Thursday, December 22, 2011


Ex-USC coach unknown


— If college basketball received the exposure then that is does now, the tall man who cobbled together a nifty back nine Wednesday afternoon at Rancho La Quinta Country Club might have been wearing sunglasses to hide his identity.

Instead, Bob Boyd merely used them to shield the sun during his round with Lawrence resident Laird Noller and his grandson Joe Noller. Outside of USC circles, Boyd need not worry about going incognito. In the early years of his 13 seasons (1966-79) as Trojans basketball coach, Boyd coached magnificent teams that didn’t get to the NCAA Tournament.

Back then, only one team per conference was allowed in the field, and Boyd kept getting denied by the unbeatable combination of UCLA coach John Wooden and his most-helfpul booster, Sam Gilbert.

In 1971, USC didn’t get to the NCAA Tournament despite losing just two games.

“No. 1 in the AP and UPI polls, 16-0 record, up seven points late in the game against UCLA,” Boyd remembered. “Paul Westphal had a break-away and tried a 360. It hit the iron. UCLA went the other way for a (basket). Now, instead of being up nine, we’re up five. UCLA won the game and then beat us at Pauley Pavilion.”

Because USC owed UCLA a home game, Boyd had the misfortune of coaching against Lew Alcindor in his first varsity game. Alcindor, who later changed his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, scored 56 points in the Bruins’ 105-90 victory in Pauley Pavilion.

“We played them six more times and held the ball every time,” Boyd said. “No shot clock. We beat them twice, lost one in overtime in the Sports Arena, and had another close game. Wooden said that was bad for basketball. He didn’t come out and chase us. It’s OK for football teams to say they keep the offense on the field for a long time because they can’t stop the other guy. If a basketball coach keeps the ball for a long time because he can’t guard the other guy, he’s chicken-(bleep).”

Boyd, 81, said he was recruited out of Alhambra (Calif.) High by Wooden, who arrived at UCLA in 1948 after two seasons as Indiana State’s coach. He chose to go to USC instead.

“John Wooden was just another face in the sun then,” Boyd said. “In the ’50s on the Coast, Pete Newell was the big name when he was coaching at Cal.”

During Boyd’s playing days, UCLA and USC played each other four times a year, and Boyd said the Trojans went 5-7 in those games.

Not all of Boyd’s memories involved UCLA. He also has fond memories of playing in Lawrence in Hoch Auditorium and coaching in Allen Fieldhouse vs. Ted Owens.

“We played the game on a stage,” Boyd said with a laugh. “I played against Clyde Lovellette. Couldn’t guard him. Soft hooks. He couldn’t stop me either. It was a cold night. I remember sitting on the bus watching Clyde walking with his mom after the game.”


kuilander 8 years, 3 months ago

uuhhhhh .... uummmmm ...........hhmmmmmmm


stahlin 8 years, 3 months ago

why didn't he ask what his favorite color/food was? ... how about some hard hitting questions?

Michael Auchard 8 years, 3 months ago

As much as I would like to hate on Keegan for this article (check my stats, I do it often), you can't fault the guy all the time.

His job description is: write columns almost every day. It sounds easy in theory, but try it some time. He may be laughable at his job in many respects, but it is a tough job to come up with engaging commentary on a consistant basis, no matter what the arm-chair writing QBs think.

That said, I'm still not a fan, but I won't fault him for an article like this.

Funhawk 8 years, 3 months ago

Nobody could beat UCLA. Then it was our turn. I remember KU had to play them in the Final Four in the Houston Astrodome. That was 1971 and that Jayhawk team was fun. But, we lost. UCLA had Sidney Wicks and Henry Bibby. No shot clock back then and UCLA averaged 85 points per game. KU stayed somewhat close in that game, but could not get over the hump. Back then nobody could beat UCLA, for year after year.

These historical sports stories are great. Keep them coming p-l-e-a-s-e! :)

BigBlue4KU 8 years, 3 months ago

Early in the second half, Robisch has a lean in 3 footer that would have either tied the game or given KU the lead. The Jayhawks were generally a strong second half team and that particular shot (which Robisch made) felt like the game changer. Refs called a charge and the game continued to find KU chasing UCLA. I was there and it felt like KU would win. I think we were ranked 2nd in the country with a 27-1 record going into that game. The first ":Football Field" to host the Final Four. It was an awesome time. Kansas was an awesome team.

142466 8 years, 3 months ago

That 1971 team with Robo as a senior was Owens' best KU team. KU dominated, nearly every game, that season. Very strong at all 5 positions. Only 2 losses, early in the season at Loui and to UCLA. I've followed KU BB back to 1950 and before. That team has to rank in the top 10 KU teams of all time. I rate Robo's senior year as one of the top 6 of all time, for KU. Phenomenal consistency, game after game. In my opinion, only Manning's senior season has topped it since.

Another dominating KU team was 1985-1986. Manning, a sophomore. All 5 positions--outstanding. I'm too lazy to google it, but I think that all 5 starters averaged double digits in scoring for the season. A much stronger team than the 1988 NCAA champions. I'm not sure if the youngters are aware of how strong the 85-86 team was.

I also am not sure if the youngsters are aware of just how much NBA poaching has damaged NCAA basketball. Back in the days when early departures to the NBA were few (not that long ago), serious fans had the frequent pleasure of seeing 4 or 5 players on the same team develop over 3 year careers into a dominating, and memorable, team. Well oiled machines. Sometimes, almost works of art. Can't see that happening these days. Look no further than last year's embarrassing NCAA championship game for Exhibit A.

mphawk27 8 years, 3 months ago

Keegan...Please go somewhere else. I don't remember reading a single one of your articles and being glad I took the time to do so. The only relevance this has is that this guy happened to be playing golf in Lawrence. Is this what passes as a worthy article for you? SMH.

jayhawker_97 8 years, 3 months ago

it's his job, and you entered his territory by commenting his article. give it a rest, it's Christmas. good read, nonetheless. for me, the first strategy to beat your enemies is to get to know them.

merry Christmas, Tom.

Matt Bowers 8 years, 3 months ago

Remember back in the 90s when people would listen to Howard Stern and then get pissed about it? Your that guy. You read the article so that you can complain about it! Do you know what the definition of crazy is...its when you do the same thing over and over and expect different results.

Good read Keegan, sounds like Boyd really wanted someone to tell his side of the story. Merry Christmas.

Rock Chalk

Kelly Hanrahan 8 years, 3 months ago

Where does it say he was playing golf in Lawrence? Hard to determine relevance if you misread what is printed.

Tony Bandle 8 years, 3 months ago

I was there as well. I agree....the refs skewed it just enough to not make it obvious that UCLA as supposed to win.

My lasting memoery?? Since we were seated on the floor with an elevated court, we all stood on folding chairs for almost three hours.

It's amazing no one was killed!!!

Chandler James 8 years, 3 months ago

thought i made a mistake and logged on to

Scott Morgan 8 years, 3 months ago

A tiny city newspaper should dream of having a writer as Keegan and actually all the rest. Do any of you realize what a fine job he did during the Turner coaching change times? Folks rave about the LJW and accuracy.

I consider the paper one of the nicest assets we have in Lawrence. The Newspaper business for those who do not know has changed. No longer do paper writers have the luxury of editing and time.

I cringe when somebody finds a rare typo then comments like they were playing scrabble. If it wasn't for the hard working low paid staff of any good paper, we would be reading a cut and pasted A.P. Reuters pc. of garbage. Which by the way was predicted for papers as the LJW. Not only our local but papers as the KC Star.

Yes, all is needed for some advertisers is...

A couple of minimum wage computer nerds doing Drudge Report just pecking in obits when needed is what we deserve.

Keep up the good work and to all at LJW Merry Christmas.

JakeBarnes 8 years, 3 months ago

He, He, He, and Ha, Ha, Ha. Poor Lawrence. The LJW is a major asset. Only the first part of asset applies.

Andrew Bary 8 years, 3 months ago

I count myself fortunate for a sports page like, too. Not only is the LJW a quality paper, but out here in DC a website like this is just too cool. I love feeling like I'm in the middle of the KU Head Coach search, even 1500 miles away. I'm sure other out-of-towner Jayhawks feel the same way. Is Keegan and investigative journalist? No. Is he entertaining to read? Usually. I personally don't care too much about past coaches from other schools, but eh, whatever.

Having local commentary, local investigation, and local perspective from KU's hometown is infinitely more fun to read than whatever the AP sports folks put out.

David Friend 8 years, 3 months ago

Not sure what was so great about Keegan's articles during the TG days. In fact not one of his predictions were right... And this article is pure irrelenvency to past, present, or future subject matters. And no Keegan is not shocking anyone like howard stern. He is leaving most of us scratching our head. You would think the LJW can pick someone out of our fine J school and give him/her a chance to shine. Anything is better than this dribble. Once again TK we are all worse off for reading one of your articles!!! Happy Festivus

optichawk 8 years, 3 months ago

If you don't have critics, you don't have readers... At least he's not like some current and former KC "journalists" who work harder at trying to be controversial or push rumors than work hard to uncover and report facts. One of those has started a rumor that one KU Asst. coach might be gone for being part of a reason why KU has missed on some BC recruits leaving the cupboard a bit bare now... If there are facts to report on this, I would like Keegan to do his job and give us that info (just the facts, no rumors please). Merry Christmas and JITRFTS

John Randall 8 years, 3 months ago

As you so graciously point out, it is a fact that there are rumors. It may not suit most of the posters on this and other boards, who define 'fact' as what they would most like to hear.

jaybate 8 years, 3 months ago


First, the story is priceless, as part of documenting a nearly forgotten strand of the legacy of college basketball.

Please go back to the 19th (orget Laird to call him)and get the low down on Bob Boyd's game. Did he run Sam Barry's original triple post. Or did Boyd develop his own version of it, as Tex Winter did, or did he play Tex Winter's version, or did Boyd play something else? And why?

Ask Boyd what Sam Barry was like?

Ask him Boyd what other notable basketball coaches besides Boyd and Winter that Barry produced.

I am serious. Boyd is crucial to documenting this important strain of college basketball. The people on the West Coast won't document this. They don't love the game's history.

You've got to get this on the record.


jaybate 8 years, 3 months ago

To everyone who loves college basketball,

Thank Tom Keegan for this story. Tom probably did not grow up with the game. But he recognized something important, when Laird Noller called his attention to it. It was great news judgment on Tom's part. And he knew he wasn't going to get strokes for it from most folks.

Tom, basketball owes you one, even if some of the youngsters don't realize it now.

JakeBarnes 8 years, 3 months ago

C'mon! Your posts are much better than his columns.

John Randall 8 years, 3 months ago

Kind of foolish for you to claim 'better' when you don't know what is good . . .

Brianna Zaleski 8 years, 3 months ago

Good article. I, for one, enjoy the historical reads even if it is not about my team. But why the swipe at John Wooden in the beginning? Way to try and tarnish a man's legacy now that he has passed. I'm sure there are many references to that "winning combination" in articles written before his death. I love how people in this day and age try to trash people who can't retaliate in any way. In this case, the man is DEAD, but usually it is in some forum like this where posters talk about other posters mothers and threaten to kick each other's a$$es should they see one another ever. Way to keep it classy, TK. And before some of you get on here ranting about how John Wooden is a cheater, please note that the man was never convicted of anything. And even if he did have help getting the best players, that is no guarantee of victory. Just ask John Calipari. You still have to get them to play together. John Wooden was a great man and a great teacher of the game of basketball, we owe him a debt of gratitude, not veiled swipes at him after his passing. Merry Christmas all

Bville Hawk 8 years, 3 months ago

I read the article and did not detect a swipe at Wooden. What are you talking about? Was this Gilbert booster guy suspected or known to be paying players? You are being overly sensitive. Are you a UCLA grad who has guilt issues because all those championships weren't earned by playing within the rules?

VaJay 8 years, 3 months ago

Gilbert was strongly rumored to supply families of players with heavily discounted or free stuff among many other activities.

But simply by dropping his name in the article, the "swipe" is hardly a stomping on Wooden's grave. Maybe a little less coffee in the morning for most of our posters would be good.

Brianna Zaleski 8 years, 3 months ago


Is that short for Vajayjay? Another word for vagina. Keegan was clearly trying to take a cheap shot at Wooden w/ the comment about him and Gilbert being a winning combo at UCLA. Right after Wooden died, many worms came out of the woodwork trying to trash a great man who has meant so much to this game that we all adore so much. So, although it was veiled, it was clearly an attempt to trash the man. Please refrain from posting that which you have no clue. Maybe there will be an article on menstrual cycles you can speak intelligently about.

John Randall 8 years, 3 months ago

The Gilbert influence which elevated Wooden from his mediocre record at UCLA in earlier years has been documented by, among others, Bill Walton, in memoirs.

By and large, the public has bought in to the legend as promoted by UCLA, NCAA and press who feed us what also makes them look best.

VaJay 8 years, 3 months ago

Classy. Real Classy. Get your mind out of the gutter. Keep your blinkers on I guess - no need to see the real world as it is now, it's a little late...

Kip_McSmithers 8 years, 3 months ago

bville_hawk, here is an article from the LA Times that gives you an idea of what was going on at UCLA during this time. The U's Nevin Shapiro got his blue print from Gilbert....

Bville Hawk 8 years, 3 months ago

Thanks for the link, Kip. Interesting read.

Bville Hawk 8 years, 3 months ago

Wooden says "he did his best" but yet he allowed this guy Gilbert continual contact with the players (in the locker room after games, etc).

No doubt John Wooden was a great coach. But as many good coaches have stated over the years "great players make great coaches" or something similar.

Zig doesn't like it but I guess he'll just have to learn to deal with it. Trashing VaJay doesn't alter the facts.

JayHawkFanToo 8 years, 3 months ago


As much as many fans try to sweep the UCLA scandals under the rug to preserve "Saint John's" legacy, it does not change the fact that Wooden won his games with the best players money could buy, courtesy of Sam Gilbert. . He was indeed a great coach, but that in no way excuses looking the other way while Sam Gilbert did things that in today's environment would result in the death penalty for the program and probably jail for many of the individuals involved.

When it come to corruption, the UCLA programs while Sam Gilbert was around were as or more corrupt than the worse ones at Kentucky.

Noweigh 8 years, 3 months ago

Great update on a great former coach. Kansas' rich basketball history is woven in with several other schools like USC, UCLA, Cal and others......stories like these keep that history alive. There actually were things happening here before the three point shot and the "thunder dunk".

Martin Rosenblum 8 years, 3 months ago

I did find this historical marker interesting....

"Because USC owed UCLA a home game, Boyd had the misfortune of coaching against Lew Alcindor in his first varsity game. Alcindor, who later changed his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, scored 56 points in the Bruins’ 105-90 victory in Pauley Pavilion"

First varsity game and Alcindor put up 56 of 105 points! USC was able to score 90, however. Alcindor was obviously focusing on offense. The rest of the UCLA team scored 49 pts and gave up 90 to USC. I guess they were not focusing on defense either. Alcindor probably had most of his 56 pts in the paint or at the line! He was either way under-challenged or felt he had to do something huge to make up for the rest of his team who couldn't stop USC defensively. Either way, what a premiere game for one of the game's legends!

ahpersecoachingexperience 8 years, 3 months ago

It's early here. I'll come back after I wake up and read this again.

Carter Patterson 8 years, 3 months ago

Wow....pretty nasty board this morning. I enjoyed the article.

Rob Keeney 8 years, 3 months ago

You need a fact checker before you print stuff like this...

In 1971, USC didn’t get to the NCAA Tournament despite losing just two games.

“No. 1 in the AP and UPI polls, 16-0 record, up seven points late in the game against UCLA,” Boyd remembered. “Paul Westphal had a break-away and tried a 360. It hit the iron. UCLA went the other way for a dunk. Now, instead of being up nine, we’re up five. UCLA won the game and then beat us at Pauley Pavilion.”

"Major NCAA basketball rule changes since 1960: 1967-68: Dunking is made illegal. 1976-77: Dunking is reinstated." source: USA Today

studio 8 years, 3 months ago

Guessing you never witnessed Phil Ford 360 down the lane for a lay-up. Hmm. Nice article Tom!

Steve Gantz 8 years, 3 months ago

Do you know how the rule was applied? Were you around then? Maybe there's factual statements to the play referred to.
An example today. "Players shall not hang on the rim". Pretty black and white, right? When was the last time you saw that called?

What I'm trying to say is your comments are nitpicky. Lighten up!

Funhawk 8 years, 3 months ago

Thank you, SuperCorona. I had been racking my brain trying to remember what years dunking was made illegal and subsequently reinstated. Ha - I remember a Washburn game in the early-mid 70s when Washburn players were dunking in pre-game lay-ups. The crowd was estactic. Then five seconds after the game tip-off, the refs blew their whistle. Refs gave a technical to Washburn because the players had been dunking before the game. The call was questioned long after the game was overwith. Refs hated dunking, as those who could dunk were considered show-offs and dunking was illegal!

John Randall 8 years, 3 months ago

It is not written in stone that a 360° move be finished with a dunk ... duh.

Rob Keeney 8 years, 3 months ago

Why would you do a 360 layup on a breakaway? That is followed by a claim that UCLA dunked the ball.

Steve Gantz 8 years, 3 months ago

I never knew. That's my thought after reading so it must have been interesting. I, unlike many here, like to be enlightened, even if it's not specifically about KU other than that we're playing USC tonight.

Beate Williams 8 years, 3 months ago

Tom, appreciated the article. Basketball does have a history and we are all much better informed by the history when someone takes the time and effort to print articles such as this. Thanks

KGphoto 8 years, 3 months ago

What a crime to go 24-2 and not get to play postseason ball. For those who found this article interesting, but way too short, here's some more.

Steve Gantz 8 years, 3 months ago

I'm guessing they played in the NIT then? It was a pretty prestigious tournament back in the day.

John Randall 8 years, 3 months ago

The NCAA tourney was first played in 1938, due largely to the efforts of Forrest C. Allen, coach's association leader from a school in the nations heartland.

Gradually, over the next ten years, the NCAA tournament gained enough support to eclipse the prestige of the longer established NIT which stuck to its parochial east coast favoritism and rode that horse to obscurity before reviving itself to at least second-class status by fielding a more nationally representative invitation list.

straight 8 years, 3 months ago

Guy walks into the doctor's office. "It hurts when I do this, Doc," he says, lifting his right arm above his head. "Can you help me?"

"Don't do that," the doctor answers.

That's my advice for you self-appointed critics who find it so painful to read Keegan. Just stop reading him so the rest of us don't have to put up with your whining.

Leave Keegan to all of us -- the vast majority, I would think -- who recognize him as an excellent analyst and writer so that we can enjoy his columns in peace.

Jim Pendleton 8 years, 3 months ago

Wow, some of you are brutal on this subject. What is the problem here? First, it is an excellent article. It is a pertinent topic, since we are playing USC tonight (played UCLA earlier for that matter). USC's old coach from way back played and coached against us. Just because a lot of what was discussed was long before many of you were born does not make it a bad story.

I enjoy a lot of the historical parts of the game. I am old enough to remember when conferences could only send one team to the tourney. Shows how good some of those teams from that era were, to average 85+ a game, with no shot clock and no three point line.

Teams like USC who only lost games to UCLA and no one else, and there was always a really good ACC team who would finish second to Carolina, would have to go to the NIT. Some years the NIT was better than the NCAA. It was great that the NCAA finally saw the light and gradually added more teams over the years to the tourney as many league's 2nd & 3rd place teams were better than some of the league champions. We see that on a regular basis in today's NCAA tourney.

Another item relating to KU-USC hoops, we actually used to host a Jayhawk Classic tourney many years ago. Normally three other teams would come in and KU would generally win the title with ease. One year USC was one of the teams, and they beat us in the title game. Don't remember the year, but possible it was during Coach Boyd's tenure there. Someone who remembers these things can help me out with the specific dates on that one.

The current items are excellent reads, but keep the historical things coming from time to time. It's good to remember how things used to be, even though they are much better today. Let's get a win tonight, Rock Chalk!!

Steve Gantz 8 years, 3 months ago

Those teams were good too because they made freshman play on JV teams, no one, or very rarely, went pro. So you had experienced teams, guys who played 3-4 years together. I still love my college hoops, but I am aghast at the level of play that I see, particularly in the team play aspect.

Bville Hawk 8 years, 3 months ago

Yes, it was during Coach Boyd's tenure. I remember being at the game and being so impressed with Paul Westphal's game.

Funhawk 8 years, 3 months ago

The game was Saturday, December 18, 1971. Mr. Boyd was the USC coach and USC beat Hawks 87-77. From the LJW of that date: “Cowed Cougars Keep KU Classy in Classic” by Chuck Woodling, Sports Editor. Bud Stallworth isn't planning on any team meeting after tonight's game with Southern California. Two meetings in one season, the Kansas captain hopes, will be enough. The Jayhawks got it all together for the first time this season to crush sixth-ranked Brigham Young, 83-67, before 9,100 fans Friday night in the opening round of the Jayhawk Classic in Allen Fieldhouse. That means Kansas, which has never lost in the three year history of the tourney, meets Southern Cal in the finals.

From the LJW of December 20, 1971, “Sports Talk” by Bill Mayer. The way the Kansas basketeers let themselves fall prey to a strong Southern Cal team in Saturday's Jayhawk Classic finals was questionable. But it was no disgrace for the Jayhawks to lose to an excellent team like USC. The Trojans would win most meetings between the two. They're simply better.. . .. Paul Westphal, the Southern Cal guard, was an All-America choice last season and was quietly effective in the tourney here.

REHawk 8 years, 3 months ago

Funhawk, thanks for the 1971 reference to Sidney Wicks. One of my best friends was mother to a precocious youngster who grew up as a basketball junkie. The kid was a card collector, familiar with most of the alltime greats. He encouraged his mom to name their sheltie pup Sidney Wicks! Terrific housepet. Every time I saw that mutt I was reminded of John Wooden and the marvelous players who helped him post all those national championships. I enjoy Keegan's articles. straight hit the nail on the head. If it hurts too much to read TK's articles, just don't do it!

REHawk 8 years, 3 months ago

Keegan wields a touch of the Jason Whitlock in his impish proclivity for stirring up controversy. I like to pigeonhole those guys as contrarians. LJW posts are brim-filled with contrarians....

WilburNether 8 years, 3 months ago

Nice article, Mr. Keegan. Those of us who are true basketball fans and know something of the history of college basketball appreciate hearing about a fine coach.

One can easily tell who the mindless, idiot fanbois are -- they're the ones who ridiculed your column. They are fools who worship their latest jock idols, and have zero knowledge or appreciation of the history of the sport.

REHawk 8 years, 3 months ago

Speaking of the contrary natures of LJW posters, I voiced the thought last night that I would give this subject a rest. However, I think I will wait until New Year's Eve to solidify that resolution. Play Naadir! Play Naadir! Play Naadir!

master16 8 years, 3 months ago

FYI... there are people on here that actually care about the history of college basketball in general and not just KU. If you don't like the article don't read it. This is his job he can write about whatever he wants.

I enjoyed the article.. thanks.

4jhawks4ku 8 years, 3 months ago

Interesting article.. Anybody on here ever hear of this guy before? Good history...

Funhawk 8 years, 3 months ago

Here is another interesting historical article about Bob Boyd, the fantastic coach who was always in the shadow of John Wooden. Appears Bob Boyd influenced a lot of young college basketball coaches whom you will recognize in this read:

Bville Hawk 8 years, 3 months ago

No, it's going to be a much worse season. This team will be doing well to have 20 wins going into the Big 12 Tourney and will be lucky to win 25 overall. Still a good season by many standards. Those 'fans' that have become spoiled by 30+ win seasons are going to be jumping ship before this season is over!

John Randall 8 years, 3 months ago

I'm glad LJW, Keegan in particular, still values the history and tradition of college sports. Keep balancing the instant gratification of today's X-boxers with a little of the spice of history every now and then.

Where in the top ten KU post men of all time should we rank B.H. Born?
Which rebounder of the Brown-Williams-Self era is nearest to Bill Bridges as a Beast of the Boards? Which KU coach was first to break the "two at home, three on the road" rule for non-whites on the court at one time?

Merry Christmas, LJW sports. Help us through the roller coaster this season is bound to be.

Funhawk 8 years, 3 months ago

The answer to question # 3 was Coach Dick Harp, is my guess. Then I found his obituary which includes this: "Harp deserves credit, Waugh noted, for helping black players break the color barriers that existed in Kansas in the mid-1950s. 'We were just coming through a time when the black athlete was coming into prominence," Waugh said. "Especially in the south but in other places too, black athletes typically stayed in different accomodations. Well, Dick wouldn't hear of it. He felt very strongly that was not going to happen on his watch.' "

Funhawk 8 years, 3 months ago

Regarding question #1, my answer is similar to a theme of TK's article: being overshadowed by someone perceived to be even greater than you are. Seems like B. H. Born was overshadowed by Clyde Lovellette.
To take this thought even one step further, Born was from a little Kansas town, like other Jayhawk players back then - a time when college teams were all white. I remember the '69 Jayhawk Orange Bowl team's superstars were also from little Kansas towns, like Riggins; and at that time it seemed like college teams were still mainly white. When college teams like KU opened up to Afro Americans, they overshadowed the native Kansas recruits, the white guys; and, excelled to the point of watching college basketball games with predominately black players. Now, to see a primarily white team like Davidson is a rarity. Times change and that's one reason why sports history is fun. You are old enough to say, "I remember when ..."

Machawk 8 years, 3 months ago

Being old enough to remember the UCLA dynasty days made this article an interesting read. It's hard to explain to someone who didn't witness the UCLA teams of the late 60's and 1970's just how dominant they were. Not only did they have the best players available, but they were very well coached in team ball. That combination made them almost invincible for ~7years. Because they rarely lost, all but UCLA fans rooted against them and pulled hard for the underdogs. It was so bad that I even pulled for Notre Dame to beat them (which they did to end their ungodly long winning streak). Yet deep down, you had to marvel at their beautiful style of play. The full court press that just made opponents cough up the ball over and over for easy baskets to the great passing and shooting were something to behold.

You have to feel for Coach Boyd and what he had to endure by being in the same league as UCLA. He did stand a chance of getting to the NCAA tourney. Teams like his and other conference teams that did not win their league's title were left to the NIT, which was a very strong tournament back then. Thanks goodness they opened up the field (perhaps too much) so worthy teams can now have a chance.

Certainly today's players are taller, more athletic, and quicker, but I am not sure most are as well rounded as their predescessors in terms of passing and shooting. As Dr. Allen suggested long ago, raise the basket to 12' and then we will see who can shoot as opposed to who can just dunk.

dhinkansas 8 years, 3 months ago

Fun to see this as a reminder how different college basketball is now. My Grandfather, who lived in LA, always laughed about the UCLA players of that time having $1,000 stereo equip (which was a lot for the day). The 1970-71 team was the first season I ever saw a game at KU, and as a kid then, it made enough of an impression to keep me a fan for life. I think 68 teams in the tournament are too many....48 was a pretty good number.

John Randall 8 years, 3 months ago

Definitely, a 48-team field would seem different, but that is essentially what the rule giving an invitation to every conference champion created.

Every year the teams seeded 1-4 in each region play a first round game against a 13-16 seed which is invariably a champion from one of the leagues we only hear about that week each year. Every two or three years, one of those teams upsets someone who was projected to be a Sweet Sixteen team, but overall the tournament is played by the 48 higher seeded teams.

The nice thing about inviting every conference tourney winner is that EVERY team, at least theoretically, still has a chance, however remote, to become the National Champion until they lose in their conference tournament the first week of March.

That possibility distinguishes NCAA basketball from all other 'major' sports.

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