"My rule was I wouldn't recruit a kid if he had grass in front of his house.
That's not my world. My world was a cracked sidewalk." —Al McGuire

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Top 20 Basketball Pros from MU

I really appreciated the writer who used the Doc Rivers vs. Dwyane Wade playoffs as a reason to pick his top 6 NBA players to hail from Marquette. (1 – Wade, 2 – Lucas, 3 – Matthews, 4 – Chones, 5 – Kojis, 6 – Rivers)

As a couple have noted, he seemed to focus on ppg, which probably is not the best basis since a two-time All-Star like Don Kojis who was a rebounding machine played in an era where scores were lower, etc. I always thought that pro games played was the best starting point for how good a career someone had since if you were good enough to play 300, 600 or 800 NBA games, it meant you were doing something well enough (play defense, run the offense as a point guard, etc.) to be one of the top few hundred players in the world for several years. Certainly there are many other factors, but below I list the games played and points per game in laying out my Top 20.

1 Dwyane Wade 547 games 25.4 ppg – no brainer
2 Maurice Lucas 855 games 14.4 ppg – 5-time All-Star gives him an edge over 2-time All-Star Don Kojis
3 Don Kojis 814 games 12.2 ppg – really the final of the GREAT pro players to come out of Marquette as one of three NBA All-Stars, the best of the best
4 Glen (Doc) Rivers 864 games 10.9 ppg – once averaged 10 assists per game too, the best of the NBA non-All-Stars
5 Wesley Matthews 82 games 12.6 ppg – probably ends up here, but obviously could be higher or lower

6 Jim Chones 623 games 12.3 ppg – has a ring and was 1st team Rookie
7 George Thompson 437 games 18.6 ppg – if you view the ABA as equal to the NBA, then he is a 3-time All-Star who belongs with the Top 3, but if not he is a player who slides a lot for only lasting one year in the NBA
8 Tony Smith 457 games 5.5 ppg – anyone who can shut down Michael Jordan on TV has to be in our Top 10
9 Jerome Whitehead 697 games 6.5 ppg – lot of years as a solid backup
10 Earl Tatum 262 games 9.6 ppg – great defensive player too, his 9 steals against the Lakers is only two off the all-time NBA record, and he scored 19 in that game

11 Chris Crawford 252 games 6.6 ppg – injuries cut short what really might have been a nice career from beyond the arc
12 Dean Meminger 416 games 6.1 ppg – go the ring with his hometown Knicks
13 Jim McIlvaine 401 games 2.7 ppg – block enough shots to play 400 games without scoring
14 Terry Rand – 1st round Lakers pick who chose the better paying Industrial League and played 8 seasons there
15 Travis Diener 179 games 3.8 ppg – some good stretches of running the point

16 Larry McNeil 297 games 8.5 ppg
17 Steve Novak 225 games 4 ppg
18 Lloyd Walton 341 games 4.2 ppg
19 Alfred (Butch) Lee 96 games 8.1 ppg
20 Dave Quabius 6 pro seasons for the team that helped form the NBA

Pros not included (alphabetical)
Gene Berce 3 games 3.3 ppg
Brian Brunkhorst 3 games 8.3 ppg
Jimmy Butler 0 games 0 ppg – hoping mock drafts are right!
Tom Copa 33 games 1.5 ppg – took a few years, but he got there
Bill Downey 3 games 0 ppg
Maurice (Bo) Ellis 168 games 3.6 ppg – could have included him
Lazar Hayward 42 games 1.7 ppg – hopefully playing time plays out
Bob Lackey 71 games 5.8 ppg
Amal McCaskill 114 games 1.8 ppg
Allie McGuire 2 games 1.0 ppg
Jerel McNeal 0 games 0 ppg – finally had a few days on the Hornets roster, hopefully next year in his first game
Ed Mullen 5 pro seasons pre NBA
Joe Thomas 39 games 1.4 ppg
Bernard Toone 23 games 2.4 ppg
Michael Wilson 32 games 3.4 ppg
Sam Worthen 69 games 3.5 ppg


UW grad 90 said...

Doc made/appeared in at least one all star game IIRC. I remember an article about Kerry Trotter calling to congratulate him from Europe

Unknown said...

Didn't realize Butch Lee only played 96 pro games. Did he have a career ending injury?

UW grad 90 said...

Doc was in fact an all star in the 87-88 season.