xt7k0p0wqm6h https://nyx.uky.edu/dips/xt7k0p0wqm6h/data/mets.xml University of Kentucky 1949 Madison Square Garden, New York (N.Y.) athletic publications English University of Kentucky This digital resource may be freely searched and displayed. Permission must be received for subsequent distribution in print or electronically. Physical rights are retained by the owning repository. Copyright is retained in accordance with U. S. copyright laws. For information about permissions to reproduce or publish, contact the Special Collections Research Center. University of Kentucky Basketball Programs (Men) UKAW University of Kentucky Men's Basketball (1948-1949) UK vs. Illinois University (March 22, 1949) NCAA Tournament (1949) players coaches Rupp, Adolph rosters statistics programs U. of Kentucky vs. Illinois; Yale University vs. Villanova, March 22, 1949 text U. of Kentucky vs. Illinois; Yale University vs. Villanova, March 22, 1949 1949 2012 true xt7k0p0wqm6h section xt7k0p0wqm6h U. OF KENTUCKY vs. ILLINOIS YALE UNIVERSITY vs. VILLANOVA
MADISON SQUARE GARDEN
MARCH 22, 1949
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NATIONAL INTERCOLLEGIATE BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT
THE PERFECT GIFT FOR EVERY OCCASION Illinois, A Champion Who Substituted Balance For Stars
By EVERETT B. MORRIS (N. Y. Herald-Tribune; President, Metropolitan Basketball Writers Association)
You don't have to have a goon squad to sweep the boards, or an outstanding expert in the point production department to fill the basket. It helps, of course, but you can have a championship team without either or both. You have proof of that right here in the Garden tonight.
The "Fighting lllini" of the University of Illinois, champions of the Western Conference and representatives of District No. 4 in the N.C.A.A. play-offs, are entirely unburdened with giants or record-breaking scorers. Yet they waded through a rugged schedule with only three defeats in twenty-two games and took the Big Nine title, admittedly one of the most difficult feats in college basketball, with a IO-and-2 record.
The lllini have substituted balance and well distributed power for excessive height in one or two spots and a specialist in shotmaking. They have been
and that's quite ck to his
called "the team without a star all right with Harry Combes, who came Alma Mater as head coach two years ago when Doug Mills slid over into the Director of Athletics chair after the Whizz Kids had had their post-war innings.
Normally, Illinois starts a five whose tallest member is Wally (Ox) Osterkorn, 6-41/2, anc' whose shortest operator is Collier's All-America guard, Bill Erickson, 6-1. In between them are Walt (Slip) Ker-sulis, 6-4, and his running mate at forward, Jim Marks, 6-2; and Dwight (Dike) Eddelman, six feet two inches of as fine an all-round athlete as Illinois has had in many a year.
Illinois had only one man, Eddleman, among the first ten in the Big Nine scoring table, but it had eight on the list of those players who had scored fifty points or more and fifteen altogether who had put anything at all into the hoop. Eddleman had 144 points in twelve league games and 301 overall for a 13.7 average. He does most of his damage from outside, too.
He has been consistently high, hitting 20 or better six times (against Indiana, Penn, Colgate, DePaul, Northwestern and Cornell); 19 against Iowa and 18 in repeat appearances against Colgate and Northwestern.
Erickson was second to Eddleman in the scoring
department with 245 and Osterkorn had 224. Four others over the 130 mark were Sunderlage, Marks and Green.
It is difficult to beat a team with that much shooting ability because when one man is off there is always someone who can take up the slack. There is no such thing as stopping Illinois by smothering its chief scoring threat. It doesn't have any such animal.
Illinois set a Big Nine record by pouring 783 points into the cords for a 12-game average of 65.2. The old mark was 755 established by the Whiz Kids in 1943 before they all went away to war. The lllini also shared in the total points per game record when they whipped Indiana 91 to 68 and in that same rouf set a new free throw standard by canning 31 penalty shots.
The lllini's operations have been characterized by sustained drive and plenty of shooting. They don't bother much with fancy, involved plays; they take the shortest possible route to the basket and the most direct method of inducing the ball to go through the ring. Consequently in their twelve Big Nine games they took 988 field goal shots and hit with 297 of them for an average of .301. That was only the third
BILL ERICKSON WALLY OSTERKORN
best in the league but it sufficed despite the fact that its defense was the third weakest in the loop.
Shoot earlier and oftener than the other fellow and let the chips fall where they may might sum up the Illinois attacking philosophy. It paid off in blue chips this season.
3 Big Alex Groza, Kentucky's great center scored 602 points this season.
"EXPERT" TRIES AGAIN:
Boldly Picks Kentucky All the Way in NCAA
By LOUIS EFFRAT, New York Times
As one of the numerous so-called "experts" who was wrong and how!in his predictions on the twelfth annual national Invitation Tournament, the writer begs your indulgence while he takes another stab. Having named Adolph Rupp's Kentucky Wildcats as the winner of the Invitation, your agent wants to take advantage of this opportunity to boost his batting average to .500.
With this in mind and undaunted by the events of recent daysand nightsI boldly predict that Kentucky will finish first in the Eastern Regionals of the N. C. A. A.; that Kentucky then will proceed to Seattle and mop up there; that the poor showing the Wildcats made in the first round of the NIT will quickly be forgottenor at least forgivenand that Kentucky will be given recognition as the top collegiate quintet in the nation.
Right or wrong, these are my sentiments and just as you are entitled to your opinion, I am to mine.
"Game of Year" Just Didn't Come Off
Of course, I was completely wrong last week but my only regret is that I won't be able to see Kentucky and St. Louis cross paths again. That was the one game I wanted to see. That thousands of others also wanted to see the "Game of the Year" goes without saying.
Be that as it may, tonight we are privileged to see Kentucky in action in one of its few remaining games. Next season, the Wildcats will be virtually unrecognizable, because Alex Groza, Ralph Beard, Wah Wah Jones and Cliff Barker will be lost via graduation.
This means the breaking-up of one of the greatest college basketball teams of all-time. If the clock could be turned back and we could bring back the fabulous Passaic Wonder Five, we'd like to match them against the current Kentuckians, a 4-year aggregation that has won the fancy and admiration of basketball followers everywhere.
Recently, Red Auerbach, who coaches the Washington Capitols of the BAA, authored the statement that no college team, including Kentucky, would score 55 points against any team in the professional BAA. Here, again, there is no sense in arguing, because you'd never be able to prove it. But no one can stop you from dreaming and, with due respect to Brother Auerbach, he was talking through his hat. It is my opinion that Kentucky would not be humiliated by any team in the BAA, extend some of them and beat four or five.
I suppose we should begin to feel sorry for Coach Rupp, who has been head-man at Lexington for the past nineteen years. Players like Groza, Beard, Jones and Barker do not bob up every season. Unbeaten on their home court, where they have annexed 76 straight these lads have brought glory to their school, their coach and themselves. Now they are about to go the way of all graduates.
What will Rupp do about replacing them? Let's not fret about that. You can depend on the master coming up with fresh material that will enable Kentucky to remain on top or close to it. If we are to believe rival and possibly resentfulof Rupp's successcoaches, Uncle Adolph already has lined-up sensational talent to carry on. We'll see.
KENTUCKY'S TOP SCORERS
GAMES POINTS AVERAGE
ALEX GROZA 30
RALPH BEARD 30
WALLACE JONES 28
CLIFF BARKER 30
DALE BARNSTABLE 30
602 342 287 205 195
20.1 11.4 10.3 6.8 6.5
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6 Meet the Coach--
HARRY COMBES, Illinois
Harry Combes, former University of Illinois basketball star and a highly-successful coach at Champaign, III., high school for 10 years, succeeded Doug Mills as head coach of the lllini last season. Combes continued his winning ways in the tough Western Conference by coachi,ng Illinois to third place, with an overall season record of 15 wins, 5 defeats, and to the championship this year.
Combes came back to his alma mater after gaining recognition as one of the finest high school coaches in the state. He was graduated from Illinois in 1937, and immediately joined Champaign High's staff as assistant in basketball and football and head baseball coach. He became head basketball coachin 1938.
Combes' first cage team at Champaign, in 1938-39, won 18, lost 9, went to the state prep tourney, and was eliminated in the quarterfinals. From that beginning, Combes progressed to outstanding heights. In eight years with Champaign's cagers, Combes had five Big 12 conference championship teams, rolled up a record of 236 victories against only 37 losses, and reached state finals on six occasions.
Last season Combes coached his first Illinois team to a 7-5 record in the Big Nine and eight wins without loss in non-conference games, in a year when he had to mould a new club to replace the departed Whiz Kids. The lllini rolled up more points than any Illinois team ever scored in a 20-game campaign.
Thirty-three years old, Combes is from Monticello, III., where he was a star prep athlete. He earned three letters in basketball, two in football, and two in track at Monticello. Entering Illinois in 1933, Combes earned frosh numerals in basketball and baseball, but confined his varsity competition to the cage sport. He played guard and forward on lllini teams of 1935-36-37.
In his sophomore and senior years, Illinois shared the conference title, and Combes was All-Big Ten selection in 1936 and 1937. He scored 363 points in three years, his top season being 1936 with 154 points. Combes won the conference honor medal for proficiency in athletics and scholarship his senior season, and was awarded the Ralf Woods Memorial trophy for highest percentage of free throws made in conference games his final year.
ILLINOIS' LEADING SCORERS
Games Points Average
Dike Eddleman ................................ 22 301 13.7
Bi Erickson 22 245 I.I
Wally Osterkorn ........................... 22 224 10.2
Don Sunderlage 2 4 6.
Fred Green ...................................... "
VILLANOVA'S TOP SCORERS
Games Points Average
Paul Arixin ............................. 25 542 21.6
Joe Hannon............................ L< " . .
TomSabol ............................. 22 82 8.4
Sherry Raiken 25 31
Leo Wolf ................ 24 125
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