My Adolph Rupp Collection

I’ve got a signature from every Coach except for Calipari.  I’ve tried to get a Cal signature several times but something unfortunate has always prevented me from obtaining it.  I don’t want to purchase it.   Rupp is the only one that I have purchased thus far as he was long dead by the time I was cognizant of Kentucky Basketball.



Talkin’ the Cats

Go Big Blue!

Go Big Blue!




I flew into Phnom Penh last night at about 5PM.  Reached my hotel,California2, about 30 minutes later. I checked in and stashed my bags in my room then headed down to the bar to have a drink.

I was sitting there talking to Jim, the Hotel owner, for a few minutes discussing my book, his photography and Cambodia.

I sat there for about an a half hour when two gents sat down next to me.  One guy was from Las Vegas.  The other gent was a fellow Kentuckian who has a brother living in Shelbyville.  We sat there for a little over two hours talking college basketball.  The fellow from Vegas had attended UTEP (Texas Western) back in the ’60s.  He attended the ’66 Final Four.  I was hatin’.  Envious as hell.

He lives in Vegas now and is a UNLV fan.  The Kentuckian is, of course, a Kentucky Basketball fan.

I’m thousands of miles away from home and sitting there talking Kentucky ball with two fellow fans of the game.  How cool is that!


1966 Duke Men’s Basketball Team Picture

No this isn’t the “lily white” Final Four team of 1966.  This is the team the year after the “watershed event” in College Basketball History.  This is the Duke team that was fielded the year after Vic Bubas took an All White Team to the 1966 NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four.

1966 is the year that Texas Western won the NCAA Tournament with the FIRST All Black Starting Five.  Texas Western defeated Kentucky’s All White Starting Five.

Kentucky got to that game by defeating the All White Duke Team.   C.B. Claiborne would join the Duke Freshman team a year later and get his first start in January of 1967.  Kentucky would sign it’s first African American — Tom Payne — two years later in 1969.

Jorts takes out the Cards in the Chicken Box!

Josh Harrellson puts in 23 points and grabs 14 rebounds in the win over the hated Louisville Cardinals and Quick Rick.  Brandon Knights led all scorers with 25 points.  Deandre Liggins did his thing and shut down every hot hand that attempted to score.  Swatting one Siva ball into the stands.  Liggins and Harrellson are exactly what this team needs for a good run in the tournament.  Senior Leadership.

Cal has done wonders with these kids.

In four years, Cal will have a good mix of Seniors, Juniors and One Year Wonders.  It’s gonna get nasty.  You almost feel for the Cards as they’re so far behind the power curve that they can’t catch up.  But, don’t…they deserve their Pitino and everything else that happens to that program.

And Dr Dunkenstein ain’t walkin’ through that door Little Ricky.

No. 11 Kentucky handles No. 22 Louisville 78-63

Name Min FG 3Pt FT Off Reb Ast TO Stl Blk PF Pts
J. Harrellson 37 10-12 1-1 2-3 6 14 2 1 1 1 3 23
B. Knight 36 7-13 4-6 7-8 1 3 4 5 0 0 2 25
T. Jones 33 5-11 0-2 2-2 3 8 5 1 1 3 2 12
D. Miller 29 3-6 0-1 1-1 1 3 0 2 0 1 4 7
D. Liggins 39 1-7 0-4 0-0 0 4 2 4 4 2 2 2
J. Hood 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
D. Lamb 23 3-6 1-2 2-2 2 3 1 0 0 0 2 9
E. Vargas 2 0-2 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Totals 200 29-57 6-16 14-16 13 35 14 13 6 7 15 78
Percentages: .509 .375 .875 Team Rebounds: 1

Josh Harrellson’s career day sparks Kentucky

BONUS on the DAY!  That bum up in Minnesota lost as well.  lol

1948 US Olympic Basketball

Games of the XIVth Olympiad — 1948

London, England • July 30 – August 13, 1948

An easy United States march to the gold proved in the first post-World War II Olympiad that the U.S. remained the world leader in basketball. Obviously, a war-torn Europe had not had the opportunities to advance the game like the United States and South America. In fact, five of the eight teams in the quarterfinals were from the Americas, and a sixth, Argentina, almost upset the U.S. in the preliminaries.


(USA Basketball Photos)

1948 USA RESULTS (8-0)

USA 86 Switzerland 21
USA 53 Czechoslovakia 28
USA 59 Argentina 57
USA 66 Egypt 28
USA 61 Peru 33
USA 63 Uruguay 28
USA 71 Mexico 40
USA 65 France 21


1. United States (8-0) 13. Cuba (4-3)
2. France (5-2) 14.Iran (2-5)
3. Brazil (7-1) 15.Argentina (4-4)
4. Mexico (5-2) 16. Hungary (3-5)
5. Uruguay (5-3) 17.Italy (4-4)
6. Chile (4-4) 18.China (5-3)
7. Czechoslovakia (4-4) 19. Egypt (2-6)
8. Korea (3-5) 20. Great Britain (0-7)
9. Canada (6-2) 21. Switzerland (2-6)
10.Peru (4-4) 22. Iraq (0-7)
11.Belgium (5-3) 23. Ireland (0-6)
12.Philippines (4-4)

The Phillips 66ers, winners of the 1948 national AAU title, met the 1948 NCAA champs, University of Kentucky, in the final game of the Olympic Trials. The 66ers edged Kentucky,
53-49, and Bud Browning of the 66ers was named head coach, and University of Kentucky legend Adolph Rupp was selected as his assistant.

During a pre-Olympic tour in Scotland, Browning and Rupp, each believing his own members of the team played best as a unit, concocted a strategy of unit substitution — one unit of five 66ers and one unit of five Kentucky Wildcats.

Relying on the two coaches’ unit plan, Switzerland was beaten 86-21 as Alex Groza led all scorers with 19 points, and several days later, nine Americans scored in a 53-28 win over Czechoslovakia. Still utilizing the unit plan as much as possible against Argentina, the starting 66ers five forged a 14-9 lead. When the second group of Kentucky players were substituted, Argentina rallied and by half led 33-26. The original starting crew returned at the start the second half, but eventually it had to be revised because of foul trouble. With three minutes remaining and the score even, 55-55, Kenneth Rollins sank a free throw, Jack Robinson added a field goal and Gordon Carpenter added one free throw to clinch the USA’s 59-57 victory. Rollins and Carpenter led the U.S. with 12 points each.

Egypt proved no match for the U.S. in a lopsided 66-28 U.S. win, and with Wallace Jones leading the way with 12 points, the U.S. crushed Peru 61-33. Kurland scored 19 points as the Americans handed South American champion Uruguay a 63-28 setback, and the U.S. moved within a victory of the Olympic gold after discarding of Mexico, 71-40, as Groza scored 19 points.

Facing France in the finals, Browning started his five 66ers. Only leading 9-4, the unit system was abandoned and Browning began substituting one player at a time. At half the U.S. was in command 28-9, and the Americans went on to record an easy 65-21 victory over France. The USA’s scoring was led in the gold medal game by Groza and Raymond Lumpp who tallied 11 points each.

1948 USA Men’s Olympic Games Roster

Clifford Barker F 6-2 185 27 University of Kentucky Satsuma, FL
Don Barksdale C 6-6 200 25 Oakland Bittners (UCLA) Los Angeles, CA
Ralph Beard G 5-10 176 20 University of Kentucky Louisville, KY
Lewis Beck G 6-0 165 26 Philips 66ers (Kansas) Pendleton, OR
Vincent Boryla G 6-3 190 21 Denver Nuggets (Univ. of Denver) Englewood, CA
Gordon Carpenter C/F 6-7 220 21 Phillips 66ers (Arkansas) Lakewood, CA
Alex Groza C 6-7 220 21 University of Kentucky San Diego, CA
Wallace Jones C/F 6-4 205 22 University of Kentucky Lexington, KY
Robert Kurland C 7-0 220 23 Phillips 66ers (Oklahoma St.) Bartlesville, OK
Raymond Lumpp G 6-0 170 25 New York University East Williston, NY
R.C. Pitts F 6-5 200 29 Phillips 66ers (Arkansas) Baton Rouge, LA
Jesse Renick G 6-2 185 30 Phillips 66ers (Oklahoma St.) San Francisco, CA
Kenneth Rollins G 6-0 170 24 University of Kentucky Charleston, NC
Jack Robinson G 6-0 180 21 Baylor University Fort Worth, TX
HEAD COACH: Omar Browning, Phillips 66ers (Bartlesville, OK)
ASSISTANT COACH: Adolph Rupp, University of Kentucky
MANAGER: Louis Wilke, Phillips 66ers (Bartlesville, OK)

1948 USA Men’s Olympic Games Cumulative Statistics

Alex Groza 7 35-
8- 14
78/ 11.1
Robert Kurland 7 27-
11- 15
65/ 9.3
Don Barksdale 6 20-
14- 19
54/ 9.0
R. C. Pitts 4 13-
5- 6
31/ 7.8
Raymond Lumpp 5 14-
8- 10
36/ 7.2
Wallace Jones 6 19-
5- 9
43/ 7.2
Gordon Carpenter 5 13-
9- 12
35/ 7.0
Vincent Boryla 5 11-
6- 10
28/ 5.6
Jesse Renick 7 17-
5- 7
39/ 5.6
Lewis Beck 7 13-
7- 11
33/ 4.7
Kenneth Rollins 6 10-
4- 5
24/ 4.0
Clifford Barker 5 7-
5- 12
19/ 3.8
Ralph Beard 7 10-
6- 12
26/ 3.7
Jack Robinson 5 6-
1- 3
13/ 2.6
524/ 65.5
256/ 32.0
These are Stats and a write up of the 1948 Olympic Basktball Team.
The interest for me in this is that Adolph Rupp was assistant Coach or “co-coach” as some have called it saying that an agreement was made whereby he was more or less equal with Philips 66ers Coach Omar Browning.  I don’t know if that is true or not.  Nonetheless, Rupp was on the Coaching staff and that’s good enough for me. Also, the ’48 NCAA Champion  Kentucky Wildcats Starting 5 plus were on that Olympic Team.
I’ve met one member of that team ~ Mr. Wallace “Wah Wah” Jones.  Actually I’ve met Wah Wah a few times.  First time was at a function put together by Mel McCane for back in 2000.  An Adolph Rupp impersonator was brought in to give a performance of Rupp talking and coaching his team.  A bit of storytelling.  It was a great show.  Afterward, Vernon Hatton and Joe B. Hall spoke about their time with Rupp.  Hall being the Coach who both played and coached with Coach Rupp and later replaced him.  Hatton being a member of the ’58 NCAA Championship Team.
Here is an interesting quote on Adolph Rupp by Don Barksdale:
“[Rupp] turned out to be my closest friend,” Barksdale said. “We went to London and won all 12 games and got the gold medal.” But he had to brush off indignities just about every step of the way. . . Later, coach Rupp told Barksdale, “Son, I wish things weren’t like that, but there’s nothing you or I can do about it.” Barksdale agreed. He lived by a very simple philosophy. He wasn’t interested in protest; he was interested in playing basketball. He had faced prejudice before, and he knew that he would face it again.
Don Barksdale was the only African American on the ’48 Olympic Team.  He was the First Black NBA All Star and only the 3rd Black NBA Player.

I’ll leave it there.  Take from it what you will.

Adolph Rupp Would Roll Over In His Grave!

Observation: A loss might be a very good thing for this team

I’m no different than any other UK fan. I want the team to win every game every season, so don’t think I’ve lost my mind with this observation.So far, this year’s version of the ‘Cats has had good games and not so good games. They’ve looked really good in spurts and not so hot in others.
Yet, in spite of all that, they have yet to feel what defeat feels like. Last night’s game was arguably the toughest test they’ve had so far. The Miami/Ohio game was a tough one, too, but it didn’t go into overtime. My point is they have yet to “pay the price” for their sloppy play. Again, I DON’T look foward to our first loss, but we all know it’s going to happen eventually. When it does, I honestly think that will be the catalyst to get our younger players, as well as the whole team, to realize that they really need to get with the program completely. Frankly, I would rather it be prior to the start of SEC play, rather than after.Last night was the first time this season I think at least some of the players had reality set in. At the end of regulation and into the overtime period, the camera was on John Wall and he was more intense than I’ve ever seen him. I know he really enjoys it when he makes a good play and I get pumped up just watching him, but last night I think it finally dawned on him that, “Hey, we might actually LOSE this game if we don’t it in gear!”Sometimes the foundations for the BIG victories are laid on the grounds of a loss. I won’t be happy when we do lose, but in the long run I think it’ll pay dividends when we do.



I think John Calipari, John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Patrick Patterson, Eric Bledsoe, John Hood, Ramon Harris and the rest of the Team and Coaches would think you a complete fool.

What kind of fan spouts this nonsense?

The guy who wrote this idiocy is the exact same fan to whom I was referring here.  The dude is an idiot and should be banned forever from posting on any Kentucky fan board.  Complete Fuckin’ Moron.  Dude needs to have his Kentucky Fan credentials revoked.  lol

Joe Hall, the Kentucky coach who succeeded Mr. Rupp and for many years was his assistant and chief recruiter, once said:

“Coach operates from an extreme competitive desire and has a strong dread for losing.”

Regardless of the reason, he always put forth this kind of effort. On his weekly television shows he often said:

“We want to win, we just have to win. Goodness knows, no one wants to win any more than we do.”

Winning was Mr. Rupp’s passion. Someone once recited to him the famed Grantland Rice line, “when the one Great Scorer comes to write against your name, he marks not that you won or lost, but how you played the game.”

To this, Mr. Rupp answered:

“Well now, I just don’t know about that. If winning isn’t so important, why do you keep score?”


That looks like Coach Rupp telling a moron what he thinks of the “good loss” theory.


John Wall Takes Over! Scores Career High 23 against Stanford


Name Min FG 3Pt FT Off Reb Ast TO Stl Blk PF Pts
D. Miller 36 3-9 3-6 4-5 3 4 3 1 0 0 3 13
D. Cousins 26 5-8 0-1 3-8 2 5 2 2 1 3 5 13
E. Bledsoe 30 2-4 1-2 0-0 0 0 3 2 1 0 4 5
J. Wall 45 7-15 1-4 8-8 1 4 5 5 1 2 3 23
P. Patterson 31 5-9 1-2 1-2 6 11 0 0 0 1 2 12
D. Orton 9 0-2 0-0 0-0 1 2 0 2 0 2 0 0
D. Dodson 13 0-3 0-3 0-0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0
J. Harrellson 4 0-1 0-0 0-0 1 1 0 1 1 0 1 0
R. Harris 24 3-5 0-1 1-2 1 7 1 0 1 0 2 7
P. Stevenson 7 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 2 0 1 0 0 1 0
Totals 225 25-56 6-19 17-25 15 37 14 15 5 8 21 73
Percentages: .446 .316 .680 Team Rebounds: 2

“NBA, that’s all I’ve got to say,” Wildcats forward Patrick Patterson said. “John Wall is a pro player and he wants the ball in crunch-time situations. Whenever we need a basket or something on the offensive end John is going to be the one to do it.”

Calipari on Wall and Bledsoe:

“I think we’ve got two guys when the game is on the line they are not afraid to make plays, which bodes well for us,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said. “You saw once again that late in the game I’m not calling a timeout. I don’t need to be a hero, let those guys be the hero.”

“Those two guys have the killer (instinct),” Calipari said. “What you want is the guys with the killer to bleed onto the others. Just a will to win.”

“For such a young team, they showed a lot of poise down the stretch,” Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins said. “(Wall) is one of the fastest guards I’ve ever seen play on any level. He showed a lot of poise for his age. He’s a terrific player.”

On the other side, Wall was the only Kentucky player to get going before the break. The freshman guard had 15 points but could not do all the heavy lifting with preseason All-American forward Patterson going out of the game less than six minutes in with two fouls. Without Patterson’s inside presence the Wildcats struggled to get anything in the paint and shot just 35.5 percent from the field.

Patterson got going early in the second half on his way to his 25th career double-double, but he missed two point-blank opportunities on the same possession that would have given Kentucky its first lead since late in the first half with just over 10 minutes remaining.

He made up for it later, using a power post move to give Kentucky a 54-53 lead with 6:42 to play.

John Wall will be the first #1 Draft Pick in Kentucky History.  He or Patterson should be the First UK Basketballer to bring home the Adolph Rupp Trophy for Player of the Year.  I think one of them will bring home the Wooden Trophy as well.  Wall may well be the most highly regarded Frosh/Student Athlete to ever have worn the UK Jersey by the time this year is finished.  He is certainly lived up to the hype surrounding him as a player.  What’s more is that the guy is actually a good student and a good guy as well.

Calipari pulled off a recruiting coup with John Wall.  His second best recruiting pitch was retaining Patrick Patterson.  These are two All World Student Athletes.  I just hope that all of the anti-Cal or anti-Kentucky feeling out there doesn’t hurt them over the course of the year.  Lots of guys out there who are waiting like vultures for something, anything to pop up to stall or kill Cal and Kentucky’s momentum.  Yet, these same hypocrites defend John Wooden as if their reputations depended upon said defense.

This year, UK has three of the Top Freshman in the CNNSI Power Rankings.  Wall and Cousins are ranked #’s 1 and 2 respectively.  Eric Bledsoe is ranked at #25.  I’m sure that Bledsoe will rise as the year goes on.  All three are players.  I can see them all going to the NBA after this year.  Hopefully, Bledsoe and Cousins come back for a 2nd year.  The good thing, though, is that IF Cousins sees it as more wise to come out for the Draft after this year, it will likely mean that he has helped lead UK to a Final Four or better.

This should be a great year for Kentucky Basketball.  Patterson, Wall and the rest of the Frosh are finding ways to win this year.  Whereas last year, Billy Gillispie was finding ways to lose.


Great Moments in Kentucky Basketball

Adolph Rupp and Cawood Ledford discuss Rupp’s 42 years as Coach of the Kentucky Wildcats Basketball Program.

Great Moments in Kentucky Basketball pt 1

Great Moments in Kentucky Basketball pt 2

1958 “Fiddlin’ Five” National Championship Team

Great Moments in Kentucky Basketball pt 3

Great Moments in Kentucky Basketball pt 4

(For some reason, I am having trouble uploading part 3.  I’ll get it up as soon as possible.)

ESPN and CNNSIs hypocrisy in full view: Don Barksdale on the ’48 Olympics and Adolph Rupp. John Wooden, Sam Gilbert and Tark the Shark.

Don Barksdale was a pioneering athlete in the mid-20th Century.  He was a member of the Gold Medal 48 Olympic Basketball Team and the Philips Oilers Championship Team.

In 1948, he was the first African American to play with the U.S. Olympic team. He

joined the team in Basketball at the 1948 Summer Olympics. He became the first Africa-American basketball player to win a gold medal in the Summer Olympics.

Barksdale, who had been playing with the Amateur Athletic

Union‘s Oakland Bittners, was given an at-large berth from the independent

bracket, but not without heavy lobbying by Fred Maggiora, a member of the Olympic Basketball Committee and a politician in Oakland, which was adjacent to Barksdale’s hometown. About eight years later Maggiora told Barksdale that some committee members’ responses to the idea of having a black Olympian was “Hell no, that will never happen.” But Maggiora wouldn’t let the committee bypass Barksdale.[2]

“This guy fought, fought, and fought,” Barksdale said, “and I think finally the coach of Phillips 66 [Omar Browning] had said, ‘That son of a bitch is the best basketball player in the country outside of Bob Kurland, so I don’t know how we can turn him down.’ So they picked me, but Maggiora said he went through holy hell for it – closed-door meetings and begging.”

The 1948 Olympic team had five Kentucky Wildcats basketball players who had just won the very first Wildcat national championship in the 1948 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament. The rest of the Olympic team, consisting of the AAU Champions Phillips Oilers, and the Kentucky team later scrimmaged on Stoll Field in front of 14,000 spectators, the largest crowd to watch basketball in Kentucky at that time. Barksdale became the first African-American to play against Kentucky in Lexington. He could not stay at the hotel with the rest of the team, but instead stayed with a black host family.[3]

Adolph Rupp, the legendary Kentucky coach, was the assistant coach on the 1948 team under Omar Browning.[4]

“[Rupp] turned out to be my closest friend,” Barksdale said. “We went to London and won all 12 games and got the gold medal.” But he had to brush off indignities just about every step of the way. . . Later, coach Rupp told Barksdale, “Son, I wish things weren’t like that, but there’s nothing you or I can do about it.” Barksdale agreed. He lived by a very simple philosophy. He wasn’t interested in protest; he was interested in playing basketball. He had faced prejudice before, and he knew that he would face it again.

Does that sound like a racist.  Why does the American Sports Press get away with deriding Rupp as a racist when to a man his contemporaries both black and white say the exact opposite?  Look to Duke in 1966.  All White Team as well.  But somehow that fact is never mentioned in all of the talk of “walls tumbling down.”  When will these media types start to deal in fact.  Instead they lie and cheat and defame persons with innuendo, deception, lies and half truths.

There are hundreds of stories that attest to the lie that is perpetuated by ESPN and their crew of amatuers.  Yet, they refuse to back down from their slander.  All the while, they canonize a guy like John Wooden whose greatest booster openly paid his players.  Paid for their clothes, cars and abortions.  I’m not saying that Wooden doesn’t deserve his accolades.  He won and won big.  But his achievements are tainted with drug money.  Neither ESPN nor the NCAA will go near those stories.  Wooden lived in denial as Papa Sam paid for his rosters.  Either that or he was complicit in the violations.  Yet, Wooden will never be investigated.  What is the difference between Papa Sam and his relationship with Bill Walton and the Reggie Bush situation or the recent O.J. Mayo “scandal.”  There is no difference.  Except that Wooden was an untouchable.  Much like Coach K and his golden boosters giving away 6 figure salaries to receptionists and signing for homes for the parents of Duke Basketball recruits.  Chris Duhon and others spring readily to mind.

Speak to me of hypocrisy.  These supposed professionals cowardly destroy the reputation of one man after his death based on fallacies and lies.   All the while, they anoint another despite the hard truths behind his grand, yet tainted, achievements.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Adrian Wojnarowski: UCLA’s Tainted Dynasty

April 3, 2006
The Bergen County Record

INDIANAPOLIS — Everywhere Jerry Tarkanian goes at this Final Four, the blue and gold, the magical four letters, the thunderous U-C-L-A chants on the streets, bring Tark back to college basketball’s greatest dynasty, back to a name most synonymous with the championship seasons.

Only, it isn’t John Wooden.

Or Lew Alcindor.

Or Bill Walton.

“I think about Sam Gilbert,” Tark said Sunday afternoon.

And that’s the name that causes a roomful of frolicking Bruins boosters and fans to go uneasily quiet. Sam Gilbert, the two dirty little words of the dynasty.

For the record, Tark will go where others genuflecting at the altar of John Wooden will never journey. He’ll say the name that amid the hype for tonight’s UCLA-Florida national championship game, you’re guaranteed to never hear on CBS. The NCAA tournament loves its nostalgia, its mythology and you’ll be getting the full force of this farce from the RCA Dome.

“To people, John Wooden is a god,” Tark said.

It is a losing proposition to suggest that UCLA’s 10 national championships under Wooden were won with anything but the talent of great players and the lessons and leadership of a legendary coach. It just is never talked about — out in the open, anyway.

It was what it was, though: Sam Gilbert was a Los Angeles construction man who lavished the Wooden-era UCLA players with money, cars, gifts, the run of his mansion, whatever. Anything those players wanted, the dynasty’s sugar daddy was reputed to provide it.

“To this day, what blows me away — what still makes me angry — is that Sam Gilbert never tried to hide what he was doing,” Tark said. “But the NCAA was never going to investigate UCLA. They were the marquee team. They had all of the games on television. But I lived 20 minutes away in Long Beach and I knew what was going on there. The whole country, the NCAA, they all knew what Sam Gilbert was doing at UCLA.

“Hell, he bragged about it to a lot of people. He bragged about it to me. Once, he liked my point guard [Robert Smith] and said, ‘Why don’t you send him over to UCLA so I can take care of him?’ The NCAA was always harassing me, but Sam Gilbert was violating more rules than anyone in America.

“I was told that John Wooden used to always say that he wished Sam would stay away from the program. I was told that he went to [the AD] J.D. Morgan about it, and Morgan told him that he would take care of it. But it went on and on.”

These days, Tark is hardly on the UCLA warpath. Truth be told, he loves the Bruins’ coach, Ben Howland. As funny as it sounds, Tark will be sitting in Howland’s seats for the game tonight.
What’s more, Tark’s never had a personal problem with Wooden, who always was very nice and very generous with him through the years. His issue isn’t with Wooden, but a system that selectively punished cheaters.

This isn’t to absolve Tark by means of some great conspiracy to get him. He is a well-deserved and well-decorated NCAA probation loser at Long Beach, UNLV and Fresno State. I covered him for 2½ years in Fresno, had my drag-outs with him, but the years have taught me that some of the most respected names in the sport — some of the so-called giants — are the biggest crooks going. Tark always told me, and only in the last few years have I come to agree with him.

Ultimately, Tark thinks that if you want to believe that his four Final Fours and his 1990 national championship are tainted, then you have to take a look at UCLA, too. I always believed that his fight with the NCAA wasn’t so much about his own innocence, but the fact that there were competitors of his who had been deemed untouchable and never got popped too.

If you think this is just Tark barking at the moon, trying to justify his own misdeeds, consider a different source, someone whose agenda is beyond reproach. While working with Tark on his memoir “Running Rebel,” author Dan Wetzel dug up a Bill Walton quote from a 1978 book, “On the Road with the Portland Trail Blazers.”

If you ever want to debate that there is a double standard between the chosen programs and those branded as renegade by the NCAA, consider this stunning passage.

“UCLA players were so well taken care of — far beyond the ground rules of the NCAA — that even players from poor backgrounds never left UCLA prematurely (for pro basketball) during John Wooden’s championship years,” Walton said. “If the UCLA teams of the late 1960s and early 1970s were subjected to the kind of scrutiny Jerry Tarkanian and his players have been, UCLA would probably have to forfeit about eight national championships and be on probation for the next 100 years.

“… The NCAA is working night and day trying to get Jerry, but no one from the NCAA ever questioned me during my four years at UCLA.”

Here’s the thing, too: This doesn’t make Wooden less of a philosopher, less of a teacher, less of a great American icon. To me, it doesn’t change the fact that the afternoon I spent in his condo two years ago rates as one of the best days I’ve ever had in this business. It’s just a reminder there is no Camelot in sports. And there are no saints.

Wooden is 95 years old, bigger and more beloved than ever, and as Tark said one Hall of Fame coach told him this weekend, “People won’t really start talking about [Wooden’s] legacy until he’s gone.”

Wooden is still the kind of man, just like those Bruins were the kind of champions, who never will be duplicated. The banners are still hanging in Pauley Pavilion, the 100 years of probation that Walton swears would’ve been warranted never did come. Admire the UCLA history tonight, but don’t let yourself get lost in the mythology. There was no Camelot in college basketball, no saint.


Pat Riley — Hall of Famer

It’s official. Riley elected to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.

Pat Riley, a member of the famous Rupp’s Runts, played in the 1966 National Championship game. Whiile in the NBA he played on one NBA Championship team (L.A. Lakers) and coached 5 NBA Championship teams (the 80s Showtime Lakers and the 2006 Miami Heat). The man was a coaching genius who could get multiple star caliber players to mesh into a cohesive team and win. No easy feat. Especially in todays game. He, also, took the ’94 Knicks to the Championship game but came up short that year. No one has been able to do much with the Knicks since.Coach Riley joins his mentor and Coach–Adolph Rupp–in the Hall of Fame as well as NBA greats like Red Auerbach and other legendary NCAA coaches such as John Wooden.

Congrats Coach Riley on a great honor and an incredible and exemplary career.

This is an excellent article on Coach Riley by Rick Bozich of the Louisville Courier Journal.  (article here)

“I wish that coach (Adolph) Rupp, Harry Lancaster, Joe B. Hall, Mr. (Bill) Keightley and Louie (Dampier), Larry (Conley), Thad (Jaracz) and Tommy (Kron), God bless him, could be here to share this moment with me because the University of Kentucky was a special time in my life,” Riley said.

Indeed it was. Riley arrived at UK in 1963 from Schenectady, N.Y. He credited his basketball development to all 16 of his coaches, starting with his first coach — his father, Leon, a minor league baseball player.

At UK, Riley said he was assigned to share a room with Dampier, another freshman, from Southport, Ind. Riley had not begun to slick back his hair, but he said when he pulled out his blue-suede shoes and fancy clothes, the more conservative Dampier flinched.

Said Riley: “Louie had to be thinking, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me! I’ve got to live with this guy the next four years?’ “

Adolph Rupp — Individual Offense Part III

“Control the boards, control the game.”  Not much changed there.

30 Minutes each practice on free throws.  I wonder if that happens these days.

This is the last piece to the Rupp Individual Offense film. When I get back to the states in June, I’ll see about posting the other three coaches videos on here as well. I’ve got a few more things that I’ll share in the future. Enjoy.

Below is a small manual produced by Quaker Oats. I made this video out of it with the UK Fight Song but then realized that it’s too small to read. I’ll post the booklet in a larger format when I have a little more time.


Adolph Rupp — Individual Offense Part II

Thanks to Vic and Rick, I can tell you with some certainty that the team featured on this film are the guys from the 56-58 Seasons. Obviously, that would include the ’58 Championship team. The players that are probably featured in the practices and game excerpts are probably among the following:

Team Roster

#24 Johnny Cox
#10 Gerry Calvert
#52 Vernon Hatton
#32 John Crigler
#34 Ed Beck
#50 Adrian Smith
#55 Ray Mills
#70 John Brewer
#12 Billy Ray Cassady
#40 Earl Adkins
#20 Dick Howe
#10 Lincoln Collinsworth
#88 Bill Smith
#33 Harold Ross
#66 John Hardwick
#50 Jay Bayless
#14 Phil Johnson

1955-56.jpg 1956-57.jpg 1957-58.jpg

Back in the good old days of, I had the pleasure of meeting Vernon Hatton once at an 2001 Lexington event arranged by the late gentleman Mel McCane. Mr. Hatton is a boisterous gentleman who loves to tell stories about his years with Coach Rupp. We, at the event, were reveled with stories of practices and Coach Rupp’s infamously acerbic wit which he leveled liberally at his athletes. Joe B. Hall as well as the incomparable Wallace “Wah Wah” Jones also attended that event and spoke to the attendees. It must have been special to have been a part of those teams and to be witness to and part of the history of Big Blue Basketball and the Rupp Era. I certainly felt privileged to be able to live vicariously for a brief moment through the voices of men who played, strained and excelled under the leadership and guidance of Adolph Rupp.

1958.jpg adrian-smith.jpg johnny_cox1.jpg

johnny_cox4.jpg vernon-hatton.jpg adolph-rupp.jpg

The history of the Big Blue is incredible.

Enjoy the part II.

As always, you are welcome to poke around and view the rest of the blog.

Thanks, Dave

Coach Adolph Rupp plugs Coca Cola

Nothing wrong with that. This little “commercial” is from a Basketball Reel to Reel that I was able to get off of ebay a few years back. I had it converted to digits and now that I have a way to share it (this blog), I’ll be posting it on the blog over the next week. It’s a three part film on Individual Offense. It’s part of a larger effort with three other coaches and Coach Rupp explaining different aspects of the game. Of course, the game has changes a bit since these coaches were in their prime. I can’t find any information on the film on the web and the actual reels are in my storage room back in Kentucky. But I’ll post as much back ground information as I can gather.

I always find it interesting to hear Coach Rupp talking. You can tell the man has a love for Basketball and for the University of Kentucky. He smiles a lot in this film and talks to his team. From what I’ve read, he didn’t do that often in practice. So these film productions may have been a welcome respite from what I’ve read were immensely difficult practices in the Rupp Era. This film gives a quickshot of Harry Lancaster–Rupp’s longtime assistant.

mbb_history_ruppchalkboard.jpg I hope y0u enjoy.

Kentucky’s Adolph Rupp “passed” on All Time Wins list by Northern State Coach Don Meyer

That’s the claim at any rate.

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I laughed when I read the statement. Then I had to ask myself; “Who on earth is Don Meyers and who are the Northern State Wolves?”  Ranked #15 Nationally at what? Over the past few years, High School powerhouse Oak Hill has been ranked #1 nationally several times. Good for them. It’s just not the same as being the #1 or # 25 ranked NCAA Division 1 Team. Likewise with a JUCO Coach or a Division II Coach and All Time Wins. No comparison. Period. End of story. End of debate.

The Keloland TV Station website is claiming that Northern State Coach Don Meyer has surpassed Adolph Rupp on the All Time Wins list. Claiming that Coach Meyers is now Number 3 and Coach Rupp is now down to Number 4. I have to call them on this one. I think it’s bogus. There is no comparison. If you are going to include Division II schools on the same list as Division 1 schools, we may as well include JUCO and the lower Divisions as well. Why not lump in High School Coaches as well?

I’m sure that Don Meyer is a fine coach. I’m sure he has accomplished much down there in the little leagues. That said, it’s no comparison.

Adolph Rupp won four NCAA Championships. He won the NIT when it was the BIG GAME in town. He placed so many players on the All America lists that they named the NCAA National Player of the Year Award after him. Adolph Rupp coached 28 future NBA’rs. The 1948 USA Olympic Basketball Team consisted of 7 Kentucky players and the starters from the ’48 Philips 66 Oilers Championship team. Coach Rupp was assistant Coach to Bud Browning of the Phillips 66 Oilers. Coach Rupp has a 23,000 seat capacity Arena with 7 National Championship banners flying inside.

A Division II coach is not on the same plane of existence as the Baron of the Bluegrass. No debate necessary. That’s why it hasn’t made the news on any real level. It’s not news. Keloland TV is erroneous in it’s statement that Don Meyers has passed anyone on the All Time Wins list. It’s a pipe dream and it’s up in smoke. A Coach at Division II should not be mentioned in the same breath as Adolph Rupp, Dean Smith and Bob Knight. You may as well include Dean Smith and Adolph Rupp on the list of All Time Winning NBA Coaches. You just can’t do it. 800 wins at Division II–while a great achievement at that level–does not compare to 800 wins at Division 1.

This is the House that Rupp built.


Postgame interview with Coach Adolph Rupp

Coach Rupp was interviewed by Claude Sullivan after the 1966 National Championship loss to the Texas Western Miners.


Claude Sullivan: OK, well it’s a tough one to give tonight because everybody in Kentucky and on this Standard Oil network, who was listening. I know that almost everyone of them was for these Kentucky Wildcats. And of course, it’s a heart-breaking thing because a journey that Adolph Rupp talked about earlier that began back in December, ended here on heartbreak highway tonight. For the Wildcats who now are sitting dejectedly across the floor. They came into this thing heavily favored, maybe that hurt them. The way these Washington papers played it up today as no contest, they thought Kentucky was going to walk away with it, maybe that hurt the Wildcats more than anything else.

Adolph Rupp: Seems, they made about 17 more free throws than we made, and I think that was the entire story of the game. We made, more, five more field goals than they made, that’s the fact of the case. But we didn’t play very good tonight. Texas Western made a lot of mistakes against our press, and I was sure we’d catch them. But I think it will show that the shooting average tonight did not take care of us at all. In the first half it was 33%, and I don’t believe it was much better than that in the second half.

And I’ve always told you on this program that shooting has taken care of us, but tonight it didn’t. And I don’t think we had a single boy that played up to par tonight.

Claude Sullivan: Coach Rupp I’m sure that a lot of people will be asking you, ‘How good is Texas Western’ ?

Adolph Rupp: Well, the way they handled the ball tonight, it’s a good ball club. I put them in the same class with Michigan, I put them in the same class with Tennessee, and Vanderbilt, teams like that. I think they’re a good ball club. They hit tonight, they hit very well tonight. They hit the clutch baskets when they needed it. We got them down there in the second half, I think we got them down to one point one time, two points another time, but we never could get the clutch basket. And it was our shooting that hurt us tonight. We missed shots. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if the rebounding doesn’t show that we stayed on the boards with them pretty well, in spite of the fact that they’re much bigger than we were. But we just couldn’t shoot well.

Claude Sullivan: Coach Rupp did you feel that in the beginning of the game when after nine minutes you only had nine points, that it was bound to break for you with such a slow start.

Adolph Rupp: Yep, I told the boys at the half, I said we can’t play a miserable second half the way we played this first half. We gave them four baskets the first half that we shouldn’t have given to them. And, those two steals. I told the boys in the locker room, just before they came out at the beginning of the ball game, that they double team the boy bringing the ball up. But you can’t dribble the ball with your head down and not look around to see what’s going on, and that’s exactly what happened. Those were the two baskets, I believe, that hurt us early in the ball game. Then we gave another one by throwing the ball away, and they took it and threw it in and it got them a six point lead. And we never were able to get the momentum going after that. We started pressing a little bit then then and I think that’s the story.

Claude Sullivan: Well we’ll be back here at College Park talking with Coach Rupp in just one minute.

Claude Sullivan: Well the college basketball season is over, Coach Rupp, what are the plans now ?

Adolph Rupp: Well it’s been a long year, it’s been a good year, it’s been a better year than any of us ever dreamed it would be. Now then of course we’ve got to go out, we had a miserable recruiting year last year, one of the worst we’ve ever had. And we’ve got to go out and find us some boys, with size. This little button kid has gotten us an awful long way but, but it proves what I’ve been saying all year long, that when you get in there with those big guys who can dunk that thing, you’re going to be in trouble and that hurt us tonight, badly here. This team was very quick, they’re very fast, and although we did have five more field goals, they stepped up to that free throw line, they just got all the breaks in that way. So, I guess we just have to start a new string somewhere along the way and that’s just the way it’s going to be.

Claude Sullivan: Well, Coach Rupp, thank you very much for the visit, not only tonight but all season. We’ve certainly enjoyed being with you, it’s been wonderful. We’ve enjoyed it, and we’ll look forward to another year.

Adolph Rupp: Claude, thank you and thanks to the sponsors who have made this program possible, and I’ll come up and help you broadcast one of the Reds baseball games some day.

Claude Sullivan: Needed, he will be a knee high. Thank you coach and we’ll hold you to that promise.

Here at courtside at College Park Maryland, the Baron Rupp has bowed out for another college basketball season with a record of 27 and 2. Finished second in the NC double A’s, but for the first time in five tries, has lost the championship game.


I always enjoy hearing or reading Coach Rupp talk about Basketball. I’ve recently purchased two of his books on coaching basketball. I purchased some original reel to reel footage of Rupp as well. Eventually, I plan on posting clips of Coach Rupp on here. Note in his comments the need then for the big man and the challenges of finding quality bigs. Gillispie is confronting that same challenge today. Another similarity to the present. Coach Rupp was a huge proponent of the Man to Man Defense. He felt that Zone Defenses should be used sparingly if at all. Gillispie is also similar to Rupp in that he is hot and heavy on discipline and conditioning.