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by Jake Fischer / @JakeLFischer The question is as prevalent as ever: How do you justly compare one era of basketball to another? How can you prove who was greater: Michael Jordan or LeBron James? How can you judge George Mikan’s dominan...
by Jake Fischer / @JakeLFischer The question is as prevalent as ever: How do you justly compare one era of basketball to another? How can you prove who was greater: Michael Jordan or LeBron James? How can you judge George Mikan’s dominance in the paint versus that of, say, Shaquille O’Neal? While these questions will likely go unanswered until someone far smarter than you and I comes up with a scientific formula to come to definitive conclusions, Dan Collins has come up with a way to fairly assess the many heroes of the 59 years of ACC basketball history in The ACC Basketball Book of Fame. Collins served on the 2002 “blue-ribbon committee” that selected the 50 greatest players in the league’s decorated history. Although he had a vote, Collins wasn’t OK with the result and the voted list. In the Book of Fame, he has found a solution to appease his discomfort—a unique point system. Essentially, Collins has assigned point values to post-season awards to truly consider how prominent players were in their respective eras. So, a player was given 425 points if he was a unanimous First-Team All-ACC selection, 400 points if he received the most votes of the members on any year’s All-ACC First-Team and the list descends by votes received for the post-season honors. He also assigns points to individual awards too, such as Player of the Year and All-American selections. Now, you can still argue that Collins’ system is flawed. For example, post-season awards don’t often take individual players’ teams’ records into account. A player’s teams’ record might not have an impact on how media members view his particular season, but it certainly impacts how they view that player’s career. Also, what about the guys who were stellar underclassmen but left college to pursue the NBA without a diploma? Nonetheless, Collins does a pretty solid job. After introducing this scoring system, Collins then proceeds to unveil his 50 greatest players in ACC basketball history via his method in reverse-chronological order. He leads off with North Carolina grad and current Cleveland Cavalier Tyler Zeller, who comes in at 1,200 points and works his way down the 1955 ACC Player of the Year, Wake Forest’s Dickie Hemric. Following his countdown and depictions of each of his 50 greatest players’ careers, Collins takes a few moments to recognize the players who have the best arguments to belong in that category. Guys like Chris Paul and Walter Davis didn’t accumulate enough points to make the cut, but Collins does his best to give these players their spoonful of glory. Overall, it’s a daunting challenge to try and create a definitive list about the history of anything, let alone a sport that so many fans, students and athletes alike are extremely passionate about. Yet in his 300 pages, Collins manages to back up some of his controversial decisions and give equal recognition to the opposition. You can get your copy of The ACC Basketball Book of Fame on Amazon.com.
about 5 hours ago
Murray State loses guard Jackson for the season
Murray State loses guard Jackson for the season
about 6 hours ago
La Salle's Giannini hopes transfer rules stay strict
La Salle's Giannini hopes transfer rules stay strict
about 22 hours ago
Smart's VCU picked as favorites to win Atlantic 10
Smart's VCU picked as favorites to win Atlantic 10
1 day ago
Forward Keelon Lawson picks Memphis for 2015
Forward Keelon Lawson picks Memphis for 2015
1 day ago
Five-star '14 F Oubre picks Kansas over Kentucky
Five-star '14 F Oubre picks Kansas over Kentucky
1 day ago
by Bill DiFilippo / @bflip33 It looks like the court at Central Florida isn’t the only thing getting a makeover this season. The UCF Knights unveiled their new Nike jersey design yesterday, which features pinstripes on the front of...
by Bill DiFilippo / @bflip33 It looks like the court at Central Florida isn’t the only thing getting a makeover this season. The UCF Knights unveiled their new Nike jersey design yesterday, which features pinstripes on the front of the jersey and pants, and a graphic on the back. The jerseys were displayed at the team’s media day. The new jersey court designs don’t just look cool—the team hopes this helps them with recruiting. From the Orlando Sentinel: UCF basketball will have a totally new look for the start of its new era in the American Athletic Conference. With the black-stained basketball court and new uniforms, the Knights will try to make an impression on recruits who will see them play against the toughest schedule in program history. This year’s slate also includes 19 games on national television, with home dates against defending national champion Louisville, Memphis, UConn, Cincinnati and Temple. Whether or not any potential recruits play for the Knights because of the new jerseys and court remain to be seen, but with all the new additions to the team’s style, at least they’re going to look good. photo credit: UCF Athletics
1 day ago
Originally published in SLAM 172 by Michael Bradley What it must be like to drain shot after shot. To put up 59 points in a game. Or 68. Seventy-five. To feel the ball leave the fingertips and know that it will settle smoothly into the t...
Originally published in SLAM 172 by Michael Bradley What it must be like to drain shot after shot. To put up 59 points in a game. Or 68. Seventy-five. To feel the ball leave the fingertips and know that it will settle smoothly into the twine so far away. Most of us will never know. But Travis Grant does. Trouble is, he won’t talk about it all that much. Won’t take us to that state of mind where the basket seems bigger than a hot tub, and tossing the ball into it is as easy as drawing a deep breath while in a sound sleep. “My teammates were responsible for it,” the man dubbed “The Machine” says. “They had to sacrifice a lot for me.” What’s the fun in that? “Points didn’t mean that much to me,” he says. Now, that’s saying something. For all of his points—a collegiate-record 4,045 of them—The Machine cares most about one number: three. That’s how many NAIA national championships his Kentucky State teams won in a row. It wasn’t just the Travis Grant Experience in Frankfort. This was an ensemble. And winning it all was all there was. And you don’t believe that, do you? How can a guy average 33.4 ppg over four years and tell you it was all about the team? It’s hard to blame the doubters. After all, basketball history is filled with gunners who wanted theirs first. And second. The team mattered little, if at all. Grant swears that wasn’t the case, and three titles support his argument. “Coach [Lucias Mitchell] made sure we played as a team,” Grant says. “I didn’t think about how many points I scored. That’s not what the team was about. We were a team. I was fortunate that I shot a better percentage than the other guys, and they passed me the ball.” At no time was that more evident than during Grant’s final game for the Thorobreds, the 1972 NAIA championship final against Wisconsin-Eau Claire. KSU had won the previous two titles, but the losses of stalwarts Elmore Smith—the third overall pick in the ’71 NBA Draft—and William Graham had pushed Kentucky State from the favorite’s spot in the 32-team, six-day tournament. Grant’s bunch was seeded third overall, and 29-1 Eau Claire was expected to win it all. Even after Grant set a tourney record that still stands by scoring 60 in an opening-round, 118-68 win over Minot State, the Thorobreds were underdogs. Eau Claire coach Ken Anderson made that clear after his team won its second-round game by saying how tough it was for his Blugolds (a combo of the school’s colors) to focus, when Stephen F. Austin loomed in the title game three days later. Anderson is a legend at Eau Claire, and the school named the court for him a couple years back, but that statement was a bad idea. Kentucky State dumped SFA in the semis, and in the championship game, Grant’s 39 and 8 propelled the Thorobreds to a 71-62 win and their third straight title. “All of the championships were big, but Coach Mitchell said the third was most satisfying because we lost three starters from the team my junior year, the best team I played on at Kentucky State,” Grant says. “We had good size and quickness, and we could have competed with any team in the country.” It wouldn’t have mattered if the Thorobreds had lost four starters, the team manager and the mascot. They would have still been tough with Grant. In addition to his status as college basketball’s all-time leading scorer, he holds numerous NAIA tourney records, including most points in a tournament (213 in ’72) and highest career average in NAIA tournament games (34.5 ppg). But the most impressive thing about his four years in Frankfort is that he shot 64 percent from the field. And we’re not talking about some lane-bound giant who shot nothing but two-footers. Grant had range. Serious range. And he made way more than he missed. “He was the guy who could shoot it from anywhere on the floor,” Graham says. “He could hit them from way behind the three-point line, from mid-range, and he scored quite a few points driving to the basket. “There were games where he could have scored
1 day ago
Class of 2014 star Alexander to announce Nov. 20
Class of 2014 star Alexander to announce Nov. 20
1 day ago
by Danny Hazan / @DeeHaze24 Current Tulsa Shock guard Skylar Diggins’ dominance in college led Notre Dame to three consecutive Final Fours. But last year’s 35-2 campaign was also aided by USBWA National Freshman of the Year and unanimous...
by Danny Hazan / @DeeHaze24 Current Tulsa Shock guard Skylar Diggins’ dominance in college led Notre Dame to three consecutive Final Fours. But last year’s 35-2 campaign was also aided by USBWA National Freshman of the Year and unanimous All-Big East Rookie, do-everything guard Jewell Loyd. Loyd started all but one game a year ago, averaging 12.5 points and 5 boards per, while learning closely from Diggins who took her under her wing. But Loyd wasn’t ready to say she was being groomed to take over Diggins’ former role. “We never really talked about the whole passing the torch thing,” Loyd says. “Obviously she believed in me, and trusted me, but I’m not going to come out this year and be like, This is my team, because it’s not. I’m still young and I’m still learning. When my time comes, it comes. I’m just fortunate to be playing the game I love.” Loyd’s immense prep success, in which she amassed over 3,000 points at Niles (IL) West and was a McDonald’s All-American, translated to college relatively seamlessly as evidenced by the accolades she’s already received. Now, she’ll most likely be a big reason for the Irish’s future success, and she’s going to do it her way. She credits the off-season work she puts in with her older brother Jarryd for much of her talent—as well as the list of specific goals they wrote out that have propelled “her time” in approaching rapidly. “I really keep those goals to myself for personal reasons,” she says, “but trust me, you’ll know if I haven’t achieved them. I’m in the gym if I haven’t.”
2 days ago