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Grades were an issue. He couldn't play on the freshman team due to grades. He played something similar to AAU ball.
Test scores, but regardless, freshmen were not eligible to play varsity basketball anyway.
This post was edited by 5368ppi 12 months ago
Payne and Givens were great college players but never really made it in the pros. If you are just talking about highschool and college, I will through out the name Dewight Smith of Princeton Dotson and Western Kentucky. He was an all american at Western and drafted #2 or #3 by the Lakers. Adolf Rupp said he was the best all around player he had ever seen comming out of highschool. Unfortunately Dewight was killed in an accident before he evere got to play in the NBA.
You are right about Dwight Smith. Fantastic player as was his brother, Greg who played ten or so years in the NBA.
Both should be in the discussion of all-time great Kentucky players.
IIRC, you are both right. Freshmen were not eligible for varsity, but Payne's grades kept him from playing freshman ball. He played for a Lexington AAU team or something like that his freshman year.
Here's a name for KY HS stars......
Ron King, Louisville Central.....one heck of a ball player and one heck of a game in the 1969 State Championship.
This only guy to win an NCAA, ABA, & NBA title: Tom Thacker.
On offense he is a triple double machine, on defense he is one of, if not the, best in his position. All against the best players in the planet!
I like Mike Casey and Charles Hurt. But I'm a biased Shelby Co. alum.
Having watched the Smith boys play in highschool, I thought Dwight was the better of the two. Howeve, It would have been great to see what Greg could have done if not for the injury he suffered in the same accident that took Dwight's life.
Ron King, I watched him get 44 for Central. He went on to play for Florida State made it to the finals of the NCAA against Bill Walton and UCLA scored 27 in the championship game lost by 5. He was mister basketball in 1969. Not saying he was the very best but he is right there with them.
Larry Conley is the best ball handler to ever come out of Kentucky. Rondo is a good dribbler, good scorer, but no one is close to Conley when it come to passing. Ramsey was a magician with the Celtics. There is way to many great players to even think about who is the best and if you cant remember the players for the Rupp's teams then it's hard for you to talk about the best player.
Clem the( GEM) Haskins. If he had not broke his hand, WKU would have been National Champions. He and Goose are so CLOSE.
Let's not forget Jeff Lamp. If he hadnt blown his knee out playing in the NBA summer league after getting drafted by Portland no telling what he might have done. Does own a ring with the Lakers fromm 1987 or 88
If you look at their whole careers(H.S., college, NBA), there's no one on the list that can top Unseld and Cowens. Another guy that was very successful at every level was Jeff Mullins(Lafayette H.S.- Duke-NBA). If you couldn't guess, I've been around awhile. Not many on here probably remember Mullins.
Wow, reading this thread I realize how many great players came from our great state. Starting with the youngest I'll say Rajon Rondo, Darrel Griffith, Wes Unseld, and Charlie Tyra. It's hard not to also mention Rex Chapman and Allen Houston.
Now I need to educate myself about some of the other guys you all mentioned like Jack Givens, Dave Cowens, Kelly Coleman, and Frank Ramsey.
.... It's not safe! Get on the train or get out the way!
Ralph Beard. Just look up his record.
wasnt Jim McDaniels from out in the state? Also Alfred "Butch" Beard. Fun post remembering these great players maybe we ought to do a post on great high school teams?
This post was edited by stonewall011 12 months ago
McDaniels is from Allen County. Grew up 20 miles from BG and was locked into going to WKU
Beard is from Breckinridge County.
You need to educate yourself on Jack Givens? HA HA. Get the hell out of here. I don't care if you're 20 years old you should know the name and at least one game he played in. Good lord!
Hey Mr. Nice guy, I never said I haven't heard his name before. I just wasn't aware of all his accomplishments.
I see he was a 6'5" forward voted second team all American that played for the 78 championship team, averaging 16.6 points per game in college and was drafted 16th overall to the NBA where he averaged 6.7 points per game.
Sounds like a great player but doesn't seem good enough to be called Kentucky's greatest.
Yeah you still aren't getting it. There was one small game that he had that pretty much any fan should know about. LOL. Hilarious!!!
Wasn't one of Kentucky's greats? lol.
This post was edited by tWhit 12 months ago
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