A little off-season fun

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EKU05
Posts: 1217
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 7:38 pm

A little off-season fun

Post by EKU05 » Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:41 pm

I'm spending the whole week in Richmond having left my 21-weeks pregnant wife at home in Louisville. I'm attending an AP Summer Institute for one of the AP classes I teach. It's the first year EKU has hosted these, and I'm grateful because the previous two times I ended one I had to spend a week on a different campus down in...Bowling Green. It was gross. I'm glad to be "home" this year.

So I've been on quite the nostalgia trip this week. Sure, I still make the occasional trip in for a ball game, but it's never an extended stay. I've really had the chance to wander both campus and Richmond in general reliving my college days (even if none of the three buildings I lived in on campus are standing anymore).

I bring up all of this to say, that I'm going to propose a little off-season, nostalgia based activity for anyone who wants to join me. Let's rank our favorite players. I'm proposing a best players of the 21st Century theme. It roughly coincides with a revival period for the program with Travis Ford arriving on the Campus Beautiful for the 2000-2001 season. For me personally it also roughly overlaps with my time following the program starting with the freshman year in 2001-2002.

But if you're one of our more...experienced fans feel free to use a wider timeline.

Here's what I'm going to do. Adapt it in any way you want:

-Take a quick look at the rosters for each season starting with 2000-2001.
-Jot down any player I think has even a remote chance of landing on the list.
-Start making the tough calls and eliminate players until I'm down to a top 10.
-Post my top 10 (in reverse order) with a short blurb about each player.

This is just to get a little discussion going. We're going to disagree, and that's going to be the best part. Maybe someone will even talk me out of my own picks! Set your own criteria. How do you weigh a player who evolved from a role player to star versus a player who was a four-year starter but never totally elite? How do you weigh transfers who started their career somewhere else? How do you weight good players who left?

Have fun. Happy ranking!

g--
Posts: 4474
Joined: Sat Aug 07, 2010 2:52 pm

Re: A little off-season fun

Post by g-- » Thu Jun 13, 2019 3:53 pm

No tough calls for me!

1. Tim Volpenheim – Tallest player ever to play for EKU.
2. Papa Oppong – Great shooter. Best name of any EKU player ever.
3. Timmy Knipp – Local kid who could shoot really well.
4. Darnell Dialls – Best defensive big I’ve seen play for EKU.
5. Eric Stutz – Best big until Mayo came to EKU.
6. Mike Rose – Could score anytime he wanted (48% 3 point shooter). No one could stop him.
7. Corey Walden – Great shooter (also, Walden is my favorite book).
8. Justin Stommes – Tallest PG I’ve ever seen.
9. Matt Witt – PG who could dribble right through a triple team defense without needing to pass the ball to someone else.
10. Mayo – Who isn’t going to put Mayo on their top ten list?

EKU05
Posts: 1217
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 7:38 pm

Re: A little off-season fun

Post by EKU05 » Thu Jun 13, 2019 10:34 pm

10. Shawn Fields
I bet he’s left off of most people’s lists, but he shouldn’t be. My freshman and sophomore years were years two and three of the Travis Ford era. I think we only won 7 games each year and a combined eight OVC games as we started the climb back to competitive basketball. As lackluster as that sounds, it would have been much worse without a bona fide go-to scorer. Shawn Fields was that scorer for us after transferring back closer to home following two seasons at Georgia where he started a few games. He had two teammates that appear higher on my list, but Fields was the leader of those teams that got the ball rolling for our return to good basketball at EKU.

9. Jarelle Reischel
He’d have been several spots higher if he spent more than a single season in Maroon and White. I think his short tenure causes many to forget how offensively brilliant he was.

8. Michael Haney
In many ways he was the linchpin signee for Travis Ford’s rebuilding project. Coach Ford went and talked him out of some theoretically better offers. The two of them shared a high school alma mater in Madisonville North Hopkins (and he was a classmate of my first EKU roommate). I’m hoping history repeats itself with the Hamilton-Moreno Scott County connection. Haney was a blue-collar player in the best way possible. He never took a play off, was a rebounding machine, and could score the ball as well. It should probably tell us something that he played pro-ball in Australia, one of the better pro-leagues outside of the US, well into his thirties.

He’s also the only player on this list whose four-year run perfectly overlaps with my four years as a student.

*Incidentally, when I googled him to double check something the first return was for someone by the same name who is a psychology professor at EKU.

7. Eric Stutz
What a fun player to watch! He was also one of the most interesting personalities we’ve had in the program. He did so many things on both ends of the court. He was obviously a key player for the 2014 team that pushed Kansas to the brink of elimination in the NCAA tournament, and along with another player later to appear on the list he survived the loss of a large and outstanding senior class to win a school-record 25 games the following season and come within a lucky UTM shot of the CIT final four.

6. Jason McLeish
“J-High” is probably the second best defensive player I’ve seen at EKU. He was a key member of the 2005 team that nearly knocked off Kentucky in the NCAA tournament while snapping a streak of not being in the tournament that had lasted more than a quarter-century. As a senior he also became an elite scorer. He was the leading scorer in conference games that year at over 18-per-game, and that’s saying something given that he had a fellow senior teammate who became EKU’s all-time scoring leader that same season.

5. Glenn Cosey
The star of the 2014 OVC tournament champions, the author one of the most dramatic last-second heaves I’ve ever seen, and an outstanding scorer with an unbelievable motor. Can you believe he almost ended up at Tennessee Tech? I’m glad he didn’t.

4. Mike Rose
The only thing keeping him from being at least one-spot higher was that it took him one “role-player” season to get his legs before he became who he ultimately would be. He led into March Madness as a sophomore, and as a senior he led the nation in 3-point percentage. I know the Washington Wizards worked him out, and I thought he might have had a chance to work his way into the league.
***Also, Smidge, if you’re reading I just want to take this opportunity to remind you about “The Shot.”

3. Matt Witt
I did another thread like this a few years back, and he was #1. He was also #1 in scoring at EKU all-time until a few months back. Witt could score at will, but people underrate him as a passing point guard as well. He could do both. He would have been one-spot higher, but I remember that Travis Ford used to talk about his tendency to get complacent on defense at times. Still, Witt was a superstar, and we don’t get back to the tournament in 2005 without him. Not even close.

2. Corey Walden
He was maybe the most complete player we’ve ever had. I mean seriously, I’m not sure there were any true weak spots in his game. He was a 2-time OVC defensive player of the year, but he was also the offensive leader of that underrated 2014-2015 team. I know he played in some pre-season games for the Celtics, and he played for Maine in the D-League (now G-League) for a while. It’s a shame he never made in to the NBA full-time.

1. Nick Mayo
What can I say that hasn’t already been said about he greatest Colonel of the all? It’s just a shame he came to us just in time to player on the worst EKU teams in a decade and a half. I genuinely think he could play all five positions if you wanted him to. I still believe we’re going to see him in the NBA.

Honorable Mention: I initially marked 28 players when looking through the rosters. Some I eliminated quickly once I realized how many I had. Here were some of the tougher names to scratch in chronological order of when they played:
• Ben Rushing
• John Bentley
• Darnell Dialls
• Adam Leonard
• Justin Stommes
• Spencer Perrin
• Jaron Jones
• Mike DiNunno
Last edited by EKU05 on Fri Jun 28, 2019 3:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

EKU05
Posts: 1217
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 7:38 pm

Re: A little off-season fun

Post by EKU05 » Thu Jun 13, 2019 10:35 pm

g-- wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 3:53 pm
No tough calls for me!

1. Tim Volpenheim – Tallest player ever to play for EKU.
2. Papa Oppong – Great shooter. Best name of any EKU player ever.
3. Timmy Knipp – Local kid who could shoot really well.
4. Darnell Dialls – Best defensive big I’ve seen play for EKU.
5. Eric Stutz – Best big until Mayo came to EKU.
6. Mike Rose – Could score anytime he wanted (48% 3 point shooter). No one could stop him.
7. Corey Walden – Great shooter (also, Walden is my favorite book).
8. Justin Stommes – Tallest PG I’ve ever seen.
9. Matt Witt – PG who could dribble right through a triple team defense without needing to pass the ball to someone else.
10. Mayo – Who isn’t going to put Mayo on their top ten list?
g, it looks like 50% of our lists match. Two other from your list are on my honorable mention.

g--
Posts: 4474
Joined: Sat Aug 07, 2010 2:52 pm

Re: A little off-season fun

Post by g-- » Fri Jun 14, 2019 12:09 am

EKU05 wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 10:35 pm
g-- wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 3:53 pm
No tough calls for me!

1. Tim Volpenheim – Tallest player ever to play for EKU.
2. Papa Oppong – Great shooter. Best name of any EKU player ever.
3. Timmy Knipp – Local kid who could shoot really well.
4. Darnell Dialls – Best defensive big I’ve seen play for EKU.
5. Eric Stutz – Best big until Mayo came to EKU.
6. Mike Rose – Could score anytime he wanted (48% 3 point shooter). No one could stop him.
7. Corey Walden – Great shooter (also, Walden is my favorite book).
8. Justin Stommes – Tallest PG I’ve ever seen.
9. Matt Witt – PG who could dribble right through a triple team defense without needing to pass the ball to someone else.
10. Mayo – Who isn’t going to put Mayo on their top ten list?
g, it looks like 50% of our lists match. Two other from your list are on my honorable mention.

It’s not surprising our lists are different. A list of our 10 favorite players shouldn’t match a list of another person’s 10 favorite players. I did find it interesting that 4 of both of our top 5 are the same players.

I guess I didn’t understand the rules very well (reverse order) as I listed my top 10 from 10 to 1 (10 being my favorite). I hope that doesn’t confuse anyone.

EKU05
Posts: 1217
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 7:38 pm

Re: A little off-season fun

Post by EKU05 » Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:33 am

I'm not sure there are any rules, although I will say that I was approaching it more as "best players" as opposed to favorites in my particular case.

FGColonel
Posts: 1549
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Location: Richmond, KY

Re: A little off-season fun

Post by FGColonel » Fri Jun 14, 2019 7:56 pm

g-- wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 3:53 pm
No tough calls for me!

1. Tim Volpenheim – Tallest player ever to play for EKU.
How tall is Tim V? When I was in school we had brothers from Anderson Indiana. Dan Argerbrighte (sp) and his younger brother Tim. They were listed in the program as 6 ' 11" and 7'1" respectively.

g--
Posts: 4474
Joined: Sat Aug 07, 2010 2:52 pm

Re: A little off-season fun

Post by g-- » Fri Jun 14, 2019 10:53 pm

Wow – 7’-1”! That was before my time but he would be the tallest. That beats Tim Volpenheim who was listed as 7’-0”.

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