John R. Wooden Award
The John R. Wooden Award is an award given annually to the most outstanding men's and women's college basketball players; the program consists of the men's and women's Player of the Year awards, the Legends of Coaching award and recognizes the All–America Teams. The awards, given by the Los Angeles Athletic Club, are named in honor of John Wooden, the 1932 national collegiate basketball player of the year from Purdue. Wooden taught and coached men's basketball at Indiana State and UCLA. Coach Wooden, whose teams at UCLA won ten NCAA championships, was the first man to be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a player and coach, his 1948 Indiana State team was the NAIB National Finalist. The award, given only to male athletes, was first given in 1977. Starting in 2004, the award was extended to women's basketball. Additionally, the Legends of Coaching Award was presented first in 1999; the 2015 presentation was broadcast on ESPN2 and the show was presented by Wendy's at Los Angeles' Club Nokia on Friday, April 10, 2015.
Each year, the Award's National Advisory Board, a 26-member panel, selects 20 candidates for Player of the Year and All-American Team honors. The candidates must be full-time students and have a cumulative grade point average of 2.00 or higher throughout their college career. Players who are nominated must have made outstanding contributions to team play, both offensively and defensively, be model citizens, exhibiting strength of character both on and off the court; the selection ballot is announced prior to the NCAA basketball tournament. The voters sportscasters representing the 50 states; the top ten vote-getters are selected to the All-American Team, the results are announced following the Elite Eight round of the NCAA Tournament. The person who receives the most votes is named the Player of the Year, the winner is announced following the NCAA championship game; the Player of the Year is awarded a trophy consisting of five bronze figures. The player's school receives a duplicate trophy, as well as a scholarship grant.
The other top four members of the All-American Team receive an All-American Team trophy, a jacket, a scholarship grant which goes to their school. Each coach of the top five All-American Team members receives a jacket; the All-American Team members ranked six through ten receive an All-American Team trophy and a jacket, but their schools do not receive a scholarship. The criteria for the women's Player of the Year award and All-American Team honors are similar to those for the men. For the women's award, the National Advisory Board consists of 12 members, 15 candidates are selected for the ballot; the voters are 250 sportscasters. In contrast to the men's All-American Team, only five members are selected for the women's team; the Player of the Year receives a trophy, her school receives a duplicate trophy and a scholarship grant. The trophy features five bronze figures, each depicting one of the five major skills that Wooden believed that "total" basketball player must exhibit: rebounding, shooting and defense.
The concept for the trophy originated with Richard "Duke" Llewellyn. Work began on the trophy in 1975, sculptor Don Winton, who had sculpted many top sports awards, was given the task of designing the model of the trophy; the figures are bronze attached to a pentagonal base plate. The tallest figure is 10¼ inches high; the trophy's base is 7½ inches high, is made from solid walnut. The total height of the trophy is 17 3⁄4 inches, it weighs 25 lb; the Wooden family announced in August 2005 that he would no longer participate because of a trademark dispute concerning the use of his name. However, he never contested the use of his name prior to his death in 2010, the award continues to bear his name. “I don’t want anything to interfere with the continuation of the award,” told The Associated Press at the time. In 2011 the Wooden Family began participation. Coach John Wooden’s son, presented the Wooden Award to Brigham Young senior Jimmer Fredette. In 2012 John Wooden’s grandson, Greg, on behalf of The Los Angeles Athletic Club, presented the Wooden Award to University of Kentucky freshman Anthony Davis.
Greg Wooden made the announcement on ESPN College GameDay. The John R. Wooden High School Player of the Year awards are given to the most valuable player in each of the five divisions of the California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section, one Los Angeles City division; the Legends of Coaching Award recognizes the lifetime achievement of coaches who exemplify Coach Wooden's high standards of coaching success and personal achievement. When selecting the individual, the Wooden Award Committee considers a coach's character, success rate on the court, graduating rate of student athletes, his or her coaching philosophy, identification with the goals of the John R. Wooden Award. List of U. S. men's college basketball national player of the year awards John R. Wooden Classic Official website
Tulsa Golden Hurricane men's basketball
The Tulsa Golden Hurricane men's basketball team represents the University of Tulsa in Tulsa, in the U. S. state of Oklahoma. The team participates in the American Athletic Conference; the Golden Hurricane hired Frank Haith from Missouri on April 17, 2014 to replace Danny Manning, who had resigned to take the Wake Forest job after the 2013–14 season. The team has long been successful since the hiring of Nolan Richardson in 1980. Many big-name coaches worked at Tulsa, like University of Kansas coach Bill Self and Minnesota coach Tubby Smith; the Hurricane have been to the NCAA Tournament 14 times in their history. In addition, they have won two National Invitation Tournaments, in 1981 and 2001, one CBI tournament. In 2005, Street & Smith's named the University of Tulsa as the 59th best college basketball program of all time. Clarence Iba, brother of Henry Iba, helped to springboard Tulsa to success when named the head coach in 1949, he coached at the school for 11 years, the longest tenure of any Tulsa coach, is the second all-time winningest coach at the school with 137 wins in his 11 seasons.
Nolan Richardson is credited with bringing the Tulsa program to national prominence when hired in 1980, he led the school to the 1981 NIT Championship and had a.763 winning percentage at the school. He became the first coach in NCAA history to win 50 games in his first two seasons. In the 1990s and 2000s, a succession of Tulsa coaches went on to big-name programs across the country, including Tubby Smith, Buzz Peterson, Bill Self; the team remained successful throughout the string of coaches. Doug Wojcik, coach from 2005 to 2012, is the all-time winningest coach at the school with 140 wins. Notable assistants in the program's history have included Billy Gillispie, Flip Saunders, Kevin O’Neill, Tom Izzo, Mike Anderson and Ron Jirsa. Tulsa has had a series of great players at the program, many of whom have gone on to play in the NBA. Successful players to never make it to the NBA include Gary Collier, the 1994 MVC player of the year, Michael Scott, the 1989 and 1991 MVC defensive player of the year, Willie Biles who led the MVC in scoring in both the 1972–73 and 1973–1974 seasons.
Among those who did make it to the NBA, James King, who came back to coach the program after his NBA career, Bingo Smith had the greatest success. King was selected to the 1968 NBA All-Star Game, Smith scored more than 10,000 points in his career, having his number retired by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Steve Bracey Al Cueto Julian Hammond Steve Harris James King Tracy Moore Paul Pressey Michael Ruffin Shea Seals Bingo Smith Ken Smith Ben Uzoh Jerome Jordan Jordan Clarkson Shaquille Harrison Tulsa's basketball program was founded by W. R. Bergen in 1907, when the school still went by the name Kendall College, it went 1–1 in its first season. Following the 1908–09 season, the team went on hiatus for several years before restarting for the 1913–14 season under Harvey Allen. In 1917, the school played its first games outside the state of Oklahoma, but did not see great success until Francis Schmidt became head coach in 1918; the team hit hard times and achieved occasional modest success until the arrival of Clarence Iba in 1949.
Of special note is the 1942–1943 winless squad under Mike Milligan, whose team went 0–10. Under Iba, Tulsa reached the post-season for the first time in the 1953 NIT.. In 1955, Iba led the Golden Hurricane to their first Missouri Valley Conference title and NCAA tournament appearance. Joe Swank succeeded Iba in 1960, it was under Swank. Swank had some winning seasons, but the program would be without real success until the arrival of Nolan Richardson. Nolan Richardson's hiring helped to usher in a new era of success at Tulsa that has remained consistent since then, he led the team the NIT Championship in the 1980 -- his first at the school. Richardson won two MVC regular season and two MVC tournament championships in his five-season tenure, his flamboyant personality made him popular. Richardson was succeeded by J. D. Barnett, who continued the team's success, winning one tournament and one regular season championship and finishing lower than third in the conference only once. Barnett was fired, due to the significant increase in expectations at Tulsa following Richardson's success.
Barnett was succeeded by Tubby Smith, who went on to coach at Kentucky and Minnesota. Smith spent four seasons at Tulsa, winning two MVC championships and leading them past the first round of the NCAA tournament for the first time, to the Sweet Sixteen in both the 1993–1994 and 1994–1995 seasons. A succession of high-profile coaches came through following Smith's departure for Georgia. Steve Robinson led the team to consecutive NCAA appearances before departing for Florida State. Bill Self succeeded Robinson for three seasons, winning two WAC titles in the 1998–99 and 1999–00 seasons and leading Tulsa to its best record a 32–5 record in the 1999–00 season. Tulsa advanced to the Elite Eight in the 2000 NCAA tournament as a #7 seed. Self was succeeded by Buzz Peterson. Peterson led the team to the 2001 NIT Championship and promptly took the head coaching position at the University of Tennessee. Following Peterson's departure, John Phill
Three-point field goal
A three-point field goal is a field goal in a basketball game made from beyond the three-point line, a designated arc surrounding the basket. A successful attempt is worth three points, in contrast to the two points awarded for field goals made within the three-point line and the one point for each made free throw; the distance from the basket to the three-point line varies by competition level: in the National Basketball Association the arc is 23 feet 9 inches from the center of the basket. In the NBA and FIBA/WNBA, the three-point line becomes parallel to each sideline at the points where the arc is 3 feet from each sideline. In the NCAA the arc is continuous for 180° around the basket. There are more variations. In 3x3, a FIBA-sanctioned variant of the half-court 3-on-3 game, the same line exists, but shots from behind it are only worth 2 points with all other shots worth 1 point; the three-point line was first tested at the collegiate level in 1945, with a 21-foot line, in a game between Columbia and Fordham, but it was not kept as a rule.
There was another one-game experiment in 1958, this time with a 23-foot line, in a game between St. Francis and Siena. In 1961, Boston University and Dartmouth played one game with an experimental rule that counted all field goals as three points. At the direction of Abe Saperstein, the American Basketball League became the first basketball league to institute the rule in 1961, its three-point line was a radius of 25 feet from the baskets, except along the sides. The Eastern Professional Basketball League followed in its 1963–64 season; the three-point shot became popularized by the American Basketball Association, introduced in its inaugural 1967–68 season. ABA commissioner George Mikan stated the three-pointer "would give the smaller player a chance to score and open up the defense to make the game more enjoyable for the fans." During the 1970s, the ABA used the three-point shot, along with the slam dunk, as a marketing tool to compete with the NBA. Three years in June 1979, the NBA adopted the three-point line for a one-year trial for the 1979–80 season, despite the view of many that it was a gimmick.
Chris Ford of the Boston Celtics is credited with making the first three-point shot in NBA history on October 12, 1979. Rick Barry of the Houston Rockets, in his final season made one in the same game, Kevin Grevey of the Washington Bullets made one that Friday night as well; the sport's international governing body, FIBA, introduced the three-point line in 1984, at 6.25 m, it made its Olympic debut in 1988 in Seoul, South Korea. The NCAA's Southern Conference became the first collegiate conference to use the three-point rule, adopting a 22-foot line for the 1980–81 season. Ronnie Carr of Western Carolina was the first to score a three-point field goal in college basketball history on November 29, 1980. Over the following five years, NCAA conferences differed in their use of the rule and distance required for a three-pointer; the line was as close as 17 ft 9 in in the Atlantic Coast Conference, as far away as 22 ft in the Big Sky. Used only in conference play for several years, it was adopted by the NCAA in April 1986 for the 1986–87 season at 19 ft 9 in and was first used in the NCAA Tournament in March 1987.
The NCAA adopted the three-pointer in women's basketball on an experimental basis for that season at the same distance, made its use mandatory beginning in 1987–88. In 2007, the NCAA lengthened the men's distance by a foot to 20 ft 9 in, effective with the 2008–09 season, the women's line was moved to match the men's in 2011–12. American high schools, along with elementary and middle schools, adopted a 19 ft 9 in line nationally in 1987, a year after the NCAA; the NCAA used the FIBA three-point line in the National Invitation Tournament in 2018. For three seasons beginning in 1994–95, the NBA attempted to address decreased scoring by shortening the distance of the line from 23 ft 9 in to a uniform 22 ft around the basket. From the 1997–98 season on, the NBA reverted the line to its original distance of 23 ft 9 in. Ray Allen is the NBA all-time leader in career made three-pointers with 2,973. In 2008, FIBA announced that the distance would be increased by 50 cm to 6.75 m, with the change being phased in beginning in October 2010.
In December 2012, the WNBA announced that it would be using the FIBA distance, starting in 2013. The NBA has discussed adding a four-point line, according to president Rod Thorn. In the NBA, three-point field goals became more frequent along the years by mid 2015 onward; the increase in latter years has been attributed to NBA player Stephen Curry, credited with revolutionizing the game by inspiring teams to employ the three-point shot as part of their winning strategy. The 1979–80 season had an average 0.8 three-point goals per game and 2.8 attempts. The 1989–90 season had an average 2.2 three-point goals per game and 6.6 attempts. The 1999–2000 season had an average 4.8 three-point goals
The Spectrum was an indoor arena in Philadelphia, United States. Opened in the fall of 1967 as part of what is now known as the South Philadelphia Sports Complex, after several expansions of its seating capacity it accommodated 18,168 for basketball and 17,380 for ice hockey, arena football, indoor soccer, box lacrosse; the last event at the Spectrum was a Pearl Jam concert on October 31, 2009. The arena was demolished between November 2010 and May 2011. Opened as the Spectrum in fall 1967, Philadelphia's first modern indoor sports arena was built to be the home of the expansion Philadelphia Flyers of the NHL, to accommodate the existing Philadelphia 76ers of the NBA; the building was the second major sports facility built at the south end of Broad Street in an area known as East League Island Park and now referred to as the South Philadelphia Sports Complex. Ground was broken on the arena on June 1, 1966, by Jerry Wolman and then-Philadelphia Mayor James Tate as the home of the NHL's expansion Philadelphia Flyers.
The first event at the arena was the Quaker City Jazz Festival on September 30, 1967, produced by Larry Magid. The first sporting event at the arena was an October 17, 1967 boxing match featuring Joe Frazier vs. Tony Doyle. From 1967 through 1972, fifteen fight cards were held at the Spectrum; the NBA's 76ers moved there from Convention Hall as a second major league sports tenant. Lou Scheinfeld, former President of the Spectrum, explained that the name "Spectrum" was selected to evoke the broad range of events to be held there. "The'SP' for'sports' and'South Philadelphia,"E' for'entertainment,"C' for'circuses,"T' for'theatricals,"R' for'recreation,' and'UM' as'um, what a nice building!" Scheinfeld said that a seat in the city's first superbox cost $1,000 a year: "For every Flyers game, Sixers game, you name it, you got 250 events for $1,000." The Flyers won their first home game in this arena by defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins, 1–0. Bill Sutherland scored the arena's first goal. On March 1, 1968, wind blew part of the covering off the Spectrum's roof during a performance of the Ice Capades, forcing the building to close for a month while Mayor Tate fought with then-Philadelphia County District Attorney Arlen Specter over responsibility for the construction of the roof, the damage was repaired.
The 76ers moved their home games to Convention Hall and to the Palestra, but neither of those arenas had ice rinks at the time, there were no other NHL-quality sites in the Philadelphia area. Thus the Flyers hurriedly moved their next home game to Madison Square Garden in New York followed by a meeting with the Boston Bruins played at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto before establishing a base at Le Colisée in Quebec City, home of their top minor league team, the AHL Quebec Aces, for the remainder of their regular season, marking the first NHL games in Quebec City in over four decades, years before the Quebec Nordiques joined the NHL. In 1993, the Flyers played a day game against the Los Angeles Kings during a blizzard. A piece of flying debris smashed out one of the concourse windows, cancelling the game just after the first period. In the 1970s, the venue's location on Broad Street and the reputation for fisticuffs that the Flyers had developed led to the nickname "Broad Street Bullies." A plaque inside The Spectrum stated that it held the world record for the fastest conversion from Hockey to Basketball.
The Spectrum, along with the Met Center and The Forum, was one of the first sports arenas to have a scoreboard with a messageboard. Furthermore, the messageboards on the Spectrum scoreboard were the first dot matrix screens in pro hockey or basketball, capable of photos and replays as well as messages; this was replaced in 1986 with ArenaVision, which consisted of six 9-by-12-foot rear-projection videoscreens at the top and a four-sided American Sign and Indicator scoreboard at the bottom. Inside the videoscreens were General Electric projectors located 15 feet away from each screen; the Flyers won their first Stanley Cup at the Spectrum on May 19, 1974, defeating the Boston Bruins, 1–0, in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals in front of a then-capacity crowd of 17,007. The most important and emotional hockey game—or sporting event of any kind—ever held there, came at the height of the Cold War on January 11, 1976, when the Flyers became the first NHL team to defeat the vaunted hockey team of the Soviet Central Red Army.
Two games in the inaugural Canada Cup hockey tournament were held at the Spectrum in September of that year, as the U. S. took on Czechoslovakia and the USSR. Ten NHL or NBA playoff championship series were hosted at the Spectrum; the Flyers competed in the Stanley Cup Finals in 1974, 1975, 1976, 1980, 1985, 1987. The 76ers played in the NBA Finals in 1977, 1980, 1982, 1983; the 1976 and 1992 NHL, 1970 and 1976 NBA All-Star Games were held here. The AHL Phantoms won their first Calder Cup title on Spectrum ice before a sellout crowd of 17,380 on June 10, 1998, by defeating the Saint John Flames, 6–1; the Spectrum is the only venue to host the NBA and NHL All-Star Games in the same season, doing so in 1976, when it hosted that year's Final Four. It is one of a handful of venues to host the Stanley Cup and NBA Finals at the same time, doing so in 1980 (all four major Philadelphia teams would reach the championship r
Dean Edwards Smith was an American men's college basketball head coach. Called a "coaching legend" by the Basketball Hall of Fame, he coached for 36 years at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Smith coached from 1961 to 1997 and retired with 879 victories, the NCAA Division I men's basketball record at that time. Smith had the 9th highest winning percentage of any men's college basketball coach. During his tenure as head coach, North Carolina won two national championships and appeared in 11 Final Fours. Smith played college basketball at the University of Kansas, where he won a national championship in 1952 playing for Hall of fame coach Phog Allen. Smith was best known for running a clean program and having a high graduation rate, with 96.6% of his athletes receiving their degrees. While at North Carolina, Smith helped promote desegregation by recruiting the university's first African-American scholarship basketball player, Charlie Scott, pushing for equal treatment for African Americans by local businesses.
Smith coached and worked with numerous people at North Carolina who achieved notable success in basketball, as players, coaches, or both. Smith retired in 1997, saying that he was not able to give the team the same level of enthusiasm that he had given it for years. After retiring, Smith used his influence to help various charitable ventures and liberal political activities, but in his latter years he suffered from advanced dementia and ceased most public activities. Dean Smith was born in Emporia, Kansas, on February 28, 1931. Both of his parents were public school teachers. Smith's father, coached the Emporia High Spartans basketball team to the 1934 state title in Kansas; this 1934 team was notable for having the first African American basketball player in Kansas tournament history. While at Topeka High School, Smith lettered in basketball all four years and was named all-state in basketball as a senior. Smith's interest in sports was not limited only to basketball. Smith played quarterback for his high school football team and catcher for the high school baseball team.
After graduating from high school, Smith attended the University of Kansas on an academic scholarship where he majored in mathematics and joined Phi Gamma Delta fraternity. While at Kansas, Smith continued his interest in sports by playing varsity basketball, varsity baseball, freshman football, was a member of the Air Force ROTC detachment. During his time on the varsity basketball team, Kansas won the national championship in 1952 and were NCAA tournament finalists in 1953. Smith's basketball coach during his time at Kansas was Phog Allen, coached at the University of Kansas by the inventor of basketball, James Naismith. After graduation, Smith served as assistant coach at Kansas in the 1953–54 season. Smith next served a stint in the United States Air Force in Germany working as a head coach of United States Air Force Academy's baseball and golf teams. Yet, Smith's big break would come in the United States. In 1958, North Carolina coach Frank McGuire asked Smith to join his staff as an assistant coach.
Smith served under McGuire for three years until 1961, when McGuire was forced to resign by Chancellor William Aycock in the wake of a major recruiting scandal, an NCAA mandated probation. Years Aycock recalled that McGuire came to his office on a Saturday and told him he was resigning. Smith was waiting in McGuire's car outside South Building, so Aycock called him in and asked him if he wanted to take over as head coach. Smith accepted, the hiring was formally announced the following Monday; when Aycock named Smith as head coach, he told the 30-year-old Smith that wins and losses didn't matter as much as running a clean program and representing the university well. The Atlantic Coast Conference had canceled the Dixie Classic, an annual basketball tournament in Raleigh, North Carolina, due to a national point-shaving scandal including a North Carolina player; as a result of the scandal, North Carolina de-emphasized basketball by cutting their regular-season schedule. In Smith's first season, North Carolina played only 17 games and went 8-9.
This was the only losing season. In 1965, he was famously hanged in effigy on the university campus following a disappointing loss to Wake Forest. After that game, UNC would win nine of their last eleven games, Smith would subsequently go on to turn the program into a consistent success. From 1965-66 onward, Smith's teams never finished worse than tied for third in the ACC. For the first 21 of those years, they did not finish worse than a tie for second. By comparison, during that time the ACC's other charter members each finished last at least once, his first major successes came in the late 1960s, when his teams won consecutive regular-season and ACC tournament championships, went to three straight Final Fours, going all the way to the national championship game in 1968. They would appear in either the NIT in every one of Smith's final 31 years in Chapel Hill. However, this run occurred in the middle of UCLA's stretch of 10 titles in 12 years, in fact Smith lost to UCLA's John Wooden in the 1968 title game.
Smith's first national championship occurred with his 1981–82 team, composed of future NBA players such as Michael Jordan, James Worthy and Sam Perkins. After winning the NCAA Tournament, North Carolina had a record of 32-2; the other teams that advanced with North Carolina were Georgetown and Louisville. The Tar Heels finished in a tie for first in the ACC regular season with the Ralph Sampson-led Virginia Cavaliers. In the semifinals, North Carolina defeated Houston 68-63 in New Orleans
Virginia Cavaliers men's basketball
The Virginia Cavaliers men's basketball program represents the University of Virginia in the Atlantic Coast Conference in Division I of the NCAA. The team is coached by Tony Bennett. Since 2006 the team has played at John Paul Jones Arena, an on-campus arena on the North Grounds of the university, in front of 14,593. A consistent winner in the early years of college basketball under the tutelage of Pop Lannigan, the Cavalier program lay dormant between 1930 and 1975 before Terry Holland arrived to win their first ACC Championship and earn their first NCAA Tournament appearance in his second year. UVA has since finished first in the ACC basketball standings nine times, third best all-time, they have won the ACC Tournament three times. Virginia won the 2019 NCAA Tournament Championship, has been to the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament three times, won the last third-place game played at the event; the Cavaliers have been in the Top 5 of the AP Poll a total of 96 weeks in the past four decades, ranking the program 9th since 1980.
Never making the Top 5 from the first poll in 1949 until 1981, the program still ranks 16th all-time by this measure. The Wahoos, as they are unofficially known, began their history under the tutelage of a Welshman and American immigrant known best as "Pop", Henry Lannigan. Lannigan began the program in 1905 after training Olympic Games hopefuls in track and field and brought the basketball program into near-dominant form, he led the Cavaliers to a perfect record of 17–0 in 1914-15 and a Southern Conference title in its inaugeral season of 1921-22. After reaching prominence the team was invited to help the nationally known Kentucky Wildcats showcase their new Alumni Gymnasium. Virginia dominated Kentucky, 29–16. Inviting Kentucky back to Memorial Gymnasium in 1928, Virginia again won, 31–28. Lannigan's record of 254–95 held the Virginia record for best career winning percentage by a head coach until surpassed by a man, hired 104 years after he started the program. After Lannigan's sudden death in 1930 and with limited administration interest at the onset of the Great Depression, Virginia basketball did not maintain its momentum into the next several decades.
Buzzy Wilkinson scored 32.1 points per game in 1954-55 and is still the all-time ACC leader in scoring per game for both the single-season and career categories. He was selected by the Boston Celtics in the 1955 NBA Draft. Virginia teams of the era were not as great at defense and high scoring did not lead to many wins. Barry Parkhill was named ACC Men's Basketball Player of the Year in 1971–72 and was drafted in the first round by the Portland Trail Blazers but the program had not regained its early standing. Terry Holland was hired from Davidson in 1975, with star Wally Walker surprised the ACC in just his second year as head coach when his sixth-seeded Virginia defeated AP No. 17 NC State, No. 9 Maryland and No. 4 North Carolina en route to winning the school's first ACC Championship. Played in Landover, Maryland, it was and fittingly the first ACC Tournament held outside of North Carolina. Athletic and seven-foot-four, Ralph Sampson was the most desired high school recruit in college basketball history when he chose to play with Jeff Lamp at Virginia over Kentucky in 1979.
He lived up to that hype would become one of the most dominant college players the game has known, winning three consecutive Naismith College Player of the Year awards to tie him with Bill Walton as the most awarded individual player in NCAA history. Virginia would attain its first AP Top 5 rankings and go to its first Final Four in Sampson's era, but would be stonewalled by Dean Smith and North Carolina both in that Final Four and in ACC Tournaments. Carolina notoriously held the ball in a four corners offense for most of the last seven minutes of the game, despite having UNC’s most celebrated NBA superstars Michael Jordan and James Worthy on the floor, to defeat Virginia in the 1982 ACC Tournament 47–45. Both the shot clock and three-point line were implemented into college basketball during the same decade in part to combat such shenanigans. In 1984, after Sampson was drafted first in the 1983 NBA Draft, Virginia made a Cinderella run back to the Final Four. There they lost 49–47, in overtime, to a Houston team led by the first pick of the 1984 NBA Draft, Hakeem Olajuwon, who joined Sampson to form the original Twin Towers of the NBA on the Houston Rockets.
John Crotty and Bryant Stith took the darkhorse 1988–89 team to the Elite Eight after defeating a No. 1 seed Oklahoma team which returned most of its lineup from the team that reached the 1988 NCAA Tournament Championship Game. After Holland retired, the Cavaliers were coached by Jeff Jones, Pete Gillen, Dave Leitao. Highlights of those teams include a Jones team headlined by Cory Alexander and Junior Burrough that reached the Elite Eight after a first-place finish in the ACC standings of 1995. There were no championship teams under Gillen, but his recruits Sean Singletary and J. R. Reynolds led the 2007 team to Virginia's next conference-topping finish in Leitao's second season. While there were flashes of brilliance under each of the three coaches, the program regained and expanded its national prominence under the one who followed them. Tony Bennett arrived in March 2009 and got to work in building ”a program that lasts." His 2013–14 team led by Joe Harris and Malcolm Brogdon brought Virginia its first ACC Tournament Championship in 38 years and its first Sweet Sixteen appearance in 19 years.
The 2014–15 squad, led by Justin Anderson and Brogdon, started 19–0 and was more dominant throughout the season as this team more than doubled up the scores of Georgia Tech and Wake Forest, only
Isiah Lord Thomas III is an American former basketball player who played professionally for the Detroit Pistons in the National Basketball Association. A point guard, the 12-time NBA All-Star was named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History and inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Thomas has been a professional and collegiate head coach, a basketball executive, a broadcaster. Thomas played collegiately for the Indiana Hoosiers, leading them to the 1981 NCAA championship as a sophomore and declaring for the NBA draft, he was taken as the second overall pick by the Pistons in the 1981 NBA draft, played for them his entire career, while leading the "Bad Boys" to the 1988–89 and 1989–90 NBA championships. After his playing career, he was an executive with the Toronto Raptors, a television commentator, an executive with the Continental Basketball Association, head coach of the Indiana Pacers, an executive and head coach for the New York Knicks, he was the men's basketball coach for the Florida International University Golden Panthers for three seasons from 2009 to 2012.
In early May 2015, amidst controversy, Thomas was named president and part owner of the Knicks' WNBA sister team, the New York Liberty, subsequent to the re-hiring of Thomas's former Pistons teammate, Bill Laimbeer, as the team's coach. The youngest of nine children, Thomas was born on April 30, 1961 in Chicago and grew up in the city's West Side, he attended the private St. Joseph High School in Westchester, a 90-minute commute from his home. Playing under coach Gene Pingatore, he led St. Joseph to the state finals in his junior year, was considered one of the top college prospects in the country. Thomas was recruited to play college basketball for the Indiana Hoosiers. Although he received mail saying Knight tied up his players and beat them, he did not believe the rumors; when Knight visited the Thomas home, one of Isiah's brothers, who wanted him to attend DePaul, embarrassed him by insulting the Indiana coach and engaging him in a shouting match. Thomas chose Knight and Indiana because he felt that getting away to Bloomington would be good for him, as would Knight's discipline.
Thomas had to adjust to Knight's disciplinarian style. At the 1979 Pan American Games in Puerto Rico, Knight got so mad at Thomas he threatened to put him on a plane home. Knight recalled yelling at the freshman-to-be, "You ought to go to DePaul, because you sure as hell aren't going to be an Indiana player playing like that." Prior to the start of his freshman year, the 1979–80 season, Knight became so upset with Thomas that he kicked him out of a practice. According to Thomas, Knight was making a point that no player, no "matter how talented, is bigger than Knight's philosophy."Thomas proved his skills as a player and became a favorite with both Knight and Indiana fans. His superior abilities caused Knight to adjust his coaching style. Fans displayed bedsheets with quotations from the Book of Isaiah and nicknamed him "Mr. Wonderful." Because of Thomas's short stature at 6 ft 1 in, coach Knight would call him "Pee Wee". Thomas and Mike Woodson led the Hoosiers to the Big Ten championship and advanced to the 1980 Sweet Sixteen.
The next year, the 1980–81 season, Knight made Thomas captain and told him to run the show on the floor. Thomas responded so well that, as the season unfolded and Thomas grew as friends; when a Purdue player took a cheap shot at Thomas during a game at Bloomington, Knight called a press conference to defend his star. And 19 days when Thomas hit an Iowa player and was ejected from a game, Knight refused to criticize him; that year and the Hoosiers once again won a conference title and won the 1981 NCAA tournament, the school's fourth national title. The sophomore earned the tournament's Most Outstanding Player award, made himself eligible for the upcoming NBA draft. In the 1981 NBA draft, the Detroit Pistons chose Thomas with the No. 2 pick and signed him to a four-year $1.6 million contract. Thomas made the All-Rookie team and started for the Eastern Conference in the 1982 NBA All-Star Game. In the opening round of the 1984 NBA Playoffs and the Pistons faced off against Bernard King and the New York Knicks.
In the pivotal fifth game, Thomas was having a subpar performance, while King was having an excellent game. Thomas scored 16 points in the last 94 seconds to force the game into overtime, but fouled out, the Knicks held on to win. In the 1985 NBA Playoffs and his team went to the conference semifinals against the 15-time NBA champion Boston Celtics led by future basketball Hall of Famers Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Robert Parish, Dennis Johnson. Detroit couldn't shake the Celtics in their six-game series losing. In the 1987 NBA Playoffs and the Pistons went to the Eastern Conference Finals and faced the Celtics again, it was the furthest. Detroit was able to tie the Celtics at two games apiece, but its hope of winning Game 5 at Boston Garden was dashed by Larry Bird with just seconds remaining: Thomas attempted to inbound the ball, Bird stole the pass and hit Dennis Johnson for the game-winning layup. In 1988, the Pistons' first trip to the Finals saw them face the Los Angeles Lakers, led by Magic Johnson, James Worthy, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Before the series and Johnson exchanged a courtside kiss on the cheek prior to tip-off as a sign of their deep friendship. After taking a 3–2 series lead back to Los Angeles, Detroit appeared poised to win their first NBA title in Game 6. One of Thomas's most inspiring and self-defining moments came in Game 6. Alt