|#77||Bill Spivey (L)||C||Jr.||7-0||230||Warner Robins, GA (Macon Jordan)||National Player of the Year [Helms*]; All-American [Consensus (1st), AP (1st), UPI (1st), NABC (1st), Converse (1st), Helms (1st), Look Magazine (1st), Sporting News (1st), Colliers (1st), International News Service]; All-NCAA Final Four Team; All- NCAA Regional Team; All-SEC [First Team (AP)]; All-SEC Tournament;|
|#11||Shelby Linville (L)||F||Jr.||6-5||200||Middletown, OH||All-NCAA Final Four Team; All-SEC [Second Team (AP)];|
|#38||Bobby Watson (L)||G||Jr.||5-10||155||Owensboro, KY||All-SEC [First Team (AP)];|
|#30||Frank Ramsey (L)||G||So.||6-3||185||Madisonville, KY (High)||All-American [AP (3rd), UPI (3rd), Converse (3rd), Sporting News (2nd)]; All-SEC [First Team (AP)]; All-SEC Tournament;|
|#6||Cliff Hagan (L)||C||So.||6-4||200||Owensboro, KY (High)||All-SEC Tournament;|
|#19||Walter Hirsch (L)||F||Sr.||6-4||180||Dayton, OH (Northridge)||All-SEC Tournament; (Ineligible for NCAA Tournament as fourth-year varsity player);|
|#32||Lucian Whitaker (L)||G||Jr.||6-0||170||Louisville, KY||-|
|#16||Lou Tsioropoulos (L)||F||So.||6-5||200||Lynn, MA (Classic)||-|
|#36||Read Morgan||F||Sr.||6-4||200||Milwaukee, WI (Rufus King)||-|
|#18||Dwight Price||F||So.||6-2||175||Lexington, KY (University High)||-|
|#66||Roger Layne (L)||C||Sr.||6-7||185||McKamie, AR||-|
|#35||C. M. Newton (L)||G/F||Jr.||6-2||190||Fort Lauderdale, FL||-|
|#7||Guy Strong||G||Jr.||6-0||165||Irvine, KY||-|
|#13||Paul Lansaw||G||Jr.||6-1||178||Middletown, OH (High)||-|
|#20||Lindle Castle||G||So.||5-11||165||Winchester, KY (Clark County)||-|
| Schedule | Player Statistics | Game Statistics |
Front Row (l to r): Lindle Castle, Lucian Whitaker, Bobby Watson, Guy Strong, Ches Riddle
Season Review - Basketball 1950-'51 (Kentuckian)
Pictured above is the best college basketball coach in the world. Maybe that's a strong statement, but Coach Adolph F. Rupp of Kentucky's basketballing Wildcats has the records to prove it.
Through his twenty-first season as the mentor of Kentucky hardwood teams, Rupp has compiled a coaching record of 98 consecutive home victories and the highest winning percentage of any college in the United States during that time.
In that score-plus-one of years his teams have captured 438 wins (not including the '51 NCAA tourney) against only 79 losses. That figure includes 17 major tournaments, in which his teams registered 76 triumphs and a meager 18 reversals.
Those trophies (above) are his 1950 collection, including coach of the year and an award from the Sugar Bowl Committee for his outstanding contribution to their basketball tournament.
Voted the best team during the season by the writers and coaches over the nation, Kentucky took its pick of the post-season tournaments, the NCAA, and justified its position by beating Kansas State, 68-58, in the finals held in Minneapolis, Minn.
For the eighth straight year the Wildcats were champs of the Southeastern Conference. They set a record for league wins in a season, posting a perfect 14 win, no loss mark. At the season's end their record was 32 victories and only two losses.
Bill Spivey, the towering center, was chosen the outstanding collegiate basketball player in the country by several All-American polls. Frank Ramsey, sophomore guard, won enough votes to make the third team All-American picks and his running mate, Bobby Watson, as well as forwards Shelby Linville and Captain Walt Hirsch won honorable mention.
By adding the basketball title to their football crown, the Cats became the first team in SEC history to hold both at the same time.
The Wildcats got off to a fast start in Memorial Coliseum as they took West Texas State, 73-43. It was the eighty-fifth consecutive home victory for Kentucky and the first in the new field house.
Shelby Linville had the honor of making the first Kentucky goal, a side shot after 40 seconds had elapsed in the game. Bill Spivey's 18 points vanned the Cat attack.
In the dedicatory game against Purdue, the Cats downed their Indiana cousins, 70-52. It was an easy victory for Kentucky as Bill Spivey dumped in 19 points. Xavier University was the third victim of the Cat team as they traveled to the Queen City of Cincinnati to win, 67 -56. Spivey was high scorer again with 23. Hirsch had 14 points.
During the Christmas holidays, Coach Rupp played gracious host to his former mentor, Phog Allen, and to the Kansas Jayhawks. Kentucky drew notice nationally as they beat Kansas soundly, 68-39. Spivey was the game's standout as he throttled his All-American center rival, Clyde Lovellette, and scored 21 points for high point honors.
Another nationally-ranked team St. John's of Brooklyn, fell victim to the Cats in New York in the next game. When the Redmen left the floor after the game, they were on the short end of a 43-37 score.
Then the Cats went to New Orleans to defend their Sugar Bowl title. In the first game St. Louis U. upset the Blue, 44-43, in an overtime period. The Billikens came from behind late in the game to upset favored Kentucky. The Cats regained their equilibrium against Syracuse in the consolation game in winning 69-59.
Auburn journeyed to the Coliseum to become the Cats' second conference victims by 79-35 as Spivey hit for 18 points.
Little Bob Watson cooled DePaul's Bato Govedarica in the next Kentucky outing and scored 17 markers while holding his man to five. The score: 63-55. It was another impressive win for the Blue as it returned to form.
Alabama became the tenth victim of the Cats as Watson was on again, scoring 20 points in the 65-48 victory.
Notre Dame got it in their Irish necks from Kentucky as the Cats won going away, 69-44. This time it was Frank Ramsey in the fore as the sophomore tallied 19 points.
Somewhat atoning for the football team's loss to the Vols, the basketballers routed Tennessee at Knoxville, 70-45. Also, they thumped Georgia Tech in the second of the pair of road games, 82-61.
During the school lull between semesters, the Cats toured the Southland on a five-game road trip. They warmed up against Vanderbilt by dumping the Commodores, 74-49, in Nashville. The game marked the first appearance of Cliff Hagan, the heralded sophomore forward, who notched 13 points. Captain Walt Hirsch was the leading scorer with 17 points.
Against Tulane two nights later they set two SEC records in swamping the Greenies, 104-68. It was the highest total ever amassed in both field goals (they hit 43 of them) and total points. The Mutt and Jeff combination, Bill Spivey and Bob Watson, scored over half of Kentucky's points; Watson had 25 and Spivey had 27.
Louisiana State, victim by 81-59, and Mississippi State, 80-60 loser, were the eight and ninth Cat victories in the SEC.
Winding up the trip in Owensboro's Sport Center, Kentucky was paced by native sons as the Cats outclassed Ole Miss, 83-39. Watson, playing in his home town, and Ramsey, the Madisonville ace, shared the lead with 20 points apiece. Hagan, another Owensboroan, had 13 points.
Returning home, the Cats took victory number two from Georgia Tech, 75-42. It was the nineteenth season victory for Kentucky and their eleventh conference triumph.
In a return match, Kentucky finally pulled away from Xavier and their double-pivot offense as Bill Spivey set a record and tied a second. The Cats won handily after a close first half, 78-51. Spivey's 40 points tied his own SEC record of the most points scored by a single player in a game and broke Jim Line's 1949 mark of 37 points against a non-conference opponent (Indiana Central).
Tennessee bowed again to Kentucky in the Coliseum, this time by 86-61. The game clinched UK's eighth consecutive SEC crown as Bill Spivey led the Cats with 29 points on 11 fielders and seven free throws.
DePaul gave Kentucky a hard time in Chicago before succumbing, 60-57. The Cats lost an early lead and couldn't regain it until there were only minutes to go in the game. Shelby Linville was the big gun in Kentucky's second half stand, during which he scored 11 points. Spivey was high with 23 points.
A pair of home-court SEC wins closed the regular season for Kentucky as Georgia went down 88-31 and Vanderbilt lost to the Cats, 89-51.
Hurt by ill health and ill fortune in the final game of the SEC eliminations at Louisville, Kentucky lost its first conference tournament in eight years. Vanderbilt, the team Kentucky had handily beaten twice during the season, turned the upset trick, 57-61. The second loss of the year for the Cats, it was in the final game of the tourney.
By a change in rules this year, the conference championship was determined by the most games won on a percentage basis. Thus the Cats were still the champions. Their fourteen SEC wins set a record for the league, breaking the mark set by Kentucky's Fabulous Five in their last year here.
Before their loss to Vandy, the Blue team had romped unchecked past Mississippi State (92-70), Auburn (84-54). and Georgia Tech ( 82-56). Chosen on the all-tournament team were: Frank Ramsey, Bill Spivey. and Captain Walt Hirsch to the varsity lineup and Cliff Hagan to the second five.
It remained for a post season warm-up game with Loyola of Chicago to set the Coliseum floor record for the varsity Wildcats. Intended to be a stiff workout to prepare for the NCAA playoffs, the game turned into a rout of Loyola, 97-61. Spivey scored 21 points to lead his teammates and Cliff Hagan followed him closely with 20. Hagan moved into the starting lineup for the first time in that game to replace Walt Hirsch, who was declared ineligible to compete in the NCAA because this was his fourth year of varsity ball.
In the first game of the NCAA playoffs at Raleigh, N.C., the Cats pulled one out of the fire as they beat the University of Louisville, 79-68. The Cardinals fronted Kentucky at one point in the game by a five-point margin, but thanks to the clutch play of Shelby Linville and the relief work of Skippy Whitaker, the Cats were able to advance to the New York-area playoffs.
Linville scored 22 points and Whitaker 16 to lead the Cat team. Kentucky was hurt seriously by fouls called on them, losing Spivey and Linville with five personals, and being generally hampered by close officiating.
In the Eastern Regional playoffs at New York. Kentucky finally pulled away from St. John's of Brooklyn to win by 59-43. 1n the last five minutes of the game the Cats held the Redmen scoreless while tabulating 16 points themselves.
Watson, Spivey, Linville, and Whitaker caught fire to stave-off a St. John's rally as they scored six consecutive baskets in those closing minutes.
Two nights later Kentucky faced Illinois, the Big Ten champ, in the finals of the Eastern division and emerged victor once more, this time by a score of 76-74. The Cats were forced to come from behind in the final 18 seconds of the game as Linville scored two strategic points. Spivey counted 28 markers before going out on fouls. The Illini had their chance to win in those waning minutes but muffed several chances to upset the favored Blue team.
Moving to Minneapolis for the championship game of the NCAA, facing another set of Wildcats from Kansas State, Kentucky was in the unfamiliar position of underdog.
Just as their cousins on the gridiron rose up to smack Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl, the basketballers from the Bluegrass annexed the title in question while awestruck dopesters rechecked their calculations. When the shooting was all over, Kentucky had beaten Kansas State, 68-58, behind Spivey's 21 points.
It was the third NCAA championship in history for the Wildcats, and a mighty sweet one at that.
Not counting the NCAA, Bill Spivey was sure to be the top point-getter for Kentucky. He led the SEC scoring race throughout the season and he had 563 points in 29 games for an average of 19.4 per contest.
Bobby Watson was the second man in the scoring race with 317 points for a 30-game average of 10.5 per game. Following in order were Frank Ramsey with 302, Shelby Linville with 301, and Walt Hirsch with 274. Cliff Hagan was the high scorer among the substitutes with a healthy 153-point total, though he played in only half of the Cat games, becoming eligible at mid-season.