Off The Boards By Jack Scheuer – January 11, 2017 Edition

Off The Boards

By Jack Scheuer

January 11, 2017 Edition

You have heard it said through the years: “There’s nothing like a jam-packed Palestra.” That’s something we locals know is true, but last Saturday when Penn State played Michigan State, a national TV audience was given a chance to see a little of the history and charm of this 90-year old treasure.  In what seemed like a happening , a large group of sports writers were in attendance, including noted author John Feinstein who  writes for the Washington Post. Feinstein summed up the feelings  of many when he said,” I come up here once or twice a year just because I love the Palestra.”  And classy Spartans’ coach Tom Izzo, even though his team lost, had many nice things to say about the building, and indicated he’d like to return.

The Big 5 started in 1955-56, and since then we’ve seen some outstanding teams and players pass through what is a Philadelphia landmark.  Most of them played here before the  more modern and much larger venues were erected.  Stars like Julius Erving, Bill Bradley, Rick Barry Calvin Murphy, Dave Bing, and Adrian Dantley to name a few . And then there is this little nugget: In the 1957-58  season the All-Visitors team included Wilt Chamberlain, Oscar Robertson and Jerry West.

They all played at the Palestra, the best place in America to watch a college basketball game.

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Lehigh’s 6-10 Tim Kempton Jr., averaging 22 and 10, is attracting interest from NBA scouts.  Dad, Tim, starred at Notre Dame and played 8 years with the pros.  Granddad, Vince, was a starting center for Saint Joseph’s in the 60’s.

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Trivia Time: Which NBA player has played in the most playoff games? Answer at the end of the column.

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This and That: Former Villanova Wildcat Dylan Ennis  gets plenty of playing time for 13th ranked Oregon….New Age hoops? In Penn’s 61-52  loss to Princeton, the Quakers had only 4 assists and the Tigers had 5.  Darnell Foreman had three for the Quakers….New best name of the year is Michigan State’s Tum Tum Nairn, Jr.  If that’s not enough, his real first name is Lourawls….At Archbishop Wood, 6-2 guard Collin Gillespie ‘s play is attracting a lot of attention….The Celtics made a great move in signing Al Horford., a real pro who is quietly effective and highly respected….Still have yet to see a better freshman than UCLA’s Lonzo Ball…. Bol Bol (not a typo), a son of the late Manute, 17 years old, is a 6-11 center and has scholarship offers from Kansas, Creighton, New Mexico State, and St. John’s.

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Answer to Trivia Time: Derek Fisher played in 259 NBA playoff games.


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