Off The Boards By Jack Scheuer – December 16, 2015 Edition

Off The Boards

By Jack Scheuer

December 16, 2015 Edition

As part of it’s 60th anniversary year, the Big 5 has selected five teams as it’s best ever, and they will be inducted the into the Hall of Fame on January 11, 2016.  The quintet includes La Salle ’68- 69, Penn ’70- 71, Saint Joseph’s ’03-04, Temple ’87-88, and Villanova ’84-85, and is certainly an outstanding group.  I realize the difficulty in picking just five, but three other teams come to mind that would certainly have been given consideration.  I know the ’85 Wildcats (25-10) won the NCAA title, but I always thought the ’70-71 team that included Howard Porter, Chris Ford and Tom Ingelsby was Villanova’s best.  That squad (23-6) lost 68-62 to UCLA in the NCAA championship game. Also, in 1956, Temple had Guy Rodgers and Hal Lear, considered the best backcourt in the city’s history, but lost to Iowa in the NCAA semi-finals.  And finally, the ’64-65 Saint Joe’s team, (26-3), featuring Cliff Anderson and Matty Guokas, won 16 straight before an overtime loss to Providence in the Eastern Regional.  Bottom line in all of this: We’ve seen some great college basketball through the years.
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SMU has a little trouble obeying the rules, but the Larry Browns are off to their best start (7-0), since the 1997-98 season.  In their last outing the 18th ranked Mustangs beat Michigan by 24 points.  SMU, led by star point guard Nic Moore, will be at Temple on January 23.
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 Trivia Time: Who is the last Penn player to have a 20 point- 20 rebound game? Answer at the end of the column.
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Think you’re not getting older? Former Overbrook, UCLA, and Lakers star Walt Hazzard’s GRANDSON, Max, is playing at UC Irvine as is Spencer Rivers, Doc’s son.  Meanwhile, Gary Payton II is a starter at Oregon State, joined by Stephen Thompson, whose dad Stephie had a nice career at Syracuse.
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This and That: Temple’s Will Cummings is with Houston’s D-League team in Rio Grande Valley, Texas.  One of his teammates is Georgetown’s huge center Josh Smith…Ex-Wildcat Reggie Redding  is playing in Turkey, Saint Joe’s Halil Kanacevic has landed in Spain…There can’t be too many players around who are a solid as Villanova’s Josh Hart. The junior guard does everything, and does it well….Upcoming: Tough games for Villanova and Saint Joe’s on Saturday.  The Wildcats are at Virginia, while a good Illinois State team visits Hawk Hill.  Meanwhile, also on Saturday, Temple hosts Delaware State, and action at the Palestra has Drexel meeting Penn State, and Penn welcoming Ursinus, alma mater of Quaker coach Steve Donahue….La Salle is off until Tuesday when it meets nationally raked Miami, also at the Palestra.
Answer to Trivia Time: On Feb.27,1987, center Bruce Lefkowitz had a 20-20 game against Brown.

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