| 1930-31 | 1931-32 | 1932-33 | 1933-34 | 1934-35 | 1935-36 | 1936-37 | 1937-38 | 1938-39 | 1939-40 |
1930-31 - (Won 4; Lost 2) - Coach: Elmer Gilb
VICTORY IS EXPECTED BY COACH ELMER GILB
Kercheval, DeMoisey, Centers, Polsgrove, Settle, Neil, Forwards, to Start
The freshman basketball team, known on and off the campus as the Kittens, will make its initial appearance against other than the Big Blue tonight when they meet the yearlings of Kentucky Wesleyan College. The game will begin at 8 o'clock in the Men's gymnasium on Euclid avenue.
Coach Elmer "Baldy" Gilb, former Wildcat football, basketball, and baseball star, hopes to place a snappy outfit on the floor, and is confident of victory, although they have already been defeaed twice by the varsity by overwhelmng scores.
The Wesleyan squad tasted victory last Thursday night, when they met and conquered the Transylvania freshmen by the score of 18 to 12.
The line-ups have not been definitely announced, mainly because of the struggle for positions. Either Kercheval or DeMoisey will take the floor at center for the Kittens, and the forward positions are being disputed by Polsgrove, Settle, and Neil.
In the Wesleyan camps the argument is not quite so heated.
Probable line-ups follow:
Opening the season with a total of six games scheduled, the freshmen of the University of Kentucky came out on top in the first encounter by defeating the Kentucky Wesleyan frosh by a score of 44 to 18, and continued throughout the season to emerge with what might be called a fairly successful season by winning five of the six games, the last with the Blue Devils of Henry Clay high school by a score of 28 to 19. The Kittens' two defeats were at the hands of the Eastern frosh, who downed the Greenies on two occasions, and succeeded to do other teams in like manner, winning the frosh championship of Kentucky with a perfect record.
In the first game of the season, the Kittens went into an easy lead and succeeded in holding it throughout the game. Neal led the attack for the Greenies, with a total of 17 points. DeMoisey was second, with 11 tallies.
The Kittens were subjected to their first defeat of the season in the second game on schedule, when they lost to the Eastern frosh by a score of 22 to 21. The score was tied twice in the first half and twice in the second, with the lead see-sawing from one team to another. Polsgrove was high point man of the evening, getting 8 baskets.
After losing to the Eastern team. the Greenies came back into good form and emerged from an encounter with the frosh of the University of Louisville, victorious by a score of 42 to 22. George led the Kitten attack, running up a total of 13 points.
In the fourth contest of the season, the Kittens faced the University of Louisville basketeers for the second time, and for the second time, also, were on top at the final bell, winning by a 32 to 18 score. The entire team played consistent ball, Polsgrove leading the scorers with 10 points.
When the Kittens faced the Eastern frosh for the second time of the season, the Greenies were again subject to the same superior team which had downed them for their only defeat, and were forced to submit to an 18 to 13 defeat. Kercheval and Polsgrove were leaders for the Kentucky Kittens.
Going into the last game of the season with the dope on their side because they were playing a somewhat smaller team the frosh of the University of Kentucky used their superior size to subject the Blue Devils 'of Henry Clay high school of Lexington to a 29 to 19 defeat. DeMoisey, Polsgrove, and George all showed up well for the Greenies. DeMoisey was high point man for the Kittens, with 11 baskets.
1931-32 - (Won 10; Lost 0) - Coach: Elmer Gilb
BY SUNNY DAY
When Coach Elmer "Baldy" Gilb's Kittens turned in their uniforms at the close of the 1931-32 basketball season, they had a record of which to be proud. They had decisively defeated every foe they had met, and had totaled 464 points to 175 for their adversaries in the 10 games. This means that they more than tripled the score on their opponents with an average of better than a point a minute. Yes sir, Coach Gilb developed a fierce aggregation of Kittens.
Although the score was not close in any of the games every member of the team handled himself and the ball so dexterously that the games were always interesting to watch. Bill Davis, Jack Tucker, and Dave Lawrence ran practically a dead heat for the high scoring honors, and Amos Taylor was not far behind. Wilbur Odor, the remaining member of the first team, did not score much, but he was as good a guard as you will find. Odor hawked the ball so closely that Kentucky's opponents scored only one goal during the entire season on a rebound.
At the basketball banquet given in honor of the teams, 13 numerals were granted to the following: Amos Taylor, William Davis, Jack Tucker, Dave Lawrence, Wilbur Odor, Charles Gates, J. W. Biggerstaff, Joe Rupert, George Alexander, William Singleton, Fritz Kreuter, Vernon Nugent, and John Morris. Gates and Biggerstaff were the principal substitutes, but all of these men saw plenty of action.
Kentucky, 38; Georgetown, 17
The Kittens opened their season on the home floor December 15, in company with the Wildcats. The Bengals and Bengal Cubs were both swamped revealing that both Frosh and Varsity would be bad medicine during the season.
Kentucky, 51; Smith-Watkins, 17
In the first game after the holidays, the Frosh demonstrated that they had not forgotten any of their basketball ability. They completely submerged Smith-Watkins January 9, in the U. K. gymnasium. As in the first game Coach Gilb was enabled to use practically his entire squad.
Kentucky, 47; Louisville 25
On January 16 the Frosh met the Louisville Cardinals in the Euclid Avenue gymnasium, and conquered them with very little trouble. Dave Lawrence, All-American from Corinth, took high scoring honors with 20 points.
Kentucky, 44; Eastern Normal 24
Eastern Normal boasted a very good team, but was vanquished January 20 in the U. K. gymnasium just as the other foes of the Kittens had been. However, it was only after a struggle that they were completely subdued.
Kentucky, 39; Louisville 10
The Frosh invaded "Falls City" February 3 in a return engagement, and easily emerged victorious. In this contest Davis, former Hazard star, collected a total of 13 points from his guard position to win high scoring honors.
Kentucky, 49; Lee's College 20
Lee's College has no separate freshman and varsity teams. Nevertheless that school could in no way halt the U. K. frosh, February 5. Eleven minutes of the first half had elapsed before the visitors had scored at all, and Gilb used his second team during almost all of the second hall. Tucker was high point man with 13 points.
Kentucky, 42; Georgetown 10
The Georgetown Bengals suffered about the same experience February 10 when the Kittens visited their territory as they had at the first of the season, but the result was 11 points worse for them.
Kentucky, 36; Eastern Normal 18
The Eastern "first year teachers" again found themselves on the short end of a rather long score when they met the U. K. frosh on their own floor in Richmond, February 16.
Kentucky, 68; Lee's College, 17
Kentucky's "Wild-kittens" literally ate up the Lee's College basketeers when they engaged them in the final battle of the season, at Jackson, February 19.
1932-33 - (Won 8; Lost 1) - Coach: J.R. Campbell and Len Miller
Although not having the unbeaten record of their predecessors, the 1932-33 Kitten basketball team won eight and lost but one game during the campaign and avenged that loss in a later contest.
Playing a preliminary to the varsity game, the green-clad proteges of Coaches Miller and Campbell opened their season with a 35-19 triumph over a strong Georgetown outfit.
The Kittens traveled to Williamsburg for their second encounter and easily disposed of the Cumberland College varsity representatives, 43-8. Although still early in the season, the yearlings were in fine form, and led by Jerome and Lewis, had little difficulty with the southern team.
Lee's College was the next victim of the accurate-shooting Kittens when they were handed a 63-18 setback in Jackson.
A sensational Eastern State Teachers' College freshman team invaded the Alumni gym and outscored the Kentucky standard bearers, 38-36, to give the Frosh their only defeat of the season. Brown, hefty visiting forward, could not be stopped by the Kittens whose rally in the second half fell short by two points.
In a return engagement, the Kittens journeyed to Georgetown and again whipped the Georgetown Cubs, this time by a 37-25 score. Every member of the winning team broke into the scoring column, with the honors fairly evenly divided.
Coach Miller's charges continued their conquest when they overwhelmed the Lee's College outfit for the second time, 65-10. The collegians offered little opposition and the entire Green team turned in scores.
Although the Coffman Red Devils of Central City came here with a big reputation, the Frosh outplayed and far outclassed their opponents.
In the best played game of the year, the Kittens avenged their single defeat by whipping the Eastern Frosh team, 37-32. The game was contested throughout and the last two minutes left the score tied, 31-31. Glen Mester was substituted and proved to be the vital spark when he cinched the victory on three successive field goals.
To close the season, the Frosh defeated a strong Athens Independent team, 32-28, at Athens. The Independents were headed by McGinnis Brothers, former Wildcat stars.
Numerals were awarded to Garland Lewis, Herbert "Slip" Jerome, Eddie Esch, Glen Mester, Linwood Arnall, Milerd Anderson, Louis Edwards, Sam Potter, and John Hershfeld.
1933-34 - (Won 16; Lost 0) - Coach: Len Miller
With the greatest collection of freshman basketball players ever assembled at the University, Coach Len Miller developed a team that went through a season of 16 games without defeat and scored victories over the best high school and college freshman teams and many independent athletic clubs in the state.
Led by the charging LeRoy Edwards, and Ralph Carlisle, center and forward respectively, the Kittens ran up huge scores over over all opponents and in only two cases were held to less than 40 points.
Players who were awarded numerals at the end of the season were: James Atchison, Courtland Bliss, Ralph Carlisle, Howard Dale, John Donahue, LeRoy Edwards, James Goforth, Russell Ellington, Charles Heinrich, and Cyril Young.
1934-35 - (Won 18; Lost 1) - Coach: Paul McBrayer
For the second consecutive year the University has had a brilliant yearling basketball team. In the past two years they have played 34 games, and have lost only one of them. Last season the Kittens were under the tutelage of Coach Paul McBrayer, former Wildcat star, who replaced Len Miller.
Some of the most prominent high schools, college freshmen, and independent teams in Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky fell before the onslaught of the Kittens. Manual of Louisville, Maysville high school, Williamson, West Virginia, high, Georgetown College frosh, Pikeville Junior college, and Puritan Club of Cincinnati were among the victims. The only team in the state that defeated the yearlings were the Paris Independents, in the last game of the season for the Kittens.
When the first call was issued by Coach McBrayer, approximately 25 candidates reported, among them some of the most outstanding high school athletes int he state. When the season ended 19 men were left on the roster. They were Joe Hagan, Billy Spicer, J. Rice Walker, Fred Scroggins, J.T. Craig, Dick Robinson, Bob Davis, J. Boxley, Charles Combs, Nick Lutz, Sunny Boland, Arthur Voll, Bobby Evans, Bain Smith, Charles Jones, Gene Combs, Harold Huber, Cecil Hellard and Parker Lary.
The most outstanding men on the Kitten team were Red Hagan, former star at St. Xavier in Louisville, who was named on the All-American Catholic team at the National Catholic tournament in 1933; Billy Spicer, formerly of Henry Clay high of Lexington and named on the All-State high school team of last year; J. Rice Walker also a star of the Henry Clay team; J.T. Craig, of the famous Ashland high Tomcats, who was elected to the All-State team of 1933 and 1934, and in 1933 was selected as the most valuable player to his team of the entire tournament; Dick Robinson, former Kentucky Military Institute star. These boys composed the first team and to them is due much of the credit for the successful season.
With this caliber of material to work with next year, Coach Adolph Rupp should not have any worries about having another championship quintet.
1935-36 - (Won 11; Lost 1) - Coach: Paul McBrayer
Members of the freshman basketball squad voted numerals were N.P. Adams, Lawrence Garland, Walter Hodge, Ernest Hardin, Elmo Head, Frank McLane, Bernard Opper, Harold Rose, Robert Strohm, Homer Thompson, and Robert Tice. Freshman managers awarded numerals were Nelson Faulkner, Charles Moody and Robert Stone.
1936-37 - (Won 6; Lost 2) - Coach: Paul McBrayer
The Kittens, under the expert tutelage of Paul McBrayer, Kentucky's all-Southern guard of seven years ago, began a most promising season with one of the most highly-touted squads of recent years.
The season opened with a spectacular victory of 38-15 over the Georgetown frosh, in a preliminary tilt to the varsity game with Georgetown in the Alumni gym. Cluggish was the star of this game, with many of his shots from the pivot position.
The Kittens dropped one game to the Manual High cagers in Louisville by the score of 21-20. The game was a close one throughout, and only in the last minute of play did Manual pull out in front to take the game by one point.
Following the brief respite afforded them by the Christmas holidays, the Kittens met and defeated Georgetown on the latter's home court, in a return game, by the score of 41-25. This victory repaired the morale of the men which had been impaired by the loss to Manual.
Morehead's Eaglets were next on the list for the Kittens, and the Kentucky frosh increased their string of victories by a 32-32 (?) win at Morehead.
Soon after the Morehead victory, the frosh met the star varsity of Cumberland College in a stiff battle on the latter's home court in Williamsburg. Helped by a last-minute basket, the Kittens defeated their rivals by the close tally of 27-26.
Eastern was next for the Kentucky frosh, and in a tilt on the Eastern court in Richmond, the Kittens won out by the uncomfortably close score of 37-34.
Cumberland was met in Lexington by the Kittens in a return game, and this time the Kentuckians were not so lucky. Pulling ahead in the second half, the Cumberland five defeated the Kittens in a disappointing battle, 32-23.
The last game of the season was a return engagement with Morehead, in Lexington, and resulted in another victory for the Kitten quintet, by the lopsided tally of 50-13.
Men receiving numerals for the season were: James Goodman, Gilbert Jennings, Harry Denham, Bob Mefford, L. H. Rouse, Sam Duncan, Marion Cluggish, and Bernard Harris.
1937-38 - (Won 8; Lost 2) - Coach: Paul McBrayer
The basketballs are flying.
Answering the call of frosh pilot Paul McBrayer came 35 freshmen yesterday to dedicate formally the opening of the 1937-38 basketball wars. The first day's attendance was cut in half because of a conflicting Military Science examination which busied about 30 other potential numeral earners.
In charge of the inaugural workouts were McBrayer and "Coaches" Bernie Opper and Tubby Thompson, varsity hoop stars. J. Rice Walker acted as registrar and Head Coach Adolph Rupp watched hungrily from the sidelines.
Because the turnout was incomplete, a full list of high school heroes was not obtainable. However, one of the notables present was Ernest Jefferson whose sensational playing with Midway High school last spring helped that colorful team win the state championship.
Also romping was Lee Huber, tournament standout with St. Xavier in the spring court joust. Monk Montgomery, Frankfort, Indiana, who won all-state honors there was among those present.
Ward, ex-Inez center and veteran tournament performer, was not listed yesterday but he will be out for the squad before the week expires. Ward was named all-state center after the close of the tournament.
Another out of state boy who bears watching is Jim McAlliser, six feet one inch, 190 pound center, who starred on the Clifton, New Jersey, high school team for three years.
Yearling preps will continue all this week.
Featuring six former all-state performers, the largest number of candidates to ever report for a University basketball team, heeded Coach McBrayer's first call for frosh net hopefuls.
Present in the all-state galaxy were Huber of Louisville St. Xavier, Ward of Inez, Combs of Hazard, Cluggish of Corbin, Montgomery of Frankfort,, Indiana and Jefferson of Midway.
After dropping the opening game of on the schedule to the strong Edentide independent team of Louisville by 27-25, the Kitten gradually rounded into possibly the most formidable first year squad to ever wear the Blue. Only two decisions were dropped during the entire season.
The feature victory of the year was an overtime 45-41 win over the powerful Cumberland College team in a preliminary appetizer to the Kentucky-Marquette thriller. The Cumberland powerhouse came to Alumni gym boast a clean slate in 18 engagement, but the scratching Kittens played their rangier foes off their feet and proceeded to ice the game in the overtime when Huber, Farnsley and White hit shots that annulled the Cumberland two-pointer made by Tallent.
In a return two game engagement, Cumberland defeated the Kittens for the second Kentucky loss of the year in another overtime game on the Cumberland floor. The preceding night the young Cats completely avenged themselves with a 47-37 win as Orme, red-headed forward paced the point contributors with 20 markers.
Another close game was snatched from the Morehead College freshmen on a last minute field goal by Farnsley that gave Kentucky a 39-38 victory.
1938-39 - (Won 9; Lost 1) - Coach: Paul McBrayer
At the start of the season Kentucky's freshman basketball chances seemed about as formidable as Eliza crossing the ice but as the year progressed the team improved like a gold digger and the program was concluded with a record of 9 wins and but a single loss.
Under the direction of Coach Paul McBrayer the Kittens grew into full-fledged snarling Wildcats before the season ended. The moulding of the team into Kentucky's fast breaking whirlwind ways was slow and the team did not apply full pressure until the last in the campaign.
The opening assignment on the chart found the Kittens murdering Maysville high school by 40-8. In a return game, Kentucky, playing droopy ball, was able to defeat the same team but by a 27-25 edge.
With James King, all-state center from Sharpe, searing the hemp with 23 points, the Kittens outscored Sue Bennett Junior College by 67-61 for the third win. The season's loss was dealt by Lindsey-Wilson Junior College champs of the state, in the fourth start with a 51-34 score.
Then the team began to show the effects of diligent coaching and in their next time out mashed Anchorage high school 30-16 and followed that with a 48-12 victory over Flemingsburg high school. Next the Ewing Independents felt the Kittens' claw by a margin of 40-19 as King hit a total of 12 points to lead the slaughter. Ermal Allen, flea-sized forward, and King, scoring 20 and 17 points respectively, led Kentucky to a sparkling 62-32 win over Campbellsvile Junior College for the eighth win of the season.
The final game of the schedule found the Kittens reaching their peak to trim Lindsey-Wilson by 45-36 in a return game in Alumni Gym. Taking an early lead, Kentucky held the advantage throughout the bout as King, Allen, and Akers each contributed 10 points to the total.
Numerals for service during the year were, at the annual cage banquet, awarded to James King, Ermal Allen, Henry Walker, Marvin Akers, Jim Mathewson, Ray Abel, Lucien Moreman, Lloyd Ramsey, Kenneth England, Reginald Palmore and Billy Hedges.
1939-40 - (Won 16; Lost 0) - Coach: Paul McBrayer
Rolling through a 16 game schedule like an ambulance through a red light, Kentucky's 1939-40 freshman cage team became the only college club in the state to end its war-card without a defeat.
Not only did the Kittens claw cut a perfect record but they stamped themselves as possibly the stoutest team in Kentucky frosh history by mauling the outstanding Junior college quintettes in the state, as well as some of the best high school and college freshman fives.
The success of the freshmen strengthened the belief that one of the best transactions, since the purchase of the goose that laid the golden egg, was the deal that brought Paul McBrayer back to Kentucky in 1934 as freshman and assistant varsity coach. In the six seasons that he has guided Kitten hoop heroics, McBrayer coached teams have chalked up a record that stands out like an Indian mound on a prairie.
Those half dozen years have found the Kittens winning 57 games and dropping just seven for the amazing percentage rating of .890.
Undoubtedly the junior Cats of 1939-40 will go down in history, if for no other reason than winning two games on the same night while Coach McBrayer attended another game 300 miles away. The complications arose when the Kittens scheduled, innocently enough, Sue Bennett and Ashland Junior college on the same night that the coach was slated to scout Ohio State for the varsity. When neither of the opponents would cancel their dates, the Kittens divided their camp into two raiding parties, one under the direction of Lloyd Ramsey, the other guided by Joe Rupert, and charged forth. The first group scaled Sue Bennett by 23-18, while the second contingent rolled over Ashland 46-26. Meanwhile, McBrayer was gathering dope that was instrumental in the varsity's 36-30 Sugar Bowl win over Ohio State.
The starting five was composed of Milton Ticco, Cliff Barker, Mel Brewer, and J.S. and Lewis Robertson. Able substitutions came from Frank Etscorn, Mark Harris, David Dillard, Omar Ratliff, Keith Reynolds, Brooks Coons, Carlisle Meyers and Vincent Splane.
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