One of the more interesting phenomena in college sports to me are those dudes that seem like they’ve been in school long enough that they should leave with Ph.Ds. SEC football is loaded with them, with the back-to-back dynasty of Cedric Cobbs and Madre Hill holding down the Arkansas backfield for what seemed to be the entirety of the ’90s.
It’s more fun with basketball because it’s become such a surprise when anyone worth a rip stays more than a couple of years. Juniors are old men now.
But a few juniors and seniors don’t just seem like old men. They’re like tenured faculty. Here’s a few guys–in no particular order–that should have something on campus named after them, even if it’s only the visitor’s shower.
Joe Crawford, Kentucky. Surely, Crawford’s time in Lexington seems longer than it does to me, but I do seem to remember him clapping on the bench when Derek Anderson made those free throws in the ’97 championship game (that’s the game, right?).
James Gist, Maryland. Here’s the tricky part with Gist–it’s unclear whether it seems like he’s been here forever, or that Gary Williams always seems to have someone like him, a long and lean athletic forward. Ekenne Ibekwe immediately comes to mind, and I’m sure you can think of someone else. Almost like Gary needs to find someone that fits a 42-slim jersey.
Richard Hendrix, Alabama. Really, is he just a junior? I thought I remembered when this cat was saying that he was Jimi’s brother to meet girls.
Greg Paulus, Duke. Carolina fans still hope he can successfully petition for eight extra years of eligibility.
Tyler Hansbrough, North Carolina. I almost didn’t add him because there’s so much left for him to do (like, you know, go to a Final Four and have a good game against a decent big man). However, there’s a chance Hansbrough could be the last four-year superstar in college basketball history. That makes it seem like he came to Carolina with Roy Williams the first time. Right, when Roy worked for Dean.
I thought about adding Malik Hairston of Oregon to this list, but who stays up long enough to find out if he ever made it to school in the first place?