Leroy Edwards
- Collegiate Record -

Edwards was already a larger-than-life character in college

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Freshman Year

Leroy Edwards attended the University of Kentucky and learned under their young coach Adolph Rupp. Freshmen were ineligible for the varsity at the time, so Edwards competed on the undefeated Freshman team in 1933-34, leading the team and setting a new school freshman record with over 400 points scored (of a total of 646 points for the entire team). Other notable players on the squad included Ralph Carlisle and Warfield Donohue. The coach of the freshman team was former UK player Len Miller.

1933-34 Kentucky Freshman Team

1933-34 Kentucky
Freshman Scores
Kentucky 51, Dunn Drug 12
Kentucky 47, Georgetown 21
Kentucky 52, Covington Y.M.C.A. 17
Kentucky 68, Wilmore Athletic Club 20
Kentucky 68, Irvine Athletic Club 20
Kentucky 34, Williamson, W.Va. 21
Kentucky 44, Partiz All Stars 25
Kentucky 58, Eastern Normal 28
Kentucky 41, Paris Athletic Club 21
Kentucky 34, du Pont Manual 10
Kentucky 52, Coffman Red Devils 17
Kentucky 61, Cincinnati All Stars 27
Kentucky 55, Georgetown 24
Kentucky 49, Eastern Normal 31

Varsity Statistics

The following season as a sophomore, Edwards led the Wildcats to a 19-2 record and earned All-American honors for himself. (He later was named the Helms National Player of the Year.) Edwards made a name for himself early on by outscoring the entire opposing team in the first five games of the year. This included a national game against the University of Chicago and their star player Bill Haarlow. In the game, Edwards scored 26 points while the entire Chicago squad could only tally 16.

The following game saw Kentucky travel for the first time to New York City to play in Madison Square Garden. Kentucky was matched up against a powerful New York University Violets team. (which later went on to be named the top team in the nation for that season by the Helms Committee.)

The game saw a clash not only between coaching and styles of play, but between officiating as Kentucky struggled to adopt to the Eastern officials. While Kentucky was called on fouls for setting screens (which had been an integral part of the offense), they watched helplessly as the Violet big men mandhandled Edwards in the paint without causing the officials to blow their whistle. The violence in the paint was enough that after a film of the game was shown at a national coaches conference, it helped lead to adoption of the 3-second rule which was designed to help unclog the key.

For additional information about this game and its importance, please see the next section of this website.

1935 University of Kentucky
Front Row (l to r): Head Coach Adolph Rupp, Edward Tierney, Jack Tucker, Dave Lawrence, Unknown #11, Russell Ellington, Charles Heinrich, Frank "Skipper" Mann
Back Row: John McIntosh, Bob Taylor, Harry Bliss, Leroy Edwards, Warfield Donohue, Garland Lewis, James Goforth, Ralph Carlisle

Edwards scored 343 points in his only varsity season as a Wildcat. This not only shattered the Kentucky single-season record (held by Forest "Aggie" Sale) but was a Southeastern Conference record and thought to be at the time the highest point total of any Southern player ever. This Kentucky record, which he accomplished in 21 games, was not eclipsed until over a decade later by Alex Groza and Ralph Beard, who each required considerably more games. Edwards was honored as a consensus All-American, the first non-native Kentuckian to earn All-American honors for the Wildcats. Edwards was also later named as the Helms Foundation Player of the Year and despite only playing one collegiate season, was named as one of the top ten collegiate players in the decade of the 1930s. (According to the National Association of Basketball Coaches.)

12/10/1934Alumni7418"Big Ed Edwards, however, provided a bit of entertainment for the crowd with his peculiar shots at the basket which most of the time sailed through without even touching the rim. The big fellow couldn't get underway until about midway of the first half, but when he started scoring, he was permanently in the habit. Edwards explained his late start by claiming DeMoisey had been standing on his feet early in the game."
12/13/1934Oglethorpe10222"Whereas Lawrence and Tucker confined most of their scoring to the first half, Big Ed Edwards, the kingpin pivot man whose consistent work at center gave Kentucky permanent possession of the tipoff, poured the ball through the baskets with deadly accuracy during both halves. The towering Kentuckian registered 10 points in the first half and 12 in the second for a grand total of 22, which was really grand."
12/21/1934Tulane3410"Big Leroy Edwards, Kentucky's star sophomore center, led the scoring of the evening with a total of 10 points, coming thorugh with three goals from the field and a quartet of foul shots. The giant Kentuckian, who stands six feet, four inches in his stocking feet, gave the Tulane guards trouble aplenty, and he had a number of free throws that failed to go through the hoop."
12/22/1934Tulane7216"Big Leroy Edwards, Kentucky's six-foot, four-inch center, was again the shining light of the conflict, scoring seven goals from the field and two foul throws to top all scorers with 16 points."
1/2/1935Chicago71226"Big Edwards, cheered on by the ovations of a capacity crowd as he whisked the ball through from almost impossible angles, started the scoring and never let up until he was replaced late in the second half, with 26 points tabulated to his credit. . . The crowd which shoved its way into the gymnasium and overflowed into the street found Big Edwards' antics to their liking from the very start fo the game. Every time the giant center would swish a field goal through the hoops, the cheering would rock the raftters. The spectators expressed particular glee at Big Ed's ability to make his opponents foul him, and then they would howl again as, without concern, he would flip the ball thorugh the draperies. In 15 tries from the free throw line, Edwards counted 12 points."
1/5/1935New York University146"The moving block that is the Colonels' stock in trade spelled their downfall. Ed Edwards was seen by Umpire Jack Murray perpetrating a block. He was accused of picking off and Gross got the try that was to decide the game. . . It was Edwards in the pivot position who was the keyman for the Colonels and he was so closely guarded by Irving Terjesen that the latter went out on personal fouls in the first half. Klein finished the job quite adequately." (NYT) - "Apparently realizing that the big Kentucky center was the man to stop, the Violent Violets - and they lived up to their name tonight - did everything but saddle the brilliant Wildcat pivot man. Every minute Edwards was in the game, he was harassed by cowboy guarding that at times had him bewildered. Often when he broke for the basket, his opponents would ride him completely off the court." (Lex. Herald)
1/14/1935Tenn-Chattanooga10424"Lawrence, giving one of the most dazzling displays of sensational shots seen here in many a day, rolled up 23 points, one less, however, than the 24 "Baby" Leroy Edwards amassed."
1/19/1935Tulane6416"As usual Edwards, Lawrence, Lewis and Tucker were the high scoring men on the Wildcat squad."
1/26/1935Tennessee6315"For a time during the game, Edwards, Lawrence and Lewis were engaged in a three-way race for high-scoring honors for the night but Lewis was removed from the competition when Carlisle replaced him early in the second half. Thereafter Lawrence and Edwards continud matchng baskets until at the end they were tied at 15 points each."
2/1/1935Alabama7721Edwards tallied 21 points for the winners to more than double his nearest competitor for high scoring honors. Seven goals from the court and seven out of eight free tries attested to his accuracy."
2/2/1935Vanderbilt7418"Edwards, Kentucky center, scored 18 points before he was taken out in the first two minutes of the second half as Kentucky sent in substitutes to complete the game."
2/5/1935Xavier8723"The D'Artagnan of the Kentucky troop was the redoubtable Edwards, who once again proved his might by making his thrusts good for a total of 22 points before being withdrawn from the fray midway of the second half. The big Kentucky player left the floor to a mighty ovation, given ungrudgingly by friend and foe alike, a tribute to his wonderful playing."
2/9/1935Georgia Tech419"Maybe it was because he (Rupp) didn't want to run up a score higher than the electrical scoreboards could count. At any rate, he kept Leroy Edwards and his brother regulars of the University of Kentucky team in the game with Georgia Tech last night only about 15 minutes. When they left, the count was 30 to 4. The final score was 57 to 30.
2/13/1935Michigan State5616-
2/22/1935Creighton15434"Rupp took Edwards out of the tilt and that was the signal for Englebretson, one of he most finished ball players ever seen in Lexngton, to break out into another scoring sweat. His two field goals in quick succesion nettled Big Edwards and he clamored to be put back into the game. Rupp obliged and the big fellow went back in to score three more points and establish what is reported to be a new individual scoring record in the South. . . .Big Edwards relished the going and the Creighton boys, often three of them at a time clinging to his neck and his spinal column, did everything but knock him through the brick wall. Big Ed got a kick out of sinking a crip shot with practically the whole Creighton team hanging on to him like pendants. In establishing his record, he made 15 field goals and four free throws."
2/23/1935Creighton3814Big Leroy Edwards was completely bottled up in the first half by the zone defense. Creighton planted around him and he failed to make a field goal. But in the second period, the big Kentucky center began to shake loose, dropped in three two pointers and added four more free throws to run his total up to 14 points. . . After the game, Englebretson, the star of the Nebraska team said 'These Wildcats are the best basketball team I ever saw.' Coach Arthur Schabinger, one of the outstanding basketball coaches of the country, whose ability was amply demonstrated by the clever playing of his boys here remarked. 'Kentucky has a great team. Edwards is a fine player but you must remember that he has an all-star supporting cast.'"
3/2/1935Vanderbilt339"Plasman and Edwards put some color into the game by their constant bickering and shoving and growling at each other. Finally Big Ed left the game via the four personal foul route and Plasman, try as he did, could not score one more field goal that would have given him th edistinction of outscoring the Kentucky giant. Edwards made nine points and Plasman eight."
3/7/1935Xavier7216Big Ed played throughout the first half and about two minutes of the second half with a throat so sore that he couldn't speak. With the Wildcats comfortably ahead but not having as easy a time as they had had in the first half, Rupp took out the big fellow. After the game, Rupp bundled him and Taylor, who played also against the Musketeers and sent them to a hospital. Taylor had symptoms of the flu, too.

The 34-point outburst against Creighton was notable in that it apparently landed Edwards into the record books as holding a world record for most points in a game. (This as noted in various articles (1, 2) in 1937 after Toledo's Chuck Chuckovits eclipsed the mark with 41 points.) With news of the feat, other examples of high scoring games also came to light (Again, as evidenced by the articles above).

Article published in the Newark Advocate and American Tribune, December 15, 1937

Below is the listing of Edwards' record as listed in the 1936 Edition of Frank Menke's All Sports Record Book.

Found in All Sports Record Book, compiled and edited by Frank Menke, 1936. Specific information in section provided by Barney Ain, Brooklyn, N.Y., editor of "Oddities in Basketball."

Chapters of Books

Letters from Teammates and others


Edwards poses outside Kentucky's Alumni Gymnasium


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