|#7||Milt Ticco (L)||F-C||So.||6-3||190||Jenkins, KY||-|
|#3||Lee Huber (L)||G||Sr.||6-0||175||Louisville, KY (St. Xavier)||All-American [Helms]; All-SEC [First Team]; All-SEC Tournament;|
|#5||James King (L)||G||Jr.||6-3||180||Sharpe, KY (High)||All-SEC [Second Team]; All-SEC Tournament;|
|#4||Keith Farnsley (L)||F||Sr.||6-2||162||New Albany, IN||All-SEC [Second Team]; All-SEC Tournament;|
|#8||Marvin Akers (L)||F||So.||6-3||190||Jeffersonville, IN (High)||All-SEC [First Team]; All-SEC Tournament;|
|#15||Melvin Brewer (L)||C||So.||6-5||194||New Albany, IN (High)||-|
|#18||Ermal Allen (L)||F||Jr.||5-10||160||Morristown, TN||-|
|#19||Waller White (L)||F||Jr.||6-1||160||Lawrenceburg, KY||-|
|#16||Carl Staker (L)||G||Jr.||6-3||193||Maysville, KY||-|
|#14||Donald Orme||F||Sr.||-||-||Indianapolis, IN||-|
|#6||Lloyd Ramsey (L)||F||Jr.||6-2||177||Lexington, KY (University High)||-|
|#17||Carl Combs||G||Sr.||-||-||Hazard, KY||-|
|#9||Kenneth England (L)||G||So.||6-1||180||Campbellsburg, KY||-|
|#17||Frank Etscorn||F||So.||6-1||178||Valley Station, KY||-|
|#13||Louis Robertson||F||So.||5-11||165||Yorktown, IN (High)||-|
|-||Jess Robertson||G||So.||-||-||Eminence, KY||-|
| Schedule | Player Statistics | Game Statistics |
Front Row (l to r): Asst. Coach Paul McBrayer, Louis Robertson, Waller White, Keith Farnsley, Lee Huber, Lloyd Ramsey , Milt Ticco, Ermal Allen, Head Coach Adolph Rupp
Season Review - 1941 Basketball Review by Fred Hill (Kentuckian)
Before Adolph Rupp shucked his huge frame into the drivers seat of Kentucky's basketball chariot, history of the net game in the Bluegrass made rather erratic reading. The Wildcats were a sometimes good, sometimes bad team which most of the time did well to break a little more than even.
Affable Adolph came to Kentucky from Freeport Indiana (sic), where his high school teams there had compiled a record of 63 wins against but 4 losses. That was in 1930. Since then every favorable adjective in the books has been applied to the Kentuckians of the court.
Rupp, a student under the great "Phog" Allen of Kansas, changed the system at Kentucky. He took the advantages of the Southern game, a safe, sane and dull sport at which patrons yawned in their seats, and combined them with the rough and tumble melee style made famous in the middle west. The result is his motto -- "always a good show."
In those ten years of glory, Kentucky has four times won the Southeastern Conference tournament: and one year, when no tourney was held, they were undisputed champions anyway. Rupp, it would be safe to say has never produced a bad team in any sport. Up at Marshalltown, Illinois (sic), he built a state championship wrestling team from a book, without ever before having seen a wrestling match !
The 1941 basketball team was no exception to his "every team a good one" rule. True, they didn't win the tournament this year, but as Tommy Fitzgerald of the Courier-Journal sports staff so amply put it: "Tennessee took the championship off Kentucky after Alabama had taken it out of them."
The Wildcats advanced to the semi-finals of the tourney, held this year for the first time in Louisville. Their opponent was Alabama; in the other bracket was Tennessee against Florida. Much to the Kentucky fans' dismay Tennessee ran away with the 'Gators. Coach Mauer was able to let his regulars rest, play the substitutes. It was not so with Rupp. Alabama went into the game determined to win. They were hot; and after the first five minutes, they never allowed more than two points difference between themselves and the Wildcats.
As a matter of fact, they left Kentucky trailing well over half the time. Only in the last few minutes did Captain Lee Huber, perhaps the outstanding man in the Louisville conclave, fix his sights on the basket sufficiently to score the winning goal.
Strange as it may seem, Huber's game breaker never went through the basket. It circled the air, settled in the rim. Then Wheeler Leeth, the Tide's center, went up in the air and pushed it out. After a long moment of agony Referee Bower Chest allowed the goal, the whistle blew, and Kentucky was in the finals.
But their heart was no longer in it, or rather their strength was not. Tennessee took a long lead on them early in the night's finals, and despite a determined late game come-back which left the score - and the fans - standing at 36-33, Kentucky was forced to hand over the crown she won last year to the Vols.
It was no disgrace; even the usually explosive Rupp took it stoically. Yet it is significant of the hard luck that hounded the Wildcat basketball team's trail through the winter of '40-41.
Against West Virginia in the opener they were still unpolished diamond, but they were blue blazes hot and willing to make up in strength what they lacked in grace. They whipped the Mountaineers 46 to 34.
Then against Maryville, a breather to end all breathers, the 'Cats ran riot and, despite the fact that they missed all but about a fourth of their shots, had enough left over to win hands down, 53 to 14.
Moving westward like pioneers breaking untrammeled soil during the Christmas holidays, they hit three hard teams in a row. Two of them, as a matter of fact, were too hard. Nebraska nosed them out 40 to 39; Creighton trounced them 54 to 45. They won the consolation prize by whipping Kansas State 28 to 25 in a defensive fight.
Kentucky did not hit its stride in the first two of these three games. "If you had played against Nebraska like you did against Creighton," said Rupp, "you might have beaten them. And if you'd played against Creighton like you did against Kansas State, you might have won that one. But you didn't. And now we'll worry about Indiana."
After a farcical game with Centenary of Louisiana, which they won 70 to 18, the Wildcats climbed aboard a sleeper for New Orleans, the Sugar Bowl festival, and Coach Branch McCracken's Indianans. Nobody -- though the 'Cats had come out conquerors in two previous Sugar Bowl battles -- expected them to beat the national championship Hoosier team. Nobody really expected them to come as close as they did.
But paced by Captain Huber and Marvin Akers, a sophomore guard, the Cats gave Indiana one of its best battles of a great year. The final score was 48 to 45; the final comment was Coach Branch McCracken's, "Kentucky is the best team we've played all season."
Huber had been leading the Kentuckians; he had become the key cog on the machine. But on the return trip influenza, which kept him on the bench most of last year, raised its ugly head again; and he went from the station here in Lexington to the hospital. With him went several others, among them a promising yearling ace, Milton Ticco. Every other man on the team was in some stage of either "flu" or had a cold.
Thus were doused their hopes of scoring their first victory over Notre Dame. The Irish beat them 48 to 47, in a game marked at the end by a near riot because of a discrepancy on the part of the scoreboard keepers which made the game a tie. It was not. Huber and his mates had played; but they almost had to be carried off the floor.
Then with Ticco scoring 26 beautiful points, Kentucky beat Xavier 48 to 43. From there they went to West Virginia, were upset by the Mountaineers 56 to 13 in a game in which even the gymnasium lights were inconsistent.
|. . . Ticco makes a one-handed shot from under the basket in the West Virginia skirmish.||. . . Akers, "the big train," drives in to drop one in against Tennessee as Kentucky revenges its defeat in Knoxville to beat the Vols, 37-28 . . .|
They opened the Southeastern Conference league play, at the top of which they later emerged with an ill-omened 32 to 22 defeat in Knoxville. By now the 'Cats had been knocked so slap-happy by repeated waves of sickness that even the coaches could not name the starting line-up from one day to the next.
On the same trip sophomore center Mel Brewer, Huber, and Lloyd Ramsey got 12, 12 and 10 points respectively to beat Georgia Tech 47 to 37 in Atlanta.
Xavier staged a come-back against the Big Blue, trampled them down to defeat with the use of their two Louisville aces, Billy Gates and Bert Robbens, 48 to 43. Kentucky played without Ticco, who had proved the most effective weapon against the Musketeers in the last meeting. Jim King was high for the Wildcats with 10 points.
The next trip South was without Rupp himself, who, having staved off the "flu" as long as he was able, was ordered to the hospital. Assistant Coach Paul McBrayer guided them to two duly recorded wins, if slightly the indusive to heart-failure type. Ermal Allen made 10 points and Mel Brewer 13 as the 'Cats scored a 51 to 50 win over Vanderbilt. Brewer, still riding the crest of a one-man heat wave, paced them to a 38 to 36 win over Alabama.
Back home for a second meeting with the Crimson Tide, it was diminutive Ermal Allen who furnished the scoring punch with 15 points in a 46 to 38 victory.
|.. . . Big Jim King goes up to drop the ball in the hoop as the Big Blue takes Maryville in stride . . .||. . . Mel Brewer goes after the tip-off in the Kentucky-Notre Dame classic in the Armory at Louisville . . .|
At this point in the season Coach Rupp began to switch the heavy duty from his forwards and centers to his guards again. Huber was out with another attack of influenza, but careful coaching had made basket artists out of Carl Staker and Marvin Akers. Allen was high point man with 15 in Kentucky's 60-40 defeat of Old Miss', but Akers trailed him by but one point, making 14.
Alumni Gym was packed for the Wildcats return engagement with Tennessee; and home-town fans were not disappointed, for the Big Blue, in as rough and tumble a free-for-all as the Bluegrass has and will see for a long time, ashed out a 37 to 28 win. In this game it was again Akers, "the big train", who formed the spearhead of the attack, driving under the basket repeatedly to rack up crips - and a total of 12 points.
Kentucky closed the season against Vanderbilt with a 58 to 31 defeat of the Commodores. The 'Cats were crude but effective - - scorekeepers counting at the end of the game found that a total of 44 fouls had been called.
In the last game, spectators saw an old star re-arise. Keith "Fuzz" Farnsley, who last year had made the all-tournament team and had been the man to beat Tennessee with his last minute shot in the semi-finals, arose from the bench where he had been sitting most of the year and tallied 17 points.
The final two games of the tournament have been described. In the opening round Kentucky encountered Mississippi, defeated them 62 to 52. In the second round Farnsley led his mates to a 59 to 30 win over Tulane, himself scoring 17.
The came Alabama and the defeat by Tennessee.
Three of the Rupp-men made the official all-tournament team - Lee Huber, Marvin Akers, and Keith Farnsley. On the Associated Press team Huber was picked at guard and Akers at forward on the first five. Akers did not play at forward; but as selectors stated, "he was too outstanding to leave off." Jim King made the second team at center and Farnsley was placed as forward.
The following men made varsity "K's" in basketball: Lee Huber, Carl Staker, Marvin Akers, Keith Farnsley, Milton Ticco, Jim King, Lloyd Ramsey, Kenneth England, Ermal Allen, Mel Brewer, Waller White and Managers Garret Fitzpatrick and Bud Wilson.
(Back Row): Troy Adams, Ed Lander, Bill Weber, Pete Watts, John Rayz
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 hasket, 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.