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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: 25 Oddities of Kentucky Basketball

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 1940′s and 1950′s, 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

Article written by Bryan the Intern

77 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: 25 Oddities of Kentucky Basketball



  1. Stephen
    9:05 am April 17, 2014 Permalink

    I vote to change the nickname to “22 win Tubby”. Anyone else agree?



    • Butler Brigand
      10:17 am April 17, 2014 Permalink

      Games played per season: Rupp 26, Tubby 35

      There were nine years when Rupp’s teams didn’t even play 22 games all season. Hard to win 22 when you aren’t playing 22.

      Number of National Championships after first year: Rupp 4, Tubby 0

      Average number of cupcakes scheduled each year: Rupp 2, Tubby 12



    • Madisonville Martha
      10:19 am April 17, 2014 Permalink

      Number of 10-loss years:

      Rupp: 2 out of 41

      Tubby: 5 out of 10

      I think “Ten loss Tubby” is a bit more approrpiate.



    • Jayone
      11:44 am April 17, 2014 Permalink

      Mentioning Rupp and Tubby in the same sentence is treason. Someone call Eric Holder



  2. DB11
    9:13 am April 17, 2014 Permalink

    Moral of the story is we need to take some of those jerseys down from the ceiling.



    • Rixter
      9:27 am April 17, 2014 Permalink

      Apparently, back in the day… all you had to do was show up on campus, and they retired your jersey.



    • Butler Brigand
      10:01 am April 17, 2014 Permalink

      The moral of the rant is that there is a lot more to basketball to just being the scorer. Those guys were all winners in a thousand different ways in an era without the three point shot when the game was played quite differently. Only an idiot like BTI would keep posting this same stupidity year after year as though it is somehow unknown to true fans. I wish a few of you could actually have seen those early teams. They were remarkable. Very little footage has survived though.



    • Jayone
      11:40 am April 17, 2014 Permalink

      In this world of political correctness why put anyone’s jersey up. Is it fair if one player is honored and another one not? After we take all of the jerseys down then we can consider doing away with keeping score.



  3. Megan
    9:15 am April 17, 2014 Permalink

    BTI finds it odd that more people haven’t lived past the age of 100? To do so, of course, one must have been born more than 100 years ago, when the average lifespan for a male in the United States was 52.

    And c’mon, BTI. It took Dan Issel 8 “less” games? As if I couldn’t think any fewer of you.



    • Rixter
      9:30 am April 17, 2014 Permalink

      and so this only includes players from to 1902 to roughly 1935



    • Catgrad7072
      9:36 am April 17, 2014 Permalink

      Megan for the win:
      And c’mon, BTI. It took Dan Issel 8 “less” games? As if I couldn’t think any fewer of you.

      So, does BTI suck less or fewer?



    • Butler Brigand
      10:02 am April 17, 2014 Permalink

      Megan, thanks for making that point: I have been trying to get the boy to stop making that SAME error for years. And as for you, Catgrad: BTI does not suck less or fewer — he sucks MORE.



    • ukbradstith
      11:16 am April 17, 2014 Permalink

      8 less and 8 fewer means exactly the same thing. I teach math and when dealing with numbers, all our curriculum uses these terms interchangeably.



    • funKYcat75
      11:59 am April 17, 2014 Permalink

      Glad you don’t teach grammar.



    • CatBlue in LR
      4:04 pm April 17, 2014 Permalink

      Exactly!

      When the substance in question is innumerable, such as a liquid (“less Makers”) or an intangible attribute (“less trustworthy”), or something like that, then the diminished amount is referred to as less.

      When you can count the individual entities or instances of the thing being described (“fewer wins”), then the diminished amount is referred to as fewer.

      It’s pretty basic and something Mr. Intern can find in his trusty AP Style Guide, if he’ll look.



  4. tom
    9:15 am April 17, 2014 Permalink

    I miss watching Pistol Pete and his floppy socks



  5. funKYcat75
    9:17 am April 17, 2014 Permalink

    Fun Fact: Basil Hayden was extremely embarrassed when one of his great-grandchildren tattooed Basil’s face on his leg.



    • Rixter
      9:32 am April 17, 2014 Permalink

      He actually tattooed Basil’s leg on his face.



    • FINK
      2:35 pm April 17, 2014 Permalink

      Looking to see if there’s any fun facts that tie Mr. Hayden to Basil Hayden bourbon. You would know anything, would you?



  6. Booyah
    9:22 am April 17, 2014 Permalink

    26. Adolph Rupp cheated his way into an NCAA death penalty for the program, yet Kentucky’s arena is named after him.



    • Research
      11:10 am April 17, 2014 Permalink

      Um, no. The players were caught point-shaving. Rupp had nothing to do with it.



    • Educate yourself
      4:01 pm April 17, 2014 Permalink

      Point shaving isn’t even cheating. The players were so goo they were trying to win by fewer points and pick the score. Maybe even throw a game or two. No advantage was gained. And there were players across the NCAA involved not just Uk players



    • Booyah
      6:28 pm April 17, 2014 Permalink

      Ummm. Yes. The point shaving was only part of it. While investigating the NCAA found UK players were receiving impermissible benefits and Rupp knew about it and knowingly played intelligible players.



    • Fact
      7:02 pm April 17, 2014 Permalink

      UK Basketball History is a course offered at “Lousevile.”

      Don’t believe me? Ask any “Lousevile” fan.



  7. TGKY
    9:25 am April 17, 2014 Permalink

    Nazr Mohammed has won multiple NBA titles also.



    • Wrong
      9:34 am April 17, 2014 Permalink

      Nazr won one NBA title with the 04-05 Spurs. Try again lad



    • Downtown
      1:05 pm April 17, 2014 Permalink

      Didn’t he win one with the Miami Heat?



    • symphonist41169
      2:49 pm April 17, 2014 Permalink

      I think you’d have to include Pat Riley in that as well, even as a coach and GM.



  8. VoiceOfReason
    9:31 am April 17, 2014 Permalink

    27. Players who played in the 1970’s are currently older than those who play now.
    28. In pictures from the 1951 Championship game, it appears UK played with a gray basketball
    29. UK was once coached by … you won’t believe this … current UL coach Rick Pitino!
    30. There have not been any scheduled college basketball games for the past 9 days. What gives?
    31. The U in ‘UK’ stands for University.



    • Rixter
      9:33 am April 17, 2014 Permalink

      I love when someone does their homework. Kudos.



    • Rixter
      9:35 am April 17, 2014 Permalink

      32. Kentucky has had 2 players in their history who were literally unable to walk and chew gum simultaneously, and both of them were Jared Carter.



  9. MKG
    9:35 am April 17, 2014 Permalink

    Your nose is ugly… No, your nose is ugly…. This picture is terrifying…



  10. Boone
    9:36 am April 17, 2014 Permalink

    Basil Hayden went pro in something other than sports.



  11. JackB
    9:39 am April 17, 2014 Permalink

    I don’t know the deal with the old players and their retired jerseys, but the game was generally lower scoring back then I’ve heard and they played a lot fewer games. So the fewer points may be little like complaining about Ty Cobb’s limited number of home runs in the dead ball era – yet he won the triple crown once with 9 HR.



    • funKYcat75
      9:40 am April 17, 2014 Permalink

      You might be on to something. Brilliant work, Holmes.



    • Madisonville Martha
      10:23 am April 17, 2014 Permalink

      See that point, above. Rupp’s teams played 26 games per year, Tubby’s teams 35. Nine years when Rupp’s teams didn’t even play 22 games. Much more telling stat is number of ten loss seasons: Rupp 2 out of 41, Tubby 5 out of ten.



    • RealityCheck
      11:20 pm April 17, 2014 Permalink

      No three point shot, no shot clock, blah blah blah. It seems everyone but BTI understands the difference in todays game. Just because you weren’t there to see them, doesn’t mean they aren’t worthy of their recognition. And to insinuate they should be removed for one and dones is ridiculous. Look up what it takes to get a number retired, no easy feat.



  12. Steve
    9:41 am April 17, 2014 Permalink

    I was lights out on the old blue courts in front of Blazer back in the day. I should have my jersey hanging from the rafters.



    • JackB
      9:48 am April 17, 2014 Permalink

      We tried. But the blue courts in front of Blazer didn’t have any rafters over them.



  13. Mark
    9:44 am April 17, 2014 Permalink

    Why the bias against the old guys who didn’t score a lot? Richie Farmer’s career scoring average is lower than Phil Grawemeyer’s. Do you want to take his jersey down? Wait, bad example – we probably should take his jersey down. How about Sean Woods? Same story as Grawemeyer and others on your hit list – didn’t score a lot of points, but played an important role on a very memorable team that didn’t win the title.



    • BTI's Mom
      9:45 am April 17, 2014 Permalink

      Brian was a very special boy. He even had a special school bus to take him to school each day!



  14. Ridge Runner
    9:50 am April 17, 2014 Permalink

    Interesting tidbits BTI, thx…



  15. Fire BTI
    9:50 am April 17, 2014 Permalink

    BTI, you do know that Cal has coached five seasons, right?



  16. BamaCat86
    9:54 am April 17, 2014 Permalink

    20. Had Jared Prickett hit those two free throws at the end of regulation in the 1997 NCAA Championship game, he would have made it into the “1,000 Point Club” and we would have won another NCAA Championship.



    • Layups
      10:43 am April 17, 2014 Permalink

      Actually, Jared was 4-of-5 on free throws that night. Still, no more appropriate player to score 998, in light of how many frigging layups he missed.



  17. mlvei
    9:55 am April 17, 2014 Permalink

    UK won the NIT in 1976 also, although it was obviously not the premier tourney at the time. I assume your meaning UK only won one time WHILE the NIT was the premier tourney.



  18. Coolioo
    9:55 am April 17, 2014 Permalink

    I was thinking David Robinson scroed 50 at Rupp but it was only 45 but I think he had like 22 dunks!



    • funKYcat75
      9:58 am April 17, 2014 Permalink

      He took 5 of our cheerleaders back to the hotel, so you’re first inclination was technically correct.



  19. ruppcrazy
    9:57 am April 17, 2014 Permalink

    Entertaining read, BTI. Some I knew. A lot I didn’t.



  20. Morehead Cat
    9:57 am April 17, 2014 Permalink

    1. Basil Hayden’s jersey is retired because he was Kentucky’s first All-American (1921)
    8. The ’54 team was invited to the NCAA Tournament, but they did not allow players who had already graduated to play back then, meaning Cliff Hagan, Frank Ramsey, and Lou Tsioropoulos wouldn’t have been eligible; for that reason, Rupp declined the invite



    • Downtown
      1:08 pm April 17, 2014 Permalink

      Thank you. Sometimes you have to wonder how much research he actually completes…..lol!



  21. arlo
    9:58 am April 17, 2014 Permalink

    and ty cobb’s 9 homeruns in his triple crown year were inside the park.



  22. Teachable Mo'
    9:59 am April 17, 2014 Permalink

    About UK not ever having a player from Minnesota, that’s ambiguous. In the 70s, Hall recruited a 6’5″ guard from there who showed up on campus in the Fall, The kid almost immediately had a change of heart and left. I saw him once in the Student Center.

    Unfortunately, I’m blanking on the name. I bet not even Joe B could remember at this point. Brian somebody, is all I can come up with. But I bet that’s not even close.



  23. Greg
    10:00 am April 17, 2014 Permalink

    David Robinson put up 50 on UK when he was with Navy.



  24. scorpiocard
    10:03 am April 17, 2014 Permalink

    Observations from a CARDS fan. How could a coach expect to have a good winning percentage if he is drunk on bourbon all the time? Just sayin’



  25. bung
    10:03 am April 17, 2014 Permalink

    Adolph Rupp’s record for 41 seasons averaged 21.3 wins and 4.6 losses…



    • Jeff
      10:19 am April 17, 2014 Permalink

      This is because Rupp teams averaged playing only 26 games per season unlike today where teams play 35 to 40 games a season.



  26. VoiceOfReason
    10:28 am April 17, 2014 Permalink

    Did Tubby kick your dog or something?



    • Kevin C.
      2:23 pm April 17, 2014 Permalink

      His coaching and play style sure made me tempted to kick mine at times…



  27. rahrah
    10:28 am April 17, 2014 Permalink

    Dear Lord, that picture though….



  28. brain
    10:55 am April 17, 2014 Permalink

    Cal’s been here 5 years doofus.



  29. 49 Chevy
    10:59 am April 17, 2014 Permalink

    Since you want to skew the numbers to make tubbi look good, BTI, how about this one?

    In a 11 year period, Rupp won four national titles and an undefeated season.

    In a 10 year period, Smith won one national title.



    • Kevin C.
      2:22 pm April 17, 2014 Permalink

      Correction ; Tubby won* 1 national title.

      * With Rick Pitino’s players



    • FINK
      2:39 pm April 17, 2014 Permalink

      Are you comparing Tubby Smith to the man our arena is named after?



    • Dee W.
      11:46 pm April 17, 2014 Permalink

      I agree that stat is very meaningless given fewer games were played, however, you don’t have to skew any numbers to “make” Tubby look good. Without any historical revisionism, his record is quite strong:

      Tubby Smith record at Kentucky

      1997 — 1998 — 35-4 overall, 14-2 SEC, SEC regular season champions, SEC tournament Champions, NCAA Champions, SEC Coach of the Year

      1998 — 1999 — 28-9 overall, 11-5 SEC, SEC tournament Champions, NCAA Elite 8

      1999 — 2000 — 23-10 overall, 12-4 SEC, SEC regular season Champions (tied), NCAA Round of 32

      2000 — 2001 — 24-10 overall, 12-4 SEC, SEC regular season Champions (tied), SEC tournament Champions, NCAA Sweet 16

      2001 — 2002 — 22-10 overall, 10-6 SEC, NCAA Sweet 16

      2002 — 2003 — 32-4 overall, 16-0 SEC, SEC regular season Champions, SEC tournament Champions, Granted #1 seed NCAA tournament, NCAA Elite Eight, SEC Coach of the Year, Naismith National Coach of the Year, Henry Iba Award for best national coach of the year, AP National Coach of the Year, first team since 1952 to go undefeated through SEC conference play through both the regular season and tournament (and first and only to do so with 16 regular season games), new record set for highest attendance at a game at Rupp Arena during this season at the time, largest margin of victory (62 points) over an opponent in a game since 1952, first college coach since 1975 to sweep all NCAA recognized national coach of the year honors in the same season

      2003 — 2004 — 27-5 overall, 13-3 SEC, SEC Tournament Champions, Granted #1 overall seed NCAA tournament, NCAA round of 32

      2004 — 2005 — 28-6 overall, 14-2 SEC, SEC regular season Champions, SEC tournament runner-up, NCAA Elite Eight, SEC Coach of the Year, Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year, AP National Coach of the Year

      2005 — 2006 — 22-13 overall, 9-7 SEC, NCAA round of 32

      2006 — 2007 — 22-12 overall, 9-7 SEC, NCAA round of 32

      3rd longest serving Head Coach at UK (10 years — a decade)
      12 total years coaching at UK
      Great ambassador for the program
      Charitable work which continues to have a strong positive impact to this day
      Tayshaun Prince was recently on KSTV and talks a lot about the influence Coach Smith had on him as a player and a person: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2J4wCBP4Vfc&feature=youtu.be&t=5m1s



  30. greek pride
    12:03 pm April 17, 2014 Permalink

    Lou Tsioropoulos was very much underrated. His accomplishments are many. In 1961 Transy coach Newton brought him and other past Ky stars to the Transy gym to scrimmage with his team. I couldn’t believe what I was watching.



  31. TPACAT
    2:07 pm April 17, 2014 Permalink

    How about one of my personal favorites:

    Derek Anderson is the only player (UK or otherwise, I believe) to score in a National Championship game while logging zero minutes (when Pitino brought him in to shoot technicals)…



    • CatBlue in LR
      4:14 pm April 17, 2014 Permalink

      I believe that was in the semis against Minnesota but not 100 percent sure.



    • Dee W.
      11:42 pm April 17, 2014 Permalink

      Yes, that was in the Final Four game against Minnesota where Anderson was brought in for the technicals.



  32. Kevin C.
    2:20 pm April 17, 2014 Permalink

    Was the creepy mutant calf pic really necessary?? NO….and neither was this pointless piece. Typical BTI…



    • KyKid
      4:33 pm April 17, 2014 Permalink

      Actually I liked both. Read the title – ‘most ridiculous manner possible’. Too many grammar police and cranky people out there. Not much else to do while we wait for the twins to decide.



  33. Another tidbit
    2:56 pm April 17, 2014 Permalink

    Before the Big East broke apart, there were only 4 teams from the power conferences that UK had never defeated: southern cal 0-3, Georgetown 0-2 and we have never played Boston College or South Florida.



  34. Jason Miller
    3:35 pm April 17, 2014 Permalink

    I thought David Robinson scored 50 at Rupp back in ’86 or ’87?



  35. KyKid
    4:35 pm April 17, 2014 Permalink

    Another ‘interesting’ tidbit – KY is probably the only state that has a coach who has guided two of the states’ teams to national championships.



  36. Kyjobu
    6:22 pm April 17, 2014 Permalink

    Wasn’t Noel from New Hampshire??? Did he just go to prep school there?



  37. Dee W.
    11:40 pm April 17, 2014 Permalink

    You can’t really use that 22 game issue in comparison to Rupp as there were fewer overall games played back then. It’s a good stat for wins per season as a stand alone, but using it as a negative against Rupp doesn’t wash (that may not have been your intention but that is how it reads).