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UK Basketball All-Decade Team: 1970s Edition

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We continue on our journey through history, reaching the 1970s.  A decade of long hair, Led Zeppelin albums, and Goose Givens – three of my favorite things.  Let’s see who cracks the All-Decade team.  Here’s the list of players.

The end of an era occurred in the 1970s.  Adolph Rupp finally resigned after the ’71-72 season, starting the decade off at a combined 43-13.  His final two seasons ended as SEC champions, but fell short of a national title.  Joe B. Hall, an assistant coach since ’65, took over and led the team to a 3-peat as SEC champs, ending ’72-73 at 20-8.

Joe B.’s second ended up being his worst at 13-13 in ’73-74.  After this season, the no freshman on varsity rule disappeared, and UK was National Runner-Up in ’74-75.  The next season, the Cats won the NIT.  Then, in ’76-77, they returned to form with a 26-4 record and final #3 ranking.  That team fell short in the NCAAT, but…

UK won the National Championship in 1978, giving Joe B. his first and only title.  This was a perfect send-off for Jack ‘Goose’ Givens, one of my favorite all-time players.  That 30-2 season was phenomenal.  The next season wasn’t as great (19-12), finishing unranked.  The decade ended with the Cats giving a good showing and ending #4 overall in ’79-80.

The 1970s saw another national title, a coaching change of epic proportions, and several stars comes through the door.  UK welcomed its first African-American basketball player in Tom Payne, an All-American high-schooler from Louisville.  Rick Robey was drafted #3 overall.  Goose Givens won National Player of the Year.  There were successes, down years, and plenty of excitement, as fans had come accustomed to for UK basketball.  The future of Wildcat basketball transferred to deserving hands in Joe B. Hall, and he ensured that Rupp’s great tradition would continue on.

1970s All-Decade Team:

Jack ‘Goose’ Givens 15.44 ppg

Kevin Grevey 21.44 ppg

Mike Casey 18.82 ppg

–  Kyle Macy 14.4 ppg

–  Rick Robey 13.29 ppg

Honerable Mention:  Tom Parker, Larry Steele, Jim Andrews, Ronnie Lyons, Jimmy Dan Conner, Mike Phillips, Sam Bowie, and Dirk Minniefield (mostly for this)

1970s All-Name Team:

Jimmy Dan Conner

Elmore Stephens

Truman Claytor

Chuck Aleksinas

Dirk Minniefield

All-Barrier-Breaking Team:

Tom Payne

Article written by Chris Thomas

13 Comments for UK Basketball All-Decade Team: 1970s Edition



  1. lol at UL fans
    4:28 pm August 17, 2011 Permalink

    all those Miami recruits that came to UL how many prostitutes and money did they give them?



  2. Jax Teller
    4:29 pm August 17, 2011 Permalink

    It’s a bad time to be a football program in Florida…looks like UCF and DSmithfivestar are in some trouble too.
    http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/6870978/university-central-florida-likely-get-ncaa-inquiry-letter



  3. Bundy
    4:38 pm August 17, 2011 Permalink

    Minniefield is on THE team, not just the Name team…



  4. the brown eye
    4:55 pm August 17, 2011 Permalink

    Tom Payne was all-penile, er all-penal league too



  5. Joe
    4:59 pm August 17, 2011 Permalink

    Dude, Dirk scored 44 points in 11 games in the 1970s. He belongs on your 80s teams, but don’t insult the guys from the ’70s. For that matter, Bowie played in exactly 11 games in the ’70s too.



  6. big E
    5:05 pm August 17, 2011 Permalink

    You can’t really consider Minniefield a 70’s player, he was a freshman in the 79-80 season.



  7. Rothchild
    5:18 pm August 17, 2011 Permalink

    Goose was the Helms Foundation College Basketball Player of the Year… Kentucky has never had a “true” POY, which is nationally recognized as the Naismith POY…. I’ve got a feeling that will not be the case for many more years. 🙂



  8. ZZbottom
    5:25 pm August 17, 2011 Permalink

    psh. Lame the real all ’70 team would be:
    – Larry Bird
    -Magic Johnson
    -Kareem
    – Wilt Chamberland
    – Kirt Rambus
    and the sixth man: Walter Payton



  9. Double-O Tony Delk
    5:34 pm August 17, 2011 Permalink

    How do you mention Minniefield in this post on 70’s players? Sure, he began his career at UK in the ’79-80 season, but that means that he played a grand total of one month in the ’70’s; 12 games. He’d better make your All Decade Team for the 1980’s



  10. Double-O Tony Delk
    5:39 pm August 17, 2011 Permalink

    Chris Gettelfinger deserves to be on the All-Name Team and the All-Ginger Team.



  11. tyrus
    7:35 pm August 17, 2011 Permalink

    Really like seeing all the Minniefield backers here.



  12. pacman
    10:17 pm August 17, 2011 Permalink

    Where is Melvin Turpin on this list? Great shooter for a 6’11” guy.



  13. Bulldawg
    11:35 am August 18, 2011 Permalink

    Turpin along with Bowie and Minifield should be on the 80’s team. I was born in 77 and I can remember sitting with my Pappy watching these guys play. So that makes them 80’s guys right?