"Good habits formed at youth make all the difference." - Aristotle
Andrew Rowsey isn't a card-carrying member of the freshman watch list the national media regularly drools on. But Rowsey, adhering to Aristotle's admonition about forming good habits, is on a short list of yearlings who had an early explosion, tying UNC Asheville's DI single-game scoring record with 41 points at Radford.
The Big South Conference boasted a comparable high-scoring freshman in 2008-09 when Liberty's Seth Curry contributed 102 three-pointers to finish with an average of 20.2 ppg before he transferred to Duke. Rowsey, hitting more than 40% of his shots from beyond the arc, is on pace to challenge Curry's freshman total for treys. Many power league members are in dire need of outside marksmen. Could Rowsey, despite scoring only two points at Duke in non-league competition, be the next Curry moving up to a major university after proving himself at the mid-major level?
One of the single-game scoring marks for an NCAA Division I school set by a freshman goes back nearly 100 years and another came courtesy of a current coach in the ACC (Virginia's Tony Bennett). Following is a chronological list Virginia native Rowsey joined of the modest number of 10 different freshmen who established existing school single-game scoring records at the DI level (Austin Peay's Fly Williams tied his own mark):
|School||Frosh Record Holder||HG||Opponent||Date|
|Toledo||Clarke "Pinky" Pittenger||49||Bluffton (Ohio)||12-13-18|
|Austin Peay||James "Fly" Williams||51||Georgia Southern||12-30-72|
|Austin Peay||James "Fly" Williams||51||Tennessee Tech||1-20-73|
|Green Bay||Tony Bennett||44||Cleveland State||2-11-89|
|Mississippi Valley State||Alphonso Ford||51||Texas Southern||2-19-90|
|Lipscomb||Jeff Dancy||38||Tennessee State||1-14-02|
|Albany||Jamar Wilson||39||New Hampshire||2-16-03|
|Eastern Washington||Rodney Stuckey||45||Northern Arizona||1-5-06|
|Kennesaw State||Andre Morgan||35||North Florida||2-3-06|
|UNC Asheville||Andrew Rowsey||41||Radford||2-13-14|
"The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience." - Eleanor Roosevelt
What can Brown do for SMU or what will Brown do to SMU? That was the question when the Mustangs hired coaching fossil Larry Brown. After returning to the national polls for the first time in 29 years, his short stewardship has already generated more national publicity than Southern Methodist basketball enjoyed collectively since 1988, which was Brown's last year as a college coach and the Mustangs' final year to post an NCAA playoff victory.
Brown, unafraid to taste experience to the utmost, is probably comfortable with nomadic SMU because the Mustangs joined their third different league since the SWC disbanded in 1996. If Brown guides SMU to the NCAA playoffs for the first time since 1993, it will be the equivalent of him directing UCLA to an NCAA runner-up finish in his debut season with the Bruins in 1980. If he can win an NCAA Tournament game with the Mustangs, it will be the equivalent of him capturing a national title in his swan song with Kansas in 1988. After all, SMU was a total of 55 games under .500 over the 24 seasons prior to Brown's arrival.
Only a splendid tactician can be the lone individual ever to win NCAA and NBA titles. And Brown, who coached nearly half of the franchises regularly in recent NBA playoffs, has capitalized on his shot at turning things around quickly for the Mustangs because the American Athletic Conference is a shell of the old Big East after Pittsburgh, Syracuse and West Virginia departed for other premier leagues.
Brown, one of six men to be hired by an NBA team after winning an NCAA championship, is the only one in this category to compile a winning NBA playoff record. Three other coaches directed teams to the NCAA Final Four and the NBA championship series - Jack Ramsay (St. Joseph's 1961 and Portland Trail Blazers 1977), Fred Schaus (West Virginia 1959 and the Los Angeles Lakers 1962), 1963, 1965, 1966) and Butch van Breda Kolff (Princeton 1965 and the Lakers 1968, 1969). Neither Ramsay (8-11) nor Schaus (6-7) finished their collegiate coaching careers with winning NCAA playoff records, however.
Only Phil Jackson and Pat Riley coached in and won more NBA playoff games than Brown. Brad Stevens, after leaving Butler for the Boston Celtics, is discerning that it's a star-crossed crossing over from college to the NBA. Just compare Brown's pro credentials to the losing NBA coaching records of the last two NCAA titlists - Kentucky's John Calipari and Louisville's Rick Pitino. Following is an alphabetical list summarizing the NBA careers of Brown and 14 additional individuals who aligned with NBA franchises as head coaches after marshaling a college team to the Final Four:
|Coach||NCAA Final Four Team(s)||NBA Years||Regular-Season||Playoff Record|
|Larry Brown||UCLA '80/Kansas '86 & '88||27||1,098-904||100-93|
|John Calipari||Massachusetts '96/Memphis '08/Kentucky '11 & '12||3||72-112||0-3|
|P.J. Carlesimo||Seton Hall '89||8||204-296||3-9|
|*Bob Feerick||Santa Clara '52||2||63-74||0-2|
|Ed Jucker||Cincinnati '61, '62 & '63||2||80-84||0-0|
|Doggie Julian||Holy Cross '47 & '48||2||47-81||0-0|
|Frank McGuire||St. John's '52/North Carolina '57||1||49-31||6-6|
|Mike Montgomery||Stanford '98||2||68-96||0-0|
|Harold Olsen||Ohio State '39, '44, '45 & '46||3||95-63||7-11|
|Rick Pitino||PC '87/Kentucky '93, '96 & '97/Louisville '05 & '12||6||192-220||6-7|
|Jack Ramsay||St. Joseph's '61||21||864-783||44-58|
|Fred Schaus||West Virginia '59||7||315-245||23-38|
|Jerry Tarkanian||UNLV '77, '87, '90 & '91||1||9-11||0-0|
|Butch van Breda Kolff||Princeton '65||9||266-253||21-12|
|Tex Winter||Kansas State '58 & '64||2||51-78||0-0|
NOTES: Jucker (Rollins), Julian (Dartmouth), McGuire (South Carolina), Olsen (Northwestern), Pitino (Kentucky and Louisville), Schaus (Purdue), Tarkanian (Fresno State), van Breda Kolff (Lafayette and Hofstra) and Winter (Northwestern and Long Beach State) returned to college as head coaches after their stints in the NBA. . . . Ken Loeffler was coach of the St. Louis Bombers and Providence Steamrollers for three seasons (1946-47 through 1948-49) before directing La Salle to back-to-back Final Fours (1954 champion and 1955 runner-up). . . . Phil Woolpert, coach of San Francisco's back-to-back NCAA champions (1955 and 1956), coached the San Francisco Saints for one season in the old American Basketball League.
"Some kids need those two years to prepare them to come to a four-year school. We should not look down on those kids." - Western Kentucky/Minnesota coach Clem Haskins, an All-American for WKU
It wasn't long ago when only a splinter group of maverick coaches were sufficiently bold to liberally dot their rosters with junior college players stereotyped as discipline problems, academic risks or simply unsuitable to go directly from high school to major college programs. "Jucoland" was labeled by misguided observers as little more than basketball rehabilitation where free-lance players enjoyed free rein to make Great Plains arenas their own personal H-O-R-S-E stables
But a glance at NBA rosters over the years and the backgrounds of many of the nation's prominent Division I coaches suggests there probably never should have been a stigma attached to the J.C. ranks. Observers seldom hear college or NBA commentators credit a J.C. beginning, but many premier NBA players competed for a two-year school at some point in their college careers - Tiny Archibald, Mookie Blaylock, Ron Boone, Ron Brewer, Fred Brown, Mack Calvin, Sam Cassell, Michael Cooper, Mel Daniels, Steve Francis, Artis Gilmore, Harvey Grant, Spencer Haywood, Lionel Hollins, Avery Johnson, Dennis Johnson, Gus Johnson, Larry Johnson, Vinnie Johnson, Freddie Lewis, Jim Loscutoff, Shawn Marion, Bob McAdoo, Nate McMillan, Ricky Pierce, Mitch Richmond, Dennis Rodman, Latrell Sprewell, John Starks, Jamaal Tinsley, Nick Van Exel, Ben Wallace and Gerald Wilkins.
Denny Crum, Lute Olson, Nolan Richardson and Jerry Tarkanian are former juco coaches who eventually guided teams to NCAA Tournament titles. Forward Cleanthony Early (Wichita State/Missouri Valley) should become the latest junior college recruit (Sullivan County, NY) to join the following alphabetical list of more than 80 players who were MVP/Player of the Year in an NCAA Division I conference:
"If we all did the things we are capable of, we would astound ourselves." - Thomas Edison
When California edged visiting Arizona at the buzzer, it was the fifth time coach Mike Montgomery defeated the nation's top-ranked team. Montgomery twice beat the Wildcats among four #1 opponents he knocked off while coaching Pac-12 Conference rival Stanford (Arizona in 1987-88 and 2002-03, Duke in 2000-01 and Kansas in 2003-04). Montgomery wasn't like Edison by inventing the upset but he is one of three coaches to upend at two different outposts the same opponent when it was atop the national polls.
Ralph Miller (Wichita State/beat #! Cincinnati; Iowa/beat UCLA, and Oregon State/beat UCLA) is the only coach to defeat three #1 clubs while bench boss of three different schools. Joining Montgomery and Miller on the following list of coaches who defeated a nationally top-ranked team with at least two different schools are:
- Tom Crean (Marquette/beat #1 Kentucky; Indiana/beat Kentucky and Michigan)
- Jack Gardner (Kansas State/Oklahoma A&M; Utah/La Salle)
- Mark Gottfried (Alabama/Stanford; North Carolina State/Duke)
- Seth Greenberg (Long Beach State/Kansas; Virginia Tech/North Carolina, Wake Forest and Duke)
- Thad Matta (Xavier/St. Joseph's; Ohio State/Wisconsin)
- Frank McGuire (St. John's/Bradley and Kentucky; North Carolina/North Carolina State)
- Lute Olson (Iowa/Indiana; Arizona/Kansas and Stanford twice)
- Rick Pitino (Kentucky/Arkansas and Massachusetts; Louisville/Florida, Pittsburgh and Syracuse)
- Lee Rose (UNC Charlotte/Michigan; Purdue/Michigan State)
- Gary Williams (Ohio State/Iowa; Maryland/North Carolina three times, Stanford, Duke twice and Florida)
- Roy Williams (Kansas/Indiana twice and Massachusetts; North Carolina/Connecticut, Illinois, Duke and Michigan State)
"Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally." - Abraham Lincoln
Black History Month has arrived again, and accompanying it are an assortment of facts and opinions celebrating contributions blacks have made to the American landscape. It took more than 100 years after emancipator Abraham Lincoln to make a nationwide transition, but nowhere is that emphasis more evident than in the athletic world.
Letting freedom ring, every sports fan acknowledges the cultural significance of Jackie Robinson. A movie ("42") debuted last spring regarding Robinson beginning his major league baseball career, but it is easy to forget there was a time when the now 75% black National Basketball Association was 100% white. It's also easy to forget how Robinson was instrumental in college basketball's "civil rights" movement.
Before Robinson arrived on the scene in the National League, however, there was Columbia's George Gregory, who became the first African-American to gain college All-American honors in 1930-31. In an era of low scoring, he was the team's second-leading scorer with a 9.2-point average. But he was proudest of his defense, and a statistic that is no longer kept: "goals against." In 10 games, Gregory held rival centers to only eight baskets. "That's less than one goal a game," he told the New York Times. "I think they should have kept that statistical category. Nowadays, one guy scores 40 points but his man scores 45. So what good is it?
"It's funny, but even though I was the only black playing for Columbia, and there was only one other black playing in the Ivy League - Baskerville of Harvard - I really didn't encounter too much trouble from opponents. Oh, I got into a couple of fights. And one time a guy called me 'Nigger,' and a white teammate said, 'Next time, you hit him high and I'll hit him low.' And we did, and my teammate, a Polish guy named Remy Tys, said to that other player, 'That's how we take care of nigger callers.'"
But Gregory said the worst racial incident he encountered was at his own school. "After our last game in my junior year, the team voted me captain for the next season. Well, there was a hell of a battle when this came out. Columbia didn't want a black captain, or a Jewish captain, either, I learned. The dean was against it, and the athletic director was against it, and even the coach was against it.
"The coach told me, 'Get yourself together, Gregory, or I'll take your scholarship away.' They were worried that if we played a school in the South and met the other captain before the game, the guy would refuse to come out and it would embarrass the school. But the campus was split 50-50 on whether to have a black captain for its basketball team.
"The fight went on for three or four weeks. The school insisted that the team vote again. We did, and I won again. One of my teammates said, `You forced the school to enter the 20th Century.'"
Harrison "Honey" Fitch, Connecticut's first black player, was center stage during a racial incident delaying a game at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy for several hours in late January 1934. Coast Guard officials entered a protest against Fitch, arguing that because half of the Academy's student body was from southern states, they had a tradition "that no Negro players be permitted to engage in contests at the Academy." Eventually, UConn's coach kept Fitch on the bench the entire contest and never explained why.
The first black to appear in the NBA didn't occur until a couple of decades after Gregory graduated and Fitch transferred to American International. UCLA's first basketball All-American Don Barksdale, one of the first seven African-Americans to play in the NBA, was the first black U.S. Olympic basketball player (1948) as well as the first black to play in an NBA All-Star Game (as a rookie in 1952).
Inspired by the black labor movement in the 1930s, Barksdale said, "I made up my mind that if I wanted to do something, I was going to try to do it all the way, no matter the obstacles."
As a 28-year-old rookie with the Baltimore Bullets, he was paid $20,850 (one of the NBA's top salaries) to play and host a postgame radio show, but that notoriety also put extra pressure on him. Forced to play excessive minutes during the preseason, he sustained ankle injuries that plagued him the remainder of his four-year NBA career (11 ppg and 8 rpg).
Why play so many minutes? "It's Baltimore, which is considered the South," said Barksdale, who wound up back in the Bay Area as a well-known jazz disc jockey. "So the South finally signed a black man, and he's going to play whether he could walk or crawl."
Chuck Cooper, who attended Duquesne on the GI Bill, was the first black player drafted by an NBA franchise. "I don't give a damn if he's striped or plaid or polka-dot," were the history-making words of Boston Celtics Owner Walter Brown when he selected Cooper, who averaged 6.7 points and 5.9 rebounds per game in six pro seasons. In Cooper's freshman campaign, Duquesne was awarded a forfeit after refusing to yield to Tennessee's refusal to compete against the Dukes if Cooper participated in a game just before Christmas.
In the 1955-56 season, the Hazleton (Pa.) Hawks of the Eastern League became the first professional league franchise to boast an all-black starting lineup - Jesse Arnelle, Tom Hemans, Fletcher Johnson, Floyd Lane and Sherman White. Arnelle (Penn State) and White (Long Island) were former major-college All-Americans.
As for the multi-talented Robinson, UCLA's initial all-conference basketball player in the 1940s was a forward who compiled the highest scoring average in the Pacific Coast Conference both of his seasons with the Bruins (12.3 points per league game in 1939-40 and 11.1 ppg in 1940-41) after transferring from Pasadena (Calif.) City College. Continuing his scoring exploits, the six-time National League All-Star who spurred #42 uniforms throughout MLB was the leading scorer for the Los Angeles Red Devils' barnstorming team in 1946-47.
Seven-time All-Star outfielder Larry Doby, the first black in the American League, was also a college basketball player who helped pave the way for minorities. He competed on the hardwood for Virginia Union during World War II after originally committing to LIU. The four-month lead Robinson had in integrating the majors casts a huge shadow over Doby, who was the first black to lead his league in homers (32 in 1952), first to hit a World Series homer and first to win a World Series title.
With less than 10% of current MLB rosters comprised of African-Americans, Robinson clearly had much more of a longstanding impact on basketball than baseball. All of the trailblazers didn't capitalize on a Methodist faith like Robinson, but they did boast a temperament unlike Oklahoma State's fan-pushing All-American guard Marcus Smart. In deference to "firsts" and the number 42, following is a ranking of the 42 best players to break the color barrier at the varsity level of a major university (*indicates junior college recruit):
|Rank||First Black Player||School||First Varsity Season||Summary of College Career|
|1.||Elvin Hayes||Houston||1965-66||Three-time All-American averaged 31 ppg and 17.2 rpg in three seasons. The Hall of Famer led the Cougars in scoring and rebounding each year before becoming first pick overall in 1968 NBA draft.|
|2.||Hal Greer||Marshall||1955-56||The first African-American to play intercollegiate athletics in the state of West Virginia averaged 19.4 ppg and 10.8 rpg in three seasons. Naismith Memorial Hall of Famer led the Thundering Herd in rebounding as a junior (13.8 rpg) and senior (11.7 rpg) before becoming a 10-time NBA All-Star.|
|3.||Charlie Scott||North Carolina||1967-68||Averaged 22.1 ppg and 7.1 rpg in three seasons. He was a consensus second-team All-American choice his last two years.|
|4.||Clem Haskins||Western Kentucky||1964-65||Three-time OVC Player of the Year was a consensus first-team All-American as a senior. Averaged 22.1 ppg and 10.6 rpg in three varsity seasons. First-round NBA draft pick (3rd overall) in 1967.|
|5.||K.C. Jones||San Francisco||1951-52||Shut-down defender Jones, a member of the 1955 NCAA champion and 1956 Olympic champion, averaged 8.8 ppg in five seasons (played only one game in 1953-54 before undergoing an appendectomy).|
|6.||Walter Dukes||Seton Hall||1950-51||Averaged 19.9 ppg and 18.9 rpg in three seasons. Consensus first-team All-American as a senior when he averaged 26.1 ppg and 22.2 rpg to lead the Dukes to a 31-2 record and NIT title. Played two full seasons with the Harlem Globetrotters before signing with the New York Knicks, who picked him in 1953 NBA draft.|
|7.||Don Chaney||Houston||1965-66||Defensive whiz Chaney, an All-American as a senior, averaged 12.6 ppg in three seasons and was a member of Final Four teams in 1967 and 1968.|
|8.||John Austin||Boston College||1963-64||Two-time All-American averaged 27 ppg in his Eagles' career. Ranked among the nation's leading scorers in 1964 (8th), 1965 (7th) and 1966 (22nd). Scored 40 points in a 1965 NIT contest. He was a fourth-round choice by the Boston Celtics in 1966 NBA draft.|
|9.||Mike Maloy||Davidson||1967-68||Three-time All-American averaged 19.3 ppg and 12.4 rpg in his career. Southern Conference Player of the Year as a junior and senior. He was the leading scorer (24.6 ppg) and rebounder (14.3 rpg) for the winningest team in school history (27-3 in 1968-69). Selected by the Pittsburgh Condors in the first five rounds of 1970 ABA draft.|
|10.||Cleo Littleton||Wichita||1951-52||Averaged 19 ppg and 7.7 rpg in four seasons, leading the Shockers in scoring each year. School's career scoring leader (2,164 points) is the only four-time first-team All-Missouri Valley Conference choice. He was selected by the Fort Wayne Pistons in 1955 NBA draft.|
|11.||Wendell Hudson||Alabama||1970-71||Averaged 19.2 ppg and 12 rpg in his career, finishing as Bama's fourth-leading scorer and second-leading rebounder. The two-time All-SEC first-team selection was a Helms All-American choice as a senior in 1972-73 before being selected in the second round of NBA draft by the Chicago Bulls.|
|12.||Bob Gibson||Creighton||1954-55||Future Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher was the school's first player to average at least 20 ppg in his career (20.2). Led the Bluejays in scoring (22 ppg) and rebounding (7.6 rpg) as a junior. Gibson, who said he couldn't eat or stay with the rest of the Bluejays' team on his first trip to Tulsa, went on to play with the Harlem Globetrotters.|
|13.||Bill Garrett||Indiana||1948-49||First impact African-American player in Big Ten Conference averaged 12 ppg while leading the Hoosiers in scoring each of his three varsity seasons. Paced them in rebounding as a senior (8.5 rpg) when he was an all-league first-team selection. Selected by the Boston Celtics in second round of 1951 NBA draft.|
|14.||Earl Robinson||California||1955-56||Three-time All-PCC second-team selection averaged at least 10 ppg each of three varsity seasons as 6-1 guard under HOF coach Pete Newell. Robinson averaged 15.5 points in four NCAA Tournament games his last two years, leading the Bears in scoring in two of the playoff contests.|
|15.||Tom Payne||Kentucky||1970-71||Led the Wildcats in rebounding (10.1 rpg) and was their second-leading scorer (16.9 ppg) in his only varsity season before turning pro. The All-SEC first-team selection had a 39-point, 19-rebound performance against Louisiana State before leaving school early and becoming an NBA first-round draft choice by the Atlanta Hawks.|
|16.||Ron "Fritz" Williams||West Virginia||1965-66||Southern Conference player of the year as a senior led Mountaineers in scoring and assists all three varsity seasons on his way to finishing with averages of 20.1 ppg and 6 apg. Williams, a two-time all-league first-team selection, was a first-round pick in 1968 NBA draft (9th overall).|
|17.||James Cash||Texas Christian||1966-67||SWC's initial African-American player averaged 13.9 ppg and 11.6 rpg in three seasons. Two-time all-league second-team selection led the Horned Frogs in scoring (16.3 ppg) and rebounding (11.6 rpg) as a senior. Cash had six games with at least 20 rebounds.|
|18.||John Savage||North Texas||1961-62||Detroit product averaged 19.2 ppg in leading the Eagles in scoring all three of his varsity seasons with them. Three-time All-MVC selection was fifth-round choice by the Los Angeles Lakers in 1964 NBA draft.|
|19.||Willie Allen||Miami (Fla.)||1968-69||Averaged 17.2 ppg and 12.2 rpg in three seasons. Led Hurricanes in scoring (19.9 ppg) and rebounding (17.2 rpg) as senior. Fourth-round choice of the Baltimore Bullets in 1971 NBA draft played briefly for ABA's The Floridans during 1971-72 season.|
|20.||Jerry Jenkins||Mississippi State||1972-73||All-SEC selection as a junior and senior when he was the Bulldogs' leading scorer each year, averaging 19.3 ppg and 7 rpg in three seasons.|
|21.||Stew Johnson||Murray State||1963-64||Averaged 16.8 ppg and 12.9 rpg in three seasons en route to finishing his career as the school's all-time fourth-leading scorer (1,275 points) and second-leading rebounder (981). He was a third-round choice of New York Knicks in 1966 NBA draft before becoming a three-time ABA All-Star.|
|22.||Gene Knolle*||Texas Tech||1969-70||Two-time All-SWC first-team selection averaged 21.5 ppg and 8.4 rpg in two seasons before becoming a seventh-round choice by the Portland Trail Blazers in 1971 NBA draft.|
|23.||Joe Bertrand||Notre Dame||1951-52||Averaged 14.6 ppg in three seasons, including 16.5 as a senior when the Irish finished year ranked sixth in final AP poll. He was a 10th-round choice in 1954 NBA draft by the Milwaukee Hawks.|
|24.||Hadie Redd||Arizona||1953-54||Led the Wildcats in scoring (13.2 ppg and 13.6) and rebounding (7 rpg and 9.4) in both of his varsity seasons.|
|25.||Almer Lee*||Arkansas||1969-70||He was the Hogs' leading scorer in 1969-70 (17 ppg) and 1970-71 (19.2 ppg as All-SWC second-team selection).|
|26.||John "Jackie" Moore||La Salle||1951-52||Averaged 10.3 ppg and 12.1 rpg in two seasons. Second-leading rebounder both years for the Explorers behind All-American Tom Gola. Played three seasons in the NBA as first black player for Philadelphia Warriors.|
|27.||Greg Lowery*||Texas Tech||1969-70||Averaged 19.7 ppg in his three-year career. First-team All-SWC as a sophomore and senior and second-team choice as junior en route to finishing as school's career scoring leader (1,476 points).|
|28.||Henry Harris||Auburn||1969-70||Averaged 11.8 ppg, 6.7 rpg and 2.5 apg in three-year varsity career. Standout defensive player was captain as a senior. He was an eighth-round choice by the Houston Rockets in 1972 NBA draft.|
|29.||Tommy Bowman||Baylor||1967-68||Two-time All-SWC first-team selection led the Bears in scoring (13.5 ppg) and rebounding (9.4 rpg) in his first varsity season.|
|30.||Ronnie Hogue||Georgia||1970-71||Finished three-year varsity career as the second-leading scorer in school history (17.8 ppg). Hogue was an All-SEC second-team choice with 20.5 ppg as a junior, when he set the school single-game scoring record with 46 points against LSU. He was a seventh-round choice of the Capital Bullets in 1973 NBA draft.|
|31.||Coolidge Ball||Mississippi||1971-72||Two-time All-SEC second-team selection (sophomore and junior years) averaged 14.1 ppg and 9.9 rpg in three seasons. He led the Rebels in scoring (16.8 ppg) and was second in rebounding (10.3 rpg) as a sophomore.|
|32.||Carl Head*||West Virginia||1965-66||Averaged 17.1 ppg and 7.9 rpg in two seasons. Paced the team in field-goal shooting as a junior (53.5%) and in scoring as a senior (20.5 ppg).|
|33.||Perry Wallace||Vanderbilt||1967-68||Averaged 12.9 ppg and 11.5 rpg in three varsity seasons. He was the Commodores' leading rebounder as a junior (10.2 rpg) and leading scorer as a senior (13.4 ppg). Fifth-round choice by the Philadelphia 76ers in 1970 NBA draft.|
|34.||Don Eaddy||Michigan||1951-52||The Wolverines' top scorer in Big Ten Conference competition as a sophomore (13.8 ppg) averaged 11.4 ppg in four seasons. Eaddy was an infielder who played briefly with the Chicago Cubs in 1959.|
|35.||Garfield Smith||Eastern Kentucky||1965-66||Averaged 14.5 ppg and 13.2 rpg in three seasons. He was an All-Ohio Valley Conference choice as a senior when he finished second in the nation in rebounding (19.7 rpg). Third-round choice by the Boston Celtics in 1968 NBA draft.|
|36.||Tommy Woods||East Tennessee State||1964-65||Two-time All-Ohio Valley Conference choice averaged 15.3 ppg and 16.2 rpg in three seasons. He grabbed 38 rebounds in a game against Middle Tennessee en route to finishing third in the nation in rebounding as a sophomore (19.6 rpg).|
|37.||Willie Brown||Middle Tennessee State||1966-67||All-Ohio Valley Conference choice as junior and senior averaged 20.3 ppg and 7.4 rpg in three seasons en route to finishing his career as the school's all-time scoring leader (1,524 points). He was a 10th-round choice by the Milwaukee Bucks in 1969 NBA draft.|
|38.||Julius Pegues||Pittsburgh||1955-56||Spent one year at a Detroit technical school before enrolling at Pitt. Averaged 13.6 ppg in three seasons, finishing as the school's second-leading scorer (17.6 ppg) as a senior behind All-American Don Hennon. Pegues, who scored a game-high 31 points in an 82-77 loss to Miami of Ohio as a senior in 1958 NCAA Tournament, was a fifth-round choice by the St. Louis Hawks in NBA draft.|
|39.||Sebron "Ed" Tucker*||Stanford||1950-51||Averaged 15.8 ppg in two seasons, leading the team in scoring both years. Paced the PCC in scoring as a junior (16.5 ppg) before becoming an all-league South Division first-team pick as a senior.|
|40.||Collis Temple||Louisiana State||1971-72||Averaged 10.1 ppg and 8.1 rpg in three seasons. Ranked second in the SEC in rebounding (11.1 rpg) and seventh in field-goal shooting (54.9%) as a senior. He was a sixth-round choice by the Phoenix Suns in 1974 NBA draft.|
|41.||Charlie White*||Oregon State||1964-65||Led the Beavers in rebounding (7 rpg) and was their second-leading scorer (9.6 ppg) as a junior. The next year as a first five pick on the All-Pacific-8 team, he was OSU's captain and second-leading scorer (11.7 ppg) and rebounder (6.6 rpg), pacing the team in field-goal shooting (49.4%) and free-throw shooting (81.4%).|
|42.||Ruben Triplett*||Southern Methodist||1971-72||Averaged 14.9 ppg and 9 rpg in two seasons. Named All-SWC as a junior when he led the Mustangs in scoring (18.2 ppg) and rebounding (10.8 rpg). Scored a career-high 33 points at Oklahoma City.|
42 MOST OVERLOOKED PIONEERS
|First Black Player||School||First Varsity Season||Summary of College Career|
|Al Abram||Missouri||1956-57||Averaged 11 ppg over four seasons. He led the Tigers in scoring (16.1 ppg), rebounding (8.9 rpg) and field-goal shooting (45%) in 1958-59.|
|Bunk Adams||Ohio University||1958-59||Averaged 16.4 ppg and 11.8 rpg in three seasons, including a team-high 12.8 rpg as a senior. He led the team in scoring as a sophomore (14.4 ppg) and junior (16.4) and was second as a senior (18.2) en route to finishing as OU's career leader in points (1,196). All-MAC first-team selection as a junior and senior after earning second-team status as a sophomore. Adams was the school's first NBA draft choice (16th round by Baltimore in 1965).|
|Don Barnette||Miami (Ohio)||1953-54||All-MAC first-team selection as a senior averaged 11.6 ppg and 5.2 rpg during three-year career. Played for the Harlem Globetrotters in the late 1950s and early 1960s.|
|Charlie Brown*||Texas-El Paso||1956-57||Air Force veteran, a three-time All-Border Conference choice, led the league in scoring as a sophomore (23.4 ppg). He averaged 17.5 ppg in three varsity seasons, leading the Miners in scoring each year.|
|Earl Brown||Lafayette||1971-72||Grabbed 21 rebounds in a game against Lehigh as a sophomore before averaging 11 ppg and 10.6 rpg as a junior and 13.7 ppg and 12.1 rpg as a senior. Ninth-round NBA draft choice by the New York Knicks in 1974.|
|Mario Brown*||Texas A&M||1971-72||Averaged 13 ppg and 4.3 apg in two seasons, leading the team in assists both years.|
|Harvey Carter||Bucknell||1970-71||Led the Bison in scoring and rebounding all three varsity seasons (14.1 ppg and 11.5 rpg as a sophomore, 14.8 ppg and 12.4 rpg as a junior and 14.2 ppg and 9.8 rpg as a senior).|
|Larry Chanay||Montana State||1956-57||Four-year Air Force veteran finished his four-year college career as the school's all-time leading scorer (2,034 points). He led the Bobcats in scoring all four seasons. Chanay was a 14th-round choice by the Cincinnati Royals in 1960 NBA draft.|
|John Codwell||Michigan||1951-52||The Wolverines' second-leading scorer as a junior (10.5 ppg) averaged 6.4 ppg in three seasons.|
|Vince Colbert*||East Carolina||1966-67||Averaged 14.3 ppg and 7.3 rpg in two seasons. He led ECU in rebounding as a junior (7.1 rpg).|
|Robert Cox||Loyola Marymount||1953-54||Averaged 16.9 ppg and 11.1 rpg in two seasons while leading the Lions in both categories each year.|
|John Crawford||Iowa State||1955-56||Averaged 13.4 ppg and 9.7 rpg in three seasons. He led the Cyclones in rebounding all three years and paced them in scoring as a senior (14.1 ppg).|
|L.M. Ellis||Austin Peay State||1963-64||The first OVC black player averaged 9.3 ppg and 10.5 rpg as a junior and 6.7 ppg and 6.1 rpg as a senior after transferring from Drake to his hometown school.|
|Ed Fleming||Niagara||1951-52||Averaged 15 ppg and 8.7 rpg in four seasons to finish No. 1 on the school's all-time scoring list (1,682). All-time top rebounder (975) was selected by the Rochester Royals in 1955 NBA draft.|
|Larry Fry||Mississippi State||1972-73||Averaged 13.8 ppg and 8.1 rpg in three seasons.|
|Julian Hammond*||Tulsa||1964-65||Averaged 12.2 ppg and 7.6 rpg in two seasons. Led the Golden Hurricane in scoring (16.4 ppg) and rebounding (7.6 rpg) as a senior when he was an All-MVC first-team selection and paced the nation in field-goal shooting (65.9%). He was a ninth-round choice by the Los Angeles Lakers in 1966 NBA draft.|
|Charlie Hoxie||Niagara||1951-52||Averaged 11.7 ppg and 8.4 rpg in four seasons to finish his career as the school's third-leading scorer (1,274). Second-leading rebounder (916) was selected by the Milwaukee Hawks in 1955 NBA draft before playing with the Harlem Globetrotters.|
|Eddie Jackson||Oklahoma City||1962-63||Center averaged 12.3 ppg and 10 rpg in three-year OCU career after transferring from Oklahoma. He led the Chiefs in rebounding as a sophomore and junior. Selected in the sixth round by the San Francisco Warriors in 1965 NBA draft.|
|Leroy Jackson||Santa Clara||1960-61||Averaged 10.1 ppg and 8.3 rpg in three seasons, leading the team in rebounding all three years. Named to second five on All-WCAC team as a senior when he averaged 11.9 ppg and 10.9 rpg.|
|Curt Jimerson*||Wyoming||1960-61||Forward averaged 14.6 ppg in two seasons, including a team-high 17.5 ppg as a senior when he was an All-Mountain States Conference first-team selection.|
|Junius Kellogg||Manhattan||1950-51||Averaged 12.1 ppg in three-year career, leading the Jaspers in scoring as a sophomore and junior. Former Army sergeant refused bribe and exposed a major point-shaving scandal.|
|Charlie Lipscomb||Virginia Tech||1969-70||Averaged 11.4 ppg and 9.4 rpg in three varsity seasons. He led the team in rebounding (10.4 rpg) and was its second-leading scorer (12.1 ppg) as a sophomore.|
|Jesse Marshall*||Centenary||1968-69||Led the Gents in scoring (16 ppg) and rebounding (9.6 rpg) as a senior after being their second-leading scorer (15.9 ppg) and leading rebounder (10.2 rpg) as a junior.|
|Shellie McMillon||Bradley||1955-56||Member of 1957 NIT champion averaged 14.1 ppg and 9.3 rpg in three varsity seasons, including a team-high 16.4 ppg in 1957-58. McMillon, who scored 42 points against Detroit, was an All-Missouri Valley Conference second-team choice as a senior before becoming a sixth-round NBA draft choice by the Detroit Pistons.|
|Eugene Oliver*||South Alabama||1972-73||Averaged 17.9 ppg and 5.1 rpg in two seasons, leading the team in scoring both years and setting a school single-game record with 46 points against Southern Mississippi.|
|Charley Parnell||Delaware||1966-67||First-team All-East Coast Conference choice led the Blue Hens in scoring with 18.5 ppg.|
|Garland Pinkston||George Washington||1967-68||Second-leading scorer (12.5 ppg) and rebounder (7.3 rpg) in his only varsity season for GWU.|
|Art Polk||Middle Tennessee State||1966-67||MTSU's second-leading rebounder as a junior and senior averaged 12.3 ppg and 9.2 rpg in three seasons.|
|Charley Powell||Loyola (New Orleans)||1966-67||Averaged 21.5 ppg in three-year career, finishing 13th in the nation with 26 ppg as a junior.|
|Larry Robinson*||Tennessee||1971-72||Averaged 10.9 ppg and 8.8 rpg in two seasons. Led the Volunteers in rebounding and field-goal shooting both years. He was a 16th-round choice by the Philadelphia 76ers in 1973 NBA draft.|
|Ron Satterthwaite||William & Mary||1973-74||Averaged 13.2 ppg in four seasons. He led the Tribe in scoring as a sophomore and junior, averaging 17 ppg during that span. Guard was an All-Southern Conference first-team selection as a sophomore and second-team choice as a junior.|
|Oscar Scott*||The Citadel||1971-72||Three-year Army veteran averaged 11.8 ppg and 7 rpg in two seasons. He led the Bulldogs in rebounding as a senior.|
|Dwight Smith||Western Kentucky||1964-65||Three-time All-OVC guard averaged 14.6 ppg and 10.9 rpg in his college career. Led the Hilltoppers in rebounding as a sophomore (11.3 rpg) and as a senior (11.9 rpg). Smith was a third-round choice of the Los Angeles Lakers (23rd overall).|
|Sam Smith||Louisville||1963-64||Third-round choice of the Cincinnati Royals in 1967 NBA draft averaged 9.2 ppg and team-high 11 rpg in his only varsity season with the Cardinals before transferring to Kentucky Wesleyan.|
|Sam Stith||St. Bonaventure||1957-58||Averaged 14.8 ppg and 4.1 rpg in three-year career. After All-American brother Tom Stith arrived the next season, they combined to average 52 ppg in 1959-60, an NCAA single-season record for brothers on the same team.|
|Harold Sylvester||Tulane||1968-69||Averaged 12.5 ppg and 9.1 rpg in three varsity seasons. He led the Green Wave in rebounding as a sophomore and was its second-leading rebounder and scorer as a junior and senior.|
|John Thomas||Pacific||1954-55||Averaged 15.1 ppg and 11.3 rpg in three years while leading the team in scoring and rebounding each campaign. Finished his career as the school's all-time scoring leader (1,178 points). He set UOP single-season records for points (480) and rebounds (326) in 1955-56.|
|Liscio Thomas*||Furman||1969-70||Averaged 17 ppg and 9.9 rpg in two seasons. He led the Paladins in scoring as a junior (17.7 ppg) and was the second-leading scorer and rebounder for 1971 Southern Conference champion.|
|Solly Walker||St. John's||1951-52||First African-American ever to play in game at Kentucky averaged 7.8 ppg and 6.8 rpg in three seasons. Member of 1952 NCAA runner-up and 1953 NIT runner-up. Led the team in scoring (14 ppg) and rebounding (12.2 rpg) as a senior. Selected by the New York Knicks in 1954 NBA draft.|
|John Edgar Wideman||Penn||1960-61||Two-time All-Ivy League second-team swingman led the Quakers in scoring as a junior (13.2 ppg in 1961-62) and a senior (13.8 ppg in 1962-63). The Pittsburgh native also paced them in rebounding as a junior (7.6 rpg).|
|Willie Williams*||Florida State||1968-69||Averaged 12.5 ppg and 10.3 rpg in two seasons and led the nation in field-goal shooting as a senior (63.6%).|
|Ed "Skip" Young||Florida State||1968-69||Averaged 11.7 ppg in three seasons, including 15 ppg as a sophomore, before becoming a seventh-round choice by the Boston Celtics in 1971 NBA draft.|
Louisiana State's Pete Maravich, the NCAA's career scoring leader, wasn't the only prolific point producer in the Pelican State from the guard position. In February 1972, Southwestern Louisiana junior Dwight "Bo" Lamar erupted for 51 points in each of back-to-back Southland Conference road games at Louisiana Tech and Lamar during USL's inaugural season at the major-college level. This month also featured a third still-existing single-game scoring record by an individual opponent when "Bo Knows (Scoring)" Lamar exploded for 62 points at Northeast Louisiana the previous campaign en route to becoming the only player in NCAA history to lead the nation in scoring average at both the college and university divisions.
Existing single-game scoring standards for Bradley (Hersey Hawkins) and Detroit (Archie Tullos) were set in the same February contest in 1988. As for regal rebounding records, Alabama's Jerry Harper retrieved 28 missed shots in back-to-back SEC contests two days apart in February 1956. Following is a day-by-day calendar citing memorable moments in February college basketball history:
1 - Arkansas State's Don Scaife (43 points vs. Northeast Louisiana in 1975), Coppin State's Fred Warrick (40 at Howard in 1999) and Tulane's Jim Kerwin (45 vs. Southeastern Louisiana in 1961) set school Division I single-game scoring records. . . . North Carolina State's school-record 38-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Maryland (98-97 in 1975). . . . Rudy Tomjanovich (30 vs. Loyola of Chicago in 1969) set Michigan's single-game rebounding record.
2 - Brown's Harry Platt (48 points vs. Northeastern in 1938), Central Arkansas' Nate Bowie (39 at Nicholls State in double overtime in 2008) and Delaware State's Tom Davis (50 vs. Brooklyn in 1989) set school single-game scoring records at the Division I level. . . . Clarence Grier (38 vs. Radford in 1987) set Campbell's single-game scoring record against a DI opponent. . . . Oakland's Travis Bader set an NCAA Division I record for most career three-pointers, surpassing the previous mark of 457 established by Duke All-American J.J. Redick. . . . Arizona's Bob Elliott (25 vs. Arizona State in 1974), Long Island's Carey Scurry (26 vs. Marist in 1983) and Wagner's Nigel Wyatte (21 vs. Quinnipiac in 2004) set school single-game rebounding records against a DI opponent.
3 - Buffalo's Mike Martinho (44 points vs. Rochester in 1998), Dayton's Donald Smith (52 at Loyola of Chicago in 1973), Grambling State's Brion Rush (53 vs. Southern in overtime in 2006), Portland State's Freeman Williams (81 vs. Rocky Mountain in 1978) and Wyoming's Joe Capua (51 vs. Montana in 1956) set school single-game scoring records. . . . Walt Lysaght (35 vs. North Carolina in 1953) set Richmond's single-game rebounding record.
4 - La Salle's Kareem Townes (52 points vs. Loyola of Chicago in 1995), Monmouth's Rahsaan Johnson (43 vs. St. Francis, NY, in 2001), Rhode Island's Tom Harrington (50 vs. Brandeis in 1959), South Carolina's John Roche (56 vs. Furman in 1971) and Western Michigan's Gene Ford (46 vs. Loyola of Chicago in 1969) set school Division I single-game scoring records. . . . Dan Cramer (50 vs. Southern Mississippi in 1974) set Denver's single-game scoring record against a DI opponent. . . . Illinois' school-record 33-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Penn State (66-65 in 2006). . . . Alabama's Jerry Harper (28 vs. Georgia Tech in 1956), Fordham's Ed Conlin (36 vs. Colgate in 1953), Georgia Tech's Eric Crake (27 vs. Georgia in 1953), South Carolina's Lee Collins (33 vs. The Citadel in 1956) and Wake Forest's Dickie Hemric (36 vs. Clemson in 1955) set school single-game rebounding records against a DI opponent.
5 - Akron's Joe Jakubick (47 points vs. Murray State in 1983), East Tennessee State's Tom Chilton (52 vs. Austin Peay in 1961), Kent State's Dan Potopsky (49 vs. Western Michigan in 1955), Marquette's Mike Moran (44 vs. Creighton in 1958), Prairie View A&M's Paul Queen (46 vs. Alabama State in 1994) and Troy State's Detric Golden (45 at Jacksonville in 2000) set school Division I single-game scoring records. . . . Kenny Davis (25 vs. Arizona State in 1977) tied Arizona's single-game rebounding record against a DI opponent.
6 - Ernie McCray (46 points vs. Los Angeles State in 1960) set Arizona's single-game scoring record. . . . Southern Mississippi's John White (41 at Virginia Tech in double overtime in 1988) and Tulane's Calvin Grosscup (41 vs. Mississippi State in 1956) set school single-game scoring records against a major-college opponent. . . . Virginia Tech sophomore guard Bimbo Coles set Metro Conference single-game record with 51 points in a 141-133 double overtime victory vs. visiting Southern Mississippi in 1988. . . . Bradley's school-record 46-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Drake (86-76 in 1961). . . . Alabama's Jerry Harper (28 vs. Vanderbilt in 1956), American University's Kermit Washington (34 vs. Georgetown in 1971), West Virginia's Jerry West (31 vs. George Washington in 1960) and Wichita State's Terry Benton (29 vs. North Texas State in 1971) set school single-game rebounding records against a DI opponent.
7 - Dartmouth's Jim Barton (48 points at Brown in overtime in 1987), Louisiana State's Pete Maravich (69 at Alabama in 1970) and South Dakota State's Nate Wolters (53 at IPFW in 2013) set school single-game scoring records. Maravich's output is also a SEC record in league competition. . . . Phil Hicks (41 at Samford in 1974) set Tulane's single-game scoring record against a Division I opponent. . . . In 1976, Purdue (25) and Wisconsin (22) combined to convert all 47 of their free-throw attempts, an NCAA record for two teams in a single game. . . . Duquesne's Dick Ricketts (28 vs. Villanova in 1955) and Southern's Jervaughn Scales (32 vs. Grambling in 1994) set school single-game rebounding records against a DI opponent.
8 - Cincinnati's Oscar Robertson (62 points vs. North Texas State in 1960) and UNC Charlotte's George Jackson (44 at Samford in 1975) set school single-game scoring records. Robertson's output is also a Missouri Valley Conference record in league competition. . . . Buzz Wilkinson (45 vs. North Carolina in 1954) set Virginia's single-game scoring record against a major-college opponent. . . . Iowa State's Melvin Ejim (48 vs. TCU in 2014) set Big 12 Conference single-game scoring mark in league competition. . . . Kentucky established an NCAA single-game record by grabbing 108 rebounds against Mississippi in 1964. . . . Niagara's school-record 51-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Syracuse (60-55 in 1950). . . . Boston College's Terry Driscoll (31 vs. Fordham in 1969), Davidson's Fred Hetzel (27 vs. Furman in 1964), Eastern Michigan's Kareem Carpenter (27 vs. Western Michigan in 1995), Harvard's Bob Canty (31 vs. Boston College in 1955), Marquette's Pat Smith (28 vs. Loyola of Chicago in 1967), Oklahoma City's Willie Watson (32 vs. Denver in 1969) and Seattle's John Tresvant (40 vs. Montana in 1963) set school single-game rebounding records. . . . Gene Estes (24 vs. Oklahoma City in 1961) set Tulsa's single-game rebounding record against a major-college opponent.
9 - UALR's Carl Brown (46 points at Centenary in overtime in 1989), Butler's Darrin Fitzgerald (54 vs. Detroit in 1987), Canisius' Larry Fogle (55 vs. St. Peter's in 1974), Clemson's J.O. Erwin (58 vs. Butler Guards at Greenville in 1912), Colorado State's Bill Green (48 vs. Denver in 1963), Hofstra's Demetrius Dudley (44 vs. Central Connecticut State in 1993), Loyola of Chicago's Alfredrick Hughes (47 vs. Detroit in 1985) and Virginia Military's Jason Conley (42 at Western Carolina in overtime in 2002) set school Division I single-game scoring records. Brown's output is also an Atlantic Sun Conference record in league competition. . . . DePaul's Tom Kleinschmidt set the Great Midwest Conference single-game scoring record in league play with 37 points against UAB in 1994. . . . Charleston Southern's Tony Fairley set an NCAA single-game record with 22 assists against Armstrong State in 1987. . . . Dartmouth ended Penn's Ivy League-record 48-game winning streak in 1996 and Duke's school-record 46-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Maryland (98-87 in 2000). . . . Southern Mississippi's Wendell Ladner (32 vs. Pan American in 1970) and Syracuse's Frank Reddout (34 vs. Temple in 1952) set school single-game rebounding records. . . . Canisius' Larry Fogle (22 vs. St. Peter's in 1974) and Idaho's Gus Johnson (31 vs. Oregon in 1963) set school single-game rebounding records against a major-college opponent.
10 - Massachusetts' Billy Tindall (41 points vs. Vermont in 1968), Morehead State's Brett Roberts (53 vs. Middle Tennessee State in 1992), Northeast Louisiana's Calvin Natt (39 vs. Northwestern State in 1977), Ohio State's Gary Bradds (49 vs. Illinois in 1964) and Larry Lewis of Saint Francis, PA (46 vs. St. Vincent, PA, in 1969) set school Division I single-game scoring records. . . . Detroit's school-record 39-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Wisconsin-Green Bay (65-61 in 2002), Oral Roberts' school-record 52-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Marshall (106-103 in 1973) and Virginia Commonwealth's school-record 33-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Virginia Tech (71-63 in 1978). . . . Georgetown's Charlie Adrion (29 vs. George Washington in 1968), Houston's Elvin Hayes (37 vs. Centenary in 1968) and Rider's Jason Thompson (24 vs. Siena in 2008) set school single-game rebounding records.
11 - East Carolina's Oliver Mack (47 points vs. South Carolina-Aiken in 1978), Florida State's Ron King (46 at Georgia Southern in 1971), Hartford's Vin Baker (44 vs. Lamar in overtime in 1992), Southern California's John Block (45 vs. Washington in 1966) and Wisconsin-Green Bay's Tony Bennett (44 at Cleveland State in 1989) set school Division I single-game scoring records. . . . Mal Graham (46 at Holy Cross in 1967) set New York University's single-game scoring record against a DI opponent. . . . Morehead State (53) and Cincinnati (35) combined for an NCAA single-game record of 88 successful free throws in 1956. . . . Weber State's school-record 44-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Idaho (68-67 in 1967). . . . Andrew Nicholson (23 vs. Duquesne in 2012) tied St. Bonaventure's single-game rebounding record against a DI opponent.
12 - Marist's Izett Buchanan (51 points at Long Island University in 1994), Northern Iowa's Cam Johnson (40 at Drake in 1994) and Villanova's Paul Arizin (85 vs. Philadelphia NAMC in 1949) set school single-game scoring records. . . . Chris Rivers (40 vs. Canisius in 2001) set Fairfield's single-game scoring record against a Division I opponent. . . . Wake Forest's Len Chappell (50 vs. Virginia in 1962) set ACC single-game scoring record in league competition. . . . Gonzaga's school-record 50-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Santa Clara (84-73 in 2007). . . . Drake's Ken Harris (26 vs. Tulsa in 1977) and Navy's David Robinson (25 vs. Fairfield in 1986) set school single-game rebounding records.
13 - Boise State's Ron Austin (42 points vs. Montana in 1971), Colorado's Cliff Meely (47 vs. Oklahoma in 1971), Furman's Frank Selvy (NCAA-record 100 vs. Newberry, S.C., in 1954), Portland's Matt Houle (43 vs. San Francisco in 1993) and San Francisco's Keith Jackson (47 at Loyola Marymount in 1988) set school single-game scoring records. . . . Alabama's Bob Andrews (46 vs. Tulane in 1965), East Carolina's Gus Hill (43 at Navy in 1988), UNC Asheville's Andrew Rousey (41 at Radford in 2014), San Jose State's Olivier Saint-Jean (37 at Air Force in 1997) and Virginia's Buzz Wilkinson (45 vs. Georgetown in 1954) set school single-game scoring records against a Division I opponent. . . . In 1985, Connecticut became the first school to be ranked No. 1 in the men's and women's national polls at the same time. . . . Syracuse's school-record 57-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Georgetown (52-50 in 1980). . . . Kentucky's Bill Spivey (34 vs. Xavier in 1951), New Mexico's Tom King (26 vs. Wyoming in 1960), Northwestern's Jim Pitts (29 vs. Indiana in 1965) and Western Michigan's Frank Ayers (25 vs. Loyola of Chicago in 1973) set school single-game rebounding records. . . . Dan Roundfield (25 vs. Bowling Green State in 1974) set Central Michigan's single-game rebounding record against a DI opponent.
14 - Auburn's John Mengelt (60 points vs. Alabama in 1970), Central Connecticut State's Kyle Vinales (42 at Wagner in 2013), Coppin State's Larry Stewart (40 vs. South Carolina State in 1991), Mount St. Mary's Sam Prescott (44 vs. Bryant in 2013), South Alabama's Eugene Oliver (46 at Southern Mississippi in 1974), Southwestern Louisiana's Bo Lamar (51 at Louisiana Tech in 1972) and Tennessee's Tony White (51 vs. Auburn in 1987) set school Division I single-game scoring records. Lamar's output also set a Southland Conference record in league competition. . . . Villanova's Larry Hennessy (45 vs. Boston College in 1953) and Virginia's Buzz Wilkinson (45 vs. Clemson in 1955) set school single-game scoring records against a DI opponent. . . . William & Mary's Bill Chambers, standing a mere 6-4, grabbed an NCAA-record 51 rebounds against Virginia on Valentine's Day in 1953. . . . Miami of Ohio's Wayne Embry (34 vs. Eastern Kentucky in 1957), Texas Tech's Jim Reed (27 vs. Texas in 1956) and West Virginia's Mack Isner (31 vs. Virginia Tech) set school single-game rebounding records against a major-college opponent. . . . Massachusetts' school-record 33-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by George Washington (80-78 in 1995). . . . Kentucky's Adolph Rupp became the coach to compile 600 victories the fastest with a 71-52 win over Notre Dame at Chicago in 1959 (705 games in 27th season).
15 - Coastal Carolina's Tony Dunkin (43 points vs. UNC Asheville in 1993), Columbia's Leonard "Buck" Jenkins (47 at Harvard in 1991), Maryland-Baltimore County's Derell Thompson (43 at Towson State in 1992), Southwest Missouri State's Danny Moore (36 at Creighton in 1997) and Wake Forest's Charlie Davis (51 vs. American University in 1969) set school Division I single-game scoring records. . . . Rasaun Young (39 vs. Northeastern Illinois in 1997) set Buffalo's single-game scoring record against a DI opponent. . . . Visiting Kentucky erased a 31-point, second-half deficit at LSU in 1994. . . . Princeton's Bill Bradley (51 points vs. Harvard in 1964) set Ivy League scoring record in conference competition. . . . Oregon State ended UCLA's Pacific-8 Conference-record 50-game winning streak (61-57 in 1974). . . . Utah State set an NCAA record for most consecutive points against a DI opponent with a 37-point run at Idaho bridging the first and second halves in 2006. . . . Kentucky's Adolph Rupp became the coach to compile 400 victories the fastest with a 90-50 win over Mississippi in 1950 (477 games in 20th season). . . . Kansas' Wilt Chamberlain (36 vs. Iowa State in 1958), Oregon State's Swede Halbrook (36 vs. Idaho in 1955) and Rice's Joe Durrenberger (30 vs. Baylor in 1955) set school single-game rebounding records. . . . Paul Millsap (29 vs. San Jose State in 2006) set Louisiana Tech's single-game rebounding record against a DI opponent.
16 - Illinois' Dave Downey (53 points at Indiana in 1963), Tennessee Tech's Jimmy Hagan (48 vs. East Tennessee State in 1959) and Texas-Pan American's Marshall Rogers (58 vs. Texas Lutheran in 1976) set school single-game scoring records. . . . Wichita State ended Cincinnati's school-record 37-game winning streak (65-64 in 1963) and South Carolina's school-record 34-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Notre Dame (72-68 in 1974). . . . Cincinnati's Connie Dierking (33 vs. Loyola New Orleans in 1957), Miami of Ohio's Wayne Embry (34 vs. Kent State in 1957), NYU's Cal Ramsey (34 vs. Boston College in 1957) and Texas Christian's Goo Kennedy (28 vs. Arkansas in 1971) set school single-game rebounding records. . . . Jim Barnes (27 vs. Hardin-Simmons in 1963) set Texas-El Paso's single-game rebounding record against a major-college opponent.
17 - George Washington's Joe Holup (49 points vs. Furman in 1956), Holy Cross' Jack Foley (56 vs. Connecticut in 1962) and Southwestern Louisiana's Bo Lamar (51 at Lamar in 1972) set school Division I single-game scoring records. Lamar's output tied his own Southland Conference record in league competition. . . . Antoine Gillespie (45 at Hawaii in 1994) set Texas-El Paso's single-game scoring record against a DI opponent. . . . Dartmouth's school-record 38-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Army (44-36 in 1940). . . . Fresno State's Larry Abney (35 vs. Southern Methodist in 2000), Loyola of Chicago's LaRue Martin (34 vs. Valparaiso in 1971) and Toledo's Ned Miklovic (27 vs. Ohio University in 1958) set school single-game rebounding records against a DI opponent. Abney's total is the highest among all schools at the DI level since 1973.
18 - Evansville's Scott Haffner (65 points vs. Dayton in 1989) and Samford's Jonathan Pixley (39 vs. Mercer in 1995) set school Division I single-game scoring records. Haffner's output is also a Horizon League record in conference competition. . . . Gonzaga's Adam Morrison (44 at Loyola Marymount in 2006) and Portland State's Freeman Williams (50 at UNLV in 1978) set school single-game scoring records against a DI opponent. . . . Gonzaga and Loyola Marymount each scored 86 points after intermission in 1989 to set an NCAA record for most points in a half by both teams (172). . . . Louisiana State's school-record 42-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Mississippi (23-22 in 1921). . . . Florida's Jim Zinn (31 vs. Mississippi in 1957), New Orleans' Ervin Johnson (27 vs. Lamar in 1993), Penn's Barton Leach (32 vs. Harvard in 1955), Southern Illinois' Joe C. Meriweather (27 vs. Indiana State in 1974) and Xavier's Bob Pelkington (31 vs. St. Francis, PA, in 1964) set school single-game rebounding records.
19 - Delaware's Liston Houston (52 points vs. Lebanon Valley, PA, in 1910), Liberty's Matt Hildebrand (41 vs. Charleston Southern in 1994), Marquette's Tony Smith (44 at Wisconsin in 1990), Mississippi Valley State's Alphonso Ford (51 vs. Texas Southern in overtime in 1990), Northeastern's Reggie Lewis (41 vs. Siena in 1986), Oral Roberts' Anthony Roberts (66 vs. North Carolina A&T in 1977), Stetson's Mel Daniels (48 vs. UNC Wilmington in 1977) and Texas Tech's Dub Malaise (50 at Texas in 1966) set school Division I single-game scoring records. . . . Bobby Mantz (44 vs. Lehigh in 1958) set Lafayette's single-game scoring record against a DI opponent. . . . Holy Cross' Rob Feaster (46 vs. Navy in overtime in 1994) set Patriot League scoring record in conference competition. . . . Creighton's Paul Silas (38 vs. Centenary in 1962), Northern Illinois' Jim Bradley (31 vs. Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1973) and Purdue's Carl McNulty (27 vs. Minnesota in 1951) set school single-game rebounding records. . . . Cedric "Cornbread" Maxwell (24 vs. Seton Hall in 1977) set Charlotte's single-game rebounding record against a DI opponent.
20 - Baylor's Vinnie Johnson (50 points vs. Texas Christian in 1979), Idaho State's Willie Humes (53 at Montana State in 1971), Illinois State's Robert "Bubbles" Hawkins (58 vs. Northern Illinois in 1974), San Diego State's Anthony Watson (54 vs. U.S. International in 1986) and South Carolina State's Jackie Robinson (40 at Morgan State in 1993) set school Division I single-game scoring records. Humes' output is also a Big Sky Conference record in league competition. . . . Delaware State's Tom Davis (47 vs. Florida A&M in 1989) set MEAC scoring record in league competition at DI level. . . . Art Stephenson (28 vs. Brown in 1968) set Rhode Island's single-game rebounding record.
21 - Boston College's John Austin (49 points vs. Georgetown in 1964), Rutgers' Eric Riggins (51 vs. Penn State in double overtime in 1987) and Virginia Tech's Allan Bristow (52 vs. George Washington in 1973) set school single-game scoring records. Riggins' output is also an Atlantic 10 Conference record in league competition. . . . Earl Boykins (45 vs. Western Michigan in 1998) set Eastern Michigan's single-game scoring record against a Division I opponent. . . . LSU's Pete Maravich (64) and Kentucky's Dan Issel (51) each scored more than 50 points in the same game in 1970. . . . UCLA's 98-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Oregon (65-45 in 1976). . . . Clemson's Tommy Smith (30 vs. Georgia in 1955) and North Carolina's Rusty Clark (30 vs. Maryland in 1968) set school single-game rebounding records.
22 - Bradley's Hersey Hawkins (63 points at Detroit in 1988), California's Ed Gray (48 at Washington State in 1997), Detroit's Archie Tullos (49 vs. Bradley in 1988), Manhattan's Bob Mealy (51 vs. CCNY in 1960), Missouri-Kansas City's Michael Watson (Summit League-record 54 at Oral Roberts in double overtime in 2003), Oklahoma State's Bob Kurland (58 vs. St. Louis in 1946) and Oregon State's Gary Payton (58 vs. Southern California in overtime in 1990) set school single-game scoring records. . . . Appalachian State's Junior Braswell (43 at Davidson in 1997), High Point's Nick Barbour (44 vs. Campbell in 2012), Long Island's Antawn Dobie (53 vs. St. Francis, NY, in 2003) and Mississppi State's Bailey Howell (45 vs. Louisiana State in 1958) set school single-game scoring records against a Division I opponent. Dobie's output is also a Northeast Conference record in league competition. . . . Nebraska stunned Wilt Chamberlain-led Kansas, 43-41, in 1958 to avenge a 56-point defeat four games earlier. . . . Memphis' school-record 47-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Tennessee (66-62 in 2008). . . . Massachusetts' Julius Erving (32 vs. Syracuse in 1971) and Mississippi's Ivan Richmann (25 vs. Tulane in 1958) set school single-game rebounding records. . . . Hakim Shahid (25 vs. Jacksonville in 1990) set South Florida's single-game rebounding record against a DI opponent.
23 - Boston University's Jim Hayes (47 points vs. Springfield in 1970), Illinois-Chicago's Cedrick Banks (39 vs. Wright State in 2005), Indiana's Jimmy Rayl (56 vs. Michigan State in 1963), Louisiana Tech's Mike McConathy (47 vs. Lamar in 1976), Miami's Rick Barry (59 vs. Rollins, Fla., in 1965), Providence's Marshon Brooks (52 vs. Notre Dame in 2011) and Texas Southern's Harry "Machine Gun" Kelly (60 vs. Jarvis Christian, Tex., in 1983) set school Division I single-game scoring records. Brooks' output is also a Big East Conference record in league competition. . . . Los Angeles State's Raymond Lewis set Pacific Coast Athletic Association (now Big West) single-game scoring record with 53 points vs. Long Beach State in double overtime in 1973. . . . Kentucky's Adolph Rupp became the coach to compile 700 victories the fastest with a 99-79 win over Auburn at Montgomery in 1964 (836 games in 32nd season). . . . Jimmie Baker (26 vs. San Francisco in 1973) set UNLV's single-game rebounding record before transferring to Hawaii.
24 - Alcorn State's DeCarlos Anderson (41 points vs. Southern in 1996), Florida A&M's Jerome James (38 at Delaware State in overtime in 1997), Houston's Elvin Hayes (62 vs. Valparaiso in 1968), Iowa's John Johnson (49 vs. Northwestern in 1970), Northwestern's Rich Falk (49 vs. Iowa in 1964), St. Bonaventure's Bob Lanier (51 vs. Seton Hall in 1969) and Utah's Billy McGill (60 at Brigham Young in 1962) set school Division I single-game scoring records. . . . East Tennessee State's Tom Chilton (47 vs. Western Kentucky in 1961) and Ohio University's Dave Jamerson (52 at Kent State in 1990) set school single-game scoring records against a DI opponent. . . . Washington & Lee's Jay Handlan had an NCAA-record 71 field-goal attempts vs. Furman in 1951. . . . Alabama A&M's Mickell Gladness set an NCAA single-game record with 16 blocked shots against Texas Southern in 2007. . . . Temple's school-record 33-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by West Virginia (64-61 in 1987). . . . Ed Corell (30 vs. Oregon in 1962) set Washington's single-game rebounding record.
25 - Austin Peay's Bubba Wells (43 points vs. Morehead State in 1997 quarterfinals) set Ohio Valley Conference Tournament single-game scoring record and Liberty's Jamaal Bennett (35 vs. UNC Asheville in 1999 quarterfinals) did likewise in Big South Conference Tournament. . . . Alabama A&M's Desmond Cambridge (50 at Texas Southern in 2002), Central Florida's Jermaine Taylor (45 vs. Rice in 2009), Cleveland State's Frank Edwards (49 at Xavier in 1981), Indiana State's Larry Bird (49 vs. Wichita State in 1979), Texas' Raymond Downs (49 at Baylor in 1956) and William & Mary's Jeff Cohen (49 vs. Richmond in 1961) set school Division I single-game scoring records. . . . Lew Alcindor (61 vs. Washington State in 1967) set UCLA and Pac-12 Conference single-game scoring record. . . . Jim Christy (44 at Maryland in 1964) set Georgetown's single-game scoring record against a DI opponent. . . . Southwestern Louisiana's Sydney Grider set the American South Conference single-game scoring record with 40 points vs. visiting Louisiana Tech in 1989. . . . St. Bonaventure's 99-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Niagara (87-77 in 1961). . . . Appalachian State's Tony Searcy (23 vs. The Citadel in 1978), Memphis' Ronnie Robinson (28 vs. Tulsa in 1971) and Northern Iowa's Jason Reese (21 vs. Illinois-Chicago in 1989) set school single-game rebounding records against a DI opponent.
26 - Denver's Matt Teahan (61 points vs. Nebraska Wesleyan in 1979), Florida Atlantic's Earnest Crumbley (39 vs. Campbell in 2004), Richmond's Bob McCurdy (53 vs. Appalachian State in double overtime in 1975), San Diego's Mike Whitmarsh (37 at Loyola Marymount in 1983), Texas' Slater Martin (49 vs. Texas Christian in 1949), Western Illinois' Joe Dykstra (37 vs. Eastern Illinois in 1983) and Yale's Tony Lavelli (52 vs. Williams, Mass., in 1949) set school Division I single-game scoring records. . . . Kansas' Isaac "Bud" Stallworth set Big Eight Conference single-game record with 50 points vs. Missouri in 1972. . . . New Mexico's school-record 41-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Brigham Young (83-62 in 1998). . . . Cornell's George Farley (26 vs. Brown in 1960), Old Dominion's Clifton Jones (23 vs. UNC Wilmington in 2001), Rutgers' George "Swede" Sundstrom (30 vs. Army in 1954) and Saint Joseph's Cliff Anderson (32 vs. La Salle in 1967) set school single-game rebounding records against a DI opponent.
27 - Bowling Green's Jim Darrow (52 points vs. Marshall in 1960), George Mason's Carlos Yates (42 vs. Navy in 1985), Georgetown's Jim Barry (46 at Fairleigh Dickinson in 1965), San Diego's Marty Munn (37 vs. Loyola Marymount in 1988), Texas State's J.B. Conley (42 at Northwestern State in 2010) and Towson's Devin Boyd (46 at Maryland-Baltimore County in double overtime in 1993) set school Division I single-game scoring records. Darrow's output is also a Mid-American Conference record and Boyd's output is a Big South Conference record in league competition. . . . Houston's Robert McKiver (52 vs. Southern Mississippi in 2008) set C-USA scoring record in league competition. . . . Connecticut's Toby Kimball (34 vs. New Hampshire in 1965), Maryland's Len Elmore (26 vs. Wake Forest in 1974) and Tulsa's Michael Ruffin (24 vs. Texas Christian in 1997) set school single-game rebounding records against a DI opponent.
28 - Xavier's Byron Larkin (45 points vs. Loyola of Chicago in 1986 semifinals) set Horizon League Tournament single-game scoring record. . . . Air Force's Bob Beckel (50 vs. Arizona in 1959), Army's Kevin Houston (53 vs. Fordham in overtime of MAAC Tournament opener in 1987), Long Island's Sherman White (63 vs. John Marshall in 1950), Northern Illinois' Paul Dawkins (47 at Western Michigan in overtime in 1979) and Purdue's Rick Mount (61 vs. Iowa in 1970) set school Division I single-game scoring records. Houston's output is also a MAAC Tournament single-game record and Mount's output is a Big Ten Conference record in league competition. . . . The first basketball game telecast occurred when W2XBS carried a doubleheader from Madison Square Garden in 1940 (Pittsburgh vs. Fordham and NYU vs. Georgetown). . . . Ron Weilert (21 vs. Tulane in 1970) set Air Force single-game rebounding record against a DI opponent.
29 - Tony Miller (54 vs. Chicago State in 1972) set Florida's single-game scoring record. . . . Pittsburgh's school-record 40-game homecourt winning streak was snapped by Syracuse (49-46 in 2004). . . . Bernie Janicki (31 vs. North Carolina in 1952) set Duke's single-game rebounding record.
"It is better to be looked over than overlooked." - Mae West
It doesn't seem possible, but Billy Donovan (Florida) never has been anointed as national coach of the year by a major award despite capturing back-to-back NCAA titles in 2006 and 2007. Arizona, Syracuse and Wichita State probably need to start losing a few games to enhance Donovan's prospects for being placed on a pedestal this season.
Maryland named its court after Gary Williams, the school's all-time winningest coach who guided the Terrapins to the 2002 NCAA title during a span when he became the only mentor ever to defeat the nation's top-ranked team in four straight seasons (2000-01 through 2003-04). Surprisingly, Williams never was courted as national coach of the year by one of the major awards, joining Donovan and other NCAA championship coaches such as Denny Crum, Joe B. Hall, Don Haskins, Rollie Massimino and Jim Valvano "shorted" by this dubious distinction.
Other than Donovan, the most overlooked active coaches never to be named national COY by a major award are Rick Barnes (Texas), Lon Kruger (Oklahoma) and Bo Ryan (Wisconsin). Does this blemish exist because of envious fellow coaches or the media in dire need of brain scans? Following is an alphabetical list of high-profile retired coaches who never received one of the five major national coach of the year awards since 1955 despite their significant achievements:
Dave Bliss - Compiled a total of 14 20-win seasons with three different schools.
Dale Brown - Led LSU to 15 consecutive postseason tournaments (1979 through 1993) en route to becoming the second-winningest coach in SEC history at the time (behind Adolph Rupp) in both overall and SEC games.
Denny Crum - Won 15 regular-season conference championships in the Missouri Valley and Metro in his first 23 seasons with Louisville; only coach to twice win conference and NCAA tournaments in the same year (1980 and 1986).
Don DeVoe - Compiled a total of 12 20-win seasons with three different schools.
Don Donoher - One of first 10 coaches to take his first three teams to the NCAA playoffs guided his first seven Dayton clubs to national postseason competition; posted double digits in victories all 25 seasons.
Lefty Driesell - One of only three different coaches to guide four different schools to the NCAA playoffs; captured conference tournament titles in four different leagues; only coach to win more than 100 games for four different schools en route to total of 786 victories; had 14 final Top 20 rankings.
Jack Gardner - Only coach to direct two different schools to the Final Four at least twice apiece.
Pete Gillen - Remarkable run with Xavier (winning five Midwestern Collegiate Conference Tournament titles in six-year span from 1986 through 1991) before posting 20-win seasons with Providence in the Big East and Virginia in the ACC.
Don Haskins - Captured four Western Athletic Conference Tournament championships with Texas-El Paso in a seven-year span from 1984 through 1990 while winning more than 20 games each of those seasons; compiled a total of 17 20-win campaigns.
Harry Litwack - Finished third with Temple in three consecutive national postseason tournaments (1956 and 1958 in NCAA and 1957 in NIT). Posted only one losing record in 21 seasons with the Owls through 1973.
Rollie Massimino - Averaged more than 20 victories annually in the 1980s; participated in 14 consecutive national postseason tournaments with Villanova and UNLV before coaching at small-school level in Florida.
Joe Mullaney - Reached the 20-win plateau nine straight seasons from 1958-59 through 1966-67, directing Providence to the NIT semifinals four times in the first five years of that stretch; won more than two-thirds of his games with the Friars decided by fewer than five points.
Tom Penders - Won at least 20 games with three different schools (Rhode Island, Texas and George Washington) a total of 10 times in a 13-year span from 1987 through 1999 before winning more than 20 games three times in six seasons with Houston.
Fred Schaus - Won Southern Conference Tournament championships each of his six seasons with West Virginia from 1955 through 1960 before posting winning records in Big Ten competition all six years with Purdue.
Billy Tubbs - Directed Oklahoma to 12 consecutive 20-win seasons, a Big Eight Conference best; took the Sooners to national postseason play his last 13 years with them before moving on to TCU and Lamar.
"Well done is better than well said." - Benjamin Franklin
Some people talk a good game while others actually play a good game. With each of the 40 exclamation marks in this headline representing 100 points and rebounds, there is no doubt about which side of the fence the premium players in the 4,000 Club are on. Atop the well-done list in this distinguished group is recently-deceased Tom Gola, a terrific scorer/rebounder for La Salle ranking 11th among premier players in history by CollegeHoopedia.com. The Explorers supplied the top two and three of the first 13 major-college players amassing at least 4,000 career points and rebounds. Creighton's Doug McDermott, two inches taller than the 6-6 Gola, joined Gola in early March in the group of seven white players among the 14 individuals on the following list:
|Tom Gola||La Salle||1951-52 through 1954-55||2,462||2,201||4,663|
|Lionel Simmons||La Salle||1986-87 through 1989-90||3,217||1,429||4,646|
|Elvin Hayes||Houston||1965-66 through 1967-68||2,884||1,602||4,486|
|Dickie Hemric||Wake Forest||1951-52 through 1954-55||2,587||1,802||4,389|
|Oscar Robertson||Cincinnati||1957-58 through 1959-60||2,973||1,338||4,311|
|Joe Holup||George Washington||1952-53 through 1955-56||2,226||2,030||4,256|
|Doug McDermott||Creighton||2010-11 through 2013-14||3,150||1,088||4,238|
|Pete Maravich||Louisiana State||1967-68 through 1969-70||3,667||528||4,195|
|Harry Kelly||Texas Southern||1979-80 through 1982-83||3,066||1,085||4,151|
|Danny Manning||Kansas||1984-85 through 1987-88||2,951||1,187||4,138|
|Larry Bird||Indiana State||1976-77 through 1978-79||2,850||1,247||4,097|
|Tyler Hansbrough||North Carolina||2005-06 through 2008-09||2,872||1,219||4,091|
|Elgin Baylor||College of Idaho/Seattle||1955-56 through 1957-58||2,500||1,559||4,059|
|Michael Brooks||La Salle||1976-77 through 1979-80||2,628||1,372||4,000|
"The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools." - Confucius
UCLA's Steve Alford, an All-American for Indiana in 1986 and 1987, is the only active coach to have been an A-A player before coaching an A-A (New Mexico's Darington Hobson in 2010). Indiana native John Wooden is the only All-American player to eventually coach All-Americans for two different universities (Indiana State and UCLA) with neither of them being his alma mater (Purdue). If sophomore point guard Kyle Anderson continues to excel with the Bruins (leading them in rebounding and assists plus runner-up in scoring), Alford could join Wooden in this distinguished category.
Confucius would say the Hoosier State has sharpened a lot of basketball tools. Indiana's Branch McCracken, the only one of 41 All-Americans who became major-college mentors to compile a higher winning percentage as a coach than as a player, produced 14 A-As with his alma mater. Recently-deceased Tom Gola is among the following alphabetical list of 15 major-college All-Americans who went on to coach at least one major-college A-A:
"I ask not for a lighter burden, but for broader shoulders." - Jewish Proverb
Brigham Young's Tyler Haws erupted for 48 points but they weren't enough to prevent a 114-110 triple-overtime setback at Portland. He fell four points shy of tying Jimmer Fredette's single-game school scoring mark (52 vs. New Mexico in 2011 Mountain West Conference Tournament semifinals). The result had to be disappointing for Haws, but there have been other prominent players requiring even "broader shoulders" in defeat. Haws, a son of Marty Haws (All-WAC first-team selection in 1989-90 when pacing BYU in scoring with 18.5 ppg), fell significantly short of joining the following list of NCAA Division I players scoring at least 60 points in a losing performance:
|Big Scorer in Losing Effort||DI School||Points||Defeat||Winning Opponent||Date|
|Kevin Bradshaw||U.S. International||72||186-140||Loyola Marymount||1-5-91|
|Pete Maravich||Louisiana State||69||106-104||Alabama||2-7-70|
|Pete Maravich||Louisiana State||66||110-94||Tulane||2-10-69|
|Anthony Roberts||Oral Roberts||65||90-89||Oregon||3-9-77|
|Pete Maravich||Louisiana State||64||121-105||Kentucky||2-21-70|
|Ben Woodside||North Dakota State||60||112-111 (3ot)||Stephen F. Austin||12-12-08|
College basketball fans shouldn't be assessed an unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty if the NFL isn't their favorite sport, but they should rush to hold on because following is more super stuff to digest while bombarded by enough notes, quotes and anecdotes to have one seeking a sedative when assessing Super Bowl XLVIII. A super story this year if there had been a tight game could have been tight end Julius Thomas, a former college hoopster with Portland State. Thomas was an obscure player for the Denver Broncos until exploding on the scene this season as their runner-up in touchdowns with 12 and contributing a team-high eight pass receptions in an AFC title-game victory against the New England Patriots.
Thomas, an All-Big Sky Conference hoopster, flashed potential as the next game-changing tight end when he caught more touchdown passes in the opening quarter of the NFL season-opening game than he had receptions in his first two understudy seasons. A 74-yard TD strike to Thomas at San Diego in mid-season illustrated that QB Peyton Manning intends to capitalize on Thomas' athleticism the same way he did ex-hoopster Marcus Pollard (Bradley) with the Indianapolis Colts. Pollard, a J.C. transfer who was the Braves' leading rebounder in 1992-93, caught at least three touchdown passes each of Manning's first seven NFL seasons from 1998 through 2004.
For what it's worth hoop-wise, did you know former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue was a 6-5 forward who averaged 11.4 points and nine rebounds per game for Georgetown in three varsity seasons from 1959-60 through 1961-62? He led the Hoyas in rebounding as a sophomore (8.9 rpg) and junior (8.2 rpg) and was their second-leading rebounder as a senior captain. Well-rounded trivia buffs should also know that Tagliabue's predecessor, Pete Rozelle, was the basketball publicist for 1949 NIT champion San Francisco before orchestrating events leading to the Super Bowl becoming a national phenomenon.
The Super Bowl's link to college basketball is much more extensive than these commissioners. Actually, there are a striking number of ex-college hoopsters who participated in the Super Bowl as players prior to Thomas. In fact, the inaugural Super Bowl in 1967 featured several former four-year college varsity basketball players for schools currently classified at the NCAA Division I level: Bobby Bell, Reg Carolan, Len Dawson, Otis Taylor and Fuzzy Thurston.
In deference to Super Bowl XLVIII, folllowing are 48 questions to tackle about versatile players such as Bell, Carolan, Dawson, Taylor and Thurston in this distinctive two-way athlete category that should surprise you with some of the marquee names. If you get them all correct before peeking at answers at the end of this gridiron quiz, then you are sufficiently omnipotent to know what happened to Ray Lewis' ditched cream suit in Atlanta.
1. Name the three-time Pro Bowl quarterback with the Cincinnati Bengals who appeared in the Super Bowl following the 1981 season after finishing his career as the fifth-leading scorer in his college's history. The high school teammate of Kentucky All-American and All-Pro Dan Issel led Augustana (Ill.) in field-goal accuracy and free-throw shooting as a freshman and sophomore.
2. Name the linebacker who was one of only two first-year players on the Miami Dolphins' undefeated team in 1972 and was still with the franchise the next season when the Dolphins repeated as Super Bowl champions for a 32-2 two-year mark, the best ever in the NFL. He played briefly for Louisville's varsity basketball squad before Cardinals football coach Lee Corso persuaded him to concentrate on the gridiron.
3. Name the nine-time All-Pro linebacker who was with the Kansas City Chiefs for their Super Bowl IV winner after becoming the first African American to play basketball for Minnesota when he appeared in three games in the 1960-61 season.
4. Name the two-time Pro Bowl defensive end who appeared in Super Bowl III with the Baltimore Colts vs. the New York Jets after becoming a first-team selection as a basketball center for South Dakota in the All-North Central Conference when he averaged 7.8 points per game in 1952-53 and 11 points in 1953-54.
5. Name the first black starting quarterback in the NFL who was later converted to wide receiver and caught two passes to help the undefeated Miami Dolphins beat Minnesota in Super Bowl VIII after averaging 9.5 ppg and 3.6 rpg in 14 basketball games for Nebraska-Omaha in 1964-65.
6. Name the four-time Pro Bowl wide receiver who caught five passes for 83 yards in Super Bowl XV for the Philadelphia Eagles after he was the top rebounder for two seasons with Southern (La.). He established an NFL record for most consecutive games with a pass reception (127).
7. Name the 1963 Pro Bowl selection who participated in Super Bowl I as a defensive end with the Kansas City Chiefs after the 6-6, 235-pounder played three varsity seasons with Idaho's basketball team, averaging four points and 4.7 rebounds per game.
8. Name the 1994 first-round draft choice who was a defensive end on the Dallas Cowboys' last Super Bowl team after playing nine games during the 1992-93 season for Arizona State's hoop squad that was decimated with injuries.
9. Name the Pro Bowl selection who appeared in Super Bowl XXXI with the New England Patriots after the 6-5, 245-pounder played basketball one season for Livingstone (N.C.). He held the NFL single-season record for most receptions by a tight end with 96 in 1994.
10. Name the four-year starter who set school career records for total offense, passing yards and rushing yards by a quarterback plus rushing touchdowns by a QB. Most Outstanding Player in the 2002 Peach Bowl as a quarterback was activated for the Super Bowl as a rookie with the Oakland Raiders before succeeding all-time great Tim Brown as a starting wide receiver. He was North Carolina's leader in assists during 2000-01 when he directed the Tar Heels to a basketball No. 1 ranking and an 18-game winning streak.
11. Name the Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs who was MVP in Super Bowl IV after playing in two basketball games as a 6-0, 180-pound guard for Purdue in the 1956-57 campaign.
12. Name the defensive left end on Miami's undefeated team in 1972 who played in four Super Bowls with the Dolphins after the 6-6, 220-pound basketball center finished his four-season career at Central College as the Pella, Iowa-based school's all-time leading scorer (15.5 ppg) and rebounder (12.4 rpg). He grabbed a school-record 29 rebounds in a game his senior season (1970-71).
13. Name the Hall of Fame tight end who played in two Super Bowls with the Dallas Cowboys, catching a TD pass to cap the scoring in Super Bowl VI, before coaching the Super Bowl-winning Chicago Bears following the 1985 season after the 6-2, 205-pound forward averaged 2.8 points and 2.6 rebounds per game in two seasons with the Pittsburgh Panthers.
14. Name the defensive back for the Baltimore Colts' Super Bowl V champion who led the NFL in kickoff return average (35.4) in 1970 after playing basketball for Maryland-Eastern Shore.
15. Name the prominent ex-NFL coach who was a defensive back for the Pittsburgh Steelers' Super Bowl XIII champion after averaging 2.6 ppg in 16 basketball contests with the Minnesota Gophers in 1973-74 under coach Bill Musselman.
16. Name the starting middle linebacker for a team in two of three Super Bowls in one stretch who started two games at point guard for St. Francis (Pa.) as a freshman in 1993-94 when he averaged three points per game. After transferring back home to Cleveland, the 5-10 dynamo collected 109 points and 52 rebounds in 27 games for John Carroll before quitting basketball midway through the 1995-96 campaign to concentrate on football.
17. Name the five-time Pro Bowl defensive back with the Dallas Cowboys who played in two Super Bowls after finishing his three-year varsity career as Utah State's all-time leading scorer and rebounder. The 6-4 forward scored 46 points in a game against New Mexico en route to leading the Aggies in scoring with 21.2 points per game in 1959-60 (34th in the nation), 20.3 in 1960-61 (57th) and 25.6 in 1961-62 (13th).
18. Name the Hall of Fame quarterback who played in three Super Bowls with the Miami Dolphins after he was a 6-1, 185-pound sophomore guard in 1964-65 when scoring 22 points in 16 games in his only varsity basketball season for Purdue.
19. Name the 12-year veteran safety who played in Super Bowl IV with the Minnesota Vikings after averaging four points and 3.5 rebounds per game in 10 contests for Wisconsin's basketball team in 1958-59.
20. Name the wide receiver who caught a 34-yard touchdown pass from Roger Staubach for the Dallas Cowboys' final touchdown in a 21-17 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl X after he averaged 12.4 points and 7.3 rebounds per game in three varsity seasons (1972-73 through 1974-75) for Austin Peay. It was the only pass reception in his NFL career. The 6-4, 215-pound forward averaged seven points and seven rebounds per game in four NCAA Tournament contests in 1973 and 1974 as a teammate of folk hero James "Fly" Williams.
21. Name the third-round draft choice of the Miami Dolphins in 1998 who backed up MVP Ray Lewis as a linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XXXV after being a member of Cincinnati's basketball team for the first month of 1997-98 campaign.
22. Name the three-time Pro Bowl defensive lineman who appeared in three Super Bowls with the Dallas Cowboys after the 6-8, 230-pound backup post player averaged 1.7 points and 2.6 rebounds for Tennessee State in his freshman and sophomore seasons (1969-70 and 1970-71).
24. Name the two-time Pro Bowl cornerback who participated in Super Bowl XVII with the Washington Redskins after the 6-4, 190-pound forward averaged 13.4 points and 6.6 rebounds per game for San Diego State in 1969-70 and 1970-71. He was the Aztecs' second-leading scorer (15.2 ppg) and rebounder (7.6 rpg) as a junior.
25. Name the 10-time Pro Bowl defensive back who competed in four Super Bowls after collecting nine assists, four points and three rebounds in six games for Southern California's basketball squad as a junior in 1979-80.
26. Name the 11-year defensive lineman who played in Super Bowl XIII for the Minnesota Vikings after averaging 12.3 ppg with Michigan Tech in 1962-63.
27. Name the Minnesota Vikings defensive back who let former Prairie View basketball player Otis Taylor (Kansas City Chiefs) elude him for a long touchdown in Super Bowl IV after being a basketball teammate of Utah State legend Wayne Estes in 1964-65.
28. Name the NFL Hall of Fame tight end who caught a 75-yard touchdown pass from Hall of Famer Johnny Unitas in Super Bowl V after collecting 28 points and 28 rebounds in six basketball games with Syracuse in 1960-61.
29. Name the defensive end who scored six touchdowns in his 14-year NFL career and started for the New York Giants in their Super Bowl victory following the 1986 season after the 6-5, 225-pound forward-center averaged just over 10 points and 10 rebounds per game for Oregon's freshman squad in 1971-72. He played briefly for the Ducks' varsity basketball team the next season.
30. Name the tight end who played in four Super Bowls with the Buffalo Bills after he was the starting center for Jacksonville State's 1985 NCAA Division II championship team. He led the Gulf South Conference in rebounding each of his first three seasons and finished runner-up in that category as a senior.
31. Name the defensive lineman in Super Bowl XI for the Oakland Raiders who played basketball in the 1975 NAIA Tournament for Morningside (Iowa).
32. Name the quarterback who set an NFL record with 24 consecutive completions over a two-game span in 2004 before guiding the Philadelphia Eagles to the Super Bowl the next year. He collected a career-high 10 points and six rebounds and made two clinching free throws with 2.7 seconds remaining in a 77-74 victory over Georgetown in 1997 before Syracuse appeared in the NIT. He scored two points in two 1996 NCAA Tournament games for the Orangemen's national runner-up.
33. Name the tight end who played in four Super Bowls with the Buffalo Bills, catching a TD pass in Super Bowl XXVI, after the 6-8, 235-pound center for the basketball squad at Wabash (Ind.) averaged 19.2 ppg and 11.4 rpg in four varsity seasons. He set NCAA Division III field-goal shooting records for a single season (75.3% in 1981-82 as a senior) and career (72.4). He collected 45 points and 13 rebounds in the 1982 championship game, scoring a Division III Tournament record 129 points in five games and earning tourney outstanding player honors.
34. Name the Pro Bowl offensive tackle who appeared in three consecutive Super Bowls with the Miami Dolphins after leading Lamar in rebounding as a senior with 12.6 per game in 1968-69.
35. Name the valuable addition to the Super Bowl-bound Philadelphia Eagles in 2004 setting an NFL single-game record with 20 receptions for the San Francisco 49ers against the Chicago Bears in 2000. He collected 57 points and 49 rebounds in 38 games (four starts) for UT-Chattanooga's basketball squad in three seasons from 1993-94 through 1995-96.
36. Name the 14-year running back who played in five Super Bowls, catching more passes (five) than anyone in Super Bowls X and XII, after the guard-forward averaged 8.7 points and 6 rebounds per game as a senior in 1966-67 to finish his three-year Illinois varsity career with 5.2 ppg and 3.6 rpg.
37. Name the 2002 NFL defensive rookie of the year for the Carolina Panthers who appeared in the Super Bowl the next season after being a member of North Carolina's 2000 Final Four squad. He started both NCAA Tournament games for the Tar Heels in 2001, including his first double-double (10 rebounds and career-high 21 points against Penn State).
38. Name the wide receiver who made a two-point conversion on a run for the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XIV and threw a flea flicker touchdown pass in Super Bowl XX after collecting 16 points and 11 assists in 11 games for Indiana's 1999 NCAA Tournament team, including two points in each of the Hoosiers' playoff contests (against George Washington and St. John's).
39. Name the four-time Pro Bowl wide receiver who scored the first touchdown at XXXI Super Bowl for the Green Bay Packers after he was a 6-1, 185-pound backup guard in basketball for Michigan State in two seasons (1985-86 and 1987-88).
40. Name the Hall of Fame offensive tackle who participated in two Super Bowls (XI and XV) with the Oakland Raiders after he was a two-year basketball letterman as a 6-5, 265-pound center for Maryland State College (now called Maryland-Eastern Shore).
41. Name an offensive tackle for the Super Bowl XVII champion Washington Redskins after the strike-shortened 1982 campaign who averaged 2.9 ppg and 3.7 rpg while shooting 50.5% from the floor with Columbia in 1968-69 and 1969-70.
42. Name the Hall of Fame quarterback who guided the Dallas Cowboys to four Super Bowls after averaging 9.3 points per game for the 1961-62 Navy plebe (freshman) basketball team. The 6-2, 190-pound forward scored five points in four games for the Midshipmen varsity squad the next season. He was MVP in Super Bowl VI.
43. Name the defensive back for the Baltimore Colts who appeared in two Super Bowls (III and V) after playing basketball for Maryland-Eastern Shore.
44. Name the wide receiver who played in two Super Bowls with the Kansas City Chiefs, catching 10 passes for 128 yards and a touchdown, after he was a backup small forward in the Prairie View A&M era following the school's glory years with pro basketball standout Zelmo Beaty.
45. Name the offensive guard with the Green Bay Packers who participated in the first two Super Bowls after originally enrolling at Valparaiso on a basketball scholarship. He averaged 1.5 points per game in eight contests as a freshman with Valpo in 1951-52 before concentrating on football.
46. Name the Pro Bowl punter who appeared in two Super Bowls with the Dallas Cowboys after averaging 14.5 points and 8.3 rebounds as a sophomore, 17.3 points and eight rebounds as a junior and 22.1 points and 8.7 rebounds as a senior for Tennessee. The 6-4, 210-pound forward scored 50 points against LSU as a senior on his way to becoming SEC player of the year in 1967.
47. Name the defensive end for the Denver Broncos' back-to-back Super Bowl champions (XXXII and XXXIII) who registered one steal while playing in one minute of one Big Eight Conference basketball game for Colorado in 1989-90.
48. Name the offensive tackle who was an NFL All-Pro six straight seasons in the 1970s and played in the Super Bowl five times that decade with the Dallas Cowboys after earning All-SIAC basketball recognition for Fort Valley State (Ga.).
ANSWERS TO 48 SUPER BOWL TRIVIA QUESTIONS
1. Ken Anderson; 2. Larry Ball; 3. Bobby Bell; 4. Ordell Braase; 5. Marlin Briscoe; 6. Harold Carmichael; 7. Reg Carolan; 8. Shante Carver; 9. Ben Coates; 10. Ronald Curry; 11. Len Dawson; 12. Vern Den Herder; 13. Mike Ditka; 14. Jim Duncan; 15. Tony Dungy; 16. London Fletcher; 17. Cornell Green; 18. Bob Griese; 19. Dale Hackbart; 20. Percy Howard; 21. Brad Jackson; 22. Ed "Too Tall" Jones; 23. Billy Kilmer; 24. Joe Lavender; 25. Ronnie Lott; 26. Bob Lurtsema; 27. Earsell Mackbee; 28. John Mackey; 29. George Martin; 30. Keith McKeller; 31. Herb McMath; 32. Donovan McNabb; 33. Pete Metzelaars; 34. Wayne Moore; 35. Terrell Owens; 36. Preston Pearson; 37. Julius Peppers; 38. Antwaan Randle El; 39. Andre Rison; 40. Art Shell; 41. George Starke; 42. Roger Staubach; 43. Charlie Stukes; 44. Otis Taylor; 45. Fuzzy Thurston; 46. Ron Widby; 47. Alfred Williams; 48. Rayfield Wright.
"It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled." - Mark Twain
Anyone with a functioning brain knows high school player ratings are so much unadulterated bull-spit reminiscent of Sochi accommodations. All of the so-called recruiting analysts/experts and slobbering announcers with drool buckets giving credence to the charade are doing a disservice to the fans and impressionable teenagers. Why can't the player pimps simply wait until the athletes compete in an actual game on a college court before rendering judgment on their ability at the next level?
There should be a teen-protective law regarding player ratings forcing them to be written on toilet paper so they can be flushed down the toilet. Conducting a live press conference on a Signing Day Special announcing a teenager's college intentions is obscene. Keep-it-pithy Mark Twain would have been nauseated watching adults hold their collective breath to see if a pimple-faced kid dons cap of their alma mater.
What good are the prep player rankings anyway if the brainiacs can't pinpoint a prospect who will be an NCAA consensus first-team All-American three successive seasons? In 2010, Creighton's Doug McDermott wasn't listed among the consensus Top 100 recruits. It's not as if no one saw him in Ames, Iowa, because his H.S. teammate, Harrison Barnes (North Carolina), ranked as the nation's premier prepster.
But previously-shunned McDermott, who rarely dunks to shine the spotlight on himself and spends more time practicing his free throws than getting tattoos, emerged as a consistent standout. McDermott isn't infallible, scoring a meager five points against UAB last season and only seven versus George Washington this campaign. But even if he averaged five points per game, that would be a higher mark than the career averages posted by the following alphabetical list of frontcourters in the same class mistakenly rated higher than him coming out of high school: Evan Anderson (Wisconsin/0.6 points per game), Demarco Cox (Mississippi/3.1), Keith Davis (Texas A&M/1.1), Carson Desrosiers (Wake Forest & Providence/4.3), Josh Hairston (Duke/2.2), James Johnson (Virginia & San Diego State/1.4), Nate Lubick (Georgetown/4.9) and Melvin Tabb (Wake Forest & Kent State/3.3).
Seemingly incapable of calculating the difference between street ball and team ball, the recruiting gurus can't seem to assess backcourters any better. For instance, Michigan's Trey Burke, designated national POY last season over McDermott, wasn't listed among the Top 100 in 2011. Again, it wasn't as if he was an unknown commodity insofar as Burke was a prep teammate of eventual Ohio State All-American Jared Sullinger. It would take all week to read the list of players ranked ahead of Burke, McDermott and fellow consensus 2012-13 first-team All-Americans Victor Oladipo (Indiana), Kelly Olynyk (Gonzaga) and Otto Porter Jr. (Georgetown) when they left high school.
Elsewhere, guard Jeremy Lamb averaged 14.1 ppg in two seasons with 2011 NCAA champion Connecticut before leaving school early and becoming an NBA lottery pick (12th overall). But Lamb's scoring average is more than twice as high as those compiled by the following alphabetical list of guards in the same 2010 class incorrectly rated ahead of him entering college: Rion Brown (Miami/7), Gary Franklin (California & Baylor/4.5), Crandall Head (Illinois & Southern Methodist/1.1), Jamail Jones (Marquette & Florida Gulf Coast/3.3), Jelan Kendrick (Memphis, Mississippi & UNLV/6.1 ppg), Mychal Parker (Maryland/3.4), Stacey Poole Jr. (Kentucky & Georgia Tech/1.9) and Jordan Sibert (Ohio State & Dayton/5.1).
Obesely-overrated Josh Smith was a consensus Top 20 player coming out of H.S. while McDermott was virtually ignored. Smith was declared academically ineligible at Georgetown after flopping with UCLA while McDermott, schooling opponents and media flunkeys, closed in on becoming only the eighth player in DI history cracking the 3,000-point plateau. What are the recruiting-wizard credentials of the chattering class who couldn't see any possible distinction between them? Never underestimate how gullible some observers can be if they don't let mistake-ridden recruit regaling go in one ear and out the other until authentic evidence exists.
"Nothing in the affairs of men is worthy of great anxiety." - Plato
The sky is falling! The sky is falling! Self-righteous Chicken Little fans, high pot-smokers galore and willfully dense media members, sounding like end-of-the-world doom-and-gloomers from the whiny race-baiting Blame America Administration, can get on your nerves because of their lack of historical perspective.
Recent slumps for Baylor, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa State, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Oregon and Wisconsin were disconcerting to their fans but they shouldn't be on suicide watch. Plenty of premier programs recover from dry-spell reversals, even against inferior opponents, to return to elite status.
A comparable little slump happened to Kansas last year before the Jayhawks eventually posted their fourth straight 30-win campaign. KU fans should have remembered that Wilt Chamberlain's final season in 1958 included one of the most amazing turnarounds in NCAA history. Nebraska, in the midst of 15 consecutive losing seasons, was clobbered at Kansas by 56 points (102-46) before upsetting the Jayhawks (43-41) four games later in Omaha. In the Cornhuskers' next outing, they defeated top-ranked Kansas State (55-48), an opponent overwhelming them by a total of 46 points in two previous matchups. Nebraska never has won an NCAA Tournament game, making the Cornhuskers treasure the moment even more when they defeated NCAA champion-to-be Kansas in the regular season in 1988.
Cincinnati, compiling just one winning record in Metro Conference competition (8-6 in 1985) in 12 years from 1978 through 1989, is the only school to register a losing record in a season it won a road game against a conference rival that later became NCAA champion. The 12-16 Bearcats, notching a 5-7 Metro mark, won at Louisville (84-82) midway through the 1985-86 campaign when guard Roger McClendon poured in 24 of his 35 points in the second half. The Cardinals recovered from their only home-court loss that year and the embarrassment of squandering a 13-point, second-half lead against Cincinnati to wind up capturing the NCAA title.
Michigan State dominated the 1979 NCAA Tournament, handing each of its five playoff opponents, a quintet averaging 25.6 victories, their worst defeat of the year - Lamar (31-point margin), LSU (16), Notre Dame (12), Penn (34) and Indiana State (11). Consequently, most observers don't recall the glaring defect of the Magic Johnson-led Spartans earlier that season when they were defeated by four Big Ten Conference second-division teams (including three finishing the year at least four games below .500 in league competition). One of Michigan State's setbacks was by 18 points against perennial cellar dweller Northwestern, which had 35 consecutive losing league records from 1969 through 2003.
Florida '98 is the only school at least four games below .500 in league play to win on the road against a conference opponent (Kentucky) that wound up capturing the NCAA Tournament crown later that season. The Gators went on to become the only school to capture back-to-back NCAA titles despite losing a league game each year to an opponent with a conference mark at least four games below .500 (2006 and 2007).
Plato's quote about anxiety takes on a special meaning for hoop fans examining the following chronological list of 11 schools at least four games under .500 in conference competition defeating a league rival ending the season as NCAA titlist (including four of them in an eight-year span from 2003 through 2010):
|Second-Division Team||Season||Overall (Losing League Record)||Upset Against Eventual NCAA Champion|
|Oregon State||1938-39||13-11 (6-10 in PCC)||Beavers defeated Oregon, 50-31|
|Oregon||1958-59||9-16 (3-13 in PCC)||Ducks defeated California, 59-57|
|Illinois||1978-79||19-11 (7-11 in Big Ten)||Illini defeated Michigan State, 57-55|
|Northwestern||1978-79||6-21 (2-16 in Big Ten)||Wildcats defeated Michigan State, 83-65|
|Wisconsin||1978-79||12-15 (6-12 in Big Ten)||Badgers defeated Michigan State, 83-81|
|Nebraska||1987-88||13-18 (4-10 in Big Eight)||Cornhuskers defeated Kansas, 70-68|
|Florida||1997-98||14-15 (6-10 in SEC)||Gators won at Kentucky, 86-78|
|Rutgers||2002-03||12-16 (4-12 in Big East)||Scarlet Knights defeated Syracuse, 68-65|
|South Carolina||2005-06||23-15 (6-10 in SEC)||Gamecocks defeated Florida, 68-62|
|Louisiana State||2006-07||17-15 (5-11 in SEC)||Tigers defeated Florida, 66-56|
|North Carolina State||2009-10||20-16 (5-11 in ACC)||Wolfpack defeated Duke, 88-74.|
"Success is simple. Do what's right, the right way, at the right time." - Arnold H. Glasow
Overlooked amid Digger Phelps entering Notre Dame's Ring of Honor is examining how he wound up at South Bend in the first place. In retrospect, it might have stemmed from a one-game Irish job audition.
In 1970-71, Phelps was guiding Fordham to its winningest season in school history but what likely really impressed the Notre Dame administration was a 94-88 victory that season over the Irish. He was UND's bench boss the next campaign and went on to win seven games against nationally top-ranked opponents.
Non-conference schedules frequently are frustrating for fans of power league schools because of what seems like feasting on a steady diet of cupcake opponents. But you never know when a single game can become a career changer.
Similar to almost any job, timing is everything. Following is an alphabetical list of impressionable coaches such as Phelps who generated such favorable reviews after defeating a school in a non-conference game one season they were hired by that institution in the same role before the next campaign:
"It is not the critic who counts, not the one who points out how the strong man stumbled or how the doer of deeds might have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred with sweat and dust and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, if he wins, knows the triumphs of high achievement; and who, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat." - Theodore Roosevelt
For those who eat, sleep and breathe the NCAA Tournament although it came after Teddy Roosevelt's presidency, the sensory overload of the playoffs is a banquet and every year is a feast. Nourishing your appetite for assessing postseason play, the following questions linger: Who were the most pristine postseason players in the nation's premier multiple-week sports spectacle? Who always seemed hot and who was not? Who was a stud instead of a dud?
It's a cop-out to simply accept the instant visibility of one-name icons such as Magic, Bird and Michael and cite them among the 75 greatest players in tourney history, let alone the top 25. The prolific pro careers of Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan, a trio combining to win nine consecutive NBA Most Valuable Player awards from 1983-84 through 1991-92 (three apiece), somewhat distorts their impact in college postseason play. Notwithstanding the TV appeal of the Bird/Magic championship game match-up in 1979 and Jordan's game-winning basket as a freshman in the 1982 national final against Georgetown, a closer examination of the facts than what was exhibited in 75th-anniversary polls last year by ESPN, Sports Illustrated and Sporting News shows that other collegians were more efficient more often in the NCAA Tournament. Consider the following tourney trauma for Johnson (ESPN 5/SN 7/SI 8), Bird (SI 5/ESPN 15/SN 24) and Jordan (SN 32/ESPN 57/SI 70) before accepting as gospel they were among the premier performers in NCAA playoff play:
Johnson shot a meager 27.8% from the floor (10 of 36) in three 1978 tourney games as a freshman for Michigan State before leading the Spartans to the NCAA title the next year. He had more turnovers (six) than assists (five) in the over-hyped 1979 final, a mediocre contest paling in comparison to the last eight finals of the 1980s when seven of them were decided by an average of two points. Johnson outscored and outrebounded teammate Greg Kelser in just one of eight playoff games they played together. Kelser simply contributed more than Magic to the Spartans' cause in NCAA competition.
Bird boosted Indiana State to the 1979 final in his lone NCAA tourney, but put the 'oops' in hoops by committing a Final Four-record 17 turnovers. He hit just 7 of 21 field-goal attempts and had three times as many turnovers (six) as assists (two) against Michigan State in the championship game, which was essentially the equivalent of a boring Super Bowl failing to live up to hype.
Jordan's NBA playoff scoring average with the Chicago Bulls more than doubled the NCAA Tournament scoring average he compiled for North Carolina. Jordan averaged 16.5 points per NCAA playoff game with the Tar Heels, scoring 20 or more in just two of 10 postseason games from 1982 through 1984. His Airness scored fewer than 18 points in two of the four playoff contests he led Carolina in scoring. Most people don't remember his inauspicious playoff debut when he collected six points, one rebound, no assists and no steals in 37 minutes of a 52-50 opening-round victory against James Madison in the East Regional. And Jordan's final NCAA Tournament appearance before he left school early for the NBA was nothing to write home about, either. The college player of the year was restricted to six points in the first 35 minutes of his collegiate swan song in the East Regional semifinals against Indiana, finishing with 13 points, one rebound, one assist and one steal in 26 foul-plagued minutes when the top-ranked Tar Heels were eliminated (72-68).
Generally, sizzling scorers have learned it's not a day at the beach in postseason play. For instance, former NBA sensation Clyde Drexler averaged more than 17 points per game each of his last 13 NBA seasons, but he scored more than 17 points in just one of 11 NCAA Tournament games for the University of Houston from 1981 through 1983. Premier playmaker Steve Nash managed only one field goal in three of five playoff contests in the mid-1990s, shooting a paltry 29.2% from the floor. Two-time NBA slam-dunk champion Jason Richardson (5th pick overall in 2001) was grounded by the NCAA playoffs, going scoreless in three consecutive contests as a Michigan State freshman in 2000. All-Americans Thomas Robinson (Kansas) and Tyler Zeller (North Carolina) each went scoreless in two NCAA playoff games. Eventual All-Americans Marcus Denmon (Missouri), Danny Ferry (Duke), Ben Gordon (Connecticut), Marcus Morris (Kansas) and Terrence Williams (Louisville) also went scoreless in a tourney game. Ferry scored fewer than 10 points in six straight tourney tilts before averaging 20 ppg in his last 11 playoff outings and Syracuse All-American Kris Joseph never scored more than 12 points in 11 NCAA playoff contests from 2009 through 2012.
Duke's Christian Laettner, the all-time playoff scoring leader with 407 points from 1989 through 1992, tallied fewer than 15 points in six of his first seven tournament games. Just four of the top 20 in career scoring in the NCAA playoffs accumulated more than 10 points in every tourney game they participated - UCLA's Lew Alcindor (1967-68-69), Princeton's Bill Bradley (1963-64-65), Arizona's Sean Elliott (1986-87-88-89) and Cincinnati's Oscar Robertson (1958-59-60).
Is an Amber Alert necessary for Len Chappell, Adrian Dantley, Tom Gola, Alex Groza, David "Big Daddy" Lattin, Jim McDaniels, Jeff Mullins, Cazzie Russell, Dennis Scott, Rony Seikaly, etc., etc., etc.? How could anyone forget the footprint (size-22) Bob Lanier left on postseason play? The NCAA, exhibiting all the expertise of voters claiming they can't provide identification, unveiled a stunning error-prone list last year of foremost NCAA Tournament players over the first 75 years. Were relatives of guards Shelvin Mack and Keith Smart on the nominating panel for such amateurish choices? Do backcourters B.J. Armstrong, Terry Dehere, Allen Iverson, Wally Jones, Brevin Knight, Bo Lamar, Mark Macon, Lawrence Moten, Anthony Peeler and Mitch Richmond mean anything to the misinformed? The NCAA, apparently incapable of discerning what comprises a "moment" rather than numerous playoff-pressure games or putting too much stock in input from self-serving media, should go back to focusing on vital task of shedding Indian nicknames from as many schools as possible.
In his State of the Union address, basketball buff POTUS probably should have focused on mental inequality in hoopdom rather than income inequality in his "I-have-a-phone-and-pen" kingdom. An NCAA probe similar to IRS targeting needs to be conducted stemming from the most glaring omission among impact players failing to be acknowledged. Incredibly, the shunned included Bob Pettit, who averaged 30.5 points in six outings with LSU in 1953 and 1954. Pettit is perhaps the most consistent big scorer in NCAA playoff annals with a single-digit differential between his high game (36 points) and low contest (27).
The Chris Webber Award for playoff competition brain lock goes to SN for citing Tom Thacker, a nice versatile player for Cincinnati teams participating in three consecutive NCAA championship contests, as #15 on its all-time list. Thacker committed a toxic total of 13 turnovers (with only four assists) in two Final Four games in 1963 after scoring only two points in 1962 national semifinals and shooting a paltry 8-of-28 from the floor at 1961 Final Four. UCLA by itself has had at least 15 more influential tourney players than Thacker, who was unranked by ESPN and SI. The only logical answer for this absurdity is a Cincinnati connection of some sort among the voting delegation or the fishy selection is a byproduct for why SN's print edition went belly up.
Michigan State All-American Draymond Green posted back-to-back triple doubles in 2011 and 2012 but still doesn't rank among the all-time best 76 players in tourney history as the event enters its 76th year. If some of these historical facts aroused your curiosity, here is additional tournament insight that should fuel debates concerning who should be on college basketball's Mount Rushmore after excelling the most as NCAA playoff performers (minimum of six tourney games):
1. Lew Alcindor, C, UCLA
The only individual selected the Final Four's Most Outstanding Player three times averaged 25.7 points and 18.8 rebounds and shot 64.1% from the floor in six Final Four games from 1967 through 1969. Alcindor, who later changed his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, is the only player to couple three unanimous first-team All-American seasons with three NCAA titles. Of the 10 different individuals to average more than 23 points per game for a national champion a total of 12 times, Alcindor achieved the feat all three of his seasons with the Bruins. He is also the only player to hit better than 70% of his field-goal attempts in two NCAA title games. UCLA '67, the first varsity season for Alcindor, set the record for largest average margin of victory for a champion when the Bruins started a dazzling streak of 10 consecutive Final Four appearances. They won their 12 NCAA playoff games with Alcindor manning the middle by an average margin of 21.5 points. The three Alcindor-led UCLA teams rank among the seven NCAA champions with average margins of victory in a tournament of more than 19 points per game. He led the Bruins in scoring in 10 of 12 playoff contests. It's no wonder a perceptive scribe wrote that the acronym NCAA took on a new meaning during the Alcindor Era - "No Chance Against Alcindor."
2. Bill Walton, C, UCLA
Averaged 28.8 points and 17.8 rebounds per game at the Final Four in 1972 and 1973. His championship game-record 44 points against Memphis State in 1973 when he hit 21-of-22 field-goal attempts will probably never be duplicated. On the other hand, he had one playoff game of fewer than 10 points each of the three seasons he was national player of the year.
3. Jerry West, G-F, West Virginia
He is the only player to score at least 25 points in eight consecutive tournament games (all of which he led in scoring). West is also the only player to rank among the top five in scoring average in both the NCAA Tournament (30.6 points per game) and NBA playoffs (29.1 ppg). He was denied a championship ring with West Virginia in his only Final Four appearance in 1959 when Cal center Darral Imhoff, a player who would become an Olympic and NBA teammate, tipped in a decisive basket in the closing seconds.
4. Elvin Hayes, F, Houston
He is the only player to lead a tournament in scoring by more than 60 points. Lew Alcindor and his UCLA teammates helped hold Hayes to 10 points in 1968 national semifinals, but the Big E finished with 167 points in five games with Houston that year. Alcindor was runner-up with 103 points in four contests. Hayes became the only player in tournament history to collect more than 40 points and 25 rebounds in the same game when he amassed 49 points and 27 rebounds in a 94-76 decision over Loyola of Chicago in first round of 1968 Midwest Regional. He holds the records for most rebounds in a playoff series (97 in five games as a senior in 1968) and career (222 in 13 games). Hayes had five games with at least 24 rebounds, including the first three playoff games in 1968, before being held to five in a 101-69 national semifinal loss against UCLA. He also holds the record for most playoff field goals in a career with 152.
5. Gail Goodrich, G, UCLA
Despite standing at least three inches shorter than both standout opponents, the 6-1 lefthander outscored consensus second-team All-American Jeff Mullins of Duke, 27-22, in 1964 final and unanimous first-team All-American Cazzie Russell of Michigan, 42-28, in 1965 final. Goodrich, the only guard to score more than 35 points in an NCAA final, averaged 35 points per game for UCLA in 1965 tourney. He was also the Bruins' leading scorer the previous year (21.5-point average as a junior) when he became the shortest undergraduate to average more than 20 points per game for an NCAA titlist. Goodrich and Walt Hazzard (18.6 ppg) represent the only backcourt duo to be the top two scorers on the season for an NCAA championship team. Of the eight times a school successfully defended its major college championship, Goodrich is the only guard to be the team's leading scorer in back-to-back years. The Bruins won 58 of 60 games in those two championship seasons although they didn't have a regular taller than 6-7.
6. Bill Bradley, F, Princeton
The former U.S. Senator (D-N.J.) and 2000 presidential candidate holds the record for most points in a single Final Four game (58 against Wichita State in 1965 national third-place game). He scored 39 points in the second half of the consolation game. The Rhodes Scholar was the only player to have a double-digit season scoring average (30.5 points per game) for Princeton's Final Four team. Bradley also holds the career playoff record for highest free-throw percentage (minimum of 50 attempts). He was 89 of 96 from the foul line (90.6%) from 1963 through 1965. In five of his nine playoff games, Bradley made at least 10 free throws while missing no more than one attempt from the charity stripe. He made 16 of 16 free throws against St. Joseph's in first round of 1963 East Regional and 13 of 13 foul shots against Providence in 1965 East Regional final to become the only player to twice convert more than 12 free throws without a miss in playoff games. He was the game-high scorer in eight of nine tourney contests.
7. Bill Russell, C, San Francisco
Grabbed an incredible 50 rebounds for [USF] at 1956 Final Four (23 against SMU in semifinals and 27 against Iowa in championship game). No other player has retrieved more than 41 missed shots in two Final Four games or more than 21 in the final. Averaged 23.2 points in winning all nine NCAA tourney contests.
8. Oscar Robertson, G-F, Cincinnati
Averaged at least 29 points and 10 rebounds per game each of his three years in the tourney with the Bearcats. The Big O isn't picked higher because California restricted him to a total of 37 points in two Final Four games (1959 and 1960). He hit just nine of 32 from the floor against the Bears. Robertson, the nation's leading scorer all three of his varsity seasons with averages of more than 32 points per game, is the only team-leading scorer to twice go more than 10 points below his season scoring average when his school lost in the national semifinals or final.
9. Sean Elliott, F, Arizona
Of the more than 60 different players to score at least 2,500 points and/or rank among the top 25 in career scoring average, Elliott is the only one to have a winning NCAA playoff record in his career plus post higher scoring, rebounding and field-goal shooting playoff averages than he compiled in the regular season. Elliott scored at least 17 points in all 10 of his NCAA playoff games with the Wildcats from 1986 through 1989.
10. Christian Laettner, F, Duke
Only player to start in four Final Fours became the tourney's all-time leading scorer (407 points) in helping the Blue Devils compile a 21-2 playoff mark in his career. Laettner's highest-scoring game was 31 against Kentucky in a 104-103 victory in 1992 East Regional final. Laettner capped a flawless offensive performance, hitting all 10 of his field-goal attempts and all 10 of his free throws against the Wildcats, by scoring Duke's last eight points in overtime, including a stunning 18-foot turnaround jumper at the buzzer after catching a pass from the baseline on the opposite end of the court. He also hit what probably was an even more difficult off-balance, last-second shot to give Duke a 79-78 win against Connecticut in 1990 East Regional final. Tallied fewer than 15 points in six of his first seven playoff contests.
11. Bob Pettit, F-C, Louisiana State
Of the more than 40 different players to score more than 225 points in the NCAA playoffs and/or average over 25 points per tournament game (minimum of six games), he is the only one to score more than 22 points in every postseason contest (six games with LSU in 1953 and 1954). He was perhaps the most consistent big scorer in NCAA Tournament history with a single-digit differential between his high game (36 points) and his low game (27). Pettit wasn't named to the 1953 All-Tournament team despite leading the Tigers to the Final Four and averaging 30.5 points per game in four NCAA playoff contests. He averaged the same number of points in two tourney games the next year.
12. Bobby Hurley, G, Duke
The 6-0 guard was selected Most Outstanding Player at the 1992 Final Four. He was the shortest player to earn the award since 5-11 Hal Lear helped Temple to a national third-place finish in 1956. The only Final Four Most Outstanding Player shorter than Hurley from a championship team was 5-11 Kenny Sailors of Wyoming in 1943. Hurley shot a mediocre 41% from the floor in his college career, but he was the Blue Devils' linchpin with his playmaking and intangible contributions. He holds the career record for most playoff assists (145) and three-pointers (42) although his bid to become the first player to start four consecutive NCAA finals was thwarted when California upset Duke in the second round of 1993 Midwest Regional despite Hurley's career-high 32 points. After averaging just 5.4 points per game in his first eight NCAA Tournament contests, he averaged 22.8 in his last five playoff outings.
13. Steve Alford, G, Indiana
Averaged 21.3 points in 10 NCAA Tournament games in 1984, 1986 and 1987 (8-2 record). He led the Hoosiers in scoring in seven of the contests.
14. Larry Johnson, F, UNLV
Juco jewel averaged 20.2 points and 11.5 rebounds in 11 games in 1990 and 1991 (10-1 record).
15. Miles Simon, G, Arizona
Averaged 18.6 points, 4.2 rebounds and 4.3 assists in 14 games from 1995 through 1998 (11-3 record). He was game-high scorer in his last three playoff contests.
16. Patrick Ewing, C, Georgetown
The Hoyas compiled a glittering 15-3 playoff record from 1982 through 1985 during his four-year reign of terror although he never scored as many as 25 points in a tournament game.
17. David "Big Daddy" Lattin, C, Texas Western
Averaged 19.4 ppg and 10.6 rpg in eight games in 1966 and 1967 (7-1 record). He averaged 21 points and 13 rebounds in first three games of 1966 playoffs, powering champion-to-be Miners to Final Four. Playoff scoring average was five points higher than his regular-season mark.
18. Clyde Lovellette, C, Kansas
The only individual to lead the nation in scoring average in the same season he played for a team reaching the NCAA Tournament championship game. Averaging 35.3 points per game in the 1952 tourney, he was the first player to score more than 30 points in a Final Four contest and the only player to crack the 30-point plateau in the national semifinals and final in the same season.
19. Dennis Scott, G-F, Georgia Tech
Averaged 25.9 ppg and 5.9 rpg in eight playoff games from 1988 through 1990 (5-3 record). He was game-high scorer in four of five contests in 1990 when the Yellow Jackets reached the Final Four.
20. David Thompson, F, North Carolina State
The last player to score the most points in a single game of a tournament and play for a championship team (40 against Providence in 1974 East Regional semifinals). He is the only undergraduate non-center to average more than 23 ppg for a national champion.
21. Austin Carr, G, Notre Dame
After scoring only six points in his first tournament game as a sophomore (re-injured against Miami of Ohio in 1969), Carr averaged 47.2 points in his last six playoff contests to finish with a tourney record 41.3-point mark. However, the Irish won only two of the seven games.
22. David Robinson, C, Navy
Averaged 28.6 points and 12.3 rebounds in seven games from 1985 through 1987 (4-3 record). He was game-high scorer in four playoff contests, including a school-record 50 points against Michigan in his final appearance.
23. Bob Kurland, C, Oklahoma A&M
Only player to score more than half of a championship team's points in a single NCAA Tournament (total of 72 accounted for 51.8% of the Aggies' output in three playoff games in 1946).
24. Jerry Lucas, C, Ohio State
Two-time NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player averaged 22.8 ppg and 12 rpg at the Final Four in 1960 and 1961. But he was limited to nine points in both of his tourney openers when earning national player of the year awards in 1961 and 1962.
25. Sean May, F-C, North Carolina
Final Four Most Outstanding Player for 2005 champion averaged 19.9 points and 9.9 rebounds in eight NCAA Tournament games in 2004 and 2005 (7-1 record).
26. Alex Groza, C, Kentucky
Two-time Final Four Most Outstanding Player is only individual appearing at a minimum of two Final Fours (1948 and 1949) and be the game-high scorer in every Final Four contest he participated.
27. Len Chappell, F-C, Wake Forest
Averaged 27.6 ppg and 17.1 rpg in eight games in 1961 and 1962 (6-2 record). He was the Demon Deacons' leading scorer in all eight contests.
28. Bob Lanier, C, St. Bonaventure
Averaged 25.2 points and 14.2 rebounds in six games in 1968 and 1970 (4-2 record; missed 1970 Final Four after tearing a knee ligament in East Regional final).
29. Corliss Williamson, F, Arkansas
Two-time All-NCAA Tournament selection averaged 20.2 points and 7.4 rebounds while shooting 59.4% from the floor in 15 games from 1993 through 1995 (13-2 record).
30. Al Wood, F, North Carolina
Averaged 20.1 points and 8.3 rebounds in eight games from 1978 through 1981 (4-4 record). He was the Tar Heels' leading scorer in six of those playoff contests.
31. Tim Duncan, C, Wake Forest
Averaged 17.6 points, 15 rebounds and 4.5 blocked shots in 11 games from 1994 through 1997 (7-4 record).
32. Glen Rice, F, Michigan
Averaged 23.7 points and 6.3 rebounds in 13 games from 1986 through 1989 (10-3 record). As a senior, he was the Wolverines' leading scorer in all six contests during their championship run when setting a single-tourney record with 184 points.
33. Danny Manning, F, Kansas
The only player to score more than 62% of his team's points in an NCAA Tournament game (42 in the Jayhawks' 67-63 victory against Southwest Missouri State in second round of 1987 Southeast Regional). He was the game-high scorer in all six of their contests en route to the 1988 national title as a senior. Averaged 20.5 points and 7.3 rebounds in 16 playoff games (13-3 record).
34. Bob Houbregs, F-C, Washington
Averaged 27.4 ppg in seven games in 1951 and 1953 (5-2 record). He averaged nearly nine more points per contest in postseason play than during the regular season.
35. Tom Gola, F, La Salle
The only individual to earn NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player and NIT Most Valuable Player awards in his career. He averaged 22 ppg in 10 NCAA playoff games in 1954 and 1955 (9-1 record).
36. Rumeal Robinson, G, Michigan
Averaged 17.5 points and 8.5 assists in 11 games from 1988 through 1990 (9-2 record).
37. Lawrence Moten, G, Syracuse
Averaged 23.3 points and 4.7 rebounds in seven games in 1992, 1994 and 1995 (4-3 record).
38. Ray Allen, G, Connecticut
Averaged 19.5 points and 7 rebounds in 10 playoff games from 1994 through 1996 (7-3 record).
39. Isiah Thomas, G, Indiana
Averaged 19.7 points and 7.9 assists in seven games in 1980 and 1981 (6-1 record).
40. Greg "Bo" Kimble, F-G, Loyola Marymount
Averaged 29.1 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.3 steals in seven games from 1988 through 1990 (4-3 record). Scored at least 37 points for LMU in three of his last four playoff outings.
41. Randy Foye, G, Villanova
Averaged 22.1 points and 6.4 rebounds in seven games in 2005 and 2006 (5-2 record). He scored at least 24 points in four contests.
42. B.J. Armstrong, G, Iowa
Averaged 19.8 points and 4.9 assists in nine games from 1987 through 1989 (6-3 record; did not play in 1986 playoffs). He averaged seven more points per contest in postseason than during the regular season.
43. Jim McDaniels, C, Western Kentucky
Averaged 29.3 points and 12.2 rebounds in six games in 1970 and 1971 (4-2 record). He was WKU's leading scorer in five of the six playoff contests.
44. Brevin Knight, G, Stanford
Averaged 20 points, 4.6 rebounds and 6.6 assists in seven games from 1995 through 1997 (4-3 record).
45. Rony Seikaly, C, Syracuse
Averaged 18.8 ppg, 8.7 rpg and 2.8 bpg in 12 games from 1985 through 1988 (8-4 record). He averaged nearly seven more points per contest in postseason play than during the regular season.
46. Jeff Mullins, F, Duke
Averaged 25 ppg and 7.9 rpg in the playoffs for two Final Four teams in 1963 and 1964 (6-2 record). He scored more than 20 points in seven of eight tourney contests.
47. Mark Macon, G, Temple
Averaged 23.3 points and 5.1 rebounds in nine games in 1988, 1990 and 1991 (6-3 record.)
48. Mike Maloy, C, Davidson
Averaged 22.3 ppg and 12.4 rpg in seven games from 1968 through 1970 (4-3 record).
49. Adrian Dantley, F, Notre Dame
Averaged 25.4 points and 8.3 rebounds in eight games from 1974 through 1976 (4-4 record). Averaged 29.8 points in his last six playoff contests.
50. Dan Issel, C, Kentucky
Averaged 29.3 ppg and 11.3 rpg in splitting six contests from 1968 through 1970. He had at least 36 points in half of the tourney games.
51. Allen Iverson, G, Georgetown
Averaged 23.9 points and 4 rebounds in seven games in 1995 and 1996 (5-2 record). He was the Hoyas' leading scorer in all seven contests.
52. Ollie Johnson, C, San Francisco
Averaged 25.8 points and 16.2 rebounds in six games from 1963 through 1965 (3-3 record). Averaged six points per game higher in playoffs than regular season.
53. Paul Hogue, C, Cincinnati
Averaged 19 points and 16 rebounds in six Final Four games from 1960 through 1962. Posted higher averages (18.4 ppg and 13.3 rpg) in 12 NCAA Tournament contests (11-1 record) than his respective career marks.
54. Jameer Nelson, G, St. Joseph's
Averaged 22.4 points, 6 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 2.3 steals in seven games in 2001, 2003 and 2004 (4-3 record). He scored at least 24 points in four of his last five playoff contests.
55. Richard Hamilton, G-F, Connecticut
Averaged 23.4 points and 4.7 rebounds in 10 games in 1998 and 1999 (9-1 record). He led UConn in scoring in nine of the 10 contests.
56. Chuck Person, F, Auburn
Averaged 20.3 points and 9 rebounds in eight games from 1984 through 1986 (5-3 record). Scored at least 20 points in six of his last seven playoff contests.
57. Don Schlundt, C, Indiana
Averaged 27 points in six games in 1953 and 1954 (5-1 record). He was the Hoosiers' leading scorer in five of the playoff contests.
58. Cazzie Russell, G, Michigan
Averaged at least 24 ppg each of his three years in the tourney (5-3 record). Leading scorer for third-place team in 1964 NCAA playoffs and 1965 national runner-up.
59. Jamal Mashburn, F, Kentucky
Averaged 21.4 points and 8 rebounds in nine games in 1992 and 1993 (7-2 record). He was the Wildcats' leading scorer in five consecutive playoff contests.
60. Les Hunter, C, Loyola of Chicago
Averaged 18.9 points and 13.3 rebounds in eight games in 1963 and 1964 (7-1 record).
61. Henry Finkel, C, Dayton
Averaged 27.8 points and 13.8 rebounds in six games in 1965 and 1966 (3-3 record). He was game-high scorer in five of the six contests.
62. Johnny Green, F-C, Michigan State
Averaged 16.2 points and 19.7 rebounds in six games in 1957 and 1959 (3-3 record). He was the leading rebounder in all four contests as a sophomore in 1957 when the Spartans reached the Final Four.
63. Anthony Peeler, G, Missouri
Averaged 24.3 points, 3.3 rebounds and 6.3 assists in six games in 1989, 1990 and 1992 (3-3 record). His scoring average was almost eight points higher in the postseason than regular season.
64. Dwight "Bo" Lamar, G, Southwestern Louisiana
Averaged 29.2 points in six Division I Tournament games in 1972 and 1973 (3-3 record). Supplied game-high point total in all six contests, including 35 plus a tourney-high 11 assists in a 112-101 victory against Marshall as the Ragin' Cajuns scored the most points in tourney history for a school in its playoff debut.
65. Greg Kelser, F, Michigan State
Leading scorer and rebounder as a senior for 1979 NCAA titlist averaged 24 ppg and 11.3 rpg in eight playoff contests (7-1 record). His scoring average was almost seven points higher in the postseason than regular season. Celebrated teammate Magic Johnson outscored and outrebounded Kelser only once in their eight postseason outings together.
66. Barry Kramer, F, New York University
Averaged 25.2 points and 9.3 rebounds in six games in 1962 and 1963 (3-3 record).
67. Nick Collison, F, Kansas
Leading scorer and rebounder as senior for 2003 NCAA Tournament runner-up (30-8 record) and second-leading scorer and rebounder for 2002 Final Four team (33-4). Averaged 16.7 points and 11.3 rebounds in 16 games (12-4 record).
68. Juan Dixon, G, Maryland
After struggling as a redshirt freshman, Dixon averaged 21.2 points in his last 13 games from 2000 through 2002. The Terrapins won 10 of the last 11 of those playoff contests when he was the leading scorer for back-to-back Final Four teams.
69. Mitch Richmond, G-F, Kansas State
J.C. recruit averaged 23.3 points, 9.2 rebounds and 4.8 assists in six games in 1987 and 1988 (4-2 record).
70. George Thompson, F, Marquette
Averaged 23.2 points and 5.7 rebounds in six games in 1968 and 1969 (4-2 record). He was the Warriors' leading scorer in five of the six playoff contests.
71. John Wallace, F, Syracuse
Averaged 20.3 points and 8.8 rebounds in 11 games from 1994 through 1996 (8-3 record). Leading scorer and rebounder for Syracuse's national runner-up as a senior was the top point producer for the Orangemen in his last eight playoff contests.
72. Jimmy Collins, G, New Mexico State
Averaged 19.9 points and 3.8 rebounds in 11 games from 1968 through 1970 (7-4 record). He at least shared the Aggies' team-high scoring output in all 11 contests.
73. Tony Price, F, Penn
Averaged 21.9 ppg and 9 rpg in eight games in 1978 and 1979 (5-3 record). He was the Quakers' leading scorer in all six contests when they finished fourth in the nation in 1979. Price's playoff scoring average was 6.5 points higher than his regular-season mark.
74. Wally Jones, G, Villanova
Two-time All-East Regional selection averaged 22.5 ppg and 5.5 rpg in six games in 1962 and 1964 (4-2 record). He scored a game-high 25 points as a sophomore in a regional final loss against Wake Forest and a game-high 34 points as a senior in a 74-62 victory over Bill Bradley-led Princeton in a third-place contest. It was the only time in Bradley's nine playoff games that he wasn't the leading scorer. Jones outscored All-American Len Chappell in the Wake Forest contest.
75. Mel Counts, C, Oregon State
Averaged 23.2 points and 14.1 rebounds in nine games from 1962 through 1964 (5-4 record), averaging 25 points and 15 rebounds in two West Regional finals. If Kentucky frosh phenom Nerlens Noel could shoot with big-man range like Counts, he would have been an authentic All-American candidate as a yearling in 2012-13.
76. Terry Dehere, G, Seton Hall
Averaged 23.2 points in nine games from 1991 through 1993 (6-3 record). He paced the Pirates in scoring in all nine outings.
"It is not enough that we do our best; sometimes we must do what is required." - Winston Churchill
The NCAA Tournament speaks to your sports soul, leaving you yearning for more. This year marks the 76th NCAA championship spectacle. Perhaps the most amazing stretch in NCAA playoff history was an eight-year span from 1982 through 1989 when seven finals were decided by an average of two points. All of those close title contests, surely measuring up to Churchill's "best" quote, must be included in any celebratory ranking of the most stimulating games in tourney history.
Since some of the most entertaining games are somewhat overshadowed because they came in earlier rounds, it's difficult to decide what were the premier outings in playoff history. There is inspiration everywhere one turns - so many entertaining contests to choose from with so many divergent opinions on a seemingly endless list of stellar candidates.
Nothing provokes disagreements among ardent hoop fans more than healthy what's-the-best-in-history dialogue. In deference to the 76th playoff, here is a ranking of the top 76 games one remembers the most. You wouldn't wonder what all the fuss is about if you had the good fortune to witness firsthand or learn from ardent fans about much of the following drama:
1. 1992 East Regional Final (Duke 104, Kentucky 103 in OT)
Duke's Christian Laettner hit a decisive last-second shot near the head of the key against UK in overtime after receiving a long in-bounds pass from Grant Hill in the East Regional final. The game is acknowledged as one of the most suspenseful in NCAA history.
2. 1985 Championship Game (Villanova 66, Georgetown 64)
Villanova became the worst seed (#8 in the Southeast Regional) to win a national championship by shooting a championship game-record 78.6% from the floor against the nation's top-ranked team. The Hoyas, powered by national player of the year Patrick Ewing, had defeated the Wildcats twice by a total of nine points in Big East Conference competition.
3. 1983 Championship Game (North Carolina State 54, Houston 52)
Sophomore forward Lorenzo Charles scored only four points, but two of them came when he converted guard Dereck Whittenburg's off-line desperation shot from well beyond the top of the free-throw circle into a decisive dunk as North Carolina State upset heavily-favored Houston. The Cougars, featuring Clyde Drexler and Akeem Olajuwon, entered the final with a 26-game winning streak.
4. 1982 Championship Game (North Carolina 63, Georgetown 62)
North Carolina freshman guard Michael Jordan swished a 16-foot jumper from the left side with 16 seconds remaining to provide the title contest's final points before Georgetown guard Fred Brown's errant pass directly to Tar Heels forward James Worthy prevented the Hoyas from attempting a potential game-winning shot in the closing seconds. Also memorable was was a stream of intimidating goal-tending calls early in the contest against Hoyas freshman center Patrick Ewing.
5. 1987 Championship Game (Indiana 74, Syracuse 73)
Junior college recruit Keith Smart, a guard who was Indiana's fifth-leading scorer for the season, tallied 12 of the Hoosiers' last 15 points, including a 15-foot jumper from the left baseline with five seconds remaining.
6. 1957 Championship Game (North Carolina 54, Kansas 53 in 3OT)
Carolina center Joe Quigg sank two free throws with six seconds remaining in third overtime to tie score and provide decisive point against the Wilt Chamberlain-led Jayhawks. Although Lennie Rosenbluth was the unbeaten Tar Heels' leading scorer in 27 of their 32 contests, they won the NCAA final despite him fouling out with 1:45 remaining in regulation.
7. 1966 Championship Game (Texas Western 72, Kentucky 65)
Texas Western (28-1), featuring an all-black starting lineup with three players 6-1 or shorter in the NCAA final, stunned top-ranked and all-white Kentucky (27-2), putting the finishing touches on dismantling the prejudiced myth that black athletes couldn't play disciplined basketball. Junior college transfer Bobby Joe Hill, one of the tiny trio, converted steals into layups on consecutive trips down the floor by flustered UK guards to give the Miners a lead they never relinquished.
8. 1975 Mideast Regional Final (Kentucky 92, Indiana 90)
Indiana, undefeated entering the tourney (29-0), lost against Kentucky despite center Kent Benson's 33 points and tourney-high 23 rebounds. The Wildcats (26-5) prevailed despite 6-of-19 field-goal shooting by leading scorer Kevin Grevey. UK guards Jimmy Dan Conner and Mike Flynn combined to outscore IU counterparts Quinn Buckner and Bobby Wilkerson, 39-22.
9. 1991 National Semifinals (Duke 79, UNLV 77)
Duke's shocking win over defending champion UNLV (34-1) was the Rebels' lone defeat. Christian Laettner scored 28 points for the Blue Devils (32-7).
10. 1989 Championship Game (Michigan 80, Seton Hall 79 in OT)
Former street urchin Rumeal Robinson sank two pressure free throws against Seton Hall (31-7) with three seconds remaining in overtime to give the win to Michigan (30-7), which was guided by interim coach Steve Fisher.
11. 1957 National Semifinals (North Carolina 74, Michigan State 70 in 3OT)
The lead changed hands 31 times and the score was tied on 21 occasions. The Spartans' Jack Quiggle made a last-second, half-court shot at the end of regulation but it was disallowed. The end-of-game rule at the time was that the ball had to reach the apex of its arc before the buzzer. The officials ruled that the ball was still ascending. Teammate Johnny Green missed a free throw with 11 seconds remaining in the first overtime that would have sealed the verdict. Carolina's Pete Brennan grabbed Green's miss. Rather than tossing the ball out to a guard as Brennan normally would do, he dribbled down-court and hit a game-tying jumper just to the right of the foul line at the buzzer.
12. 1994 Championship Game (Arkansas 76, Duke 72)
The pressure was intense on Arkansas' Scotty Thurman with the shot clock winding down and score tied with 40 seconds remaining when he lofted a three-point attempt over Duke defender Antonio Lang that hit nothing but net.
13. 1974 National Semifinals (North Carolina State 80, UCLA 77 in 2OT)
The final in N.C. State's home state at Greensboro was anti-climatic after the Wolfpack avenged an 18-point loss against UCLA earlier in the season on a neutral court by ending the Bruins' 38-game playoff winning streak. N.C. State erased an 11-point deficit midway through the second half and a seven-point deficit in the second extra session behind David Thompson's 28 points and 10 rebounds to halt UCLA's string of seven consecutive NCAA championships.
14. 1990 East Regional Final (Duke 79, Connecticut 78 in OT)
Two days after UConn escaped Clemson on a controversial last-second shot, Duke turned the tables on the Huskies when Christian Laettner inbounded the ball with 2.6 seconds remaining, received a return pass and sank a leaning jumper from the left side at the buzzer.
15. 1981 Mideast Regional Second Round (St. Joseph's 49, DePaul 48)
St. Joseph's gained its only lead in the second half when an inexcusably unguarded Hawks player named John Smith sank a layup with three seconds left after DePaul's most accurate foul shooter, Skip Dillard, the guy they called "Money" because when he shot 'em, they were as good as in the bank, missed the front end of a one-and-one with 12 seconds remaining. The top-ranked Blue Demons did not score a point or take a shot in the final 6 1/2 minutes. A stunned Mark Aguirre, the national player of the year, didn't even throw the ball inbounds and finished the game with one rebound, one assist, no blocked shots, no steals and the only single-digit scoring output of his DePaul career (eight points).
16. 1981 Midwest Regional Second Round (Arkansas 74, Louisville 73)
Defending champion Louisville lost when Arkansas' U.S. Reed received an in-bounds pass with five seconds remaining, dribbled up the sideline and heaved a mid-court shot that went through the net at the buzzer.
17. 1993 Championship Game (North Carolina 77, Michigan 71)
George Lynch, North Carolina's top rebounder and second-leading scorer, made four big plays in the closing moments of title game. With Michigan leading, 67-66, he and Eric Montross blocked away a driving layup by Jimmy King. That led to a fast-break basket by Derrick Phelps and put the Tar Heels ahead to stay with just over three minutes remaining. After a missed UM shot, Lynch hit a turnaround jumper from the middle of the lane with 2:28 remaining to increase Carolina's lead to 70-67. On an inbounds play after UNC regained possession, Lynch lofted a perfect pass to Montross for a dunk. The Wolverines rallied to trim the deficit to 73-71 before Lynch and Phelps trapped Chris Webber along the right sideline with only 11 seconds remaining and Michigan's consensus first-team All-American called a fateful timeout his team did not have, a "whopper" of a mistake long before his Burger King commercial.
18. 1973 Championship Game (UCLA 87, Memphis State 61)
UCLA's Bill Walton, aided by Greg Lee's 14 assists, erupted for a title game-record 44 points. Walton, the only player to have as many as 20 field goals in an NCAA final, hit all but one of 22 shots from the floor.
19. 1958 East Regional First Round (Manhattan 89, West Virginia 84)
West Virginia, ranked No. 1 in the country at the end of the regular season, was upset at New York when Jack Powers, who went on to become executive director of the NIT, collected 29 points and 15 rebounds for Manhattan (16-10). Jerry West scored just 10 points in his first NCAA Tournament game for the Mountaineers, who finished the season with the best winning percentage in school history (26-2, .929).
20. 1983 Mideast Regional final (Louisville 80, Kentucky 68 in OT)
The first meeting between in-state rivals Kentucky and Louisville in more than 24 years was memorable as the Cardinals outscored the Wildcats in overtime, 18-6, to reach the Final Four.
21. 1963 Championship Game (Loyola of Chicago 60, Cincinnati 58 in OT)
Forward Vic Rouse leaped high to redirect center Les Hunter's shot from the free-throw line into the basket to climax the Ramblers' first year in the playoffs. Loyola, using its starting lineup the entire final, overcame 27.4% field-goal shooting by committing just three turnovers. The Ramblers trailed the defending NCAA champion by 15 points in the second half before knotting the score at 54-54 when Jerry Harkness hit a 12-foot jumper with four seconds remaining in regulation.
22. 1988 Championship Game (Kansas 83, Oklahoma 79)
The two Big Eight Conference members were deadlocked, 50-50, at intermission in the highest-scoring first half in title game history. The Jayhawks' Danny Manning poured in 31 points.
23. 1979 Championship Game (Michigan State 75, Indiana State 64)
Undefeated Indiana State lost against Michigan State when the Sycamores' Larry Bird, who hit 53.2% of his field-goal attempts on the season, made just one-third of his shots from the floor (7 of 21) as a sore thumb limited his shooting effectiveness. Magic Johnson scored a game-high 24 points for the Spartans. The ballyhooed matchup between icons Bird and Magic failed to live up to billing but aroused fans and generated the largest-ever TV share for an NCAA final.
24. 1989 East Regional First Round (Georgetown 50, Princeton 49)
No. 16 seed Princeton pushed No. 1 seed Georgetown to the limit in the East Regional before the patient and precise Tigers bowed when a last-second shot was blocked by All-American center Alonzo Mourning.
25. 1996 Southeast Regional First Round (Princeton 43, UCLA 41)
Princeton coach Pete Carril bowed out in style with a decisive perfectly executed back-door layup reminiscent of how many games were played several decades ago. It was UCLA's lowest-scoring output in 99 playoff outings, and the lowest score for a Bruins team in a regulation game in more than 55 years.
26. 1977 Championship Game (Marquette 67, North Carolina 59)
Tears of joy flowed for coach Al McGuire when Marquette won the championship in his farewell. McGuire, leaving the bench before the game was even over with tears running down his cheeks, pulled away from a hug by long-time assistant Hank Raymonds and made his way to the silence of the locker room. "I want to be alone," McGuire said. "I'm not afraid to cry. All I could think about at the end was - why me? After all the jocks and socks. All the odors in the locker room. All the fights in the gyms. Just the wildness of it all. And to have it end like this ..."
27. 1971 Mideast Regional Semifinals (Western Kentucky 107, Kentucky 83)
WKU, long regarded as poor country cousins by Kentucky, whipped the Wildcats in their first-ever meeting when All-American Jim McDaniels poured in 35 points for the Hilltoppers.
28. 1975 National Semifinals (UCLA 75, Louisville 74 in OT)
Three Louisville regulars shooting better than 50% from the floor for the season (swingman Junior Bridgeman, center Ricky Gallon and guard Phillip Bond) combined to hit 25% (6 of 24) in a loss against UCLA. Adding insult to injury for the Cardinals was reserve guard Terry Howard missing the front end of a one-and-one free-throw opportunity in the closing seconds of overtime after he converted all 28 of his previous foul shots that season.
29. 1997 Championship Game (Arizona 84, Kentucky 79 in OT)
Arizona, the only team to win an NCAA crown after finishing as low as fifth place in its league, capitalized on a 34-9 edge in free throws made to upend favored Kentucky although the Wildcats did not make a field goal in the extra session.
30. 1995 West Regional Second Round (UCLA 75, Missouri 74)
Playmaker Tyus Edney played the role of Wizard of Westwood II with a series of breathtaking drives and baskets in UCLA's first five playoff games, including a length-of-the-court game-winner against Mizzou.
31. 1990 East Regional Semifinals (Connecticut 71, Clemson 70)
It was difficult for Clemson fans to fathom how UConn's Tate George had sufficient time with one second on the clock to receive a full-court pass, come down, square up and get off a game-winning jumper from the right baseline.
32. 1990 West Regional Second Round (Loyola Marymount 149, Michigan 115)
The record for most three-point field goals in a playoff game was set by Loyola Marymount senior guard Jeff Fryer with 11. Fryer (41) and Bo Kimble (37) became the only set of teammates to score more than 35 points in the same tourney game when they combined for 78 vs. Michigan in the highest-scoring game in NCAA playoff history.
33. 1981 East Regional Semifinals (Brigham Young 51, Notre Dame 50)
BYU's Danny Ainge went coast-to-coast driving through the heart of No. 2 seed Notre Dame's defense for a layup at the buzzer to give the Cougars the victory.
34. 1983 West Regional First Round (N.C. State 69, Pepperdine 67 in 2OT)
NCAA champion-to-be North Carolina State (26-10) defeated Pepperdine (20-9) in two extra sessions after trailing by six points with 24 seconds remaining in regulation.
35. 1978 Championship Game (Kentucky 94, Duke 88)
Jack Givens sank 18 of 27 field-goal attempts against upstart Duke's zone defense and scored Kentucky's last 16 points of the first half en route to a 41-point performance.
36. 2001 National Semifinals (Duke 95, Maryland 84)
The Blue Devils (35-4) overcame a 22-point deficit against the Terrapins (25-11), the biggest comeback in Final Four history. Mike Dunleavy Jr. hit three consecutive three-pointers in a 45-second span of the second half after Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski told his squad to quit calling plays and just go out and play the game.
37. 2003 West Regional Second Round (Arizona 96, Gonzaga 95 in 2OT)
Gonzaga's Tony Skinner and Blake Stepp tied for game-high scoring honors with 25 points but each of them missed an open shot in the last four seconds of the second overtime for the Zags (24-9) against No. 1 seed Arizona (28-4). Wildcats standout guard Jason Gardner contributed a pair of three-pointers after missing 17 consecutive shots from beyond the arc in his previous three outings.
38. 1970 Mideast Regional First Round (Notre Dame 112, Ohio University 82)
Guard Austin Carr became the only player to score more than 60 points in a single playoff game. Carr tallied 35 of Notre Dame's 54 first-half points en route to a school-record 61 against OU.
39. 1952 East Regional Final (St. John's 64, Kentucky 57)
St. John's (25-6), sparked by center Bob Zawoluk's 32 points, avenged a 41-point rout at UK (29-3) earlier in the season (81-40) by ending the 23-game winning streak of the nation's No. 1 team.
40. 1969 National Semifinals (UCLA 85, Drake 82)
Guard John Vallely, averaging a modest 10.2 points per game entering the Final Four, erupted for 29 points and the Bruins (29-1) needed all of them. They had a nine-point lead with 70 seconds remaining dwindle to one before defeating Drake (26-5) after the Bulldogs missed a go-ahead basket in the waning moments. UCLA star center Lew Alcindor grabbed 21 rebounds.
41. 1945 National Semifinals (New York University 70, Ohio State 65 in OT)
NYU (14-7), featuring just one senior on its roster, erased a 10-point deficit in the final two minutes of regulation against Ohio State (15-5).
42. 1968 Midwest Regional First Round (Houston 94, Loyola of Chicago 76)
UH's Elvin Hayes became the only player in tournament history to collect more than 40 points and 25 rebounds in the same game when he garnered 49 points and 27 rebounds. Hayes led the tournament in scoring and rebounding by wide margins for the fourth-place Cougars (31-2), but he wasn't named to the all-tournament team.
43. 1998 Midwest Regional First Round (Valparaiso 70, Mississippi 69)
Valpo's Jamie Sykes, an outfield prospect late for spring training with the Arizona Diamondbacks, inbounded from the opposite baseline with 2.5 seconds remaining. He hurled a baseball pass that Bill Jenkins leaped to catch. Jenkins delivered a touch pass to guard Bryce Drew on the right wing, and the son of coach Homer Drew drilled a game-winning three-pointer for the Crusaders (23-10).
44. 1970 Mideast Regional Final (Jacksonville 106, Kentucky 100)
JU's Artis Gilmore collected 24 points and 20 rebounds to help eliminate the nation's top-ranked team. Teammate Rex Morgan contributed 28 points while outshining UK's backcourt.
45. 1951 East Regional First Round (Illinois 79, Columbia 71)
Columbia, undefeated entering the tourney (21-0), blew a seven-point, halftime lead and lost to eventual national third-place finisher Illinois (22-5). The Lions' John Azary was outscored by the Illini's Don Sunderlage (25-13) in a battle of All-American candidates.
46. 1965 National Third-Place Game (Princeton 118, Wichita 82)
Princeton's Bill Bradley set the mark for most points in a single Final Four game with a school-record 58. He scored 39 of them in the second half of the consolation contest.
47. 1971 Mideast Regional Semifinals (Ohio State 60, Marquette 59)
Marquette, undefeated entering the tourney (26-0), lost against Ohio State (20-6) after the Warriors' playmaker, unanimous first-team All-America Dean "The Dream" Meminger, fouled out with five minutes remaining. Teammate Allie McGuire, the coach's son, committed a costly turnover in the closing seconds before Buckeyes guard Allan Hornyak converted a pair of crucial free throws to end Marquette's 39-game winning streak.
48. 2005 Midwest Regional Final (Illinois 90, Arizona 89 in OT)
Illini (37-2) overcame a 14-point deficit with just over three minutes remaining in regulation and nine-point deficit in the last 1 1/2 minutes before defeating Arizona (30-7) in an extra session.
49. 1999 West Regional First Round (Weber State 76, North Carolina 74)
No. 3 seed North Carolina (24-10) lost its playoff opener for the first time in 19 years when the Tar Heels succumbed against No. 14 Weber State (25-8). Junior college transfer Harold Arceneaux contributed five three-pointers en route to 36 points for the Wildcats. His output matched the highest ever in the playoffs against Carolina.
50. 1965 Championship Game (UCLA 91, Michigan 80)
UCLA's Gail Goodrich became the only guard to score more than 35 points in an NCAA final, erupting for 42 points on 12 of 22 field-goal shooting and 18 of 20 free-throw shooting. His free throws made and attempted remain championship game records.
51. 1976 West Regional Semifinals (Arizona 114, UNLV 109 in OT)
Each team had four players score at least 18 points as UNLV (29-2), ranked third by AP and fourth by UPI entering the tourney, was eliminated by Arizona (24-9) when Jim Rappis had more assists (12) than the Rebels' entire team.
52. 1981 West Regional Second Round (Kansas State 50, Oregon State 48)
K-State (24-9) upset second-ranked Oregon State (26-2) on Rolando Blackman's 17-foot buzzer beater from the right baseline.
53. 1959 Mideast Regional Semifinals (Louisville 76, Kentucky 61)
Second-ranked Kentucky (24-3) hit less than one-third of its field-goal attempts in blowing a 15-point lead against intra-state rival Louisville (19-12).
54. 1976 Championship Game (Indiana 86, Michigan 68)
Trailing Michigan (25-7) by six points at intermission and playing without Bobby Wilkerson after the starting guard sustained a concussion early in the game, the Hoosiers shot 60% from the floor in the second half to come from behind and earn recognition as the nation's last undefeated team. Scott May, Kent Benson and Quinn Buckner collaborated for 36 of IU's first 38 second-half points.
55. 2005 West Regional Final (Louisville 93, West Virginia 85)
West Virginia set a regional final record with 18 three-pointers but still lost against Louisville.
56. 1977 West Regional Semifinals (Idaho State 76, UCLA 75)
The visiting Bruins, ranked fourth by UPI entering the tourney, finished with a 24-5 record when guards Roy Hamilton and Brad Holland combined to hit just 8 of 24 field-goal attempts. Idaho State (25-5), prevailing despite shooting a modest 40.6% from the floor, received 27 points and 12 rebounds from center Steve Hayes.
57. 1981 Midwest Regional Second Round (Kansas 88, Arizona State 71)
Third-ranked Arizona State (24-4), featuring four upperclassmen who combined for a total of more than 35 seasons in the NBA (guards Fat Lever and Byron Scott, center Alton Lister and forward Sam Williams), was clobbered by Kansas (24-8) when Tony Guy poured in 36 points for the Jayhawks. The Sun Devils fell behind by 16 points at intermission.
58. 1979 Midwest Regional Final (Indiana State 73, Arkansas 71)
Larry Bird-led Indiana State became the only school to reach the Final Four in its one and only NCAA Tournament appearance in the 20th Century when the Sycamores' Bob Heaton shifted the ball from his normal right hand to his left for a short shot that bounced twice on the rim before going down.
59. 1971 West Regional Final (UCLA 57, Long Beach State 55)
The closest result for UCLA (29-1) during the Bruins' 38-game playoff winning streak from 1967 through 1973 came when they had to erase an 11-point deficit despite 29% field-goal shooting to edge Jerry Tarkanian-coached Long Beach State (24-5).
60. 1977 National Semifinals (North Carolina 84, UNLV 83)
Mike O'Koren became the first freshman to score more than 30 points in a national semifinal or championship game when the UNC forward tallied 31. O'Koren and his teammates enjoyed a 28-5 edge over the Rebels in free-throw attempts.
61. 1978 Midwest Regional Semifinals (DePaul 90, Louisville 89)
DePaul center Dave Corzine tallied 46 points in double overtime game to become the only individual to score at least 45 in the NCAA playoffs and never be an NCAA first- or second-team consensus All-American or Final Four Most Outstanding Player.
62. 1959 Championship Game (California 71, West Virginia 70)
Two-time first-team All-American swingman Jerry West of West Virginia (29-5) was denied an NCAA championship ring when California (25-4) junior center Darrall Imhoff, West's teammate with the Los Angeles Lakers for four seasons in the mid-1960s, tipped in a basket with 17 seconds remaining.
63. 2006 East Regional Final (George Mason 86, Connecticut 84)
The #11 seed Patriots (27-8) advanced to the national semifinals with overtime win against UConn (30-4), which was their third victim featuring a coach who previously won an NCAA title.
64. 1979 East Regional Second Round (Penn 72, North Carolina 71)
No. 1 seed Carolina (23-6) lost its opener in the Tar Heels' home state (Raleigh, N.C.) when Penn's Tony Price poured in a game-high 25 points for the Quakers (25-7).
65. 1984 East Regional Semifinals (Indiana 72, North Carolina 68)
Many observers predicted Georgetown would meet the top-ranked Tar Heels in the national final, but they were upset by IU when national player of the year Michael Jordan was limited to 13 points, one rebound and one assist.
66. 1993 West Regional First Round (Santa Clara 64, Arizona 61)
In terms of point spreads, No. 2 seed Arizona's defeat against 20-point underdog Santa Clara (19-12), a No. 15 seed, was the biggest upset in NCAA playoff history. The Wildcats (24-4), ranked fifth by AP entering the tournament, lost although they scored 25 consecutive points in a 10-minute span bridging the first and second halves.
67. 2004 St. Louis Regional Second Round (UAB 76, Kentucky 75)
UAB (22-10), after outlasting Washington (102-100) in first round, used its frenetic pressure defense to frustrate No. 1 seed Kentucky (27-5).
68. 1956 East Regional Semifinals (Temple 65, Connecticut 59)
Guard Hal Lear manufactured 61.5% of Temple's offense by scoring 40 points. The most rebounds ever in a playoff game were grabbed by teammate Fred Cohen, who retrieved a school-record 34 missed shots.
69. 2005 Second Round (West Virginia 111, Wake Forest 105)
Mike Gansey scored 19 of his 29 points after the end of regulation when West Virginia (24-11) outlasted #2 seed Wake Forest (27-6) in double overtime.
70. 1975 Championship Game (UCLA 92, Kentucky 85)
Coach John Wooden's farewell resulted in his 10th NCAA title for the Bruins.
71. 1981 Midwest Regional Semifinals (Wichita State 66, Kansas 65)
Mike Jones hit two long-range baskets in the last 50 seconds for Wichita State (26-7) in the first duel between the intrastate rivals in 36 years.
72. 1980 Midwest Regional Second Round (Missouri 87, Notre Dame 84 in OT)
Mizzou (25-6) backup swingman Mark Dressler, entering the NCAA playoffs with an eight-point scoring average, erupted for 32 points on 13 of 16 field-goal shooting against the 22-6 Irish (ranked No. 9 by AP).
73. 1989 Southeast Regional First Round (South Alabama 86, Alabama 84)
In an exciting intrastate battle, South Alabama (23-9) erased a 16-point halftime deficit. Jeff Hodge and Gabe Estaba combined for 55 points to lead USA against 'Bama (23-8).
74. 1980 Mideast Regional First Round (Virginia Tech 89, Western Kentucky 85 in OT)
Virginia Tech, sparked by Dale Solomon's 10-of-13 field-goal shooting, became the only school to erase a halftime deficit of at least 18 points to win a playoff game in the 20th Century. The Hokies, Metro Conference runner-up to eventual NCAA champion Louisville, trailed WKU at intermission, 48-30, in a duel between two 21-8 teams.
75. 2008 Midwest Regional Second Round (Davidson 74, Georgetown 70)
Stephen Curry, a son of former NBA standout Dell Curry, poured in 25 of his 30 points in the second half as Davidson (29-7) erased a double-digit deficit to upset the Hoyas (28-6).
76. 1978 West Regional First Round (Cal State Fullerton 90, New Mexico 85)
Cal State Fullerton (23-9) had four players score from 18 to 23 points and made 62.1% of its field-goal attempts to erase a six-point, halftime deficit and upend fourth-ranked New Mexico. Future Lakers standout Michael Cooper had an off-game for the Lobos (24-4), sinking just six of 15 field-goal attempts.
"If I think he (backup guard son) can help us, he'll play. If not, not even his mother could persuade me to use him." - Legendary Kentucky Coach Adolph Rupp
Guard Billy Baron, for the second time in his college playing career, followed his father (Jim) to a different school. Billy averaged 13 ppg, 4.4 rpg and 2.6 apg in a partial season with Rhode Island two years after transferring from Virginia. He originally chose to remain with URI after his father was fired and then hired by Canisius before changing his mind and deciding to transfer again.
Upon Billy excelling in the MAAC, Jim Baron became the first father to coach two sons who were all-league players in different conferences. Jimmy Baron was an All-Atlantic 10 first-team selection as a URI senior in 2008-09 (17.4 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 89.2 FT%, 45.4 3FG%). Billy will be shackled by mid-major status, but should be an All-American candidate this season following a streak of at least 25 points in six successive contests.
After the latest set of Barons helped the Golden Griffins post their first winning record in 12 years, they joined a select group of father-son/coach-player combinations who together played significant roles for two universities. Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard played under his father (Ralph) with Western Kentucky and Pittsburgh and Steve Alford's eldest son left New Mexico with him for UCLA but they aren't among the following three most prominent father-son/coach-player tandems for two different schools:
Allens (64-48 record with Southern Methodist and Nevada-Reno from 1978-79 through 1982-83)
Son Billy led the SWC in assists as a freshman (9 apg) and as a sophomore (9.1 apg). In his sophomore season, SMU tied its highest win total (16) in a 15-year span from 1967-68 through 1981-82. The guard also paced the Mustangs in free-throw percentage both years before transferring with his father (Sonny) to Nevada-Reno. Billy averaged 13.1 ppg and 8.2 apg in 1981-82 and 1982-83 with UNR. He set a Wolf Pack single-season record with 8.6 apg as a junior when he was an All-Big Sky Conference second-team choice before moving up to first-team status the next year.
Smithsons (67-23 with Illinois State and Wichita State from 1977-78 through 1980-81)
Son Randy, who did not play in 1976-77 because of a broken foot, averaged 6.7 ppg for ISU's 1978 NIT team before his father (Gene) moved on to Wichita State. Randy, a transfer from Cowley County Community College (Kan.), averaged 10.9 ppg for WSU's NIT team in 1980 and 13 ppg for NCAA Tournament team in 1981. The Shockers won the 1981 Missouri Valley Conference regular-season title.
Suttons (90-40 with Kentucky and Oklahoma State from 1987-88 through 1991-92)
Son Sean averaged 5.9 ppg and a team-high 4.7 apg as a sophomore starter under his father (Eddie) for Kentucky in 1988-89. Sean averaged 11 ppg, 2.5 rpg and 4.4 apg in 1990-91 and 1991-92 for two NCAA Tournament teams after transferring from UK. He led the Cowboys in assists and three-point shooting both seasons. They shared the Big Eight Conference regular-season title in 1991.
"Each generation wants new symbols, new people, new names. They want to divorce themselves from their predecessors." - Jim Morrison
Nothing lasts forever. No university ever has discarded such a longstanding affiliation with a conference as Maryland did when the Terrapins chose to divorce the ACC for wealthier Big Ten in 2014-15. The Terps will jettison 61 years of history when they align with the Big Ten, which is the only alliance other than the Ivy League never to have a member leave to join another major conference.
Until formally making the switch, Maryland is mired in an exit-fee money mess. The Terrapins filed a $157 million counter-suit against the ACC (three times the amount the ACC sued for against the Terps), alleging the league was hypocritical in targeting at least two unidentified Big Ten schools to leave after learning about Maryland's intent to seek "greener" pastures. Whatever happens, shouldn't the ACC invest more resources in addressing academics amid North Carolina's shoddy scholastic standing emphasizing Afro-American Studies and similar such shenanigans? If a university with Carolina's stature has lost its higher education "way" suspending research of reading specialist/academic adviser allegedly facing death threats, then what the fraud is happening regarding unsupervised lower standards at other ACC institutions and across the nation? For instance, N.C. State hired Sidney Lowe as coach before he even earned his diploma more than 20 years after leaving the school and subsequently showing apparent evasion taking any modestly-taxing classes such as ethics or tax preparation while in college.
Fordham, fleeing the Metro Atlantic and Patriot League the first half of the 1990s, is the only institution to twice be in this charter-school departure category. Following is a list from longest to shortest tenures of the first schools to leave an intact league for another conference after being a founding member:
NOTES: Cincinnati (member of Mid-American from 1947-53), Georgia Tech (SEC from 1933-64), New Orleans (Sun Belt from 1977-80), Oral Roberts (Midwestern City from 1980-87), Penn State (ECBL/Eastern 8 from 1977-79), Rutgers (Middle Atlantic from 1959-62) and South Carolina (ACC from 1954-71) joined the independent ranks the next season. . . . Seven C-USA charter members joined other leagues following their 10th year in the league in 2004-05. . . . Campbell rejoined Big South in 2011-12.
"You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them." - Desmond Tutu
At first glance to God-fearing fans, it appears as if Grant's Army was retreating after Jerian Grant exited Notre Dame because of academic shortcomings. But Jerian's departure has been somewhat offset in the giving Grant household by the emergence of brother Jerami as Syracuse's leading rebounder. Combined with older brother Jerai, the leading rebounder for Clemson's 2011 NCAA playoff team, and father Harvey, an All-American for Oklahoma's 1988 NCAA Tournament runner-up, the "College Grants" rank among the top five hoop families in NCAA annals regarding a legacy list; especially if Jerian follows through on his promise to return to the Irish next season and youngest son Jaelin is comparable to his brothers when he leaves high school in a couple of years.
Elsewhere, it seems somewhat ridiculous for a power conference school such as Indiana to offer a scholarship to an eighth-grader (Eron Gordon) a couple of years ago. But that is before examining his family tree. His father, Eric Sr., averaged 14.1 points per game with Liberty from 1981-82 through 1983-84, leading the Flames in scoring as a senior with 18.1 ppg before the school moved up to the NCAA Division I level later in the decade. Oldest brother Eric Jr. led the Big Ten Conference in scoring as a freshman All-American in his lone season with IU in 2007-08 before moving on to the NBA. Older brother Evan was named to the Big South Conference All-Freshman team with Liberty in 2009-10 before becoming an all-league second-team selection as a sophomore prior to transferring to Arizona State and moving on again to Eric Jr.'s old stomping grounds with the Hoosiers. If Eron lives up to billing, the Gordons could become one of the most influential families in college basketball history.
Hoopdom's "Focus on the Family" will also concentrate on the Plumlees if youngest brother Marshall Plumlee overcomes his foot problems and improves as much as Duke siblings Mason and Miles. They could combine with their father, former Tennessee Tech frontcourter Perky, to comprise one of the all-time premier family units. Mason became the Blue Devils' go-to plumb line to keep them on the straight and narrow last season after forgoing leaving school early for the NBA.
Until we have a final reading on the Gordons and Plumlees, following are a dynamic dozen nuclear-power families. The "HoopDaddys" comprised of college players who had at least three sons also go on to compete in a significant way at a similar level include:
BARRY BARRY GOOD
1. Barry - Father Rick Barry, a first-team All-American as a senior when he led the nation in scoring, averaged 29.8 ppg and 16.5 rpg for Miami (FL) from 1962-63 through 1964-65. Son Scooter averaged 3.3 ppg for Kansas' 1988 NCAA titlist before leading the Jayhawks with 5.7 apg the next season. Son Jon, a junior college transfer, averaged 14.4 ppg, 3.6 rpg and 4.5 apg for Pacific and Georgia Tech in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Son Brent averaged 12.1 ppg, 3.7 rpg and 3.3 apg for Oregon State from 1991-92 through 1994-95. Son Drew, an All-ACC second-team selection as a senior, averaged 10.7 ppg, 4.1 rpg and 6.2 apg for Georgia Tech from 1992-93 through 1995-96, leading the ACC in assists each of his last three seasons. Son Canyon, a redshirt freshman for the College of Charleston, was averaging 9.4 ppg and 2.7 rpg in the Cougars' debut season in the CAA before being sidelined with a finger injury. Jon, an All-ACC third-team selection as a junior in 1991-92, and Brent, an All-Pacific-10 Conference choice as a senior, were late bloomers who went on to have productive NBA careers. Rick, Jon and Brent were NBA first-round draft choices while Drew was a second-round pick. Bruce Hale, Rick's father-in-law and a Santa Clara alumnus, coached him at Miami (FL) after playing five years in the NBA.
WALTON MOUNTAIN GANG
2. Walton - Father Bill Walton, a three-time national player of the year, averaged 20.3 ppg and 15.7 rpg for UCLA from 1971-72 through 1973-74. Son Adam lettered with LSU before incurring a rest-of-season suspension in Dale Brown's final year as coach in 1996-97 and subsequently transferring to a small college in California. Son Nate was an All-Ivy League first-team selection for Princeton as a senior in 2000-01, becoming the fourth player in school history with two seasons of at least 100 assists. Son Luke, a two-time All-Pacific-10 Conference choice, averaged 9.1 ppg, 5.1 rpg and 4.5 apg for Arizona from 1999-2000 through 2002-03. Son Chris finished among the top 15 in the Mountain West Conference in assists and rebounding as a junior in 2003-04 for San Diego State, finishing his four-year career with averages of 5.1 ppg and 3.4 rpg.
PRICE IS RIGHT CONTROL
3. Price - Father Dennis Price, an All-Big Eight Conference second-team selection as a junior, averaged 10.9 ppg for Oklahoma from 1957-58 through 1959-60. Son Mark, a three-time All-ACC first-team selection and All-American, averaged 17.4 ppg and 4 apg for Georgia Tech from 1982-83 through 1985-86. Son Matt scored 23 points in 18 games as a freshman for Appalachian State in 1984-85. Son Brent, an All-Big Eight Conference first-team selection as a senior, averaged 18 ppg and 5.8 apg for Oklahoma in 1990-91 and 1991-92 after transferring from South Carolina, where he averaged 12.6 ppg and 3.5 apg in 1987-88 and 1988-89.
GRANT'S ARMY MARCHES ON
4. Grant - Father Harvey Grant was an All-American in 1988 as the leading rebounder and second-leading scorer for Oklahoma's NCAA Tournament runner-up. Eldest son Jerai was the leading rebounder for Clemson's 2011 NCAA playoff squad. Jerian was Notre Dame's leader in scoring average each of the past two campaigns. Emerging standout Jerami is the leading rebounder for Syracuse's inaugural ACC club.
HIGH ON HAARLOW
5. Haarlow - Father Bill Haarlow Jr., a three-time All-Western Conference selection for the University of Chicago from 1933-34 through 1935-36, was the league's third-leading scorer as a sophomore (9.9 ppg), leading scorer as a junior (13) and second-leading scorer as a senior (12.6). He had three sons play for Princeton in the 1960s - A. William III averaged 10.8 ppg and 5 rpg in 1962-63, Bob averaged 8.5 ppg and 4.4 rpg from 1963-64 through 1965-66 (second-leading scorer for the Tigers' 1965 Final Four team as a teammate of All-American Bill Bradley) and John averaged 12.6 ppg and 7.3 rpg from 1965-66 through 1967-68 (All-Ivy League second-team selection as a junior). With Bill Jr. cited on CollegeHoopedia.com's comprehensive list of all-time All-Americans, the Haarlows might have been the initial most impactful family on the sport.
6. Paterno - Father Bill Paterno averaged 3.4 ppg with St. Francis (N.Y.) in 1948-49 and 1949-50 after scoring 18 points in nine games in 1947-48. Son Billy averaged 9.8 ppg and 4.7 rpg for Notre Dame from 1973-74 through 1976-77 under coach Digger Phelps, finishing team runner-up in scoring to All-American Adrian Dantley as a sophomore with 13.3 ppg. Son Mike averaged 3.1 ppg for Monmouth in 1987-88. Son Joe averaged 14.6 ppg and 5.1 rpg with Fordham from 1985-86 through 1988-89, leading the Rams in scoring in three seasons and finishing his career as their all-time second-leading scorer. Son Steve averaged 10.8 ppg and 3.6 rpg with Marist from 1987-88 through 1990-91, leading the Red Foxes in scoring as a junior before finishing runner-up as a senior.
TOASTING THE RAIVIOS
7. Raivio - Father Rick Raivio, a three-time All-WCAC selection who led Portland in field-goal shooting all four seasons, finished as the Pilots' all-time leading rebounder (910/9.4 rpg) while averaging 17.2 ppg before becoming a fifth-round draft choice by the Los Angeles Lakers. Son Derek, the WCC co-player of the year as a Gonzaga senior (18 ppg and nation-leading 96.1 FT%), averaged 11.5 ppg and 2.8 apg while shooting 41.6% from beyond the arc from 2003-04 through 2006-07 with Gonzaga en route to becoming the #2 all-time free-throw shooter in DI history (92.7%). Son Nik, a J.C. recruit, was an All-WCC selection as a junior with Portland in 2008-09 when he averaged 16 ppg and 6.5 rpg before heading overseas to play professionally after finishing his Pilots' career with 14.3 ppg and 5.3 rpg. Son Matt averaged 9.4 ppg, 2.8 rpg and 2.8 apg for Simon Fraser (Vancouver) in 2011-12 and 2012-13 after transferring from Santa Rosa (CA) JC.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH
8. Pollard - Father Pearl Pollard (6-9), a second-team All-Skyline Conference choice as a senior, averaged 10.5 ppg and 7.9 rpg for Utah from 1956-57 through 1958-59 with three national postseason tournament teams, leading the Utes in scoring and rebounding as a senior. Son Carl, 7-2, played briefly for BYU as a freshman in 1983-84 before redshirting in 1984-85, going on a two-year Mormon mission and transferring with a brother to Southern California, where he didn't play prior to competing with Southern Utah in 1989-90 and averaging 1.5 ppg and 2.9 rpg. Son Alan, 6-9, averaged 5.6 ppg and 5.3 rpg while splitting four seasons between Brigham Young and USC from 1984-85 through 1988-89, leading BYU in rebounding as a freshman. Son Mark, 6-11, played briefly for San Diego State in 1990-91 before also leaving at the same time with a brother. Son Neal, 7-0, redshirted at San Diego State in 1988-89 before going on a Mormon mission to New England, playing three games with the Aztecs in 1991-92 and transferring to Utah State, where he didn't play. Son Scot, 6-11, averaged 9.4 ppg, 6.6 rpg and 1.7 bpg for four Kansas teams reaching NCAA playoff regional semifinals from 1993-94 through 1996-97 before becoming an NBA first-round draft choice.
CAN'T FOIL THE DOYLES
9. Doyle - Father Dan Doyle averaged 13.7 ppg and 12.2 rpg for Belmont Abbey (N.C.) in his four-year career. He was selected by the Detroit Pistons in 5th round of 1961 NBA draft (44th pick overall) after pacing Al McGuire-coached teams in scoring average his final three seasons and rebounding as a junior and senior. Son Danny averaged 7.4 ppg and 2.1 rpg with Iona from 1989-90 through 1993-94, leading the Gaels in assists and steals as a senior. Son Joe led then-DII Sacred Heart in scoring, assists and steals as a senior in 1996-97. Son Tim played sparingly for St. John's in 2002-03 before transferring to Northwestern, where he averaged 8.1 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 3.7 apg and 1.3 spg from 2004-05 through 2006-07, leading the Wildcats in assists his last two seasons and in steals as a senior.
HUGGY BEARS ALL
10. Huggins - Father Charlie Huggins was an All-WVIAC first-team selection for Alderson-Broaddus (W. Va.) in 1957-58 after transferring from West Virginia. Son Bob averaged 8.4 ppg and 2.8 rpg while shooting 45.9% from the floor and 79.4% from the free-throw line with West Virginia in the mid-1970s after transferring from Ohio University. Son Harry was a two-year letterman for Texas Lutheran in the late 1970s after transferring from Rice. Son Larry averaged 5.6 ppg, 2 rpg and 2.1 apg while shooting 46.3% from the floor and 79.3% from the free-throw line as a captain for Ohio State in the early 1980s.
WE AND PAPA McGEE
11. McGee - Father Anthony McGee led Long Beach State in scoring in 1975-76 with 14.8 ppg before contributing 4.5 ppg for the 49ers' NCAA playoff team the next season. Son Tony averaged 4 ppg for Eastern Washington in 1997-98 and 1998-99. Son Antoine averaged 1.4 ppg and 1.7 apg with Colorado from 2002-03 through 2005-06. Son Andre averaged 5.2 ppg and 1.8 apg while shooting 36.5% from beyond the arc with Louisville from 2005-06 through 2008-09, leading the Cardinals in three-point field-goal shooting as a junior (39.4%).
FIFE AND DRUM CORPS
12. Fife - Father Dan Fife, a 10th-round draft choice by the Milwaukee Bucks before pitching briefly for the Minnesota Twins, averaged 12.6 ppg and 4.9 rpg for Michigan from 1968-69 through 1970-71. Son Dugan, overlooked during the Fab Five era, averaged 4.6 ppg and 2 rpg for Michigan from 1992-93 through 1995-96. Son Jeremy led Grand Valley State (MI) in assists in 1996-97 and 1997-98. Son Dane averaged 5.6 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 2.3 apg and 1.4 spg while shooting 38.2% from three-point range for Indiana from 1998-99 through 2001-02 before becoming a DI head coach with IUPU-Fort Wayne.
Christensen - Father Harold, a member of Brigham Young's 1951 NIT championship team, averaged 7.8 ppg and 4.4 rpg. He was chosen by the Minneapolis Lakers in 1953 NBA draft before having three sons play for the Cougars - Craig averaged 5.1 ppg in half a season in 1981-82, Kurt averaged 4.5 ppg in 1992-93 and 1993-94, and Todd averaged 5.8 ppg in 1995-96, 1998-99 and 1999-00.
"Stepping onto a brand new path is difficult, but not more difficult than remaining in a situation which is not nurturing." - Maya Angelou
Whether schools are simply filling out a roster with a backup or chasing a pot of gold at the end of a Larry Bird rainbow, they seem to be looking around every corner and under every rock for a transfer. Bird left a potential powerhouse at Indiana but never played for the Hoosiers before becoming national player of the year with Indiana State.
How many All-Americans actually played varsity basketball for two different four-year schools? The average is about one every two years. Duke and Kansas, two of the five schools with the most All-Americans in history, had their first transfer in that category last season - Duke guard Seth Curry (Liberty) and KU center Jeff Withey (Arizona). The Blue Devils have another titillating transfer talent this campaign with Rodney Hood (from Mississippi State).
Guard Marshall Henderson spearheaded Ole Miss' resurgence last season after attending Utah, Texas Tech and a junior college in Texas. But Hood and numerous additional transfers are outshining Henderson this year as sure-fire impact players in postseason play - George Washington's Isaiah Armwood (Villanova), Canisius' Billy Baron (Virginia/Rhode Island), Towson's Jerrelle Benimon (Georgetown), Missouri's Jabari Brown (Oregon), Oregon's Jason Calliste (Detroit), Brigham Young's Matt Carlino (UCLA), Missouri's Jordan Clarkson (Tulsa), George Washington's Maurice "Mo" Creek (Indiana), San Diego State's Josh Davis (North Carolina State/Tulane), Florida's Dorian Finney-Smith (Virginia Tech), Creighton's Grant Gibbs (Gonzaga), Georgia State's Ryan Harrow (North Carolina State/Kentucky), Baylor's Brady Heslip (Boston College), Detroit's Juwan Howard Jr. (Western Michigan), Iowa State's DeAndre Kane (Marshall), SMU's Markus Kennedy (Villanova), Arizona State's Jermaine Marshall (Penn State), Arizona's T.J. McConnell (Duquesne), SMU's Nic Moore (Illinois State), Oregon's Mike Moser (UCLA/UNLV), Nebraska's Terran Petteway (Texas Tech), Xavier's Isaiah Philmore (Towson), Nebraska's Walter Pitchford (Florida), Illinois' Rayvonte Rice (Drake), Missouri's Earnest Ross (Auburn), Notre Dame's Garrick Sherman (Michigan State), Oklahoma's Ryan Spangler (Gonzaga), West Virginia's Juwan Staten (Dayton), San Diego State's Xavier Thames (Washington State) and Oregon's Joseph Young (Houston).
Mississippi State lost a transfer All-American several seasons ago when Ben Hansbrough departed for Notre Dame but the Bulldogs had their own player in this category 10 years ago after Lawrence Roberts left Baylor. In an era when transfers have almost become an obsession for various reasons, there was a modest uptick in the ratio with seven All-Americans in this category in a six-year span from 2000 through 2005 before Louisville's Luke Hancock (George Mason) became Final Four Most Outstanding Player last year. Hood is a prime candidate to join the following alphabetical list of All-Americans who began their collegiate career at another four-year school:
*Attended junior college between four-year school stints.
NOTE: Burgess was an Air Force veteran.
"We could never learn to be brave and patient if there were only joy in the world." - Helen Keller
Did you know coaching legend John Wooden won a grand total of one NCAA playoff game in his first 13 seasons with UCLA before capturing 10 national titles in 12 years from 1964 through 1975? Although Helen Keller wasn't an athlete, she could even see that exercising some patience clearly paid dividends for the Bruins.
On the heels of Pat Knight's dismissal at Lamar, a significant number of other pensive pilots are on the precipice of hearing rumblings about them receiving walking papers from struggling schools. Prior to dishing out a pink slip, the institutions need to reflect a moment on the following alphabetical list of individuals such as Kevin Stallings (moved atop Vanderbilt's career list earlier this season) and Scott Drew (Baylor) who didn't get off to roaring starts with major colleges but withstood the test of time and became their all-time winningest coach:
|All-Time Winningest Coach||School||Summary of Shaky Start at College|
|Dana Altman||Creighton||Failed to post winning season record until fourth year (1997-98).|
|Randy Bennett||Saint Mary's||Total of 11 games below .500 through first two seasons (2001-02 and 2002-03).|
|Bill Bibb||Mercer||Total of 16 games below .500 in first three seasons (1974-75 through 1976-77).|
|George Blaney||Holy Cross||Total of 18 games below .500 in first two seasons (1972-73 and 1973-74).|
|Buster Brannon||Texas Christian||Total of 14 games below .500 in first two seasons (1948-49 and 1949-50).|
|Tom Brennan||Vermont||Total of 54 games below .500 overall and 36 below in ECAC North Atlantic Conference competition in first three seasons (1986-87 through 1988-89).|
|Dale Brown||Louisiana State||Overall losing record through first five seasons (1972-73 through 1976-77).|
|Jim Calhoun||Connecticut||Total of 24 games below .500 in Big East competition in first three seasons (1986-87 through 1988-89).|
|Bobby Cremins||Georgia Tech||Total of 16 games below .500 in ACC competition in first three seasons (1981-82 through 1983-84).|
|Billy Donovan||Florida||Failed to post winning season record until third year (1998-99).|
|Pat Douglass||UC Irvine||Total of 23 games below .500 in first two seasons (1997-98 and 1998-99).|
|Homer Drew||Valparaiso||Total of 67 games below .500 in first five seasons (1988-89 through 1992-93).|
|Scott Drew||Baylor||Total of 40 games below .500 in Big 12 Conference competition in first four seasons (2003-04 through 2006-07).|
|Fran Dunphy||Penn||Failed to post winning season record until third year (1991-92).|
|Cliff Ellis||Clemson||Total of 12 games below .500 in ACC competition through first two seasons (1984-85 and 1985-86).|
|Murray Greason||Wake Forest||Total of 11 games below .500 in first three seasons (1933-34 through 1935-36).|
|Doc Hayes||Southern Methodist||Four losing records in first six seasons (1947-48 through 1952-53.|
|Lou Henson||Illinois||Overall losing record through first three seasons (1975-76 through 1977-78).|
|Terry Holland||Virginia||Breakeven record overall and 16 games below .500 in ACC competition through first three seasons (1974-75 through 1976-77).|
|George Ireland||Loyola Chicago||Overall losing record through first six seasons (1951-52 through 1956-57).|
|Doggie Julian||Dartmouth||Total of 30 games below .500 through first three seasons (1950-51 through 1952-53).|
|Mike Krzyzewski||Duke||Overall losing record through first three seasons (1980-81 through 1982-83).|
|Guy Lewis||Houston||Total of 14 games below .500 overall and in MVC competition through first four seasons (1956-57 through 1959-60).|
|Eddie McCarter||Texas-Arlington||Six losing records in first seven seasons (1992-93 through 1998-99).|
|Al McGuire||Marquette||Total of eight games below .500 in first two seasons (1964-65 and 1965-66).|
|Frank McGuire||South Carolina||Total of 13 games below .500 in first two seasons (1964-65 and 1965-66).|
|Bob McKillop||Davidson||Failed to post winning season record until fifth year (1993-94).|
|Eldon Miller||Northern Iowa||Total of 10 games below .500 through first two seasons (1986-87 and 1987-88).|
|Ralph Miller||Wichita||Total of three games below .500 in first two seasons (1951-52 and 1952-53).|
|Danny Nee||Nebraska||Total of 20 games below .500 in Big Eight Conference competition in first four seasons (1986-87 through 1989-90).|
|Fran O'Hanlon||Lafayette||Total of 19 games below .500 in first two seasons (1995-96 and 1996-97).|
|Johnny Orr||Iowa State||Failed to post winning season record until fourth year (1983-84).|
|Nolan Richardson||Arkansas||Total of eight games below .500 in SWC competition in first two seasons (1985-86 and 1986-87).|
|Jack Rohan||Columbia||Failed to post winning season record until fifth year (1965-66).|
|Al Skinner||Boston College||Failed to post winning season record until fourth year (2000-01).|
|Dean Smith||North Carolina||Only one winning season record (1962-63) in first three years.|
|Jim Snyder||Ohio University||Total of eight games below .500 in first five seasons (1949-50 through 1953-54).|
|Kevin Stallings||Vanderbilt||Total of 24 games below .500 in SEC competition through first seven seasons (1999-00 through 2005-06).|
|Rick Stansbury||Mississippi State||Total of eight games below .500 in SEC competition through first three seasons (1998-99 through 2000-01).|
|Norm Stewart||Missouri||Losing record in Big Eight Conference competition in first three seasons (1967-68 through 1969-70).|
|Scott Sutton||Oral Roberts||Total of 10 games below .500 in first three seasons (1999-2000 through 2001-02).|
|Blaine Taylor||Old Dominion||Total of six games below .500 in first two seasons (2001-02 and 2002-03).|
|Bob Thomason||Pacific||Total of 16 games below .500 in first four seasons (1988-89 through 1991-92).|
|John Thompson Jr.||Georgetown||Total of three games below .500 in first two seasons (1972-73 and 1973-74).|
|M.K. Turk||Southern Mississippi||Total of five games below .500 in first three seasons (1976-77 through 1978-79).|
|Riley Wallace||Hawaii||Total of 10 games below .500 in WAC competition in first six seasons (1987-88 through 1992-93).|
|Gary Williams||Maryland||Total of 24 games below .500 in ACC competition in first four seasons (1989-90 through 1992-93).|
|Jim Williams||Colorado State||Total of 12 games below .500 in first five seasons (1954-55 through 1958-59).|
|Charlie Woollum||Bucknell||Total of eight games below .500 in first three seasons (1975-76 through 1977-78).|
"When you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meager and unsatisfactory kind." - Lord Kelvin (William Thomson)
The mathematical measurements aren't nearly as complex as the scientific equations noted British physicist Lord Kelvin embraced, but numerical streaks speak volumes in terms of the best of college basketball's "Numbers Game." Amid coping with polar-vortex frigid temperatures, warmhearted fans of Duke (122 weeks ranked in Top Ten) and Kansas (68 consecutive victories at home against nonconference opponents) have every reason to be proud despite their favorites seeing long streaks come to a halt early in the new year. In an effort to try to boost your knowledge to a satisfactory kind, following is a good, bad and ugly look at cold, hard text citing notable streaks that were intact during the 2013-14 campaign:
120: Consecutive victories for San Diego State when leading with five minutes remaining (entering West Regional Sweet 16).
109: Non-conference homecourt victories for Duke (through 2013).
81: Non-conference homecourt victories for Missouri (after Long Beach State).
75: Years for Northwestern failing to appear in NCAA Tournament since the inaugural playoff in 1939.
72: Years for Pittsburgh failing to return to Final Four since making its lone appearance there in 1941.
63: Homecourt victories in December for Duke (through 2013). . . . Seasons for Nebraska without a conference championship since Huskers shared Big Seven title with Kansas and Kansas State in 1950.
57: Homecourt victories without a loss for North Carolina against Clemson.
55: Seasons without an undefeated team in Mid-American Conference competition since Wayne Embry-led Miami Ohio in 1957-58.
51: Homecourt victories for Syracuse against non-conference opponents (through 2013).
48: Victories for Syracuse over in-state opponent Colgate.
46: Defeats for DePaul against ranked opponents (after losing against visiting Creighton on 1/7). . . . Years for Marshall failing to win a game in NCAA Tournament or NIT since finishing in fourth place in 1967 NIT. . . . Years for Virginia Tech failing to reach an NCAA Tournament regional final since lone appearance there in 1967.
43: Division I-leading winning seasons for Syracuse since compiling a 12-12 mark in 1969-70.
42: Years for Drake failing to win a game in either the NCAA Tournament or NIT.
40: Years for South Carolina failing to win an NCAA Tournament game since 1973.
39: Victories for Marquette against cross-town rival Milwaukee. . . . Seasons without an undefeated team in Southland Conference competition since Arkansas State in 1973-74.
38: Seasons for Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim without a losing record during his entire career.
37: Years for Rutgers failing to supply an NCAA consensus All-American since Phil Sellers in 1976. . . . Seasons without an undefeated team in Big Ten Conference competition since Indiana became the nation's last unbeaten for an entire season in 1975-76.
36: Seasons without a Jewish All-American since Tennessee's Ernie Grunfeld in 1977. . . . Years for Duquesne failing to appear in NCAA Tournament.
35: Homecourt victories in December for Kansas State (through 2013). . . . Years for Notre Dame failing to return to Final Four since making its lone appearance there in 1978. . . . Years for Tennessee failing to win a SEC Tournament. . . . Seasons without an undefeated team in Pac-12 Conference competition since David Greenwood-led UCLA in 1977-78.
34: Seasons without an undefeated team in Big East Conference competition since formation of league. . . . Years for two-time national champion San Francisco failing to win an NCAA Tournament game since 1979. . . . Victories for Syracuse against in-state opponent Cornell.
33: Years for Purdue failing to return to Final Four since making its second appearance there in 1980. . . . Seasons without an undefeated team in SWAC competition since Larry Smith-led Alcorn State in 1979-80.
32: Seasons without an undefeated team in Northeast Conference competition since formation of league.
31: Seasons for Oregon State winless in NCAA Tournament. . . . Seasons without an undefeated team in Summit League competition since formation of conference.
30: Seasons without an undefeated team in CAA competition since William & Mary in inaugural campaign. . . . Winning seasons for Kansas (all with at least 22 victories except 19-12 mark in 1988-89 in Roy Williams' first season as KU coach).
29: Seasons for Houston winless in NCAA Tournament since Hakeem Olajuwon-led Cougars finished national runner-up in 1984. . . . Defeats for Saint Francis (Pa.) in as many games against in-state opponent Pittsburgh.
28: Defeats for Dayton at Xavier in duel of underrated programs in state of Ohio.
27: NCAA Tournament appearances for Brigham Young without ever reaching Final Four. . . . Seasons for Michigan without an undisputed Big Ten Conference regular-season championship. . . . Seasons without an undefeated team in Missouri Valley Conference competition since Hersey Hawkins-led Bradley in 1985-86.
26: Winning seasons for Connecticut and Murray State. . . . NCAA Tournament appearances for Missouri without ever reaching Final Four. . . . Years for Texas Christian failing to win an NCAA Tournament game since 1987.
25: Victories for Duke against in-state opponent Davidson. . . . NCAA Tournament appearances for Kansas.
24: Years for five-time College Division champion Evansville failing to win a game in NCAA Division I Tournament or NIT. . . . Seasons for Kansas with at least 23 victories. . . . NCAA Tournament opening-game victories without a defeat for coach Roy Williams with Kansas and North Carolina. . . . Seasons for North Carolina State with double-digit defeats. . . . Seasons for Sacramento State without a winning record.
23: Defeats for Bradley west of the Mississippi River (after loss at Missouri State on 2/1). . . . Seasons for Florida winning its season opener. . . . Seasons for Kansas winning its conference opener. . . . Seasons without an undefeated team in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference competition since Lionel Simmons-led La Salle in 1989-90. . . . NCAA Tournament appearances for Xavier without ever reaching Final Four.
21: Seasons without an undefeated team in America East Conference competition since Delaware in 1991-92.
20: Seasons for Oregon State compiling a losing record in Pac-10/12 Conference competition since going 9-9 in 1992-93. . . . Years for SMU failing to participate in NCAA Tournament.
19: Defeats for North Carolina State at Duke since 1995 when Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski was on medical leave.
18: Defeats for Iowa at Michigan State. . . . Losing seasons for New Hampshire.
16: Seasons without an undefeated team in Atlantic Sun Conference competition since College of Charleston in 1996-97. . . . Seasons for Gonzaga with at least 23 victories and Creighton with a minimum of 18 triumphs. . . . Twenty-win seasons for Syracuse under coach Jim Boeheim.
15: Victories in as many Maui Invitational games for Duke. . . . NCAA Tournament appearances for Gonzaga and Wisconsin. . . . Defeats for South Florida at Memphis.
14: Seasons without an undefeated team in ACC competition since Elton Brand-led Duke in 1998-99. . . . Seasons for Nebraska failing to post a winning conference record.
13: Seasons for Memphis with more than 20 victories. . . . Victories for Tennessee against SEC rival South Carolina.
12: Victories for California against Oregon (after 1/9 win at Oregon). . . . Seasons for Pittsburgh winning at least 20 games. . . . Top four finishes for Wisconsin in Big Ten Conference standings during coach Bo Ryan's tenure.
11: Victories for Wisconsin in Big Ten Conference openers.
10: Seasons for Howard University losing more than 20 games.
9: Big 12 Conference regular-season championships for Kansas. . . . Defeats for Louisiana State at Alabama and St. John's at Georgetown. . . . Defeats for Southern Methodist in conference tournament competition.
8: Seasons for Akron and Ohio State winning at least 22 games. . . . Seasons with at least 25 victories for Kansas. . . . Twenty-win seasons for San Diego State. . . . Seasons for Pepperdine failing to have an All-WCC selection.
7: Years for Akron reaching Mid-American Conference Tournament final. . . . Victories for North Carolina coach Roy Williams over Michigan State counterpart Tom Izzo in as many games between them. . . . Seasons for Rutgers failing to have an all-conference selection. . . . Years for #13 or #14 seed winning an NCAA Tournament opening-round game.
6: Years for Big Ten Conference Tournament champion failing to reach Final Four.
5: Seasons for six-time Final Four participant Arkansas failing to appear in NCAA Tournament. . . . Seasons for Temple defeating an opponent ranked in the Top 10.
4: Seasons with more than 30 victories for Kansas. . . . Seasons for Wisconsin having an All-Big Ten Conference selection who previously averaged fewer than three points per game as a freshman.
"Maturity is when your world opens up and you realize that you are not the center of it." - M.J. Croan
It's virtually impossible for prize prospects to live up to the hype generated by so-called experts who boast inferior historical perspectives and serve as little more than player pimps. Amid the rushes to judgment, some of the regal recruits become studs while others turn into duds. And some are somewhere in between such as the majority of this season's latest "one of the greatest classes ever" according to the predictable pedestrian press. Any fair-minded observer would have to admit that the pick of this year's litter need to up the ante significantly before inclusion among the freshmen with most impact in NCAA history.
After being coddled for so long in the AAU hip-hop atmosphere, you never know about a player's ticker coping with adversity and capacity to keep improving until setting foot on a college court and starting to consistently compete against comparable athletes. No matter his background, there is a learning curve and a mature individual along the lines that Croan describes continues to improve; especially on the defensive end of the court while also embracing a dirty, four-letter word (p-a-s-s).
Perhaps the best approach is the way new UCLA coach Steve Alford is grooming Zach LaVine, who hasn't started a game to date despite clearly being superior to the Wear twins but seems to be honing his all-round skills more than the following flawed frosh who had the vast majority of misguided media members foaming at the mouth:
Jabari Parker, Duke - Went 2-for-10 from the floor in his first ACC road game and viewed the final 3 1/2 minutes of a close contest from the bench after being "posterized" on a white canvas from dunk by Notre Dame's Pat Connaughton. In Parker's first ACC assignment at home, he was only 4-of-12 from the floor against mediocre Georgia Tech. "Mentally fatigued" midway through a college campaign replete with mediocre non-conference opponents won't cut it at the NBA level. Hitting an anemic 30% of his first 40 field-goal attempts in ACC competition, Parker needs to assure fans he is the Blue Devils' MVP (rather than Mississippi State transfer Rodney Hood) and premier player in his family (father Sonny was SWC MVP with Texas A&M in 1974-75) before setting sights on becoming next national player of the year.
Andrew Wiggins, Kansas - Not as good as his father (former NBA player Mitchell Wiggins averaged 23.2 ppg with Florida State), he is hitting less than one-third of his three-pointers and has compiled more turnovers than assists. Weak with the ball in traffic when soulful-strut driving against comparable athletes. Many teenagers toiling at a fast-food joint ply their boring trade with more zest than Wiggins, who occasionally plays so tentatively self-serving (AAU open-gym style-points emphasis) it looks as if he is trying to avoid an injury that would cost him dearly as a probable high NBA draft choice. Hitting 2-of-9 from the floor in his Big 12 Conference opener at Oklahoma before managing a meager three points against Oklahoma State's athleticism, he might not be the most promising freshman on his own squad (Joel Embiid from Cameroon boasts off-the-chart potential) or top yearling from Canada (Syracuse's Tyler Ennis).
Julius Randle, Kentucky - Limited team-oriented assets helping his comrades perform at a higher level since he has yet to contribute a three-pointer and had anemic totals of two assists and two steals in seven contests covering his last four games heading into SEC play and first three league assignments.
Aaron Gordon, Arizona - Huge upside although he has compiled nearly as many turnovers as his total of assists and steals. First order of business is getting his free-throw marksmanship above 50%. By any measure, Nick Johnson is the most influential player for the nation's top-ranked team in mid-season.
Rather than promoting me-myself-and-I ideals stemming from the "one-and-done" crowd likely attending more games than classes this semester, fans should ignore much of the lame-stream media by paying more deference to steadfast individuals who have invested four years of emotion and devotion at a single school such as seniors Keith Appling (Michigan State), Cameron Bairstow (New Mexico), James Bell (Villanova), Ben Brust (Wisconsin), Bryce Cotton (Providence), Aaron Craft (Ohio State), Dwayne Evans (Saint Louis), C.J. Fair (Syracuse), Joe Harris (Virginia), Justin Jackson (Cincinnati), Cory Jefferson (Baylor), Sean Kilpatrick (Cincinnati), Roy Devyn Marble (Iowa), Doug McDermott (Creighton), Shabazz Napier (Connecticut), Adreian Payne (Michigan State), Casey Prather (Florida), Russ Smith (Louisville), Chaz Williams (Massachusetts) and Kendall Williams (New Mexico).
Don't bet against Cincinnati capturing the first American Athletic Conference Tournament. As a charter member, the Bearcats won the inaugural postseason tourneys in the Metro, Great Midwest and C-USA. Following is a chronological list summarizing inaugural campaign for new leagues formed since the ACC was introduced 60 years ago:
NOTES: Big Ten, Ivy League, Mid-American, Missouri Valley, Ohio Valley, Pac-12, SEC, Southern and WCC are existing conferences formed before the ACC. . . . America East and Atlantic Sun conducted at least one postseason tourney before having its first formal regular-season competition. . . . MEAC, Southland and SWAC were Division II leagues before moving up to the DI level. . . . American South, American West, ECC, Great Midwest, Great West, Gulf Star and Metro are now defunct.
If you need any more vivid examples to prove who are the best team-sport athletes in the world, just check out the list of premier tight ends in the NFL. A striking number of the elite players at that rigorous position are former college basketball players, including three who will play prominent roles in the second weekend of the NFL postseason. What kind of "picks" do you think imposing Mike Ditka (Pittsburgh) and John Mackey (Syracuse) set back in the day before the Big East Conference was formed? Wouldn't you love to see LeBron James maneuver down the field like Charles Atlas the same way he does when driving down the lane?
Old-school Ditka didn't commit a blunder by not pursuing a professional basketball career but he said one of his biggest mistakes was not running for the U.S. Senate seat in Illinois in 2004. The former Chicago Bears All-Pro TE and Super Bowl-winning coach would have opposed Barack Obama, who went on to win the race and, in 2008, became the first African-American elected President.
"Biggest mistake I've ever made," Ditka said of failing to run against Obama. "Not that I would have won, but I probably would have and he wouldn't be in the White House." Speaking of "fumbles," perhaps Ditka can help ESPN colleague Ray Lewis deal with his "biggest mistake" by finding the cream-colored suit Lewis "misplaced" in Atlanta during a Super Bowl "celebration."
Although ex-California hoopster Tony Gonzalez failed to reach the postseason with the Atlanta Falcons in his quest to finally win a playoff game, succeeding in the 2013 NFL playoffs still was a "Battle of the Titans" at the TE position. Former hoopsters Antonio Gates (Kent State) and Jimmy Graham (Miami, Fla.) led the San Diego Chargers and New Orleans Saints, respectively, in pass receptions. Coming on strong at the same position is fellow ex-college hoopster Julius Thomas, a relatively obscure player for the Denver Broncos until exploding on the scene this season as their runner-up in touchdowns with 12 and contributing a team-high eight pass receptions in an AFC title-game victory against the New England Patriots.
Thomas, an All-Big Sky Conference hoopster with Portland State, flashed potential as the next game-changing tight end when he caught more touchdown passes in the opening quarter of the NFL season-opening game than he had receptions in his first two understudy seasons. A 74-yard TD strike to Thomas at San Diego in mid-season illustrated that QB Peyton Manning intends to capitalize on Thomas' athleticism the same way he did ex-hoopster Marcus Pollard (Bradley) with the Indianapolis Colts. Pollard, a J.C. transfer who was the Braves' leading rebounder in 1992-93, caught at least three touchdown passes each of Manning's first seven NFL seasons from 1998 through 2004.
Ditka has a quality successor as an ex-hoopster tight end with the Bears in Martellus Bennett (Texas A&M). It may be premature if Thomas or Bennett is a flash in the pan, but they already cracked the Top 20 among the following list of Top 25 NFL tight ends who were former college basketball players:
|Rank||Former College Hoopster||Alma Mater||Summary of NFL Tight End Career|
|1.||Tony Gonzalez||California||First tight end in NFL history with 100 touchdowns completed his 17-year career in 2013 with 1,325 receptions for 15,127 yards and 111 TDs. He was 13-time Pro Bowl selection.|
|2.||Antonio Gates||Kent State||Set an NFL single-season record with 13 TD receptions in 2004 en route to becoming San Diego Chargers' all-time leader for TD catches (87) and receptions (719) entering 2013 playoffs.|
|3.||Mike Ditka||Pittsburgh||Five-time Pro Bowl selection caught 427 passes for 5,812 yards and 43 TDs in 12 seasons.|
|4.||John Mackey||Syracuse||Hall of Famer caught 331 passes for 5,236 yards and 38 TDs in 10 seasons.|
|5.||Jimmy Graham||Miami (Fla.)||Led New Orleans Saints in pass receptions in 2012 and 2013. Twice has had streaks of at least four games with more than 100 yards in pass receptions. After only four years, he ranked second all-time among New Orleans Saints' tight ends in receiving.|
|6.||Todd Heap||Arizona State||Caught 467 passes for 5,492 yards and 41 TDs with the Baltimore Ravens from 2001 through 2010, leading them in receptions in 2002 with 68.|
|7.||Ben Coates||Livingstone (N.C.)||Established NFL single-season record for most receptions by a TE with 96 in 1994.|
|8.||Marcus Pollard||Bradley||Finished his 13-year career with 349 receptions for 4,280 yards and 40 TDs (long of 86 yards in 2001 midway through stint as starter for the Indianapolis Colts).|
|9.||Pete Metzelaars||Wabash (Ind.)||Played in more games at TE than any player in NFL history when he retired. Led the Buffalo Bills with 68 receptions in 1993.|
|10.||Joe Senser||West Chester State (Pa.)||Caught 165 passes for 1,822 yards and 16 TDs in four-year career with the Minnesota Vikings in early 1980s.|
|11.||Andrew Glover||Grambling State||Caught at least one TD pass each of his 10 pro seasons from 1991 through 2000, finishing with 208 receptions for 2,478 yards and 24 TDs.|
|12.||Rich McGeorge||Elon (N.C.)||Caught 175 passes for 2,370 yards and 13 TDs with the Green Bay Packers in nine years from 1970 through 1978.|
|13.||Rickey Dudley||Ohio State||Scored 29 TDs in five seasons with the Oakland Raiders before hooking on with two other teams.|
|14.||Julius Thomas||Portland State||Began 2014 campaign with a bang by catching three first-half TD passes in season opener from Peyton Manning for the Denver Broncos after he was team runner-up with 12 TD receptions the previous year.|
|15.||Derrick Ramsey||Kentucky||Caught 188 passes for 2,364 yards and 21 TDs with three different teams from 1978 to 1987.|
|16.||Reuben Gant||Oklahoma State||Caught 127 passes for 1,850 yards and 15 TDs with the Buffalo Bills in seven seasons from 1974 through 1980.|
|17.||Bob Windsor||Kentucky||Caught 185 passes for 2,307 yards and 14 TDs with the San Francisco 49ers and New England Patriots in nine years from 1967 through 1975.|
|18.||Keith McKeller||Jacksonville State (Ala.)||Caught 124 passes for 1,464 yards and 11 TDs with the Buffalo Bills in seven years from 1987 through 1993.|
|19.||Jordan Cameron||BYU/Southern California||Blossomed in third year with Cleveland Browns in 2013, catching 80 passes for 917 yards and seven TDs (three in game at Minnesota). He had three contests with at least nine receptions.|
|20.||Martellus Bennett||Texas A&M||Caught 205 passes for 2,231 yards and 14 TDs with the Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants and Chicago Bears in first six years from 2008 through 2013.|
|21.||Greg Latta||Morgan State (Md.)||Caught 90 passes for 1,081 yards and seven TDs with the Chicago Bears in five years from 1975 through 1979.|
|22.||Pat Richter||Wisconsin||Caught 99 passes for 1,315 yards and 14 TDs in nine seasons for the Washington Redskins after being their first-round pick in 1962.|
|23.||Jeff King||Virginia Tech||Registered 93 receptions for 802 yards and seven TDs with the Carolina Panthers and Arizona Cardinals in first seven years from 2006 through 2012.|
|24.||Ulysses Norris||Georgia||Best season of seven-year career was in 1983 when he had seven TDs with the Detroit Lions.|
|T25.||Dee Mackey||East Texas State||Caught 94 passes for 1,352 yards and eight TDs in six NFL/AFL seasons from 1960 through 1965.|
|T25.||Al Dixon||Iowa State||Caught 84 passes for 1,248 yards and eight TDs with four different teams from 1977 through 1984.|