You like the current trend of flat tops on college players? Get a whiff of history, my friends.
Two of basketball’s greatest historical flat tops were inducted into the Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in Kansas City today, as Georgetown’s Patrick Ewing and Clyde Lovellette of Kansas headlined a distinguished class of ten inductees.
Joining Ewing and Lovellette were North Carolina’s Phil Ford, Willis Reed from Grambling St., Earl “The Pearl” Monroe from Winston-Salem State and Kenny Sailors of Wyoming. Two coaches were also included: Kentucky’s Joe B. Hall and Dave Robbins of Virginia Union.
Ewing led Georgetown to a national title in 1984. Lovellette got his with Kansas in 1952. Ford won the Wooden Award in 1978. Monroe was a DII national champion, Reed earned an NAIA title. Sailors is credited with popularizing the jump shot and gave Wyoming a title in 1943.
Joe B. Hall is well-known as one of Kentucky’s greatest coaches, but Robbins might be a bit of a cipher to most fans of the game. He coached the DII Virginia Union Panthers from 1978 to 2008, winning three DII national titles and mentoring future pros Charles Oakley and Ben Wallace.
Player, businessman, announcer and athletic director Joe Dean and NCAA marketing whiz Jim Host were inducted as contributors to the game.
The 6-foot-3 guard averaged 10.3 points per game, while shooting 42 percent from three, as a freshman. He, along with Malcolm Hill and Michael Thorne Jr., is one of three returning players who averaged double figures last season.
This could prove to be a make-or-break year for John Groce, who enters his fifth season at the helm. He guided the Illini to an NCAA Tournament in his first season, but hasn’t been back since.
The key for the Illini is health. Abrams gives them experience and leadership, but it won’t be a surprise if there’s some rust in his game after spending the past two seasons on the sideline. Having a healthy Coleman-Lands will help stabilize the backcourt, while Hill, an all-conference caliber forward, and Thorne anchor the frontcourt.
Like Alkins, Jones was a sought-after scorer. The 6-foot-4 two-guard was rated No. 69 overall in the Class of 2016 by Rivals. He picked Indiana over offers from Cal, Cincinnati, Georgetown and more than a dozen other high-major programs.
Jeter, the 6-foot-10, played in a reserve role as a freshman, averaging 1.9 points and 1.9 rebounds per game last season. He will be part of a loaded frontline that includes heralded freshmen Harry Giles and Marques Bolden, as well as redshirt senior Amile Jefferson, who returns to the lineup following a foot injury.
The greatest player in Auburn program history will honored with a statue outside of the team’s home arena.
The university announced that Charles Barkley, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer, will be the fourth athlete to be given a statue, joining Heisman Trophy winners Bo Jackson, Pat Sullivan and Cam Newton.
“It just means a great deal to me,” Barkley said in a statement. “Being a kid from Alabama, going to Auburn. I think everybody knows what Auburn means to me. It’s going to be pretty cool.”
Barkley, currently working as an analyst for TNT, was the SEC Player of the Year in 1984, as well as a second team All-American. He averaged 14.1 points and 9.6 rebounds per game in 84 appearances for the Tigers.