The Kentucky Colonels were a member of the American Basketball Association for all of the league's nine years. The name is derived from the historic Kentucky colonels; the Colonels won the most games and had the highest winning percentage of any franchise in the league's history, but the team did not join the NBA in the 1976 ABA–NBA merger. The downtown Louisville Convention Center was the Colonels' original venue for the first three seasons before moving to Freedom Hall for the remaining seasons, beginning with the 1970–71 schedule; the Kentucky Colonels were only one of two ABA teams, along with the Indiana Pacers, to play for the entire duration of the league without relocating, changing its team name, or folding. The Colonels were the only major league franchise in Kentucky since the Louisville Breckenridges left the National Football League in 1923; the Louisville-based Colonels started their time in the ABA as a colorful franchise, not just because of their bright chartreuse green uniforms.
Among the things they were known for was their "mascot" Ziggy, a prize-winning Brussels Griffon dog, owned by original team owners Joe and Mamie Gregory. They were famous for publicity stunts, their most famous coming in 1968 when Penny Ann Early, the first licensed female horse racing jockey, was signed to appear in an ABA game; the early color of their franchise began to wane during the 1970–71 season, when they signed another Wildcat star in All-American Dan Issel. They dropped the chartreuse green uniforms in favor of a blue and white scheme similar to that of the Wildcats. Another abnormality to the Colonels uniform change was that the players' last names on the back had only the first letter capitalized, as opposed to all capital letters, which are universally featured on the back of nearly every professional or collegiate basketball uniform which names on the back of jerseys are featured. Issel's signing helped. Despite an average record in the regular season, they made a serious run at the 1971 ABA championship.
They fell just short and lost to the Utah Stars in seven games. They proved to be better in 1971, with the signing of Artis Gilmore. Gilmore's signing would help make the Colonels a legitimate powerhouse for years to come; the Colonels won 68 games in his rookie campaign under coach Joe Mullaney. Yet, in the playoffs, they were upset by the New York Nets in the first round. Kentucky recovered and made another championship run during the 1972–73 playoffs, but lost a physical series to the Indiana Pacers in 7 games, 4 games to 3. After the season, the franchise was nearly moved out-of-state to Cincinnati, but was purchased by John Y. Brown, Jr. a future Kentucky governor who owned Kentucky Fried Chicken for years. Brown helped increase interest in the team, looked to improve its on-court performance by hiring popular ABA coach Babe McCarthy, but after they were swept in the second round of the playoffs by the Nets, Brown gave McCarthy his walking papers. For the 1974–75 season, Brown hired Hubie Brown, a former NBA assistant coach, to give them that championship.
Unlike the past year, the Colonels would not be denied. After a torrid finish to the regular season, which saw them win 23 of 26 games, they ripped through the playoffs, beat their nemesis, the Indiana Pacers, in a dominant 4 games to 1 victory to win the 1975 ABA championship. Gilmore grabbed an amazing 31 rebounds in the final game; that same season the Golden State Warriors won the NBA Title. Colonels owner, John Y. Brown, offered the NBA Champs a million dollars to play a one-game world championship; the Warriors and the NBA refused. The celebration of the 1975 season ended when John Y. Brown, Jr. dealt Dan Issel to the ABA's new Baltimore Claws franchise for financial reasons. They acquired all-star Caldwell Jones to replace him. Jones was dealt mid-season for young Maurice Lucas. Hubie managed to make the team competitive, but they lost in the postseason to the Denver Nuggets in 7 games. Kentucky was one of the league's most talented teams, had one of its best fan bases, but during the ABA's talks of merging with the NBA, the Colonels were not a favorite to change leagues.
As a result, John Y. Brown, Jr. was forced to fold the Colonels. Brown would indeed get an NBA franchise: he purchased the Buffalo Braves in 1976 traded it for the Boston Celtics two years later. Colonels players were distributed to other teams in a dispersal draft, with Artis Gilmore being drafted first by the Chicago Bulls. Maurice Lucas went on to be an all-star for the Portland Trail Blazers and Louie Dampier, who ended up being the all-time leader in points and assists, ended his career as a sixth man for the San Antonio Spurs. Coach Hubie Brown went on to coach the Atlanta Hawks for five seasons after the merger before being fired; the Colonels won 448 games in the ABA, more than any other franchise. The Colonels' overall regular season record was 448–296; the Colonels' playoff record was 55–46. Only the Indiana Pacers won more ABA playoff games. On March 6, 1967, the American Basketball Association awarded the franchise that became the Kentucky Colonels to Don Regan f
Pan American Games
The Pan American Games is a major sporting event in the Americas featuring summer sports, in which thousands of athletes participate in a variety of competitions. The competition is held among athletes from nations of the Americas, every four years in the year before the Summer Olympic Games; the only Winter Pan American Games were held in 1990. And from 2021, there would be a Junior Pan American Games for young athletes; the Pan American Sports Organization is the governing body of the Pan American Games movement, whose structure and actions are defined by the Olympic Charter. The XVII Pan American Games were held in Toronto from July 10–26, 2015. Since 2007, host cities are contracted to manage both the Pan American and the Parapan American Games, in which athletes with physical disabilities compete with one another; the Parapan American Games are held following the Pan American Games. The Pan American Games Movement consists of international sports federations, National Olympic Committees that are recognized by PASO, organizing committees for each specific Pan American Games.
As the decision-making body, PASO is responsible for choosing the host city for each Pan American Games. The host city is responsible for organizing and funding a celebration of the Games consistent with the Olympic Charter and rules; the Pan American Games program, consisting of the sports to be contested at the Games, is determined by PASO. The celebration of the Games encompasses many rituals and symbols, such as the flag and torch, the opening and closing ceremonies. Over 5,000 athletes compete at the Pan American Games in nearly 400 events; the first and third-place finishers in each event receive gold and bronze medals, respectively. The idea of holding a Pan American Games was first raised at the 1932 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, where Latin American representatives of the International Olympic Committee suggested that a competition among all the countries in the Americas should be created; the first event called the Pan American Games took place in Dallas in 1937 as part of the Greater Texas & Pan-American Exposition, but it attracted so little attention it has never counted in the records of the competition.
At the first Pan American Sports Congress, held in Buenos Aires in 1940, the participants decided that the first games should be held in Buenos Aires in 1942. The plans had to be postponed because of World War II. A second Pan American Sports Congress held in London during the 1948 Summer Olympics reconfirmed Buenos Aires as the choice of host city for the inaugural games, which were held in 1951; the games offered 18 sports. Countries that were part of the Commonwealth of Nations such as Canada did not compete at the first Pan American Games; the second games were held in Mexico. Competitions started on March 12 and included 2,583 athletes from 22 countries, competing in 17 sports; the Pan American Games have been held subsequently every four years. While the inaugural 1951 Games hosted 2,513 participants representing 14 nations, the most recent 2015 Pan American Games involved 6,132 competitors from 41countries. During the games most athletes and officials are housed in the Pan American Games village.
This village is intended to be a self-contained home for all the participants. It is furnished with cafeterias, health clinics, locations for religious expression. PASO allows nations to compete that do not meet the strict requirements for political sovereignty that other international organizations demand; as a result and dependencies are permitted to set up their own National Olympic Committees. Examples of this include territories such as Puerto Rico and Bermuda which compete as separate nations despite being under the jurisdiction of another power. There have been attempts to hold Winter Pan American Games throughout the history of the games, but these have had little success. An initial attempt to hold winter events was made by the organizers of the 1951 Pan American Games in Buenos Aires, who planned to stage winter events in the year but dropped the idea due to lack of interest. Reliable winter snow in the Americas is limited to the United States and Canada. Andean winter weather is fickle, higher elevation areas in South America with annual snow lack the infrastructure to host major sporting events.
Another difficulty is that the Americas cover two hemispheres, which creates scheduling issues related to reverse seasons. Lake Placid, New York tried to organize Winter Games in 1959 but, not enough countries expressed interest; the plans were cancelled. In 1988, members of PASO voted to hold the first Pan American Winter Games at Las Leñas, Argentina in September 1989, it was further agreed. Lack of snow however, forced the postponement of the games until September 16–22, 1990 when only eight countries sent 97 athletes to Las Leñas. Of that total, 76 were from just three countries: Argentina and the United States. Weather was unseasonably warm and again there was little snow, so only three Alpine Skiing events – the Slalom, Giant Slalom, Super G were staged; the United States and Canada won all 18 medals. PASO awarded the second Pan American Winter Games to Santiago, Chile for 1993; the United States warned. The Santiago organizing committee gave up on planning the Games after the United States Olympic Committee declined to participate, the idea has not been revived since.
On 16 January 2019 PASO announced the creation of the Juni
Frank Ramsey (basketball)
Frank Vernon Ramsey Jr. was an American professional basketball player and coach. A 6-3 guard, he played his entire nine-year NBA career with the Boston Celtics and played a major role in the early part of their dynasty, winning seven championships as part of the team. Ramsey was a head coach for the Kentucky Colonels of the ABA during the 1970–1971 season. Ramsey was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1982. Raised in Madisonville, Ramsey was a multi-sport athlete at the University of Kentucky, playing baseball as well as basketball. Playing under legendary coach Adolph Rupp, Ramsey, as a sophomore in 1951, helped the Wildcats 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, Ramsey's senior year, as well as that of Cliff Hagan 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", although it was nothing more than the NCAA asking members schools not to schedule Kentucky, not mandating it.
Ramsey 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 Kentucky for one more season despite graduating. 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. Ramsey played on Kentucky Wildcats baseball team, earning All-SEC honors as an outfielder in 1951, 1952 and 1954. Upon completion of his college basketball career, Ramsey scored 1344 points, which at the time ranked him fourth in the school's history, grabbed 1038 rebounds, a school record surpassed by one of his future Kentucky Colonels players, Dan Issel. After playing his rookie season with the Celtics, Ramsey spent one year in the military before rejoining the team.
In the eight seasons he played after military service, he was a member of seven championship teams. He was a major contributor of the Celtics dynasty, playing behind the duo of Bob Cousy and Bill Sharman and playing with Bill Russell, Sam Jones, K. C. Jones, Tom Heinsohn, John Havlicek and Satch Sanders. In his 623 NBA games Ramsey scored 8378 points for an average of 13.4 points per game. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1981, his #23 is retired by the Celtics. Ramsey's best statistical season was 1957–1958, it was his only post-military season in which the Celtics did not win the NBA championship. Ramsey was a head coach for one season in the ABA with the Kentucky Colonels, who were led by two former Kentucky Wildcats – Issel, a rookie, Louie Dampier. Ramsey was named coach 17 games into an 84-game season and, though he had a 32-35 record, coached the Colonels into the playoffs; the Colonels lost to the Utah Stars in the 1971 ABA Finals, 4 games to 3. Joe Mullaney replaced Ramsey as coach the following season.
Prior to coaching in the ABA, Ramsey had been Red Auerbach's first choice to replace his mentor as Celtics coach after Auerbach retired at the end of the 1965–66 season. However, Ramsey decided to move back to Madisonville. Auerbach is credited throughout basketball with creating the sixth man. Though Ramsey was one of the Celtics' best players, he felt more comfortable coming off the bench and Auerbach wanted him fresh and in the lineup at the end of close games. Ramsey was the first in a series of sixth men. In the championships the Celtics won after Ramsey's retirement, they have had successful sixth men such as Havlicek, Paul Silas, Kevin McHale, Bill Walton, James Posey. Ramsey was mentioned in the episode ``. Bud asked Al the trivia question, "Who was known as the best sixth man in basketball? He played for the Celtics", to which Al nonchalantly replied, "Frank Ramsey". However, little did. On November 15, 2005, Ramsey's house was destroyed in a tornado that hit his residence in Madisonville.
One of his plaques was found miles away from his home, Ramsey himself was found unhurt. As of June 2008, Ramsey was a bank president in Kentucky. Ramsey died of natural causes in his hometown of Madisonville, Kentucky on July 8, 2018 at the age of 86. Ramsey was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1982. In 2005, Ramsey was inducted into the University of Kentucky Athletics Hall of Fame. In 2006, Ramsey was a charter inductee to the College Basketball Hall of Fame. Ramsey's #23 jersey
Alex John Groza was an American professional basketball player from Martins Ferry, Ohio, banned from the National Basketball Association for life in 1951 for point shaving. This scandal was the CCNY point shaving scandal, he had an outstanding college career at the University of Kentucky and was a two-time All-NBA player for the Indianapolis Olympians before his career came to an abrupt end. Groza grew up in Martins Ferry and attended Martins Ferry High School, he was the brother of future Pro Football Hall-of-Famer Lou Groza. Alex Groza led the Purple Riders to two undefeated regular seasons and to the Ohio state tournament both years, as Martins Ferry finished 24-1 in 1943 and 26-1 in 1944. In 1944, he scored 628 points, including 41 in one game, was named first-team All-Ohio. Groza was the captain and center of the "Fabulous Five" that won the 1948 and 1949 NCAA Men's Basketball Championships, as well as the leading scorer on the gold medal-winning 1948 US Olympic basketball team. Groza was three-time All-American and All-SEC, two-time NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player.
Groza was drafted in the 1st round of the 1949 NBA Draft by the Indianapolis Olympians. Groza was named NBA Rookie of the Year; because the award was selected by newspaper writers at the time, the NBA does not recognize Groza having won the award. He averaged 22.5 points per game over two seasons before being implicated along with college teammates Ralph Beard and Dale Barnstable in a point shaving scandal during the 1948–49 season at Kentucky. NBA president Maurice Podoloff banned all of the implicated players from the league for life; as a result of this ban, Groza became the first player in NBA history to end his career with a season in which he averaged at least 20 points per game. In NBA history, only three players have had higher scoring averages in their final NBA seasons: Bob Pettit, Paul Arizin, Dražen Petrović. After his playing career ended, Groza became the coach of Bellarmine College in Louisville, Kentucky. In 1963, Groza led the Knights to a Kentucky Intercolliegiate Athletic Conference title and was named KIAC coach of the year.
Groza left Bellarmine in 1966 for a brief coaching and managerial career in the American Basketball Association. Between 1971 and 1975, Groza coached 40 games with the Kentucky Colonels and San Diego Conquistadors and held a number of front office positions, including becoming the Kentucky Colonels' business manager in 1969 and general manager of the San Diego Conquistadors in 1972. Groza was 2-0 as coach of the Colonels but 15-23 as coach of the Conquistadors, putting his career coaching record at 17-23. Groza served as general manager of the San Diego Conquistadors beginning in 1972 until taking over as the team's coach in 1974, replacing Wilt Chamberlain. In 1975 Groza became director of player development for the San Diego Sails of the ABA. After the team moved to Houston, Groza remained in San Diego, working as a sales manager for Reynolds International until his death. Alex Groza died of cancer in 1995 at age 68, he was survived by his wife of 42 years, Jean Groza, two sons, two daughters, two grandchildren.
Groza led the league in field goal percentage in 1950. Alex Groza was the brother of football Hall of Famer Lou Groza. Groza's nickname was "The Beak". Alex Groza Info Page at NBA.com Alex Groza Player Statistics at Basketball-Reference.com Alex Groza Coach Statistics at Basketball-Reference.com Alex Groza – UK Career Statistics and Biography "Alex Groza, Basketball Star For Kentucky, Is Dead at 68", The New York Times, January 23, 1995 "Alex Groza". Find a Grave. Retrieved September 3, 2010
Freedom Hall is a multi-purpose arena in Louisville, Kentucky, on the grounds of the Kentucky Exposition Center, owned by the Commonwealth of Kentucky. It is best known for its use as a basketball arena, serving as the home of the University of Louisville Cardinals It has hosted Motley Crue, Elvis Presley, The Doors, Led Zeppelin, Van Halen and many more; as well as many Weeks events men's team from 1956 to 2010, the Kentucky Colonels of the American Basketball Association from 1970 until the ABA-NBA merger in June 1976, the Louisville Cardinals women's team from its inception in 1975 to 2010. Freedom Hall's last regular tenant was the Kentucky Stickhorses of the North American Lacrosse League, who used it from 2011 until the team folded in 2013. From 2015 to 2019 it has hosted the VEX Robotics Competition World Championships yearly in mid-April; the arena lost its status as Kentuckiana's main indoor sporting and concert venue when the downtown KFC Yum! Center opened in 2010, it is still used however, hosting concerts, horse shows and basketball games.
Freedom Hall was completed in 1956 in the newly opened Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center located 5 miles south of Downtown Louisville. It received its name as the result of a statewide essay contest sponsored by the State Fair Board and the American Legion. Charlotte Owens, a senior at DuPont Manual High School, submitted the winning entry over 6,500 others. Designed for the nation's premier equestrian competition, the Kentucky State Fair World's Championship Horse Show, the floor length and permanent seating were designed for the 300-foot -long show ring; the North American International Livestock Exposition is held there each November. Muhammad Ali fought his first professional fight at Freedom Hall when he won a six-round decision over Tunney Hunsaker. Freedom Hall was one of the major stops on the Motortown traveling music revue during the early and mid-1960s. Judgment Day was held at the Freedom Hall. A collegiate wrestling tournament was held at the arena in 2019; the Kentucky Colonels fielded successful teams during their tenure at Freedom Hall, winning the American Basketball Association Championship in the 1974-75 season and reaching the ABA Finals two other times.
The 1970-71 team played in the ABA Championship Finals. The 1972-73 team advanced to the Finals again; the Colonels were disbanded when the ABA merged with the National Basketball Association in 1976. Hall of Fame players Dan Issel and Artis Gilmore played for the Colonels during their successful run. Hall of Fame Coach Hubie Brown coached the Colonels Championship team. In 1984 the facility was refurbished, including lowering the floor to allow maximum capacity to increase from 16,664 to 18,865 for basketball, it was the full-time home of Cardinal men's basketball from the 1957-58 season to 2010, with the team winning 82% of home games in 50+ seasons. U of L was ranked in the Top 5 in attendance for the past 25 years, with 16 of the last 19 years averaging more than 100% of capacity. In addition to being the home of the Cardinals, Freedom Hall has hosted NCAA Tournament games ten times, including six Final Fours between 1958 and 1969; the arena has hosted 11 conference tournaments, nine Metro Conference Tournaments and two Conference USA tournaments—2001 and 2003.
It has hosted the Kentucky Boys' High School State Basketball Tournament 23 times, including every year from 1965 to 1978. In 1984, the floor of the arena was lowered about 10 feet to increase the capacity of the arena from 16,613 to its current figure. In the 1996-97 season Freedom Hall averaged an attendance of 19,590 surpassing arena capacity. Freedom Hall hosts the Championship tractor pull every February during the National Farm Machinery Show. In November 2008 the Louisville Fire of af2 ceased operations; the Louisville Fire was an Arena Football team. On the lower level is the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame where an engraved bronze plaque honors each inductee; the University of Louisville men's basketball team played their final game at FH in front of a record crowd of 20,138 on March 6, 2010 against Syracuse University, the #1 ranked team in the nation. The arena began to gain new tenants in 2012 with the addition of the Kentucky Stickhorses, in 2013, with the addition of the Kentucky Xtream.
However, the Kentucky Stickhorses folded in 2014 after the lack of attendance. The Kentucky Xtream was suspended in the middle of the season, with other teams playing their remaining games as the team's fate is still in the air. List of events in Freedom Hall KFC Yum! Center Sports in Louisville, Kentucky List of attractions and events in the Louisville metropolitan area University of Louisville athletics' website on Freedom Hall Official site of Freedom Hall
Orlando Henry "Tubby" Smith is an American college basketball coach. He was hired as the men's basketball coach at High Point University, his alma mater. Smith served in the same role at the University of Tulsa, the University of Georgia, the University of Kentucky, the University of Minnesota, Texas Tech University, the University of Memphis. With Kentucky, he coached the Wildcats to the 1998 NCAA championship. In his 28 years as a head coach, Smith has achieved 26 winning seasons. In 2005, he joined Roy Williams, Nolan Richardson, Denny Crum, Jim Boeheim as the only head coaches to win 365 games in 15 seasons or fewer. With Texas Tech's invitation to the 2016 NCAA Tournament, Smith became only the second coach in history to lead five different teams to the NCAA tournament. Smith's three sons are following in their father's coaching footsteps. G. G. Smith, who played for his father at the University of Georgia, was the head coach at Loyola, is the associate head coach at High Point, his middle son Saul Smith played for his father at the University of Kentucky and was an assistant coach for his father at Memphis.
Brian, his youngest son, was a point guard at Ole Miss and is the head coach at Saint John Paul II Academy in Boca Raton, Florida. Smith was born in Scotland, Maryland, in Saint Mary's County, the sixth of 17 children born to sharecroppers Guffrie and Parthenia Smith, his large family accounts for his unusual nickname. Of all the Smith children, Tubby was most fond of staying in the galvanized washtub where the children were bathed. Smith says he tried to shake the moniker several times, he recalls that a 10th grade teacher who didn't tolerate nicknames was the last person to call him by his proper name, Orlando. After having a scholarship offer from the University of Maryland rescinded, Smith enrolled at High Point College, graduating in 1973, he played under three head coaches including future boss J. D. Barnett, he was an all-conference performer as a senior. Smith earned a Bachelor of Science degree in health and physical education while at High Point, met his future wife, the homecoming queen.
In 1973, Smith began his coaching career with four years at his high school alma mater – Great Mills High School in Great Mills, compiling a 46–36 record. His next stop was Hoke County High School in Raeford, North Carolina, where he recorded a 28–18 mark in two seasons. Smith began as assistant coach at Virginia Commonwealth University under his former High Point coach J. D. Barnett. From 1979 to 1986, VCU amassed a 144 -- 64 record. Smith took two important things away from his experience as an assistant coach for the Rams. First, under Barnett, Smith learned the principles of the ball-line defense, a hallmark of Smith's teams throughout his head coaching career. Second was a relationship with fellow assistant David Hobbs, an assistant and associate head coach under Smith during his tenure at the University of Kentucky. Smith left Virginia Commonwealth in 1986 to join George Felton's staff at the University of South Carolina. Felton remembered Smith from having recruited one of his players while Smith was at Hoke High School.
During Smith's three years, the Gamecocks were 53–35. Roles would be reversed, with Smith bringing Felton in as an assistant coach at Kentucky. Smith joined the University of Kentucky under head coach Rick Pitino, who had the challenge of rebuilding a UK program, rocked by NCAA probation and player defections. With only eight scholarship student-athletes, none taller than 6–7, the staff molded the Cats into winners once again, exceeding expectations to record a 14–14 mark; the following year, with Smith promoted to associate coach and UK still on probation, the Wildcats earned a 22–6 record, a final ranking of ninth in the AP poll, an SEC-best 14–4 record. Smith wasn't the only soon-to-be high-profile name on Pitino's coaching staff at Kentucky. Future head coaches Ralph Willard, Herb Sendek, Billy Donovan, Bernadette Locke-Mattox were all Smith's colleagues. From 1991 to 1995, Smith led the Tulsa Golden Hurricane men's basketball to a 79–43 record. Rebuilding the basketball program his first two years, he led the team to two consecutive Missouri Valley Conference regular season titles and two appearances in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament in 1994 and 1995.
Smith's 1994 Tulsa team upset UCLA in the tourney's first round before knocking off Oklahoma State. In'95, the Golden Hurricane defeated Big Ten team Illinois to open March Madness. On March 29, 1995, Smith accepted the head coaching job at the University of Georgia, becoming the school's first African-American head coach. In two seasons, he led the Bulldogs to a 45–19 record, including the first back-to-back seasons of 20 wins or more in school history, his teams achieved a Sweet 16 finish in the 1996 NCAA Tournament and lost in the first round of the 1997 NCAA Tournament. The Bulldogs defeated Clemson to open the'96 tournament before upsetting the top-seeded Purdue Boilermakers. Tubby Smith was introduced as the Wildcats' 20th head coach on May 12, 1997, charged with the task of replacing popular coach Rick Pitino, who left to become the head coach of the NBA's Boston Celtics; the Wildcats were at the top of the basketball world at the time, having won a national title in 1996 and played in the national title game in 1997.
The team Smith inherited had seven players from the Arizona loss and five from the 1996 championship team. In his first season at UK, he coached the Wildcats to their seventh NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship, including a come-from-behind victory against Duke in t
The shooting guard known as the two or off guard, is one of the five traditional positions in a regulation basketball game. A shooting guard's main objective is to steal the ball on defense; some teams ask. A player who can switch between playing shooting guard and small forward is known as a swingman. In the NBA, shooting guards range from 6' 3" to 6' 7" and 5' 9" to 6' 0" in the WNBA; the Basketball Handbook by Lee Rose describes a shooting guard as someone whose primary role is to score points. As the name suggests, most shooting guards are good long-range shooters averaging 35–40 percent from three-point range. Many shooting guards are strong and athletic, have the ability to get inside the paint and drive to the basket. Shooting guards are taller than point guards. Height at the position varies. Shooting guards should be good ball handlers and be able to pass reasonably well, though passing is not their main priority. Since good shooting guards may attract double-teams, they are the team's back-up ball handlers to the point guard and get a fair number of assists.
Shooting guards must be able to score in various ways late in a close game when defenses are tighter. They need to have a good free throw percentage too, to be reliable in close games and to discourage opposing players from fouling; because of the high level of offensive skills shooting guards need, they are a team's primary scoring option, sometimes the offense is built around them. In the NBA, there are some shooting guards referred to as "D" players; the term 3 and D implies that the player is a good 3 point shooter who can play solid defense. The 3 and D player has become important as the game sways to be perimeter oriented. Good shooting guards can play point guard to a certain extent, it is accepted that point guards should have the ball in their hands at most times in the game, but sometimes the shooting guard has a significant enough influence on the team where he or she handles the ball often, to the point where the point guard may be reduced to a backup ball handler or spot-up shooter.
The Basketball Handbook. Lee H. Rose ISBN 0-7360-4906-1 Media related to Shooting guards at Wikimedia Commons