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At a Glance
NCAA Champion--UCLA (29-1; coached by John Wooden/23rd of 27 seasons with Bruins; won the Pacific-8 title with a 14-0 record, which was two games ahead of Southern California).
NIT Champion--North Carolina (26-6; coached by Dean Smith/10th of 36 seasons with Tar Heels; won ACC regular-season title by one game with an 11-3 record).
New Rules--A non-jumper may not change his position during a jump ball from the time a referee is ready to make the toss until after the ball is tapped. . . . Any school offered an NCAA Tournament bid must accept it or be prohibited from participating in postseason competition.
NCAA Probation--Centenary, Florida State, Yale.
NCAA Consensus First-Team All-Americans--Austin Carr, G, Sr., Notre Dame (38 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 51.7 FG%, 81.1 FT%); Artis Gilmore, C, Sr., Jacksonville (21.9 ppg, 23.2 rpg, 10.3 bpg, 56.5 FG%); Jim McDaniels, C, Sr., Western Kentucky (29.3 ppg, 15.1 rpg, 52.2 FG%); Dean Meminger, G, Sr., Marquette (21.2 ppg, 4 rpg, 50.8 FG%); Sidney Wicks, F, Sr., UCLA (21.3 ppg, 12.8 rpg, 52.4 FG%).
National Players of the Year--Carr (AP/UPI/Naismith) and Wicks (USBWA).
National Coaches of the Year--Villanova's Jack Kraft (23-6/NABC) and Marquette's Al McGuire (28-1/AP, UPI, USBWA).
Which sophomores had the thankless task of moving up to varsity and succeeding the showmanship of the "M Boys" after gifted guards Pete Maravich (LSU), Rick Mount (Purdue) and Calvin Murphy (Niagara) combined for 109.6 points per game over the previous three years? Gary Simpson averaged 14.3 ppg for LSU (14-12) before joining the Army and subsequently attending St. Louis University where he averaged 4.1 ppg in 1974-75. Dennis Gamauf averaged 6.4 ppg for Purdue (18-7) before averaging 10.5 ppg in 1971-72 and 7 ppg in 1972-73. Al Williams averaged 12.1 ppg for Niagara (14-12) before averaging 13.9 ppg in 1971-72 and a team-high 14.2 ppg in 1972-73.
UCLA's starting frontcourt of Sidney Wicks, Curtis Rowe and Steve Patterson combined to average 51.7 points and 32.6 rebounds per game, making it more productive statistically than any of the Bruins' starting frontcourts with all-time great centers Lew Alcindor and Bill Walton. Patterson went on to coach Arizona State for four seasons in the late 1980s.
UCLA's only defeat was an 89-82 setback at Notre Dame when the Bruins' 48-game nonconference winning streak ended. It was their only setback in a 108-game stretch until midway through the 1973-74 campaign. Notre Dame guard Austin Carr scored 46 points, including 15 of the Irish's last 17. Carr's output is the highest ever scored against an NCAA champion.
Over his final two seasons, covering 58 games, Carr scored over 40 points 23 times, broke the 30-point plateau on 46 occasions and was never held under 20. Several of Carr's finest performances came against mighty Kentucky. In four meetings with the Wildcats, he averaged 43 points and shot over 70 percent from the floor. "The fact that he (Carr) could go inside or outside and his ability to shoot with either hand is what made him such a great player," said UK coach Adolph Rupp.
Carr, runner-up to LSU's Pete Maravich in scoring the previous season with a 38-point average, was runner-up again at 38.1 to become the most prolific non-champion ever. Mississippi's Johnny Neumann averaged 40.1 points per game to become the only sophomore in NCAA history other than Maravich (43.8 in 1967-68) to average more than 40. Neumann, bolstered by a school-record 63-point outburst at LSU, was threatening Maravich's first-year mark until falling off to a 29.4 average his last five contests. Neumann, the only Ole Miss player in history to become an NCAA consensus first- or second-team All-America, had eight games with at least 46 points in his lone varsity campaign. He was named SEC player of the year although the Rebels finished in a tie for eighth place with a 6-12 league mark.
Neumann, Georgia Tech's Rich Yunkus (30.1 ppg), Western Kentucky's Jim McDaniels (29.3), St. Peter's Rich Rinaldi (28.6), Auburn's John Mengelt (28.4), Colorado's Cliff Meely (28), Massachusetts' Julius Erving (26.9), Boise State's Ron Austin (24.5) and Wisconsin's Clarence Sherrod (23.8) set school Division I records for highest scoring average in a single season.
Bill Smith isn't among the top 15 career scorers in Syracuse history, but the 7-0 center tossed in a school-record 47 points against Lafayette. Also establishing school single-game scoring standards were South Carolina's John Roche (56 points vs. Furman), St. Peter's Rich Rinaldi (54 vs. St. Francis, N.Y.), Idaho State's Willie Humes (53 at Montana State), SMU's Gene Phillips (51 at Texas), Colorado's Meely (47 vs. Oklahoma), Florida State's Ron King (46 at Georgia Southern), Fordham's Charlie Yelverton (46 at Rochester/mark tied the next year), Long Beach State's Ed Ratleff (45 vs. St. Mary's), Boise State's Ron Austin (42 vs. Montana) and Minnesota's Ollie Shannon (tied with 42 against Wisconsin). Humes' outburst is a Big Sky Conference record and Phillips' output is the highest ever in a contest between two Southwest Conference teams. . . . Meely, a senior center, was named Big Eight Conference player of the year although Colorado finished with a losing league mark (6-8).
Junior college transfer Artis Gilmore finished his two-year career at Jacksonville with an NCAA career rebounding average of 22.7 per game. He is the only player in major-college history to finish his career with averages of more than 22 points and 22 rebounds per game. Gilmore, who grabbed a school-record 34 rebounds against St. Peter's, had eight games during the season when he blocked a minimum of 10 shots, including a school-record 14 rejections at Miami (Fla.). He helped Jacksonville win an unprecedented three national team statistical titles--offense (99.9-point average), scoring margin (20.9) and field-goal shooting (53.6 percent). . . . Also causing something of a sensation at JU was freshman center David Brent, who averaged 36 points and 17 rebounds in head-to-head duels with Gilmore in two frosh-varsity games. Brent, however, never played varsity college basketball. He headed south after reneging on letters of intent with Bradley and his hometown university (St. Louis).
Big Ten Conference champion Ohio State's only league loss was to visiting Michigan State, 82-70, although the Spartans sustained their fourth of six consecutive losing records in conference competition. . . . OSU senior guard Jim Cleamons, an all-league first-team selection, went on to coach Youngstown State for two seasons in the late 1980s before coaching the NBA's Dallas Mavericks. . . . Indiana, after losing its previous seven outings against Iowa, started an 11-game winning streak in their series. The Hoosiers also began a 20-game winning streak in their series with Northwestern. Forward George McGinnis became IU's first All-American in six years. . . . Illinois led the nation in attendance average (16,128 in 11 home dates) despite compiling a losing overall record (11-12). The Illini probably wouldn't have lost eight consecutive Big Ten outings if it had kept any of the following three All-American centers in their home state: Colorado's Meely (28 ppg, 11.9 rpg), Kansas' Dave Robisch (19.2 ppg, 10.1 rpg) and Georgia Tech's Yunkus (25.5 ppg, 11.1 rpg). . . . Forward Rick Sund, named Northwestern's MVP as a sophomore, went on to become a longtime NBA executive. He averaged 9.6 ppg and 6.2 rpg during his Wildcats career. . . . Dan Fife, Michigan's third-leading scorer for the third consecutive campaign, pitched briefly for the Minnesota Twins in 1973 and 1974. . . . Brad Van Pelt, who averaged 4.5 ppg and 2.9 rpg as a sophomore for Michigan State, went on to become a five-time Pro Bowl middle linebacker for the New York Giants.
Eldon Miller was in his first season as coach at Western Michigan when the Broncos registered a 14-10 mark for their first winning record in nine years. . . . Joey Meyer, DePaul's leading scorer with 19.2 points per game, would go on to coach his alma mater for 13 seasons from 1984-85 through 1996-97. . . . Rich Walker, Bowling Green's top scorer with 20.1 points per game, eventually coached Florida International for nine seasons from 1981-82 through 1989-90. . . . Connecticut swingman Bob Staak, amassing more than 16 points per game for the third straight year to conclude his career No. 4 on the school's all-time scoring list, went on to coach Xavier and Wake Forest.
Defending ACC regular-season champion South Carolina lost its first four league road games, including a 31-30 overtime verdict at Maryland. The Terrapins, finishing in the ACC's second division for the sixth consecutive year, hit 15 of 18 field-goal attempts (83.3%) against the Gamecocks. . . . South Carolina's Frank McGuire, after stints with St. John's and North Carolina, became the first coach to win more than 100 games for three major institutions. The Gamecocks, boasting two All-ACC first-team selections (center Tom Owens and guard John Roche), finished runner-up to North Carolina in their final season as a member of the ACC. They had two of the top eight votegetters in All-ACC ballotting each of their last four years in the league. . . . North Carolina started a 20-game winning streak in its series with Georgia Tech that extended through 1984. Tar Heels forward Dennis Wuycik was second from the floor nationally at 60.7 percent and sixth from the foul line at 85.8 percent. . . . Dick DeVenzio, Wuycik's high school teammate at Ambridge, Pa., led Duke in assists for the third consecutive season. DeVenzio went on to become an outspoken critic of college basketball, attracting national media attention as a lonely voice decrying the exploitation of college athletes before dying of intestinal cancer in May 2001. . . . Virginia, coached by Bill Gibson, won 11 of its first 13 games to crack the Top 20 for the first time ever. The Cavaliers faded down the stretch to finish with a 15-11 record, but it was their first winning season in 17 years.
TCU's Eugene "Goo" Kennedy set a SWC standard by grabbing a school-record 28 rebounds against Arkansas. Kennedy finished the season with a league-record average of 16 rebounds per game. He was one of five different TCU players in as many years from 1968-72 to lead the SWC in rebounding. . . . Arkansas sustained a school-record nine consecutive SWC defeats. The Razorbacks were 1-13 in the SWC despite losing just two league games by a double-digit margin. One of their setbacks was in overtime against Baylor, 111-110. . . . Memphis State compiled an 18-8 record in Gene Bartow's first season as coach of the Tigers. They had sustained at least 17 defeats each of the previous three years. . . . Kansas, coached by Ted Owens, finished among the top four in final wire-service national polls for the third time in six seasons. . . . Nebraska lost 17 consecutive games at Colorado until beating the Buffaloes, 65-63. . . . Wichita State's Preston Carrington, averaging more than 10 ppg for the second time in as many seasons after arriving from junior college, placed fifth in the long jump the next year at the Munich Olympics.
Oregon All-American center Stan Love is a brother of Beach Boys member Mike Love. . . . Guard Dana Pagett, a three-year letterman for Southern California, went on to become a prominent community college coach in the state. . . . Arizona State, coached by Ned Wulk, ended a streak of six consecutive losing seasons by compiling a 16-10 record. . . . Colorado State's Mike Childress set a Western Athletic Conference single-season standard by averaging 14.1 rebounds per game. . . . Pacific guard Bob Thomason, an All-WCAC first-team selection, later became his alma mater's all-time winningest coach. . . . Brigham Young, coached by Stan Watts, captured the WAC title after finishing in seventh place the previous year. . . . Utah's Jack Gardner, who previously coached at Kansas State, ended his 28-year coaching career with a 486-235 record. Before retiring, he ranked third among active coaches for career victories, trailing Kentucky's Rupp and UCLA's John Wooden. . . . Weber State's Willie Sojourner became the only player in Big Sky Conference history to lead three consecutive league champions in scoring and rebounding.
LaRue Martin's school-record 34 rebounds against Valparaiso weren't enough to keep Loyola of Chicago from losing its 14th consecutive game. Also establishing school Division I single-game rebounding records were Lafayette's Ron Moyer (33 at Gettysburg), UMass' Erving (32 vs. Syracuse), Wichita State's Terry Benton (29 vs. North Texas State), Memphis State's Ronnie Robinson (28 vs. Tulsa), Fairfield's Mark Frazer (27 vs. Bridgeport), Kansas State's David Hall (27 vs. Oklahoma), Toledo's Doug Hess (tied with 27 vs. Marshall) and Texas' Lynn Howden (24 vs. Florida State). Hall later became a professor of law at Northeastern.
Miami (Fla.) dropped its program at the conclusion of the campaign because of dwindling success and finances. The Hurricanes, coached by Ron Godfrey, had their first losing record in 15 years the previous season. . . . Alabama suffered its most lopsided defeat in history (122-75 at Southern California) but later won at Mississippi, 101-91, for the Crimson Tide's first road victory in four seasons. . . . Kentucky senior forward Larry Steele, an All-SEC second-team selection, coached the University of Portland for seven seasons from 1987-88 through 1993-94. . . . Five of Western Kentucky's six defeats were by fewer than four points under coach John Oldham.
Life without Maravich wouldn't have been so bland in the SEC if the league wasn't so slow in accepting African-American players. Only four of the SEC's 17 all-league selections - Mengelt, Steele, Neumann and Fig Newton (LSU) - played more than one season in the NBA and/or ABA. The all-conference candidates could have included the following 10 black standouts who attended high school in Southern states and might have aligned with in-state SEC members if not for being deemed second-class citizens: Memphis State's Larry Finch (Tennessee), ORU's Richie Fuqua (Tennessee), JU's Gilmore (Alabama, Auburn or Florida), Kentucky State's Travis Grant (Alabama or Auburn), Louisiana Tech's Mike Green (Ole Miss or Mississippi State), Grambling's Fred Hilton (LSU), FSU's King (Kentucky), WKU's McDaniels (Kentucky), Villanova's Howard Porter (Florida) and Kansas' Bud Stallworth (Alabama or Auburn).
Joe Williams became the only person to be coach of two different universities in back-to-back years when each school made its initial playoff appearance - Jacksonville '70 and Furman '71. Furman compiled a 15-12 record to end a streak of eight consecutive non-winning seasons.
Guard Dean Meminger became the first Marquette player to become an NCAA consensus first- or second-team All-American. . . . Marquette (28-1/coached by Al McGuire), Pennsylvania (28-1/Dick Harter), Fordham (26-3/Digger Phelps), Southern California (24-2/Bob Boyd) and West Texas State (19-7/Dennis Walling) had their winningest seasons in school Division I history. Loyola of New Orleans (16-10/Bob Luksta) tied its school Division I record for most victories in a single season. . . . USC, unbeaten (16-0) and ranked No. 1 in the country at the time, led visiting UCLA by nine points but the Trojans scored only one point in the last 9 1/2 minutes and lost to the Bruins, 64-60.
Fairleigh Dickinson shattered Army's streak of three consecutive scoring defense championships. FDU coach Al LoBalbo previously served as an assistant at Army under Bob Knight. . . . Harvard, which failed to capture an Ivy League title during the 20th Century, posted its only undisputed second-place finish with an 11-3 conference record under coach Bob Harrison. The Crimson finished in the Ivy cellar the previous year. . . . Brian Mahoney, who finished his Manhattan playing career with a 17.9-point scoring average, went on to coach his alma mater and St. John's. . . . Jim O'Brien, who led Boston College in scoring for the second straight season, later coached his alma mater and Ohio State to the NCAA playoffs. He set BC's single-game assists record with 18 against LeMoyne. . . . Bob Wenzel finished his Rutgers playing career with a 13.6-point scoring average before eventually coaching Jacksonville and his alma mater in the NCAA playoffs.
Porter was the first Villanova player since 1950 to become an NCAA consensus first- or second-team All-American. He grabbed a school single-game record of 30 rebounds against St. Peter's. . . . NYU competed in its final season at the major-college level. Mike Muzio, who averaged 10 points per game for the Violets in 1957-58, was named to replace coach Lou Rossini only three weeks before the school de-emphasized its program. . . . George Washington forward Walt Szczerbiak finished fifth in the nation in field-goal shooting (59.4 percent). In 1998-99, his son, Wally, was an All-American for Miami (Ohio) and became an NBA first-round draft choice.
1971 NCAA Tournament
Summary: UCLA became the only team to win a national title although its season-leading scorer was held more than 10 points below his average in the championship game. Eight of the 10 starters played the entire final. Sidney Wicks (21.3 ppg), named national player of the year by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association, was outscored by Villanova's Howard Porter, 25-7, but the Bruins still managed a 68-62 victory over the Wildcats. "Howard just inhaled him like he did everyone else," said Mike Daly, Porter's teammate. Denny Crum, in his final season as an assistant under John Wooden before accepting the head coaching position at Louisville, had an argument with Wooden in the national semifinals over Crum wanting to sub guard Terry Schofield. The Final Four was tainted when it was disclosed that Porter and Western Kentucky standout Jim McDaniels had signed pro contracts before the tourney.
Star Gazing: Julius Erving, leaving Massachusetts with one season of eligibility remaining, didn't participate in the NCAA playoffs despite helping the Minutemen to a composite 41-11 record in 1970 and 1971. He is the only player to score more than 30,000 points in his pro career after never appearing in the NCAA playoffs. UMass was mauled in the first round of the NIT by eventual champion North Carolina, 90-49. The Tar Heels captured the NIT although their leading scorer, forward Dennis Wuycik, suffered a season-ending knee injury against the Minutemen. . . . Jacksonville blew a 14-point halftime cushion and lost in the first round of the Mideast Regional against eventual Final Four team Western Kentucky (74-72). Western Kentucky's McDaniels outscored Jacksonville's Artis Gilmore, 23-12, in a battle of seven-foot first-team All-Americans. . . . WKU, long regarded as poor country cousins by Kentucky, whipped the Wildcats, 107-83, in their first-ever meeting when McDaniels poured in 35 points in the regional semifinals. . . . Porter pawned his Final Four watch during a time before overcoming a drug problem. In 1998, teammate Ed Hastings gave him his gold Bulova. "It's the right thing," said Hastings, who entered the priesthood. "Howard's done so much to come full circle. He's made a new life. It's an extraordinary story. I think it's only right that he have a watch. It's symbolic of a journey. He's back. Howard's a go-to guy again."
Biggest Upsets: Marquette, undefeated entering the tourney (26-0), lost in the Mideast Regional semifinals against Ohio State (60-59) after the Warriors' playmaker, unanimous first-team All-American 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. . . . Penn, undefeated entering the tourney (26-0) under coach Dick Harter, lost in the East Regional final against Villanova (90-47) when none of the Quakers players scored more than eight points. Porter, the Final Four Most Outstanding Player, scored 35 points for the Wildcats to more than double the output (16) of three Penn players who wound up in the NBA--Corky Calhoun, Phil Hankinson and Dave Wohl.
One and Only: UCLA center Steve Patterson became the only player to have a single-digit point total in a national semifinal game (six vs. Kansas) and then increase his output by more than 20 points in the championship game (career- and game-high 29 vs. Villanova). "It just shows you what a good team can do," Villanova coach Jack Kraft said. "You hold down Wicks and (Curtis) Rowe as well as we did and that third guy (Patterson) kills you." . . . Western Kentucky, coached by John Oldham, became the only Ohio Valley Conference to reach the Final Four. . . . Wicks is the only individual to be a member of three NCAA titlists after playing in junior college.
Celebrity Status: Jerry Martin collected five points and two rebounds as a starter for Furman in the Paladins' inaugural NCAA Tournament game, a 105-74 defeat against Digger Phelps-coached Fordham in the 1971 East Regional. Martin, an outfielder who played 11 years in the majors, was a valuable backup for three consecutive Philadelphia Phillie divisional champions from 1976 through 1978 before becoming a regular with the Chicago Cubs the next two seasons. . . . Rob Sperring, who hit seven of eight field-goal attempts en route to scoring 21 points in two playoff games for Pacific, went on to become an infielder with the Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros for four years from 1974 through 1977.
Numbers Game: The closest result for UCLA during the Bruins' 38-game tourney winning streak from 1967-73 came in the West Regional final when they erased an 11-point deficit despite 29 percent field-goal shooting to edge Long Beach State (57-55). . . . Drake, coached by Maury John, became the only school to appear in at least three NCAA Tournaments and reach a regional final each time. The Bulldogs, who won the national third-place game in 1969, lost in the Midwest Regional finals in 1970 (against New Mexico State) and 1971 (against Kansas) when their opponents each had just two defeats. . . . Three of Kansas' four playoff games were decided by a total of five points. . . . South Carolina appeared in the NCAA Tournament for the first time, becoming the only school to make its initial NCAA playoff appearance in its final year as a league member (ACC) before embracing independent status the next season. The Gamecocks, coached by Frank McGuire, lost the East Regional third-place game to Fordham when the Rams hit all 22 of their free-throw attempts. . . . Notre Dame guard Austin Carr had the two highest-scoring games in the tourney--52 points in a 102-94 triumph over TCU and 47 in a 119-106 setback against Houston. Poo Welch tallied 38 for Houston against the Irish in the Midwest Regional third-place game. . . . BYU's Kresimir Cosic grabbed a playoff-high 23 rebounds in a 91-73 loss to UCLA in the West Regional semifinals.
What Might Have Been: Southern California posted its best record in school history (24-2, .923). USC's defeats were by single-digit margins in Pacific-8 Conference competition against national champion-to-be UCLA. The Trojans ranked 5th in both polls. . . . Houston, minus its third-best scorer and top outside threat Jeff Hickman (declared academically ineligible after the first semester), lost to Final Four-bound Kansas by one point (78-77) in the Midwest Regional semifinals. The Cougars defeated eventual national runner-up Villanova by 15 points on a neutral court early in the season. . . . Western Kentucky might have fared even better than a national third-place finish if forward Jerome Perry, an All-OVC selection the previous year, didn't miss the season after undergoing a knee operation.
Scoring Leader: Jim McDaniels, Western Kentucky (147 points, 29.4 ppg).
Highest Scoring Average: Austin Carr, Notre Dame (125 points, 41.7 ppg).
Rebounding Leader: Clarence Glover, Western Kentucky (89 rebounds, 17.8 rpg).
Jim McDaniels, C, Sr., Western Kentucky (58 points, 36 rebounds in final two games)
Steve Patterson, C, Sr., UCLA (35 points, 14 rebounds)
*Howard Porter, F, Sr., Villanova (47 points, 24 rebounds)
Hank Siemiontkowski, C, Jr., Villanova (50 points, 21 rebounds)
Sidney Wicks, F, Sr., UCLA (28 points, 17 rebounds, 10 assists)
*Named Most Outstanding Player.
Championship Team Results
Regional Semifinal: UCLA 91 (Bibby team-high 15 points), Brigham Young 73 (Kelly 24)
Regional Final: UCLA 57 (Wicks 18), Long Beach State 55 (Ratleff 18)
National Semifinal: UCLA 68 (Wicks 21), Kansas 60 (Robisch 17)
Championship Game: UCLA 68 (Patterson 29), Villanova 62 (Porter 25)