Off The Boards by Jack Scheuer

Off The Boards

By Jack Scheuer

January 30, 2019 Edition

Reader Kenneth David from West Chester came up with an interesting question that’s worth discussing: Is Joel Embiid the best at running the floor than any of the all-time great big men? Giving it a lot of thought, he just might be. Wilt Chamberlain never really exerted himself that much, even though he could go pretty far in about four strides; Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, no, Shaquille O’Neal, no, Bill Walton, no, Moses Malone, definitely not, Ralph Sampson, no, Robert Parish, no, Hakeem Olajuwon, doubtful. So, my feeling is the only big guy that I think might be most close to Embiid would be Patrick Ewing, but he still wasn’t as active as the Sixers star.

Bottom line: Obviously running the floor isn’t just the only thing does well, and If he continues to progress and stays healthy, Joel Embiid is certainly going to be included among the most elite centers of all time.

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This week’s Player of the Past to be saluted is La Salle’s Frank Corace, who in his three years as an Explorer averaged 19 points a game and was first team All-Big 5 twice.  A 6-6 forward who could shoot and handle the ball, he scored 1,411 points in his career at 20th and Olney. In1964, the Monsignor Bonner grad averaged 24 points per game, along with 8 rebounds, in leading his team to the Big 5 title. He is a member of both the Big 5 and La Salle Halls of Fame. And just as impressive, as good guys go, he’s right at the top. 

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Trivia Time: Syracuse has had some big-time players through the years. Who is the school’s all-time leading scorer? Answer at the end of the column.

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UMass is in town twice this week (La Salle tonight, Saint Joe’s, Saturday) with its animated coach Matt McCall, so there will be two opportunities to see how not to coach a basketball team. The young man combines arm-waving, yelling, foot-stomping and non-stop instructions throughout the game. Over-coaching at its worst.

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This and That: Congrats to Steve Donahue and his Quakers for winning the Big 5 title, and, with two of his best players, guard Bryce Washington and big-man Michael Wang just freshmen, the future for Penn looks very bright….Nice story out of Baylor, where Yale transfer Makai Mason, who had played in only one game in the last two seasons because of injuries, leads the Bears in scoring at 15.3 points per game….Not very many coaches nationally as good as Virginia’s Tony Bennett. It seems like his Cavaliers never take a bad shot…. An interesting stat: AJ Brodeur, who spends most of his time posting up, leads Penn in assists…. Very quietly, sophomore point guard Colin Gillespie has had a very good season for Villanova. He’s averaging 11 points a game, makes 85.5 of his free throws, and most impressive, has only 1.6 turnovers per game. The Wildcats are at DePaul tonight…. Other upcoming games: Temple is at tough Houston tomorrow, and Drexel visits both William and Mary; Penn plays at Cornell and Columbia over the weekend, while on Saturday, Temple travels to Tulane, and La Salle goes to Richmond. On Sunday, Nova has Georgetown at the Wells Fargo Center.

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Answer to Trivia Time: Lawrence Moten, with 2,334 points, is Syracuse’s all-time leading scorer.

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