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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Jeff Sheppard uses redshirt to own UK wins record (MODERN ERA)


I actually met Jeff Sheppard a couple years back, and he came off as a very intelligent guy.  Maybe nowhere was he smarter than when he made the wise decision to hurt his knee and redshirt for the 1996-97 season.  Why you might ask was it smart to hurt himself?  Because Sheppard technically owns the UK record for career wins, because he gets credit, or at least I am giving him credit, for 159 wins in his UK career.  He played in the heart of a stretch of UK seasons that may not be matched.  UK won 2 national titles, made 3 Final Fours, and recorded at least 27 wins in each of Sheppard’s 5 years in Lexington. 

Now, the UK record books may or may not give Sheppard credit for the 35 wins in 1997, or the 26 wins Jared Prickett received in 1996.  And if that was the case, then the classes of 1998 and 1999 consisting of Scott Padgett, Wayne Turner, Alan Edwards, and Cameron Mills would hold the record, with 132 wins.  Below are all the players who have won 110 games or more in their UK careers.  In parentheses are the number of games that player was given credit for during a redshirt year. 

159 wins: Jeff Sheppard (35*)
150 wins: Jared Prickett (26*) (Prickett redshirted after 5 games in 1995-96)
132 wins: Scott Padgett, Wayne Turner, Alan Edwards, Cameron Mills
124 wins: Anthony Epps
122 wins: Jeff Brassow (28*)
121 wins: Jamaal Magloire, Steve Masiello
119 wins: Tony Delk, Walter McCarty
114 wins: Andre Riddick, Chris Harrison
110 wins: Saul Smith

Oh, and by the way, Darius Miller needs 24 wins this season to join the list, and with 34 wins could join an even more exclusive 120-win club.  With the 24 wins, Miller will be the first player to join this group since 2000. 

Darius Miller: 86 wins

(Quick Note: These stats are for the MODERN era, which I consider when African-Americans began playing in the SEC, or the 1960’s.)

Article written by Bryan the Intern

20 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Jeff Sheppard uses redshirt to own UK wins record (MODERN ERA)

  1. Brew Crew
    9:18 am July 22, 2011 Permalink

    Thanks for the analysis, BTI.

  2. tsblakecpa
    9:24 am July 22, 2011 Permalink

    Where is Chuck Hayes?

  3. Says me
    9:41 am July 22, 2011 Permalink

    If you count Padgett’s 95-96 season as a redshirt, he wins this-he started in 94-95, finished in 98-99. That’s 160 wins.

  4. Bryan the Intern
    9:52 am July 22, 2011 Permalink

    3) Here is the problem, and I noticed that. Padgett was TECHNICALLY not on the roster for the 1996 team. Sheppard was TECHNICALLY on the roster for his redshirt year. I don’t remember the details, but wasn’t Padgett actually kicked off the team and then allowed back on?

  5. Says me
    9:54 am July 22, 2011 Permalink

    And what about the older generations?

    Ralph Beard was not only on the team, but a starter for all of 4 seasons that saw 130 wins from 45-46 through 48-49.

  6. Darryl331
    9:54 am July 22, 2011 Permalink

    Ralph Beard and Wah Wah Jones were on teams:
    1946 28-2 SEC Champs, SEC Tourney Champs, NIT Champs
    1947 34-3 SEC Champs, SEC Tourney Champs, NIT 2nd Place
    1948 36-3 SEC Champs, SEC Tourney Champs, NCAA Champs
    1949 32-2 SEC Champs, SEC Tourney Champs, NCAA Champs, AP #1

    130-10, 11 Championships, 1 Runners-up

  7. Says me
    10:00 am July 22, 2011 Permalink

    #4- Fair enough, because that’s pretty much how it was handled. Padgett was technically booted, wasn’t listed on the roster, and didn’t even practice with the team, although he was still in school. I think Pitino reinstated him in the summer of 96.

  8. kkaabboomm
    10:01 am July 22, 2011 Permalink

    Just food for thought in the couple years to come:
    Jon Hood!
    Freshman year: 35-3 – Elite 8
    Sophomore year: 29-9 – Final Four
    3rd year: (redshirted?)
    Junior + Senior year.

    Right now the kid is at 64 wins, and will hopefully rack up 30+ more this year, with another FF? So he’ll have 2 more seasons left, and be at 94+ wins. 30 win seasons for those two….154 wins? Thats if we win 30 games/season. We did 35 his first year, 29 his second. An average of 30 isn’t out of the question.

    Jon Hood could be the top of this list very easily.

  9. Bryan the Intern
    10:05 am July 22, 2011 Permalink

    Modern Era fellas.

  10. DT in DC
    10:12 am July 22, 2011 Permalink

    I totally don’t remember Prickett redshirting in ’96 (also my Sr. year at UK). What did he do to get the redshirt? (PS – I had no idea how many braincells I destroyed my Sr. year until I read this post and still can’t remember him getting the redshirt…)

  11. kyrobman
    10:16 am July 22, 2011 Permalink

    Good Stuff right here.

  12. Says me
    10:20 am July 22, 2011 Permalink

    10- He had some kind of injury, although I always questioned the severity of it. I think the main injury he had was that the roster of the 95-96 team was too crowded, and he became the odd man out. He played 5 games (actually 4 1/2, if memory serves), then Pitino pulled him, and they appealed for a medical redshirt, which they got.

    People forget, but the 95-96 team did not start out looking great. They opened against Maryland, and looked sloppy. They lost to UMass. They played a tight game against a less than great IU team, and then Wisconsin Green Bay (coached by Tony Bennett) played an effective slowdown, and UK only won that by 12. The 5th game was a Saturday night ESPN game against Georgia Tech (with Stephon Marbury). UK trailed 41-38 at halftime. Something clicked in the second half, UK outscored GTech 45-19, and it was off to the races from there.

  13. revdaddy69
    10:54 am July 22, 2011 Permalink

    Saul Smith recieves no votes, as he never should have been on a UK roster in the first place!!!!!!!

  14. SweetTeaMob til I DIE
    11:30 am July 22, 2011 Permalink

    Nice job, BTI. I agree with #8 Jon Hood would be at the top of this list in 3 seasons.

  15. Jeff
    11:55 am July 22, 2011 Permalink

    I second the post about Ralph Beard and Wallace Jones. They won the Olympic Gold Medal as well. Those great teams are the reason we care about Kentucky Basketball today.

  16. RDS
    12:32 pm July 22, 2011 Permalink

    Padgett flunked out of school and was not even enrolled at UK in the fall semester of ’95. If I recall the story, he spent that semester back home in Louisville working a telemarketing job and mowing lawns. He re-enrolled in the spring semester of ’96 and I believe began practicing with the team again, but wasn’t eligible to play again until after finals of the fall semester of ’96.

    Also, McCarty was a prop-48 and didn’t play as a freshman, so you should parenthesize the 30 wins from the ’92-93 season for him.

  17. Scrappy
    1:14 pm July 22, 2011 Permalink

    How can Padgett have the same number of wins as Turner, Edwards and Mills? When Padgett was on the team in 94-95, UK only won 28 games. When he was off the team in 95-96, the freshman year for the other guys, UK won 34 games. Padgett should have 6 less wins.

  18. Former Coach Enes
    2:10 pm July 22, 2011 Permalink

    Sheppard did not redshirt in 96-97 because of a knee injury. He was completely healthy and chose to redshirt (at Pitino’s urging) due to there being a log jam of players at his position (Mercer, Anderson, etc.). Pitino convinced him to sit out a year and come back in 1998. Worked out pretty well for him I would say.

  19. well
    3:13 pm July 22, 2011 Permalink

    I don’t think Sheppard got hurt in 96-97. I’m pretty sure he just redshirted because he didn’t want to spend his last year playing behind Derek Anderson and Ron Mercer (wise choice).

  20. Irishhooliganx
    3:32 pm July 22, 2011 Permalink

    16-Exactly correct.

    Mills and Turner were not in the same class, were they?