NABC Player of the Year
The NABC Player of the Year is an award given annually by the National Association of Basketball Coaches to recognize the top player in men's college basketball. The award has been given since the 1974–75 season to National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I basketball players; the association added awards for Division II and Division III players in 1983, for National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics and junior college players in 2008. The awards have been sponsored by State Farm Insurance. In Division I, Duke has the most all-time winners with six, their rival, North Carolina, as well as Kansas are tied for second with four winners. There have been three ties for NABC Player of the Year, only two players have won the award multiple times. In Division II, Virginia Union has four winners, the most all-time, is followed by Kentucky Wesleyan which has three. Only one tie has occurred. In Division III, Potsdam State has the most all-time winners with three, while six other schools are tied for second with two winners apiece.
There have been four repeat winners. At the NAIA level, there is a distinction between NAIA Division NAIA Division II winners. Since the awards began in 2008, no school or individual player has received the award multiple times. In junior college, every winner has been a sophomore and has gone on to play at an NCAA Division I school after their community college careers have ended. For the 2007–08 season, Ryan Fiegi, a senior point guard at Oregon Tech, was named the player of the year. Beginning in 2008–09, the NAIA began awarding players of the year for Divisions I and II. Since community college players only attend for two years, these players are only either freshmen or sophomores. Afterwards, they move on to a four year university to finish their last two seasons of NCAA eligibility; the "University" column reflects which team these players would play for following their JuCo careers. List of U. S. men's college basketball national player of the year awards Official website
Clair Francis Bee was an American basketball coach, who led the team at Long Island University in Brooklyn, New York to undefeated seasons in 1936 and 1939, as well as two National Invitation Tournament titles in 1939 and 1941. He was born in Grafton, West Virginia, was a graduate of Waynesburg University where he played football and tennis, he was born to Margaret Ann Skinner. Bee's teams won 95 percent of their games from 1931 to 1951, including 43 in a row from 1935 to 1937. Bee holds the Division I NCAA record for highest winning percentage, winning 82.6% of the games he was head coach. Bee resigned in 1951. LIU shut down its athletic program shortly afterward. Bee coached the football team at LIU until it was disbanded in 1940, he coached the National Basketball Association's Baltimore Bullets from 1952 to 1954, amassing a 34-116 record under his tenure. Bee was known as the "Innovator", his contributions to the game of basketball include the 1-3-1 zone defense and the three-second rule. Bee served as co-host of the early NBC sports-oriented television program "Campus Hoopla" on WNBT from 1946 to 1947.
His influence on the game extended to strategies sports camps, writing technical coaching books, conducting coaching clinics around the world. By the time he left coaching in the 1950s, Bee had begun writing the Chip Hilton Sports Series for younger readers. Bee was inducted into the Basketball Hall Of Fame in 1968; the Clair Bee Coach of the Year Award is awarded every year to a coach who makes an outstanding contribution to the game of college basketball, the Chip Hilton Player of the Year Award is awarded to a men's basketball player. In 1968, he cofounded the Kutsher's Sports Academy. One of Bee's grandfathers was a member of the first West Virginia Legislature. Clair Bee at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
2004–05 NCAA Division I men's basketball season
The 2004–05 NCAA Division I men's basketball season began on November 10, 2004, progressed through the regular season and conference tournaments, concluded with the 2005 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament Championship Game on April 4, 2005 at the Edward Jones Dome in Saint Louis, Missouri. The North Carolina Tar Heels won their fourth NCAA national championship with a 75–70 victory over the Illinois Fighting Illini; the preseason AP All-American team was named on November 9. Chris Paul of Wake Forest was the leading vote-getter; the rest of the team included Lawrence Roberts of Mississippi State, Wayne Simien of Kansas, Julius Hodge of NC State and Hakim Warrick of Syracuse. The top 25 from the AP and ESPN/USA Today Coaches Polls November 11, 2004; these schools joined new conferences for the 2004–05 season. 30 conference seasons conclude with a single-elimination tournament. Traditionally, all conference schools are eligible, regardless of record. However, some conferences, most notably the Big East, do not invite the teams with the worst records.
The conference tournament winner receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. A school that wins the conference regular season title is guaranteed an NIT bid; the Ivy League is the only Division I conference that does not hold a conference tournament, instead sending their regular-season champion. * Coleman and Funn tied for the national assists lead. Each player had 224 assists in 28 games; the NCAA Tournament tipped off on March 15, 2005 with the opening round game in Dayton and concluded on April 4 at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, MO. A total of 65 teams entered the tournament. Thirty of the teams earned automatic bids by winning their conference tournaments; the automatic bid of the Ivy League, which does not conduct a post-season tournament, went to its regular season champion. The remaining 34 teams were granted "at-large" bids, which are extended by the NCAA Selection Committee; the Big East Conference led the way with eight bids. North Carolina won their fourth NCAA title. North Carolina forward Sean May was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.
After the NCAA Tournament field was announced, the National Invitation Tournament invited 32 teams to participate, reducing the field's size from 40. Eight teams were given automatic bids for winning their conference regular seasons, 24 other teams were invited. Dave Odom's South Carolina Gamecocks won the title, defeating the Saint Joseph's Hawks 60–57 in the championship game; the Gamecocks' Carlos Powell was named tournament MVP. Wooden Award: Andrew Bogut, Utah Naismith Award: Andrew Bogut, Utah Associated Press Player of the Year: Andrew Bogut, Utah NABC Player of the Year: Andrew Bogut, Utah Oscar Robertson Trophy: Andrew Bogut, Utah Adolph Rupp Trophy: J. J. Redick, Duke CBS/Chevrolet Player of the Year: Andrew Bogut, Utah Sporting News Player of the Year: Dee Brown, Illinois USBWA Freshman of the Year: Marvin Williams, North Carolina Sporting News Freshman of the Year: Marvin Williams, North Carolina Associated Press Coach of the Year: Bruce Weber, Illinois Henry Iba Award: Bruce Weber, Illinois NABC Coach of the Year: Bruce Weber, Illinois Naismith College Coach of the Year: Bruce Weber, Illinois CBS/Chevrolet Coach of the Year: Bruce Weber, Illinois Adolph Rupp Cup: Bruce Weber, Illinois Sporting News Coach of the Year: Bruce Weber, Illinois Bob Cousy Award: Raymond Felton, North Carolina Pete Newell Big Man Award: Andrew Bogut, Utah NABC Defensive Player of the Year: Shelden Williams, Duke Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award: Nate Robinson, Washington Lowe's Senior CLASS Award: Wayne Simien, Kansas Robert V. Geasey Trophy: Pat Carroll, St. Joseph's NIT/Haggerty Award: Keydren Clark, Saint Peter's A number of teams changed coaches throughout the season and after the season ended
Oklahoma Sooners men's basketball
The Oklahoma Sooners men's basketball team represents the University of Oklahoma in men's NCAA Division I basketball. The Sooners play in the Big 12 Conference; the Sooners enjoyed moderate success on the court during this era, posting just 16 losing records in their first 72 seasons. They were led by 9 different coaches during this period, beginning with Bennie Owen and ending with Dave Bliss in 1980; the Sooners participated in the first Final Four in 1939. OU made a second appearance in the championship game in 1947; the program gained national prominence under Billy Tubbs when he took over in 1981. Star players Wayman Tisdale, Mookie Blaylock, Stacey King guided the Sooners to several deep runs in the NCAA Tournament. In 1988, the Sooners reached the NCAA title game in Kansas City, where they fell four points shy of their first national title to the 11-loss Kansas Jayhawks, a team which they had beaten twice in regular season play. Tubbs resigned on April 10, 1994, indicating that "he did not feel appreciated enough working at a football school".
Tubbs' base salary at Oklahoma in his final season was $107,000 annually. Tubbs, 59 years old at the time, left to take over the struggling Texas Christian University basketball program, signing a 5-year contract worth between $200,000 and $400,000 per season. Tubbs' record at OU was 333-132 overall, 126-70 conference, with 10 NCAA Tournament appearances, one Final Four appearance, one National Title Game appearance. Tubbs finished with 5 Big 8 regular season titles and 2 Conference Tournament titles. Tubbs averaged 9 conference wins per season. Kelvin Sampson became the 11th head coach at the University of Oklahoma on April 25, 1994. Sampson was named national coach of the year in 1995 by the Associated Press, United States Basketball Writers Association and Basketball Weekly after guiding the Sooners to 23–9 overall and 15–0 home marks, it was the second-best overall record posted by a first-year coach in Big 8 history. Sampson possesses the highest winning percentage in Oklahoma history, he guided OU to nine consecutive 20-win seasons.
He averaged 24.4 wins over those nine campaigns. He directed the Sooners to postseason tournament berths in each of his 12 seasons, with a Sweet 16 showing in 1999, a Final Four appearance in 2002 and an Elite Eight appearance in 2003, his teams played in the Big 12 Tournament title game on five occasions during the 10 seasons he coached in the Big 12. In 2001, 2002, 2003 the Sooners won that tournament. Sampson finished with a Big 12 Tournament record of 17-7. Standouts Eduardo Nájera and Hollis Price helped the Sooners maintain a streak of 25 straight post season appearances, the longest in the nation. Sampson left OU in 2006 to take a head job at Indiana. Sampson's record at OU was 279-109 overall, 128-60 conference, with 11 NCAA Tournament Appearances, including one Final Four appearance. In the Big 12, Sampson had 1 Conference Regular Season Title. During his final season at OU, Sampson's salary was $900,000 annually, not including bonuses. Sampson left OU in 2006 to become the head basketball coach at Indiana University, signing a 7-year, $10,500,000 contract, at $1,500,000 per season.
Under Sampson's watch, Oklahoma was placed under a three-year investigation by the NCAA for recruiting violations. At the end of their investigation, the NCAA issued a report citing more than 550 illegal calls made by Sampson and his staff to 17 different recruits; the NCAA barred Sampson from recruiting off campus and making phone calls for one year, ending May 24, 2007. Sampson averaged 11 conference wins per season. On April 11, 2006, Jeff Capel was named the 12th head basketball coach at Oklahoma, succeeding Kelvin Sampson. Though the Sooner Nation as a whole greeted Capel's hiring with optimism, one notable downside of the coaching change emerged—Sampson's departure caused three of the players who had signed with OU to rethink each's decision to attend OU. Scottie Reynolds went on to Villanova, Damion James to Texas. Capel was signed to a four-year, $3,000,000 contract, at $750,000 annually. In his first year, after going 8–4 in non-conference games, with losses to Memphis, Purdue and Alabama, the Sooners started 6–3 in conference play, before losing their final 7 conference games.
After winning only one game in the Big 12 Conference Tournament, losing to eventual conference tournament champion Kansas, the Sooners missed any form of postseason play, which snapped the nation's longest streak of 25 consecutive years in the postseason, starting with Billy Tubbs' second year in 1982 and ending with Kelvin Sampson's final year in 2006. In his second year, after signing McDonald's All-American Forward Blake Griffin, the Sooners finished 21–10 during the regular season earning them a No. 4 seed in the Big 12 Tournament, where they won one game before losing to Texas in the semi-finals. They received a No. 6 seed in the NCAA Tournament, where they defeated St. Joseph's in the first round before losing to No. 3 seed Louisville in the second round, finishing the season at 23–12, an improvement of 7 wins over the previous season. After this successful second season, Capel's name began to surface among many head coaching vacancies. In an effort to keep Capel, OU Athletic Director Joe Castiglione and the OU Board of Regents extended Capel's contract through 2014, increased his salary to $1,050,000 per year.
Maryland Terrapins men's basketball
The Maryland Terrapins men's basketball team represents the University of Maryland in National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I competition. Maryland, a founding member of the Atlantic Coast Conference, left the ACC in 2014 to join the Big Ten Conference. Gary Williams, who coached the Terrapins from 1989 to 2011, led the program to its greatest success, including two consecutive Final Fours, which culminated in the 2002 NCAA National Championship. Under Williams, Maryland appeared in eleven straight NCAA Tournaments from 1994 to 2004, he was replaced by former Texas A&M coach Mark Turgeon. The Terrapins played in what many consider to be the greatest Atlantic Coast Conference game in history — and one of the greatest college basketball games — the championship of the 1974 ACC Men's Basketball Tournament, in which they lost 103–100 in overtime to eventual national champion North Carolina State; the game was instrumental in forcing the expansion of the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship, thus allowing for at-large bids and the inclusion of more than one team per conference.
That Maryland team, with six future NBA draft picks, is considered by many to be the greatest team not to have participated in the NCAA tournament. Before basketball became a permanent fixture in College Park, the school—then known as Maryland Agricultural College—met with little success in its intermittent attempts to establish a basketball team. A team first appeared in 1904–05, playing only two games in an intramural/club setting. Games were played sporadically during the 1910–1911, 1912–13, 1913–1914, the 1918–1919 seasons, going a combined 7–36. Basketball returned to stay for the 1923–24 season, when the school convinced former star quarterback H. Burton Shipley, coaching at the University of Delaware, to come back to his alma mater; the Old Liners, as they were known, joined the Southern Conference in their inaugural season. The team met with moderate success that year at 5–7 and played its first games against future ACC rivals North Carolina and Virginia; the Old Liners had their first sustained success over the next four seasons, finishing at or above.500 in each of them and putting together an outstanding 24–9 record against Southern Conference foes.
The Aggies played their first games against what would become their two other biggest rivals in the future during that time, North Carolina State and Duke. The school's biggest success during its formative years took place in the early 1930s, around the time it adopted its current nickname, Terrapins. After finishing second in the conference in 1930–31, Maryland won the Southern Conference tournaments, beating Louisiana State, North Carolina and Kentucky over five days, a feat they followed by winning the conference regular season crown the next year; the team had its first individual star in Louis "Bosey" Berger, named to All-America teams both seasons. It was during this stretch that the school erected a new home for its basketball teams, Ritchie Coliseum, which housed the team until Cole Field House replaced it a quarter of a century later. Although the team would remain competitive throughout the rest of the decade, finishing as high as second in the conference regular season, it never again matched its achievements of the early part of the decade, as the 1940s began, the school's basketball team fell on exceedingly hard times.
Shipley tallied just one winning season in his last seven years before stepping down to focus on coaching the baseball team, a post he'd held for his entire tenure since returning to College Park. He was succeeded by Flucie Stewart. In what would become a long-running pattern at Maryland when a long-tenured head coach stepped down, Stewart would not last long, putting together three losing seasons in three tries during his brief time at Maryland; the 1950s began with a new head coach leading Bud Millikan. A disciple of legendary coach Henry Iba, Millikan's emphasis on defense and fundamentals would become hallmarks of the program over the next two decades. Maryland reels off seven straight winning seasons under Millikan. For the 1953–54 season, the team joined North Carolina, North Carolina State, Wake Forest, Virginia and South Carolina in leaving the SoCon for the newly formed Atlantic Coast Conference; that season was the finest the Terrapins had experienced to date, finishing with a 23–7 record and a conference mark good enough for second in the league.
Maryland experienced its first games as a ranked team, spending the final nine weeks of the season ranked in the AP Top 20, peaking at #11 before settling for a final ranking of #20. It featured the school's first win over a ranked team when it beat local rival George Washington, then-number 7 in the country; the team was led by its second All-American, Gene Shue, honored in both that season and the prior year. After that season, the team remained the only school outside of the North Carolina "Big Four" – Duke, UNC, North Carolina State, Wake Forest – to field competitive teams. In the ACC's second year, the Terps cracked the top ten for the first time, peaking at #6 in January before finishing the season with a disappointing one-point loss to Virginia in the ACC Tournament quarterfinal round; the Terps had another breakout season during the 1957–58 season. After a good regular season, Maryland stunned the league by winning the ACC Tournament, including wins over #6 Duke and #13 North Carolina on back to back days to capture the title as well as the league's berth in the NCAA Tournament.
The team routed Boston College 86–63 at Madison Square Garden with just two days of rest after the ACC Tournament, advancing to the East Regionals in Charlott
Timothy Theodore Duncan is an American former professional basketball player. He spent his entire 19-year career with the San Antonio Spurs of the National Basketball Association. Duncan started out as a swimmer, did not begin playing basketball until ninth grade, he played basketball for St. Dunstan's Episcopal High School. In college, Duncan played for the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, winning the Naismith College Player of the Year, USBWA College Player of the Year, John Wooden awards in his senior year. After graduating from college, Duncan earned NBA Rookie of the Year honors after being selected by San Antonio with the first overall pick in the 1997 NBA draft. Regarded as the greatest power forward of all time as well as one of the greatest basketball players of all time, he is a five-time NBA champion, a two-time NBA MVP, a three-time NBA Finals MVP, a 15-time NBA All-Star, the only player to be selected to both the All-NBA and All-Defensive Teams for 13 consecutive seasons. Off the court, Duncan is known for his active philanthropy.
He holds a degree in psychology and created the Tim Duncan Foundation to raise general health awareness and fund education and youth sports in various parts of the United States. Tim Duncan is the son of Ione, a midwife, William Duncan, a mason, he has two older sisters and Tricia, one older brother, Scott, a film director and cinematographer. He was born and raised on Saint Croix, one of the main islands composing the U. S. Virgin Islands. In school, Duncan was a bright pupil and dreamt of becoming an Olympic-level swimmer like his sister Tricia, his parents were supportive and Duncan excelled at swimming, becoming a teenage standout in the 50, 100 and 400 meters freestyle and aiming to make the 1992 Olympic Games as a member of the United States Team. When Hurricane Hugo destroyed the island's only Olympic-sized swimming pool in 1989, Duncan was forced to swim in the ocean and he lost his enthusiasm for swimming because of his fear of sharks. Duncan was dealt another emotional blow when his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and died one day before his 14th birthday.
In her last days, she made Duncan and his sisters promise to finish college with a degree, which would explain Duncan's refusal to leave college early. Duncan was inspired by his brother-in-law to turn to basketball. Duncan had difficulties adapting to the game he thought would help relieve his pain and frustration. Nancy Pomroy, the athletic director of the St. Croix Country Day School was quoted: " was so huge. So big and tall, but he was awfully awkward at the time." He overcame this to become a standout for the St. Dunstan's Episcopal High School, averaging 25 points per game as a senior, his play attracted the attention of several universities, despite having only picked up the game in ninth grade. Wake Forest University basketball coach Dave Odom in particular grew interested in Duncan after the 16-year-old played NBA star Alonzo Mourning to a draw in a 5-on-5 pick-up game. Odom was searching for a physical player to play near the basket. Given the weak level of basketball in the Virgin Islands, Odom was wary about Duncan at first after first meeting him and thinking him to be inattentive.
However, after the first talk, Odom understood that this was just Duncan's way of paying attention, discovered that he was not only athletically talented, but a quick learner. Despite scholarship offers by the University of Hartford, the University of Delaware and Providence College, Duncan joined Odom's Wake Forest Demon Deacons. In the year before Duncan's arrival at Wake Forest University, the Demon Deacons reached the Sweet 16, but lost main scorer Rodney Rogers, who entered the 1993 NBA draft. In the 1993–94 NCAA season, Coach Dave Odom was considering redshirting Duncan, but was forced to play him after fellow freshman big man Makhtar N'Diaye was ruled out due to NCAA rules violations and transferred to Michigan. Duncan struggled with early transition problems and was held scoreless in his first college game, but as the year progressed, he and teammate Randolph Childress led the Deacons to a 20–11 win-loss record. Duncan's style of play was simple but effective, combining an array of low-post moves, mid-range bank shots and tough defense.
He was chosen to represent the U. S. in the 1994 Goodwill Games. Meanwhile, Duncan worked towards a degree in psychology and took classes in anthropology and Chinese literature. Despite focusing on basketball, Wake Forest psychology department chairperson Deborah Best was quoted: "Tim was one of my more intellectual students. Other than his height, I couldn't tell him from any other student at Wake Forest." Duncan established his reputation as a stoic player, to the extent that opposing fans taunted him as "Mr. Spock", the prototypical logical, detached character from Star Trek. In the 1994–95 NCAA season, the sophomore was soon called one of the best eligible NBA prospects, along with his peers Joe Smith, Rasheed Wallace and Jerry Stackhouse. Los Angeles Lakers general manager Jerry West suggested that Duncan might become the top pick in the 1995 NBA draft if he went early, but Duncan assured everyone he had no intention of going pro until he graduated though the NBA was planning to add a rookie salary cap in 1996.
He was determined to stay in school. In that season, he led the Demon Deacons into the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game against a Rasheed Wall
Syracuse Orange men's basketball
The Syracuse Orange men's basketball program, known traditionally as the "Syracuse Orangemen", is an intercollegiate men's basketball team representing Syracuse University. The program is classified in the Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, the team competes in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Syracuse is considered one of the most prestigious college basketball programs in the country with 3 overall claimed National Championships and 1 NCAA Tournament championship, as well being a National Runner-up 2 times and holding an active NCAA-record 49 consecutive winning seasons. Syracuse is ranked fifth in total victories among all NCAA Division I programs and seventh in all-time win percentage among programs with at least 50 years in Division I, with an all-time win-loss record of 2008–908† as of March 20, 2019; the Orange are sixth in NCAA Tournament appearances, seventh in NCAA Tournament victories, eighth in Final Four appearances. The Orange play their home games at the Carrier Dome.
The Dome is the largest arena in NCAA DI basketball with a maximum capacity of 35,446. Syracuse's home court total attendance has led the nation 25 times, its per-game season average attendance has been ranked first 14 times since the opening of the Carrier Dome in 1980; the most recent record-breaking game was against Duke in 2019 with the crowd of 35,642 people. The Carrier Dome is considered one of the best home court advantages in college basketball. In its 42nd year under current head coach Jim Boeheim, the team has compiled an all-time record 38 20-win seasons, including 10 Big East regular season championships, 5 Big East Tournament championships, 34 NCAA Tournament appearances, 3 appearances in the national title game. In 2015, after a lengthy investigation, the NCAA's Committee on Infractions ordered Syracuse to vacate 101 wins from five different seasons. However, the NCAA confirmed that sanctions did not include the removal of any banners. Therefore, Syracuse claims all of its NCAA Tournaments appearances and conference titles from those years.† - including 101 victories vacated by NCAA Syracuse fielded its first varsity basketball team in 1916–17.
The program rose to national prominence early in its history, being recognized by the Helms Athletic Foundation as national champions for 1918 and 1926. The program made National Invitation Tournament appearances in 1946 and 1950, won the 1951 National Campus Tournament, made its first NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament appearance in 1957. Notable early era players included Hall of Famer Vic Hanson and racial pioneer Wilmeth Sidat-Singh; the modern era of Syracuse basketball began with the arrival of future Hall of Famer Dave Bing. As a sophomore in 1964, Bing led the team to an NIT appearance and as a senior in 1966, he led the team to its second NCAA Tournament appearance, where it reached the regional final. Bing's backcourt partner on these teams was future Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim. Syracuse remained competitive after Bing's departure, with NIT appearances in 1967, 1971, 1972. Under coach Roy Danforth, in 1973, the team began a string of consecutive NCAA appearances highlighted by a Final Four appearance in 1975.
The 1975 squad featured guard Jim Lee and forward Rudy Hackett and was affectionately known as "Roy's Runts." Following the 1976 season, Danforth was hired away by Tulane University and the University turned to young assistant Jim Boeheim to assume the helm. Boeheim extended the string of NCAA appearances to nine, with bids in each of his first four seasons, a period in which his teams won 100 games; these teams featured star forward Louis Orr and center Roosevelt Bouie, were sometimes referred to as the "Louie and Bouie Show." Syracuse was a founding member of the Big East Conference in 1979, along with Georgetown University, St. John's University and Providence College. Syracuse and Georgetown were each ranked in the top ten in 1980, a new and major rivalry blossomed when Georgetown snapped Syracuse's 57-game home winning streak in the final men's basketball game played at Manley Field House. Over the next ten seasons, these two schools met eight times in the Big East Tournament, four times in the finals, met numerous times on national television during the regular season.
Syracuse was passed over by the NCAA Tournament. The team, featuring Danny Schayes and Leo Rautins, finished runner-up in the NIT; the team returned to the NIT in 1982, before beginning another extended streak of NCAA appearances in 1983. In 1983, heralded high school phenomenon Dwayne "Pearl" Washington joined the team, led the school to NCAA appearances in 1984, 1985, 1986, before leaving school early for the NBA Draft. Washington grew up in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, New York, where he acquired his nickname as an eight-year-old in a taunting comparison to Earl "the Pearl" Monroe, he was a playground phenomenon from Boys and Girls High School in Brooklyn, was rated as the number one overall high school player in the United States 1983. He brought his flashy play to the Carrier Dome. "The Pearl" was the master of the "cross-over" moves. It is believed that Pearl Washington brought Syracuse basketball to national prominence and helped usher the Big East into the national spotlight in the mid-1980s.
In the Carrier Dome's first three years, Syracuse's highest attendance mark was a mere 20,401 in the 1982-83. In 1983, Pearl's freshman year, Syracuse's attendance increased to 22,380 per game; as as sophomore, Syracuse led the nation in attendance for the first time in school history. Syracuse would be the NCAA's attendance leader for the next ten years. By the time Washington was a