Question for Oldtimers

Talk XU Men's basketball here...
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olsingledigit
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Re: Question for Oldtimers

Postby olsingledigit » Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:46 pm

Dressed to the Nines - Last of the LHS Single Digits - Dedicated to John "The Beer Spiller" McCormick, my son-in-law who passed June, 2016 at age 44. Long time Xavier fanatic and friend of many Lew Hirt Members. RIP Mac Strong! We miss you.
WCWIII
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Re: Question for Oldtimers

Postby WCWIII » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:29 pm

For whatever reason, at this particular moment, I want to give a lot of credit to Tyrone Hill. I started following the program with Tony Hicks in the early 80s, but it was with Tyrone Hill that I first felt Xavier had an impact on a national stage. It became T-time and people started to believe nationally.
Last edited by WCWIII on Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
PT71
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Re: Question for Oldtimers

Postby PT71 » Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:48 am

Also, as my screen name indicates...grad in '71. We absolutely were horrendous ALL four years I was at X...our best year was something like 12-16...Bob Quick was our best player...made it to NBA...played for Pistons and Bullets, I believe. One outstanding game was my Freshman year versus Marquette...they were ranked 8th in country and we beat 'em in OT...it was the George Thompson vs Bob Quick show. Both scored 40 points, or so. George Krajack was the coach...must have been tough to recruit good ones to X, both coaches and players. Old Schmidt FH was "quaint," but lacked capacity, ambience and anything "modern." Although, the students had the "Primo" seating, in a section of bleachers right next to the court!! One tidbit: we had a guy, Russel Blossom, on the team...went by "Rusty," and he was athletic...could slam the ball with the best of 'em. As I recall the PA announcer had fun with announcing a score by "Rusty Blossom." In that Marquette game, a few of us decided (in a mature way, of course) to razz coach Al McGuire...we painted a message to him on several T-shirts...."M-c-G-u-i-r-e-i-s-A-P-i-g." We made a ruccous and got his attention...he sat on the bench rubbing his forehead with his middle finger. What a hoot...really fired up our student section.
Alpalpa
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Re: Question for Oldtimers

Postby Alpalpa » Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:10 am

Marquette. When we played them in the 60's it was early in the preseason warm-up schedule. We were their annual "Little Sisters of the Poor" game. I was at Schmidt to watch the game with the other 1500 half-drunken fans, and Phil Samp (great guy, good play-b-play) was calling the game. We were in the stands, listening to Mr. Samp on our TRANSITORS, when a couple of guys walked in front of Samp with a sign which he read over the airwaves: "Muck 'em Fuskies". He read it twice over the air. The first time he just read it to fill time. Then he read it again with a question in his voice as his mind broke it down. Then there was silence, followed by a quiet "Ohhhh" from the radio.'
And then the fat drunk in the bleachers immediately in front of us fell backwards onto my future wife with bear flying everywhere.
What a great night! (We lost, of course.)
kyzrex
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Re: Question for Oldtimers

Postby kyzrex » Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:10 am

Really enjoying reading this thread.

Marquette is one of the schools that was referencing in my prior post. They were certainly a national power under the coaching of Al McQuire, and again when Dwayne Wade was playing for them. But otherwise, not so much. Their past success has had more to do with the presence of a couple of individuals, then it has had because of a “culture”.

It is my hope (and belief) that Xavier will remain a national program even when key figures change (as they will). The steady rise of the program, verses the quick flash in the pan before falling back to mediocrity path other schools have taken, is what I take out of this whole thread.
#WHYNOTX?
barrack9
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Re: Question for Oldtimers

Postby barrack9 » Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:17 am

My first XU game was against Adolph Rupp’s UK’s team with All Americans, Frank Ramsey and
Cliff Hagen in 1953. The start time was considerably delayed because Rupp refused to start the game until the court and basket arrangements were measured for accuracy using a very long tape measure. I thought it was held at Schmitt, but Google says it was at Cincinnati Gardens.
tacitus
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Re: Question for Oldtimers

Postby tacitus » Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:31 am

Here are my keys to our success in order of importance. But note that they form a circle, as will be explained below, and also note that a lot of this is just a matter of being at the right place at the right time and seizing opportunities.

1) A great student body and alumni network that has supported X basketball through thick and thin
2) Dropping football: It seems to me that maintaining a football team would have over stretched X's resources and would have at the very least greatly limited our potential for basketball. It is no coincidence that our ride to (almost) elite status began one season after dropping football.
3) Visionaries like Daley, Hoff, Graham and others who recognized that Xavier could become a basketball school and. more importantly, that it was in our all around best interest to do so because of the marketing value of a good sports program
4) Embracing the importance of conference affiliation: joining the forerunner of the Horizon League and then consistently recognizing when we had outgrown our current conference and exploiting the opportunity to move on to a more competitive conference which would improve recruiting and our chances of making the tournament (=> A10 => Big East)
5) Hiring a string of up-and-coming young/less experienced head coaches (Staak => Gillen => Prosser => Matta => Miller => Mack) so that we continued to progress despite our mid-major label
6) Consistently winning games: competing in (and at times dominating) our conferences, winning big regular season games against ranked teams, winning conference titles and tournaments, regularly making it to the NCAA tournament and winning games on the national stage. And this is where it comes full circle, because without wins, none of the rest matters. Without our success on the court, we would have lost the fan base, the marketing would be mostly bad press, and the whole thing would have crumbled.
Let's March!
bluegrass
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Re: Question for Oldtimers

Postby bluegrass » Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:58 am

Not a real old timer(class of 88) but started going to games in the 70's with Tay Baker,Nick Daniels,Steve Spivery et.al.It's been a long,beautiful,steady climb to this point where we actually can legitimately say we could be the best team in the country. Daley deserves a ton of credit for having the vision to get this ball rollin'.Staak,Gillen,Larkin,T Hill,Fr Hoff and a whole lot of others had a hand in this too. Honestly I'll be disappointed if we don't make the Final 4 because this is the best chance we've had( although I thought that 2 years ago too).If we're playing in San Antonio March 31, I know I will have a tear in my eye.
gym from delhi
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Re: Question for Oldtimers

Postby gym from delhi » Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:50 pm

Villanova having football doesn't seem to have hurt their basketball. Likewise with Butler who has football and has gotten further (twice) in the NCAA tourney than X. I think that the two sports can co-exist, and what X should have done is drop to D-III in fb, like Dayton, and still have a viable fall spectator sport.
DannyV76
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Re: Question for Oldtimers

Postby DannyV76 » Wed Feb 14, 2018 1:56 pm

As per my screen name, Class of 76. While X wasn't very good my four years there, the basketball program hooked me hard. I enjoyed sitting court side for the Marquette and Dayton games every year and the Quixotic hope of one day beating UC (suffered through 7 of those before Staak & Hicks gave me the unforgettable 77-69 game).
Obviously all valid points for the program's rise to prominence but for me it was the day Byron committed to Xavier. Just coming off our NIT Gardens victories over Ohio State and Nebraska, when he committed I just knew how elite he was and what it would mean to our program. In fact two years later when Tyrone Hill came to X, one of his main reasons was a chance to play with Bryon. From there it just seemed liked the dominos line up and continued to fall Xavier's way.
Oh the memories.

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