for a team in two of three Super Bowls in one stretch who started two games at point guard for St. Francis (Pa.) as a freshman in 1993-94 when he averaged three points per game. After transferring back home to Cleveland, the 5-10 dynamo collected 109 points and 52 rebounds in 27 games for John Carroll before quitting basketball midway through the 1995-96 campaign to concentrate on football.
17. Name the Super Bowl X tight end for the Dallas Cowboys after leading Amherst (Mass.) in scoring and rebounding in 1970-71.
18. Name the five-time Pro Bowl defensive back with the Dallas Cowboys who played in two Super Bowls after finishing his three-year varsity career as Utah State's all-time leading scorer and rebounder. The 6-4 forward scored 46 points in a game against New Mexico en route to leading the Aggies in scoring with 21.2 points per game in 1959-60 (34th in the nation), 20.3 in 1960-61 (57th) and 25.6 in 1961-62 (13th).
19. Name the Hall of Fame quarterback who played in three Super Bowls with the Miami Dolphins after he was a 6-1, 185-pound sophomore guard in 1964-65 when scoring 22 points in 16 games in his only varsity basketball season for Purdue.
20. Name the 12-year veteran safety who played in Super Bowl IV with the Minnesota Vikings after averaging four points and 3.5 rebounds per game in 10 contests for Wisconsin's basketball team in 1958-59.
21. Name the wide receiver who caught a 34-yard touchdown pass from Roger Staubach for the Dallas Cowboys' final touchdown in a 21-17 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl X after he averaged 12.4 points and 7.3 rebounds per game in three varsity seasons (1972-73 through 1974-75) for Austin Peay. It was the only pass reception in his NFL career. The 6-4, 215-pound forward averaged seven points and seven rebounds per game in four NCAA Tournament contests in 1973 and 1974 as a teammate of folk hero James "Fly" Williams.
22. Name the third-round draft choice of the Miami Dolphins in 1998 who backed up MVP Ray Lewis as a linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XXXV after being a member of Cincinnati's basketball team for the first month of 1997-98 campaign.
23. Name the three-time Pro Bowl defensive lineman who appeared in three Super Bowls with the Dallas Cowboys after the 6-8, 230-pound backup post player averaged 1.7 points and 2.6 rebounds for Tennessee State in his freshman and sophomore seasons (1969-70 and 1970-71).
24. Name the Baltimore Ravens wide receiver who caught a 56-yard touchdown pass from Joe Flacco and opened the second half with a 108-yard kickoff return for a TD in a 34-31 win against the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII after the Southeastern Louisiana track transfer was a part-time hoop starter for Lane (Tenn.), averaging 3.4 ppg and 3.7 rpg in 2004-05 and 2005-06.
26. Name the two-time Pro Bowl cornerback who participated in Super Bowl XVII with the Washington Redskins after the 6-4, 190-pound forward averaged 13.4 points and 6.6 rebounds per game for San Diego State in 1969-70 and 1970-71. He was the Aztecs' second-leading scorer (15.2 ppg) and rebounder (7.6 rpg) as a junior.
27. Name the 10-time Pro Bowl defensive back who competed in four Super Bowls after collecting nine assists, four points and three rebounds in six games for Southern California's basketball squad as a junior in 1979-80.
28. Name the 11-year defensive lineman who played in Super Bowl XIII for the Minnesota Vikings after averaging 12.3 ppg with Michigan Tech in 1962-63.
29. Name the Minnesota Vikings defensive back who let former Prairie View basketball player Otis Taylor (Kansas City Chiefs) elude him for a long touchdown in Super Bowl IV after being a basketball teammate of Utah State legend Wayne Estes in 1964-65.
30. Name the NFL Hall of Fame tight end who caught a 75-yard touchdown pass from Hall of Famer Johnny Unitas in Super Bowl V after collecting 28 points and 28 rebounds in six basketball games with Syracuse in 1960-61.
31. Name the defensive end who scored six touchdowns in his 14-year NFL career and tackled John Elway of the Denver Broncos for a safety in the New York Giants' Super Bowl XXI victory following the 1986 season after the 6-5, 225-pound forward-center averaged just over 10 points and 10 rebounds per game for Oregon's freshman squad in 1971-72. He played briefly for the Ducks' varsity basketball team the next season.
32. Name the tight end who played in four Super Bowls with the Buffalo Bills after he was the starting center for Jacksonville State's 1985 NCAA Division II championship team. He led the Gulf South Conference in rebounding each of his first three seasons and finished runner-up in that category as a senior.
33. Name the defensive lineman in Super Bowl XI for the Oakland Raiders who played basketball in the 1975 NAIA Tournament for Morningside (Iowa).
34. Name the quarterback who set an NFL record with 24 consecutive completions over a two-game span in 2004 before guiding the Philadelphia Eagles to Super Bowl XXXIX the next year. He collected a career-high 10 points and six rebounds and made two clinching free throws with 2.7 seconds remaining in a 77-74 victory over Georgetown in 1997 before Syracuse appeared in the NIT. He scored two points in two 1996 NCAA Tournament games for the Orangemen's national runner-up.
35. Name the tight end who played in four Super Bowls with the Buffalo Bills, catching a TD pass in Super Bowl XXVI, after the 6-8, 235-pound center for the basketball squad at Wabash (Ind.) averaged 19.2 ppg and 11.4 rpg in four varsity seasons. He set NCAA Division III field-goal shooting records for a single season (75.3% in 1981-82 as a senior) and career (72.4). He collected 45 points and 13 rebounds in the 1982 championship game, scoring a Division III Tournament record 129 points in five games and earning tourney outstanding player honors.
36. Name the Pro Bowl offensive tackle who appeared in three consecutive Super Bowls with the Miami Dolphins after leading Lamar in rebounding as a senior with 12.6 per game in 1968-69.
37. Name the valuable addition to Super Bowl XXXIX-bound Philadelphia Eagles in 2004 who had nine pass receptions for 122 yards against the New England Patriots after setting an NFL single-game record with 20 receptions for the San Francisco 49ers against the Chicago Bears in 2000. He collected 57 points and 49 rebounds in 38 games (four starts) for UT-Chattanooga's basketball squad in three seasons from 1993-94 through 1995-96.
38. Name the 14-year running back who played in five Super Bowls, catching more passes (five) than anyone in Super Bowls X and XII, after the guard-forward averaged 8.7 points and 6 rebounds per game as a senior in 1966-67 to finish his three-year Illinois varsity career with 5.2 ppg and 3.6 rpg.
39. Name the 2002 NFL defensive rookie of the year for the Carolina Panthers who appeared in Super Bowl XXXVIII the next season after being a member of North Carolina's 2000 Final Four squad. He started both NCAA Tournament games for the Tar Heels in 2001, including his first double-double (10 rebounds and career-high 21 points against Penn State).
40. Name the wide receiver who made a two-point conversion on a run for the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XIV and threw a flea flicker touchdown pass in Super Bowl XX after collecting 16 points and 11 assists in 11 games for Indiana's 1999 NCAA Tournament team, including two points in each of the Hoosiers' playoff contests (against George Washington and St. John's).
41. Name the four-time Pro Bowl wide receiver who scored the first touchdown at Super Bowl XXXI for the Green Bay Packers after he was a 6-1, 185-pound backup guard in basketball for Michigan State in two seasons (1985-86 and 1987-88).
42. Name the Hall of Fame offensive tackle who participated in two Super Bowls (XI and XV) with the Oakland Raiders after he was a two-year basketball letterman as a 6-5, 265-pound center for Maryland State College (now called Maryland-Eastern Shore).
43. Name an offensive tackle for the Super Bowl XVII champion Washington Redskins after the strike-shortened 1982 campaign who averaged 2.9 ppg and 3.7 rpg while shooting 50.5% from the floor with Columbia in 1968-69 and 1969-70.
44. Name the Hall of Fame quarterback who guided the Dallas Cowboys to four Super Bowls after averaging 9.3 points per game for the 1961-62 Navy plebe (freshman) basketball team. The 6-2, 190-pound forward scored five points in four games for the Midshipmen varsity squad the next season. He was MVP in Super Bowl VI.
45. Name the defensive back for the Baltimore Colts who appeared in two Super Bowls (III and V) after playing basketball for Maryland-Eastern Shore.
46. Name the wide receiver who played in two Super Bowls with the Kansas City Chiefs, catching 10 passes for 128 yards and a touchdown, after he was a backup small forward in the Prairie View A&M era following the school's glory years with pro basketball standout Zelmo Beaty.
47. Name the Denver Broncos tight end who caught four passes from Peyton Manning in Super Bowl XLVIII after being Portland State's second-leading rebounder in 2008-09 and 2009-10.
48. Name the offensive guard with the Green Bay Packers who participated in the first two Super Bowls after originally enrolling at Valparaiso on a basketball scholarship. He averaged 1.5 points per game in eight contests as a freshman with Valpo in 1951-52 before concentrating on football.
49. Name the Pro Bowl punter who appeared in two Super Bowls with the Dallas Cowboys after averaging 14.5 points and 8.3 rebounds as a sophomore, 17.3 points and eight rebounds as a junior and 22.1 points and 8.7 rebounds as a senior for Tennessee. The 6-4, 210-pound forward scored 50 points against LSU as a senior on his way to becoming SEC player of the year in 1967.
50. Name the defensive end for the Denver Broncos' back-to-back Super Bowl champions (XXXII and XXXIII) who registered one steal while playing in one minute of one Big Eight Conference basketball game for Colorado in 1989-90.
51. Name the offensive tackle who was an NFL All-Pro six straight seasons in the 1970s and played in the Super Bowl five times that decade with the Dallas Cowboys after earning All-SIAC basketball recognition for Fort Valley State (Ga.).
ANSWERS TO 51 COLLEGE BASKETBALL-IMPACTING SUPER BOWL TRIVIA QUESTIONS
1. Ken Anderson; 2. Larry Ball; 3. Bobby Bell; 4. Ordell Braase; 5. Marlin Briscoe; 6. Harold Carmichael; 7. Reg Carolan; 8. Shante Carver; 9. Ben Coates; 10. Ronald Curry; 11. Len Dawson; 12. Vern Den Herder; 13. Mike Ditka; 14. Jim Duncan; 15. Tony Dungy; 16. London Fletcher; 17. Jean Fugett; 18. Cornell Green; 19. Bob Griese; 20. Dale Hackbart; 21. Percy Howard; 22. Brad Jackson; 23. Ed "Too Tall" Jones; 24. Jacoby Jones; 25. Billy Kilmer; 26. Joe Lavender; 27. Ronnie Lott; 28. Bob Lurtsema; 29. Earsell Mackbee; 30. John Mackey; 31. George Martin; 32. Keith McKeller; 33. Herb McMath; 34. Donovan McNabb; 35. Pete Metzelaars; 36. Wayne Moore; 37. Terrell Owens; 38. Preston Pearson; 39. Julius Peppers; 40. Antwaan Randle El; 41. Andre Rison; 42. Art Shell; 43. George Starke; 44. Roger Staubach; 45. Charlie Stukes; 46. Otis Taylor; 47. Julius Thomas; 48. Fuzzy Thurston; 49. Ron Widby; 50. Alfred Williams; 51. Rayfield Wright.
The NCAA Tournament commenced in 1939, which was one year after the NIT triggered national postseason competition. An overlooked "versatile athlete" feat occurring in 1938 likely never to be duplicated took place at Arkansas, where the quarterback for the football squad (Jack Robbins) repeated as an All-SWC first-team basketball selection, leading the Razorbacks (19-3) to the league title. After the season, Robbins became an NFL first-round draft choice by the Chicago Cardinals (5th pick overall) and senior football/basketball teammates Jim Benton (11th pick by Cleveland Rams) and Ray Hamilton (41st pick by Rams) went on to become wide receivers for at least six years in the NFL. Yes, they created a shatterproof achievement - three members of a league championship basketball squad who promptly were among the top 41 selections in the same NFL draft.
Two years later, All-SWC first-team hoop selection Howard "Red" Hickey was instrumental in Arkansas reaching the 1941 Final Four before becoming an end for the Cleveland Rams' 1945 NFL titlist. Two-sport college teammate and fellow end O'Neal Adams scored five touchdowns for the New York Giants the first half of the 1940s. Another two-sport Hog who played for the Giants in the mid-1940s was Harry Wynne. An earlier versatile Razorback was Jim Lee Howell, who was an All-SWC first five hoop selection in 1935-36 before becoming a starting end for the Giants' 1938 NFL titlist and Pro Bowl participant the next year. Adams, Benton, Hamilton, Hickey and Howell combined for 77 touchdowns in an 11-year span from 1938 through 1948 when at least one of the ex-Razorback hoopers scored a TD in each of those seasons.
Hickey and ex-Hog All-SWC second-team hooper in 1929-30/NFL end Milan Creighton each coached NFL franchises. Many other ex-college hoopers also displayed their wares on the gridiron. Following is exhaustive research you can tackle regarding former college basketball players who made a name for themselves in early-February football at the professional level:
2: Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (averaged 6.8 ppg and 4.3 rpg while shooting 66.3% from floor with Portland State from 2006-07 through 2009-10) had four pass receptions in 24-13 setback against the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLVIII following 2013 season.
3: New York Giants TE Kevin Boss (averaged 3 ppg and 2.7 rpg while shooting 51.9% from floor for Western Oregon in 2004-05 and 2005-06) caught a 45-yard pass from Eli Manning to spark fourth-quarter touchdown drive in 17-14 win against the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII following 2007 season. . . . Baltimore Ravens WR Jacoby Jones (part-time starter averaged 3.4 ppg and 3.7 rpg for Lane TN in 2004-05 and 2005-06) caught a 56-yard touchdown pass from Joe Flacco and opened the second half with a 108-yard kickoff return for TD in 34-31 win against the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII following 2012 season.
4: Tony Dungy (roommate of Flip Saunders averaged 2.6 ppg for Minnesota in 1973-74 under coach Bill Musselman) coached the Indianapolis Colts to a 29-17 win against the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI following 2006 season.
5: New England Patriots TE Martellus Bennett (averaged 1.9 ppg and 1.5 rpg as Texas A&M freshman in 2005-06 before playing next season under coach Billy Gillispie) caught five passes for 62 yards from Tom Brady in 34-28 overtime win against the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl 51 following 2016 season.
6: Philadelphia Eagles QB Donovan McNabb (averaged 2.3 points in 18 games for Syracuse in 1995-96 and 1996-97) threw three touchdown passes in a 24-21 setback against the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXIX following 2004 season. Eagles WR Terrell Owens (UTC hooper from 1993-94 through 1995-96 started five games) had nine pass receptions for 122 yards. . . . Atlanta Falcons WR Andre Rison (backup guard for Michigan State in 1987-88) named NFL Pro Bowl MVP following the 1993 season.
Impact of former college hoopers on professional football in January
Impact of former college hoopers on professional football in December
Impact of former college hoopers on professional football in November
Impact of former college hoopers on professional football in October
Impact of former college hoopers on professional football in September
"Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally." - Abraham Lincoln
It's not exactly a hate crime to also claim "White Players Matter." But Black History Month has arrived and accompanying it are an assortment of facts and opinions celebrating positive contributions blacks have made to the American landscape. Taking more than 100 years after emancipator Abraham Lincoln to make a nationwide transition, nowhere is that emphasis more evident than in an athletic world bereft of quotas and unconnected to alleged Oscar-snubbing. There is certainly more evidence of honor in basketball arenas than in the political arena, where a tax cheat such as Al "Not So" Sharpton is given a freeloader forum by Mess-LSD and brotherly backdoor free-pass entrance to previous POTUS' Oval Office (perhaps for H&R Block seminars to set him free).
Letting authentic freedom ring, every sports fan acknowledges the cultural significance of Jackie Robinson. A movie ("42") debuted a couple of springs ago regarding Robinson beginning his major league baseball career, but it is easy to forget there was a time when the now 75% black National Basketball Association was 100% white. It's also easy to forget how Robinson was instrumental in college basketball's "civil rights" movement.
Before Robinson arrived on the scene in the National League, however, there was Columbia's George Gregory, who became the first African-American to gain college All-American honors in 1930-31. In an era of low scoring, he was the team's second-leading scorer with a 9.2-point average. But he was proudest of his defense, and a statistic that is no longer kept: "goals against." In 10 games, Gregory held rival centers to only eight baskets. "That's less than one goal a game," he told the New York Times. "I think they should have kept that statistical category. Nowadays, one guy scores 40 points but his man scores 45. So what good is it?
"It's funny, but even though I was the only black playing for Columbia, and there was only one other black playing in the Ivy League - Baskerville of Harvard - I really didn't encounter too much trouble from opponents. Oh, I got into a couple of fights. And one time a guy called me 'Nigger,' and a white teammate said, 'Next time, you hit him high and I'll hit him low.' And we did, and my teammate, a Polish guy named Remy Tys, said to that other player, 'That's how we take care of nigger callers.'"
But Gregory said the worst racial incident he encountered was at his own school. "After our last game in my junior year, the team voted me captain for the next season. Well, there was a hell of a battle when this came out. Columbia didn't want a black captain, or a Jewish captain, either, I learned. The dean was against it, and the athletic director was against it, and even the coach was against it.
"The coach told me, 'Get yourself together, Gregory, or I'll take your scholarship away.' They were worried that if we played a school in the South and met the other captain before the game, the guy would refuse to come out and it would embarrass the school. But the campus was split 50-50 on whether to have a black captain for its basketball team.
"The fight went on for three or four weeks. The school insisted that the team vote again. We did, and I won again. One of my teammates said, 'You forced the school to enter the 20th Century.'"
Harrison "Honey" Fitch, Connecticut's first black player, was center stage during a racial incident delaying a game at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy for several hours in late January 1934. Coast Guard officials entered a protest against Fitch, arguing that because half of the Academy's student body was from southern states, they had a tradition "that no Negro players be permitted to engage in contests at the Academy." Eventually, UConn's coach kept Fitch on the bench the entire contest and never explained why.
The first black to appear in the NBA didn't occur until a couple of decades after Gregory graduated and Fitch transferred to American International. UCLA's first basketball All-American Don Barksdale, one of the first seven African-Americans to play in the NBA, was the first black U.S. Olympic basketball player (1948) as well as the first black to play in an NBA All-Star Game (as a rookie in 1952).
Inspired by the black labor movement in the 1930s, Barksdale said, "I made up my mind that if I wanted to do something, I was going to try to do it all the way, no matter the obstacles."
As a 28-year-old rookie with the Baltimore Bullets, he was paid $20,850 (one of the NBA's top salaries) to play and host a postgame radio show, but that notoriety also put extra pressure on him. Forced to play excessive minutes during the preseason, he sustained ankle injuries that plagued him the remainder of his four-year NBA career (11 ppg and 8 rpg).
Why play so many minutes? "It's Baltimore, which is considered the South," said Barksdale, who wound up back in the Bay Area as a well-known jazz disc jockey. "So the South finally signed a black man, and he's going to play whether he could walk or crawl."
Chuck Cooper, who attended Duquesne on the GI Bill, was the first black player drafted by an NBA franchise. "I don't give a damn if he's striped or plaid or polka-dot," were the history-making words of Boston Celtics Owner Walter Brown when he selected Cooper, who averaged 6.7 points and 5.9 rebounds per game in six pro seasons. In Cooper's freshman campaign, Duquesne was awarded a forfeit after refusing to yield to Tennessee's refusal to compete against the Dukes if Cooper participated in a game just before Christmas.
In the 1955-56 season, the Hazleton (Pa.) Hawks of the Eastern League became the first professional league franchise to boast an all-black starting lineup - Jesse Arnelle, Tom Hemans, Fletcher Johnson, Floyd Lane and Sherman White. Arnelle (Penn State) and White (Long Island) were former major-college All-Americans.
As for the multi-talented Robinson, UCLA's initial all-conference basketball player in the 1940s was a forward who compiled the highest scoring average in the Pacific Coast Conference both of his seasons with the Bruins (12.3 points per league game in 1939-40 and 11.1 ppg in 1940-41) after transferring from Pasadena (Calif.) City College. Continuing his scoring exploits, the six-time National League All-Star who spurred #42 uniforms throughout MLB was the leading scorer for the Los Angeles Red Devils' barnstorming team in 1946-47.
Seven-time All-Star outfielder Larry Doby, the first black in the American League, was also a college basketball player who helped pave the way for minorities. He competed on the hardwood for Virginia Union during World War II after originally committing to LIU. The four-month lead Robinson had in integrating the majors casts a huge shadow over Doby, who was the first black to lead his league in homers (32 in 1952), first to hit a World Series homer and first to win a World Series title.
With less than 10% of current MLB rosters comprised of African-Americans, Robinson clearly had much more of a longstanding impact on basketball than baseball. All of the trailblazers didn't capitalize on a Methodist faith like Robinson, but they did boast a temperament unlike Oklahoma State's fan-pushing All-American guard Marcus Smart. In deference to "firsts" and the number 42, following is a ranking of the 42 best players to break the color barrier at the varsity level of a major university (*indicates junior college recruit):
|Rank||First Black Player||School||First Varsity Season||Summary of College Career|
|1.||Elvin Hayes||Houston||1965-66||Three-time All-American averaged 31 ppg and 17.2 rpg in three seasons. The Hall of Famer led the Cougars in scoring and rebounding each year before becoming first pick overall in 1968 NBA draft.|
|2.||Hal Greer||Marshall||1955-56||The first African-American to play intercollegiate athletics in the state of West Virginia averaged 19.4 ppg and 10.8 rpg in three seasons. Naismith Memorial Hall of Famer led the Thundering Herd in rebounding as a junior (13.8 rpg) and senior (11.7 rpg) before becoming a 10-time NBA All-Star.|
|3.||Charlie Scott||North Carolina||1967-68||Averaged 22.1 ppg and 7.1 rpg in three seasons. He was a consensus second-team All-American choice his last two years.|
|4.||Clem Haskins||Western Kentucky||1964-65||Three-time OVC Player of the Year was a consensus first-team All-American as a senior. Averaged 22.1 ppg and 10.6 rpg in three varsity seasons. First-round NBA draft pick (3rd overall) in 1967.|
|5.||K.C. Jones||San Francisco||1951-52||Shut-down defender Jones, a member of the 1955 NCAA champion featuring Bill Russell and 1956 Olympic champion, averaged 8.8 ppg in five seasons (played only one game in 1953-54 before undergoing an appendectomy).|
|6.||Walter Dukes||Seton Hall||1950-51||Averaged 19.9 ppg and 18.9 rpg in three seasons. Consensus first-team All-American as a senior when he averaged 26.1 ppg and 22.2 rpg to lead the Dukes to a 31-2 record and NIT title. Played two full seasons with the Harlem Globetrotters before signing with the New York Knicks, who picked him in 1953 NBA draft.|
|7.||Don Chaney||Houston||1965-66||Defensive whiz Chaney, an All-American as a senior, averaged 12.6 ppg in three seasons and was a member of Final Four teams in 1967 and 1968.|
|8.||John Austin||Boston College||1963-64||Two-time All-American averaged 27 ppg in his Eagles' career. Ranked among the nation's leading scorers in 1964 (8th), 1965 (7th) and 1966 (22nd). Scored 40 points in a 1965 NIT contest. He was a fourth-round choice by the Boston Celtics in 1966 NBA draft.|
|9.||Mike Maloy||Davidson||1967-68||Three-time All-American averaged 19.3 ppg and 12.4 rpg in his career. Southern Conference Player of the Year as a junior and senior. He was the leading scorer (24.6 ppg) and rebounder (14.3 rpg) for the winningest team in school history (27-3 in 1968-69). Selected by the Pittsburgh Condors in the first five rounds of 1970 ABA draft.|
|10.||Cleo Littleton||Wichita||1951-52||Averaged 19 ppg and 7.7 rpg in four seasons, leading the Shockers in scoring each year. School's career scoring leader (2,164 points) is the only four-time first-team All-Missouri Valley Conference choice. He was selected by the Fort Wayne Pistons in 1955 NBA draft.|
|11.||Wendell Hudson||Alabama||1970-71||Averaged 19.2 ppg and 12 rpg in his career, finishing as Bama's fourth-leading scorer and second-leading rebounder. The two-time All-SEC first-team selection was a Helms All-American choice as a senior in 1972-73 before being selected in the second round of NBA draft by the Chicago Bulls.|
|12.||Bob Gibson||Creighton||1954-55||Future Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher was the school's first player to average at least 20 ppg in his career (20.2). Led the Bluejays in scoring (22 ppg) and rebounding (7.6 rpg) as a junior. Gibson, who said he couldn't eat or stay with the rest of the Bluejays' team on his first trip to Tulsa, went on to play with the Harlem Globetrotters.|
|13.||Bill Garrett||Indiana||1948-49||First impact African-American player in Big Ten Conference averaged 12 ppg while leading the Hoosiers in scoring each of his three varsity seasons. Paced them in rebounding as a senior (8.5 rpg) when he was an all-league first-team selection. Selected by the Boston Celtics in second round of 1951 NBA draft. Grandson Billy Garrett Jr. became Big East Conference Rookie of the Year with DePaul in 2013-14.|
|14.||Earl Robinson||California||1955-56||Three-time All-PCC second-team selection averaged at least 10 ppg each of three varsity seasons as 6-1 guard under HOF coach Pete Newell. Robinson averaged 15.5 points in four NCAA Tournament games his last two years, leading the Bears in scoring in two of the playoff contests.|
|15.||Tom Payne||Kentucky||1970-71||Led the Wildcats in rebounding (10.1 rpg) and was their second-leading scorer (16.9 ppg) in his only varsity season before turning pro. The All-SEC first-team selection had a 39-point, 19-rebound performance against Louisiana State before leaving school early and becoming an NBA first-round draft choice by the Atlanta Hawks.|
|16.||Ron "Fritz" Williams||West Virginia||1965-66||Southern Conference player of the year as a senior led Mountaineers in scoring and assists all three varsity seasons on his way to finishing with averages of 20.1 ppg and 6 apg. Williams, a two-time all-league first-team selection, was a first-round pick in 1968 NBA draft (9th overall).|
|17.||James Cash||Texas Christian||1966-67||SWC's initial African-American player averaged 13.9 ppg and 11.6 rpg in three seasons. Two-time all-league second-team selection led the Horned Frogs in scoring (16.3 ppg) and rebounding (11.6 rpg) as a senior. Cash had six games with at least 20 rebounds.|
|18.||John Savage||North Texas||1961-62||Detroit product averaged 19.2 ppg in leading the Eagles in scoring all three of his varsity seasons with them. Three-time All-MVC selection was fifth-round choice by the Los Angeles Lakers in 1964 NBA draft.|
|19.||Willie Allen||Miami (Fla.)||1968-69||Averaged 17.2 ppg and 12.2 rpg in three seasons. Led Hurricanes in scoring (19.9 ppg) and rebounding (17.2 rpg) as senior. Fourth-round choice of the Baltimore Bullets in 1971 NBA draft played briefly for ABA's The Floridans during 1971-72 season.|
|20.||Jerry Jenkins||Mississippi State||1972-73||All-SEC selection as a junior and senior when he was the Bulldogs' leading scorer each year, averaging 19.3 ppg and 7 rpg in three seasons.|
|21.||Stew Johnson||Murray State||1963-64||Averaged 16.8 ppg and 12.9 rpg in three seasons en route to finishing his career as the school's all-time fourth-leading scorer (1,275 points) and second-leading rebounder (981). He was a third-round choice of New York Knicks in 1966 NBA draft before becoming a three-time ABA All-Star.|
|22.||Gene Knolle*||Texas Tech||1969-70||Two-time All-SWC first-team selection averaged 21.5 ppg and 8.4 rpg in two seasons before becoming a seventh-round choice by the Portland Trail Blazers in 1971 NBA draft.|
|23.||Joe Bertrand||Notre Dame||1951-52||Averaged 14.6 ppg in three seasons, including 16.5 as senior when Irish finished year ranked sixth in final AP poll. He was 10th-round choice in 1954 NBA draft by Milwaukee Hawks. Served as Chicago's city treasurer as first black elected to citywide office. His grandson with same name played hoops for Illinois.|
|24.||Hadie Redd||Arizona||1953-54||Led the Wildcats in scoring (13.2 ppg and 13.6) and rebounding (7 rpg and 9.4) in both of his varsity seasons.|
|25.||Almer Lee*||Arkansas||1969-70||He was the Hogs' leading scorer in 1969-70 (17 ppg) and 1970-71 (19.2 ppg as All-SWC second-team selection).|
|26.||John "Jackie" Moore||La Salle||1951-52||Averaged 10.3 ppg and 12.1 rpg in two seasons. Second-leading rebounder both years for the Explorers behind All-American Tom Gola. Played three seasons in the NBA as first black player for Philadelphia Warriors.|
|27.||Greg Lowery*||Texas Tech||1969-70||Averaged 19.7 ppg in his three-year career. First-team All-SWC as a sophomore and senior and second-team choice as junior en route to finishing as school's career scoring leader (1,476 points).|
|28.||Henry Harris||Auburn||1969-70||Averaged 11.8 ppg, 6.7 rpg and 2.5 apg in three-year varsity career. Standout defensive player was captain as a senior. He was an eighth-round choice by the Houston Rockets in 1972 NBA draft.|
|29.||Tommy Bowman||Baylor||1967-68||Two-time All-SWC first-team selection led the Bears in scoring (13.5 ppg) and rebounding (9.4 rpg) in his first varsity season.|
|30.||Ronnie Hogue||Georgia||1970-71||Finished three-year varsity career as the second-leading scorer in school history (17.8 ppg). Hogue was an All-SEC second-team choice with 20.5 ppg as a junior, when he set the school single-game scoring record with 46 points against LSU. He was a seventh-round choice of the Capital Bullets in 1973 NBA draft.|
|31.||Coolidge Ball||Mississippi||1971-72||Two-time All-SEC second-team selection (sophomore and junior years) averaged 14.1 ppg and 9.9 rpg in three seasons. He led the Rebels in scoring (16.8 ppg) and was second in rebounding (10.3 rpg) as a sophomore.|
|32.||Carl Head*||West Virginia||1965-66||Averaged 17.1 ppg and 7.9 rpg in two seasons. Paced the team in field-goal shooting as a junior (53.5%) and in scoring as a senior (20.5 ppg).|
|33.||Perry Wallace||Vanderbilt||1967-68||Averaged 12.9 ppg and 11.5 rpg in three varsity seasons. He was the Commodores' leading rebounder as a junior (10.2 rpg) and leading scorer as a senior (13.4 ppg). Fifth-round choice by the Philadelphia 76ers in 1970 NBA draft.|
|34.||Don Eaddy||Michigan||1951-52||The Wolverines' top scorer in Big Ten Conference competition as a sophomore (13.8 ppg) averaged 11.4 ppg in four seasons. Eaddy was an infielder who played briefly with the Chicago Cubs in 1959.|
|35.||Garfield Smith||Eastern Kentucky||1965-66||Averaged 14.5 ppg and 13.2 rpg in three seasons. He was an All-Ohio Valley Conference choice as a senior when he finished second in the nation in rebounding (19.7 rpg). Third-round choice by the Boston Celtics in 1968 NBA draft.|
|36.||Tommy Woods||East Tennessee State||1964-65||Two-time All-Ohio Valley Conference choice averaged 15.3 ppg and 16.2 rpg in three seasons. He grabbed 38 rebounds in a game against Middle Tennessee en route to finishing third in the nation in rebounding as a sophomore (19.6 rpg).|
|37.||Willie Brown||Middle Tennessee State||1966-67||All-Ohio Valley Conference choice as junior and senior averaged 20.3 ppg and 7.4 rpg in three seasons en route to finishing his career as the school's all-time scoring leader (1,524 points). He was a 10th-round choice by the Milwaukee Bucks in 1969 NBA draft.|
|38.||Julius Pegues||Pittsburgh||1955-56||Spent one year at a Detroit technical school before enrolling at Pitt. Averaged 13.6 ppg in three seasons, finishing as the school's second-leading scorer (17.6 ppg) as a senior behind All-American Don Hennon. Pegues, who scored a game-high 31 points in an 82-77 loss to Miami of Ohio as a senior in 1958 NCAA Tournament, was a fifth-round choice by the St. Louis Hawks in NBA draft.|
|39.||Sebron "Ed" Tucker*||Stanford||1950-51||Averaged 15.8 ppg in two seasons, leading the team in scoring both years. Paced the PCC in scoring as a junior (16.5 ppg) before becoming an all-league South Division first-team pick as a senior.|
|40.||Collis Temple||Louisiana State||1971-72||Averaged 10.1 ppg and 8.1 rpg in three seasons. Ranked second in the SEC in rebounding (11.1 rpg) and seventh in field-goal shooting (54.9%) as a senior. He was a sixth-round choice by the Phoenix Suns in 1974 NBA draft.|
|41.||Charlie White*||Oregon State||1964-65||Led the Beavers in rebounding (7 rpg) and was their second-leading scorer (9.6 ppg) as a junior. The next year as a first five pick on the All-Pacific-8 team, he was OSU's captain and second-leading scorer (11.7 ppg) and rebounder (6.6 rpg), pacing the team in field-goal shooting (49.4%) and free-throw shooting (81.4%).|
|42.||Ruben Triplett*||Southern Methodist||1971-72||Averaged 14.9 ppg and 9 rpg in two seasons. Named All-SWC as a junior when he led the Mustangs in scoring (18.2 ppg) and rebounding (10.8 rpg). Scored a career-high 33 points at Oklahoma City.|
42 MOST OVERLOOKED PIONEERS
|First Black Player||School||First Varsity Season||Summary of College Career|
|Al Abram||Missouri||1956-57||Averaged 11 ppg over four seasons. He led the Tigers in scoring (16.1 ppg), rebounding (8.9 rpg) and field-goal shooting (45%) in 1958-59.|
|Bunk Adams||Ohio University||1958-59||Averaged 16.4 ppg and 11.8 rpg in three seasons, including a team-high 12.8 rpg as a senior. He led the team in scoring as a sophomore (14.4 ppg) and junior (16.4) and was second as a senior (18.2) en route to finishing as OU's career leader in points (1,196). All-MAC first-team selection as a junior and senior after earning second-team status as a sophomore. Adams was the school's first NBA draft choice (16th round by Baltimore in 1965).|
|Don Barnette||Miami (Ohio)||1953-54||All-MAC first-team selection as a senior averaged 11.6 ppg and 5.2 rpg during three-year career. Played for the Harlem Globetrotters in the late 1950s and early 1960s.|
|Charlie Brown*||Texas-El Paso||1956-57||Air Force veteran, a three-time All-Border Conference choice, led the league in scoring as a sophomore (23.4 ppg). He averaged 17.5 ppg in three varsity seasons, leading the Miners in scoring each year.|
|Earl Brown||Lafayette||1971-72||Grabbed 21 rebounds in a game against Lehigh as a sophomore before averaging 11 ppg and 10.6 rpg as a junior and 13.7 ppg and 12.1 rpg as a senior. Ninth-round NBA draft choice by the New York Knicks in 1974.|
|Mario Brown*||Texas A&M||1971-72||Averaged 13 ppg and 4.3 apg in two seasons, leading the team in assists both years.|
|Harvey Carter||Bucknell||1970-71||Led the Bison in scoring and rebounding all three varsity seasons (14.1 ppg and 11.5 rpg as a sophomore, 14.8 ppg and 12.4 rpg as a junior and 14.2 ppg and 9.8 rpg as a senior).|
|Larry Chanay||Montana State||1956-57||Four-year Air Force veteran finished his four-year college career as the school's all-time leading scorer (2,034 points). He led the Bobcats in scoring all four seasons. Chanay was a 14th-round choice by the Cincinnati Royals in 1960 NBA draft.|
|John Codwell||Michigan||1951-52||The Wolverines' second-leading scorer as a junior (10.5 ppg) averaged 6.4 ppg in three seasons.|
|Vince Colbert*||East Carolina||1966-67||Averaged 14.3 ppg and 7.3 rpg in two seasons. He led ECU in rebounding as a junior (7.1 rpg).|
|Robert Cox||Loyola Marymount||1953-54||Averaged 16.9 ppg and 11.1 rpg in two seasons while leading the Lions in both categories each year.|
|John Crawford||Iowa State||1955-56||Averaged 13.4 ppg and 9.7 rpg in three seasons. He led the Cyclones in rebounding all three years and paced them in scoring as a senior (14.1 ppg).|
|L.M. Ellis||Austin Peay State||1963-64||The first OVC black player averaged 9.3 ppg and 10.5 rpg as a junior and 6.7 ppg and 6.1 rpg as a senior after transferring from Drake to his hometown school.|
|Ed Fleming||Niagara||1951-52||Averaged 15 ppg and 8.7 rpg in four seasons to finish No. 1 on the school's all-time scoring list (1,682). All-time top rebounder (975) was selected by the Rochester Royals in 1955 NBA draft.|
|Larry Fry||Mississippi State||1972-73||Averaged 13.8 ppg and 8.1 rpg in three seasons.|
|Julian Hammond*||Tulsa||1964-65||Averaged 12.2 ppg and 7.6 rpg in two seasons. Led the Golden Hurricane in scoring (16.4 ppg) and rebounding (7.6 rpg) as a senior when he was an All-MVC first-team selection and paced the nation in field-goal shooting (65.9%). He was a ninth-round choice by the Los Angeles Lakers in 1966 NBA draft.|
|Charlie Hoxie||Niagara||1951-52||Averaged 11.7 ppg and 8.4 rpg in four seasons to finish his career as the school's third-leading scorer (1,274). Second-leading rebounder (916) was selected by the Milwaukee Hawks in 1955 NBA draft before playing with the Harlem Globetrotters.|
|Eddie Jackson||Oklahoma City||1962-63||Center averaged 12.3 ppg and 10 rpg in three-year OCU career after transferring from Oklahoma. He led the Chiefs in rebounding as a sophomore and junior. Selected in the sixth round by the San Francisco Warriors in 1965 NBA draft.|
|Leroy Jackson||Santa Clara||1960-61||Averaged 10.1 ppg and 8.3 rpg in three seasons, leading the team in rebounding all three years. Named to second five on All-WCAC team as a senior when he averaged 11.9 ppg and 10.9 rpg.|
|Curt Jimerson*||Wyoming||1960-61||Forward averaged 14.6 ppg in two seasons, including a team-high 17.5 ppg as a senior when he was an All-Mountain States Conference first-team selection.|
|Junius Kellogg||Manhattan||1950-51||Averaged 12.1 ppg in three-year career, leading the Jaspers in scoring as a sophomore and junior. Former Army sergeant refused bribe and exposed a major point-shaving scandal.|
|Charlie Lipscomb||Virginia Tech||1969-70||Averaged 11.4 ppg and 9.4 rpg in three varsity seasons. He led the team in rebounding (10.4 rpg) and was its second-leading scorer (12.1 ppg) as a sophomore.|
|Jesse Marshall*||Centenary||1968-69||Led the Gents in scoring (16 ppg) and rebounding (9.6 rpg) as a senior after being their second-leading scorer (15.9 ppg) and leading rebounder (10.2 rpg) as a junior.|
|Shellie McMillon||Bradley||1955-56||Member of 1957 NIT champion averaged 14.1 ppg and 9.3 rpg in three varsity seasons, including a team-high 16.4 ppg in 1957-58. McMillon, who scored 42 points against Detroit, was an All-Missouri Valley Conference second-team choice as a senior before becoming a sixth-round NBA draft choice by the Detroit Pistons.|
|Eugene Oliver*||South Alabama||1972-73||Averaged 17.9 ppg and 5.1 rpg in two seasons, leading the team in scoring both years and setting a school single-game record with 46 points against Southern Mississippi.|
|Charley Parnell||Delaware||1966-67||First-team All-East Coast Conference choice led the Blue Hens in scoring with 18.5 ppg.|
|Garland Pinkston||George Washington||1967-68||Second-leading scorer (12.5 ppg) and rebounder (7.3 rpg) in his only varsity season for GWU.|
|Art Polk||Middle Tennessee State||1966-67||MTSU's second-leading rebounder as a junior and senior averaged 12.3 ppg and 9.2 rpg in three seasons.|
|Charley Powell||Loyola (New Orleans)||1966-67||Averaged 21.5 ppg in three-year career, finishing 13th in the nation with 26 ppg as a junior.|
|Larry Robinson*||Tennessee||1971-72||Averaged 10.9 ppg and 8.8 rpg in two seasons. Led the Volunteers in rebounding and field-goal shooting both years. He was a 16th-round choice by the Philadelphia 76ers in 1973 NBA draft.|
|Ron Satterthwaite||William & Mary||1973-74||Averaged 13.2 ppg in four seasons. He led the Tribe in scoring as a sophomore and junior, averaging 17 ppg during that span. Guard was an All-Southern Conference first-team selection as a sophomore and second-team choice as a junior.|
|Oscar Scott*||The Citadel||1971-72||Three-year Army veteran averaged 11.8 ppg and 7 rpg in two seasons. He led the Bulldogs in rebounding as a senior.|
|Dwight Smith||Western Kentucky||1964-65||Three-time All-OVC guard averaged 14.6 ppg and 10.9 rpg in his college career. Led the Hilltoppers in rebounding as a sophomore (11.3 rpg) and as a senior (11.9 rpg). Smith was a third-round choice of the Los Angeles Lakers (23rd overall).|
|Sam Smith||Louisville||1963-64||Third-round choice of the Cincinnati Royals in 1967 NBA draft averaged 9.2 ppg and team-high 11 rpg in his only varsity season with the Cardinals before transferring to Kentucky Wesleyan.|
|Sam Stith||St. Bonaventure||1957-58||Averaged 14.8 ppg and 4.1 rpg in three-year career. After All-American brother Tom Stith arrived the next season, they combined to average 52 ppg in 1959-60, an NCAA single-season record for brothers on the same team.|
|Harold Sylvester||Tulane||1968-69||Averaged 12.5 ppg and 9.1 rpg in three varsity seasons. He led the Green Wave in rebounding as a sophomore and was its second-leading rebounder and scorer as a junior and senior.|
|John Thomas||Pacific||1954-55||Averaged 15.1 ppg and 11.3 rpg in three years while leading the team in scoring and rebounding each campaign. Finished his career as the school's all-time scoring leader (1,178 points). He set UOP single-season records for points (480) and rebounds (326) in 1955-56.|
|Liscio Thomas*||Furman||1969-70||Averaged 17 ppg and 9.9 rpg in two seasons. He led the Paladins in scoring as a junior (17.7 ppg) and was the second-leading scorer and rebounder for 1971 Southern Conference champion.|
|Solly Walker||St. John's||1951-52||First African-American ever to play in game at Kentucky averaged 7.8 ppg and 6.8 rpg in three seasons. Member of 1952 NCAA runner-up and 1953 NIT runner-up. Led the team in scoring (14 ppg) and rebounding (12.2 rpg) as a senior. Selected by the New York Knicks in 1954 NBA draft.|
|John Edgar Wideman||Penn||1960-61||Two-time All-Ivy League second-team swingman led the Quakers in scoring as a junior (13.2 ppg in 1961-62) and a senior (13.8 ppg in 1962-63). The Pittsburgh native also paced them in rebounding as a junior (7.6 rpg).|
|Willie Williams*||Florida State||1968-69||Averaged 12.5 ppg and 10.3 rpg in two seasons and led the nation in field-goal shooting as a senior (63.6%).|
|Ed "Skip" Young||Florida State||1968-69||Averaged 11.7 ppg in three seasons, including 15 ppg as a sophomore, before becoming a seventh-round choice by the Boston Celtics in 1971 NBA draft.|
The most prolific outbursts came against small-college competition, but the three highest-scoring games in history by NCAA Division I players occurred in the month of February - Furman's Frank Selvy (100 points vs. Newberry SC in 1954), Villanova's Paul Arizin (85 vs. Philadelphia NAMC in 1949) and Portland State's Freeman Williams (81 vs. Rocky Mountain MT in 1978).
Louisiana State's Pete Maravich, the NCAA's career scoring leader who had the highest output in a power-conference game this month (69 at Alabama in SEC play in 1970), wasn't the only prolific point producer in the Pelican State from the guard position. In February 1972, Southwestern Louisiana junior Dwight "Bo" Lamar erupted for 51 points in each of back-to-back Southland Conference road games at Louisiana Tech and Lamar during USL's inaugural season at the major-college level before the school changed its name to Louisiana-Lafayette. For the record, Maravich twice tallied more than 50 in back-to-back SEC contests away from home (end of junior campaign and midway through senior season). This month also featured a third still-existing single-game scoring record by an individual opponent when "Bo Knows (Scoring)" Lamar exploded for 62 points at Northeast Louisiana the previous campaign en route to becoming the only player in NCAA history to lead the nation in scoring average at both the college and university divisions.
Existing single-game scoring standards for Bradley (Hersey Hawkins) and Detroit (Archie Tullos) were set in the same February assignment in 1988. As for regal rebounding records, Alabama's Jerry Harper retrieved 28 missed shots in back-to-back SEC contests two days apart in February 1956 and Wayne Embry pulled down 34 boards in back-to-back games for Miami of Ohio in the same time frame the next year. Following is a day-by-day calendar citing memorable moments in February college basketball history:
1 - Arkansas State's Don Scaife (43 points vs. Northeast Louisiana in 1975), Coppin State's Fred Warrick (40 at Howard in 1999) and Tulane's Jim Kerwin (45 vs. Southeastern Louisiana in 1961) set school Division I single-game scoring records. . . . North Carolina State's school-record 38-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Maryland (98-97 in 1975). . . . SEC Eastern Division cellar dweller Florida upset NCAA Tournament champion-to-be Kentucky in 1998. . . . Rudy Tomjanovich (30 vs. Loyola of Chicago in 1969) set Michigan's single-game rebounding record.
2 - Brown's Harry Platt (48 points vs. Northeastern in 1938) and Delaware State's Tom Davis (50 vs. Brooklyn in 1989) set school single-game scoring records at the Division I level. . . . Campbell's Clarence Grier (38 vs. Radford in 1987) and Central Arkansas' Nate Bowie (39 at Nicholls State in double overtime in 2008) set school single-game scoring records against a DI opponent. . . . In 2014, Oakland's Travis Bader set an NCAA Division I record for most career three-pointers, surpassing the previous mark of 457 established by Duke All-American J.J. Redick. . . . Arizona's Bob Elliott (25 vs. Arizona State in 1974) and Long Island's Carey Scurry (26 vs. Marist in 1983) set school single-game rebounding records against a DI opponent. . . . Eventual MLB shortstop and manager Don Kessinger scored a career-high 49 points for Mississippi vs. Tulane in 1963.
3 - Buffalo's Mike Martinho (44 points vs. Rochester NY in 1998), Dayton's Donald Smith (52 at Loyola of Chicago in 1973), Grambling State's Brion Rush (53 vs. Southern in overtime in 2006), Portland State's Freeman Williams (81 vs. Rocky Mountain MT in 1978) and Wyoming's Joe Capua (51 vs. Montana in 1956) set school single-game scoring records. . . . Walt Lysaght (35 vs. North Carolina in 1953) set Richmond's single-game rebounding record.
4 - IPFW's Max Landis (44 points at South Dakota in 2016), La Salle's Kareem Townes (52 vs. Loyola of Chicago in 1995), Monmouth's Rahsaan Johnson (43 vs. St. Francis NY in 2001), Rhode Island's Tom Harrington (50 vs. Brandeis MA in 1959), South Carolina's John Roche (56 vs. Furman in 1971) and Western Michigan's Gene Ford (46 vs. Loyola of Chicago in 1969) set school Division I single-game scoring records. . . . Dan Cramer (50 vs. Southern Mississippi in 1974) set Denver's single-game scoring record against a DI opponent. . . . Illinois' school-record 33-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Penn State (66-65 in 2006). . . . Alabama's Jerry Harper (28 vs. Georgia Tech in 1956), Fordham's Ed Conlin (36 vs. Colgate in 1953), Georgia Tech's Eric Crake (27 vs. Georgia in 1953), South Carolina's Lee Collins (33 vs. The Citadel in 1956) and Wake Forest's Dickie Hemric (36 vs. Clemson in 1955) set school single-game rebounding records against a DI opponent.
5 - Akron's Joe Jakubick (47 points vs. Murray State in 1983), East Tennessee State's Tom Chilton (52 vs. Austin Peay in 1961), Kent State's Dan Potopsky (49 vs. Western Michigan in 1955), Marquette's Mike Moran (44 vs. Creighton in 1958), Prairie View A&M's Paul Queen (46 vs. Alabama State in 1994) and Troy State's Detric Golden (45 at Jacksonville in 2000) set school Division I single-game scoring records. . . . Yale's Brandon Sherrod extended his NCAA record of consecutive successful field-goal attempts to 30 covering five 2016 games before misfiring against Columbia. . . . Kenny Davis (25 vs. Arizona State in 1977) tied Arizona's single-game rebounding record against a DI opponent. . . . Eventual MLB Hall of Fame OF Tony Gwynn (18 vs. UNLV in 1980) set San Diego State's single-game assists record against a DI opponent.
6 - Ernie McCray (46 points vs. Los Angeles State in 1960) set Arizona's single-game scoring record. . . . Southern Mississippi's John White (41 at Virginia Tech in double overtime in 1988) and Tulane's Calvin Grosscup (41 vs. Mississippi State in 1956) set school single-game scoring records against a major-college opponent. . . . Virginia Tech sophomore guard Bimbo Coles set Metro Conference single-game record with 51 points in a 141-133 double overtime victory against visiting Southern Mississippi in 1988. . . . Bradley's school-record 46-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Drake (86-76 in 1961). . . . Belmont erased an 18-point deficit with 3:22 remaining (75-57) to defeat Campbell, 87-84, in 2009. . . . Alabama's Jerry Harper (28 vs. Vanderbilt in 1956), American University's Kermit Washington (34 vs. Georgetown in 1971), West Virginia's Jerry West (31 vs. George Washington in 1960) and Wichita State's Terry Benton (29 vs. North Texas State in 1971) set school single-game rebounding records against a DI opponent.
7 - Dartmouth's Jim Barton (48 points at Brown in overtime in 1987), Louisiana State's Pete Maravich (69 at Alabama in 1970) and South Dakota State's Nate Wolters (53 at IPFW in 2013) set school single-game scoring records. Maravich's output is also a SEC record in league competition. . . . Phil Hicks (41 at Samford in 1974) tied Tulane's single-game scoring record against a Division I opponent. . . . In 1976, Purdue (25) and Wisconsin (22) combined to convert all 47 of their free-throw attempts, an NCAA record for two teams in a single game. . . . Duquesne's Dick Ricketts (28 vs. Villanova in 1955) and Southern's Jervaughn Scales (32 vs. Grambling in 1994) set school single-game rebounding records against a DI opponent.
8 - Cincinnati's Oscar Robertson (62 points vs. North Texas State in 1960) and UNC Charlotte's George Jackson (44 at Samford in 1975) set school single-game scoring records. Robertson's output is also a Missouri Valley Conference record in league competition. . . . Buzz Wilkinson (45 vs. North Carolina in 1954) set Virginia's single-game scoring record against a major-college opponent. . . . Iowa State's Melvin Ejim (48 vs. TCU in 2014) set Big 12 Conference single-game scoring mark in league competition. . . . Kentucky established an NCAA single-game record by grabbing 108 rebounds against Mississippi in 1964. . . . Wofford set an NCAA three-point percentage record (minimum of 20 attempts) by hitting 17-of-21 shots from beyond the arc (81% against VMI in 2016). . . . Niagara's school-record 51-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Syracuse (60-55 in 1950). . . . Boston College's Terry Driscoll (31 vs. Fordham in 1969), Davidson's Fred Hetzel (27 vs. Furman in 1964), Eastern Michigan's Kareem Carpenter (27 vs. Western Michigan in 1995), Harvard's Bob Canty (31 vs. Boston College in 1955), Marquette's Pat Smith (28 vs. Loyola of Chicago in 1967), Oklahoma City's Willie Watson (32 vs. Denver in 1969) and Seattle's John Tresvant (40 vs. Montana in 1963) set school single-game rebounding records. . . . Gene Estes (24 vs. Oklahoma City in 1961) set Tulsa's single-game rebounding record against a major-college opponent. . . . Utah State All-American Wayne Estes, after scoring 48 points vs. Denver to eclipse the 2,000-point plateau, was electrocuted following a home game in 1965 when the 6-6 forward brushed against a downed high-power line upon stopping at the scene of an auto accident near campus. . . . Dayton center Chris Daniels, who finished the season as the nation's leader in field-goal shooting (68.3% in 1996), died because of a heart ailment.
9 - UALR's Carl Brown (46 points at Centenary in overtime in 1989), Butler's Darrin Fitzgerald (54 vs. Detroit in 1987), Canisius' Larry Fogle (55 vs. St. Peter's in 1974), Clemson's J.O. Erwin (58 vs. Butler Guards at Greenville in 1912), Colorado State's Bill Green (48 vs. Denver in 1963), Hofstra's Demetrius Dudley (44 vs. Central Connecticut State in 1993) and Loyola of Chicago's Alfredrick Hughes (47 vs. Detroit in 1985) set school Division I single-game scoring records. Brown's output is also an Atlantic Sun Conference record in league competition. . . . DePaul's Tom Kleinschmidt set the Great Midwest Conference single-game scoring record in league play with 37 points against UAB in 1994. . . . Charleston Southern's Tony Fairley set an NCAA single-game record with 22 assists against Armstrong State GA in 1987. . . . Dartmouth ended Penn's Ivy League-record 48-game winning streak in 1996 and Duke's school-record 46-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Maryland (98-87 in 2000). . . . Southern Mississippi's Wendell Ladner (32 vs. Pan American in 1970) and Syracuse's Frank Reddout (34 vs. Temple in 1952) set school single-game rebounding records. . . . Canisius' Larry Fogle (22 vs. St. Peter's in 1974) and Idaho's Gus Johnson (31 vs. Oregon in 1963) set school single-game rebounding records against a major-college opponent.
10 - Massachusetts' Billy Tindall (41 points vs. Vermont in 1968), Morehead State's Brett Roberts (53 vs. Middle Tennessee State in 1992), Northeast Louisiana's Calvin Natt (39 vs. Northwestern State in 1977), Ohio State's Gary Bradds (49 vs. Illinois in 1964) and Larry Lewis of Saint Francis PA (46 vs. St. Vincent PA in 1969) set school Division I single-game scoring records. . . . Detroit's school-record 39-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Wisconsin-Green Bay (65-61 in 2002), Oral Roberts' school-record 52-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Marshall (106-103 in 1973) and Virginia Commonwealth's school-record 33-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Virginia Tech (71-63 in 1978). . . . Georgetown's Charlie Adrion (29 vs. George Washington in 1968), Houston's Elvin Hayes (37 vs. Centenary in 1968) and Rider's Jason Thompson (24 vs. Siena in 2008) set school single-game rebounding records. . . . Eventual Chicago White Sox RHP Dave DeBusschere scored a career-high 44 points for Detroit against Dayton in 1962.
11 - East Carolina's Oliver Mack (47 points vs. South Carolina-Aiken in 1978), Florida State's Ron King (46 at Georgia Southern in 1971), Hartford's Vin Baker (44 vs. Lamar in overtime in 1992), Southern California's John Block (45 vs. Washington in 1966) and Wisconsin-Green Bay's Tony Bennett (44 at Cleveland State in 1989) set school Division I single-game scoring records. . . . Mal Graham (46 at Holy Cross in 1967) set New York University's single-game scoring record against a DI opponent. . . . Morehead State (53) and Cincinnati (35) combined for an NCAA single-game record of 88 successful free throws in 1956. . . . Indiana State set an NCAA single-game record for most three-pointers without a miss by making all 12 attempts from beyond the arc (against Southern Illinois in 2012). . . . Weber State's school-record 44-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Idaho (68-67 in 1967). . . . Andrew Nicholson (23 vs. Duquesne in 2012) tied St. Bonaventure's single-game rebounding record against a DI opponent.
12 - Marist's Izett Buchanan (51 points at Long Island University in 1994), Northern Iowa's Cam Johnson (40 at Drake in 1994) and Villanova's Paul Arizin (85 vs. Philadelphia NAMC in 1949) set school single-game scoring records. . . . Chris Rivers (40 vs. Canisius in 2001) set Fairfield's single-game scoring record against a Division I opponent. . . . Wake Forest's Len Chappell (50 vs. Virginia in 1962) set ACC single-game scoring record in league competition. . . . Gonzaga's school-record 50-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Santa Clara (84-73 in 2007). . . . Drake's Ken Harris (26 vs. Tulsa in 1977) and Navy's David Robinson (25 vs. Fairfield in 1986) set school single-game rebounding records.
13 - Boise State's Ron Austin (42 points vs. Montana in 1971), Colorado's Cliff Meely (47 vs. Oklahoma in 1971), Furman's Frank Selvy (NCAA-record 100 vs. Newberry SC in 1954), Portland's Matt Houle (43 vs. San Francisco in 1993) and San Francisco's Keith Jackson (47 at Loyola Marymount in 1988) set school single-game scoring records. . . . Alabama's Bob Andrews (46 vs. Tulane in 1965), East Carolina's Gus Hill (43 at Navy in 1988), UNC Asheville's Andrew Rousey (41 at Radford in 2014), San Jose State's Olivier Saint-Jean (37 at Air Force in 1997) and Virginia's Buzz Wilkinson (45 vs. Georgetown in 1954) set school single-game scoring records against a Division I opponent. . . . In 1985, Connecticut became the first school to be ranked No. 1 in the men's and women's national polls at the same time. . . . Syracuse's school-record 57-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Georgetown (52-50 in 1980). . . . Kentucky's Bill Spivey (34 vs. Xavier in 1951), New Mexico's Tom King (26 vs. Wyoming in 1960), Northwestern's Jim Pitts (29 vs. Indiana in 1965) and Western Michigan's Frank Ayers (25 vs. Loyola of Chicago in 1973) set school single-game rebounding records. . . . Dan Roundfield (25 vs. Bowling Green State in 1974) set Central Michigan's single-game rebounding record against a DI opponent.
14 - Auburn's John Mengelt (60 points vs. Alabama in 1970), Central Connecticut State's Kyle Vinales (42 at Wagner in 2013), Coppin State's Larry Stewart (40 vs. South Carolina State in 1991), Mount St. Mary's Sam Prescott (44 vs. Bryant in 2013), South Alabama's Eugene Oliver (46 at Southern Mississippi in 1974), Southwestern Louisiana's Bo Lamar (51 at Louisiana Tech in 1972) and Tennessee's Tony White (51 vs. Auburn in 1987) set school Division I single-game scoring records. Lamar's output also set a Southland Conference record in league competition. . . . Villanova's Larry Hennessy (45 vs. Boston College in 1953) and Virginia's Buzz Wilkinson (45 vs. Clemson in 1955) set school single-game scoring records against a DI opponent. . . . William & Mary's Bill Chambers, standing a mere 6-4, grabbed an NCAA-record 51 rebounds against Virginia on Valentine's Day in 1953. . . . Miami of Ohio's Wayne Embry (34 vs. Eastern Kentucky in 1957), Texas Tech's Jim Reed (27 vs. Texas in 1956), Wagner's Mike Aaman (23 vs. Fairleigh Dickinson in 2015) and West Virginia's Mack Isner (31 vs. Virginia Tech) set school single-game rebounding records against a major-college opponent. . . . Jacksonville junior-college recruit Artis Gilmore, the only player in major-college history to average more than 22 points and 22 rebounds per game in his career, had his only DI contest retrieving fewer than 10 missed shots (8 caroms at Loyola LA in 1970). . . . Massachusetts' school-record 33-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by George Washington (80-78 in 1995). . . . Kentucky's Adolph Rupp became the coach to compile 600 victories the fastest with a 71-52 win over Notre Dame at Chicago in 1959 (705 games in 27th season).
15 - Coastal Carolina's Tony Dunkin (43 points vs. UNC Asheville in 1993), Columbia's Leonard "Buck" Jenkins (47 at Harvard in 1991), Maryland-Baltimore County's Derell Thompson (43 at Towson State in 1992), Southwest Missouri State's Danny Moore (36 at Creighton in 1997) and Wake Forest's Charlie Davis (51 vs. American University in 1969) set school Division I single-game scoring records. . . . Rasaun Young (39 vs. Northeastern Illinois in 1997) set Buffalo's single-game scoring record against a DI opponent. . . . Kentucky tied an NCAA record by erasing a 31-point, second-half deficit at LSU (99-95 UK victory in 1994). . . . Princeton's Bill Bradley (51 points vs. Harvard in 1964) set Ivy League scoring record in conference competition. . . . Oregon State ended UCLA's Pacific-8 Conference-record 50-game winning streak (61-57 in 1974). . . . Kentucky's Adolph Rupp became the coach to compile 400 victories the fastest with a 90-50 win over Mississippi in 1950 (477 games in 20th season). . . . Kansas' Wilt Chamberlain (36 vs. Iowa State in 1958), Oregon State's Swede Halbrook (36 vs. Idaho in 1955) and Rice's Joe Durrenberger (30 vs. Baylor in 1955) set school single-game rebounding records. . . . Paul Millsap (29 vs. San Jose State in 2006) set Louisiana Tech's single-game rebounding record against a DI opponent. . . . Eventual MLB All-Star RHP Sonny Siebert scored a career-high 31 points for Missouri against Oklahoma in 1958.
16 - Illinois' Dave Downey (53 points at Indiana in 1963), Tennessee Tech's Jimmy Hagan (48 vs. East Tennessee State in 1959) and Texas-Pan American's Marshall Rogers (58 vs. Texas Lutheran in 1976) set school single-game scoring records. . . . Dikembe Dixson (40 at Youngstown State in 2OT in 2016) set Illinois-Chicago's single-game scoring record against an NCAA Division I opponent. . . . Wichita State ended Cincinnati's school-record 37-game winning streak (65-64 in 1963) and South Carolina's school-record 34-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Notre Dame (72-68 in 1974). . . . Cincinnati's Connie Dierking (33 vs. Loyola New Orleans in 1957), Miami of Ohio's Wayne Embry (34 vs. Kent State in 1957), NYU's Cal Ramsey (34 vs. Boston College in 1957) and Texas Christian's Goo Kennedy (28 vs. Arkansas in 1971) set school single-game rebounding records. . . . Texas-El Paso's Jim Barnes (27 vs. Hardin-Simmons in 1963) and Pittsburgh's DeJuan Blair (23 vs. Connecticut in 2009) set single-game rebounding records against major-college opponents. . . . Eventual 13-year N.L. LHP Joe Gibbon grabbed a career-high 24 rebounds for Mississippi against Georgia in 1957.
17 - George Washington's Joe Holup (49 points vs. Furman in 1956), Holy Cross' Jack Foley (56 vs. Connecticut in 1962) and Southwestern Louisiana's Bo Lamar (51 at Lamar in 1972) set school Division I single-game scoring records. Lamar's output tied his own Southland Conference record in league competition. . . . Antoine Gillespie (45 at Hawaii in 1994) set Texas-El Paso's single-game scoring record against a DI opponent. . . . Dartmouth's school-record 38-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Army (44-36 in 1940). . . . Fresno State's Larry Abney (35 vs. Southern Methodist in 2000), Loyola of Chicago's LaRue Martin (34 vs. Valparaiso in 1971) and Toledo's Ned Miklovic (27 vs. Ohio University in 1958) set school single-game rebounding records against a DI opponent. Abney's total is the highest among all schools at the DI level since 1973.
18 - Scott Haffner (65 points vs. Dayton in 1989) set Evansville's single-game scoring record. Haffner's output is also a Horizon League record in conference competition. . . . Gonzaga's Adam Morrison (44 at Loyola Marymount in 2006) and Portland State's Freeman Williams (50 at UNLV in 1978) set school single-game scoring records against an NCAA Division I opponent. . . . Gonzaga and Loyola Marymount each scored 86 points after intermission in 1989 to set an NCAA record for highest offensive output in a half by both teams (172). . . . Louisiana State's school-record 42-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Mississippi (23-22 in 1921). . . . Florida's Jim Zinn (31 vs. Mississippi in 1957), New Orleans' Ervin Johnson (27 vs. Lamar in 1993), Penn's Barton Leach (32 vs. Harvard in 1955), Southern Illinois' Joe C. Meriweather (27 vs. Indiana State in 1974) and Xavier's Bob Pelkington (31 vs. St. Francis PA in 1964) set school single-game rebounding records.
19 - Delaware's Liston Houston (52 points vs. Lebanon Valley PA in 1910), Liberty's Matt Hildebrand (41 vs. Charleston Southern in 1994), Longwood's Tristan Carey (40 vs. Liberty in 2013), Marquette's Tony Smith (44 at Wisconsin in 1990), Mississippi Valley State's Alphonso Ford (51 vs. Texas Southern in overtime in 1990), Northeastern's Reggie Lewis (41 vs. Siena in 1986), Oral Roberts' Anthony Roberts (66 vs. North Carolina A&T in 1977), Stetson's Mel Daniels (48 vs. UNC Wilmington in 1977) and Texas Tech's Dub Malaise (50 at Texas in 1966) set school Division I single-game scoring records. . . . Bobby Mantz (44 vs. Lehigh in 1958) set Lafayette's single-game scoring record against a DI opponent. . . . Holy Cross' Rob Feaster (46 vs. Navy in overtime in 1994) set Patriot League scoring record in conference competition. . . . Creighton's Paul Silas (38 vs. Centenary in 1962), Northern Illinois' Jim Bradley (31 vs. Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1973) and Purdue's Carl McNulty (27 vs. Minnesota in 1951) set school single-game rebounding records. . . . Cedric "Cornbread" Maxwell (24 vs. Seton Hall in 1977) set Charlotte's single-game rebounding record against a DI opponent.
20 - Baylor's Vinnie Johnson (50 points vs. Texas Christian in 1979), Idaho State's Willie Humes (53 at Montana State in 1971), Illinois State's Robert "Bubbles" Hawkins (58 vs. Northern Illinois in 1974), San Diego State's Anthony Watson (54 vs. U.S. International in 1986) and South Carolina State's Jackie Robinson (40 at Morgan State in 1993) set school Division I single-game scoring records. Humes' output is also a Big Sky Conference record in league competition. . . . Delaware State's Tom Davis (47 vs. Florida A&M in 1989) set MEAC scoring record in league competition at DI level. . . . Art Stephenson (28 vs. Brown in 1968) set Rhode Island's single-game rebounding record. . . . Kansas' 28-17 victory at Drake in 1924 triggered an NCAA-record 35-game road winning streak.
21 - Boston College's John Austin (49 points vs. Georgetown in 1964), Rutgers' Eric Riggins (51 vs. Penn State in double overtime in 1987) and Virginia Tech's Allan Bristow (52 vs. George Washington in 1973) set school single-game scoring records. Riggins' output is also an Atlantic 10 Conference record in league competition. . . . Earl Boykins (45 vs. Western Michigan in 1998) set Eastern Michigan's single-game scoring record against a Division I opponent. . . . LSU's Pete Maravich (64) and Kentucky's Dan Issel (51) each scored more than 50 points in the same game in 1970. . . . UCLA's school-record 98-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Oregon (65-45 in 1976). . . . Clemson's Tommy Smith (30 vs. Georgia in 1955) and North Carolina's Rusty Clark (30 vs. Maryland in 1968) set school single-game rebounding records.
22 - Bradley's Hersey Hawkins (63 points at Detroit in 1988), California's Ed Gray (48 at Washington State in 1997), Detroit's Archie Tullos (49 vs. Bradley in 1988), Manhattan's Bob Mealy (51 vs. CCNY in 1960), Missouri-Kansas City's Michael Watson (Summit League-record 54 at Oral Roberts in double overtime in 2003), Oklahoma State's Bob Kurland (58 vs. St. Louis in 1946) and Oregon State's Gary Payton Sr. (58 vs. Southern California in overtime in 1990) set school single-game scoring records. . . . Appalachian State's Junior Braswell (43 at Davidson in 1997), High Point's Nick Barbour (44 vs. Campbell in 2012), Long Island's Antawn Dobie (53 vs. St. Francis NY in 2003) and Mississppi State's Bailey Howell (45 vs. Louisiana State in 1958) set school single-game scoring records against a Division I opponent. Dobie's output is also a Northeast Conference record in league competition. . . . Nebraska stunned Wilt Chamberlain-led Kansas, 43-41, in 1958 to avenge a 56-point defeat four games earlier. . . . Memphis' school-record 47-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Tennessee (66-62 in 2008). . . . Massachusetts' Julius Erving (32 vs. Syracuse in 1971) and Mississippi's Ivan Richmann (25 vs. Tulane in 1958) set school single-game rebounding records. . . . Hakim Shahid (25 vs. Jacksonville in 1990) set South Florida's single-game rebounding record against a DI opponent.
23 - Boston University's Jim Hayes (47 points vs. Springfield MA in 1970), Indiana's Jimmy Rayl (56 vs. Michigan State in 1963), Louisiana Tech's Mike McConathy (47 vs. Lamar in 1976), Miami's Rick Barry (59 vs. Rollins FL in 1965), Providence's Marshon Brooks (52 vs. Notre Dame in 2011) and Texas Southern's Harry "Machine Gun" Kelly (60 vs. Jarvis Christian TX in 1983) set school Division I single-game scoring records. Brooks' output is also a Big East Conference record in league competition. . . . Los Angeles State's Raymond Lewis set Pacific Coast Athletic Association (now Big West) single-game scoring record with 53 points vs. Long Beach State in double overtime in 1973. . . . Kentucky's Adolph Rupp became the coach to compile 700 victories the fastest with a 99-79 win over Auburn at Montgomery in 1964 (836 games in 32nd season). . . . Jimmie Baker (26 vs. San Francisco in 1973) set UNLV's single-game rebounding record before transferring to Hawaii. . . . Eventual 13-year N.L. LHP Joe Gibbon scored a career-high 46 points for Mississippi against Louisiana State in 1957.
24 - Alcorn State's DeCarlos Anderson (41 points vs. Southern in 1996), Florida A&M's Jerome James (38 at Delaware State in overtime in 1997), Houston's Elvin Hayes (62 vs. Valparaiso in 1968), Iowa's John Johnson (49 vs. Northwestern in 1970), Northwestern's Rich Falk (49 vs. Iowa in 1964), St. Bonaventure's Bob Lanier (51 vs. Seton Hall in 1969) and Utah's Billy McGill (60 at Brigham Young in 1962) set school Division I single-game scoring records. . . . East Tennessee State's Tom Chilton (47 vs. Western Kentucky in 1961) and Ohio University's Dave Jamerson (52 at Kent State in 1990) set school single-game scoring records against a DI opponent. . . . Washington & Lee's Jay Handlan had an NCAA-record 71 field-goal attempts vs. Furman in 1951. . . . Alabama A&M's Mickell Gladness set an NCAA single-game record with 16 blocked shots against Texas Southern in 2007. . . . Temple's school-record 33-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by West Virginia (64-61 in 1987). . . . Ed Corell (30 vs. Oregon in 1962) set Washington's single-game rebounding record.
25 - Austin Peay's Bubba Wells (43 points vs. Morehead State in 1997 quarterfinals) set Ohio Valley Conference Tournament single-game scoring record. . . . Alabama A&M's Desmond Cambridge (50 at Texas Southern in 2002), Central Florida's Jermaine Taylor (45 vs. Rice in 2009), Cleveland State's Frank Edwards (49 at Xavier in 1981), Indiana State's Larry Bird (49 vs. Wichita State in 1979), Texas' Raymond Downs (49 at Baylor in 1956), Virginia Military's QJ Peterson (46 vs. Mercer in 2016) and William & Mary's Jeff Cohen (49 vs. Richmond in 1961) set school Division I single-game scoring records. . . . Lew Alcindor (61 vs. Washington State in 1967) set UCLA and Pac-12 Conference single-game scoring record. . . . Jim Christy (44 at Maryland in 1964) set Georgetown's single-game scoring record against a DI opponent. . . . Southwestern Louisiana's Sydney Grider set the American South Conference single-game scoring record in league competition (40 vs. Louisiana Tech in 1989). . . . St. Bonaventure's 99-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Niagara (87-77 in 1961). . . . Appalachian State's Tony Searcy (23 vs. The Citadel in 1978), Memphis' Ronnie Robinson (28 vs. Tulsa in 1971) and Northern Iowa's Jason Reese (21 vs. Illinois-Chicago in 1989) set school single-game rebounding records against a DI opponent.
26 - Denver's Matt Teahan (61 points vs. Nebraska Wesleyan in 1979), Florida Atlantic's Earnest Crumbley (39 vs. Campbell in 2004), Richmond's Bob McCurdy (53 vs. Appalachian State in double overtime in 1975), San Diego's Mike Whitmarsh (37 at Loyola Marymount in 1983), Texas' Slater Martin (49 vs. Texas Christian in 1949), Western Illinois' Joe Dykstra (37 vs. Eastern Illinois in 1983) and Yale's Tony Lavelli (52 vs. Williams MA in 1949) set school Division I single-game scoring records. . . . Kansas' Isaac "Bud" Stallworth set Big Eight Conference single-game scoring record with 50 vs. Missouri in 1972. . . . New Mexico's school-record 41-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Brigham Young (83-62 in 1998). . . . Cornell's George Farley (26 vs. Brown in 1960), Old Dominion's Clifton Jones (23 vs. UNC Wilmington in 2001), Rutgers' George "Swede" Sundstrom (30 vs. Army in 1954) and Saint Joseph's Cliff Anderson (32 vs. La Salle in 1967) set school single-game rebounding records against a DI opponent.
27 - Bowling Green's Jim Darrow (52 points vs. Marshall in 1960), George Mason's Carlos Yates (42 vs. Navy in 1985), Georgetown's Jim Barry (46 at Fairleigh Dickinson in 1965), San Diego's Marty Munn (37 vs. Loyola Marymount in 1988), Texas State's J.B. Conley (42 at Northwestern State in 2010) and Towson's Devin Boyd (46 at Maryland-Baltimore County in double overtime in 1993) set school Division I single-game scoring records. Darrow's output is also a Mid-American Conference record and Boyd's output is a Big South Conference record in league competition. . . . Houston's Robert McKiver (52 vs. Southern Mississippi in 2008) set C-USA scoring record in league competition. . . . Connecticut's Toby Kimball (34 vs. New Hampshire in 1965), Maryland's Len Elmore (26 vs. Wake Forest in 1974) and Tulsa's Michael Ruffin (24 vs. Texas Christian in 1997) set school single-game rebounding records against a DI opponent. . . . Holy Cross' school-record 47-game homecourt winning streak snapped by Connecticut (78-77 in 1954).
28 - Xavier's Byron Larkin (45 points vs. Loyola of Chicago in 1986 semifinals) set Horizon League Tournament single-game scoring record. . . . Air Force's Bob Beckel (50 vs. Arizona in 1959), Army's Kevin Houston (53 vs. Fordham in overtime of MAAC Tournament opener in 1987), Long Island's Sherman White (63 vs. John Marshall in 1950), Northern Illinois' Paul Dawkins (47 at Western Michigan in overtime in 1979) and Purdue's Rick Mount (61 vs. Iowa in 1970) set school Division I single-game scoring records. Houston's output is also a MAAC Tournament single-game record and Mount's output is a Big Ten Conference record in league competition. . . . The first basketball game telecast occurred when W2XBS carried a doubleheader from Madison Square Garden in 1940 (Pittsburgh vs. Fordham and NYU vs. Georgetown). . . . Ron Weilert (21 vs. Tulane in 1970) set Air Force single-game rebounding record against a DI opponent. . . . Eventual MLB All-Star 1B Joe Adcock contributed 15 field goals for Louisiana State in a first-round victory against Tulane in 1946 SEC Tournament.
29 - Tony Miller (54 points vs. Chicago State in 1972) set Florida's single-game scoring record. . . . Paul Marigney (40 vs. Pepperdine in 2004) tied Saint Mary's single-game scoring record against a major-college opponent. . . . Pittsburgh's school-record 40-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Syracuse (49-46 in 2004). . . . Bernie Janicki (31 vs. North Carolina in 1952) set Duke's single-game rebounding record. . . . Eventual eight-time N.L. All-Star SS Dick Groat scored a career-high 48 points for Duke against North Carolina in 1952.
In 2015-16, Stony Brook's Jameel Warney joining an exclusive list of individuals earning league player of the year acclaim three times in an NCAA Division I conference. But Warney, who averaged 16.9 points and 10.2 rebounds per game while dominating the America East Conference the previous three seasons, replaced a legend for dubious distinction among this gifted group.
Virginia center Ralph Sampson had posted the lowest scoring average (17.6 ppg from 1980-81 through 1982-83) among the 29 players during spans in the previous 50-plus years when they captured three or four MVP awards in a DI conference. Sampson's average was 26.6 ppg lower than LSU guard Pete Maravich's NCAA-record mark (44.2 from 1967-68 through 1969-70).
No player from a power conference has achieved the feat since Kansas' Danny Manning in the Big Eight from 1985-86 through 1987-88. This season and next, Lehigh's Tim Kempton from the Patriot League and North Dakota State's Mike Daum from the Summit League could join the following chronological list of standouts who became player of the year in a DI league three or four seasons since the early 1960s:
|Player||Pos.||School||Conference (MVP Seasons)||League MVP Summary|
|Jerry Lucas||C||Ohio State||Big Ten (1960 through 1962)||Averaged 24.3 ppg and 17.2 rpg while shooting 62.4% from the floor over three-year span.|
|Fred Hetzel||F-C||Davidson||Southern (1963 through 1965)||Averaged 25.7 ppg and 13.8 rpg while shooting 55.4% from the floor over three-year span.|
|Clem Haskins||G-F||Western Kentucky||Ohio Valley (1965 through 1967)||Averaged 22.1 ppg and 10.6 rpg over three-year span.|
|Pete Maravich||G||Louisiana State||Southeastern (1968 through 1970)||Averaged 44.2 ppg, 6.4 rpg and 5.1 apg over three-year span.|
|Gene Phillips||F||Southern Methodist||Southwest (1969 through 1971)||Averaged 26.1 ppg and 7.5 rpg while shooting 81.7% from the free-throw line over three-year span.|
|David Thompson||F||North Carolina State||Atlantic Coast (1973 through 1975)||Averaged 26.8 ppg and 8.1 rpg while shooting 55.3% from the floor over three-year span.|
|Bernard King||F||Tennessee||Southeastern (1975 through 1977)||Averaged 25.8 ppg and 13.2 rpg while shooting 59% from the floor over three-year span.|
|Bill Cartwright||C||San Francisco||West Coast (1977 through 1979)||Averaged 21.5 ppg and 11.5 rpg while shooting 60.4% from the floor over three-year MVP span.|
|Michael Brooks||F||La Salle||East Coast (1978 through 1980)||Averaged 24.1 ppg and 12.5 rpg while shooting 55.4% from the floor over three-year MVP span.|
|Harry Kelly||F||Texas Southern||Southwestern Athletic (1980 through 1983)||Averaged 27.9 ppg and 9.9 rpg over four-year span.|
|Ralph Sampson||C||Virginia||Atlantic Coast (1981 through 1983)||Averaged 17.6 ppg, 11.5 rpg and 3.1 bpg while shooting 57.5% from the floor over three-year MVP span.|
|Joe Binion||F||North Carolina A&T||Mid-Eastern Athletic (1982 through 1984)||Averaged 19.8 ppg and 10.8 rpg while shooting 50.9% from the floor over three-year MVP span.|
|Willie Jackson||F||Centenary||Trans America Athletic (1982 through 1984)||Averaged 23.9 ppg and 9.2 rpg over three-year MVP span.|
|Alfredrick Hughes||F||Loyola (Ill.)||Midwestern Collegiate (1983 through 1985)||Averaged 26.5 ppg and 8.8 rpg over three-year MVP span.|
|Chris Mullin||G-F||St. John's||Big East (1983 through 1985)||Averaged 20.4 ppg and 4.3 rpg while shooting 55.4% from the floor and 86.5% from the free-throw line over three-year MVP span.|
|Wayman Tisdale||C||Oklahoma||Big Eight (1983 through 1985)||Averaged 25.6 ppg and 10.1 rpg while shooting 57.8% from the floor over three-year span.|
|Larry Krystkowiak||F||Montana||Big Sky (1984 through 1986)||Averaged 20.4 ppg and 10.7 rpg while shooting 57.1% from the floor and 80.1% from the free-throw line over three-year MVP span.|
|Reggie Lewis||F||Northeastern||ECAC North Atlantic (1985 through 1987)||Averaged 23.7 ppg and 8.5 rpg over three-year MVP span.|
|David Robinson||C||Navy||Colonial Athletic (1985 through 1987)||Averaged 24.8 ppg, 12.2 rpg and 4.8 bpg while shooting 61.2% from the floor over three-year MVP span.|
|Danny Manning||F||Kansas||Big Eight (1986 through 1988)||Averaged 21.7 ppg and 8.2 rpg while shooting 59.9% from the floor over three-year MVP span.|
|Lionel Simmons||F||La Salle||Metro Atlantic Athletic (1988 through 1990)||Averaged 26 ppg and 11.3 rpg over three-year MVP span.|
|Clarence Weatherspoon||F||Southern Mississippi||Metro (1990 through 1992)||Averaged 19.3 ppg and 10.3 rpg while shooting 58.4% from the floor over three-year MVP span.|
|Tony Dunkin||F||Coastal Carolina||Big South (1990 through 1993)||Averaged 20.7 ppg and 7 rpg while shooting 52.2% from the floor and 41.2% from beyond the three-point arc over four-year span.|
|Gary Trent||F||Ohio University||Mid-American (1993 through 1995)||Averaged 22.7 ppg and 11.3 rpg while shooting 57.3% from the floor over three-year span.|
|Keith Van Horn||F||Utah||Western Athletic (1995 through 1997)||Averaged 21.5 ppg and 8.9 rpg while shooting 52.4% from the floor and 87% from the free-throw line over three-year MVP span.|
|George Evans||F||George Mason||Colonial Athletic (1999 through 2001)||Averaged 17.9 ppg and 8.3 rpg while shooting 58.4% from the floor over three-year MVP span.|
|David West||F-C||Xavier||Atlantic 10 (2001 through 2003)||Averaged 18.8 ppg and 10.8 rpg while shooting 53.1% from the floor over three-year MVP span.|
|Taylor Coppenrath||F||Vermont||America East (2003 through 2005)||Averaged 23.1 ppg and 7.5 rpg over three-year MVP span.|
|Nick Fazekas||F||Nevada||Western Athletic (2005 through 2007)||Averaged 21 ppg and 10.3 rpg while shooting 53.2% from the floor and 82.3% from the free-throw line over three-year MVP span.|
|Caleb Green||F||Oral Roberts||Mid-Continent (2005 through 2007)||Averaged 20.2 ppg and 9.1 rpg while shooting 52.6% from the floor over three-year MVP span.|
|Jameel Warney||F-C||Stony Brook||America East (2014 through 2016)||Averaged 16.9 ppg and 10.2 rpg over three-year MVP span.|
Despite what you might read elsewhere, a striking number of major-college standouts started their careers playing for a four-year small college before transferring. Of course, the most prominent player in this category is all-time great Elgin Baylor. After leaving College of Idaho, Baylor became an NCAA unanimous first-team All-American with Seattle in 1957-58.
More than 30 different players became NCAA Division I conference all-league selections in the 1980s and 1990s after beginning their careers with a small four-year college. In 2013-14, Weber State swingman Davion Berry (transfer from Cal State Monterey Bay) became the fourth player in the 21st Century to earn MVP honors in a DI league after transferring from a small college. A possible addition to the list this year is Chris Flemmings, who is instrumental in propelling UNCW to its best-ever start atop the CAA standings after becoming Conference Carolinas MVP with Barton NC in 2013-14.
Michigan three-point specialist Duncan Robinson (17.1 ppg and 6.5 rpg for Williams MA in 2013-14 before transferring) makes major contributions to the Wolverines, but he isn't anywhere close to making as huge an impact in a power conference to what Gerald Glass did in the SEC for Ole Miss after departing Delta State. If not Flemmings amid UNCW's well-balanced attack, who will be next player to join Alabama coach Avery Johnson (transferred from Cameron OK to Southern LA) among the following chronological list of first-team all-conference selections since the NCAA playoffs expanded to at least 64 teams in 1985 after starting their college careers playing for non-Division I four-year schools?
|Season||First-Team Selection||Pos.||Division I School||Conference||Four-Year Small College|
|1984-85||Curtis High||G||Nevada-Reno||Big Sky||Tennessee-Martin|
|1984-85||Jim McCaffrey||G||Holy Cross||Metro Atlantic||St. Michael's (Vt.)|
|1984-85||Bob McCann||C||Morehead State||Ohio Valley||Upsala (N.J.)|
|1985-86||Oscar Jones||G||Delaware||East Coast||Winston-Salem State (N.C.)|
|1985-86||Jim McCaffrey||G||Holy Cross||Metro Atlantic||St. Michael's (Vt.)|
|1985-86||Bob McCann||C||Morehead State||Ohio Valley||Upsala (N.J.)|
|1985-86||Jerry Stroman||F||Utah||Western Athletic||Benedict (S.C.)|
|1986-87||Marchell Henry||F||East Carolina||Colonial Athletic||St. Andrews (N.C.)|
|1986-87||Avery Johnson||G||Southern (La.)||SWAC||Cameron (Okla.)|
|1986-87||Bob McCann*||C||Morehead State||Ohio Valley||Upsala (N.J.)|
|1986-87||Ron Simpson||F||Rider||East Coast||Adelphi (N.Y.)|
|1987-88||Avery Johnson*||G||Southern (La.)||SWAC||Cameron (Okla.)|
|1987-88||Larry Jones*||F||Boston University||ECAC North Atlantic||C.W. Post (N.Y.)|
|1988-89||Gerald Glass||F||Mississippi||SEC||Delta State (Miss.)|
|1989-90||Gerald Glass||F||Mississippi||SEC||Delta State (Miss.)|
|1990-91||Marcus Kennedy*||F-C||Eastern Michigan||Mid-American||Ferris State (Mich.)|
|1990-91||Tony Walker||F||Saint Peter's||Metro Atlantic||Kean College (N.J.)|
|1992-93||Leon McGee||G||Western Michigan||Mid-American||Michigan Tech|
|1993-94||Tucker Neale*||G||Colgate||Patriot League||Ashland (Ohio)|
|1994-95||Tucker Neale||G||Colgate||Patriot League||Ashland (Ohio)|
|1995-96||Johnny Taylor||F||UT-Chattanooga||Southern||Knoxville (Tenn.)|
|1996-97||Johnny Taylor*||F||UT-Chattanooga||Southern||Knoxville (Tenn.)|
|1996-97||Raymond Tutt||G||UC Santa Barbara||Big West||Azusa Pacific (Calif.)|
|1997-98||Andrew Betts||C||Long Beach State||Big West||C.W. Post (N.Y.)|
|1997-98||Chad Townsend||G||Murray State||Ohio Valley||St. Edward's (Tex.)|
|1999-00||Matt Gladieux||G||Coastal Carolina||Big South||Bellarmine (Ky.)|
|2000-01||Demond Stewart*||G||Niagara||Metro Atlantic||Mercyhurst (Pa.)|
|2001-02||Justin Rowe||C||Maine||America East||Clearwater Christian (Fla.)|
|2003-04||Miah Davis*||G||Pacific||Big West||Cal State Stanislaus|
|2004-05||Yemi Nicholson*||C||Denver||Sun Belt||Fort Lewis (Colo.)|
|2012-13||Davion Berry||G-F||Weber State||Big Sky||Cal State Monterey Bay|
|2013-14||Davion Berry*||G-F||Weber State||Big Sky||Cal State Monterey Bay|
*Ten of these players were named conference MVP.
NOTE: Tennessee-Martin subsequently moved up to the DI level.
In 1965-66, the best team in the country might have been UCLA's freshman squad. The Bruins' frosh, led by 7-1 Lew Alcindor's 31 points and 21 rebounds, defeated the two-time NCAA champion UCLA varsity, 75-60. The yearlings compiled a 21-0 record, outscoring their opponents 113.2 points per game to 56.6. Starters for what is considered by some as the best freshman team in NCAA history included Alcindor (33.1 ppg and 21.5 rpg), forwards Lynn Shackelford (20.9 ppg and 9.3 rpg) and Kent Taylor (7.2 ppg) and guards Lucius Allen (22.4 ppg and 7.8 rpg) and Kenny Heitz (14.3 ppg).
Freshmen became eligible for varsity competition seven years later, but there are no guarantees despite a recruit's regal high school resume. In fact, UCLA had a couple of the most disappointing classes in memory thus far in the 21st Century before gifted groups for Duke and Kentucky failed to live up to great expectations this campaign. Michigan saw both ends of the spectrum with a couple of its freshman recruiting crops in the 1990s that were highly acclaimed. One lived up to expectations while the other went from feast to famine.
The "Fab Five" in the first half of the decade probably will stand the test of time and earn recognition among the best classes in college basketball history. On the other hand, guard Louis Bullock was all that was left at the conclusion of the Wolverines' promising 1995-96 freshman class that included Tractor Traylor (left early to become an NBA lottery pick) and Albert White (transferred to Missouri where he was the Tigers' leading scorer in 1998-99 with 16.3 ppg). Minus Traylor and White, Michigan posted an anemic 12-19 record in 1998-99 and finished in a tie for ninth place in the Big Ten (5-11).
In the aftermath of Michigan's recruiting hauls, Duke had an amazing series of regal freshman classes. The Blue Devils' 1997-98 freshman crop (William Avery, Shane Battier, Elton Brand and Chris Burgess) dominated the ACC and was well on its way toward challenging Indiana's superb group in the mid-1970s as the premier class of all time until Avery and Brand left school early for the NBA and Burgess transferred to Utah. The splendid original class was eventually regarded as superior to Michigan's "Fab Five" but with only two years intact won't boast the extended excellence to supplant Indiana's brilliant crew that included Quinn Buckner, Scott May and Bobby Wilkerson.
In 1999-00, Duke's stunning freshmen included Carlos Boozer, Mike Dunleavy Jr. and Jason Williams. In 2002-03, the Devils' frosh class included guards Sean Dockery and J.J. Redick plus centers Shavlik Randolph and Shelden Williams. All of these groups were Final Four-bound. As a means of comparison, the Blue Devils' outstanding class comprised of Mark Alarie, Jay Bilas, Johnny Dawkins and David Henderson embarked with an 11-17 mark in 1982-83 before concluding their collegiate careers with an NCAA single-season standard for victories (37-3 in 1985-86). But none of these gifted groups compare to Jahlil Okafor, Justise Winslow, Tyus Jones and Grayson Allen capturing an NCAA title as Blue Devil freshmen in 2015.
Ranking recruiting classes regarding their long-term impact on college basketball is risky business. For instance, does Michigan's Fab Five deserve more acclaim than Butler's mid-major level class also reaching back-to-back NCAA championship games? Where does Kentucky's terrific title trio in 2012 deserve to be ranked insofar as it was around only one year? And what does the future hold for elite recruiting classes assembled again by Duke and Kentucky if they aren't normal one-year mercenaries? Each year's UK crop of late immediately goes to being labeled as perhaps the greatest in collegiate history but this year's group - three of top four scorers Malik Monk, De'Aaron Fox and Edrice Adebayo plus part-time starter Wenyen Gabriel - will do well to simply be better than four previous Wildcats classes (1978, 1983, 2013 and 2015) in the mediocre SEC.
It is a simplistic copout to accept the instant visibility of icon programs and automatically cite them among the most influential in college history. Classes from Alcorn State, Butler, East Tennessee State, San Francisco, Southern Mississippi and Wichita State are mentioned in this appraisal. In an era of "one 'n done" freshmen, extended impact becomes an even more vital factor in separating the premier recruiting classes.
There is little doubt Kentucky's 2012 title team frosh class would have quickly moved up the pecking order if they had chosen to return. It's highly unlikely the NCAA will tamper with a nation's fascination on freshmen by making them ineligible. Following is CollegeHoopedia.com's view, factoring in length of tenure (undergraduates declaring for the NBA draft), of the premier recruiting crops (excluding junior college signees) since the introduction of freshman eligibility in 1972-73:
1. Indiana (class of '76)
Recruiting Class: Tom Abernethy, Quinn Buckner, Jim Crews, Scott May, Bobby Wilkerson.
Achievements: Last NCAA champion to go undefeated compiled a 63-1 record in last two seasons this class was intact, climaxing a run of four Big Ten titles. Reached 1973 Final Four with freshmen Buckner and Crews as starting guards under coach Bob Knight (May was ineligible as a freshman for academic reasons). Posted an amazing 59-5 conference mark while capturing four consecutive Big Ten titles. Abernethy, Buckner, May and Wilkerson all played at least five seasons in the NBA while Crews went on to coach Evansville and Army for more than 20 seasons
2. Duke (class of '01)
Recruiting Class: William Avery, Shane Battier, Elton Brand, Chris Burgess (transfer/Utah).
Achievements: Won 31 of 32 ACC games in two seasons together before Avery and Brand left early for the NBA draft. NCAA playoff runner-up in 1999 under coach Mike Krzyzewski
3. Georgetown (class of '85)
Recruiting Class: Ralph Dalton, Patrick Ewing, Anthony Jones (transfer/UNLV), Bill Martin.
Achievements: Won NCAA title in 1984, runner-up in 1985 and reached Final Four in 1982. Went 30-7, 22-10, 34-3 and 35-3 under coach John Thompson. The Hoyas' worst Big East record in that span was 11-5 in 1982-83 although their only conference crown was in 1984. Ewing was the only one of the group to play more than three season in the NBA.
4. Florida (class of '08)
Recruiting Class: Corey Brewer, Taurean Green, Al Horford, Joakim Noah.
Achievements: Brewer, Horford and Noah were top nine NBA draft choices as undergraduates after capturing back-to-back NCAA crowns in 2006 and 2007.
5. Duke (class of '18)
Recruiting Class: Grayson Allen, Tyus Jones, Jahlil Okafor, Justise Winslow.
Achievements: Okafor, Winslow and Jones left after capturing NCAA crown as freshmen to become NBA first-round draft choices. Allen, an improbable hero in the title game, went on to become an All-American the next season.
6. North Carolina (class of '06)
Recruiting Class: Raymond Felton, Rashad McCants, Sean May, David Noel, Bryon Sanders.
Achievements: Felton, McCants and May earned All-ACC honors in their final seasons as juniors when they captured the NCAA crown before becoming top 14 NBA draft choices.
7. Kansas (class of '03)
Recruiting Class: Nick Collison, Drew Gooden, Kirk Hinrich.
Achievements: Collison, Gooden and Hinrich each became an NBA lottery pick. After Gooden left early for the NBA draft, Collison and Hinrich were All-Americans in 2003 when the Jayhawks finished NCAA Tournament runner-up under coach Roy Williams. KU went unbeaten in the Big 12 Conference in 2002.
8. Duke (class of '03)
Recruiting Class: Carlos Boozer, Mike Dunleavy Jr., Jason Williams.
Achievements: Might have been the school's best if any of them had exercised all of their eligibility similar to teammate Shane Battier. Reached NCAA playoff final in 1999 and 2001 under coach Mike Krzyzewski.
9. Michigan (class of '95)
Recruiting Class: Juwan Howard, Ray Jackson, Jimmy King, Jalen Rose, Chris Webber.
Achievements: NCAA Tournament runner-up in 1992 (25-9) and 1993 (31-5) as freshman and sophomore starters. Howard, Rose and Webber became NBA first-round draft choices as undergraduates and each played more than 12 years in the league. Principal drawback is that none of the "Fab Five" was a member of a Big Ten Conference title team under coach Steve Fisher.
10. North Carolina (class of '10)
Recruiting Class: Wayne Ellington, Ty Lawson, Alec Stephenson (transfer/Southern California), Deon Thompson, Brandan Wright.
Achievements: Wright was a "one 'n done" recruit, but core of group cruised to 2009 NCAA crown by winning their playoff games by an average of 20.2 points.
11. Notre Dame (class of '81)
Recruiting Class: Tracy Jackson, Gilbert Salinas, Kelly Tripucka, Stan Wilcox, Orlando Woolridge.
Achievements: Final Four participant in 1978 and Midwest Regional runner-up in '79. Irish went 23-8, 24-6, 22-6 and 23-6 under coach Digger Phelps. Jackson, Tripucka and Woolridge were its top three scorers each of their last three seasons. Tripucka (26.5 ppg/15.3) and Woolridge (25.1/10.6) had long NBA careers where they flourished as scorers, posting a pro career-high scoring average significantly higher than their college career mark.
12. North Carolina (class of '16)
Recruiting Class: Joel James, Brice Johnson, Marcus Paige, J.P. Tokoto.
Achievements: Compiled a 108-40 record over four seasons. Reached NCAA Tournament final as seniors despite Tokoto declaring early for the NBA draft after the previous campaign.
13. Louisville (class of '82)
Recruiting Class: Wiley Brown, Jerry Eaves, Scooter McCray, Derek Smith, Pancho Wright.
Achievements: Won NCAA title in 1980 with Brown, Eaves and Smith starting while McCray was sidelined with a knee injury. Reached the 1982 Final Four under coach Denny Crum. Went 24-8, 33-3, 21-9 and 23-10 with Metro Conference crowns the first three years.
14. Kentucky (class of '15)
Recruiting Class: Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Marquis Teague, Kyle Wiltjer (transfer/Gonzaga).
Achievements: Undefeated SEC worksheet before capturing an NCAA title in their lone season together. Outside marksman Wiltjer was the only one not to declare for the NBA draft after their 38-2 freshman campaign under coach John Calipari.
15. North Carolina (class of '97)
Recruiting Class: Guy McInnis, Jerry Stackhouse, Rasheed Wallace, Serge Zwikker.
Achievements: Zwikker was the only Tar Heels representative for each of their three 28-win campaigns in this four-year span under coach Dean Smith.
16. Kentucky (class of '83)
Recruiting Class: Sam Bowie, Derrick Hord, Charles Hunt, Dirk Minniefield.
Achievements: Oft-injured Bowie played five years, reaching Final Four in 1984. Original class had respective records of 29-6, 22-6, 22-8 and 23-8, but never advanced beyond second game of NCAA playoffs. Captured three SEC championships in that span under coach Joe B. Hall.
17. UCLA (class of '77)
Recruiting Class: Marques Johnson, Wilbert Olinde, Gavin Smith (transfer/Hawaii), Jim Spillane, Richard Washington.
Achievements: Won [John Wooden's](coaches/john-wooden) final NCAA title in 1975. Washington left for the NBA a year early. Bruins went 26-4, 28-3, 28-4 and 25-4 with four Pacific-8 Conference crowns. Reached Final Four in '76 under coach Gene Bartow.
18. Ohio State (class of '10)
Recruiting Class: Mike Conley Jr., Daequan Cook, David Lighty, Greg Oden.
Achievements: Known as the "Thad Five" (when adding juco recruit Othello Hunter), the Buckeyes compiled a 35-4 as NCAA Tournament runner-up in 2007. Oden and Conley were top four NBA draft choices following freshman campaign.
19. North Carolina (class of '77)
Recruiting Class: Bruce Buckley, Walter Davis, John Kuester, Tom LaGarde.
Achievements: Lost 1977 NCAA playoff final (28-5 record) after posting similar marks (composite of 70-18) the previous three years. Captured ACC regular-season championships their last two seasons under coach Dean Smith.
20. North Carolina (class of '94)
Recruiting Class: Eric Montross, Derrick Phelps, Brian Reese, Clifford Rozier (transfer/Louisville), Pat Sullivan.
Achievements: Won NCAA title in 1993 after reaching 1991 Final Four as freshmen. Compiled records of 29-6, 23-10, 34-4 and 28-7 under coach Dean Smith. Only ACC regular-season championship was in 1993.
21. Illinois (class of '06)
Recruiting Class: James Augustine, Dee Brown, Deron Williams, Kyle Wilson (transfer/Wichita State).
Achievements: Bill Self's recruits became NCAA Tournament runner-up in 2005 under coach Bruce Weber.
22. Kentucky (class of '13)
Recruiting Class: Eric Bledsoe, DeMarcus Cousins, Daniel Orton, John Wall.
Achievements: Regional runner-up after winning SEC regular-season and league tournament titles in 2010 in their lone season together. All four recruits became NBA first-round draft choices.
23. Michigan State (class of '81)
Recruiting Class: Mike Brkovich, Magic Johnson, Rick Kaye, Jay Vincent.
Achievements: Recovered from embarrassing 18-point defeat to league cellar dweller Northwestern to win 1979 NCAA championship under coach Jud Heathcote with an average victory margin of 20.8 points. Went 25-5 and 26-6 and captured Big Ten titles in Johnson's two seasons before posting losing records (12-15 and 13-14) after he turned pro early.
24. Duke (class of '86)
Recruiting Class: Mark Alarie, Jay Bilas, Johnny Dawkins, David Henderson.
Achievements: Runner-up in 1986 NCAA playoffs with an NCAA-record 37-3 mark after going 24-10 and 23-8 the previous two years following an 11-17 worksheet as freshmen under coach Mike Krzyzewski. Senior season accounted for the group's lone ACC regular-season championship.
25. San Francisco (class of '79)
Recruiting Class: Winford Boynes, Bill Cartwright, Erik Gilberg, Raymond Hamilton (left after two seasons), James Hardy.
Achievements: Went 22-8, 29-2, 22-5 and 22-7 with WCAC championships the last three years. Boynes and Hardy were among the top 13 NBA draft picks after leaving school following their junior season when Dan Belluomini succeeded Bob Gaillard as coach. Cartwright was the third selection overall the next year.
26. Duke (class of '06)
Recruiting Class: Sean Dockery, Lee Melchionni, Shavlik Randolph, J.J. Redick, Shelden Williams.
Achievements: Three seasons with at least 28 victories as All-Americans Redick and Williams exercised all of their collegiate eligibility. Can't be ranked ahead of Michigan's Fab Five because they never reached a Final Four.
27. Kansas (class of '09)
Recruiting Class: Mario Chalmers, Micah Downs (transfer/Gonzaga), Brandon Rush, Julian Wright.
Achievements: Wright left school early for the NBA prior to KU's NCAA title in 2008. None of group was around for the 2008-09 campaign.
28. Syracuse (class of '06)
Recruiting Class: Carmelo Anthony, Billy Edelin, Gerry McNamara.
Achievements: Anthony, the 2003 Final Four MOP, led the champion Orange in scoring in five of its six playoff games. McNamara was Big East Conference Tournament MVP as a senior.
29. Connecticut (class of '07)
Recruiting Class: Josh Boone, Charlie Villanueva, Marcus Williams.
Achievements: Won 2004 NCAA title before each of them left school early for the NBA the next two years.
30. Kansas (class of '05)
Recruiting Class: Keith Langford, Michael Lee, Aaron Miles, Wayne Simien.
Achievements: Splitting time between coaches Roy Williams and Bill Self, this quartet combined for nearly 5,100 points.
31. Marquette (class of '09)
Recruiting Class: Dominic James, Wesley Matthews, Jerel McNeal.
Achievements: Recruited by Tom Crean and playing senior season under Buzz Williams, they combined for more than 5,400 points in compiling four 20-win seasons.
32. Arizona (class of '76)
Recruiting Class: Al Fleming, John Irving (transfer/Hofstra), Eric Money, Coniel Norman, Jim Rappis.
Achievements: Overshadowed by UCLA, UA's "Kiddie Korps" started off 16-10 before members of the original group went 19-7, 22-7 and 24-9 under coach Fred Snowden. Norman averaged 23.9 ppg and Money averaged 18.5 ppg before they turned pro after two seasons. Irving played one season with the Wildcats before transferring to Hofstra, where he led the nation in rebounding in 1975. Fleming became the school's all-time leading rebounder.
33. Purdue (class of '88)
Recruiting Class: Jeff Arnold, Troy Lewis, Todd Mitchell, Dave Stack, Everette Stephens.
Achievements: "The Three Amigos" (Lewis, Mitchell and Stephens) were instrumental in helping the Boilermakers compile a four-year record of 96-28 (.774), including a glittering 29-4 mark as seniors under coach Gene Keady. Lewis and Mitchell still rank among the school's all-time top 10 scorers. Group captured Big Ten Conference titles their last two seasons together. Stephens went on to have the most NBA experience with 38 games.
34. North Carolina (class of '99)
Recruiting Class: Vince Carter, Antawn Jamison, Ademola Okulaja.
Achievements: Coach Dean Smith must have been frustrated in his last two seasons that teams with talents such as Carter and Jamison lost a total of 18 games in 1995-96 and 1996-97.
35. Arizona (class of '05)
Recruiting Class: Will Bynum (transfer/Georgia Tech), Isaiah Fox, Channing Frye, Dennis Latimore (transfer/Notre Dame), Salim Stoudamire.
Achievements: Might have ranked higher if they didn't go through the turmoil of coach Lute Olson's swan song.
36. Kentucky (class of '78)
Recruiting Class: Jack Givens, Dan Hall (transfer/Marshall), James Lee, Mike Phillips, Rick Robey.
Achievements: Freshmen on UK's national runner-up in 1975. Givens (Final Four MOP), Lee, Phillips and Robey represented four of the Wildcats' top five scorers for the Wildcats' 1978 NCAA titlist under coach Joe B. Hall. UK had to settle for participating in the 1976 NIT when Robey missed more than half of the season because of a knee injury.
37. Kansas State (class of '11)
Recruiting Class: Ron Anderson Jr. (transfer/South Florida), Michael Beasley, Fred Brown, Jacob Pullen, Dominique Sutton (transfer/North Carolina Central), Bill Walker.
Achievements: Notched a 21-12 record in their only season together as Beasley and Walker departed for the NBA after freshman campaign.
38. Maryland (class of '81)
Recruiting Class: Ernest Graham, Albert King, Greg Manning.
Achievements: Graham, King and Manning all finished their careers with more than 1,500 points. The Terrapins went 15-13, 19-11, 24-7 (won 1980 ACC regular-season title) and 21-10 under coach Lefty Driesell.
39. Pittsburgh (class of '91)
Recruiting Class: Bobby Martin, Jason Matthews, Sean Miller (RS in 1990), Darelle Porter, Brian Shorter (Prop 48).
Achievements: All five players became 1,000-point scorers in their careers. The Panthers went 24-7 with a Big East Conference title in 1987-88 when they were freshmen before struggling the next couple of seasons under coach Paul Evans.
40. UCLA (class of '83)
Recruiting Class: Darren Daye, Rod Foster, Michael Holton, Cliff Pruitt (transfer/UAB).
Achievements: NCAA Tournament runner-up in 1980 as freshmen under coach Larry Brown. Won Pacific-10 title in '83 under Brown's successor (Larry Farmer). Compiled records of 22-10, 20-7, 21-6 and 23-6.
(Underrated classes that didn't generate the headlines they deserved.)
Alcorn State (class of '85)
Recruiting Class: Eddie Archer, Aaron Brandon, Tommy Collier, Michael Phelps.
Achievements: Archer, Brandon, Collier and Phelps all finished their careers with more than 1,200 points. The Braves won three SWAC championships in four years from 1982 through 1985 under coach Davey Whitney, winning NCAA playoff games in 1983 and 1984 when they were eliminated by Georgetown and Kansas by a total of six points.
Butler (class of '12)
Recruiting Class: Gordon Hayward, Shelvin Mack, Ronald Nored, Chase Stigall (redshirt).
Achievements: Hayward nearly hit a game-winning half-court shot in 2010 NCAA title contest. Mack and Nored appeared in back-to-back NCAA championship games. Stigall went on to become one of the Bulldogs' top three-point shooters.
East Tennessee State (class of '91)
Recruiting Class: Greg Dennis, Major Geer, Keith Jennings, Alvin West.
Achievements: All four players became 1,000-point scorers in their careers. East Tennessee State coasted to three consecutive Southern Conference Tournament titles from 1989 through 1991 under coaches Les Robinson and Alan LeForce.
Georgia (class of '83)
Recruiting Class: Terry Fair, Lamar Heard, Dominique Wilkins.
Achievements: The Bulldogs averaged 19 victories annually from 1979-80 through 1982-83 after winning more than 14 games only once the previous 29 seasons.
Illinois (class of '86)
Recruiting Class: Doug Altenberger, Bruce Douglas, Scott Meents, Efrem Winters, Reggie Woodward.
Achievements: Illini won more than 20 games four consecutive campaigns under coach Lou Henson.
Indiana (class of '93)
Recruiting Class: Calbert Cheaney, Lawrence Funderburke (transfer/Ohio State), Greg Graham, Pat Graham, Chris Lawson (transfer/Vanderbilt), Todd Leary, Chris Reynolds.
Achievements: Reached 1992 Final Four en route to compiling 105-27 record. Cheaney became IU's all-time leading scorer.
Iowa (class of '89)
Recruiting Class: B.J. Armstrong, Ed Horton, Les Jepsen (freshman redshirt), Roy Marble.
Achievements: George Raveling's final recruiting class with the Hawkeyes (including J.C. signee Kevin Gamble) all played in the NBA after helping Tom Davis capture national coach of the year acclaim in 1986-87.
Michigan State (class of '92)
Recruiting Class: Parish Hickman (transfer/Liberty), Mark Montgomery, Mike Peplowski (freshman redshirt), Matt Steigenga.
Achievements: Coming off back-to-back losing campaigns under coach Jud Heathcote, the Spartans averaged almost 22 wins annually the next four seasons from 1988-89 through 1991-92.
North Carolina (class of '69)
Recruiting Class: Jim Bostick (transfer/Auburn), Joe Brown, Bill Bunting, Rusty Clark, Dick Grubar, Gerald Tuttle.
Achievements: In three years of varsity competition (45-6 record against ACC foes and 81-15 overall), this group coached by Dean Smith became the first to finish No. 1 in the regular season, win the ACC Tournament and advance to the Final Four each year.
Ohio State (class of '81)
Recruiting Class: Marquis Miller, Kenny Page (transfer/New Mexico), Todd Penn, Carter Scott, Jim Smith, Herb Williams. Achievements: Eldon Miller, Fred Taylor's coaching successor, returned the Buckeyes to national postseason competition with three four-year starters (Scott, Smith and Williams). Page, after starting most of his freshman season with OSU, twice ranked among the nation's top 11 scorers with the Lobos.
Southern California (class of '89)
Recruiting Class: Jeff Connelly (transfer/Santa Clara), Hank Gathers (transfer/Loyola Marymount), Bo Kimble (transfer/Loyola Marymount), Tom Lewis (transfer/Pepperdine).
Achievements: The nucleus of USC's class, recruited by Stan Morrison, left to become stars in the West Coast Conference after a modest freshman season (11-17) when George Raveling arrived as coach.
Southern Mississippi (class of '88)
Recruiting Class: Casey Fisher, Derrick Hamilton, Randolph Keys, John White.
Achievements: Keys, Fisher, Hamilton and White all finished their careers with more than 1,300 points. The Golden Eagles, overshadowed in the Metro Conference by Louisville, won the 1987 NIT under coach M.K. Turk when each of the quartet scored in double digits.
Syracuse (class of '95)
Recruiting Class: Anthony Harris (transfer/Hawaii), Luke Jackson, Lawrence Moten, J.B. Reafsnyder (RS), Glenn Sekunda (transfer/Penn State), Lazarus Sims (RS).
Achievements: The Orange were on NCAA probation in 1993 before Moten finished his career as the school's all-time leading scorer.
UNLV (class of '77)
Recruiting Class: Lewis Brown, Glen Gondrezick, Eddie Owens, Jackie Robinson.
Achievements: Core of freshmen, supplemented by JC signee Ricky Sobers first two seasons, wound up in 1977 Final Four under coach Jerry Tarkanian.
Utah (class of '81)
Recruiting Class: Karl Bankowski, Tom Chambers, Scott Martin, Danny Vranes.
Achievements: Formidable frontcourt featuring Bankowski/Chambers/Vranes helped enable Martin to pace the Utes in assists three successive seasons under coach Jerry Pimm.
Wake Forest (class of '82)
Recruiting Class: Mike Helms, Jim Johnstone, Guy Morgan, Alvis Rogers (RS in 1982).
Achievements: All four players finished their careers with more than 1,100 points under coach Carl Tacy. Morgan, Rogers and Johnstone each grabbed more than 550 rebounds. The Demon Deacons posted back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time in school history (22-7 in 1980-81 and 21-9 in 1981-82 when they finished both years in third place in the ACC).
Wichita State (class of '83)
Recruiting Class: Antoine Carr, James Gibbs, Ozell Jones (transfer/Cal State Fullerton), Cliff Levingston.
Achievements: Posted marks of 17-12, 26-7, 23-6 and 25-3 under coach Gene Smithson. Group is somewhat overlooked because the school was on NCAA probation in 1982 and 1983. Levingston left after his junior year. Captured Missouri Valley Conference regular-season championships in 1981 and 1983. Jones played in the NBA with Carr and Levingston.
After Seattle Seahawks tight end Jimmy Graham ended up on NFC roster as a replacement, there remained only one NFL Pro Bowl (following 1985 season) when there wasn't at least one gridiron participant who previously played college basketball. Graham was a three-time Pro Bowler for the New Orleans Saints after serving as a part-time hoops starter with Miami FL.
An average of eight ex-college cagers annually participated the first decade of the event in the 1950s with a high of 10 following the 1959 campaign. Following is an alphabetical list of Pro Bowlers who previously played hoops at varsity level for a four-year college:
|NFL Pro Bowl Selection||Pos.||NFL Team(s)||Four-Year Hoop College(s)||Pro Bowl Year(s)|
|Ken Anderson||QB||Cincinnati Bengals||Augustana (Ill.)||1975-76-81-82|
|Doug Atkins||RDE||Chicago Bears||Tennessee||1957-58-59-60-61-62-63-65|
|Al Baker||RDE||Detroit Lions||Colorado State||1978-79-80|
|Erich Barnes||RDH||Chicago Bears/New York Giants/Cleveland Browns||Purdue||1959-61-62-63-64-68|
|Connor Barwin||OLB||Philadelphia Eagles||Cincinnati||2014|
|Sammy Baugh||QB||Washington Redskins||Texas Christian||1951|
|Bobby Bell||LLB||Kansas City Chiefs||Minnesota||1970-71-72|
|Martellus Bennett||TE||Chicago Bears||Texas A&M||2014|
|Cloyce Box||E||Detroit Lions||West Texas A&M||1950 and 1952|
|Ordell Braase||RDE||Baltimore Colts||South Dakota||1966 and 1967|
|Pete Brewster||LE||Cleveland Browns||Purdue||1955 and 1956|
|Marlin Briscoe||WR||Buffalo Bills||Nebraska-Omaha||1970|
|Jim Brown||FB||Cleveland Browns||Syracuse||1957-58-59-60-61-62-63-64-65|
|Junious "Buck" Buchanan||RDT||Kansas City Chiefs||Grambling||1970 and 1971|
|Jordan Cameron||TE||Cleveland Browns||Brigham Young/Southern California||2013|
|Harold Carmichael||WR||Philadelphia Eagles||Southern (La.)||1973-78-79-80|
|Fred Carr||RLB||Green Bay Packers||Texas Western||1970-72-75|
|John Carson||LE||Washington Redskins||Georgia||1957|
|Rick Casares||FB||Chicago Bears||Florida||1955-56-57-58-59|
|Chris Chambers||WR||Miami Dolphins||Wisconsin||2005|
|Lynn Chandnois||RH||Pittsburgh Steelers||Michigan State||1952 and 1953|
|Ben Coates||TE||New England Patriots||Livingstone (N.C.)||1994-95-98|
|George Connor||LT||Chicago Bears||Holy Cross/Notre Dame||1950-51-52-53|
|Charley Cowan||RT||Los Angeles Rams||New Mexico Highlands||1968-69-70|
|Glenn Davis||LH||Los Angeles Rams||Army||1950|
|Len Dawson||QB||Kansas City Chiefs||Purdue||1971|
|Mike Ditka||TE||Chicago Bears||Pittsburgh||1961-62-63-64-65|
|Jim Finks||QB||Pittsburgh Steelers||Tulsa||1952|
|London Fletcher||LB||Washington Redskins||St. Francis (Pa.)/John Carroll (Ohio)||2009-10-11-12|
|Len Ford||DE||Cleveland Browns||Morgan State||1951-52-53-54|
|Jean Fugett||TE||Washington Redskins||Amherst (Mass.)||1977|
|Antonio Gates||TE||San Diego Chargers||Kent State||2004-05-06-07-08-09-10-11|
|Tony Gonzalez||TE||Kansas City Chiefs/Atlanta Falcons||California||1999 and 2000-01-02-03-04-05-06-07-08-10-11-12-13|
|Jimmy Graham||TE||New Orleans Saints/Seattle Seahawks||Miami (Fla.)||2011-13-14-16|
|Otto Graham||QB||Cleveland Browns||Northwestern||1950-51-52-53-54|
|Cornell Green||DB||Dallas Cowboys||Utah State||1965-66-67-71-72|
|Bob Griese||QB||Miami Dolphins||Purdue||1970-71-73-74-77-78|
|Todd Heap||TE||Baltimore Ravens||Arizona State||2002 and 2003|
|Harlon Hill||LE||Chicago Bears||Florence State (Ala.)||1954-55-56|
|Elroy "Crazy Legs" Hirsch||RE||Los Angeles Rams||Michigan||1951-52-53|
|Paul Hornung||LH||Green Bay Packers||Notre Dame||1959 and 1960|
|Vincent Jackson||WR||San Diego Chargers/Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Northern Colorado||2009-11-12|
|Dave Jennings||P||New York Giants||St. Lawrence (N.Y.)||1978-79-80-82|
|Brad Johnson||QB||Washington Redskins||Florida State||1999, 2000 and 2002|
|John Henry Johnson||RB||San Francisco 49ers/Pittsburgh Steelers||Saint Mary's||1954-62-63-64|
|Johnny Johnson||RB||Phoenix Suns||San Jose State||1990|
|Ed "Too Tall" Jones||LDE||Dallas Cowboys||Tennessee State||1981-82-83|
|Jacoby Jones||KR||Baltimore Ravens||Lane (Tenn.)||2012|
|Joe Kapp||QB||Minnesota Vikings||California||1969|
|Billy Kilmer||QB||Washington Redskins||UCLA||1972|
|Ron Kramer||TE||Green Bay Packers||Michigan||1962|
|Gary Larsen||DT||Minnesota Vikings||Concordia (Minn.)||1969 and 1970|
|Johnny Lattner||RH||Pittsburgh Steelers||Notre Dame||1954|
|Joe Lavender||RCB||Washington Redskins||San Diego State||1979 and 1980|
|Rolland Lawrence||CB||Atlanta Falcons||Tabor (Kan.)||1977|
|Bobby Layne||QB||Detroit Lions/Pittsburgh Steelers||Texas||1951-52-53-56-58-59|
|Ronnie Lott||DB||San Francisco 49ers||Southern California||1981-82-83-84-86-87-88-89-90-91|
|Johnny Lujack||QB||Chicago Bears||Notre Dame||1950 and 1951|
|Lamar Lundy||LDE||Los Angeles Rams||Purdue||1959|
|John Mackey||TE||Baltimore Colts||Syracuse||1963-65-66-67-68|
|Jack "Cy" McClairen||E||Pittsburgh Steelers||Bethune-Cookman||1957|
|Donovan McNabb||QB||Philadelphia Eagles||Syracuse||2000-01-02-03-04-09|
|Zeke Moore||CB||Houston Oilers||Lincoln (Mo.)||1969 and 1970|
|Elbie Nickel||RE||Pittsburgh Steelers||Cincinnati||1952-53-56|
|Terrell Owens||WR||San Francisco 49ers/Dallas Cowboys||UT-Chattanooga||2000-01-02-03-04-07|
|Julius Peppers||DE-LB||Carolina Panthers/Chicago Bears/Green Bay Packers||North Carolina||2004-05-06-08-09-10-11-12-15|
|Garet "Jerry" Reichow||WR||Minnesota Vikings||Iowa||1961|
|Andre Rison||WR||Atlanta Falcons/Kansas City Chiefs||Michigan State||1990-91-92-93-97|
|Otto Schnellbacher||RS||New York Giants||Kansas||1950 and 1951|
|Tom Scott||LDE||Philadelphia Eagles||Virginia||1957 and 1958|
|Joe Senser||TE||Minnesota Vikings||West Chester (Pa.) State||1981|
|Bob Shaw||E||Chicago Cardinals||Ohio State||1950|
|Art Shell||LT||Oakland Raiders||Maryland-Eastern Shore||1973-74-75-76-77|
|Del Shofner||RH-SE||Los Angeles Rams/New York Giants||Baylor||1958-59-61-62-63|
|Rod Smith||WR||Denver Broncos||Missouri Southern State||2000-01-05|
|Norm Snead||QB||Washington Redskins/Philadelphia Eagles/New York Giants||Wake Forest||1962-63-65-72|
|Ed Sprinkle||DE||Chicago Bears||Hardin-Simmons (Tex.)||1950-51-52-54|
|Roger Staubach||QB||Dallas Cowboys||Navy||1971-75-76-77-78-79|
|Hugh "Bones" Taylor||LE||Washington Redskins||Tulane/Oklahoma City||1952 and 1954|
|Jason Taylor||RDE||Miami Dolphins||Akron||2000-02-04-05-06-07|
|Otis Taylor||WR||Kansas City Chiefs||Prairie View A&M||1971 and 1972|
|John Thomas||LG||San Francisco 49ers||Pacific||1966|
|Julius Thomas||TE||Denver Broncos||Portland State||2013 and 2014|
|Emlen Tunnell||DB||New York Giants||Toledo||1950-51-52-53-54-55-56-57-59|
|Brad Van Pelt||LLB||New York Giants||Michigan State||1976-77-78-79-80|
|Doak Walker||LH||Detroit Lions||Southern Methodist||1950-51-53-54-55|
|Ron Widby||P||Dallas Cowboys||Tennessee||1971|
|Norm Willey||RDE||Philadelphia Eagles||Marshall||1954 and 1955|
|Alfred Williams||RDE||Denver Broncos||Colorado||1996|
|Billy Wilson||RE||San Francisco 49ers||San Jose State||1954-55-56-57-58-59|
|Rayfield Wright||RT||Dallas Cowboys||Fort Valley State (Ga.)||1971-72-73-74-75-76|
Don't believe everything you hear. Complicating the high-expectations transition for freshmen phenoms 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 McGuire's clever message came before the "one-and-done" era. Brandon Ingram (Duke) and Ben Simmons (LSU) went 1-2 in the 2016 NBA draft despite failing to boost their college teams to any significant improvement. Washington's Markelle Fultz followed suit in less-than-instant-success category this year after the Huskies were 19-15 last season. North Carolina State's Dennis Smith Jr. also joined the following list of acclaimed freshmen such as Ingram and Simmons losing at least 10 games in their inaugural campaign while failing to guide their schools to better record than they compiled the previous season:
Freshman Phenom Pos. College Season Games Decreased From Previous Year Markelle Fultz G Washington 2016-17 -8 1/2 to 9-22 record Brandon Ingram G-F Duke 2015-16 -8 1/2 to 25-11 Mike McGee F Michigan 1977-78 -8 1/2 to 16-11 Mitchell Anderson G Bradley 1978-79 -4 to 9-17 Devin Durant F Texas 2006-07 -4 to 25-10 Ben Simmons F Louisiana State 2015-16 -3 to 19-14 Danny Ainge G Brigham Young 1977-78 -1 1/2 to 12-18 Michael Beasley F-C Kansas State 2007-08 -1 to 21-12 Dennis Smith Jr. G North Carolina State 2016-17 -1/2 to 15-17
"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 79th 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 several 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 several years ago 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 former POTUS Obama's State of the Union addresses, the basketball buff probably should have cared more about mental inequality in hoopdom rather than income inequality in his "I-have-a-phone-and-pen" and willing-accomplices-in-the-media 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 fanciful assertion 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 79 players in tourney history 79 days out from the title game of event entering its 79th 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 in finishing with the highest-ever scoring average for a Final Four player (36.8 ppg). 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 13 points below his season scoring average when his school lost in the national semifinals or final. He is the only Final Four participant to twice register a season scoring average in excess of 30 ppg (32.6 in 1958-59 and 33.7 in 1959-60).
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 en route to posting 7.5 ppg more in tourney competition than regular-season play.
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).
78. Acie Earl, C, Iowa
Averaged 19.3 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.7 blocked shots in six games from 1991 through 1993 (3-3 record). Eight of his rejections came against NCAA champion-to-be Duke in 1992. He averaged more than four ppg in the playoffs than the regular season.
79. Kevin Pittsnogle, F, West Virginia
Averaged 17.6 points and 4.6 rebounds in seven games in 2005 and 2006 (5-2 record). In six of the contests, he scored more than his career average of 13.3 ppg.