Clifford Oldham Hagan is an American former professional basketball player. A 6-4 forward who excelled with the hook shot, nicknamed "Li'l Abner", played his entire 10-year NBA career with the St. Louis Hawks, he was a player-coach for the Dallas Chaparrals in the first two-plus years of the American Basketball Association's existence. Hagan played college basketball at the University of Kentucky under legendary coach Adolph Rupp; as a sophomore in 1951 he helped Kentucky win the NCAA Championship with a 68-58 victory over Kansas State. In the fall of 1952, a point shaving scandal involving three Kentucky players over a four-year period forced Kentucky to forfeit its upcoming season, the senior year of Hagan, Frank Ramsey and Lou Tsioropoulos; the suspension of the season made Kentucky's basketball team, in effect, the first college sports team to get the "death penalty", nothing more than the NCAA asking members schools not to schedule Kentucky, not mandating it. Hagan and Tsioropoulos all graduated from Kentucky in 1953 and, as a result, became eligible for the NBA draft.
All three players were selected by the Boston Celtics—Ramsey in the first round, Hagan in the third, Tsioropoulos in the seventh. All three returned to play at Kentucky despite graduating. In Kentucky's opening game that season, an 86-59 victory over Temple on December 5, 1953, Hagan scored what was a school single-game record of 51 points. After finishing the regular season with a perfect 25-0 record and a #1 ranking in the Associated Press, Kentucky had been offered a bid into the NCAA Tournament. However, then-existing NCAA rules prohibited graduate students from participating in post-season play. Upon graduation from Kentucky, Hagan had scored 1475 points, which ranked him third in school history, grabbed 1035 rebounds, which placed him second, three fewer than Ramsey. In 1952 and 1954, he was named both First Team All-Southeastern Conference, his uniform number 6 is retired by the University of Kentucky. Upon graduation, like Ramsey before him, was drafted by the Celtics. Unlike Ramsey, Hagan served in the military for two years after being drafted.
In both of his years in the military, stationed at Andrews Air Force Base, won Worldwide Air Force basketball championships. After his military service, Hagan and Ed Macauley were traded to the St. Louis Hawks for the draft rights to Bill Russell. In 1958, his second season in the NBA, the Hawks, led by Hagan and Bob Pettit, won the NBA championship, defeating the Boston Celtics 4 games to 2 in the NBA Finals. Hagan was named to play in five consecutive NBA All-Star Games from 1958 to 1962. In his 10 NBA seasons, Hagan scored 13,447 points for an 18.0 average. Hagan achieved renown and respect well after his career ended, when David Halberstam wrote in his classic book The Breaks of the Game that Hagan was the only white star on the Hawks who welcomed African American teammates like Lenny Wilkens to the team and did not treat them with prejudice. In 1967, the Dallas Chaparrals of the newly formed ABA hired Hagan as a player-coach, he scored 40 points in his team's first game. He played in the first ABA All-Star Game that season, becoming the first player to play in All-Star Games in both the NBA and ABA.
He retired as a player after playing three games during the 1969–1970 season and remained as Chaparral coach until midway into the season. Hagan scored 1423 points for a 15.1 average. Hagan was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1978, the first ex-University of Kentucky player to be so honored. In 1972, Hagan returned to the University of Kentucky as the school's assistant athletic director and took over the top job in 1975, he was forced to resign due to recruiting and eligibility violations in November 1988 and was replaced by one-time Kentucky teammate C. M. Newton, the head basketball coach at Vanderbilt University the year before. In 1993, the University of Kentucky renamed its baseball field in honor of Hagan, it had been known as the Bernie A. Shively Sports Center. Cliff Hagan at Basketball-Reference.com
African Americans are an ethnic group of Americans with total or partial ancestry from any of the black racial groups of Africa. The term refers to descendants of enslaved black people who are from the United States. Black and African Americans constitute the third largest racial and ethnic group in the United States. Most African Americans are descendants of enslaved peoples within the boundaries of the present United States. On average, African Americans are of West/Central African and European descent, some have Native American ancestry. According to U. S. Census Bureau data, African immigrants do not self-identify as African American; the overwhelming majority of African immigrants identify instead with their own respective ethnicities. Immigrants from some Caribbean, Central American and South American nations and their descendants may or may not self-identify with the term. African-American history starts in the 16th century, with peoples from West Africa forcibly taken as slaves to Spanish America, in the 17th century with West African slaves taken to English colonies in North America.
After the founding of the United States, black people continued to be enslaved, the last four million black slaves were only liberated after the Civil War in 1865. Due to notions of white supremacy, they were treated as second-class citizens; the Naturalization Act of 1790 limited U. S. citizenship to whites only, only white men of property could vote. These circumstances were changed by Reconstruction, development of the black community, participation in the great military conflicts of the United States, the elimination of racial segregation, the civil rights movement which sought political and social freedom. In 2008, Barack Obama became the first African American to be elected President of the United States; the first African slaves arrived via Santo Domingo to the San Miguel de Gualdape colony, founded by Spanish explorer Lucas Vázquez de Ayllón in 1526. The marriage between Luisa de Abrego, a free black domestic servant from Seville and Miguel Rodríguez, a white Segovian conquistador in 1565 in St. Augustine, is the first known and recorded Christian marriage anywhere in what is now the continental United States.
The ill-fated colony was immediately disrupted by a fight over leadership, during which the slaves revolted and fled the colony to seek refuge among local Native Americans. De Ayllón and many of the colonists died shortly afterwards of an epidemic and the colony was abandoned; the settlers and the slaves who had not escaped returned to Haiti, whence. The first recorded Africans in British North America were "20 and odd negroes" who came to Jamestown, Virginia via Cape Comfort in August 1619 as indentured servants; as English settlers died from harsh conditions and more Africans were brought to work as laborers. An indentured servant would work for several years without wages; the status of indentured servants in early Virginia and Maryland was similar to slavery. Servants could be bought, sold, or leased and they could be physically beaten for disobedience or running away. Unlike slaves, they were freed after their term of service expired or was bought out, their children did not inherit their status, on their release from contract they received "a year's provision of corn, double apparel, tools necessary", a small cash payment called "freedom dues".
Africans could raise crops and cattle to purchase their freedom. They raised families, married other Africans and sometimes intermarried with Native Americans or English settlers. By the 1640s and 1650s, several African families owned farms around Jamestown and some became wealthy by colonial standards and purchased indentured servants of their own. In 1640, the Virginia General Court recorded the earliest documentation of lifetime slavery when they sentenced John Punch, a Negro, to lifetime servitude under his master Hugh Gwyn for running away. In the Spanish Florida some Spanish married or had unions with Pensacola, Creek or African women, both slave and free, their descendants created a mixed-race population of mestizos and mulattos; the Spanish encouraged slaves from the southern British colonies to come to Florida as a refuge, promising freedom in exchange for conversion to Catholicism. King Charles II of Spain issued a royal proclamation freeing all slaves who fled to Spanish Florida and accepted conversion and baptism.
Most went to the area around St. Augustine, but escaped slaves reached Pensacola. St. Augustine had mustered an all-black militia unit defending Spain as early as 1683. One of the Dutch African arrivals, Anthony Johnson, would own one of the first black "slaves", John Casor, resulting from the court ruling of a civil case; the popular conception of a race-based slave system did not develop until the 18th century. The Dutch West India Company introduced slavery in 1625 with the importation of eleven black slaves into New Amsterdam. All the colony's slaves, were freed upon its surrender to the British. Massachusetts was the first British colony to recognize slavery in 1641. In 1662, Virginia passed a law that children of enslaved women took the status of the mother, rather than that of the father, as under English common law; this principle was called partus sequitur ventrum. By an act of 1699, the colony ordered all free blacks deported defining as slaves all people of African descent who remained in the c
NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament
The NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament known and branded as NCAA March Madness, is a single-elimination tournament played each spring in the United States featuring 68 college basketball teams from the Division I level of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, to determine the national championship. The tournament was created in 1939 by the National Association of Basketball Coaches, was the idea of Ohio State coach Harold Olsen. Played during March, it has become one of the most famous annual sporting events in the United States; the tournament teams include champions from 32 Division I conferences, 36 teams which are awarded at-large berths. These "at-large" teams are chosen by an NCAA selection committee announced in a nationally televised event on the Sunday preceding the "First Four" play-in games held in Dayton and dubbed Selection Sunday; the 68 teams are divided into four regions and organized into a single-elimination "bracket", which pre-determines, when a team wins a game, which team it will face next.
Each team is "seeded", or ranked, within its region from 1 to 16. After the First Four, the tournament occurs during the course of three weekends, at pre-selected neutral sites across the United States. Teams, seeded by rank, proceed through a single-game elimination bracket beginning with a "first four" consisting of 8 low-seeded teams playing in 4 games for a position in the first round the Tuesday and Wednesday before the first round begins, a first round consisting of 64 teams playing in 32 games over the course of a week, the "Sweet Sixteen" and "Elite Eight" rounds the next week and weekend and – for the last weekend of the tournament – the "Final Four" round; the Final Four is played during the first weekend of April. These four teams, one from each region, compete in a preselected location for the national championship; the tournament has been at least televised since 1969. The games are broadcast by CBS, TBS, TNT, truTV under the trade-name NCAA March Madness. Since 2011, all games are available for viewing nationwide and internationally.
As television coverage has grown, so too has the tournament's popularity. Millions of Americans fill out a bracket, attempting to predict the outcome of 63 games of the tournament. With 11 national titles, UCLA has the record for the most NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championships; the University of Kentucky is second, with eight national titles. The University of North Carolina is third, with six national titles, Duke University and Indiana University are tied for fourth with five national titles; the University of Connecticut is sixth with four national titles. The University of Kansas & Villanova are tied for 7th with three national titles. Since 1985, when the tournament expanded to 64 teams, Duke has won five championships; the NCAA has changed the tournament format several times since its inception, most being an increase of the number of teams. This section describes the tournament as it has operated since 2011. A total of 68 teams qualify for the tournament played during April. Thirty-two teams earn automatic bids as their respective conference champions.
Of the 32 Division I "all-sports" conferences, all 32 hold championship tournaments to determine which team receives the automatic qualification. The Ivy League was the last Division I conference. If two or more Ivies shared a regular-season championship, a one-game playoff was used to decide the tournament participant. Since 2017, the league conducts their own postseason tournament; the remaining 36 tournament slots are granted to at-large bids, which are determined by the Selection Committee in a nationally televised event on the Sunday preceding the First Four play-in tournament and dubbed Selection Sunday by the media and fans, by a group of conference commissioners and school athletic directors who are appointed into service by the NCAA. The committee determines where all sixty-eight teams are seeded and placed in the bracket; the tournament is divided into four regions and each region has at least sixteen teams, but four additional teams are added per the decision of the Selection Committee.
The committee is charged with making each of the four regions as close as possible in overall quality of teams from wherever they come from. The names of the regions vary from year to year, are broadly geographic. From 1957 to 1984, the "Mideast" corresponding to the Southeastern region of the United States, designation was used. From 1985 to 1997, the Mideast region was known as "Southeast" and again changed to "South" starting from 1998; the selected names correspond to the location of the four cities hosting the regional finals. From 2004 to 2006, the regions were named after their host cities, e.g. the Phoenix Regional in 2004, the Chicago Regional in 2005, the Minneapolis Regional in 2006, but reverted to the traditional geographic designations beginning in 2007. For example, during 2012, the regions were named South, Midwest (St. Louis, Mis
University of Alabama
The University of Alabama is a public research university in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. It is the flagship of the University of Alabama System. Established in 1820, the University of Alabama is the oldest and largest of the public universities in Alabama; the university offers programs of study in 13 academic divisions leading to bachelor's, master's, Education Specialist, doctoral degrees. The only publicly supported law school in the state is at UA. Other academic programs unavailable elsewhere in Alabama include doctoral programs in anthropology and information sciences, metallurgical engineering, Romance languages, social work; as one of the first public universities established in the early 19th century southwestern frontier of the United States, the University of Alabama has left a cultural imprint on the state and nation over the past two centuries. The school was a center of activity during the Civil Rights Movement; the University of Alabama varsity football program, inaugurated in 1892, ranks as one of 10 winningest programs in US history.
In a 1913 speech then-president George H. Denny extolled the university as the "capstone of the public school system in the state," lending the university its current nickname, The Capstone; the University of Alabama has been ranked as one of the top 50 public universities in the nation by the U. S. News & World Report. In addition, The University of Alabama has produced a total of 51 Goldwater Scholars, 15 Rhodes Scholars, 16 Truman Scholars, 32 Hollings Scholars and 11 Boren Scholars. In 1818, U. S. Congress authorized the newly created Alabama Territory to set aside a township for the establishment of a "seminary of learning"; when Alabama was admitted to the Union on December 14, 1819, a second township was added to the land grant, bringing it to a total of 46,000 acres. The General Assembly of Alabama established the seminary on December 18, 1820, named it "The University of the State of Alabama", created a Board of Trustees to manage the construction and operation of the university; the board chose as the site of the campus a place, just outside the city limits of Tuscaloosa, the state capital at the time.
The new campus was designed by William Nichols the architect of the newly completed Alabama State Capitol building and Christ Episcopal Church. Influenced by Thomas Jefferson's plan at the University of Virginia, the Nichols-designed campus featured a 70-foot wide, 70-foot high domed Rotunda that served as the library and nucleus of the campus; the university's charter was presented to the first university president in the nave of Christ Episcopal Church. UA opened its doors to students on April 1831, with the Reverend Alva Woods as President. An academy-style institution during the Antebellum period, the university emphasized the classics and the social and natural sciences. There were around 100 students per year at UA in the 1830s. However, as Alabama was a frontier state and a sizable amount of its territory was still in the hands of various Native American tribes until the 1840s, it lacked the infrastructure to adequately prepare students for the rigors of university education. Only a fraction of students who enrolled in the early years remained enrolled for long and fewer graduated.
Those who did graduate, however had distinguished careers in Alabama and national politics. Early graduates included Alexander Meek; as the state and university matured, an active literary culture evolved in Tuscaloosa. UA had one of the largest libraries in the country on the eve of the Civil War with more than 7,000 volumes. There were several thriving literary societies, including the Erosophic and the Phi Beta Kappa societies, which had lectures by such distinguished politicians and literary figures as United States Supreme Court Justice John A. Campbell, novelist William Gilmore Simms, Professor Frederick Barnard; the addresses to those societies reveal a vibrant intellectual culture in Tuscaloosa. Discipline and student behavior was a major issue at the university from the day it opened. Early presidents attempted to enforce strict rules regarding conduct. Students were prohibited from drinking, making unauthorized visits off-campus, or playing musical instruments outside a one-hour time frame.
Yet riots and gunfights were not an uncommon occurrence. To combat the severe discipline problem, president Landon Garland lobbied and received approval from the legislature in 1860 to transform the university into a military school. Many of the cadets who graduated from the school went on to serve as officers in the Confederate Army during the Civil War; as a consequence of that role, Union troops burned down the campus on April 4, 1865, unrelated to Sherman's March to the Sea several months earlier and farther east, in Georgia. Despite a call to arms and defense by the student cadet corps, only four buildings survived the burning: the President's Mansion, Gorgas House, Little Round House, Old Observatory; the university reopened in 1871 and in 1880, Congress granted the university 40,000 acres of coal land in partial compensation for $250,000 in war damages. The University of Alabama allowed female students beginning in 1892; the Board of Trustees allowed female students due to Julia S. Tutwiler, with the condition that they be over eighteen, would be allowed to enter the sophomore class after comple
College basketball today is governed by collegiate athletic bodies including the United States's National Collegiate Athletic Association, the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, the United States Collegiate Athletic Association, the National Junior College Athletic Association, the National Christian College Athletic Association. Governing bodies in Canada include the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association; each of these various organizations are subdivided into from one to three divisions based on the number and level of scholarships that may be provided to the athletes. Each organization has different conferences to divide up the teams into groups. Teams are selected into these conferences depending on the location of the schools; these conferences are put in due to the regional play of the teams and to have a structural schedule for each to team to play for the upcoming year. During conference play the teams are ranked not only through the entire NCAA, but the conference as well in which they have tournament play leading into the NCAA tournament.
The history of basketball can be traced back to a YMCA International Training School, known today as Springfield College, located in Springfield, Massachusetts. The sport was created by a physical education teacher named James Naismith, who in the winter of 1891 was given the task of creating a game that would keep track athletes in shape and that would prevent them from getting hurt; the date of the first formal basketball game played at the Springfield YMCA Training School under Naismith's rules is given as December 21, 1891. Basketball began to be played at some college campuses by 1893; the first known college to field a basketball team against an outside opponent was Vanderbilt University, which played against the local YMCA in Nashville, Tennessee, on February 7, 1893. The second recorded instance of an organized college basketball game was Geneva College's game against the New Brighton YMCA on April 8, 1893, in Beaver Falls, which Geneva won 3–0; the first recorded game between two college teams occurred on February 9, 1895, when Hamline University faced Minnesota A&M. Minnesota A&M won the game, played under rules allowing nine players per side, 9–3.
The first intercollegiate match using the modern rule of five players per side is credited as a game between the University of Chicago and the University of Iowa, in Iowa City, Iowa, on January 18, 1896. The Chicago team won the game 15-12, under the coaching of Amos Alonzo Stagg, who had learned the game from James Naismith at the Springfield YMCA. However, some sources state the first "true" five-on-five intercollegiate match was a game in 1897 between Yale and Penn, because although the Iowa team that played Chicago in 1896 was composed of University of Iowa students, it did not represent the university, rather it was organized through a YMCA. By 1900, the game of basketball had spread to colleges across the country; the Amateur Athletic Union's annual U. S. national championship tournament featured collegiate teams playing against non-college teams. Four colleges won the AAU tournament championship: NYU, Butler and Washburn. College teams were runners-up in 1915, 1917, 1920, 1921, 1932 and 1934.
The first known tournament featuring college teams was the 1904 Summer Olympics, where basketball was a demonstration sport, a collegiate championship tournament was held. The Olympic title was won by Hiram College. In March 1908, a two-game "championship series" was organized between the University of Chicago and Penn, with games played in Philadelphia and Bartlett, Illinois. Chicago swept both games to win the series. In March 1922, the 1922 National Intercollegiate Basketball Tournament was held in Indianapolis – the first stand-alone post-season tournament for college teams; the champions of six major conferences participated: Pacific Coast Conference, Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association, Western Pennsylvania League, Illinois Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association and Indiana Intercollegiate Athletic Association. The Western Conference and Eastern Intercollegiate League declined invitations to participate. Wabash College won the 1922 tournament.
The first organization to tout a occurring national collegiate championship was the NAIA in 1937, although it was surpassed in prestige by the National Invitation Tournament, or NIT, which brought six teams to New York's Madison Square Garden in the spring of 1938. Temple defeated Colorado in the first NIT tournament championship game, 60–36. In 1939, another national tournament was implemented by the National Collegiate Athletic Association; the location of the NCAA Tournament varied from year to year, it soon used multiple locations each year, so more fans could see games without traveling to New York. Although the NIT was created earlier and was more prestigious than the NCAA for many years, it lost popularity and status to the NCAA Tournament. In 1950, following a double win by the 1949–50 CCNY Beavers men's basketball team, the NCAA ruled that no team could compete in both tournaments, indicated that a team eligible for the NCAA tournament should play in it. Not long afterward, assisted by the 1951 scandals based in New York City, the NCAA tournament had become more prestigious than before, with conference champions and the majority of top-ranked teams competing there.
The NCAA tournament overtook the NIT by 1960. Through the 1960s and 1970s, with UCLA leading the way as winner
National Invitation Tournament
The National Invitation Tournament is a men's college basketball tournament operated by the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Played at regional sites and at Madison Square Garden in New York City each March and April, it was founded in 1938 and was the most prestigious post-season showcase for college basketball. Over time it became eclipsed by the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament – known today informally as "March Madness"; the NIT has since been regarded more as a "consolation" tournament for teams that did not receive a berth in the NCAA tournament. A second, much more recent "NIT" tournament is played in November and known as the NIT Season Tip-Off; the "Preseason NIT", it was founded in 1985. Like the postseason NIT, its final rounds are played at Madison Square Garden. Both tournaments were operated by the Metropolitan Intercollegiate Basketball Association until 2005, when they were purchased by the NCAA, the MIBA disbanded. Unless otherwise qualified, the terms "NIT" or "National Invitation Tournament" refer to the post-season tournament in both common and official use.
The post-season National Invitation Tournament was founded in 1938 by the Metropolitan Basketball Writers Association, one year after the NAIA Tournament was created by basketball's inventor Dr. James Naismith, one year before the NCAA Tournament; the first NIT was won by the Temple University Owls over the Colorado Buffaloes. Responsibility for the NIT's administration was transferred in 1940 to the Metropolitan Intercollegiate Basketball Committee, a body of local New York colleges: Fordham University, Manhattan College, New York University, St. John's University, Wagner College; this became the Metropolitan Intercollegiate Basketball Association in 1948. The tournament invited a field of 6 teams, with all games played at Madison Square Garden in downtown Manhattan; the field was expanded to 8 teams in 1941, 12 in 1949, 14 in 1965, 16 in 1968, 24 in 1979, 32 in 1980, 40 from 2002 through 2006. In 2007, the tournament reverted to the current 32-team format. In its early years, the NIT offered some advantages over the NCAA tournament: There was limited national media coverage of college basketball in the 1930s and'40s, playing in New York City provided teams greater media exposure, both with the general public and among high school prospects in its rich recruiting territory.
The NCAA tournament selection committee invited only one team each from eight national regions leaving better quality selections and natural rivals out of its field, which would opt for the NIT. From its onset and at least into the mid-1950s, the NIT was regarded as the most prestigious showcase for college basketball. All-American at Princeton and NBA champion with the New York Knicks and United States Senator Bill Bradley stated: In the 1940's, when the NCAA tournament was less than 10 years old, the National Invitation Tournament, a saturnalia held in New York at Madison Square Garden by the Metropolitan Intercollegiate Basketball Association, was the most glamorous of the post-season tournaments and had the better teams; the winner of the National Invitation Tournament was regarded as more of a national champion than the actual, national champion, or winner of the NCAA tournament. Several teams played in both the NIT and NCAA tournaments in the same year, beginning with Colorado and Duquesne in 1940.
Colorado subsequently finished fourth in the NCAA West Region. In 1944, Utah lost its first game in the NIT but proceeded to win not only the NCAA tournament, but the subsequent Red Cross War Charities benefit game in which they defeated NIT champion St. John's at Madison Square Garden. In 1949, some Kentucky players were bribed by gamblers to lose their first round game in the NIT; this same Kentucky team went on to win the NCAA. In 1950, City College of New York won both the NIT and the NCAA tournaments in the same season, coincidentally defeating Bradley University in the championship game of both tournaments, remains the only school to accomplish that feat because of an NCAA committee change in the early 1950s prohibiting a team from competing in both tournaments; the champions of both the NCAA and NIT tournaments played each other for a few years during World War II. From 1943 to 1945, the American Red Cross sponsored a postseason charity game between each year's tournament champions to raise money for the war effort.
The series was described by Ray Meyer as not just benefit games, but as "really the games for the national championship". The NCAA champion prevailed in all three games; the Helms Athletic Foundation retroactively selected the NIT champion as its national champion for 1938, chose the NIT champion over the NCAA champion once, in 1939. More the mathematically based Premo-Porretta Power Poll published in the ESPN College Basketball Encyclopedia retroactively ranked teams for each season prior to 1949, with the NIT champion finishing ahead of the NCAA champion in 1939 and 1941. Premo-Porretta ranks four NCAA champions as the best for each season, the rest being non-championship winning teams. Between 1939 and 1970, when teams could compete in either tournament, only DePaul, San Francisco and Holy Cross claim or celebrate national championships for their teams based on an NIT championship, although Long Island recognizes its selection as the 1939 national champion by the Helms Athletic Foundation, made in 1943.
In 1943 the NCAA tournament moved to share Madison Square Garden with the NIT in an effort to increase the credibility of the NCAA Tournament. In 1945, The New York Times indicated that many teams could get bids to enter either tournament, not unco
The five basketball positions employed by organized basketball teams are the point guard, the shooting guard, the small forward, the power forward, the center. The point guard is the leader of the team on the court; this position requires substantial ball handling skills and the ability to facilitate the team during a play. The shooting guard, as the name implies, is the best shooter; as well as being capable of shooting from longer distances, this position tends to be the best defender on the team. The small forward has an aggressive approach to the basket when handling the ball; the small forward is known to make cuts to the basket in efforts to get open for shots. The power forward and the center are called the "frontcourt" acting as their team's primary rebounders or shot blockers, or receiving passes to take inside shots; the center is the larger of the two. Only three positions were recognized based on where they played on the court: Guards played outside and away from the hoop and forwards played outside and near the baseline, with the center positioned in the key.
During the 1980s, as team strategy evolved. More specialized roles developed. Team strategy and available personnel, still dictate the positions used by a particular team. For example, the dribble-drive motion offense and the Princeton offense use four interchangeable guards and one center; this set is known as a "four-in and one-out" play scheme. Other combinations are prevalent. Besides the five basic positions, some teams use non-standard or hybrid positions, such as the point forward, a hybrid small forward/point guard; the point guard known as the one, is the team's best ball handler and passer. Therefore, they lead their team in assists and are able to create shots for themselves and their teammates, they are quick and are able to hit shots either outside the three-point line or "in the paint" depending on the player's skill level. Point guards are looked upon as the "floor general" or the "coach on the floor", they should study the game and game film to be able to recognize the weaknesses of the defense, the strengths of their own offense.
They are responsible for directing plays, making the position equivalent to that of quarterback in American football, playmaker in association football, center in ice hockey, or setter in volleyball. Good point guards increase team efficiency and have a high number of assists, they are referred to as dribblers or play-makers. In the NBA, point guards are the shortest players on the team and are 6 feet 4 inches or shorter; the shooting guard is known as the two or the off guard. Along with the small forward, a shooting guard is referred to as a wing because of its use in common positioning tactics; as the name suggests, most shooting guards are prolific from the three-point range. Besides being able to shoot the ball, shooting guards tend to be the best defender on the team, as well as being able to move without the ball to create open looks for themselves; some shooting guards have good ball handling skills creating their own shots off the dribble. A versatile shooting guard will have good passing skills, allowing them to assume point guard responsibilities known as combo guards.
Bigger shooting guards tend to play as small forwards. In the NBA, shooting guards range from 6 feet 4 inches to 6 feet 8 inches; the small forward known as the three, is considered to be the most versatile of the main five basketball positions. Versatility is key for small forwards because of the nature of their role, which resembles that of a shooting guard more than that of a power forward; this is why the small forward and shooting guard positions are interchangeable and referred to as wings. Small forwards have a variety such as quickness and strength inside. One common thread among all kinds of small forwards is an ability to "get to the line" and draw fouls by aggressively attempting plays, lay-ups, or slam dunks; as such, accurate foul shooting is a common skill for small forwards, many of whom record a large portion of their points from the foul line. Besides being able to drive to the basket, they are good shooters from long range; some small forwards have good passing skills, allowing them to assume point guard responsibilities as point forwards.
Small forwards should be able to do a little bit of everything on the court playing roles such as swingmen and defensive specialists. In the NBA, small forwards range from 6 feet 6 inches to 6 feet 9 inches; the power forward known as the four plays a role similar to that of the center, down in the "post" or "low blocks". The power forward is the team's most versatile scorer, being able to score close to the basket while being able to shoot mid-range jump shots from 12 to 18 feet from the basket; some power forwards have become known as stretch fours, since extending their shooting range to three-pointers. On defense, they are required to have the strength to guard bigger players close to the basket and to have the athleticism to guard quick players away from the basket. Most power forwards tend to be more versatile than centers since they can be part of plays and are not always in the low block. In the