Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Freshman starters

Reading about Jeronne Maymon's recruitment last week got me thinking: how often have freshmen started at Wisconsin? Off the top of my head, Alando Tucker was the only one I could think of in recent times. Here are the freshman starters for Wisconsin basketball in the last 26 years:

2003: Alando Tucker
2002: Devin Harris
1998: Mike Kelley
1996: Sam Okey, Hennssy Auriantal (Maymon's mentor)
1994: Rashard Griffith
1992: Michael Finley
1990: Larry Hisle
1983: Rick Olson
1982: Brad Sellers, Cory Blackwell

That's some list. Tucker, Harris, Griffith, Finley, Blackwell and Sellers were all first or second round NBA draft picks. Kelley might be the best defensive player in program history. Olson is the program's fifth all-time leading scorer. Okey was Big Ten Freshman of the Year, the only one in school history. Auriantal led the team in steals as a freshman for Dick Bennett's first team.

That's 11 freshman starters in 26 seasons, or ninein 25. Shouldn't be any freshman starters on next year's team, even though we lose two starters to graduation. That's the sign of a stable program that recruits, retains, and develops players well.


ruffian96 said...

I am ashamed that I did not know Brad Sellers attended UW.

Scott Tappa said...

I am ashamed that Brad Sellers wanted to leave UW so badly for another Big Ten school that he was willing to pay his own tuition to OSU.

Sellers was a helluva player at UW, as was Blackwell ... that could have been a terrific team by the time they were seniors.