| 1940-41 | 1941-42 | 1942-43 | 1943-44 | 1944-45 | 1945-46 | 1946-47 | 1947-48 | 1948-49 | 1949-50 |
1940-41 - (Won 6; Lost 2) - Coach: Paul McBrayer
By Fred Hill
Aside from two disappointing losses to the Georgetown College freshman, Coach Paul McBrayer's freshmen had a spotless record. They defeated Ashland Junior College twice, Cumberland College twice, Union College and the Garrard County All-Stars once, the latter by the amazing score of 100 to 29.
They were by no means the best freshman basketball players U. K. has ever had, nor were they the worst. Not many of them, as is usually the case, will ever do McBrayer's chief, Coach Rupp, any material service in their capacity as stars of the court and hoop; but again, as usual, there are a few on whom the mantle of fame will be laid.
Their outstanding gift to posterity is probably the memory of that 100 points they scored in Lancaster one dreary night against a bunch of thwarted Garrard County All-Stars. Their outstanding individual performer was undoubtedly Ed Landers, a towering center who took his prep training for the "big league" in Lexington high school basketball circles. A hard player to handle under the basket, Ed consistently led his mates in scoring.
On Landers trail comes the names of several other men, Bill Weber, his understudy at the pivot for one, possibly forward W. J. Smith or Charlie Eblen, or Bruce Boehler, who had a brother on the freshman football team. In truth, almost any of them might develop into a star. With Rupp abed with influenza and "Mac" doing full-time with the varsity, the Kittens spent stretches in which they were partially coachless. It was difficult to guess just which of them could and would go farther.
Here is the record in detail of the eight games which they played during the season. They whipped Ashland Junior College at Ashland 65 to 42, moved south and took Cumberland College by an overwhelming 60 to 29 majority. Then came the crushing of the All-Stars. On their own floor, Georgetown's frosh defeated them 41 to 34. They lashed back from this whipping by taking the Ashlander's into camp. this time 86 to 44, and icing their superiority over Cumberland with a 54 to 33 win. In their only game with Union College they emerged victors, 56 to 38. And Georgetown finished them and their season, 47 to 48, before a packed house in Georgetown.
Numerals were awarded to the following men: Ed Landers, Bill Weber, John Rayz, Robert Graves, Bruce Boehler, A. G. Bach, Pete Watts, Troy Adams, Tommy Ewing, and Charlie Eblen, and Managers Bill Evans and Jiggs Davis.
1941-42 - (Won 2; Lost 2) - Coach: Paul McBrayer
by Jim Carroll
The University of Kentucky freshman basketball team passed through one of its shortest seasons in playing a four game schedule.
In the win and loss column we find that the season was a split affair; Kentucky losing two to Cumberland Junior College and winning two from the soldiers of Fort Knox. The Cumberland College team defeated the Kittens in the first game, 37-35 and in the second, 39-35.
On the win half of the schedule the Freshmen defeated the Knox boys, 57-39, in the first and 58-48 in the second games played here and there.
Due to the fact that the freshman teams are only so much matter in the hands of the coaches to be molded into varsity players and that very little attention is paid to the individual! player unless he is exceptional, we find that it is hard to judge this year's team, for it made but four public appearances and was given very little publicity. Thus it would be unfair for one who stands on the outside to praise or criticize, for the freshmen haven't had the opportunity of showing what type of sophomore basketeers they would make if given the chance.
But we firmly believe that they will make good, for Coach Paul McBrayer has told us that even though the schedule was light and two losses were suffered the kittens didn't fold up and quit as it might be expected but continued to drill as hard as if they were playing a full schedule of tough opposition. "They worked hard when there were no games to play for they wanted to better themselves," McBrayer said.
The starting five on this year's Kitten team were Benton, Davis, Parfler, Rollins and Hamm.
Those filling in as able substitutes and completing the squad were Allen, Head, Beard, Harris, Dickerson, and Stevenson.
1942-43 through 1947-48 - No freshman teams
Due to World War II, freshmen became eligible in order to provide enough able-bodied players to maintain the varsity squads. This was retained for a number of years, even after the war was completed.
After the war ended, veterans with remaining eligibility returned to campus under the GI bill. This swelled the ranks of college basketball stars, in particular for schools like Kentucky.
But it would not be until 1948-49 when the freshman team at UK was reinstated. The assistant coach at the time, Harry Lancaster, was assigned the task of coaching the Kittens.
The Kentucky Kernel December 10, 1948
1948-49 - (Won 15; Lost 0) - Coach: Harry Lancaster
Seated (l to r): Varsity Coach Adolph Rupp, Gus Stergeos, Len Pearson, Guy Strong, Arlan King, Burt Cox, Gene Auen, Lucian Whitaker, Bobby Watson and Freshman Coach Lancaster
Standing: Myron Hill, C.M. Newton, Dick Swan, Bill Neu, Bill Spivey, Ted Price, Walter Whittaker, George Lambros, Dick Scott and Manager Ed Hall
Completing an undefeated season, the University of Kentucky freshmen cagers ripped Cumberland Junior College 80-64, last Saturday night to win their fifteenth straight game.
The tilt was played at Harlan before approximately 1200 fans.
Bill Spivey, the seven-foot Kentucky center, put 33 points through the nets in conquering the Williamsburg quintet.
Second to Spivey in scoring for UK was Skippy Whitaker with 12 and Len Pearson had seven.
The halftime score was Kentucky 40, and Cumberland 29.
Substitutions: Kentucky - King (4), Lambros (4), W. Whittaker 92), Scott (2), L. Whittaker (12), Strong (3) and Cox (1). Cumberland - Gregory (2), Craig, Anders (6), Harris and Crow.
1949-50 - (Won 15; Lost 1) - Coach: Harry Lancaster
by Bob Gorham
The Freshman basketball team opens its season next Thursday, Nov. 10, when they play the Berea College freshmen at Paris, Kentucky.
The major part of practice time so far has been devoted to fundamentals, and getting the candidates familiar with Kentucky's style of play, but several injuries have hampered the sessions. None of the hurts are serious, however, Coach Harry Lancaster said.
Frank Ramsey, an All-State pivot man from Madisonville, Ky., jammed a finger and was forced to wear a brace for several days, but the injured digit has healed now.
The Berea team has several men over the six-foot mark. Tallest man on the squad is Herschel Beck, a 6'5" center.
Paul Noland, who played with Guy Strong at Irvine high school, wil probably see a lot of action at a guard slot for the visitors.
The Kitten's first home game is Dec. 10, when they play Fort Knox in Alumni Gym.
by Bob Gorham
"The best freshman basketball club we've ever had."
Those eight words were the appraisal by Coach Harry Lancaster of this year's Blue and White yearling squad which had just finished one of the most successful seasons ever enjoyed by a freshman quintet at Kentucky.
In 16 games, they amassed 1269 points or 79.3 points per game while holding their opponents to 47.5 points per tilt.
The 1269 points were collected on 498 field goals in 1398 attempts and 273 free throws in 427 tries. Their field goal percentages was 31.3 and their average on charity tosses 63.9.
This year's group of Kittens had standout performers in every department of play.
Hagan Leads Scorers
In scoring, they were led by two great prospects, Cliff Hagan and Frank Ramsey. Both these boys possess a wide variety of shots and can hit with deadly accuracy. Hagan connected on 114 of 243 shots attempted from the field for a remarkable average of 47 percent in amassing 268 points to take the scoring crown.
Ramsey was not far behind, having rung the bell 109 times in 274 assaults on the cords for 43 percent and 264 points.
Hagan had a 22.3 per game average for 12 contests, while Ramsey contributed an average of 16.5 points in 16 tilts.
Dick Pikrone was the No. 3 scorer with 175 points and a shooting average of 32 percent in 16 games.
As for rebounding, 6'5" Lou Tsioropoulos took a back seat to no one when it came to snatching the ball off the boards, to combine with Hagan and Ramsey in this department to give Kentucky control of the leather for most of the games.
The Kittens fired goalward 1398 times this season while their opponents were allowed only 1044 tries. This means they usually got about 22 more shots per game than the opposition, and this was due in no small way to lanky Lou.
On defense, the two shining lights were Dick Pikrone and Lindle Castle, a pair of fast guards. Pikrone consistently did a good job of dogging the other team's hottest scorer, while Castle is a ball-hawking specialist that set up the Cat's fast break offense.
Price Had 8.3 Average
The other members of the team - Dwight Price, Ches Riddle, Bob Fry, Bill Baltzell and Joe Waggoner - all performed capably when called on. Price had an 8.3 point average for 16 games, while Riddle had a 5-point average for the same number of tilts. The other three boys saw little service, but tossed in 24 points between them in the few minutes they played.
Coach Lancaster said that the best game the Kittens played this year was at Owensboro when they slaughtered the Vanderbilt freshmen, 96-58.
This was not the game in which they hit their highest number of shots, their highest point total, nor their best shooting percentage, but they worked better as a team than on any other occasion.
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