I do this list once or twice a year and always find new additions to put in the mix. When you’ve played basketball as long as Kentucky has, some odd things have happened. Here are some of the odder that I’ve come across, ranked by oddness in my opinion:
1. The UK head coach who had the worst winning percentage: Basil Hayden, who had a 18.7% win percentage at Kentucky. He also has his jersey retired.
2. 6 times an opposing player has scored 50 or more points against UK and all 6 were either Pete Maravich or Austin Carr.
3. Tony Delk actually ranks in the Top 40 for career BLOCKS at UK. Rex Chapman is in the Top 50. (Of course, blocks didn’t become an official stat until 1985)
4. Brandon Knight scored more points in his 1 UK season than Forest Sale, Phil Grawemeyer, Cliff Barker, Gayle Rose, Layton Rouse, and Basil Hayden did in their careers. Those 6 players all have retired jerseys.
5. Kentucky is 14-0 in games played in the city of Memphis but has never played the University of Memphis in that city. They have played Ole Miss 6 times in that city though.
6. Before scoring 41 points in the NCAA title game in 1978, Jack Givens had scored over 30 points ONCE in his other 122 UK games.
7. It took Dan Issel 8 less games to score 94 more points than Jodie Meeks on the single season scoring list
8. Adolph Rupp only had 1 undefeated team and that team did not win the national title (1954).
9. 15 times a UK player has been chosen as SEC Tournament MVP. Only Travis Ford was selected twice.
10. Despite his recruiting reputation, Rick Pitino did not have a single Mcdonald’s All-American in 5 of his 8 classes.
11. Only 1 UK player has ever lived past the age of 100: Basil Hayden.
12. UK has played games over its history in 9 Kentucky cities. But it has never played a game in Richmond (EKU), Murray (Murray State), or Morehead (Morehead State) and only 1 time in Bowling Green (WKU).
13. Tubby Smith never won fewer than 22 games in his 10 seasons. Rupp won less than 22 games 6 times since 1960. Hall did it 5 times in 13 years. Sutton did it 2 times in 4 years. Pitino did it 1 time in 8 years. Gillispie did it 2 times in 2 years. Calipari has done it 1 time in 4 years.
14. Joe B. Hall played at Kentucky for 1 season. He played in 3 games and never scored a point.
15. 11 of the 20 NBA titles Kentucky alums have won came with the Boston Celtics.
16. Half of Kentucky’s Top 20 all-time scorers only played 3 years at the school.
17. The players who rank #102 (Lou Tsioropoulos), #105 (Ken Rollins), #111 (John DeMoisey), #115 (Forest Sale), #116 (Phil Grawemeyer), #118 (Cliff Barker), #160 (Gayle Rose), #179 (Carey Spicer), #187 (Layton Rouse), and #191 (Basil Hayden) on the career scoring list all have their jerseys retired.
18. Saul Smith had a 1.59 assist to turnover ratio at Kentucky. That is actually a better ratio than Cliff Hawkins, Ed Davender, and Ramel Bradley.
19. Kentucky has had 3 head coaches who graduated from the University of Illinois: George Buckheit (44 wins), Clarence Applegran (13 wins), and John Mauer (40 wins). UK has had only 4 head coaches who graduated from the University of Kentucky.
20. The player who came closest to breaking the 1,000 point barrier but didn’t was Jared Prickett, with 998 points. James Lee finished with 996 points.
21. If Rod Rhodes had played in 1996, and scored his career scoring average that season (12.2 ppg), he would have finished as the school’s 11th all-time leading scorer.
22. Despite the NIT being the elite basketball tournament in the 1940â€²s and 1950â€²s, Kentucky only won that title 1 time, in 1946. They won 4 NCAA titles in that same 20-year span.
23. There are 16 states that Kentucky has never had a player from. They are Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, Nebraksa, North Dakota, Minnesota, South Carolina, Delaware, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.
24. Only 2 former Kentucky players have won multiple NBA titles: Lou Tsioropoulos and Frank Ramsey
25. UK has only had 2 players serve in the military since 1970: Charles Hurt and Carlos Toomer