Off The Boards By Jack Scheuer – January 20, 2016 Edition

Off The Boards

By Jack Scheuer

January 20, 2016 Edition

Big doings at the Palestra tonight, when the Big 5 will celebrate it’s 60th anniversary year with a double-header that will obviously bring back some fond memories.  The twin-bills began in that first season, 1955-56, and the ensuing years saw some great players and outstanding teams perform in this hallowed building.  The best Big 5 teams, players, and games have been well documented, so I will dwell on the visitors.
How about 1957-58 when the all-opponents team included three pretty good players named Wilt Chamberlain, Oscar Robertson and Jerry West?  In 62-63 the great Bill Bradley was the Outstanding Visiting Player, and was a repeat winner the next two seasons.  Some other stars who arrived through the years were Hall of Famers Rick Barry, Dave Bing, Lenny Wilkens, Bob Lanier, Calvin Murphy, and David Robinson.  Also, in 1970, we saw a little known forward from UMass who showed some promise named Julius Erving.
Many nationally ranked teams came to town regularly, and there are two games that still stick in my mind: La Salle, in 1971 defeating 5th ranked Western Kentucky with Ken Durrett throwing in 45 points; and  Ed Pinckney leading Villanova to a 68-67 pulsating victory over top-rated Georgetown and Patrick Ewing in 1983.  Both games were played before standing room-only crowds that went slightly over the 9,208 seating capacity (it is now 8,722).
There should  be a sell-out tonight when Temple meets La Salle, and Penn battles Saint Joe’s.  I suspect there will be quite a few fans from the past on hand reminiscing about  the doubleheaders they witnessed.  At the Palestra, still the best building in the country for college basketball games.
                                                                         *  *  * *  *  * *  *
Coach Larry Brown brings undefeated SMU to Temple on Saturday in what should be an entertaining game.  The 8th-ranked Mustangs (18-0), have five players in double figures led by Nic Moore, one of the top point guards in the nation.  Also contributing is a much slimmed-down Markus Kennedy, the rebounding forward who transferred from Villanova three years ago.
                                                                          *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *
Trivia Time: Who has the Palestra record for scoring the most points in one game? Answer at the end of the column.
                                                                           *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *
This and That: Marvin O’Connor will represent St.Joe’s in this year’s A-10 Legends class.  His 18 points in 57 seconds in a 2001 game against La Salle is still one of the most amazing feats we’ve ever seen, but it never really received that much attention……..Good to see Langston Galloway getting quality minutes with the Knicks….In their loss at Rhode Island, La Salle had only 16 total rebounds. That’s hard to do….Upcoming: On Saturday, streaking Villanova hosts Providence at the Wells Fargo, much-improved Saint Joe’s is at La Salle, and Drexel is home with N.C. Wilmington.
                                                                            *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *
Answer to Trivia Time: In a game against La Salle on Dec. 16, 1967, Niagara’s Calvin Murphy scored a Palestra high 52 points.


Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.