What difference does it make? Frequently amused of late by pathetic press coverage of unprotected national borders featuring an illegal immigrant disease-dump invasion coming to your community soon, short-term soccer virus knock-out of real football as the nation's top concussion-causing or flopping sport, computer "recycling" by the environmentally-sensitive/magical-way IRS, myopic Michelle's talking shopping carts and a ballet-loving Coast Guard washout worth five Taliban human debris, there are ample reasons why the majority of Americans fail to have confidence in a biased mass media to report the news fully, accurately and fairly. The major TV networks and two principal liberal rags (New York Slimes and Washington Compost) devoted to "seeking the whole truth" refused to give coverage to a Fox News report acknowledging the dictionary-less Obama Administration denied aid multiple times to Americans attacked and murdered by terrorists in Benghazi on September 11 of all days. A self-righteous stonewalling White House failed to supply requested information to Congress for its hearing oversight, but Judicial Watch obtained declassified emails showing former White House Deputy Strategic Communications Adviser Ben Rhodes and other "rogue" (likely from Cincinnati plus probably Phoenix) West Wing p.r. officials/demented dudes/"shadowy characters" orchestrating a "spontaneous" false-narrative prep memo/campaign, especially via cozy chit-chat with AP, to "reinforce" POTUS and to portray the Benghazi consulate terrorist attack as being "rooted in an Internet video, and not a failure of policy."
If the group-think pretentious press, spearheaded by certifiable close-minded "Journolist" lib-nuts, withheld evidence (such as emails from the National Security Advisor's office telling a counter-terrorism unit to stand down), they're as corrupt in a cover-up as the amateurish administration's self-righteous Siskel & Ebert wannabees more concerned with monitoring content of "Bible-clinger" prayers, doctoring talking points, collective salvation promotion and muzzling Benghazi survivors plus front-line troops who served with a deserter (forced to sign non-disclosure agreements) rather than transparency with the public. Amid the chaos, we pay for State Department tutors (to get their stories straight) and have the prospect of the incompetent lost-all-pertinent emails IRS enforcing Obamacare if its $1 billion investment enrolling "millions" ever functions properly. Incredibly, there are IRS dogs receiving bonuses despite being delinquent on their own taxes as a VA scandal became a precursor of Obowwowcare.
The CCCP (Colossal Collection of Condescending Politicians) fails to comprehend they work for us; not the other way around. How else do you explain the moral compass of former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen See-Soul-less, too busy to testify before Congress but not to attend a gala, failing to help a young girl secure a lung transplant years after the "human servant" prolonged her political life by accepting significant donations in Kansas from an abortion doctor known as Tiller the Baby Killer? Have these petty "public servants" any shame as their leader jokes about a pastry chef lacing pies with crack cocaine? This is supposed to be a nation of laws; not of self-absorbed men and women. Why wasn't there even one honorable IRS employee step forward as a whistle-blower about the keep-your-faith-to-yourself agency's targeting of outstanding organizations such as Billy Graham's "mean-spirited" ministries or auditing conservative donors at 10 times the rate of the average citizen?
Why doesn't the lapdog media do its watchdog job and pursue the Benghazi issue providing accountable answers to the many questions accumulating about what precisely occurred in the Celebrity-in-Chief's chamber? Even setting aside "fast-and-furious" race-card reveling DOJ activity, disgusting IRS transgressions and VA Hospital waiting-list death counts, why do the vast majority of the message-massaged media remain so disinterested in pursuing the litany of "jaw-dropping" misstatements and dissembling regarding what was known before and after the Benghazi horror? It wasn't because the misfit media was too busy in Philly prepping for coverage of the chilling capital case carnage in serial killer Dr. Kermit Gosnell's late-term abortion trial or delving into the abuses of an arrogant in-over-his-head AG and party-animal IRS targeting conservative groups plus a network (Fox) more conservative (conspiratorial to loony leftists) than its counterparts. General Motors is alive, but truth from crass White House, Democratic legislators and State Department officials plus an inept press corps is dead. Meanwhile, POTUS (a/k/a "Basketball Bones") is too busy going to the rack at a ceremony with UConn's male and female NCAA hoop champions rather than assembling a coherent response to a full-court press siege in Iraq. After feeding the hungry Huskies his rehearsed lines, a do-our-part plan for the Saul Alinsky devotee in the immediate aftermath included glamor golfing in Palm Springs.
What difference does it make? Al Jazeera becomes more objective in its coverage of U.S. politics than incestuous AP (Administration's Press), ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC (More Socialist Nonsense By Commentators) and CNN (Contemptible News Network when moderator Candy Crony became a shameless shill as a virtual member of presidential debate team). In addition to taxpayers underwriting a welfare-receiving terrorist clan in Boston to the tune of more than $100,000 and paying in excess of $300,000 to moronic Major Nidal Hasan while waiting for trial since the felonious Fort Hood shooting, we finance fastidious NPR (should be NWR for National Welfare Radio), which is such a gigantic joke that "All Things Considered" aired no Benghazi features the weekend after compelling Congressional testimony but did allot time to "consider" riveting rhino horns trading. It doesn't seem as if the "All Things" mindset has changed much since a former co-host's husband worked for the presidential campaigns of Obama and ready-to-serve-spit John Kerry (the self-proclaimed Vietnam War hero before heaving his medals and dignity over a fence).
Everywhere you turn, there is an immeasurable stain on a presidency similar to the former IRS chief's wife toiling for a leftist campaign finance reform group. Devoid of any media credentials, First Daughter Chelsea Clinton was given a political favor via an annual salary of $600,000 when she joined NBC News as a "special correspondent" (in excess of $25,000 for each minute she displayed her hard-working brilliance on-air to make certain she wasn't dead-broke after leaving the White House and academic pursuits). Who in their right mind would pay $75,000 for a nepotism-laced one-percenter Chelsea chat? Presidents of ABC and NBC News have siblings working at the White House with ties to Benghazi and CNN's deputy bureau chief is married to a former aide for (brain)dead-broke Hillary Clinton. NBC News senior political editor Mark Murray is married to an Obama official and new Meet the Depressed moderator Chuck Todd's spouse worked on 2006 Senate campaign for Jim Webb (D-VA). Todd secured his start in politics toiling in 1992 presidential campaign for Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA). All "Rhodes" at CBS lead to the network's prez being the brother of Mr. Accountability's "mind-melding" speechwriter and escape-artist extraordinaire going to great lengths to avoid divulging potentially-damaging information on a deserter. CBS hired former Obama chief of staff Bill Daley as a contributor while respected investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson maneuvered out of her contract amid the network's depraved indifference. A prime example of the seamless transition for in-the-tank media was Linda Douglass, who became communications director for the Oval Office's Health Reform Office after serving as ABC's chief congressional correspondent. Such BS shouldn't have been surprising insofar as her lawyer/husband was a big fundraiser for BO. At CBS, a bozo producer mocked Sen. Rand Paul about "being a doctor" while clueless that he indeed is a physician.
You can't possibly make up all of this conflict-of-interest journalistic junk unless you're fond of the chummy White House Correspondents Dinner. The "Let's Move" (in together) extends into the kitchen where WH chef Sam Kass is married to dim-bulb host-ette Alex Wagner from "Fall Backward" network MSLSD. Does she get organic-food leftovers from Michelle's gorgeous garden? Departing White House Press Secretary/Carnival Barker Jay Carney's wife is Claire Shipman, a senior national correspondent for ABC. Blatant bias stemming from the bozo version of a "Band of Brothers (and Sisters)" also includes the Washington Post's justice department reporter married to the general counsel of the Department of Human Services, ABC News producer married to National Security Advisor Susan Rice, CNN's deputy Washington bureau chief married to an ex-deputy secretary of state under Clinton, Huffington Post political editor and ex-Newsweek flack Sam Stein's spouse working for White House and NPR's WH correspondent married to a lawyer in the White House counsel's office. The symbolic evacuation from the White House press room because of smoke must have stemmed from deep-background Carney trying to blow smoke up the media's sorry butt with an off-the-record briefing for selected stenographers. Obstructing justice he was sworn to uphold, the phony AG was the next nefarious nabob to deploy a farcical off-the-record stench-fest pussyfooting around behind closed doors prior to giving illegal immigrants welfare attorneys.
Are reports any surprise that Clinton operatives privately sanitized potentially-damaging State Department documents to protect "7th floor" personnel? In an effort to help the buffoonish media shine the light of truth on the Benghazi bungling and scrubbed-a-dozen-times talking points, following are basic "who/what/when/why/where" questions for which the public deserves answers via the president's acolytes:
* Long before throwing intel community under the bus, who changed the original talking points and concocted "the (fanciful) spontaneous reaction" to a YouTube video explanation for the attack (framed before the final two deaths) and did the same individual help orchestrate a coordinated response at various venues in the days and weeks immediately following said attack?
* What portion of the entire 7 1/2 hours of the attack did POTUS himself spend in the Situation Room with fellow "mom-jean dudes" and was he directly involved with multiple "stand-down" orders while the attacks were in place? Perhaps he was too busy with debate prep or playing Spades again with body man/ex-Duke hoopster Reggie Love rather than overseeing mobilization of rescue troops. Let's hope Love, charged with driving while impaired in college, didn't take Barry out on the town to a frat party.
* When precisely did increasingly imperial POTUS and/or his national security staff first become aware that an attack was underway at the Benghazi compound and did Hillary Clinton and Leon Panetta compare notes before Clinton's proclamation emphasizing a video as the culprit?
* Why was the no-drama Obama Administration's response so lax despite an unmanned drone providing real-time live video feed of the scene? Who atop the chain-of-command was so insensitive they let Americans die during a "demonstration" (not an attack) akin to aborting innocent babies?
* Where is evidence of the "Betray Us" administration's responses to repeated pleas to strengthen security for Americans in Libya, not only from the State Department security chief and man on the ground in charge of security, but from the ambassador? Or were progressive normalization goals with Libya more important than traditional sense of duty? Did Hillary encourage Stevens to go to Benghazi or not to set up a diplomatic outpost?
In the previous election cycle, NBC's slobbering Brian "Save the Tin Foil" Williams, the self-proclaimed patriot, was fond of displaying adoring news magazine "halo" covers to Obama and then asking His Earness if his mother would have liked the image. Since Williams is in dire need of a drool bucket, perhaps one of his echo-chamber counterparts who isn't certified Obama Orgasmic should brandish photos of the murdered Americans in front of pen-and-a-phone POTUS and ask him if he sleeps well at night knowing the Monarch Messiah did everything humanly possible before and during the attack to protect and save these hero sons of steadfast mothers. The Drone Ranger could also be asked what did give-me-a-break trusted "comrade" Shrillary Rotten mean when the former Secretary of State callously said during testimony: "What difference does it make?" Insofar as she and a vital general weren't interviewed by the less-than-thorough accountability review board, the difference could be a "smidgeon" of honesty with the country's citizens boasting a triple-digit IQ vs. cover-up deception with much of the misguided media serving as wicked accomplices. A probing press sits on the sideline missing as much as the Rose Law Firm documents sitting on a table years ago in Hillary's White House office. They keep up with facts and vital news as well as Hillary does her hustler husband's "Energizer" Honey after serial sexual harasser Sick Willie's number of extra-martial affairs more than doubled the age of a pizza-delivering intern in the Oral Office.
Trying to find someone "on Koch" more revolting amid the myriad of political con artists than Senate "leader" Harry Reid (Dem.-Nevada), how do you distinguish "Dingy" (who also chimed in with "What Difference Does It Make?" before wowing the nation threatening not to attend a Redskins game) from Dumb from Dumber from Dumbest as the government goofballs and goons reveal they would rather focus their energy on invoking the 5th Amendment by grifters, coddling illegal immigrants, attending line-dancing conferences at taxpayers' expense, underwriting Sandra Flukey's birth control, sanctioning gays in professional sports and the Boy Scouts, funding transgender operation for military misfit Bradley Manning, monitoring everyone's phone calls including the Pope, bullying insurance companies to keep them quiet, ordering federal workers to spy on each other and giving Miranda rights to terrorists while profiling patriot, pro-life plus Tea Party affiliates? How about giving a craving nation one huge "happiness" conference by dismantling the IRS? In a sick version of Obama "care," the media dimwits such as Eleanor Off-the-Cliff seem as careless and clueless in unearthing authentic autopsy results for a virtually defenseless Ambassador Stevens as the administration is in resolutely rendering justice to the incorrigible Islamic perpetrators. After all, it's foreign to civility to drag All the President's "Men" (political parasites) through the caught-by-surprise mud similar to the ambassador's body dragged through foreign streets.
Whether or not they are yucking it up about a significant delay in apprehending a terrorist leader, this is no witch-hunt because the witches in and out of government are already easy to discern such as shabby State Department spokesperson MakeMe Barf trashing brave front-line soldiers from her thousands-of-miles-away ivory tower while the haughty hag permanently stained from serving on Obama's debate prep team described torturing towel-heads as "gentlemen." As the world was going to hell around her, equally dense State Department amateur-hour colleague Jen Psaki tweeted about fashion. Regrettably, we pay the salaries of charming charlatans who threw their political weight behind declining to put Boko Haram thugs on the terrorist list before the Islamic militants in Nigeria burned 29 students alive, massacred 59 schoolboys at a boarding school and kidnapped nearly 300 school girls (threatening to sell them into slavery). Has the idolatry-practicing media, with fawning NBC planning a mini-series on Hillary Clinton before backing off on the project, contrasted "equal-protection-under-the-law" security measures for Ambassador Stevens compared to her when she went overseas? Did Eleanor Roosevelt give Her Thighness seance insight on baking cookies, covering up a sex and prostitution probe on her watch or how mostly unseen movie trailers incite Muslims? Seemingly, it's always the fault of someone else with this contemptible crowd, looking as phony as actress Diane Lane playing the role of Shrillary - which is akin to George Clooney playing the role of Dick Vitale. It takes-a-village idiot such as truth deflector Victoria "F**k the EU!" Nuland to believe her crutch, but perhaps the Democrap ditz potty mouth is simply adding to the vast right-wing conspiracy featuring a seemingly never-ending gateway list including Filegate, Sandy Burglar "lifting" National Archives classified documents, Buddhist Templegate, Sick Willie's intern cigar, Travelgate, Vince Foster's suicide, Lippogate, Marc Rich's pardon, Lootergate, wagging the dog, Vandalgate, etc., etc., etc. Now, gaffe-tastic Hillary "misses the bigger picture" sounding "is-is" similar to hubby: "I did not have decision-making responsibilities for that compound - Benghazi."
The "buck" can't find any place to stop at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, where "time-is-of-the-essence" POTUS chimes in on earthshaking cultural topics involving dumbbell Donald Sterling and documentarian Michael Sam but doesn't supply his itinerary the evening when Americans were killed in Libya. Neither the self-enamored emperor nor his underwhelming underlings have any clothes or complete candor as the IRS commissioner only remembers one Easter Egg roll among his excessive 157 White House visits. Amid trying to discern State Department protocol during an attack, there was a preposterous assertion from Defense Secretary Leon Panetta that "assets couldn't get there (Benghazi) in time." Is patronizing Panetta also commiserating with an omniscient Eleanor regarding upper-brass orders to save Americans? How did he know with such authority the length of "time" the siege would take as they fought for their lives? Maybe he was too busy on other travel-time matters planning his next cross-country commute home to California at tax-payer expense on military jets. Panetta isn't as principled as the press likes to portray him after Monica "I'm No. 44 (or so)" Lewinsky "worked" in the Chief of Staff's office during the government shutdown. Did this leech-filled leadership just cut their losses and "run" (let them die) rather than risk additional casualties before making the rounds, including hard-hitting media moguls David Letterman and Barbara Walters, with their video fairytale?
What difference does it make? Don't you wish there was a single stooge from the out-of-control whining White House who would serve with honor and distinction as they boast fewer jobs created than babies aborted? The second term of a president, resembling life, is like a roll of toilet paper when you're ill. The closer you get to the end, the faster the _ _ _ _ goes resembling his brother-in-law cast adrift as Oregon State's coach. Held hostage by an Ariel Castro-like media as manipulative as Jodi Arias, the general public suffers from gullible glorification syndrome. Whatever political position you're in when the _ _ _ _ hits the fan, you just hope the grandstanding leader of the free world letting the entire Middle East turn into Alqaedaistan exhibits more "Barry" backbone (equivalent of a slinky according to Red Eye's Greg Gutfeld) than a best-and-the-brightest Boy King raised by an Indonesian nanny who subsequently joined a group of transvestites called the Dancing Dolls.
Unwilling to be a doll and dance around the topic, a problem ("phony scandal") persists that the overwhelming majority of slanted reporters chronicling events big and small, including the toy department (sports), write through a liberal "Jayson Blair" prism insulting our common sense and intelligence. Thus the toughest question President Barack Obama, the executive with excessive excuses and 72% approval among Muslims, faced in a given year from the press "rat pack" probably was an ESPN bracket racket inquiry concerning whether his alma mater (Harvard) was going to advance to the second round in NCAA basketball playoff competition. How often did ESPN saps such as golfing partner Michael Wilbon indulge themselves with "Audacity of Hype" presidential picks promoting the NCAA tourney that didn't exactly provide "fair share" equal time from the opposing party? At least ESPN, which likes to think it knows as much about everything as Edward Snowden, didn't also portray Sir Remake America as a baseball expert following the bleeding-heart leftist's feeble ceremonial first pitch worthy of donning mom jeans attending the All-Star Game.
Let me be clear: Don't you wish the agenda-driven media would have "encouraged" leave-no-deserter-behind to develop priorities putting as much effort into meeting a budget deadline or getting the FBI to investigate Benghazi sooner than a month later instead of swooning over the Rev. Wrong disciple while providing a bracket, accepting mulligan lessons from Tiger, hosting parties at Club Obama or releasing illegal immigrant criminals from prison? If not relevant items, couldn't they at least ask him: "What's the deal with the First Lady taking separate planes at taxpayer expense on your vacation junkets?" or "Why are Gitmo detainees receiving better health care than American veterans?" or "Did global warming cause Godzilla to return?" or "Do you want to be known as Traitor Jack after an incentive-for-kidnapping swap of five gold-star terrorists for one alleged lily-white deserter?" or "Do you accept the laughable line that the IRS, which demands Charles Citizen keep his financial records for seven years, can't supply pertinent emails over a critical seven-month span for the gang-of-seven?" or "Are the three branches of the federal government called Me, Myself and I?"
But then most of the honorable and distinctive media elite such as former CNN Misfire libturd Stephanie "Lying is a Virtue" Cutter are in the same fast-tracking cartel with chronic fabricator Tokyo Rice, who said the meandering misfit served with "honor and distinction" after a repulsive victory-lap Rose Garden publicity-stunt production where Allah was praised by Papa Taliban but not a word of gratitude directed toward the numerous shut-up-and-salute authentic soldiers killed and injured striving to rescue Mr. AWOL for Afghans. Is an extremist rules-for-radicals administration gone awry already cooperating with a Hollyweird producer for a movie ("Saving Private Bergdahl"), available in Pashto, focusing on an ultimate warrior gone bad probably because of another YouTube video failing to generate four stars from Shrillary's shady State Department? Only the smartest man in the world could interrupt his ideological executive orders and negotiate a deal to save someone ashamed to be an American. Bowe Knows Islam was fading fast with an illness that could only be promptly treated at a VA hospital. If you boast a triple-digit IQ and believe anything from the West Wing spin machine, then God (not Allah) help us all. Who has the most credibility and represents the best of us - selfless soldiers daily putting their lives on the line or self-centered White House/State Department shills or self-important genuinely raggedy press puke?
What difference does it make? Well, when the lame-stream sports media is as incompetent as the general newsroom and editorial department, they foist make-believe heroes upon us such as Lance Armstrong, Ryan Braun, Aaron Hernandez, Ben Johnson, Marion Jones, Johnny Manziel, Ray Rice, A-Roid, Josh Shaw, O.J. Simpson, Manti Te'o, Michael Vick, Jameis Winston and "The Carolina Way" (Afro-Studies academic fraud and all). A majority of the cesspool press pool cheered Sam Who I Am's social-engineering progressive values amid sizing up his shower habits after jeering Tim Tebow's religious "The Great I Am" standards. In basketball specifically, hoop media sycophants canonize tattooed Louisville coach Rick Pitino not long after his brazen bistro-closing porn-star tryout and Jimmy V is hailed endlessly in history rewrites despite coach Valvano having two different schools - Iona and North Carolina State - vacate NCAA playoff participation. As if enthralled with Pitino catching an enormous marlin and being featured on Maker's Mark bourbon bottles isn't enough, the inept media's latest touchy-feely attempt in social engineering is trying to elevate Jason Collins to Jackie Robinson-like status.
Collins was cited as a "star" by sports know-nothing ABC anchor-ette Diane Sawyer, the wife of a Hollyweird director. Was Collins embellished as celestial because he averaged 1.1 points and 0.9 rebounds per game last season, 1.1 ppg and 1.3 rpg over the last two seasons, 1.2 ppg and 1.4 rpg over the previous three seasons, 1.4 ppg and 1.6 rpg the previous four seasons, 1.3 ppg and 1.5 rpg the previous five NBA seasons or because he fits nicely into smug Sawyer's social world view the past five years as Charles Gibson's truth-telling successor before she herself stepped aside in mid-2014? At least sanctimonious Sawyer showed her expertise in softball(s) with hot-air inquiries to Syrian dictator Bashar Assad about iPods and video games.
The myopic media, responding like the NSA in the "least untruthful manner," is so focused on accuracy that much of it offered a one-sided depiction of troubled teen Trayvon Martin as a Skittles-loving (not weed-smoking) model citizen who must have innocently been kicked out of his home and school perhaps because he was fond of hanging around full-fledged liars who can't read cursive (eloquent to MSNBC smear merchants) coupled with his flaws including prejudiced thinking that Hispanics (White-Hispanic to appease race hustlers) could become "creepy-ass crackers." Fueled by hoodie-donning intellectual heavyweights such as the Miami Heat, a reported $1 million-plus wrongful death settlement with a homeowners association was a "justice" byproduct of the demise of the parents' son apparently enthralled with a "Gangsta" culture.
Of course, it's all about just one side of the political spectrum getting along with the other to the Amen progressive "pew" from politically-correct pundits plus gaily being who you are in a permissive society. What a stunner that Collins was promptly slated to join first lady Michelle Obama at a high-fiving Democratic fundraiser. But this fundraiser was a genuine political spontaneous reaction! Will Collins courageously dwell on the No. 98, which is about the number of months he fraudulently strung his fiancée along (see Cosmopolitan feature on fellow Stanford product Carolyn Moos)? Will the brave Brooklyn Nets sign Moos to a contract as the first women's player in the NBA if Collins doesn't help inspire his teammates more than newbie coach Jason Kidd? At least it would take some attention away from nut-job Donald Less-Than-Sterling, who should have remembered the old adage: "It is better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than opening your mouth and removing all doubt!"
What difference does it make? By any measure, the puff-piece enemies of illumination failed to fully vett Obama and his leftist fantasies before he became POTUS other than perhaps focusing on an alleged hoop prowess. But as former NBA Commissioner David Stern, a stereotypical liberal-leaning lawyer, said in jest about Obama's basketball background: "He thinks he's better than he really is." Although probably not intentional, Stern's dispassionate assessment also summarizes Obama's outlandish presidency. At the risk of being the next U.S. citizen subject to a drone strike, it should be emphasized that, when you don't toe the fictional party line of the high-and-mighty real sideshow, you become a demoted diplomat, face intimidation tactics having your phone records seized or are targeted by going on the abuse-of-power IRS enemies list (a/k/a "horrible customer service"). Astonishingly, the staging-question IRS is "used" as a springboard by West Wing wackos to drive Obamacare down our throats via the same wily _itch with no integrity but plenty of bonus money despite showing her disdain for conservatives by calling them A-holes as part of her "serving" the public's interest in a non-partisan fashion. While the disgraced I-R-ME$$ official is feeding at the public servant trough (six-figure retirement) after previously harassing the Christian Coalition while with the FEC, someone needs to slow "learn her" by forcing miscreant Ms. 5th to take a remedial ethics class commencing with the Golden Rule while waiting for fallout from being held in contempt of Congress and a convenient catastrophic computer crash. Meanwhile, the nauseous networks yawned and "confidentially" looked the other way when e-mails showed computer-recycler Loser, amid distributing feelers to hook on with a pro-Obama group, sent a database of tax-exempt organizations to the FBI right before the 2010 midterm elections.
Portraying a murderous attack in Benghazi, Libya, as if it occurred in the same war as the Battle of the Bulge, it might be old news to former "stylistic" Out House spokesperson Jay Blarney while the ex-Time magazine Washington chief did his zero-credibility imitation of propagandist Joseph Goebbels with a "hope and change (the topic)" routine before getting out of Dodge (The Truth). Seems as if jaundiced Jay, who implied the IRS apologized for "not" doing something wrong, and his unprincipled ilk such as equally-inept successor Josh Earnest proclaim a memo emphasizing Benghazi has nothing to do with Benghazi and Baghdad Bergdahl served honorably. In regard to sizing up real men, Blarney and his misleading minions aren't a pimple on the butt of any of the genuine patriots the Out House slimed as swift-boating someone the soldiers knew firsthand. Previously, a classic example of the blame game and absence of accountability from the meek media was when the feds were more concerned with detaining some obscure producer of an anti-Islamic film making light of the prophet Mohammed. At least the dereliction-of-duty dunderheads such as CIA taxpayer-paid liar Mike More-ill didn't pull out the workplace-violence or man-made disaster card again during this convenient-truth process.
What difference does it make? Well, the excuse-ridden Obama Administration - either grossly incompetent or purposefully in "crude and disgusting" fraud - dealt with a terrorist assault on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi by shamelessly standing in front of caskets at an airport hangar (plus the White House press corps, the U.N. and national politically-oriented shows such as Meet the Depressed) offering an orchestrated al-Qaeda on-the-run narrative claiming the nondescript video was responsible for the murder of the American ambassador and three other Americans. Their most despicable act was regurgitating the same outrageous ruse face-to-face to grieving family members while focusing more on securing "second" non-disclosure agreements from survivors. How authentic or outright evil were those narcissistic embraces from Big Balls Biden and fellow fatal finaglers? Any miserable individual who emphasized a movie lie in one-on-one conversations with mourners doesn't possess the dignity worthy of setting foot on White House grounds with a pooper scooper.
Incredibly, a Navy SEAL among the deceased violated stand-down orders to help save numerous individuals at the death-trap embassy and then fought the terrorists for 7 1/2 hours while his pleas for backup at a nearby annex were ignored by government officials real-time watching events unfold. Weeks later, the evasive apologist-in-chief and cowardly cronies were still striving to supply a cogent response to their deflect-and-deny sacrificial-lamb inaction all for the sake of propping up progressive policies. Where's a photo of the vaunted Obama Team deliberating at least 7 1/2 minutes, or even 7 1/2 seconds, during the Benghazi attack? Was Mr. Teleprompter even there at all to provide any input possibly "sending in the cavalry" or were his charges more concerned about contacting YouTube about a manufactured vile video? Bracing for a cross-country campaign trip, did malingerer "That's Not What We Do" go to bed while brave Americans were savaged or is it indeed "an irrelevant fact" less important than raising funds in Las Vegas? If not, then be transparent enough to at least conduct a stand-up, man-up press conference detailing what you did do during the "acting stupidly" stand-down. The Sgt. Schultz "I know nothing!" ploy isn't very becoming for an infallible commander-in-chief as it spills over to the FBI and all of the terribly-flawed feet-of-clay mental-midget mercenaries surrounding a conceited community organizer with their evolving web of deceit.
Infected by pop culture, reality shows, Al Bore's global-warming hoax and thrills going up noxious newscasters legs, the average shallow American dwells on Angelina Jolie's discarded mammary glands, forlorn Amanda Knox's knife collection, Donald's luck dealing with 50-year younger model/archivist and Gitmo hunger strikers but can't spell Benghazi or even know which continent it's located. When not exploiting children as human shields for an assortment of altruistic motives, POTUS didn't mind hiding behind Hillary Clinton's pants suit via a film fabrication as her State Department lawyer told witnesses not to speak to House investigators. If elected as POTUS, Hillary's "tough choices" judgment is so grandiose she would probably appoint her pervert husband to be in charge of the White House's intern program and cigar room. If you had a family member in dire straits pleading for help, would you rather summon support from blameless Barack Hussein Obama, Hillary the Hypocrite's hubris or heroic Tyrone Woods? Hitting closer to home in raw terms, who would you rather have as a "sacrificial" neighbor because of comparable integrity and moral values? Period! The U.S. "isn't a Christian nation" according to our fearless leader, but the answer is clear among God-fearing folks in flyover country who always seem to know a mite more about vital issues than our country's CEO (Creative Explanation Opportunist) until hearing after-the-fact media reports. Shackled by a warped sense of tone-deaf priorities, how hard have ethically-bankrupt Obama and Clinton negotiated a deal with Iran's Revolutionary Guard to release an American Christian pastor detained after entering the country on a humanitarian mission or a sergeant detained in lawless Mexico after making a wrong turn?
What difference does it make? Before making a repugnant remark that the Taliban 5 senior leadership isn't a threat to America, hoodwinking Hillary's principal achievement as Secretary of State may have been putting an excessive amount of emphasis on that specific difference-making phrase/question. So brave after facing sniper fire in Bosnia, her corrosive comments are reminiscent of disgraced Dan Rather's blather at CBS frequently ending with an inane Robert Redford-worthy reference to "courage." Was that a lamentable trait exhibited by CBS when it concealed footage for an extended period from a 60 Minutes interview with Obama where he clearly refused to categorize the Benghazi attack as an act of terror? Of course, curious George Stephanopoulos is deemed a journalistic jewel by ABC after earning his spurs as a political hack for the petulant Clintons disparaging one female after another in the midst of Sick Willie's debauchery. Did Little Georgey know interns (especially blue-dress donning female) were not supposed to be in the West Wing without an escort or did he simply look the other way? Eschewing ethics and honor, are these condescending guttersnipes the best and most honest our country can produce in the newsrooms, Oval Office and State Department as they stretch the truth as much as excuse-ridden Nanny Pathetic does her sparkling-and-dazzling face while supporting get-out-of-jail-free cards to savages and denial of the total truth to family members of savaged Americans?
The biggest loser over the last couple of election cycles is the mangy "never-seen-you-lose" media serving as little more than the Praetorian Guard for liberal lunacy praising Planned Parenthood and its accompanying neck-snipping murders of innocent babies while smearing whistle-blowers crestfallen over the "abandoned" murders of innocent colleagues. Meanwhile, has an enterprising sports reporter ever evaluated how many abortions have been sanctioned by college basketball coaches so female players could remain on the court and male players wouldn't be hampered by becoming deadbeat dads (see Duke All-American J.J. Redick's abortion contract with a model)? No, the media can't be too concerned about the cavalier blood-thirsty hobby to lobby for ditching unwanted little ones when the men's championship coach has an extortion trial, end-of-the-pack Kentucky Derby horse, limited-edition bourbon bottle, meaningful marlin, favorite son, Lexus dealership and testimonial tattoo to cover.
Americans deserve an honest government covered by a media doing more than just being PRESStitutes for POTUS or extension of a university's public-relations department. Although his publication seemed to always go out of its way to support the Obama Administration, it's a mite unnerving that former Princeton hoopster Richard Stengel seems to make a smooth transition from managing editor of Time magazine to under secretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs at the State Department. As shamelessly one-sided as conservatives have asserted for years, excessive media malpractice finally discarded the pretense of objectivity. Once and for all, they have been unmasked as aggressive advocates; not adversarial journalists. According to a Gallup poll, fewer than 1/4 of American adults have "a great deal" of confidence in newspapers and television news as meaningless red lines behind widespread yellow streaks.
The good news is that the influence-peddling gig for the reprehensible broadcast networks, major daily newspapers and newsweeklies is nearly expired because the less-than-honest brokers are gutless wonders shackled by a business model in free-fall. Just ask tarnished leftist know-it-all Tina "Bitter Brit" Brown after losing $100 million in recent editorial endeavors. Whether it's Newsweek, New York magazine, Pro Football Weekly, Spin, The Sporting News, Talk magazine, 30 AOL brands after Huffington Post "gold-digger" merger or debt-ridden dailies, good riddance to the fourth-rate estate and don't let death's door hit you in your contemptible can on the way out! When the putrid press as we know it is put out to pasture (including many suspect sports sandboxes and eventually the worthless White House press corps), what difference does it make?
This is not the time to be lectured to by gratuitous moralizing from Charles "Bastards are Cornerstone of NBA" Barkley, Kobe "Stress Release" Bryant, Mark "Action (On the Side)" Jackson, Earvin "Didn't Share Bed All Night" Johnson, Kevin Johnson, Larry "Grandmama's Parental Guidance" Johnson, Michael "The Gambler" Jordan, Jalen "Uncle Tom" Rose, Shaquille "Respectful Cheater" O'Neal, Isiah "Refuse to Shake Bulls' Hands" Thomas and Dwyane "Terrible Husband" Wade or hallucinating huckster such as Al "Resist We Much" Sharpton - values-driven individuals all tainted by off-the-floor issues (some of entitled involving suspect dealings with the opposite sex whether or not they were groupie gold-diggers). Why dwell on repulsive racially-tinged private conversation remarks by a longstanding buffoonish NBA owner laughably mingling with a strutting-her-stuff manipulative model - apparently attracted to massive father-figure belly (and wallet resulting in a Ferrari, two Bentleys, Range Rover plus $1 million-plus duplex) - and possible vindictive vixen 50 years younger than a creepy old coot aspiring to negotiate his own playboy version of a Magical Mystery Tour sexcapade as if he was a Showtime regular in the Lakers' orgy/locker room and sauna/strip club? Instead, this should be a sterling opportunity to revisit a history lesson focusing on genuinely courageous players who broke the color barrier in basketball.
There was an O.J. verdict carnival atmosphere when new NBA commissioner Adam Silver played the role of Judge Lance Ito announcing sanctions against a sue-happy lout to try to conduct damage control regarding the selective outrage. Essentially, it was another way to compare the greatest generation to the me-myself-and-I generation. It's also an opportunity to assess other considerations, including the NAACP's questionable priorities and credentials insofar as the organization was on the precipice of giving this clueless clown/Democratic donor another lifetime achievement award. It is as sordid as Jesse Jerkson running around with another Democratic ditz.
Where have the majority of media frauds been for years as dense Donald Muck demonstrated slumlord shenanigans? Why didn't the NBA penalize former Nets minority owner Jay Z by banning him for a few minutes and fining him at least $2.50 for his insensitive rap lyrics emphasizing the N word or did the league just wait for Beyonce's younger sister to penalize him in a hotel elevator? Where is any widespread concern from the league front office or public about domestic violence, excessive number of player bankruptcies and forsaken illegitimate children spawned from promiscuous players? Why was Kobe's fine for publicly directing a gay slur at a referee only 1/25th of Sterling's fine stemming from a private conversation reportedly taped against state law? The media always gives Magic an "assist" regarding his reckless behavior but is he "racist" or just "prejudice" for being so giddy about Mike D'Antoni's departure as coach of the Lakers or does scholar Larry Johnson fall in that seemingly one-way-street category promoting an all-black league? How many silly-rabbit Delilahs could provide private dialogue with some of these reliable "risk-takers" and cite their precise comments about the aging Clippers' owner possibly having dementia?
Capitalizing on pillow/small talk emanating from a future president of the U.S.A. (United Skanks of America), will KJ, who should know something about taped conversations, "shower" us with knowledge generating the maximum amount of discrimination attention for distributing funds from a $2.5 million fine by making donations in the names of offended females such as Alexis Adams, Jenni Dones, Katelyn Faber, Angela Jeffress, Karla Knafel, Vanessa Lopez, Aja Metoyer, Lisa Micelli, Anuka Brown Sanders, Laura Tate, etc., etc., etc., linked to aforementioned former self-indulgent NBA stars spouting off on the sorry subject at hand? In the meantime, if V(iper) gets "hit by a car," let's hope it's a "Hot Wheels" toy that will only crack her over-sized visor to get rid of the juvenile diversion so we can see her eyes (battin', lyin', probing or assessing a police lineup).
Every sports fan accepts the cultural significance of Jackie Robinson. 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 that 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 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 cast 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.
There are ramifications when assessing the issue of race and it would be nice if we were all color blind. Nonetheless, it's impossible to properly evaluate the history of college basketball without broaching the sensitive topic.
Julian Abele, a 1902 Penn graduate considered the first major African-American architect in the U.S., designed Duke's famous Cameron Indoor Stadium, which hosted all-white teams and games for decades after opening in 1939. Nonetheless, Cameron's doors were closed to minority players for an extended period as Duke's roster didn't include a black athlete at the varsity level until C.B. Claiborne in 1966-67. The previous year, Maryland's Billy Jones became the first black player in the ACC. The all-white snack bar at the downtown train depot in Durham, N.C., refused to serve the Terrapins' black players following a game at Duke, and the entire squad went hungry.
"You just learn to deal with that stuff," Jones told Barry Jacobs, the author of Across the Line. "It taught me an awful lot in terms of just plain perseverance, just hang tough, do what you have to do to stay focused."
It was difficult for Claiborne to concentrate amid the problems he encountered at school. Some older players harassed him during practice; he wasn't notified of an end-of-the-year athletic awards banquet at the notoriously segregated Hope Valley Country Club; an engineering professor told him it was impossible for him to earn an A in his class. And, perhaps most telling of all: Claiborne spent so much time at nearby North Carolina Central University, a historically black college, that he had his own meal card there.
Two decades before Robinson was UCLA's meal ticket, the first black to play for the Bruins was Ralph Bunche, who earned letters as a guard for three Southern California Conference champions. Legendary Bruins coach John Wooden acknowledges that Bunche, named UCLA's Alumnus of the Year in 1949, was instrumental in helping recruit New York City native Lew Alcindor to his alma mater.
Bunche became the first black person to win the Nobel Peace Prize (in 1950 for his deft handling of the armistice negotiations as a U.N. envoy leading to the Arab-Israeli truce). In 1945, Bunche said he was "obsessed with a burning desire to excel in everything I undertake," and moved by "a calculated and deliberate interest to prove to (whites) that I am, despite their race, their equal if not their superior in intellect, ability, knowledge, and general savoir-faire."
In the mid-1950s, only about 10% of basketball programs for predominantly white institutions recruited black players. "You could count the number of black players on West Coast teams on the fingers of one hand," said coach Pete Newell, who guided San Francisco (NIT in 1950) and California (NCAA in 1959) to national tournament titles.
In 1954, the year of the U.S. Supreme Court's Brown vs. Board of Education desegregation decisions, the pressure escalated for coaches and players alike. No school excelled more than San Francisco, which won 55 consecutive games and back-to-back NCAA titles.
In 1957-58, blacks accounted for five of the six NCAA consensus first-team All-Americans - Seattle's Elgin Baylor, Kansas State's Bob Boozer, Kansas' Wilt Chamberlain, Cincinnati's Oscar Robertson and Temple's Guy Rodgers. All five played at least 11 seasons in the NBA.
USF '55 and fellow kingpin Cincinnati '62 were the first teams to start three and four black players, respectively, in the NCAA Tournament championship game. But Texas Western, now called Texas-El Paso, is credited most for putting the finishing touches on dismantling the prejudiced myth that black athletes couldn't play disciplined basketball by using seven players, all blacks, in winning the 1966 NCAA playoff final against all-white Kentucky.
"Young black players told me that it (the championship) gave them confidence and courage," said Harry Flournoy, a starter for Texas Western. "Some of them, before that game, had been afraid to go to white schools."
In 1956, Texas Western became the first school in the Southern half of the U.S. to integrate its athletic teams. Despite its relative openness, Texas Western did not yet permit blacks to live in campus dorms so the first two African-American basketball players - Air Force veteran Charlie Brown and his nephew, Cecil Brown - lived in a downtown apartment at first after transferring from junior college. George McCarty, the Miners' coach at the time, set aside an empty room in the athletic dormitory for the Browns to dress on game days.
"I wasn't allowed in the movies downtown and things like that, and there were a few minor (racial) incidents with professors," recalled Brown in the book And the Walls Came Tumbling Down. "But there were absolutely no problems with anyone in athletics there. I always said Texas Western was going through integration, I wasn't."
The next team to win an NCAA title with five black starters was Louisville in 1980. In the first 20 years after the Miners captured their national title, the average number of blacks on college rosters doubled from three to six. About two-thirds of Division I basketball rosters currently are comprised of black players.
In 1966-67, Western Kentucky's Clem Haskins, Houston's Elvin Hayes and Louisville's Wes Unseld became the first African-Americans from Southern schools to be named NCAA consensus first-team All-Americans. Haskins, a three-time OVC Player of the Year, and Dwight Smith were WKU's first two black players, sparking the Hilltoppers to a 66-15 record in their three varsity campaigns. "He (Dwight) needed me and I needed him," said Haskins, who is generally considered the first black to earn a league MVP honor while attending a Southern school. "We leaned on each other's shoulders. We had a lot of wars to fight then with the barrier just broken. The people will never know what we went through then. There were many nights where we cried ourselves to sleep."
A total of 13 of Hall of Fame coach Dean Smith's 22 All-Americans with North Carolina are African-Americans. Wrote Smith in his autobiography A Coach's Life: "To me, the presence of (All-American) Charles Scott on the court for us (from 1967-68 through 1969-70) was nothing to commemorate or remark on. It was simply past due."
But bigotry seemed to still persist in 1968-69 when Scott, the first African-American on Carolina's varsity roster, didn't receive his just due by failing to become a consensus All-ACC first-team selection (22.3 ppg, 7.1 rpg and 3.4 apg for regular-season champion). He also lost the conference player of the year vote to South Carolina's white sophomore guard John Roche (23.6 ppg and 2.6 rpg for league runner-up) by a significant margin. Scott, a first-team All-American by the NABC and USBWA, was left off a handful of first-team All-ACC ballots while Roche wasn't named an All-American by the coaches, writers and either of the national wire services. "I thought it was a slap in the face," Scott told Jim Sumner of theACC.com. "It definitely was a motivator for me. It's the only time in the ACC I felt slighted."
In the midst of perhaps Scott's greatest triumph, a 40-point performance (hitting 13 of 14 second-half field-goal attempts) in a come-from-behind victory against Duke in the 1969 ACC Tournament final, he could not escape the loneliness of being a pioneer. "You want to know what I did after I scored the 40 points?" Scott told Jacobs. "I was by myself. Who am I going to go out with? I was by myself after I did that. We had great fun in the locker room. After that, we walked out of the locker room; everybody went one way, and I went another way. I had to celebrate it myself."
Scott's final season with UNC was the last time a simple majority of the NCAA consensus All-American first-team selections were white (LSU's Pete Maravich, Purdue's Rick Mount and Kentucky's Dan Issel). Since Scott graduated, whites have accounted for only 20% of the NCAA consensus All-American first- and second-team selections.
In 1970-71, the first season that Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Kentucky and South Carolina featured an African-American on their varsity rosters, every member of the NCAA consensus All-American first team was black. In the next 10 years, Alabama (Leon Douglas), Clemson (Tree Rollins), Georgia (Dominique Wilkins) and Kentucky (Jack Givens) had blacks pass the test and become among their all-time best All-Americans. As for South Carolina, no black is among its eight All-American selections in school history.
Amid burning crosses and waving Confederate flags, prejudice probably prevented the ACC and SEC from becoming the nation's premier conferences in the 1960s and first half of the 1970s. Blacklisting almost certainly kept the SWC as a "football-only" league. All-Americans, future NBA standouts, Harlem Globetrotter greats, small-college sensations and prize postseason performers who attended high school in Southern states and might have enrolled at universities in the ACC, SEC or SWC if not for being deemed second-class citizens included:
Alabama - Harold Blevins (attended Arkansas AM&N), Tom Boswell (South Carolina State/South Carolina), Carver Clinton (Penn State), Artis Gilmore (Jacksonville), Travis Grant (Kentucky State), Bill Green (Colorado State), Lamar Green (Morehead State), Cal Ramsey (NYU), Willie Scott (Alabama State), Bud Stallworth (Kansas), Bennie Swain (Texas Southern) and Bob Veale (Benedictine).
Arkansas - Herbert "Geese" Ausbie (Philander Smith), Jim Barnes (Texas-El Paso), Frank Burgess (Gonzaga), brothers Oliver/Melvin/Wilbert Jones (Albany State), Eddie Miles (Seattle), Jackie Ridgle (California) and Goose Tatum (Harlem Globetrotters).
Florida - Cyril Baptiste (Creighton), Waite Bellamy (Florida A&M), Carl Fuller (Bethune-Cookman), Otto Moore (Pan American), Howard Porter (Villanova), Leonard "Truck" Robinson (Tennessee State), Joe Strawder (Bradley), Levern Tart (Bradley), Walt Wesley (Kansas) and Bob Williams (Florida A&M).
Georgia - Don Adams (Northwestern), Al Beard (Norfolk State), Curtis Bell (Morris Brown), Chuck Benson (Southern Illinois), Claude English (Rhode Island), Walt Frazier (Southern Illinois), Charles Hardnett (Grambling), Merv Jackson (Utah), Ed Johnson (Tennessee A&I), Julius Keye (South Carolina State/Alcorn A&M), Lloyd Neal (Tennessee State), Johnny Mathis (Savannah State), Elmore Smith (Kentucky State), Roman "Doc" Turman (Clark), LeRoy Walker (Benedict), Butch Webster (New Orleans), Joby Wright (Indiana) and Rayfield Wright (Fort Valley State).
Kentucky - Henry Bacon (Louisville), Butch Beard (Louisville), Ralph Davis (Cincinnati), Clarence Glover (Western Kentucky), Joe Hamilton (North Texas State), Clem Haskins (Western Kentucky), Carl Helem (Tennessee A&I), Charlie Hunter (Oklahoma City), Bobby "Toothpick" Jones (Dayton), Ron King (Florida State), Jim McDaniels (Western Kentucky), Jerome Perry (Western Kentucky), Mike Redd (Kentucky Wesleyan), Jim Rose (Western Kentucky), Dwight Smith (Western Kentucky), Garfield Smith (Eastern Kentucky), Greg Smith (Western Kentucky), George Stone (Marshall), Tom Thacker (Cincinnati), Ron Thomas (Louisville), Dallas Thornton (Kentucky Wesleyan), Felix Thurston (Trinity, Tex.), George Tinsley (Kentucky Wesleyan), George Unseld (Kansas), Wes Unseld (Louisville), Jerry Lee Wells (Oklahoma City) and Clarence "Cave" Wilson (Tennessee State).
Louisiana - Charlie Anderson (Grambling), Thurman "Zeke" Baptiste (Grambling/Northwestern State), Jerry Barr (Grambling), Charles Bloodworth (Northwestern State), Don Chaney (Houston), John Comeaux (Grambling), Jim Duplantier (Grambling), Wilbert Frazier (Grambling), Willie Hart (Grambling), Elvin Hayes (Houston), Fred Hilton (Grambling), James Hooper (Grambling), Bob Hopkins (Grambling), Luke Jackson (Pan American), Aaron James (Grambling), Rich Johnson (Grambling), James Jones (Grambling), Edmond Lawrence (McNeese State), Bob Love (Southern), Jesse Marshall (Centenary), Bob McCoy (Grambling), Willis Reed (Grambling), Bill Russell (San Francisco after moving to California), Leslie Scott (Loyola of Chicago/Southwestern Louisiana), James Silas (Stephen F. Austin State), Henry Steele (Northeast Louisiana), Rex Tippitt (Grambling), Dale Valdery (Xavier, La.), Abram Valore (Grambling), Hershell West (Grambling) and Howard Willis (Grambling).
Mississippi - Tommie Bowens (Grambling), Cleveland Buckner (Jackson State), Harvey Catchings (Hardin-Simmons), E.C. Coleman (Houston Baptist), Earl Glass (Mississippi Industrial), Mike Green (Louisiana Tech), Spencer Haywood (Detroit), George T. Johnson (Dillard), Sam Lacey (New Mexico State), LyVonne "Hoss" LeFlore (Jackson State), Jesse Leonard (St. Louis), Ed Manning (Jackson State), Willie Norwood (Alcorn A&M), Cornell Warner (Jackson State) and Donald "Slick" Watts (Xavier, La.).
North Carolina - Walt Bellamy (Indiana), Fred Bibby (Fayetteville State), Lee Davis (North Carolina Central), Larry Dunn (North Carolina Central), Reginald "Hawk" Ennis (North Carolina Central), Herm Gilliam (Purdue), Paul Grier (North Carolina A&T), Happy Hairston (NYU), Harvey Heartley (North Carolina Central), Lou Hudson (Minnesota), Harold Hunter (North Carolina Central), Sam Jones (North Carolina Central), George "Meadowlark" Lemon (Florida A&M), Henry Logan (Western Carolina), Fred "Curly" Neal (Johnson C. Smith), Willie Porter (Tennessee State), Jimmy Walker (Providence) and Bobby Warlick (Pepperdine).
South Carolina - Leon Benbow (Jacksonville), Larry Doby (LIU/Virginia Union), Lee Monroe (Shaw), Clifford Ray (Oklahoma), Art Shell (Maryland-Eastern Shore) and Kenny Washington (UCLA).
Tennessee - Willie Brown (Middle Tennessee State), L.M. Ellis (Drake/Austin Peay), Larry Finch (Memphis State), Richie Fuqua (Oral Roberts), Carl Hardaway (Oral Roberts), Albert Henry (Wisconsin), Les Hunter (Loyola of Chicago), Paul Hogue (Cincinnati), James Johnson (Wisconsin), Rich Jones (Illinois/Memphis State), Ron Lawson Sr. (UCLA/Fisk), Ted McClain (Tennessee A&I), Charlie Paulk (Northeastern Oklahoma State), Rick Roberson (Cincinnati), Vic Rouse (Loyola of Chicago), Willie Shaw (Lane), Bingo Smith (Tulsa), David Vaughn Jr. (Oral Roberts) and Dwight Waller (Tennessee State).
Texas - Zelmo Beaty (Prairie View A&M), Nate Bowman (Wichita), Charlie Brown (Texas Western), Willie Davis (North Texas State), Charles "Tex" Harrison (North Carolina Central), Robert Hughes Sr. (Texas Southern), David Lattin (Texas Western), Guy Manning (Prairie View A&M), Elton McGriff (Creighton), McCoy McLemore (Drake), Nolan Richardson (Texas Western), Rubin Russell (North Texas State), John Savage (North Texas State), Dave Stallworth (Wichita), Fred Taylor (Pan American) and Gene Wiley (Wichita).
Virginia - Al Bumbry (Virginia State), Bob Dandridge (Norfolk State), Roy Ebron (Southwestern Louisiana), William Franklin (Purdue), Junius Kellogg (West Virginia State/Manhattan), Earl Lloyd (West Virginia State), Bruce Spraggins (Virginia Union) and Harley "Skeeter" Swift (East Tennessee State).
Reed (21.7 ppg) and Walt Frazier (20.9), the top two scorers for the New York Knicks' 1969-70 NBA champion, could have helped rewrite SEC basketball history if they had been allowed to compete in the league. LSU wouldn't have been mired in mediocrity with a 24-25 record in 1962-63 and 1963-64 if the Tigers had successfully recruited Reed and fellow in-state products L. Jackson and Love to comprise one of the all-time premier frontcourts. Elsewhere, Georgia most assuredly wouldn't have gone 19-32 in 1965-66 and 1966-67 with Frazier and M. Jackson in the Bulldogs' lineup. Similarly, Alabama wouldn't have struggled with an 18-34 mark in 1969-70 and 1970-71 if the Tide hadn't turn its back on Gilmore, Grant and B. Stallworth.
In the late 1960s, Memphis State could have boasted one of the foremost frontlines in history if it had successfully recruited hometown heroes Albert Henry (Wisconsin), Charlie Paulk (Northeastern Oklahoma State), Rick Roberson (Cincinnati) and Bobby Smith (Tulsa). But the Tigers missed out on the four eventual NBA first-round draft choices who left Memphis for other colleges with Roberson and Smith attending fellow Missouri Valley Conference members. Adding insult to injury, local product David Vaughn Jr. reneged on an oral commitment to the Tigers in the early 1970s and became a standout with Oral Roberts.
Nevertheless, Memphis might have been the first big-time Southern university to field an all-black starting lineup in 1970-71 under coach Gene Bartow. Contrary to the depictions by some naysayers, the influx of black talent showed it could handle pressure by helping Bartow win more than 70% of their games decided by fewer than eight points during his four-season tenure. At his debut, the city was only 2 1/2 years removed from perhaps its lowest point, the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the balcony of a local hotel. "Memphis State and the rest of the city was racially divided," said Maxine Smith, former executive director of the NAACP. "Sport played such an overwhelming part in our community breaking down barriers."
As for coaches, it took the ACC, SEC and SWC an extended period to embrace their first African-American bench bosses. In 1974-75, Arizona's Fred Snowden became the first African-American coach to have a major-college team finish in a final wire-service Top 20 poll (17th in UPI with a 22-7 record). Two years earlier, Snowden became the first African-American head coach in the Western Athletic Conference and at a major university. Snowden was 26 games above .500 in WAC competition after his first five seasons, but was 18 games below .500 in his last five years. He won a stunning 70% of his games decided by fewer than four points in his first seven campaigns with the Wildcats (33-14 mark in those close contests during that span).
Will Robinson had become the nation's first black major-college head coach in 1971-72 when Illinois State moved up to the NCAA Division I level. It was 10 years before ISU joined the Missouri Valley Conference, where Drake's Gus Guydon is generally considered to be the first African-American assistant at a major university. Guydon was a two-time All-MVC first-team swingman for Drake under coach Maury John in the early 1960s as almost 80% of the first-team choices in "The Valley" during that decade were black. The MVC was dubbed a "black" league when a minimum of four first-team selections annually were African-Americans from 1961-62 through the season (1972-73) Mississippi State became the last SEC school to integrate at the varsity level. Guydon was an assistant at his alma mater before leaving with John for Iowa State following the 1970-71 campaign.
The 1970s and 1980s witnessed the following head coaches break the color barrier in major conferences: Harvard's Tom Sanders (Ivy League in 1973-74), Wisconsin's Bill Cofield (Big Ten in 1976-77), Arkansas' Nolan Richardson Jr. (SWC in 1985-86), Oklahoma State's Leonard Hamilton (Big Eight in 1986-87), Maryland's Bob Wade (ACC in 1986-87) and Tennessee's Wade Houston (SEC in 1989-90). It was largely overlooked in 1996-97 when three black coaches won or shared divisional titles in Conference USA (Tulane's Perry Clark, Memphis State's Larry Finch and UNC Charlotte's Melvin Watkins).
By 2008-09, eight of the 12 head coaches in the Mid-American Conference were black. However, just barely over 20% of the head coaches nationwide at the time were minorities.
In 1982, Georgetown's John Thompson Jr. took umbrage to depictions of him as the initial African-American coach to direct a team to the Final Four. But the injustices in the past against his race were sufficient reason for placing emphasis on Thompson's achievements with predominantly black rosters.
Dr. John Edgar Wideman, a novelist who was the first black player for Penn in the early 1960s, said: "(Thompson's) a talented man and a great coach, but the reason he's the first (Final Four) black coach is not because of his unique and individual talent; it's because he was allowed to be. We always have to keep that in mind when we look at firsts, and bests, among black people in any endeavor."
The integration of college basketball, waiting primarily on the South to emerge from the "Jim Crow" dark ages, wasn't complete until the mid-1970s. For instance, Coolidge Ball didn't become the first black athlete to sign a basketball scholarship with Ole Miss until eight years after James Meredith became the initial black student at the university in 1962. Although overt racism probably wasn't quite as pervasive as in professional sports, many of the African-American players who broke the color barriers at colleges post-World War II faced more than their share of hardships and hostility.
"They (opposing fans) were all just rabid," recalls Perry Wallace, Vanderbilt's standout forward who became the first black varsity player in the all-white Southeastern Conference in 1967-68. "I'm talking racial stuff, people threatening your life ... calling you 'nigger,' 'coon,' 'shoe polish.' The first time I played Ole Miss I got spat on at halftime by four generations of one family."
Wallace, a local product from Nashville who went on to become a law professor at the University of Baltimore and American University, encountered raucous road trips throughout the Deep South, where belligerent spectators drenched him with their drinks and cheerleaders led crowds in racist chants. In Mississippi, he was punched in the eye by an opposing player whom he knew he couldn't fight back.
Wallace, overshadowed in the SEC by Maravich's scoring exploits, told the Nashville Business & Lifestyles that "I'm not one of these historical revisionists who tries to claim he was all-smart and all-seeing back in those days. Everybody knew that what was happening was important. You've got to understand that this was post-legal segregation, but it was de facto segregation."
In an interview with The Tennessean, Wallace spoke of also feeling alienated from classmates at Vandy when being informed by older members of the campus church that elders there would withhold contributions and write the congregation out of their will if he continued to attend.
"I can't say it any other way," confided Wallace, an All-SEC second-team selection as a senior in 1969-70. "I have been there by myself. It's been a very lonesome thing. People knew my name but weren't interested in knowing me. They respected my basketball ability but still considered me as a person who sweeps floors."
In The Walls Came Tumbling Down, Wallace said: "There were times when I felt close to a nervous breakdown. They weren't the worst four years any black man ever had experienced, but it took me a while to learn to deal with the pain. The fact that I did is a credit to my parents. They had eighth-grade educations and they worked as servants and what not. But they emphasized education, decency, and morality. I grew up poor but with strong values. My parents wouldn't let me hate back. They used to say, `No matter what is done to you, you don't get the chance to hate back.'"
Wallace told the St. Petersburg Times that during his first varsity game at Ole Miss, the crowd cheered when he was punched in the eye and injured going for a rebound.
"Both of the Mississippi schools and both of the (SEC's) Alabama schools - those were the worst," Wallace said. "In other places, you still had prejudice, at Louisiana (State) and the University of Tennessee, those could be bad. But the Mississippi and Alabama schools were the worst. Those people were mobsters, jlike Klansmen, and were people right from that world. They knew how to destroy a black person. And that's what they tried to do to me. They did what they could to try to induce fear in me and basically make me fail. I had to make sure that I did not succumb to that."
Vandy failed to produce a black All-American until swingman Shan Foster was honored in 2008. Elsewhere in the SEC, hate mail didn't arrive just from whites for Alabama's Wendell Hudson, who earned All-American accolades as a senior. "Some of the mail I got was from black people, that was, 'I can't believe you're going to Alabama. You sold out. You should go to a black school,'" said Hudson, a two-time All-SEC first-team selection. "`In my mind, this is what the marching was all about. This is what equality was all about. So now you're mad at me?'"
Henry Harris, an All-SEC third-team selection in 1971-72 and Auburn's first black athlete, was for a while the only black Wallace played against in the SEC. Harris took his own life by jumping off a building in New York soon after he left college. And Tom Payne, who broke the color barrier at Kentucky a year after Wallace graduated, was imprisoned an extended period for assaulting females.
"Tom Payne had a tragic life and it wasn't all owing to playing in the SEC, but it didn't help," Wallace asserted. "You have to take the time that it requires to recover from an experience like that. You have to heal right. And fortunately, I think I have. I'm not destroyed. I've wrestled with the emotional effect that experience has had on my life. That was a process that was not easy those first few years, but I did it."
Payne, the son of an Army sergeant, went from pioneer to pariah in the wake of incurring rape convictions in three states (Georgia, Kentucky and California). Some might contend that his view is a convenient crutch. But after growing up in the integrated atmosphere of Army bases, he says that the racism he experienced during his one tumultuous season with UK led him to detest white people and abuse women. Threatening phone calls, broken car windows and eggs smashed on his front door became routine.
"That's the kind of abuse I went through," Payne said. "And people think that's not supposed to affect you? Before I went to college, nothing in my life said I was going to be a criminal. My whole life took a turn going to UK and getting damaged so much. My anger and hatred toward white society came up, and I lashed out."
Elsewhere in the SEC, ugly sentiments expressed in various ways were handled infinitely better. Collis Temple Jr., the son of two educators, never wavered in his determination to rid the stain of Jim Crow from LSU's campus. He insists that his college career was a generally positive experience and, in the process, allowed him to help pave a smoother route for those who came after him - including two sons (Collis III and Garrett) who starred for the Tigers.
"It's the best decision I could have made," Collis Jr. said. "If I had to make that choice again, my choice would be the same."
Choices made by Brigham Young's administration probably would be different if it could make them all again. As late as 1969, BYU administrators discouraged blacks from attending the university, fostering numerous problems with Western Athletic Conference opponents. When BYU played at Arizona in 1970, a group of demonstrators tried to force their way onto the court, resulting in a 10-minute brawl with security police. The Cougars' game at New Mexico was delayed nearly one hour after protestors threw eggs and kerosene-filled balloons onto the court. At Colorado State, Brigham Young's team was met by students carrying "Bigot Young University" signs before protestors hurled eggs, a flaming molotov cocktail and a piece of angle-iron onto the court.
Sports Illustrated observed that BYU was no longer certain whether an opponent would "throw a man-to-man defense, a zone, or a grenade." Cougars coach Stan Watts complained that the team was unable to concentrate because they had to keep "one eye on the crowd and one eye on the game."
Race problems weren't restricted to major universities. Two-time NAIA Tournament MVP Al Tucker, who went on to become an NBA first-round draft choice after averaging 28.7 points and 12.9 rebounds per game in three seasons for Oklahoma Baptist, played one year with the College of Knoxville before going home to Ohio because of racial issues. Said Tucker about the last straw that sent him home: "We had what they called the Tennessee Theatre and we would give the lady a dollar or whatever it cost to get in and she said 'Sorry, we don't allow Negroes in.' Next thing they're going to call the paddy wagon and take us to jail."
The old bigotry of the South fades virtually every day, but former Mississippi/Arizona State coach Rob Evans thinks the lessons in perseverance shouldn't be forgotten. Every year when Evans coached Ole Miss, he took his players to the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis.
"I just think it's important to expand kids' knowledge, but I also wanted my kids exposed to what happened in the '60s, and why things are like they are now," Evans said. "I've had a tremendous amount of my white kids say, 'Coach, did this really happen?' They say, 'How did you take this?' I think it bonds the kids together."
In the early 1990s, Michigan's all-black "Fab Five" generated extensive national headlines with back-to-back NCAA Tournament championship game appearances. But their chest-pounding "me generation" era introducing baggy shorts, sullen stares and hip-hop attitudes might have been more style than substance because they never won a Big Ten Conference championship. At that time, the Center for the Study of Sport in Society supplied the following statistics: More than 55% of the varsity Division I players were black; seven percent of the students on campus were black, and 1 1/2% of the faculty was black. The dropout rate after four years of eligibility for blacks was three times higher than the 10 percent for whites. Whether or not soft bigotry still exists, a 2007 report found that only 43% of black male college players graduate.
To be sure, things in society have changed immeasurably for minority groups since slavery and cotton were king. Gregory, Robinson and Wallace among others could only do so much in venturing into unchartered territory. Prejudice dies hard. The following list of trailblazers who broke the color barrier at schools since the start of the 1950s, the generally accepted introduction of the modern era of college basketball, deserve content-of-character tribute for paving the path for thousands of black athletes by taking giant steps toward bridging the racial chasm:
School/First Black Player (First Varsity Season)
Alabama/Wendell Hudson (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 the NBA draft by the Chicago Bulls. He went on to become an associate athletic director for his college alma mater. In 1975, the Crimson Tide captured the SEC title with five black starters.
American/Dick Wells (1956-57 when school was a small college)
The second-leading rebounder in school history behind former All-American and NBA All-Star Kermit Washington.
Arizona/Hadie Redd (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. Instead of the team hotel, Redd had to stay with black families while on the road. He became chief investigator for the San Francisco district attorney's office.
Arkansas/*Almer Lee (1969-70)
Lee was the Hogs' leading scorer in 1969-70 (17 ppg) and 1970-71 (19.2 ppg as All-SWC second-team selection). Thomas Johnson could have been the initial varsity player after averaging 15.5 ppg for the Razorbacks' 1967-68 freshman squad. But Johnson transferred to Central Arkansas following the first semester of his sophomore year, saying he didn't want to redshirt.
Arkansas State/Milton Sullivan (1966-67 when school was a small college)
Averaged 12.5 ppg and 7.8 rpg as a 6-4 freshman forward.
Auburn/Henry Harris (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 the 1972 NBA draft.
Austin Peay/L.M. Ellis (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. Ellis served in the managerial field for some of the nation's top chain merchandising stores.
Ball State/Stan Davis (1951-52 when school was a small college)
All-Indiana Collegiate Conference choice as a senior when he averaged a team-high 18.5 ppg.
Baylor/Tommy Bowman (1967-68)
Led the Bears in scoring (13.5 ppg) and rebounding (9.4 rpg) in his first varsity season. All-Southwest Conference first-team selection in 1967-68 and 1968-69. Went on to manage a scrap metal recycling company in Waco, Tex., and become a member of his alma mater's Board of Regents.
Boston College/John Austin (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 one NIT contest in 1965. He was a fourth-round choice by the Boston Celtics in the 1966 NBA draft.
Bradley/Curly Johnson and Shellie McMillon (1955-56)
Members of 1957 NIT champion. Johnson averaged 4.8 ppg in three varsity seasons. McMillon 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 vs. 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.
Brigham Young/*Gary Batiste (1974-75)
Batiste was suspended from BYU's squad before completing his first semester. It was five years before a second black player, Keith Rice, was recruited by the Cougars.
Bucknell/Harvey Carter (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).
California/Earl Robinson (1955-56)
Three-time All-PCC second-team selection averaged at least 10 ppg each of three varsity seasons as a 6-1 guard under coach Pete Newell. Teammate Bob Washington never earned a varsity letter. 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. Major league outfielder hit .268 in four seasons from 1958 to 1964 with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Baltimore Orioles.
UC Irvine/*Darrell Millner (1966-67 when school was a small college)
Centenary/*Jesse Marshall (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. Stephen Pitters was a member of Centenary's freshman squad in 1967-68, but wasn't on the varsity team the next season.
Central Michigan/Charles Pruitt (1952-53 when school was a small college)
Averaged 6.3 ppg in two seasons.
Chattanooga/Greg Andrews (1967-68 when school was a small college)
Averaged 10.7 ppg and 4.7 rpg in four-year career.
Clemson/Craig Mobley (1970-71)
Played sparingly in his only season (five points in 11 games) before choosing to give up the game at the varsity level to concentrate on his studies. Promoted to Major in the U.S. Air Force before coaching in junior college (Middlesex in Massachusetts). Owned a construction company in Los Angeles, where he was chairman of the LA Watts Summer Games, the largest high school competition in the nation.
Cleveland State/Chuck Halfast (1956-60 when school was a small college)
Colorado/Billy Lewis (1957-58)
Averaged 3.6 ppg and 2.9 rpg in three seasons. Scored a career-high 21 points against Nebraska. Also was a high jumper on the school's track & field squad. After earning his law degree from Howard University, he worked for IBM, opened a private practice in Denver and moved back to Washington, D.C., to serve as general counsel for the District of Columbia Board of Election and Ethics.
Cornell/Henry Buncom (1952-53)
Scored 209 points in three seasons, including the decisive points in the 1954 game against Princeton that won the Ivy League title for the Big Red. He was the team's second-leading rebounder as a sophomore.
Creighton/Bob Gibson (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. Gibson originally sought to align with defending NCAA champion Indiana but IU's response to his coach was: "Your request for an athletic scholarship has been denied because we already have filled our quota of Negroes." In Gibson's autobiography Stranger to the Game, he remembered thinking to himself, "They got the wrong Negro."
Dartmouth/Dick Fairley (1952-53)
Averaged 5.7 ppg in three seasons. Led the team in rebounding as a junior (8.7 rpg), including 21 in a game against Harvard. He hit a buzzer-beating shot that gave the Big Green the New England championship over Connecticut in 1955. Joined the staff of the U.S. Department of Education, where he held several executive positions, including two oversight boards appointed by the President.
Davidson/Mike Maloy (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. Became an Austrian citizen and played professional basketball in Europe until he was 46. He lived in Vienna coaching boys club basketball teams and serving as lead singer for the Boring Blues Band.
Duke/C.B. Claiborne (1966-67)
Averaged 4.1 ppg in three varsity seasons. After earning three graduate degrees, he helped create the adjustable steering wheel for Ford Motor Company and worked as a professor for more than 25 years. Willie Hodge, a San Antonio native who averaged 10.9 ppg and 5.9 rpg while shooting 51% from the floor from 1972-73 through 1975-76, was the first African-American to be a significant performer for the Blue Devils.
East Carolina/*Vince Colbert (1966-67)
Averaged 14.3 ppg and 7.3 rpg in two seasons. He led ECU in rebounding as a junior (7.1 rpg). Colbert went on to pitch with the Cleveland Indians for three years from 1970 through 1972. Also played professional baseball in Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Venezuela.
Eastern Illinois/Jim Johnson (1949-50 when school was a small college)
Swingman averaged 11.9 ppg in three-year career.
Eastern Kentucky/Garfield Smith (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). He was a third-round choice by the Boston Celtics in the 1968 NBA draft.
East Tennessee State/Tommy Woods (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 vs. Middle Tennessee en route to finishing third in the nation in rebounding as a sophomore (19.6 rpg).
Evansville/Jim Smallins (1954-55 when school was a small college)
Averaged 10.3 ppg in three varsity seasons. Smallins had a school-record 31 rebounds in a game vs. Kentucky Wesleyan as a senior when he averaged 16.3 ppg.
Florida/Malcolm Meeks/Steve Williams (1971-72)
Meeks played sparingly in two seasons. Williams, who averaged 8 ppg and 5.2 rpg in three varsity seasons, was the Gators' second-leading scorer as a sophomore (12.8 ppg).
Florida State/John Burt/*Willie Williams/Ed "Skip" Young (1968-69)
Burt averaged 3.6 ppg and 2.4 rpg in three seasons. Williams averaged 12.5 ppg and 10.3 rpg in two seasons and led the nation in field-goal shooting as a senior (63.6%). Young averaged 11.7 ppg in three seasons, including 15 ppg as a sophomore, before becoming a seventh-round choice by the Boston Celtics in the 1971 NBA draft.
Furman/*Liscio Thomas (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 the 1971 Southern Conference champion.
George Mason/Paul Nance (1966-67 when school was a small college)
Played in 10 of 18 games in GMU's first season of intercollegiate basketball, averaging 3 ppg.
Georgia/Ronnie Hogue (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 the 1973 NBA draft.
Gonzaga/Blake Elliott (1956-57)
Air Force veteran averaged 6 ppg and 5.7 rpg in four seasons. The Zags' defensive stopper of that era was the school's third-leading scorer as a senior in 1959-60 with 8.5 ppg.
Hofstra/Percy Johnson (1950-51 when school was a small college)
Leading scorer his first season with 12.5 ppg when he shot a team-high 49.3% from the floor.
Houston/Don Chaney and Elvin Hayes (1965-66)
Chaney, an All-America as a senior, averaged 12.6 ppg in three seasons and was a member of Final Four teams in 1967 and 1968. Hayes, a three-time All-America, averaged 31 ppg and 17.2 rpg in three seasons. The Hall of Famer led the Cougars in scoring and rebounding all three years.
Houston Baptist/Rufus Burns (1967-68 when school was a small college)
Averaged 7.1 ppg his entire four-year career. Contributed 6.6 rpg his last two seasons.
Idaho/*John Sullivan (1954-55)
Saw limited action in two seasons after joining team following football season. His free throw with seven seconds remaining gave the Vandals an 80-79 victory over Washington in 1954-55.
Idaho State/Bernard "Jake" LaRue (1947-48 when school was a small college)
Three-sport letterman including football and track. He had a 100-yard kickoff return against Wyoming in 1949. Averaged 3.6 ppg in 1948-49.
Illinois/Walt Moore (1951-52)
Scored five points while playing in only four games before leaving school at the semester break because of grade issues. The first two African-American players to earn letters with the Illini were former high school teammates Mannie Jackson and Govoner Vaughn in 1957-58.
Indiana/Bill Garrett (1948-49)
First impact African-American player in the 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 the second round of 1951 NBA draft. He died of a heart attack at the age of 45 and was the subject of a book ("Getting Open: The Unknown Story of Bill Garrett and the Integration of College Basketball") released by Simon & Schuster in 2006. His son, Billy, became associate head coach at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi under Perry Clark.
Indiana State/Clarence Walker (1946-47 when school was a small college)
Coach John Wooden's team won the conference title and received an invitation to the NAIB Tournament in Kansas City. But Wooden refused the invitation, citing the NAIB's policy banning African-American players although Walker was a reserve. In 1948, the NAIB modified its policy and Wooden guided his team to the NAIB final, losing to Louisville. That year, Walker became the first African-American to play in any postseason intercollegiate basketball tournament.
Iowa/Dick Culberson (1944-45)
Virginia Union transfer was a 6-3 backup center who played behind Hawkeyes star Clayton Wilkinson. Culberson, the first African-American player in the Big Ten Conference, scored 30 points in 14 games in two seasons.
Jacksonville/Chip Dublin (1967-68)
New York City product averaged 7.1 ppg in three seasons, including an 8.3 mark for the Dolphins' team that reached the 1970 Final Four. He scored 19 points in a 106-100 victory over top-ranked Kentucky in the 1970 NCAA Tournament.
James Madison/George Toliver (1969-70 when school was a small college and played its first varsity season)
JMU's first 1,000-point career scorer later became an NBA game official.
Kentucky/Tom Payne (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 vs. Louisiana State. In 1954, Irvine Shanks of Berea became the first black player on a "white" college squad in the state of Kentucky.
Lafayette/Earl Brown (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.
La Salle/John "Jackie" Moore (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 the first black player for the Philadelphia Warriors. "When I played at La Salle, I rarely played against another black player," Moore said. "I was the only black player on the court most of the time. It was the same way with the Warriors."
Louisiana-Lafayette/Leslie Scott (1966-67 when school was a small college)
Original Loyola of Chicago signee averaged 6.1 ppg in his only varsity season with USL.
Louisiana-Monroe/Andrew Harris and Henry Steele (1968-69 when school was a small college)
Averaged 19.9 ppg and 12 rpg and shot 52.2% from the floor in four seasons. Had 11 games with 30 or more points en route to leading the Indians in scoring his last three years. Scored a career-high 40 points against Louisiana College as a junior. Worked as a supervisor for several area retail stores until multiple sclerosis forced him to quit. He died in 2003 at the age of 52. Harris, Steele's local high school teammate, averaged 14.1 ppg, including a career-high 31 vs. Hampden-Sydney as a senior.
Louisiana State/Collis Temple (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 the 1974 NBA draft. His son, Collis III, averaged 10.2 ppg from 1999-2000 through 2002-03, including a career-high 14.3 ppg as a sophomore when he scored 30 points for LSU in a regular-season finale loss at Tennessee. Another son, Garrett, starred as a defensive whiz for the Tigers' 2006 Final Four squad.
Louisiana Tech/George "Petey" Thornton (1968-69 when school was a small college)
Four-year letterman averaged 6.2 ppg and 5.9 rpg as a freshman one year before all-time leading scorer and rebounder Mike Green arrived. Thornton posted career highs as a senior in 1971-72 when he averaged 12 ppg and 7.2 rpg.
Louisville/Wade Houston, Sam Smith and Eddie Whitehead (1963-64)
Houston, who averaged 6.1 ppg and 3.5 rpg in three seasons, eventually coached Tennessee for five seasons from 1989-90 through 1993-94. Smith, a third-round choice of the Cincinnati Royals in the 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. Whitehead, Louisville's second-leading rebounder as a senior (7.6 rpg), averaged 5.8 ppg and 5.2 rpg in three seasons.
Loyola of Chicago/Ben Bluitt (1946-47)
Attended Southern (La.) and was in Air Force prior to enrolling at Loyola. Averaged 6.2 ppg in four seasons, including a 6.5 mark on the 25-6 squad that was the 1949 NIT runner-up. Served as Cornell's coach for six seasons from 1974-75 through 1979-80.
Loyola (New Orleans)/Charley Powell (1966-67)
Averaged 21.5 ppg in three-year career, finishing 13th in the nation with 26 ppg as a junior.
Manhattan/Junius Kellogg (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. Confined to a wheelchair for the remainder of his life after suffering a spinal cord injury while traveling through Pine Bluff, Ark., with four of his Harlem Globetrotter teammates.
Marshall/Hal Greer (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.
Massachusetts/Wray Gunn (1949-50 when school was a small college)
The 5-6 three-year letterman majored in chemistry. He became captain of the team and was vice-president of his senior class.
McNeese State/*Willie Lee and *Joe Metoyer (1967-68 when school was a small college)
Lee averaged 14 ppg and 9.3 rpg in two seasons while Metoyer averaged 6.1 ppg.
Miami (Fla.)/Willie Allen (1968-69)
Averaged 17.2 ppg and 12.2 rpg in three seasons. Led the Hurricanes in scoring (19.9 ppg) and rebounding (17.2 rpg) as a senior. Fourth-round choice of the Baltimore Bullets in the 1971 NBA draft played briefly for the ABA's The Floridans during the 1971-72 season. Served as director of Growing Power, an urban farming program in the Milwaukee area.
Miami (Ohio)/Don Barnette (1953-54)
All-MAC first-team selection as a senior averaged 11.6 ppg and 5.2 rpg during three-year career. His name was changed to Jose Clemente so he could play in Florida as a Hispanic. Played for the Harlem Globetrotters in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Moved to Oakland in 1967 as a civil rights specialist, enforcing statutes for the Department of Education. "Whoever was breaking barriers, we went to work with segregation on our shoulders," Barnette said. "My story is about being and doing what you have to do to be who you are." Wayne Embry, his teammate in 1955-56, went on to become the NBA's first African-American general manager.
Michigan/John Codwell and Don Eaddy (1951-52)
Codwell, the Wolverines' second-leading scorer as a junior (10.5 ppg), averaged 6.4 ppg in three seasons. Eaddy, Michigan's top scorer in Big Ten 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.
Michigan State/Rickey Ayala (1951-52)
Brooklyn native, one of the smallest players in college history (5-5), averaged 4 ppg in 1951-52 and 5 ppg in 1952-53. Served a stint in the U.S. Air Force and played a couple of seasons with the Harlem Globetrotters before becoming chief executive officer of two Detroit hospitals.
Middle Tennessee State/Willie Brown and Art Polk (1966-67)
Brown, an 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). Brown, a 10th-round choice by the Milwaukee Bucks in the 1969 NBA draft, died tragically at a young age in a motorcycle accident. Polk, MTSU's second-leading rebounder as a junior and senior, averaged 12.3 ppg and 9.2 rpg in three seasons.
Minnesota/Bobby Bell (1960-61)
Future All-American football tackle and Pro Football Hall of Famer collected four points and four rebounds in three games. Minnesota was the last Big Ten Conference school to add an African-American to its basketball roster.
Mississippi/Coolidge Ball (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. Instrumental in helping the Rebels post three consecutive winning seasons for the first time since the late 1930s. Coached basketball at Northwest Mississippi Community College for four seasons before returning to Oxford and owning and operating a sign company.
Mississippi State/Larry Fry and Jerry Jenkins (1972-73)
Fry averaged 13.8 ppg and 8.1 rpg in three seasons. Jenkins, an All-SEC selection as a junior and senior when he was the Bulldogs' leading scorer each year, averaged 19.3 ppg and 7 rpg in three seasons. MSU was the final SEC school to embrace blacks on its varsity roster.
Missouri/Al Abram (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. Forced to stay in a dorm room at nearby Texas Southern on a road trip to oppose Rice in Houston. Worked for the City of St. Louis as well as the Internal Revenue Service.
Montana State/Larry Chanay (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 the 1960 NBA draft.
Murray State/Stew Johnson (1963-64)
Averaged 16.8 ppg and 12.9 rpg in three seasons on his way 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 the New York Knicks in the 1966 NBA draft before becoming a three-time ABA All-Star.
Nevada/Sherman Howard (1947-48 when school was a small college)
New Mexico/Dean Dorsey and *Fred Sims (1958-59)
Dorsey was the Lobos' second-leading scorer (9.6 ppg) in his only season. Sims was UNM's top rebounder (9.5 rpg) and third-leading scorer (8.3 ppg) in his only season.
New Mexico State/Joe Kelly Sr. (1956-57)
Four-sport athlete averaged 7 ppg in three seasons, including 9.2 as a senior in 1958-59. Excelled in football and the back was an 11th-round draft pick by the NFL's Los Angeles Rams in 1959 before playing in the Canadian Football League. Returned to California and worked for Union Pacific Railroad. His son, Joe Jr., was a first-round draft choice in 1986 by the Cincinnati Bengals as a linebacker from Washington and played 11 years in the NFL.
Niagara/Ed Fleming and Charlie Hoxie (1951-52)
Fleming, who averaged 15 ppg and 8.7 rpg in four seasons to finish No. 1 on the school's all-time scoring (1,682) and rebounding (975) lists, was selected by the Rochester Royals in the 1955 NBA draft. Hoxie, who averaged 11.7 ppg and 8.4 rpg in four seasons to finish his career as the school's third-leading scorer (1,274) and second-leading rebounder (916), was selected by the Milwaukee Hawks in the 1955 NBA draft before playing with the Harlem Globetrotters.
Nicholls State/Cleveland Hill (1968-69 when school was a small college)
Drafted by both the NBA and ABA in 1972 after finishing his career as the school's all-time leader in scoring and rebounding. Still holds the school single-game record with 26 rebounds. Retired from his alma mater as the Dean of the College of Education.
North Carolina/Charlie Scott (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. Averaged 30.6 ppg, 5.2 rpg and 5.2 apg with the Virginia Squires in two ABA seasons in 1970-71 and 1971-72 before averaging 17.9 ppg, 3.6 rpg and 4.8 apg with the Phoenix Suns, Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers and Denver Nuggets in nine NBA seasons from 1971-72 through 1979-80. President of CTS Enterprises, a sports marketing firm in Atlanta. William Cooper played on North Carolina's freshman team in 1964-65, but quit basketball the following year.
North Carolina State/Al Heartley (1968-69)
Walk-on averaged 4.8 ppg and 3.4 rpg in three seasons. He and other black students locked themselves in a campus dorm for safety the night Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. In 1969-70, Ed Leftwich became the school's first black player offered an athletics scholarship (averaging 16.4 ppg in each of his two campaigns).
Northern Arizona/Bill Hannah (1949)
Northern Colorado/Unavailable (might be Theo Holland in 1958-59)
North Texas/John Savage (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 a fifth-round choice by the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1964 NBA draft.
Northwestern State/Charles Bloodworth (1968-69 when school was a small college)
Averaged 10.3 rpg (grabbed a career-high 24 rebounds against USL) and shot better than 50% from the floor both of his seasons. Led the Demons in scoring with 17.7 ppg in 1969-70 when he was joined by Grambling transfer Thurman "Zeke" Baptiste (averaged 10.6 ppg and 8 rpg while shooting 50.8% from the floor in three seasons; scoring a career-high 32 points against Nicholls State his senior year).
Notre Dame/Joe Bertrand and Entee Shine (1951-52)
Bertrand averaged 14.6 ppg in three seasons, including 16.5 as a senior when the Irish finished the year ranked sixth in the final AP poll. He was a 10th-round choice in the 1954 NBA draft by the Milwaukee Hawks. His grandson with the same name was a regal recruit for Illinois in 2009. Shine averaged 6.3 ppg in 13 games in his only season before leaving and spending a semester at Tennessee State prior to being drafted into the Army.
Ohio University/Bunk Adams (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 OU's first NBA draft choice (16th round by Baltimore in 1965).
Oklahoma/Buddy Hudson and Joe Lee Thompson (1958-59)
Hudson, a transfer from Oklahoma Baptist, averaged 5.1 ppg and 3 rpg in two seasons. Thompson averaged 2.5 ppg in three varsity seasons. Hudson and Thompson were high school teammates.
Oklahoma City/Eddie Jackson (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 the 1965 NBA draft. Eventually became a prominent bank president and lawyer in Oklahoma City. The seven-footer is an outstanding tennis player.
Old Dominion/Arthur "Buttons" Speakes (1965-66 when school was a small college)
Member of ODU's first Mason-Dixon Conference titlist in basketball. Two-sport star earned MVP honors in basketball his sophomore season and went on to bat .364 in baseball as a third baseman that spring.
Oregon/Charles Patterson (1935-36)
First black player in the Northern Division of the PCC followed coach Howard Hobson from Southern Oregon to play his senior season for a Ducks' team that won 16 consecutive contests.
Oregon State/*Charlie White (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%).
Pacific/John Thomas (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.
Penn/John Edgar Wideman (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 as a senior (13.8 ppg in 1962-63). The Pittsburgh native also paced them in rebounding as a junior (7.6 rpg). The award-winning novelist was named to the Philadelphia Big Five Hall of Fame in 1974.
Pepperdine/Larry Dugan (1952-53 when school was a small college)
Averaged 13.5 ppg in three seasons, leading the team in scoring as both a junior (15.4 ppg) and senior (17.4 ppg). He was a third-team NAIA All-American choice in 1954-55.
Pittsburgh/Julius Pegues (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 the 1958 NCAA Tournament, was a fifth-round choice by the St. Louis Hawks in the NBA draft. Became a weather forecaster in the Air Force before returning to his native Tulsa and working for the Douglas Aircraft Company and American Airlines (overseeing maintenance of wide-body planes). He then served as a consultant for the FAA.
Portland/Jackson Winters (1946-47 when school was a small college)
Center scored 254 points in 1947-48 before averaging 9 ppg in 1948-49 and 11.4 ppg in 1949-50.
Princeton/Arthur J. Wilson (1944-45)
Transfer from Morris Brown and Southern (La.) enrolled at Princeton in the officer training program (V-12). Chicago native was a two-time captain who had 12 points in a victory over Villanova in 1946. Teammate of Butch van Breda Kolff was just the second African-American to earn an undergraduate degree from Princeton. He became a U.S. federal marshal in the 1960s. Wilson's father served as an Illinois delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1948 and 1952.
Purdue/*Ernie Hall (1951-52)
Averaged 12.4 ppg in nine games before he was dropped from the team after his arrest on an assault and battery charge, which he was acquitted of later. Eventually, Hall graduated from Cal Poly-SLO.
Rhode Island/Bernard "Slick" Pina (1953-54)
Three-sport athlete averaged 9 ppg in his only varsity basketball season. Went on to become a successful schoolboy coach, teacher and administrator at North Providence High School.
St. Bonaventure/Sam Stith (1957-58)
Averaged 14.8 ppg and 4.1 rpg in three-year career. After All-American brother Tom arrived the next season, they combined to average 52 ppg in 1959-60, an NCAA single-season record for brothers on the same team. Each of them ranked among the national leaders in field-goal percentage their two campaigns together. "There was not incident in my four years (including as a freshman)," Sam said. "The issue of race never came up."
Saint Francis (Pa.)/Eugene Phelps (1949-50 when school was small college)
High school teammate in Pittsburgh of all-time St. Francis great Maurice Stokes averaged 7.5 ppg in four-year career.
St. John's/Solly Walker (1951-52)
First African-American ever to play 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 the 1954 NBA draft. Became one of the first black high school principals in New York City.
Samford/*Sherman Hogan, *Otha Mitchell and *Billy Williams (1969-70 when school was a small college)
San Francisco/K.C. Jones and Carl Lawson (1951-52)
Jones, a member of the 1955 NCAA champion and 1956 Olympic champion, averaged 8.8 ppg in five seasons (played only one game in 1953-54 before undergoing an appendectomy). Lawson averaged 2.4 ppg in three seasons. They arrived one year before eventual national player of the year Bill Russell.
Santa Clara/Leroy Jackson (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.
Seton Hall/Walter Dukes (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 the 1953 NBA draft. Graduated in 1960 from New York Law School and was admitted to the Michigan bar in 1961, but was found guilty in Manhattan Criminal Court in 1975 of practicing law without a license, having been suspended from the Michigan bar for failing to pay mandatory dues. The heat in his Detroit home had been shut off because of unpaid bills before he was found dead in mid-March 2001 by police called to his home by a sister who had not seen him for some time.
Siena/Billy Harrell (1949-50)
Averaged 10.3 ppg in three seasons. He held school records for most points in a season (396 in 1951-52), career and game (28 against Arizona State in 1951) and most rebounds in a season (387 in 1949-50). Went on to become a major league infielder who hit .231 in 173 games with the Cleveland Indians (1955, 1957, 1958) and Boston Red Sox (1961).
South Alabama/*Cliff McKay, *Eugene Oliver, *Darius Segure and *Leon Williams (1972-73)
Oliver 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 vs. Southern Mississippi. McKay, Segure and Williams were also J.C. recruits. Williams established a school single-game rebounding mark with 28 vs. Texas-Arlington.
South Carolina/Casey Manning (1970-71)
Averaged 2.6 ppg and 1.8 rpg in three seasons. Went on to become a judge for the Fifth Judicial Circuit and color commentator for radio broadcasts of the Gamecocks' basketball games.
Southeastern Louisiana/*Curlee Connors and *Bobby Perry (1969-70 when school was a small college)
Connors, a two-time All-Gulf States Conference selection, is runner-up in school history for career rebounding average (14 rpg) and ranks fourth in scoring average (17.5 ppg). Perry still holds the school record for free-throws made in a single game (18 of 23).
Southeast Missouri State/Curtis Williams (1965-66 when school was a small college)
Basketball MVP as a senior in 1967 was also conference champion in the high jump, triple jump and long jump. Averaged 16.9 ppg and 5.6 rpg in two-year career.
Southern Illinois/Harvey Welch (1951-52 when school was a small college)
Averaged 11 ppg and 6.5 rpg in three seasons, including a team-high 12.3 ppg as a senior.
Southern Methodist/*Ruben Triplett (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.
Southern Mississippi/Wilbert Jordan (1969-70 when school was a small college)
Averaged 4 ppg and 2.8 rpg in three varsity seasons.
Stanford/*Dr. Sebron "Ed" Tucker (1950-51)
Averaged 15.8 ppg in two seasons, leading the team in scoring both years. Paced the league in scoring as a junior (16.5 ppg) before becoming an All-PCC South first-team pick as a senior. Played for the Buchan Bakers in the Northwest AAU League while taking pre-med classes at the University of Washington. His daughter, Tiffani, also made history as she and former partner Franklyn Singley were the first African-American skaters to medal in ice dancing at the U.S. Championships, winning the bronze in junior dance in 1993. Tiffani went on to become a full-time news anchor in Cleveland.
Stetson/Ken Showers (1967-68 when school was a small college)
School's all-time leading rebounder (980) averaged 9.1 ppg and 10 rpg in his four-year career.
Syracuse/Manny Breland (1953-54)
First African-American admitted to Syracuse on an athletic scholarship averaged 8.4 ppg in his three-year career (missed 1955-56 after being diagnosed with tuberculosis while at ROTC summer camp in Fort Bragg, N.C.). Scored 10 points in SU's first-ever NCAA Tournament game in 1957. Became a teacher, vice-principal and co-principal in the Syracuse area for more than 30 years. Also enjoyed success as a coach, winning two sectional basketball titles.
Tennessee/*Larry Robinson (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. Played briefly with the NFL's Dallas Cowboys in 1973.
Tennessee Tech/Marv Beidleman, Joe Hilson and Henry Jordan (1965-66)
Beidleman scored 27 points in 12 games in his only varsity season. Hilson, the team's second-leading scorer in 1966-67 (17 ppg), averaged 13.9 ppg and 3.7 rpg in two seasons. Jordan, an All-OVC team selection, averaged 16.1 ppg and 13.1 rpg (ranking 25th in the nation) in his only season.
Texas-Arlington/Huey Saulsberry and John Shelton (1965-66 when school was a small college)
Shelton was the Mavericks' leading rebounder in 1967-68 as a junior with 7.1 rpg while averaging 16.2 ppg. Contributed 8.8 ppg and 4.6 rpg as a senior.
Texas Christian/James Cash (1966-67)
SWC's initial African-American player averaged 13.9 ppg and 11.6 rpg in three seasons. Two-time All-SWC 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. After earning a PhD from Purdue, he served as chairman of the Harvard Business School MBA program. Later, he became part owner of the Boston Celtics while serving on the Board of Directors for several of the nation's premier companies (including General Electric, Microsoft and Wal-Mart).
Texas-El Paso/*Charlie Brown and *Cecil Brown (1956-57)
Air Force veteran Charlie Brown, 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. Cecil, Brown's nephew, was a backup player.
Texas Tech/*Gene Knolle and *Greg Lowery (1969-70)
Knolle, a 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 the 1971 NBA draft. Lowery, who averaged 19.7 ppg in his three-year career, was first-team All-SWC as a sophomore and senior and a second-team choice as a junior en route to finishing as the school's career scoring leader (1,476 points).
Towson/*Maceo Bailey and Jim Newton (1964-65 when school was a small college)
Bailey was a starter their first season while Newton was a backup. But Newton went on to become a future captain. Bailey became chairman of the African-American Studies Program at Texas-El Paso while Newton became Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Studies and Undergraduate Student Ombudsman at Maryland.
Tulane/Harold Sylvester (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. Played a shoe salesman character named Griff on the Fox series Married With Children.
Tulsa/*Herman Callands, *Sherman Dillard and *Julian Hammond (1964-65)
Callands, Tulsa's leading rebounder as a junior (11.2 rpg), averaged 7.9 ppg and 8.8 rpg in two seasons. Dillard, the team's second-leading scorer as a senior (15.4), averaged 10.6 ppg and 5.1 rpg in two years. Hammond, who 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%). Hammond was a ninth-round choice by the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1966 NBA draft.
UNLV/Silas Stepp (1962-63 when school was a small college)
Averaged 18.3 ppg and 10.8 rpg in four seasons. He led the team in scoring each year and was its top rebounder his last three seasons.
Vanderbilt/Perry Wallace (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 the 1970 NBA draft. Became a law professor at the University of Baltimore and American University.
Virginia Military/Charlie Tyler (1971-72)
Averaged 9 ppg and 6.8 rpg in three varsity seasons. He led VMI in scoring as a sophomore (12.6 ppg) and in rebounding as a junior (6.8 rpg) and senior (6.6 rpg).
Wake Forest/Norwood Todmann (1967-68)
New York high school teammate of Lew Alcindor averaged 10.5 ppg and 4.1 rpg in three seasons, including 13.3 ppg as a sophomore. Saw his life after college descend into a haze of drug abuse.
Weber State/Billy Bill (1953-54 when school was a junior college)
Lorenzo Carter, a product of Rock Springs, Wyo., was the only African-American on the school's roster in 1962-63 when it went from the J.C. ranks to the NCAA Division I level.
Western Carolina/Henry Logan (1964-65 when school was a small college)
Guard became school's all-time leading scorer (3,290 points) by increasing his scoring average each season from 26.7 ppg as a freshman to 36.2 ppg as a senior. Selected by the Seattle SuperSonics in the fourth round of the 1968 NBA draft. Worked for years with Rockwell before doing likewise with Buncombe County Parks and Recreation in his hometown of Asheville, N.C.
Western Kentucky/Clem Haskins and Dwight Smith (1964-65)
Haskins, a three-time OVC Player of the Year who 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 averaged 12.8 ppg, 3.1 rpg and 3.5 apg with the Chicago Bulls, Phoenix Suns and Washington Bullets for nine seasons from 1967-68 through 1975-76. Compiled a 339-240 coaching record (.585) with his alma mater (six seasons from 1980-81 through 1985-86) and Minnesota (13 seasons from 1986-87 through 1998-99). Smith, a three-time all-conference guard who 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) but drowned with his sister when their automobile flipped over and submerged in a water-filled ditch returning to WKU for finals after celebrating Mother's Day.
West Virginia/Ed Harvard, *Carl Head, Norman Holmes, Jimmy Lewis and Ron "Fritz" Williams (1965-66)
Robert Parker was a walk-on in the late 1950s. Harvard (1.3 ppg) and Holmes (2.7 ppg) played sparingly while Head averaged 13.9 ppg their initial campaign. Head, who 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). Williams, the Southern Conference's player of the year as a senior, led the 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-Southern Conference first-team selection, was a first-round pick in the 1968 NBA draft (9th overall).
Wichita State/Cleo Littleton (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 the 1955 NBA draft. Littleton launched Litco Inc., a general contracting company specializing in underground tank removal and building demolition with annual sales ranging from $800,000 to $1.2 million. Littleton, self-employed for about 50 years, formed University State Bank in 1974, the first minority-owned bank in Wichita.
William & Mary/Ron Satterthwaite (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. Transfer Andre Polly practiced with the William & Mary varsity in 1971-72, but the accomplished musician transferred again to a better music school.
Youngstown State/Charlie Moore (1954-55 when school was a small college)
Averaged 7.1 ppg in four-year career.
*Junior college recruit.
For those observers who revel in family connections, it was big news when the Harrison twins (Aaron and Andrew) announced their intention to return to Kentucky after helping the Wildcats reach the NCAA Tournament title tilt as freshmen. There will be Harrison Hysteria in Big Blue Nation if they spark UK to a national crown as sophomores. A long-term question at this stage is discerning how will they rank among the most touted twins in college basketball history; especially in regard to impact for an extended period.
The Harrisons will need to continue to hone their skills in order to crack the Top 10 of the most influential sets of twins at the same school - 1. Van Arsdale (Indiana); 2. O'Brien (Seattle); 3. Lopez (Stanford); 4. Morris (Kansas); 5. Collins (Stanford); 6. Graham (UCF/Oklahoma State); 7. Hughes (Wisconsin); 8. Holmes (VMI); 9. Hayes (Western Carolina/Georgia); 10. Williams (VMI); 11. Harrison (Kentucky); 12. Kerr (Colorado State); 13. Stanley (Texas A&M); 14. Nelson (Duquesne). Following is a chronological look at them plus many of the nation's most outstanding sets of twins who played together at least one season on the same team:
- George and Francis Coakley were members of Clemson's 1939 Southern Conference Tournament championship team. It is the Tigers' only league tourney title.
- Clifford and Beauford Minx combined for 10.9 ppg for Missouri's 1944 NCAA Tournament team.
- Forwards John and Rupe Ricksen combined to average 9.7 ppg for California in 1950-51, 15.9 ppg in 1951-52 and 18.4 ppg in 1952-53. The Bears won at least 16 games each of their seasons together. They were co-captains as seniors when Cal captured the PCC South Division title and John earned first-team all-conference status.
- Bantam-sized Johnny and Eddie O'Brien were the top two scorers for Seattle (26-3 record) when it reached the 1953 NCAA Tournament in the Chieftains' first season at the major-college level. They also were infielders for the Pittsburgh Pirates the same year. Johnny O'Brien, a 5-8 unanimous first-team All-American who played center on offense, is the only player to score more than 40 points in his first NCAA Tournament game (42 in an 88-77 victory against Idaho State). Eddie contributed 21 in the same playoff contest.
- Bob (8.6 ppg in 63 games) and Bill (7.5 ppg in 40 games) Gaines played together for Furman from 1954-55 through 1956-57. Each of them averaged 10.3 ppg as a senior.
- Don and Pat Stanley combined for 17.3 ppg and 10.2 rpg in 1959-60 and 24.8 ppg and 11.7 rpg in 1960-61 for Texas A&M. They earlier played at Kilgore when it won a national J.C. title.
- Don and Doug Clemetson combined for 9.5 ppg with Stanford in 1960-61 and 11 ppg in 1961-62. The 16-6 Cardinal finished AAWU runner-up to UCLA, which wound up at the 1962 Final Four.
- Tom and Dick Van Arsdale ranked sixth and seventh on Indiana's list of all-time leading scorers when they graduated in 1965. They were among the nation's top 60 point producers as juniors in 1963-64 and combined for 76 points in a 108-102 neutral court victory against Notre Dame. The Hoosiers went 19-5 their senior campaign. They each played 12 seasons in the NBA, where they both scored more than 14,200 points.
- Lloyd and Floyd Kerr were swingmen who combined to average 25.3 ppg and 10.7 rpg for Colorado State from 1966-67 through 1968-69. Brothers Kerr each scored more than 10 points in all three NCAA playoff games when the Rams reached the Midwest Regional final their senior season (17-7 record) before becoming NBA third-round draft choices.
- Barry and Garry Nelson combined for 21.7 ppg and 16.9 rpg for Duquesne teams compiling a 59-16 record from 1968-69 through 1970-71. Garry led the team in field-goal percentage all three seasons and in rebounding as a sophomore and junior.
- In 1974, seniors Kim and Kerry Hughes carried Wisconsin to its only winning record in Big Ten Conference competition (8-6; 16-8 overall) in a 34-year span from 1963 through 1996. Kim was the Badgers' top rebounder as a sophomore. The 6-11 identical twins combined for 27 ppg and 22 rpg in their junior season and 26 ppg and 20.3 rpg in their final year. Kerry had 21 points and Kim contributed 20 in a home game versus Northwestern their senior year.
- Billy and Bobby Martin excelled for UNC-Wilmington in 1976-77 and 1977-78 after transferring from junior college. Bobby and Billy still rank among the school's all-time leaders in assists.
- Harvey and Horace Grant combined for 16.4 ppg and 11.1 rpg as sophomores for Clemson's 16-13 NIT team in 1984-85. Harvey transferred after the season to a junior college before enrolling at Oklahoma. Each of them had long NBA careers.
- Wichita State's Dwayne and Dwight Praylow combined for 16.3 ppg in 1987-88 (20-10 record) and 20.1 ppg and 8.8 rpg in 1988-89 (19-11 record).
- Victor and Vincent Lee played for Northeast Louisiana from 1986-87 through 1988-89. Their best season was 1988-89 when they were juniors (9.1 ppg and 4.7 rpg).
- Terry and Perry Dozier combined for 9.1 ppg and 3.5 rpg with South Carolina from 1986-87 through 1988-89.
- Damon and Ramon Williams combined for 28.9 ppg in their four-year VMI careers from 1986-87 through 1989-90. They were All-Southern Conference Tournament first-team selections as sophomores in 1988. Ramon was an all-league first-team pick as a junior and Damon achieved the feat as a senior. They rank among the school's all-time top scorers.
- Carl and Charles Thomas were among the top 40 scorers in Eastern Michigan history when they finished their careers following the 1990-91 campaign. They combined to average 16.9 ppg and 7.2 rpg in college before making brief stints in the NBA.
- Sean and Shawn Wightman played together with Western Michigan for three years (1990-91 through 1992-93) after transferring from Illinois State. They combined for 17.9 ppg as juniors. Sean was the nation's top three-point marksman as a junior and led the Mid-American Conference in free-throw shooting as a senior.
- Joe and Jon Ross played together with Notre Dame from 1990-91 through 1993-94. They combined for more than eight rebounds per game their last two seasons.
- Sammie and Simeon Haley combined for 12.5 ppg and 8.8 rpg with Missouri's NCAA Tournament team in 1994-95 (20-9 record) and 14.6 ppg and 9.2 rpg for an NIT team in 1995-96 (18-15 record) after transferring from junior college.
- Jim and David Jackson combined for 7.7 ppg and 3.6 rpg with Virginia Tech's NCAA Tournament team in 1995-96 (23-6 record) and 13.4 ppg and 4.8 rpg in 1996-97 (15-16).
- Bill and Bob Jenkins combined for 14.9 ppg and 12.5 rpg with Valparaiso's NCAA playoff Sweet 16 team in 1997-98 (23-10 record).
- Stanford's Jarron and Jason Collins combined for 19.3 ppg and 12.6 rpg in 1999-2000 before powering the Cardinal to a 31-3 record in 2000-01 with 27.3 ppg and 14.5 rpg.
- Jarvis and Jonas Hayes combined for 25.1 ppg as freshmen with Western Carolina in 1999-2000. They transferred to Georgia after Jarvis led the Southern Conference in scoring with 17.1 ppg. With the Bulldogs, the twins teamed for 25.8 ppg and 10.3 rpg in 2001-02 and 25 ppg and 8.8 rpg in 2002-03.
- Joey and Stevie Graham combined for 25.3 ppg and 9.5 rpg as sophomores with Central Florida in 2001-02 before transferring to Oklahoma State. They collaborated for 15.2 ppg and 6.6 rpg in 2003-04 and 24.2 ppg and 9.4 rpg in 2004-05 for two OSU NCAA playoff teams.
- Errick and Derrick Craven combined for 17.6 ppg and 7.5 rpg with Southern California in 2002-03, 17.2 ppg and 5.2 rpg in 2003-04 and 10.4 ppg and 4.5 rpg in 2004-05.
- Lodrick and Rodrick Stewart combined for 13 ppg and 4.8 rpg with Southern California in 2003-04 before Rodrick transferred to Kansas.
- Yale swingmen Caleb and Nick Holmes combined for 12.3 ppg, 5.5 rpg and 3.2 apg from 2004-05 through 2007-08.
- Travis and Chavis Holmes combined for 18.7 ppg with VMI in 2005-06, 34.2 ppg in 2006-07 and 34 ppg in 2007-08. They colloborated for 57 points in a 156-95 victory against Virginia Intermont in 2006-07 when they each ranked among the nation's top five in steals (placed 1-2 in the Big South Conference). Finished 1-2 nationally in thefts their senior season.
- Centers Brook and Robin Lopez combined for 20.2 ppg, 11.5 rpg and 4.1 bpg with Stanford as freshmen in 2006-07 and 29.4 ppg, 13.8 rpg and 4.4 bpg as sophomores in 2007-08 before they both left school early and became NBA first-round draft choices.
- La Salle's Jerrell and Terrell Williams combined for 12.3 ppg and 8.5 rpg from 2007-08 to 2009-10.
- Charles and Philip Tabet combined for 7.2 ppg and 3 rpg with South Alabama in 2008-09 before falling off to 2.8 ppg with 4.5 rpg in 2009-10.
- Philadelphia natives Markieff and Marcus Morris combined for 12 ppg and 9.2 rpg with Kansas in 2008-09, 19.5 ppg and 11.4 rpg in 2009-10 and 30.8 ppg and 15.9 rpg as All-Big 12 Conference selections in 2010-11 before they both left school early and became NBA first-round draft choices. Marcus was KU's leading scorer (17.2) and Markieff its leading rebounder (8.3) for the Jayhawks' 2011 Big 12 champion.
- Charlie (freshman RS in 2009-10) and Colin Reddick combined for 7.7 ppg and 6.1 rpg with Furman in 2010-11, 14.8 ppg and 8.1 rpg in 2011-12 and 22.1 ppg and 11.5 rpg in 2012-13.
- David and Travis Wear combined for 6.5 ppg and 3.8 rpg as freshmen for North Carolina in 2009-10 before transferring to UCLA, where they collaborated for 18 ppg and 10.2 rpg in 2012-13 and 13.7 ppg and 7 rpg in 2013-14.
- Aaron and Andrew Harrison combined for 24.6 ppg, 6.2 rpg and 5.8 apg as freshmen in helping guide Kentucky to a runner-up finish in the 2014 NCAA Tournament.
When IUPUI hired former Arizona All-American guard Jason Gardner as coach, did the institution know success as a player (won more than 75% of his games with Zona) doesn't have anything to do with thriving as a bench boss? IUPUI is in the right state but how many schools have been delusional when handing control over to the culture of personality? These universities such as Wake Forest luring Danny Manning away from Tulsa should realize that Indiana's Branch McCracken is the only one of the following 48 All-Americans who became major-college mentors to compile a higher winning percentage as a coach:
In a microwave atmosphere of instant expectations, Louisville's Russ Smith (2.2 points per game in 2010-11) and Florida's Scottie Wilbekin (2.4 ppg in 2010-11) failed to generate national headlines in their freshman seasons before blossoming into All-Americans. They are classic examples why fans shouldn't put too much stock in freshman statistics.
Smith and Wilbekin aren't the only All-Americans who endured growing pains. They joined the following alphabetical list of players who averaged fewer than three points per game as a freshman before eventually earning All-American acclaim:
NOTES: Oregon's Wally Borrevik (1.8 ppg in 1940-41), Wisconsin's Gene Englund (2.3 ppg in 1938-39), California's Darrall Imhoff (0.9 ppg in 1957-58), Kansas' Dean Kelley (0.8 in 1950-51), Purdue's Bob Kessler (2.3 ppg in 1933-34), Notre Dame's Leo Klier (2.7 in 1942-43), Oklahoma A&M's Gale McArthur (2.96 ppg in 1948-49), Notre Dame's Bob Rensberger (1.5 ppg in 1940-41) and Stanford's George Yardley (2.9 ppg in 1947-48) averaged fewer than three points per game as sophomores when freshmen weren't eligible to play varsity basketball before becoming All-Americans. . . . Tyler became an All-American with Texas after transferring to his home state. . . . Withey originally attended Arizona.
Canada has become significantly more than a hockey hotbed. The recent Canadian basketball bounty has gone from Syracuse's Kris Joseph (Quebec) in 2012 to Gonzaga's Kelly Olynyk (British Columbia) in 2013 to three All-Americans this season from Ontario - Iowa State frontcourter Melvin Ejim, Michigan guard Nik Stauskas and Kansas freshman phenom Andrew Wiggins.
Foreigners have been much more than bit players in a modern day version of "Coming to America." In time, voters may regret not anointing Kansas freshman center Joel Embiid (Cameroon) as an All-American before he declared early for the NBA draft. But the three Canadians this season joined the following alphabetical list of hoop princes of sorts as the first 21 All-Americans who spent most 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-C||Iowa State||Ontario||2014||TBD|
|Patrick Ewing*||C||Georgetown||Jamaica||1982 through 1985||1st by New York|
|Adonal Foyle||C||Colgate||West Indies||1997||8th by Golden State|
|Al Horford||F-C||Florida||Dominican Republic||2007||3rd by Atlanta|
|Kris Joseph||F||Syracuse||Quebec||2012||51st by Boston|
|Dikembe Mutombo||C||Georgetown||Zaire||1991||4th by Denver|
|Eduardo Najera||F||Oklahoma||Mexico||2000||38th by Houston|
|Hakeem Olajuwon||C||Houston||Nigeria||1983 and 1984||1st by Houston|
|Kelly Olynyk||C||Gonzaga||British Columbia||2013||13th by Dallas|
|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|
|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|
*Named National Player of the Year.
A significant number of schools turn sheepish at the mention of recent NCAA Tournament success. Among Division I institutions making at least 10 NCAA playoff appearances, eight former Final Four participants - Holy Cross, Houston, New Mexico State, Oregon State, Princeton, San Francisco, Southern Methodist and Texas-El Paso - combined to go winless in the past 16 years.
DePaul, Oregon State and San Francisco each have won more than 20 NCAA tourney games but collaborated for only one win in the last 25 years (DePaul over Dayton in double overtime in 2004). With B.B. King "The Thrill is Gone" lyrics in the background, following is an alphabetical list of schools with at least 10 NCAA playoff appearances for which Sweet 16 is a distant memory:
School (Playoff Appearances) Recent NCAA Tournament Travails Charlotte (11) no appearance last 9 years; winless last 13 years Clemson (11) one victory last 17 years DePaul (22) appeared once last 14 years; one victory last 25 years George Washington (11) one victory last 20 years Georgia (11) one victory last 18 years Holy Cross (12) winless since 1953 Houston (19) winless last 30 years Idaho State (11) winless last 37 years Iowa (23) one victory last 15 years Minnesota (12) one victory last 17 years New Mexico State (19) winless last 21 years Old Dominion (11) one victory last 19 years Oregon State (16) winless last 32 years Penn (23) one victory last 34 years Pepperdine (13) one victory last 32 years Princeton (24) winless last 16 years San Francisco (16) appeared once last 32 years Santa Clara (11) no appearance last 18 years Seattle (11) winless since 1964 Southern Methodist (10) no appearance last 21 years; winless last 26 years Texas-El Paso (17) winless last 22 years Utah State (20) one victory last 44 years Weber State (14) winless last 15 years Wyoming (14) one victory last 27 years
"I'm gonna make it to heaven, light up the sky like a flame. I'm gonna live forever. Baby, remember my name." - Theme from 1980s film and TV series Fame
Hungry Connecticut guard Shabazz Napier failed to exhibit a complete command of the English language in a post-title game tirade about the Huskies' banishment from the NCAA playoffs a year ago because of the program's scholastic deficiencies. But Napier had complete command of putting Grade-A English on the ball en route to becoming 2014 Final Four Most Outstanding Player.
A post-playing days vocation probably is the last thing Napier is thinking about. But what happens when the ball stops bouncing? What did the brightest stars do in the real world? The following individuals weren't always defined solely as basketball standouts who earned acclaim as the Most Outstanding Player at a Final Four:
Year(s) - Most Outstanding Player, Position, School
1939 - Jimmy Hull, F, Ohio State
Employed as a dentist.
1940 - Marv Huffman, G, Indiana
Played one season with Goodyear in the National Industrial League in 1940-41 (5.1 ppg) and four with the Akron Collegians. After he stopped playing basketball, he was a special assistant to the president of Goodyear. He died in 1984 of multiple sclerosis.
1941 - John Kotz, F, Wisconsin
Retired in 1980 after working his way up from shipping clerk to president and majority stockholder of Badger Sporting Goods Company.
1942 - Howie Dallmar, G, Stanford
Averaged 9.6 ppg with the Philadelphia Warriors in three NBA seasons from 1946-47 through 1948-49. Compiled a 105-51 record (.673) for Penn in six seasons from 1948-49 through 1953-54 before posting a 264-264 record (.500) for Stanford in 21 seasons from 1954-55 through 1974-75. His best season was a 22-5 mark in 1952-53.
1943 - Kenny Sailors, G, Wyoming
Averaged 12.6 ppg and 2.8 apg with seven different NBA teams in five seasons from 1946-47 through 1950-51. Lived in Gakona, Alaska, where he owned a guided big-game hunting business with his son. Had a winter home in Arizona.
1944 - Arnie Ferrin, F, Utah
Averaged 5.8 ppg with the Minneapolis Lakers in three NBA seasons from 1948-49 through 1950-51. General Manager of the ABA's Utah Stars, athletic director for his alma mater and chairman of the NCAA Tournament selection committee in 1988.
1945 and 1946 - Bob Kurland, C, Oklahoma A&M
Retired Phillips Petroleum executive had a retirement home in Florida.
1947 - George Kaftan, F-C, Holy Cross
Averaged 7.5 ppg with the Boston Celtics, New York Knicks and Baltimore Bullets in five NBA seasons from 1948-49 through 1952-53. Graduated from Georgetown Dental School, coached C.W. Post for 17 seasons and maintained a dental practice.
1948 and 1949 - Alex Groza, C, Kentucky
Averaged 22.5 ppg with the Indianapolis Olympians in two NBA seasons in 1949-50 and 1950-51 before his pro career ended because of a college point-shaving scandal. Got a job at General Electric in Louisville before returning to his hometown (Martin's Ferry, Ohio) and running his mother's tavern. Compiled a 91-77 record (.542) as coach for Bellarmine College in seven seasons from 1959-60 through 1965-66. Executive with two ABA franchises (Kentucky Colonels and San Diego Conquistadors) before getting involved with professional volleyball. Joined Reynolds Metals in 1977 and traveled around the country as Pacific Coast manager of its chemical division.
1950 - Irwin Dambrot, F, CCNY
Became a dentist.
1951 - Bill Spivey, C, Kentucky
After 16 years in the bush leagues with assorted nondescript teams, he extended his nomadic existence with a series of jobs - salesman, insurance agent, real estate developer, government official (Kentucky's deputy insurance commissioner) and restaurant and bar owner - before relocating to Costa Rica.
1952 - Clyde Lovellette, C, Kansas
Averaged 17 ppg and 9.5 rpg with the Minneapolis Lakers, Cincinnati Royals, St. Louis Hawks and Boston Celtics in 11 NBA seasons from 1953-54 through 1963-64. Assistant coach for the Indiana Pacers in 1967 when they started their ABA franchise. Served as a sheriff in his native Indiana and taught and coached at White's Institute, a school for troubled youngsters in Wabash, before moving to Munising, Mich.
1953 - B.H. Born, C, Kansas
Played AAU basketball until the late 1950s with the Peoria (Ill.) Caterpillars before going to work in the personnel office for Caterpillar Bulldozers. He spent his entire career working for Caterpillar until his retirement.
1954 - Tom Gola, C-F, La Salle
Averaged 11.3 ppg and 8 rpg with the Philadelphia/San Francisco Warriors and New York Knicks in 11 NBA seasons from 1955-56 through 1965-66. He invested in driving ranges, apartment complexes, recycling companies and residential sites. Gola owned his own insurance company and a skating rink. He was a spokesman for Texaco, Vitalis and the Army Reserve. In 1966, Gola began a two-term career as a state legislator while coaching his alma mater before becoming Philadelphia's city controller. He later became a vice president of the Valley Forge Investment Corporation and served on the board of the Philadelphia Convention Center.
1955 - Bill Russell, C, San Francisco
Twelve-time All-Star averaged 15.1 ppg, 22.5 rpg and 4.3 apg with the Boston Celtics in 13 NBA seasons from 1956-57 through 1968-69. Five-time MVP was named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History (1996). Compiled a 341-290 record (.540) with the Celtics (1966-67 through 1968-69), Seattle SuperSonics (1973-74 through 1976-77) and Sacramento Kings (1987-88) in eight seasons. Network analyst dabbled with acting but retreated to the quiet life on Mercer Island in Washington, and has a clothing line company called Center Court.
1956 - Hal Lear, G, Temple
Played in three games for the NBA's Philadelphia Warriors in 1956-57 before playing 10 seasons in the Eastern Basketball League, becoming MVP in 1956-57 and averaging 39.7 ppg for Easton in 1960-61. Also averaged 13.1 ppg for Los Angeles and Cleveland in the ABL in 1961-62.
1957 - Wilt Chamberlain, C, Kansas
Averaged 30.1 ppg, 22.9 rpg and 4.4 apg with the Philadelphia/San Francisco Warriors, Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Lakers in 14 NBA seasons from 1959-60 through 1972-73. Made a fortune in the restaurant business, designed homes, owned racehorses and played professional volleyball. Also wrote four books: Wilt; A View From Above; Chamberlain House: The Possible Dream, and Who's Running the Asylum: The Insane World of Sports Today.
1958 - Elgin Baylor, C, Seattle
Averaged 27.4 ppg, 13.5 rpg and 4.3 apg with the Minneapolis/Los Angeles Lakers in 14 seasons from 1958-59 through 1971-72. Coached the New Orleans Jazz for four seasons in the late 1970s (86-135 record). Executive with the Los Angeles Clippers.
1959 - Jerry West, F-G, West Virginia
Averaged 27 ppg, 5.8 rpg and 6.7 apg with the Los Angeles Lakers in 14 NBA seasons from 1960-61 through 1973-74. Long-time executive with the Lakers before accepting a similar position with the Memphis Grizzlies.
1960 and 1961 - Jerry Lucas, C, Ohio State
Seven-time All-Star averaged 17 ppg and 15.6 rpg with the Cincinnati Royals, San Francisco Warriors and New York Knicks in 11 NBA seasons from 1963-64 through 1973-74. One of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History (1996). Memory expert and motivational speaker lived in Templeton, Calif., while working on revolutionary educational programs. Taught his memory and learning technique to many Fortune 500 companies and countless churches. He authored more than 60 books on learning, including The Memory Book, which was on the New York Times' best-seller list for 50 weeks and reached the No. 2 position behind All the President's Men, the investigative story that uncovered the Watergate scandal.
1962 - Paul Hogue, C, Cincinnati
Averaged 6.3 ppg and 7.1 rpg with the New York Knicks and Baltimore Bullets in two NBA seasons in 1962-63 and 1963-64. Worked with the Tennessee juvenile program before moving back to Cincinnati to work at a milling machine firm. He served as a physical therapist at a state mental hospital, a counselor at a neighborhood youth center and as a counselor in a local school system before becoming the division supervisor for the Postal Services' Employee Assistance Program.
1963 - Art Heyman, F, Duke
Averaged 10.3 ppg and 2.8 rpg with the New York Knicks, Cincinnati Royals and Philadelphia 76ers in three NBA seasons from 1963-64 through 1965-66 before averaging 15.4 ppg and 6.4 rpg with the New Jersey Americans, Pittsburgh/Minnesota Pipers and Miami Floridians in three ABA seasons from 1967-68 through 1969-70. Owned and operated several restaurants.
1964 - Walt Hazzard, G, UCLA
Averaged 12.6 ppg, 3 rpg and 4.9 apg with five different NBA teams in 10 seasons from 1964-65 through 1973-74. Worked in the Los Angeles Lakers' front office and coached his alma mater and Chapman College before suffering a stroke and undergoing open-heart surgery in 1996.
1965 - Bill Bradley, F, Princeton
Rhodes Scholar averaged 12.4 ppg, 3.2 rpg and 3.4 apg with the New York Knicks in 10 NBA seasons from 1967-68 through 1976-77. Three-term U.S. Senator (Democrat-N.J.) until 1995 was a tax and trade expert with a strong voice on race issues and campaign finance reform. The presidential candidate against Al Gore in 2000 authored two basketball books (Life on the Run in 1976 and Values of the Game in 1998).
1966 - Jerry Chambers, F, Utah
Averaged 8.3 ppg and 3.2 rpg with the Los Angeles Lakers, Phoenix Suns, Atlanta Hawks, Buffalo Braves, San Diego Conquistadors and San Antonio Spurs in six NBA/ABA seasons from 1966-67 to 1973-74. Worked for the L.A. city parks and recreation department for many years.(323/732-0391 or 323/939-8874)
1967, 1968 and 1969 - Lew Alcindor, C, UCLA
Six-time league MVP averaged 24.6 ppg and 11.2 rpg in 20 NBA seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers from 1969-70 through 1988-89. Nineteen-time All-Star is one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History (1996). In 1999, he worked with a high school team at White Mountain Apache Reservation in Whiteriver, Ariz. He was an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Clippers in 2000 and then worked in training camp with the Indiana Pacers before becoming head coach of the USBL's Oklahoma Storm for one season. Hired by the New York Knicks as a scout in March, 2004 before serving as a Lakers aide helping develop center Andrew Bynum. In January 2012, he was appointed a Cultural Ambassador for the U.S. Department of State.
1970 - Sidney Wicks, F, UCLA
Averaged 16.8 ppg and 8.7 rpg with the Portland Trail Blazers, Boston Celtics and San Diego Clippers in 10 NBA seasons from 1971-72 through 1980-81. Worked in property management. Served as an assistant coach at his alma mater under Walt Hazzard for four seasons in the mid-1980s. At the completion of his coaching stint with the Bruins, Wicks has been in private business.
1971 - Howard Porter, F, Villanova
Averaged 9.2 ppg and 4.1 rpg with the Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks, Detroit Pistons and New Jersey Nets in seven NBA seasons from 1971-72 through 1977-78. Senior probation officer for Ramsey County (Minn.) after getting clean from drugs with the help of a colleague working with him loading furniture for a construction firm in Orlando. Earlier, Porter failed at running a club in Florida and a convenience store. He was trying to trade money and crack cocaine for sex with a prostitute in St. Paul in May, 2007, when the probation officer was beaten to death, according to murder charges filed several months later.
1972 and 1973 - Bill Walton, C, UCLA
Averaged 13.3 ppg, 10.5 rpg and 3.4 apg with the Portland Trail Blazers, San Diego/Los Angeles Clippers and Boston Celtics in 10 NBA seasons from 1974-75 to 1986-87. Network commentator for both the NBA and NCAA after and while working in a similar capacity for the Clippers.
1974 - David Thompson, F, North Carolina State
Averaged 22.7 ppg and 4.1 rpg with the Denver Nuggets and Seattle SuperSonics in nine ABA/NBA seasons from 1975-76 through 1983-84. Motivational speaker with Unlimited Sports Management was also community relations director for the Charlotte Hornets.
1975 - Richard Washington, C-F, UCLA
Averaged 9.8 ppg and 6.3 rpg with the Kansas City Kings, Milwaukee Bucks, Dallas Mavericks and Cleveland Cavaliers in six NBA seasons from 1976-77 through 1981-82. Contractor in Portland.
1976 - Kent Benson, C, Indiana
Averaged 9.1 ppg and 5.7 rpg with four different NBA teams in 11 seasons from 1977-78 through 1987-88. Resided in Bloomington, where he worked with Diversified Benefit Services.
1977 - Butch Lee, G, Marquette
Averaged 8.1 ppg and 3.2 apg with the Atlanta Hawks, Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers in two NBA seasons in 1978-79 and 1979-80. Owned two restaurants, coached pro ball in Puerto Rico and had a sign business in San Juan.
1978 - Jack Givens, F, Kentucky
Averaged 6.7 ppg and 2.9 rpg with the Atlanta Hawks in two NBA seasons in 1978-79 and 1979-80. Announcer for the Orlando Magic.
1979 - Earvin "Magic" Johnson, G, Michigan State
Averaged 19.5 ppg, 7.2 rpg and 11.2 apg with the Los Angeles Lakers in 13 NBA seasons from 1979-80 through 1990-91 and 1995-96. Business entrepreneur emphasized attempting to revitalize a number of minority neighborhoods. He owned the Magic Theatres, an L.A. restaurant chain (Fatburgers), a TGI Friday's and some Starbucks coffee shops. Johnson was a principal in a local black-owned bank and delved into the entertainment business as a concert promoter and owner of the Magic Johnson Record label. Part of ownership group that purchased the Los Angeles Dodgers in the spring of 2012.
1980 - Darrell Griffith, G, Louisville
Averaged 16.2 ppg and 3.3 rpg with the Utah Jazz in 11 NBA seasons from 1980-81 through 1990-91. Resides in Louisville where he has several real estate investments and business interests. Father-in-law of NBA standout Derek Anderson established a foundation in his hometown.
1981 - Isiah Thomas, G, Indiana
Twelve-time All-Star averaged 19.2 ppg, 3.6 rpg and 9.3 apg with the Detroit Pistons in 13 NBA seasons from 1981-82 through 1993-94. One of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History (1996) served as president of the New York Knicks from 2003-04 through 2007-08. Executive and part owner of the Toronto Raptors, owner of the CBA and coach of the Indiana Pacers (131-115 record in three seasons from 2000-01 through 2002-03). Served as coach for Florida International the last three seasons.
1982 - James Worthy, F, North Carolina
Averaged 17.6 ppg, 5.1 rpg and 3 apg with the Los Angeles Lakers in 12 NBA seasons from 1982-83 through 1993-94. Network TV analyst.
1983 - Hakeem Olajuwon, C, Houston
Twelve-time All-Star averaged 21.8 ppg, 11.1 rpg and 3.1 bpg with the Houston Rockets and Toronto Raptors in 18 seasons from 1984-85 through 2001-02. Six-time All-NBA first-team selection was named as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History (1996). NBA Most Valuable Player in 1993-94 is one of only eight players in league history to amass more than 20,000 points and 12,000 rebounds.
1984 - Patrick Ewing, C, Georgetown
Eleven-time All-Star averaged 21 ppg, 9.8 rpg and 2.4 bpg with the New York Knicks, Seattle SuperSonics and Orlando Magic in 17 seasons from 1985-86 through 1991-02. One of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History (1996) became an assistant coach with the Washington Wizards and Houston Rockets.
1985 - Ed Pinckney, F, Villanova
Averaged 6.8 ppg and 5 rpg with seven different NBA teams in 12 seasons from 1985-86 through 1996-97. Miami Heat TV analyst while trying to cope with an overactive thyroid.
1986 - Pervis Ellison, C, Louisville
Averaged 9.7 ppg and 6.8 rpg with the Sacramento Kings, Washington Bullets and Boston Celtics in 10 NBA seasons from 1989-90 through 1997-98 and 1999-2000. Lives in Atlanta.
1987 - Keith Smart, G, Indiana
Played in two games with the San Antonio Spurs in 1988-89 before basketball took him to the Philippines, Venezuela and France. After playing and coaching in the CBA with the Fort Wayne (Ind.) Fury, he joined the Cleveland Cavaliers as director of player development and assistant coach. Smart was named interim head coach of the Cavs midway through the 2002-03 campaign, replacing John Lucas. Also coach the Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings.
1988 - Danny Manning, F, Kansas
Two-time All-Star averaged 14 ppg and 5.2 rpg with seven different franchises in 15 NBA seasons from 1988-89 through 2002-03. Assistant coach at his alma mater for nine seasons before accepting head coaching position with Tulsa and subsequently accepting a similar position at Wake Forest.
1989 - Glen Rice, F, Michigan
Averaged 18.3 ppg and 4.4 rpg with six different NBA franchises in 15 seasons from 1989-90 through 2003-04. Three-time All-Star is still the Heat's all-time leading scorer.
1990 - Anderson Hunt, G, UNLV
Pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges in connection with marijuana found in his possession during a traffic stop in October 1993. Worked in real estate in Detroit.
1991 - Christian Laettner, C-F, Duke
All-Star in 1996-97 averaged 12.8 ppg, 6.7 rpg and 2.6 apg with six different NBA franchises in 13 seasons from 1992-93 through 2004-05. He and Duke teammate Brian Davis faced huge financial and legal hurdles stemming from a loan their real estate company failed to repay nearly $700,000 to former Duke captain and current Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins. Court documents obtained by the Wall Street Journal indicated that Laettner and Davis were defendants in several civil lawsuits seeking repayment of about $30 million.
1992 - Bobby Hurley, G, Duke
Averaged 3.8 ppg and 3.3 apg with the Sacramento Kings and Vancouver Grizzlies in five NBA seasons from 1993-94 through 1997-98. Owned race horses and did TV commentary on the ACC for Fox Sports. Assistant coach under his brother, Danny, with Wagner and Rhode Island.
1993 - Donald Williams, G, North Carolina
Played professional basketball overseas in Germany and Greece and with the Harlem Globetrotters.
1994 - Corliss Williamson, F, Arkansas
Averaged 11.1 ppg and 3.9 rpg with the Sacramento Kings, Toronto Raptors, Detroit Pistons and Philadelphia 76ers in 12 NBA seasons from 1995-96 through 2006-07. Scored a career-high 40 points against the Pistons on 3-4-98. Coached for Arkansas Baptist College and Central Arkansas.
1995 - Ed O'Bannon, F, UCLA
Averaged 5 ppg and 2.5 rpg with the New Jersey Nets and Dallas Mavericks in two NBA seasons in 1995-96 and 1996-97. After his NBA career, he played in several other professional leagues and is currently playing in Poland.
1996 - Tony Delk, G, Kentucky
Averaged 9.1 ppg, 2.5 rpg and 1.9 apg with eight different franchises in 10 NBA seasons from 1996-97 through 2005-06. Scored a career-high 53 points against the Kings on 1-2-01.
1997 - Miles Simon, G, Arizona
Appeared in five games with the NBA's Orlando Magic in 1998-99. Played professionally in Israel in 2000 and Italy in 2001 before joining the Dakota Wizards of the CBA where he earned 2002 Newcomer of the Year and MVP honors. Also played in Venezuela and Turkey before joining his alma mater's staff as an assistant under Lute Olson in 2005. Served as a commentator for ESPN.
1998 - Jeff Sheppard, G, Kentucky
After playing the 1998-99 season with the Atlanta Hawks, he played professionally in Italy. Married former UK women's player Stacey Reed.
1999 - Richard Hamilton, F-G, Connecticut
Averaged 17.3 ppg, 3.1 rpg and 3.4 apg with the Washington Wizards, Detroit Pistons and Chicago Bulls in 14 seasons from 1999-2000 to 2012-13.
2000 - Mateen Cleaves, G, Michigan State
Averaged 3.6 ppg and 1.9 apg with four different NBA franchises in six seasons from 2000-01 through 2005-06 before becoming a color commentator.
2001 - Shane Battier, F, Duke
Averaged 8.6 ppg and 4.2 rpg with four different NBA franchises in 13 seasons from 2001-02 through 2013-14.
2002 - Juan Dixon, G, Maryland
Averaged 8.4 ppg with five different NBA franchises in seven seasons from 2002-03 through 2008-09 before playing overseas in Greece, Spain and Turkey and subsequently becoming an assistant coach for his alma mater.
2003 - Carmelo Anthony, F, Syracuse
Averaged 25.3 ppg, 6.6 rpg and 3.1 apg with the Denver Nuggets and New York Knicks in 11 seasons from 2003-04 through 2013-14.
2004 - Emeka Okafor, C, Connecticut
Averaged 12.4 ppg, 9.9 rpg and 1.7 bpg with the Charlotte/New Orleans Hornets and Washington Wizards in nine seasons from 2004-05 to 2012-13.
2005 - Sean May, C-F, North Carolina
Averaged 6.9 ppg and 4 rpg with the Charlotte Hornets and Sacramento Kings in four injury-plagued seasons from 2005-06 through 2009-10 before playing overseas.
2006 - Joakim Noah, C, Florida
Averaged 12 ppg, 11.4 rpg, 3.2 apg and 1.8 bpg with the Chicago Bulls in seven seasons from 2007-08 through 2013-14.
2007 - Corey Brewer, F, Florida
Averaged 10 ppg and 3 rpg with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Dallas Mavericks and Denver Nuggets in seven seasons from 2007-08 through 2013-14. He scored 51 points in a single game against the Houston Rockets.
2008 - Mario Chalmers, G, Kansas
Averaged 8.6 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 3.8 apg and 1.5 spg with the Miami Heat in six seasons from 2008-09 through 2013-14.
2009 - Wayne Ellington, G, North Carolina
Averaged 6.4 ppg and 1.8 rpg with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Memphis Grizzlies, Cleveland Cavaliers and Dallas Mavericks in five seasons from 2009-10 through 2013-14.
2010 - Kyle Singler, F, Duke
Second-round draft choice by the NBA's Detroit Pistons played overseas two seasons in Spain before averaging 9.1 ppg and 3.9 rpg in 2012-13 and 2013-14.
2011 - Kemba Walker, G, Connecticut
Averaged 16.1 ppg, 3.7 rpg and 5.4 apg with the Charlotte Bobcats from 2011-12 through 2013-14.
2012 - Anthony Davis, C, Kentucky
Averaged 17.3 ppg, 9.1 rpg and 2.3 bpg with the New Orleans Pelicans in 2012-13 and 2013-14, becoming an NBA All-Star in his second season.
2013 - Luke Hancock, G, Louisville
Averaged 12.3 ppg, 2.6 rpg and 2.2 apg for the Cardinals as a senior, helping defeat 2014 NCAA champion-to-be Connecticut a total of three times.
Herewith is ample evidence for those arguments dealing with whether a school winning an NCAA Tournament title was indeed the nation's premier team over the course of an entire campaign. Louisville, which defeated NCAA champion Connecticut three times this season by a total of 55 points, joined St. John's '85 with the distinction of being the only schools to beat a team three times in a campaign when the opponent wound up capturing the national crown. The shoe was on the other foot in 2002-03 when UConn twice whipped NCAA champion-to-be Syracuse.
The first 38 NCAA titlists, from Oregon (29-5 record in 1938-39) through Indiana (the last unbeaten team with a 32-0 mark in 1975-76), averaged barely over two setbacks per season. No kingpin sustained more than six reversals until Marquette's Al McGuire-coached squad was 25-7 in 1976-77. However, McGuire's swan song was a sign of things to come as six of the 11 championship clubs from 1981 through 1991 finished with at least seven losses. Two of the six - Villanova '85 and Kansas '88 - entered the playoffs unranked in a wire-service final Top 20 since the AP and UPI both were conducting polls in 1951.
Incredibly, St. John's also upended Villanova three times in 1985-86 when the Wildcats were the defending national champion. Following is a list of the 12 titlists losing at least twice in their title season against a total of 19 different opponents:
|Season||NCAA Champion||Record||Team(s) Defeating Titlist at Least Twice|
|1953-54||La Salle||26-4||Niagara (24-6) defeated the Explorers twice by a total of 27 points before finishing in third place in the NIT.|
|1980-81||Indiana||26-9||Iowa (21-7) defeated the Hoosiers twice by a total of 16 points before losing its NCAA playoff opener in second round against Wichita State on the Shockers' home-court.|
|1982-83||North Carolina State||26-10||Maryland (20-10) defeated the Wolfpack twice by a total of 14 points before losing in second round against national runner-up Houston. Virginia (29-5) defeated the Wolfpack twice by a total of 19 points before losing against N.C. State by one point in West Regional final.|
|1984-85||Villanova||25-10||St. John's (31-4) defeated the Wildcats three times by a total of 22 points before losing against Georgetown in national semifinals. Georgetown (35-3) defeated the Wildcats twice by a total of nine points before losing against Villanova by two points in national final.|
|1985-86||Louisville||32-7||Kansas (35-4) defeated the Cardinals twice by a total of seven points before losing against Duke in national semifinals.|
|1987-88||Kansas||27-11||Kansas State (25-9) defeated the Jayhawks twice by a total of 26 points before losing against KU in Midwest Regional final. Oklahoma (35-4) defeated the Jayhawks twice by eight points in Big Eight Conference regular-season competition before losing against KU by four points in national final.|
|1988-89||Michigan||30-7||Illinois (31-5) defeated the Wolverines twice by a total of 28 points before losing against UM by two points in national semifinals. Indiana (27-8) defeated the Wolverines twice by one point before losing against eventual national runner-up Seton Hall in West Regional semifinals.|
|1996-97||Arizona||25-9||UCLA (24-8) defeated the Wildcats twice by a total of eight points before losing against Minnesota in Midwest Regional final.|
|2002-03||Syracuse||30-5||Connecticut (23-10) defeated the Orangemen twice by a total of 27 points before losing against Texas in South Regional semifinals.|
|2005-06||Florida||33-6||South Carolina (23-15) defeated the Gators twice by a total of 10 points before successfully defending its NIT championship. Tennessee (22-8) defeated the Gators twice by four points apiece before losing against Wichita State in second round of Washington Regional.|
|2010-11||Connecticut||32-9||Notre Dame (27-7) defeated the Huskies twice by three points each time before losing against Florida State in second round of South Regional. Louisville (25-10) defeated the Huskies twice by a total of 14 points before losing against Morehead State in opening round of South Regional.|
|2013-14||Connecticut||32-8||SMU (27-10) defeated the Huskies twice by nine points each time before finishing NIT runner-up. Louisville (31-6) defeated the Huskies three times by a total of 55 points before bowing against eventual national runner-up Kentucky in Midwest Regional semifinals.|
Connecticut's four NCAA champions lost a total of 10 pre-tourney games by double figures. One sizable setback this season (81-48 at Louisville) set a standard for widest margin of defeat for an eventual national kingpin. The following seven NCAA titlists lost a regular-season contest away from home by more than 20 points:
NCAA Champion Margin Pre-NCAA Playoff Defeat Result Connecticut '14 33 at Louisville 81-48 UCLA '65 27 at Illinois 110-83 North Carolina '93 26 at Wake Forest 88-62 Villanova '85 23 at Pittsburgh 85-62 UCLA '75 22 at Washington 103-81 Duke '91 22 at Charlotte vs. North Carolina 96-74 Maryland '02 21 at Duke 99-78
In hoop parlance, it's the equivalent of triple-teaming as an unprecedented animosity appears to be escalating toward government unaccountability. Republican lawmakers, perceiving disregard for the Constitution and stonewalling their oversight by withholding documents, have focused on a series of Amateur Hour White House Administration shenanigans - Benghazi bungling, IRS targeting of conservative groups, incompetent Obamacare rollout (disgraced HHS Secretary spent more time fundraising (a/k/a shaking down insurance companies) to publicize the health care law rather than testing enrollment website for glitches) and far-reaching snooping of world leaders (including allies) plus subpoenas of the media.
Despite claims that intimidating and criminalizing the media "is something I've never been involved with or heard of (signed warrant nonetheless)," U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder's intrusive actions impacting freedom of the press isn't the first time he has been in the middle of a firestorm. Conducting an off-the-record session with selected media members did nothing to resolve many questions about his priorities seemingly more in favor of towel-head terrorists and CAIR-ing Muslim mutilators than law-abiding American citizens such as Uncle Sam, Father Jim and Brother Bob. Holder previously failed to divulge sufficient information about the botched "Fast and Furious" ATF "gun-walking" operation selling 2,000 firearms to Mexican drug cartels. The nation's top cop, treating the DOJ as a partisan sanctuary community according to mistreating opponents, seemed to be shedding light on as much material regarding the controversial ATF topic and media meddling as the number of FGM he had for Columbia's freshman basketball squad in 1969-70 (misfired on all four field-goal attempts). Parsing words like "is," demented Demorat defenders at Al "Not So" Sharpton's Race Card Convention and majority of lame-stream media outlets probably would "enable" Holder if the AG said he didn't fib to Congress about monitoring the press' co-conspirator calls or was Columbia's all-time leading varsity scorer instead of Leonard "Buck" Jenkins (1,766 points from 1989-90 through 1992-93).
Rev Rat wasn't the informant, but it doesn't seem possible the picked-on DOJ reportedly also facilitated anti-George Zimmerman protests in Florida and failed to adequately monitor runaway overtime payments in his department. Evidence of widespread passivity exists when there isn't a growing sentiment calling for the resignation of whining Holder, one of several former college basketball players in the StinkBurger Administration's propaganda machine.
Whether or not there is a cover-up or obstruction of justice, lost amid the juvenile freshman-like gamesmanship and intellectual impoverishment of the grievance industry is the moral obligation to supply a full explanation to the distraught family of murdered border patrol agent Brian Terry that feels as if the government is hiding something. The House oversight committee leader for the Democrats said they "would not rest" until they found answers but some shameless political parasites on The Hill are more concerned with covering their side's back rather than discerning who shot Terry in the back. The same demonstrably deceptive Democratic Ranking Member's staff communicated in a disconcerting direct way with the IRS multiple times about a voter fraud prevention group.
An arrogant Holder, claiming he made an "extraordinary offer" (estimated mostly-redacted 7,600 of 80,000-plus subpoenaed documents) before requesting executive privilege from the White House, has been in "fast-and-furious" hot water for a variety of issues, including his responses regarding other issues such as the New Black Panther Party, voter rights, enforcement of immigration laws and national security leaks. Meanwhile, the CYAG (Cover Your _ _ ) White House tried to protect Holder with executive privilege and still voices support for him despite Mr. Recusal's unprincipled surveillance of the media.
(With)Holder, an Ivy League freshman the same year as Princeton's Brian Taylor and Harvard's James Brown, was confirmed as AG despite his outrageous pandering to leftist special interests in orchestrating a pardon for international fugitive Marc Rich and clemency for 16 members of a terrorist group (FALN). Obama, a backup JV basketball player for Occidental (CA), said as an Illinois Senator that the President is not the AG's client. But does his "segregation has reoccurred" administration emphasize rules for radicals more than principles of patriots?
The feds' priorities were more concerned with detaining an obscure producer of an anti-Islamic film making light of the prophet Mohammed. Meanwhile, the stonewalling Obama Administration - either grossly incompetent or immersed in a corrupt cover-up - dealt with a terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, by callously standing in front of caskets at an airport hangar (plus the White House press corps, the U.N. and national politically-oriented shows) offering an orchestrated narrative claiming the nondescript video was responsible for a spontaneous murder of the American ambassador and three other Americans. Unbelievably, a Navy SEAL among the deceased violated stand-down orders to help save numerous individuals at the embassy and then fought the terrorists for seven hours while his pleas for backup at an annex were ignored by morally-bankrupt government officials real-time watching events unfold. Months later, the apologist-in-chief and cowardly cronies were still striving to supply a cogent response to their deflect-and-deny sacrificial inaction. They would rather sanctimoniously flash half a peace sign to opponents by promoting Susan "Damsel in Distress" Rice despite her incessant Benghazi video lies to everyone across the nation possessing a triple-digit IQ.
The father of slain SEAL Tyrone Woods said bombastic VP Joe Biden asked an incredibly inappropriate question: "Did your son always have balls the size of cue balls?" Countered Woods' father: "Better to die a hero than to live as a coward." If you're interested in political players and seek a mite more insight than you'll generate any morning from MSLSD's Mika the Myopic Mannequin, CollegeHoopedia.com has conducted extensive research on politicians and political appointees who were college hoopsters. The vast majority of them honor the Constitution more than splitting-hairs Holder, who is anything but the "right" man to investigate himself, refute the FBI with a probe of Zimmerman, assess misdeeds and suspect emails of I-R-Mess mistress Lois Loser or critique anything of significance for that matter. By any measure, what's "outrageous" is for POTUS, amid an ongoing probe, to already claim there isn't "a smidgeon of corruption" at an obfuscating IRS and for a "watchdog" press to be his lapdog while cronies order federal agents to hassle a Nevada rancher with excessive force rather than sending them to our borders to protect law-abiding U.S. citizens. Of course, there will be "consequences."
Kentucky (31), buttressed by Louisville (NCAA DI) and Georgetown (NAIA) in 2013, moved ahead of California last year as the state with the most national titles from each level of four-year college men's basketball - NCAA Division I, NIT, NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III and NAIA. But California moved into a tie with Kentucky this season when Vanguard (Calif.) captured the NAIA crown.
Illinois and Ohio are the only states to boast at least one champion from all five levels. Among the 12 states amassing a total of more than 10 national crowns, Missouri is the only one in that group without a Division I championship. Drury (Mo.) and Central Missouri won the last two DII titles but the state's two headline schools - Mizzou and Saint Louis - never have reached the Final Four.
The biggest surprise among states never to capture a national title is Iowa. Following is how states stack up by national titles including the NIT and various levels of small-college basketball:
State DI NIT DII DIII NAIA Total California 15 7 5 0 4 31 Kentucky 11 3 10 0 7 31 Ohio 3 6 3 5 2 19 North Carolina 11 2 3 0 1 17 Illinois 1 6 1 6 1 15 New York 2 10 0 3 0 15 Oklahoma 2 2 1 0 10 15 Indiana 5 2 6 0 1 14 Missouri 0 1 3 2 8 14 Wisconsin 2 1 0 11 0 14 Pennsylvania 2 6 2 3 0 13 Kansas 3 1 1 0 6 11 Texas 1 2 0 0 7 10 Virginia 0 4 5 1 0 10 Minnesota 0 3 2 1 3 9 Michigan 3 3 0 2 0 8 Tennessee 0 2 1 1 4 8 Alabama 0 0 3 0 3 6 Connecticut 4 1 1 0 0 6 Georgia 0 0 1 0 5 6 Massachusetts 1 1 1 3 0 6 Maryland 1 1 2 0 1 5 Arizona 1 0 0 0 3 4 South Carolina 0 2 0 0 2 4 Utah 1 3 0 0 0 4 West Virginia 0 2 0 0 2 4 Colorado 0 1 2 0 0 3 District of Columbia 1 0 1 1 0 3 Florida 2 0 1 0 0 3 Louisiana 0 0 0 0 3 3 New Jersey 0 2 0 1 0 3 Arkansas 1 0 0 0 1 2 Rhode Island 0 2 0 0 0 2 South Dakota 0 0 2 0 0 2 Washington 0 0 2 0 0 2 Hawaii 0 0 0 0 1 1 Mississippi 0 1 0 0 0 1 Montana 0 0 0 0 1 1 Nebraska 0 1 0 0 0 1 Nevada 1 0 0 0 0 1 New Mexico 0 0 0 0 1 1 Oregon 1 0 0 0 0 1 Wyoming 1 0 0 0 0 1
NOTE: Eight states - Alaska, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, New Hampshire, North Dakota and Vermont - never have had a four-year school win a men's national championship.
Swingman Roscoe Smith (transferred to UNLV before declaring for NBA draft) missed out on some championship bling because he departed Connecticut before the Huskies won this year's NCAA title. Smith joins the following alphabetical list of transfer players denied receiving an NCAA championship ring because they left a school subsequently capturing a national crown:
*Played for a junior college between four-year schools
NOTES: McCaffrey and Palmer played for an NCAA champion with Duke in 1991 and Huertas did with Florida in 2006. . . . King played only one season for Villanova in 2009-10. . . . E. Williams left Memphis after 2009-10 campaign when he declared early for the NBA draft. Likewise for Smith at UNLV following 2013-14 season.
Iowa State junior forward Dustin Hogue secured the satisfaction of posting the highest single-game output this season against NCAA champion-to-be Connecticut when the junior college transfer scored 34 points in the East Regional at New York. Hogue, who averaged a modest 11.6 points per game for the Cyclones, is the first player to achieve the season-high feat against the eventual titlist in the NCAA playoffs since Connecticut's Ray Allen in 1995. The only player in this category to have a greater difference between his single-game high against the titlist and his season average is Notre Dame guard Kyle McAlarney, who tallied 39 points versus champion-to-be North Carolina at Maui in 2008-09 when he averaged 15 ppg.
Since UCLA's first NCAA championship in 1964, Louisville's Russ Smith has the lowest scoring average (11.5 ppg in 2011-12) for any player who posted the single-game high against an NCAA titlist. Some of the names probably will be surprising, but following is a look in reverse order at the last 51 individuals who posted the season-high scoring total against the NCAA kingpin:
|Year||Opposing High Scorer vs. NCAA Titlist||Avg.||Single-Game High|
|2014||Dustin Hogue, F, Jr., Iowa State||11.6||34 points vs. Connecticut in NCAA playoffs|
|2013||Tyler Brown, G, Sr., Illinois State||18.1||25 at Louisville|
|2012||Russ Smith, G, Soph., Louisville||11.5||30 at Kentucky|
|2011||Dwight Hardy, G, Sr., St. John's||18.3||33 vs. Connecticut|
|2010||Trevon Hughes, G, Sr., Wisconsin||15.3||26 vs. Duke|
|2009||Kyle McAlarney, G, Sr., Notre Dame||15.0||39 vs. North Carolina at Maui|
|2008||Michael Beasley, F-C, Fr., Kansas State||26.2||39 at Kansas|
|2007||Al Thornton, F, Sr., Florida State||19.7||28 vs. Florida|
|2006||Chris Lofton, G, Soph., Tennessee||17.2||29 vs. Florida|
|2005||Will Bynum, G, Sr., Georgia Tech||12.5||35 vs. North Carolina in ACC Tournament|
|2004||Chris Thomas, G, Jr., Notre Dame||19.7||31 vs. Connecticut|
|2003||Chris Hill, G, Soph., Michigan State||13.7||34 vs. Syracuse|
|2002||Jason "Jay" Williams, G, Jr., Duke||21.3||34 vs. Maryland|
|2001||James "J.J." Miller, G, Sr., North Carolina A&T||16.0||34 at Duke|
|2000||A.J. Guyton, G, Sr., Indiana||19.7||34 vs. Michigan State|
|1999||Trajan Langdon, G, Sr., Duke||17.3||25 vs. Connecticut|
|1998||Brian Williams, G, Jr., Alabama||16.1||28 vs. Kentucky in SEC Tournament|
|1997||Isaac Fontaine, G, Sr., Washington State||21.9||32 vs. Arizona|
|1996||Marcus Camby, C, Jr., Massachusetts||20.5||32 vs. Kentucky at Great Eight|
|1995||Ray Allen, G, Soph., Connecticut||21.1||36 vs. UCLA in NCAA playoffs|
|1994||Gary Collier, F, Sr., Tulsa||22.9||35 vs. Arkansas in NCAA playoffs|
|1993||Chris Webber, F, Soph., Michigan||19.2||27 vs. North Carolina at Honolulu|
|1993||Randolph Childress, G, Soph., Wake Forest||19.7||27 vs. North Carolina|
|1993||James Forrest, F, Soph., Georgia Tech||19.5||27 vs. North Carolina in ACC Tournament|
|1993||Lester Lyons, G, Jr., East Carolina||15.4||27 vs. North Carolina in NCAA playoffs|
|1992||Malik Sealy, F, Sr., St. John's||22.6||37 vs. Duke at Greensboro|
|1991||Jeff Webster, F, Fr., Oklahoma||18.3||32 vs. Duke|
|1990||Greg "Bo" Kimble, F-G, Sr., Loyola Marymount||35.3||42 vs. UNLV in NCAA playoffs|
|1989||Roy Marble, F, Sr., Iowa||20.5||32 vs. Michigan|
|1988||Mitch Richmond, G-F, Sr., Kansas State||22.6||35 vs. Kansas|
|1987||Freddie Banks, G, Sr., UNLV||19.5||38 vs. Indiana in NCAA playoffs|
|1986||Ron Harper, F, Sr., Miami (oh)||24.4||36 vs. Louisville in Big Apple NIT at Cincinnati|
|1985||Len Bias, F, Jr., Maryland||18.9||30 vs. Villanova|
|1984||Chris Mullin, G-F, Jr., St. John's||22.9||29 vs. Georgetown in Big East Tournament|
|1983||Ralph Sampson, C, Sr., Virginia||19.1||33 vs. North Carolina State|
|1982||Ralph Sampson, C, Jr., Virginia||15.8||30 at North Carolina|
|1981||Mike McGee, F, Sr., Michigan||24.4||29 vs. Indiana|
|1980||Jeff Ruland, C, Jr., Iona||20.1||30 vs. Louisville|
|1979||Joe Barry Carroll, C, Jr., Purdue||22.8||27 vs. Michigan State|
|1979||Calvin Roberts, F-C, Jr., Cal State Fullerton||15.3||27 vs. Michigan State|
|1978||Freeman Williams, G, Sr., Portland State||35.9||39 at Kentucky|
|1977||Dave Corzine, C, Jr., DePaul||19.0||26 vs. Marquette|
|1976||Terry Furlow, F, Sr., Michigan State||29.4||40 vs. Indiana|
|1975||Kevin Grevey, F, Sr., Kentucky||23.5||34 vs. UCLA in NCAA final|
|1974||Billy Cook, G, Soph., Memphis State||16.2||33 vs. North Carolina State|
|1973||Billy Knight, F, Jr., Pittsburgh||23.7||37 vs. UCLA|
|1972||Fred Boyd, G, Sr., Oregon State||19.8||37 vs. UCLA|
|1971||Austin Carr, G, Sr., Notre Dame||38.0||46 vs. UCLA|
|1970||Pete Maravich, G, Sr., Louisiana State||44.5||38 vs. UCLA|
|1970||Rich Yunkus, C, Jr., Georgia Tech||30.1||38 vs. UCLA|
|1969||Vic Collucci, G, Soph., Providence||15.4||36 vs. UCLA|
|1968||Elvin Hayes, F-C, Sr., Houston||36.8||39 vs. UCLA|
|1967||Bill Hewitt, F, Jr., Southern California||19.5||39 vs. UCLA|
|1966||Jerry Chambers, F-C, Sr., Utah||28.8||38 vs. Texas Western in NCAA playoffs|
|1965||Ollie Johnson, C, Sr., San Francisco||21.6||37 vs. UCLA|
|1964||Tom Dose, C, Sr., Stanford||20.0||38 vs. UCLA|
Which cliche is most accurate? If a team is on a winning streak entering the NCAA Tournament, it has momentum on its side and is peaking at the right time. On the other hand, some observers contend a loss before the start of the playoffs is deemed as a wake-up call. All four of Connecticut's champions in the last 16 years entered the tourney with fewer than six straight triumphs.
Since the last undefeated team in Division I (Indiana was 32-0 in 1975-76), there have been 38 national champions. Twenty-two of those teams entered the tourney with a victory; 16 entered with a defeat after UConn bowed against Louisville in the American Athletic Conference Tournament. The longest winning streak of a champion-to-be in that span was by UCLA, which won 13 in a row in 1995 before posting six more triumphs in the playoffs. Louisville accounted for two of the other double-digit victory streaks for champions-to-be entering the playoffs.
Of the 22 aforementioned squads entering on a winning note, the average winning streak was six in a row. Following in reverse order is how those 38 post-unbeaten IU titlists entered the NCAA playoffs (including conference tournaments):
Although three of Connecticut's top five scorers were in their final season of eligibility, a senior-laden lineup is not a prerequisite for capturing a national championship. An average of only two seniors were among the top seven scorers for NCAA Tournament titlists since the playoff field expanded to at least 64 teams in 1985.
Eight of the 16 NCAA champions from 1991 through 2006 boasted no more than one senior among its top seven scorers, which is what Louisville had this year. Only three NCAA champions since Indiana '87 - UCLA (1995), Michigan (2000) and Maryland (2002) - featured seniors as their top two scorers. Following is a look at the vital seniors for the last 30 basically youthful championship teams (in reverse order):
2014 - Connecticut (four of top 10 scorers were seniors/Shabazz Napier was leading scorer, Niels Giffey was fourth, Lasan Kromah was fifth and Tyler Olander was 10th).
2013 - Louisville (one of top eight scorers was a senior/Peyton Siva was second-leading scorer).
2012 - Kentucky (one of top seven scorers was a senior/Darius Miller was fifth-leading scorer).
2011 - Connecticut (none of top six scorers was a senior).
2010 - Duke (three of nine-man rotation were seniors/Jon Scheyer was leading scorer, Brian Zoubek was fourth and Lance Thomas was sixth).
2009 - North Carolina (two of top eight in scoring average were seniors/Tyler Hansbrough was leading scorer and Danny Green was fourth).
2008 - Kansas (one of top six scorers was a senior/Darnell Jackson was fourth-leading scorer).
2007 - Florida (two of nine-man rotation were seniors/Lee Humphrey was fifth and Chris Richard was sixth).
2006 - Florida (none of top seven scorers was a senior).
2005 - North Carolina (one of top five scorers was a senior/Jawad Williams was third).
2004 - Connecticut (one of top eight scorers was a senior/Taliek Brown was sixth).
2003 - Syracuse (one of top eight scorers was a senior/Keith Duany was fourth).
2002 - Maryland (three of top eight regulars were seniors/Juan Dixon was top scorer, Lonny Baxter was second and Byron Mouton was fourth).
2001 - Duke (two of top nine scorers were seniors/Shane Battier was second and Nate James was fifth).
2000 - Michigan State (three of top 11 scorers were seniors/Morris Peterson was first, Mateen Cleaves was second and A.J. Granger was fifth).
1999 - Connecticut (one of top seven scorers was a senior/Ricky Moore was fifth).
1998 - Kentucky (two of top seven scorers were seniors/Jeff Sheppard was first and Allen Edwards was fifth).
1997 - Arizona (none of top seven scorers was a senior).
1996 - Kentucky (three of top 10 scorers were seniors/Tony Delk was first, Walter McCarty was third and Mark Pope was sixth).
1995 - UCLA (three of top seven scorers were seniors/Ed O'Bannon was first, Tyus Edney was second and George Zidek was fourth).
1994 - Arkansas (one of top 10 scorers was a senior/Roger Crawford was eighth).
1993 - North Carolina (one of top seven scorers was a senior/George Lynch was second).
1992 - Duke (two of top 10 scorers were seniors/Christian Laettner was first and Brian Davis was fifth).
1991 - Duke (one of top 10 scorers was a senior/Greg Koubek was seventh).
1990 - UNLV (two of top eight scorers were seniors/David Butler was third and Moses Scurry was sixth).
1989 - Michigan (two of top 11 scorers were seniors/Glen Rice was first and Mark Hughes was sixth).
1988 - Kansas (two of top 11 scorers were seniors/Danny Manning was first and Chris Piper was fourth).
1987 - Indiana (two of top eight scorers were seniors/Steve Alford was first and Daryl Thomas was second).
1986 - Louisville (three of top nine scorers were seniors/Billy Thompson was first, Milt Wagner was second and Jeff Hall was fifth).
1985 - Villanova (three of top eight scorers were seniors/Ed Pinckney was first, Dwayne McClain was second and Gary McLain was fourth).
There has been some smooth sailing, but it is usually a rugged road en route to becoming NCAA kingpin such as Connecticut after the Huskies needed to go into overtime against Saint Joseph's in their playoff opener. Talk of the Kentucky squad two years ago being one of the all-time greatest teams was somewhat silly insofar as intra-state rival Louisville, erasing 12-point deficits in both the semifinals and final last year, became the 42nd NCAA champion posting higher average victory margins than UK in the tournament.
North Carolina '09 became the 12th NCAA Tournament champion to win all of its playoff games by double-digit margins. The first nine champions in this category came before the NCAA field was expanded to at least 64 teams in 1985.
A total of 49 champions won a minimum of one playoff game by four points or less, including 22 titlists to win at least one contest by just one point. Wyoming '43 would have become the only champion to trail at halftime in every tournament game if the Cowboys didn't score the last three baskets of the first half in the national final to lead Georgetown at intermission (18-16). Four titlists trailed at intermission in both of their Final Four games - Kentucky '51, Louisville '86, Duke '92 and Kentucky '98.
UCLA '67, the first varsity season for Lew Alcindor (became Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), set the record for largest average margin of victory for a champion when the Bruins started a dazzling streak of 10 consecutive Final Four appearances. They won their 12 NCAA playoff games with Alcindor manning the middle by an amazing average margin of 21.5 points.
Which of John Wooden's 10 national champion UCLA teams did the Wizard of Westwood perceive as his best?
"I've never come out and said it," Wooden said before passing away two years ago, "but it would be hard to pick a team over the 1968 team. I will say it would be the most difficult team to prepare for and play against offensively and defensively. It created so many problems. It had such great balance. We had the big center (Alcindor) who is the most valuable player of all time. Mike Warren was a three-year starter who may have been the most intelligent floor leader ever, going eight complete games once without a turnover. Lucius Allen was a very physical, talented individual who was extremely quick. Lynn Shackleford was a great shooter out of the corner who didn't allow defenses to sag on Jabbar. Mike Lynn didn't have power, but he had as fine a pair of hands around the boards as I have ever seen."
The roster for UCLA's 1968 national champion included six players with double-digit season scoring averages, but senior forward Edgar Lacey dropped off the team with an 11.9-point average following a dispute with Wooden after a ballyhooed mid-season defeat against Houston before 52,693 fans at the Astrodome. Lacey, assigned to defend Cougars star Elvin Hayes early in the game, was annoyed with Wooden for singling him out following Hayes' 29-point first-half outburst. Lacey, the leading rebounder for the Bruins' 1965 NCAA titlist when he was an All-Tournament team selection, missed the 1966-67 campaign because of a fractured left kneecap.
The three Lew-CLA teams rank among the seven NCAA champions with average margins of victory in a tournament of more than 19 points per game. It's no wonder a perceptive scribe wrote the acronym NCAA took on a new meaning during the plunderous Alcindor Era - "No Chance Against Alcindor."
"Bill Walton might have been a better all-around player (than Alcindor)," Wooden said. "If you were grading a player for every fundamental skill, Walton would rank the highest of any center who ever played. But Alcindor is the most valuable, owing to the pressure he put on the other team at both ends of the court."
North Carolina won all six of its playoff contests by double digits in 2009 but the only titlist to win all of its tournament games by more than 15 points was Ohio State '60. Center Jerry Lucas, a first-team All-American as a sophomore, averaged 24 points and 16 rebounds in four playoff contests for the Buckeyes. He collected 36 points and 25 rebounds to help them erase a six-point halftime deficit in their Mideast Regional opener against Western Kentucky.
Connecticut became the 13th NCAA titlist with an average winning margin of fewer than eight points per playoff game. Following is a breakdown of the point differential and average margin of victory in the NCAA playoffs for the first 76 national champions:
*All-time tournament record (111-42 first-round victory over Tennessee Tech).
NOTE: Fifteen teams participated in a total of 21 overtime games en route to national titles - Utah (1944), North Carolina (two triple overtime Final Four games in 1957), Cincinnati (1961), Loyola of Chicago (1963), Texas Western (two in 1966, including a double overtime), North Carolina State (double overtime in 1974), UCLA (two in 1975), Louisville (two in 1980), North Carolina State (double overtime in 1983), Michigan (1989), Duke (1992), North Carolina (1993), Arizona (two in 1997), Kentucky (1998), Kansas (2008) and Connecticut (2014).
CollegeHoopedia.com hopes the rigors of our daily Q&A didn't give you an inferiority complex. Emphasizing a "one-and-only" theme for a "one-and-only" event, this is the climax of 23 days featuring a treasure-trove of tantalizing NCAA Tournament trivia questions from (10 per day from Selection Sunday until a grand finale added value of 20 on the day of the championship game) tracking the only coach, conference, player or school to be linked to a distinguished or dubious achievement (click here for answers or conduct research digesting historical morsels in CollegeHoopedia.com's year-by-year highlights):
1. Name the only automatic qualifier to enter the NCAA playoffs with an overall losing record despite compiling a winning conference mark. Hint: The school lost in the first round to the nation's top-ranked team, an opponent the school succumbed to four seasons earlier when eventual NBA guard Lindsey Hunter scored a then school-record 48 points.
2. Name the only one of the different teams to twice defeat an eventual NCAA champion in their title season to not appear in the NCAA Tournament that year. Hint: A former NBA coach guided the school to its only NCAA playoff victory against an opponent whose coach also later coached in the NBA.
3. Name the only team since seeding started to reach the Final Four without meeting a top eight seed. Hint: The team was eliminated in the national semifinals.
4. Name the only school to twice be denied an at-large bid in a 10-year span despite going undefeated in regular-season conference competition. Hint: The school reached a regional final the next time it went unbeaten in league play.
5. Name the only school in the 20th Century to compete for the national championship in both football and basketball in the same academic school year. Hint: The school lost both games.
6. Who is the only individual to win tournament games while coaching schools from the three conferences with the top winning percentages in NCAA Tournament competition reflecting actual membership (ACC, Big East and Big Ten)? Hint: He is the only coach to win playoff games with as many as three different schools when they were seeded ninth or worse.
8. Who is the only leading scorer in an NCAA Tournament championship game to subsequently serve as an admiral in the U.S. Navy? Hint: He was an NCAA consensus first-team All-America the next season before eventually commanding the aircraft carrier Saratoga for two years.
9. Who is the only championship game starter in the 20th Century to be the son of a former NCAA consensus All-American? Hint: The father was a U.S. Olympic team member and the star player for the first black coach at a predominantly white Division I school.
10. Name the only teammate twosome to each score more than 25 points in an NCAA final. Hint: They combined for 53 points to lead their school to its first of multiple NCAA Tournament titles.
11. Name the only starting backcourt to combine for more than 50 points in a Final Four game. Hint: They combined to shoot 39 percent from the floor in the two Final Four games that year.
12. Who is the only individual to coach teams in the NAIA Tournament, NCAA Division III Tournament, NCAA Division II Tournament, National Invitation Tournament and NCAA Division I Tournament? Hint: He took two different schools to the five levels of national postseason competition in a 13-year span beginning with an appearance as an interim head coach.
13. Who is the only individual to be the team-high scorer for both winning and losing teams in NCAA championship games although his season scoring average was less than half of the team leader each year? Hint: He played in the shadow of an All-American whose total of points and rebounds (4,663) is the highest in NCAA history.
14. Who is the only coach to guide teams from the same school to the football Rose Bowl and basketball Final Four? Hint: The Rose Bowl and Final Four appearances were 17 years apart.
15. Name the only son of a member of one of the first classes of baseball Hall of Fame selections to start for a school in its first NCAA Tournament appearance. Hint: The son pitched for four major league teams before becoming a prominent executive. His father was a first baseman.
16. Name the only school to reach the Final Four and College World Series championship game in the same year. Hint: The school advanced to the Final Four again the next season.
17. Who is the only coach to win three first-round games with teams seeded 12th or worse? Hint: The former coach was 4-1 in tournament games decided by fewer than five points. He played basketball at Fordham when NFL Hall of Fame coach Vince Lombardi was the Rams' freshman basketball coach.
18. Name the school that won all four of its first-round games despite being seeded eighth or worse each time. Hint: The four victories came in the first five tournaments after the NCAA introduced seeding.
19. Name the only school to appear in at least three NCAA Tournaments in the 20th Century and reach a regional final each time. Hint: The school's playoff appearances were in successive years.
20. Who is the only player to obtain NCAA and NBA championship rings without participating in postseason competition for either the college or pro title teams? Hint: The 7-0 center was in his first year with both of the championship squads.
The departure of Danny Manning to Wake Forest enabled Tulsa to join Idaho, Kansas State and Penn as schools losing the most head coaches, seven, over the years to other major colleges or the NBA. Montana followed suit when Wayne Tinkle left his alma mater to align with Oregon State.
Incredibly, Tulsa lost four coaches in a seven-year span from 1995 to 2001. If Frank Haith is successful at all as coach with the Golden Hurricane after leaving Missouri's program in disarray, the prospect of such an opportunist living up to the obligations of his original seven-year deal is remote. The following list shows Idaho (11 years from 1983 to 1993) and Penn (15 years from 1971 to 1985) losing four coaches in comparable short spans:
Idaho - Dave MacMillan (left for Minnesota/1927), Dave Strack (Michigan/1960), Joe Cipriano (Nebraska/1963), Don Monson (Oregon/1983), Tim Floyd (New Orleans/1988), Kermit Davis (Texas A&M/1990), Larry Eustachy (Utah State/1993)
Kansas State - Jack Gardner (Utah/1953), Tex Winter (Washington/1968), Cotton Fitzsimmons (Phoenix Suns/1970), Lon Kruger (Florida/1990), Dana Altman (Creighton/1994), Bob Huggins (West Virginia/2008), Frank Martin (South Carolina/2012)
Montana - Jud Heathcote (Michigan State/1976), Jim Brandenburg (Wyoming/1978), Mike Montgomery (Stanford/1986), Stew Morrill (Colorado State/1991), Pat Kennedy (Towson/2004), Larry Krystkowiak (assistant with Milwaukee Bucks/2006), Wayne Tinkle (Oregon State/2014)
Penn - Howie Dallmar (Stanford/1954), Jack McCloskey (Wake Forest/1966), Dick Harter (Oregon/1971), Chuck Daly (assistant with Philadelphia 76ers/1977), Bob Weinhauer (Arizona State/1982), Craig Littlepage (Rutgers/1985), Fran Dunphy (Temple/2006)
Tulsa - Ken Hayes (New Mexico State/1975), Nolan Richardson Jr. (Arkansas/1985), Tubby Smith (Georgia/1995), Steve Robinson (Florida State/1997), Bill Self (Illinois/2000), Buzz Peterson (Tennessee/2001), Danny Manning (Wake Forest/2014)
Emphasizing a "one-and-only" theme for a "one-and-only" event, here is Day 22 of a treasure-trove of tantalizing NCAA Tournament trivia questions from CollegeHoopedia.com (10 per day from Selection Sunday through the championship game) tracking the only coach, conference, player or school to be linked to a distinguished or dubious achievement (click here for answers or conduct research digesting historical morsels in CollegeHoopedia.com's year-by-year highlights):
1. Name the only player to lead an NCAA Tournament team in season scoring and rebounding before becoming the only NCAA playoff participant to subsequently appear in both the NBA Finals and World Series. Hint: He became his alma mater's athletic director.
2. Name the only championship team to have two guards be its top two scorers for the season. Hint: It's the only school to win an NCAA title the year after losing an NCAA Tournament opener by a double-digit margin.
3. Who is the only individual to play for an NCAA champion, NBA champion and ABA champion? Hint: The 6-2 swingman averaged almost three times as many rebounds per game for back-to-back NCAA titlists as he did points per game in his pro career.
4. Name the only school to lose an NCAA Tournament game in which it connected on at least three-fourths of its field-goal attempts. Hint: The school's leading scorer in that game was a freshman who went on to average at least 22 points per game in four tourneys, including first-round games against No. 3 and No. 4 seeds his last three years.
5. Who is the only player to hit a game-winning basket in an NCAA final one year and become a consensus All-American for another university the next season? Hint: He was a second-team All-American the same season a former teammate was first-team All-American one year after being named Final Four Most Outstanding Player as a freshman.
6. Name the only team to defeat three #1 seeds in a single tourney. Hint: The three #1 seeds were the three winningest schools in the history of major-college basketball. The champion is the only team needing at least four games to win the NCAA title to have all of its playoff games decided by single-digit margins. It is also the only titlist to finish as low as fifth place in its conference standings.
7. Name the only NCAA championship team to have four freshman starters. Hint: Two of the freshmen were among three starters who also excelled in a sport other than basketball.
8. Who is the only Final Four coach to previously lead the nation in a statistical category as a major-college player? Hint: He coached his alma mater to the NCAA Tournament six years later before guiding another school to the Final Four twice in a four-year span.
9. Name the only school to appear in the NCAA Tournament under two coaches who subsequently became NBA coach of the year. Hint: The school participated in the NCAA playoffs under these individuals in back-to-back seasons before they earned their NBA awards in a five-year span.
10. Who is the only player to average more than 20 points and 10 rebounds for an NIT semifinalist one year and an NCAA semifinalist the next season? Hint: After earning an NIT Most Valuable Player award, he helped his school become the first member of a first-year conference to reach the NCAA Final Four.
There is a clear and present danger for pole sitters such as Florida. Two years ago, Kentucky became only the fourth of 31 schools atop the national rankings entering the NCAA playoffs since 1983 to capture the national championship.
In 2006, Duke became the ninth No. 1 team in 17 years to fail to advance to a regional final when the Blue Devils were eliminated by LSU. In 1992, Duke defied a trend by becoming the first top-ranked team in 10 years entering the NCAA Tournament to win a national title. The previous five top-ranked teams failed to reach the championship game. UNLV lost twice in the national semifinals (1987 and 1991) and Temple '88, Arizona '89 and Oklahoma '90 failed to reach the Final Four.
Temple, a 63-53 loser against Duke in the 1988 East Regional final, and Kansas State, an 85-75 loser against Cincinnati in the 1959 Midwest Regional final, are the only teams ranked No. 1 by both AP and UPI entering the tourney to lose by a double-digit margin before the Final Four.
The school gaining the sweetest revenge against a top-ranked team was St. John's in 1952. Defending NCAA champion Kentucky humiliated the Redmen by 41 points (81-40) early in the season when the Catholic institution became the first to have a black player on the floor at Lexington, Ky. The player, Solly Walker, played only a few minutes before he took a hit sidelining him for three weeks. But St. John's, sparked by center Bob Zawoluk's 32 points, avenged the rout by eliminating the Wildcats (64-57) in the East Regional, ending their 23-game winning streak. The Redmen, who then defeated second-ranked Illinois in the national semifinals, lost against Kansas in the NCAA final.
In the 1982 championship game, North Carolina needed a basket with 16 seconds remaining from freshman Michael Jordan to nip Georgetown, 63-62, and become the only top-ranked team in 13 years from 1979 through 1991 to capture the NCAA title. It was a particularly bitter pill to swallow for seven of the 11 top-ranked teams to lose in the NCAA championship game in overtime or by two or three points in regulation.
Florida is the latest #1 to learn it's win or go home as the Gators became the eighth top-ranked team to be eliminated in the national semifinals. Less than one-third of them captured the NCAA crown. Following is analysis sizing up how the No. 1 teams fared in the NCAA playoffs since the Associated Press introduced national rankings in 1949:
20 - Won national title (Kentucky '49; Kentucky '51; Indiana '53; San Francisco '56; North Carolina '57; UCLA '64; UCLA '67; UCLA '69; UCLA '71; UCLA '72; UCLA '73; North Carolina State '74; UCLA '75; Indiana '76; Kentucky '78; North Carolina '82; Duke '92; UCLA '95, Duke '01, and Kentucky '12.
13 - Finished as national runner-up (Bradley '50/defeated by CCNY; Ohio State '61/Cincinnati; Ohio State '62/Cincinnati; Cincinnati '63/Loyola of Chicago; Michigan '65/UCLA; Kentucky '66/Texas Western; Indiana State '79/Michigan State; Houston '83/North Carolina State; Georgetown '85/Villanova; Duke '86/Louisville; Duke '99/Connecticut; Illinois '05/North Carolina, and Ohio State '07/Florida).
8 - Lost in national semifinals (Cincinnati '60/defeated by California; Houston '68/UCLA; UNLV '87/Indiana; UNLV '91/Duke; Massachusetts '96/Kentucky; North Carolina '98/Utah; North Carolina '08/Kansas, and Florida '14/Connecticut.
8 - Lost in regional finals (Kentucky '52/defeated by St. John's; Kansas State '59/Cincinnati; Kentucky '70/Jacksonville; Michigan '77/UNC Charlotte; Temple '88/Duke; Indiana '93/Kansas; Kentucky '03/Marquette, and Louisville '09/Michigan State).
7 - Lost in regional semifinals (North Carolina '84/defeated by Indiana; Arizona '89/UNLV; Kansas '97/Arizona; Duke '00/Florida; Duke '02/Indiana); Duke '06/Louisiana State, and Ohio State '11/Kentucky).
7 - Lost in second round (DePaul '80/defeated by UCLA; DePaul '81/St. Joseph's; Oklahoma '90/North Carolina; North Carolina '94/Boston College; Stanford '04/Alabama; Kansas '10/Northern Iowa), and Gonzaga '13/Wichita State).
1 - Lost in first round (West Virginia '58/defeated by Manhattan).
1 - Declined a berth (Kentucky '54).
NOTE: After United Press International started ranking teams in 1951, UPI had just three different No. 1 teams entering the national playoffs than AP - Indiana lost in 1954 East Regional semifinals against Notre Dame, California finished as 1960 national runner-up to Ohio State and Indiana lost in 1975 Mideast Regional final against Kentucky.
Eddie Jordan, a member of the New Jersey Nets among the four NBA franchises he played for during his seven-year NBA playing career, returned to his alma mater (Rutgers '77) as head coach. Jordan didn't have a diploma but joined LSU's Johnny Jones and UNLV's Dave Rice as the only active coaches to have played for their alma mater in a Final Four. Perhaps Rutgers can meet Manhattan (Steve Masiello) in a Coaches vs. Graduation Tip-Off Classic next season to draw attention to the APR disease.
Jordan also has NBA head coaching experience (three different franchises a total of nine years) but he may need to be more like Connecticut's Kevin Ollie and Iowa State's Fred Hoiberg to make a more successful transition from the NBA to the college game. Ollie and Hoiberg had significantly less coaching experience than Jordan among the following alphabetical list of six active Division I head coaches detailing the first season they coached their alma mater after playing in the NBA:
|Active Coach||Alma Mater||1st Year||Summary of NBA Playing Career|
|Jerome Allen||Pennsylvania '95||2009-10||Averaged 2.9 ppg, 1.1 rpg and 1.7 apg with three NBA teams in two seasons in 1995-96 and 1996-97|
|Bryce Drew||Valparaiso '98||2011-12||Averaged 4.4 ppg, 1.2 rpg and 2.2 apg with three NBA teams in six seasons from 1998-99 through 2003-04|
|Fred Hoiberg||Iowa State '95||2010-11||Averaged 5.1 ppg, 2.6 rpg and 1.7 apg with the Indiana Pacers and Chicago Bulls in eight seasons from 1995-96 through 2002-03|
|Eddie Jordan||Rutgers '77||2013-14||Averaged 8.1 ppg, 1.9 rpg and 3.8 apg with four NBA teams in seven seasons from 1977-78 through 1983-84|
|Kevin Ollie||Connecticut '95||2012-13||Averaged 3.8 ppg, 1.5 rpg and 2.3 apg with 12 NBA teams in 13 seasons from 1997-98 through 2009-10|
|Lorenzo Romar||Washington '80||2002-03||Averaged 5.9 ppg, 1.1 rpg and 3.5 apg with three NBA teams in five seasons from 1980-81 through 1984-85|
Close likely will determine who gets to smoke the victory cigar. Kentucky, after disappointing by losing eight of its first 10 games decided by fewer than six points, turned things around this season and reached the NCAA championship game by winning five playoff games by a total of only 18 points. Kevin Ollie's sterling start as UConn's coach stems from winning 13 of his first 19 games decided by fewer than six points in his first two campaigns. Florida's Billy Donovan, despite prevailing in seven of eight outings decided by fewer than six points this season, probably would already be in the Naismith Hall of Fame if he had a better career record in close contests, winning only 42% of his first 97 games decided by fewer than four points. Wisconsin's Bo Ryan has one of the five best marks among active coaches in tight tilts decided by fewer than six points.
Ask Arizona fans if close doesn't count after the Wildcats lost four regional finals from 2003 through 2014 by a total of seven points. Following is how the 2014 Final Four coaches have fared at the major-college level in games decided by fewer than six points:
|Final Four Coach||School||DI Seasons||1||2||3||4||5||Total||Pct.|
|Kevin Ollie||Connecticut||2013 and 2014||3-1||2-1||1-0||2-2||5-2||13-6||.684|
Emphasizing a "one-and-only" theme for a "one-and-only" event, here is Day 21 of a treasure-trove of tantalizing NCAA Tournament trivia questions from CollegeHoopedia.com (10 per day from Selection Sunday through the championship game) tracking the only coach, conference, player or school to be linked to a distinguished or dubious achievement (click here for answers or conduct research digesting historical morsels in CollegeHoopedia.com's year-by-year highlights):
1. Who is the only player to post the highest-scoring game in a single tournament the same year he also played major league baseball? Hint: He is a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
2. Who is the only Final Four player to become AAU national champion in the decathlon in the same year? Hint: The Final Four team's third-leading scorer and second-leading rebounder finished third in the decathlon the previous year.
3. Who is the only Final Four player to finish among the top two high jumpers in four NCAA national track meets? Hint: The starting center for a national championship team is the first athlete to place in the NCAA high jump four consecutive years.
4. Name the only coach in NCAA history to reach an NCAA Division I Tournament regional final in back-to-back years with different schools. Hint: He also reached a regional final in his first season at his next coaching outpost.
5. Name the only top-ranked team entering the tournament to be eliminated by an opponent it defeated by more than 40 points during the regular season. Hint: The school that avenged the embarrassing defeat upended the nation's second-ranked team in its next playoff game.
6. Who is the only individual to play in the NCAA Tournament before setting several major league fielding records for a second baseman? Hint: He was the second-leading scorer for his school's playoff team and one of his teammates has been a prominent college basketball coach for more than 20 years.
7. Who is the only member of the College Football Hall of Fame to participate in back-to-back Final Fours? Hint: He is one of the few athletes to earn consensus football All-American honors at two positions.
8. Who is the only individual to lead a school in scoring in an NCAA Tournament before leading a major league in doubles as a player and manage a team in a World Series? Hint: The outfielder drove in six runs in one inning of an American League game.
9. Name the only university to win a minimum of two games in four different postseason national tournaments - NAIA, NCAA Division II, NIT and NCAA Division I. Hint: Of the schools to win at least one game in all four national tourneys, it is the only one with an overall losing record in postseason competition.
10. Name the only school to win back-to-back basketball championships the same academic school years it participated in New Year's Day football bowl games. Hint: One of the two basketball title teams is the only school to have as many as 26 different players appear in its games in a season it won an NCAA crown. The two titlists helped the school become the only university to reach the NCAA championship game in its first three playoff appearances.
Sports Illustrated supplied one of the best Final Four features focusing on the 25th anniversary of when Seton Hall's Ramon Ramos and Michigan's Rumeal Robinson played prominent roles before encountering extreme difficulties. Ramos has brain damage stemming from an auto accident in mid-December 1989 when he hit a patch of ice speeding in a borrowed Nissan 300ZX. Meanwhile, Robinson joined the "bad boys of basketball" by being imprisoned for shady real estate deals.
But at least Ramos and Robinson are alive. The existence of a Final Four curse is debatable although there is no denying that a striking number of prominent national semifinal players died prematurely. Any tribute isn't enough when a man is buried before his time. The following list of Final Four players (cited chronologically) passed away early, but the deceased left lasting memories:
Three of Oregon's starting five on the first NCAA championship team in 1939 - guards Bobby Anet and Wally Johansen and center Slim Wintermute - all died in their 40s. Wintermute disappeared in Lake Washington in 1977, a case that never has been solved.
Center Bill Menke, the third-leading scorer for Indiana's 1940 NCAA champion who supplied a team-high 10 points in the Hoosiers' national semifinal victory over Duquesne, later became a Navy pilot and served in World War II. In January 1945, he was declared missing in action (and presumed dead) when he didn't return from a flight in the Caribbean.
Thomas P. Hunter, a three-year letterman who was a sophomore member of Kansas' 1940 runner-up, was killed in action against the Japanese on Guam, July 21, 1944, while fighting with the Ninth Marines as a first lieutenant. Hunter was elected posthumously as captain of the Jayhawks' 1945-46 squad that compiled a 19-2 record.
All 11 regulars on Pitt's 1941 Final Four team participated in World War II and one of them, guard Bob Artman, was killed in action.
Three of the top seven scorers for Kentucky's first NCAA Tournament and Final Four team in 1942 died during World War II - Mel Brewer (Army second lieutenant/25 years old in France), Ken England (Army captain of ski troop/23 in Italy) and Jim King (Army second lieutenant and co-pilot/24 in Germany).
Jim Krebs, the leading scorer and rebounder for Southern Methodist's 1956 Final Four squad, was killed in 1965 at the age of 30 in a freak accident. While helping a neighbor clear storm damage, a tree limb fell the wrong way and crushed his skull.
Gary Bradds, a backup to national player of the year Jerry Lucas for Ohio State's 1962 NCAA runner-up before earning the same award himself two years later, died of cancer in July 1983 when he was 40. Bradds was principal of an elementary school in Bowersville, Ohio, at the time of his death.
Bill Buntin, the leading rebounder and second-leading scorer (behind Cazzie Russell) for Michigan's Final Four teams in 1964 and 1965, collapsed and died during an informal workout one day after his 26th birthday in May 1968.
Ken Spain and Theodis Lee, starting frontcourters with All-America Elvin Hayes for Houston's team that entered the 1968 Final Four with an undefeated record, died of cancer. Spain, who overcame cancer after he was first diagnosed with it in 1977, died of the disease 13 years later in October 1990 when he was 44. Lee, who played for the Harlem Globetrotters, was 33 when he passed away in March 1979, one week after the illness was diagnosed.
Steve Patterson, one of UCLA's top three rebounders for NCAA kingpins in 1970 and 1971 after serving as Lew Alcindor's understudy for another titlist in 1969, died in 2004 at the age of 56 because of lung cancer.
Danny Knight, the leading scorer and rebounder for Kansas' 1974 Final Four team, was 24 when he died in June 1977, three weeks after sustaining injuries in a fall down the steps at his home. Knight had been suffering headaches for some time and doctors attributed his death to an aneurysm in the brain. Teammate Norm Cook, the Jayhawks' second-leading rebounder and fourth-leading scorer as a freshman, was 53 in 2008 when he died after suffering from paranoid schizophrenia most of his adult life.
Dan Hall, a frontcourt backup from Kentucky's historic recruiting class as a freshman for UK's 1975 NCAA Tournament runner-up, died of an apparent suicide at age 58 the first full week in January 2013. Hall subsequently transferred to Marshall, where he averaged 10.4 ppg and 5.6 rpg in 1976-77 and 1977-78.
Center Jerome Whitehead, the second-leading rebounder and third-leading scorer for Marquette's 1977 NCAA titlist, was 56 in mid-December 2012 when he was found dead because of chronic alcohol abuse. Teammate Gary Rosenberger, a guard who was the fourth-leading scorer in coach Al McGuire's swan song, passed away in the fall of 2013 at the age of 57 due to complications from a heart attack and stroke.
Guard Chad Kinch, the third-leading scorer for UNC Charlotte's 1977 Final Four team as a freshman, died at his parents' home in Cartaret, N.J., from complications caused by AIDS. He passed away on April 3, 1994, the day between the Final Four semifinals and final in Charlotte. The host school happened to be UNC Charlotte. It was the second time Kinch's parents lost a son. Sixteen years earlier, Ray Kinch, a Rutgers football player, was killed in a house fire.
Forward Glen Gondrezick, the leading rebounder and third-leading scorer for UNLV's 1977 third-place club, died in late April 2009 at the age of 53 due to complications stemming from a heart transplant he received the previous September.
Center Lewis Brown, the third-leading rebounder and sixth-leading scorer for UNLV's 1977 national third-place team, spent more than 10 years homeless on the streets of Santa Monica, Calif., before passing away in mid-September 2011 at the age of 56. According to the New York Times, family members said he used cocaine with the Rebels. "drugs were his downfall," said his sister.
Murray State transfer Larry Moffett, the second-leading rebounder for UNLV's 1977 national third-place team, passed away in early May 2011 in Shreveport, La., at the age of 56. He previously was a cab driver in Las Vegas.
Orlando Woolridge, a backup freshman in 1978 when Notre Dame made its lone Final Four appearance before he became a scoring specialist in 13 NBA seasons, died at the end of May 2012 at the age of 52 because of a chronic heart condition.
Matt White, the second-leading rebounder and third-leading scorer for Penn's 1979 Final Four squad as a senior, was fatally stabbed in mid-February 2013 by his wife, who told police she had caught him looking at child pornography. White, the Quakers' all-time leader in field-goal shooting (59.1%), was 55.
Derek Smith, the leading rebounder and second-leading scorer as a sophomore forward for Louisville's 1980 NCAA champion, died of a heart ailment at age 34 on August 9, 1996, while on a cruise with his family. He was the leading scorer and second-leading rebounder for the Cardinals' 1982 Final Four team before averaging 12.8 ppg and 3.2 rpg in the NBA with five different franchises. His son, Nolan, became a starting guard for Duke's 2010 NCAA titlist.
Rob Williams, leading scorer for Houston's 1982 Final Four team, died of congestive heart failure at the age of 52 in March 2014 after suffering a stroke 15 years earlier that left him blind in his left eye and partially paralyzed on his left side. Williams denied rumors he was too high on cocaine to play against North Carolina in the national semifinals (0-for-8 field-goal shooting). But Williams admitted he used drugs. "Cocaine came later but I started out smoking weed (in junior high)," Williams said. "I was always a curious type of fellow, so I wanted to see what cocaine was about. So I tried it. And to tell you the truth, I like it."
Lorenzo Charles, the second-leading rebounder for N.C. State's 1983 champion, provided one of the tourney's most memorable moments with a game-winning dunk against heavily-favored Houston in the final. Working for a limousine and bus company based in Apex, N.C., he was killed in June 2011 when the charter bus the 47-year-old was driving with no passengers aboard crashed along Interstate 40 in Raleigh.
Melvin Turpin, the leading scorer and second-leading rebounder as a senior for Kentucky's 1984 Final Four team (29-5 record), was 49 and battling diabetes in July 2010 when he committed suicide with a self-inflicted gunshot to the chest.
Baskerville Holmes, a starting forward who averaged 9.6 points and 5.9 rebounds per game for Memphis State's 1985 Final Four team, and his girlfriend were found shot to death on March 18, 1997 in an apparent murder-suicide in Memphis. He was 32.
Guard Phil Henderson, the leading scorer and senior captain of Duke's 1990 NCAA Tournament runner-up, died of cardiac arrest in mid-February 2013 at his home in the Philippines at the age of 44. He was the Blue Devils' second-leading scorer as a junior and sixth-leading scorer as a sophomore for two more Final Four squads.
Larry Marks, a backup forward for Arkansas' 1990 Final Four squad after being a starter the previous season, died of an apparent heart attack in mid-June 2000 after playing some recreational basketball. He was 33.
Sean Tunstall, a reserve guard for Kansas' 1991 NCAA Tournament runner-up was shot and killed at age 28 in the parking lot of a recreation center in his native St. Louis on October 16, 1997, in a drug deal gone bad. Tunstall, recruited to KU when Larry Brown was the Jayhawks' coach, had received a prison sentence after pleading guilty to one count of selling cocaine in 1993. "He was one of the few kids I never thought I completely reached," KU coach Roy Williams said.
Peter Sauer, a captain and third-leading rebounder for Stanford's 1998 Final Four squad, was 35 when he collapsed during a recreation game in White Plains, N.Y., hit his head and never was revived. His father, Mark Sauer, is a former president of two pro franchises - the NHL's St. Louis Blues and MLB's Pittsburgh Pirates.