Well, one of the state’s biggest obsessions is just starting up, college basketball, most notably in this area, University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky.
Now, how these two teams will do in the regular season is difficult to say and quite frankly I don’t think anybody really cares about my conjecture. None the less, many will be getting a first view of the two teams in full effect tonight.
The Wildcats are suiting up for the Blue/White Scrimmage game tonight at seven at Rupp Arena, meanwhile the Cards are taking on Pikeville at the KFC Yum Center.
In honor of this I thought I’d take a minute to do what I did prior to this year’s Louisville/Kentucky football game and compile and All-Cards and All-Cats team.
By the way, those articles were broken up into four different sections. You can check those out: here, here, here, and you guessed it here.
In these teams, I should probably mention all of the players selected played with the college team more than ten years ago, mainly because I think you got to give the modern guys a little time before you start speculating on their “all-time” stats.
In the point guard position, you have to have leadership, as such it only makes sense to pick up a guy at that position that has found success in coaching. Hardinsburg native, Butch Beard, a former Kentucky Mr. Basketball, suited up for Louisville prior to his first round induction into the NBA in 1969. After that his resume features stints with several pro-teams and a coaching position with Morgan State University.
At shooting guard Dr. Dunkenstein himself Darrell Griffith. Griffith led the Cards to their first NCAA championship in 1980 prior to becoming a legend with the Utah Jazz in the NBA.
At small forward, Charlie Tyra, an All-American Tyra still has more rebounds in the history of UofL men’s basketball than any other athlete. After college he was a star in the NBA as well, most notably with the New York Knicks.
At Power Forward, current Naismith Hall of Famer, Wes Unseld. Unseld was a huge force inside and outside with the Cards as well as with the pros. With Baltimore, Unseld won an NBA championship, an MVP award, a finals MVP award, a rookie of the year award, and that’s just scraping the surface with Unseld’s resume.
At Center, “Never Nervous” Pervis Ellison, Ellison led the Cards to their second NCAA championship in 1989 as a freshmen, it was this year that he was named the “Most Outstanding Player.” After college Ellison became the second NBA draft pick in 1989, what followed is several notable stints with several teams in the pros.
Finally, at coach, Denny Crum, winning two NCAA championships, and being a Naismith basketball hall of famer Crum is a no-brainer for this team.
For Kentucky we open with point guard, Louie Dampier. One of the greatest players to come out of the American Basketball Association, playing with the Kentucky Colonels, Dampier made a name for himself wherever he went. Before Dampier made it to the pros, he played baseball as well as basketball for the Cats, on the court, Dampier was a two time All-American though so it was clear to see where he belonged.
At shooting guard is a man that’s today more known as a coach, Pat Riley; prior to winning NBA championships Riley was a star in Lexington, leading the Cats to an NCAA championship game during his tenure.
At small forward, Jamal Mashburn- an All-American everybody seemed to know that Mashburn was destined for great things and after a stellar career with Kentucky he became an NBA all-star and won the NBA rookie of the year award in 1994.
Suiting up at power forward, Dan Issel, a legend at Kentucky in the pros Issel quickly found his place alongside Louie Dampier with the Kentucky Colonels.
At center, Nazr Mohammed who currently suits up with the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder, however prior to making it to the pros Mohammed played with a NCAA championship Kentucky squad as well as NCAA championship runner-up squad.
And, at coach was there ever any question: Adolph Rupp. Rupp’s stats speak for themselves four NCAA championships, one NIT championship, and six final four appearances.
I think I’m not alone when I say; I’m ready for some hoops.
Image courtesy of Louisville Hoop Fest