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Greatest UK Player Ever Tournament: Pat Riley vs Randolph Morris

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Time to continue our trip down memory lane with another round of the Greatest UK Player of All Time Tournament. In the first round, Dan Issel took out Jeff Brassow unanimously, due to the fact that….well he is a lot better. But our last matchup was much more intriguing. Jim Master vs John Pelphrey. In the end, it was tough for all to make the call, but the vote went like this:

Matt Jones: Master
Rob Gidel: Master
Larry Vaught: Master
Gregg Doyel: Master
Fans: Pelphrey

Thus even though he had the people on his side, Pelphrey was knocked down 4-1 and the sharpshooter Master moved on. Now we are to our next matchup, with the loveable fancy dresser Pat Riley vs Mr. Excitement, Randolph Morris. Here is the breakdown:

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Pat Riley:

What can you say about a guy so well known that he is an icon of the sports world? Pat Riley is not just a former Kentucky basketball player, he is arguably one of the five best basketball coaches of all time and has transcended a level of fame that makes him a recognizable face, even to the most casual sports fan. But what many dont know is what an amazing career he had at Kentucky. Riles is 17th all time in scoring for UK and was part of one of the more memorable UK teams in history, Rupps Runts. During that, his junior season, he was a consensus All American (first team by USBW) and scored 637 points for the year while shooting over 50 percent. Riles was known for his shooting and penetration, but also in his role as a leader…..a trait that became his forte when entering coaching. Riley has his jersey retired at UK and is likely the most famous former Cat in history….and a force for this tournament. And oh yeah, he likes to dance…..as the video below shows.

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Randolph Morris:

The man who is the most recent Cat in the tournament also could be one of the most frustrating. Randolph Morris came to UK as one of the most celebrated big men in its history and left the program, after a unique set of circumstances, to join an NBA team at the end of its season. Morris is an enigma in that he wasnt quite as good as many thought he should be, but had a better career than most give him credit for having. He finished his time at UK 42 in scoring, quite an achievement since he sat out half of his sophomore season. Randolph, when focused, dominated on the low block and provided a scoring presence that kept the Cats afloat during two of their more challenging seasons. Randolph’s ability led to two tournament wins that can be directly attributed to him, the Cincy game in 05 and the Villanova game in 07. He also saved some of his biggest games for big matchups and Tyler Hansborough will always remember Morris as being the guy who made his NBA stock sink. One of the smarter players at UK in recent years, Randolph will be a success and a credit to the University in the future. Below is a video of his high school and college highlights.

So there you go….vote for your pick in the comment section and give your favorite memories of the two guys. Below is the Rupp bracket…..look for the next matchup tomorrow….

Adolph Rupp Bracket

(1) Dan Issel
(16) Jeff Brassow

(8) John Pelphrey
(9) Jim Master

(4) Pat Riley
(13) Randolph Morris

(5) Melvin Turpin
(12) Richie Farmer

(6) Rick Robey
(11) Jimmy Dan Connor

(3) Alex Groza
(14) Dirk Minniefield

(7) Chuck Hayes
(10) Antoine Walker

(2) Cotton Nash
(15) Nazr Mohammed

Article written by Matt Jones