Jack Scheuer’s Off The Boards – January 29, 2014 Edition


By Jack Scheuer

January 29, 2014 Edition

Tom Gola passed away last Sunday, and the tributes have been pouring in from players, coaches and fans who saw this great player.  I think he is the greatest to ever come out of a Philadelphia college, and I know  that opinion might be challenged.  Villanova’s Paul Arizin was better as a pro, and a prolific scorer, but as a collegian, Gola was superb in every facet of the gamed .  At 6-6,  he could play all five positions if needed, and play them well.  He would start a game jumping center, and at some point might be at the front of a zone.  Meanwhile he would be scoring, and rebounding like no one has ever rebounded.  He scored 2,461 points, and his rebound total of 2,201 will never be challenged.  Add all this talent with a terrific human being, and you can understand why his passing has touched so many people.
Gola seemed to be at his best when LaSalle played in Madison Square Garden, and the New York media took a special liking to him. Frequently, in game stories, a play would be described by saying “the Great Gola” drove in for a layup, or the “Great Gola” stole the ball.
The Great Gola.  Indeed!
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Here’s a little tidbit that seems to have escaped the basketball fans of Philadelphia.  Since total statistics were established in 1973, the most career triple-doubles by a Division One player has been six.  Only two players accomplished that feat.  LSU’s Shaquille O’Neal is one.  The other? Drexel’s terrific guard Michael Anderson.
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Trivia Time: Who is the A-10’s all time leader in blocked shots? Answer at the end of the column.
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After their nice win over Georgetown , Villanova plays at undermanned Temple on Saturday. But remember, it’s a Big 5 game. Meanwhile St. Joe’s is on the road with a tough Dayton tonight, then welcomes UMass on Saturday; The Owls host Rutgers tonight while LaSalle is visiting greatly improved George Washington, and Drexel is at Hofstra. Penn has weekend games at Dartmouth and Harvard.
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This and That: After seeing Indiana’s Tom Crean  do his walking up and down walk during games, you wonder when his battery will wind down….Mick Cronin at Cincinnati is a habitual whiner, but you have to be impressed with his team’s defense (except for the Temple game)….Ex-Sixer Jody Meeks is one of the few Lakers having a good season. He’s one of the NBA’s leading three-point shooters…. Hawk Halil  Kanacevic is leading his team in assists for the second straight year. He also is the top rebounder this season. Not many players lead in both of those categories…. I would love to see a shooting contest between Ethan Wragge of Creighton and Michigan’s Nik Stauskas. These guys make four-pointers.
Answer to Trivia Time: Rodney Blake of St. Joe’s had 419 blocks.

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