|#15||Alex Groza (L)||C||Fr.||6-7||220||Martins Ferry, OH (High)||(Drafted in Army part-way through season);|
|#19||Jack Tingle (L)||F||So.||6-3||185||Bedford, KY (Trimble High)||All-SEC [First Team]; All-SEC Tournament;|
|#19||Jack Parkinson (L)||G||So.||6-0||175||Yorktown, IN (High)||All-SEC [First Team]; All-SEC Tournament;|
|#3||Wilbur Schu (L)||F||Jr.||6-4||180||Versailles, KY||All-American [Don Dunphy (2nd)];|
|#20||Kenton Campbell (L)||C||Fr.||6-4||195||Newark, OH (High)||All-SEC [First Team]; All-SEC Tournament;|
|-||George Vulich (L)||C||So.||6-8||-||Gary, IN (Froebel)||-|
|#20||Deward Compton||C||Fr.||6-5||205||Murfreesboro, TN (Castle Heights MA)||-|
|#18||Jim Howe||G||Fr.||6-0||163||Fort Thomas, KY (Highlands)||-|
|#13||J. Ed Parker (L)||F-G||So.||6-0||150||Lexington, KY (Henry Clay)||-|
|#7||William Sturgill (L)||G||Jr.||6-2||185||Prestonsburg, KY (High)||-|
|#5||John Stough (L)||G||Fr.||6-0||170||Montgomery, AL (Sidney Lanier)||(Drafted into Army after season);|
|-||Singleton Yeary||F-C||Fr.||6-0||155||Nicholasville, KY (Lexington Lafayette)||-|
|#25||Chester Duff||F||Fr.||-||-||Darfork, KY||-|
|#12||Ernest Sparkman||C||Fr.||6-5||170||Carr Creek, KY||-|
|#11||Clyde Cooper||F||Fr.||5-11||170||Brooksville, KY (High)||(Did not return after semester.);|
|-||James Durham (L)||F||Fr.||6-3||180||Anchorage, KY||-|
|#5||Alonzo Nelson (L)||F||Fr.||5-11||160||Richmond, KY (Madison)||-|
|-||Jack Schiffli||F||Fr.||6-3||185||Washington, IN (High)||-|
|#34||Ed Allin (L)||F-G||So.||6-1||-||Lexington, KY (Henry Clay)||-|
|#4||Bill Chambers||G||So.||-||-||Huntington, WV||(Gave up basketball after football injury (broken leg) did not heal quickly enough.);|
|#6||Dickie Derrickson||G||Fr.||5-11||160||Lexington, KY (Lafayette)||(Inducted into service.);|
|#17||Al Reynolds||F||Fr.||-||-||East Orange, NJ (Clifford Scott)||-|
| Schedule | Player Statistics | Game Statistics |
Front Row (l to r): Ed Waits, Alonzo Nelson, J. Ed Parker, Singleton Yeary, Dickie Derrickson, Al Reynolds, Ed Allin
Season Review - Basketball (Kentuckian)
When the Wildcats had polished off the Army and the Navy in quick succession, the rest of the season looked all-civilian, Ironically, though, it was the service that toppled the high-stepping Cats from an 11-straight win streak. It was the service, in the form of a handful of induction notices, that jerked cogs from Rupp's mighty machine periodically.
Again marking up 56 points, the Wildcats held Berea's V-12'ers to 32 the following Saturday in Alumni gym. The clean-playing, hard-driving Navy lads earned the respect of UK's students who involuntarily broke into singing "Anchors Aweigh" halfway through the tilt. Alex Groza ambled into the gym half-way through the game and announced to Coach Rupp that he had just been classified 1-A. That same week Jim Howe and Dick Derrickson passed their Army physicals, and the lettermen chose Jack Tingle captain for 1944-45.
Despite the frantic efforts of letterman Mueller who harassed Kentucky last year, the Wildcats whipped the University of Cincinnati Bearcats 66-24 the following week. The Tingle, Groza, Parkinson, Schu combination seemed set and Rupp shuttled Howe, Stough and Sturgill at the guard post. All season that guard hesitancy caused the Baron worry as two possibles were drafted under his very nose.
What prognosticators figured a "tough battle" turned into a Wildcat walkaway when high-pointing Wilbur Schu and Alex Groza led the Cats to a 61-43 victory over Indiana in Louisville. This victory over the boys from "the basket ball state" brought the six-game series record to three apiece.
And then going became tougher for basketball players as Christmas approached and students deserted the campus for three weeks. The cagers practiced continually and met Ohio State in Lexington on December 23, defeating the Buckeyes in an overtime. Last years Big Ten champs pitted giant center Arnold Risen from Williamstown Ky., against the Wildcat pivot. Groza of Martin's Ferry, Ohio. Groza hit 16 points and Tingle and Parkinson trailed at 15 each as the Cats edged out a 53-48 victory - closest of the schedule thus far. Nip and tuck throughout, the game ended 44-all and went into a five-minute extra frame. In those minutes the Wildcat heat scored 9 points to Ohio's 4, as Tingle and Parkinson hit fielders and team-mates annexed 5 free throws.
Piling onto an eastbound train Christmas morning, the Wildcats traveled to Buffalo next to meet the University of Wyoming Cowboys and beat them 50-46. The Westerners gave the Cats trouble and many a listener at the special broadcast arranged by SuKy to Alumni gym, thought the Wildcat win was ended.
Alex Groza hit his stride on December 30 in Philadelphia when he sank a last-second fielder to win the game for the Cats at 45-44 against Temple. Leading by several points in the last half, the Owls were overtaken by a 10-minute rally which put them one point behind a few seconds before Groza sneaked in his winning crip.
Staging a whirlwind rally that thrilled Madison Square Garden's 18,000 newly-formed Kentucky fans, the Rupp proteges overcame a 15-point lead to tie Long Island University, and then forged ahead in the overtime to win 62-52. Long shot artists from L. I. U. piled up a 44-29 lead 10 minutes from the final gun, before the Cat machine began to roll. Little Buddy Parker, hard-playing forward, went into the game and immediately hit a long, long shot that sparked his team-mates into a madly accurate rally that tied the tilt. In the overtime period, the Lexington outfit was in perfect control as it accounted for 11 points while holding the Yankees to a lone point. Alex Groza scored 25 points in the game and forward Wilbur Schu was second-honor man with 16.
Returning UK students found their high-riding Wildcats back at school in January and ready to meet Ohio University the first Saturday night of the new quarter. And meet them the cagers did, chalking up their ninth straight victory with a score of 59-16.
Arkansas State College gave the Cats a chance to try Kenton Campbell, football stalwart, in the pivot slot. The Wildcats won 75-6 and every man on the bench tried his hand at point making. Jim Howe was high man with 12 markers.
Alex Groza bowed out to Kentucky basketball the following Saturday when Kentucky first met Michigan Slate and drubbed them 66-35. Though trailing at the half, the Rupp men scored high in the second as Jack Parkinson hung up 23 points and Groza made 14.
The blow came on January 21 when the traditional rival Tennessee Volunteers took Kentucky into the Knoxville camp and defeated them 35-34 to end a triumphant winning streak of 11 games for the Cats. A bitter contest, marked by bleacher fighting and close refereeing, it was lost in the second half by Kentucky's failure to capitalize on free throw attempts.
In a close 64-58 contest at Atlanta the Cats beat their Rebel rivals and packed up high individual records for Tingle, Parkinson. Schu and Stough.
More free throw misses contributed to the loss to Notre Dame in Louisville by a 59-58 tally. SuKy sent its members to a basketball game for the first time in two years and Louisville was crowded with UK students hoping to see their Wildcats duplicate 1944's thriller victory over the Irish. But, though hotly fought and almost cinched in a dozen points, the game was lost and the Wildcats fell a notch or two on the national ratings.
To Georgia's Bulldogs on their own home court, the now-wary Wildcats handed a 73-37 defeat three days later.
By a 51-32 score the Big Blue next took Georgia Tech's Engineers in a second-half whirlwind. Fancy shooting by the Tech outfit menaced the Wildcats for the first half, but second-period rushing left them trailing. Wilbur Schu played a brilliant under-the-basket game and stood second to Jack Tingle in points scored.
Upset of the year was the 66-50 loss to Michigan State two days later in East Lansing. The Cats had previously defeated the Spartans in easy fashion and the 16-point loss staggered Kentucky fans who heard the game via radio. An aggressive accurate outfit, the Spartans capitalized on Wildcat errors to hit the Lexington team with its third defeat of the 1945 season. This was the year's most unpredicted contest.
Game of the year followed immediately on the heels of the Spartan encounter. A week and a half session of concentrated drilling showed plainly in the six-point defeat the revived Wildcats gave their Southern rivals. The Vol-Cat game packed Alumni gym with 3,500 eager spectators who saw the Vols take an early lead - only to be cut down by accuracy and speed and spirit that made the Kentuckians invincible in the last minutes.
Monday following the triumphant Wildcats annexed Ohio University's Bobcats at Athens by a 61-38 score. This game, less difficult than the early-season victory over the Ohio University quintet, brought Kentucky's record to 16 wins and three losses for the season.
Trouncing the University of Cincinnati Bearcats for the second time this season, Rupp's court men wound up the regular year with a 65-35 final game for the books. The Wildcat win-loss record stood at 17 out of 20 and the team looked forward to exams and a trip to the north.
Representing the East in the annual N. C. A. A. basketball tourney played off in Madison Square Garden, the Wildcats suffered their most difficult loss of the year. Had they defeated Ohio State, their first adversary, the Cats might have gone on to win the Eastern region, play the winner of the Western region and then tackle the winner of the parallel National Invitational tourney.
But they didn't win - they played not-too-smooth basketball before 16,000 Yankee spectators and lost to a team they had downed once this year during the regular season. The injury of Captain Jack Tingle midway in the second half and the combination of "unpredictables" contributed to make the tourney night an "off night" for Kentucky 45-47.
In a consolation game five days later, Kentucky defeated Tufts College, the other first-round loser, which had lost to New York University. The Tufts quintet lost to the Cats by a 66-56 score.
Returning to Lexington the team was a silent crew, but Coach Adolph Rupp began immediately to think in terms of next year. Lettermen Tingle, Parkinson, Schu, Campbell, Stough, Sturgill, Parker, Allin, Durham, and Vulich will probably be back. And Coach Rupp is looking for another Groza.
There have been erratic, unpredictable, tough-luck seasons in Kentucky basketball - but the 1944-45 session seems to top them all. Beginning with a powerhouse 11-game winning streak and ending by a loss in Madison Square Garden to a team once-defeated the same season, this was a confusing but eternally exciting year for the Wildcats.
Coach Adolph Rupp alternately pulled his hair and beamed confidently as the 'Cats downed the nation's best and then lost to underdog outfits. By far the season's greatest blow was the loss to the Army however. When "one in a million" Alex Groza was drafted the team struggled for leadership but seemed to need two games (these with Michigan State and Tennessee) to get back on its collective feet. And when it did there was rejoicing in Lexington and the fans who had given the 'Cats up for lost, renewed interest.
The season ended on a low ebb - as Ohio State pounded the Big Blue in sight of 18,000 Madison Square Garden fans.
But the win-loss record stands at 20 and 3. Lettermen in masse are returning in 1945-46. Adolph Rupp of the hall of fame is still here. Kentucky looks ahead to a great session in basketball next year.
JACK TINGLE: lanky forward from Bedford, Kentucky, is this year's captain and the most unorthodox player Rupp has ever coached. He hits the basket from impossible angles, leads the team in scoring for the complete season. Six feet three inches tall, weighing 185, Tingle is a sophomore with two more years of Wildcat varsity ahead of him.
ALEX GROZA: eighteen-year-old freshman from Martin's Ferry, Ohio, was the "boy with perfect baskethall hands," a great team spirit, and an uncanny ability at hitting the basket. Drafted midway through the season, Groza had amassed enough points to lead the team in scoring and to be tabbed by Adolph Rupp as one of his five all-time court "greats." Groza will probably return to Kentucky after the war.
JACK PARKINSON: sophomore guard from Yorktown, Indiana, is the team's long-shot artist and cool offensive player. Parkinson is 20, weighs 174 and stands six feet tall- somewhat short for a Kentucky player. Quiet and deliberately accurate in his playing, Parkinson with his shooting has pulled several Wildcat games into sure victories.
WILBUR SCHU: junior forward from Versailles is the team's most consistent player, hitting crips and taking opposition shots off the backboard with equal ease. A foothall man too, Schu hopes to coach physical education after graduation. He is 21, six feet four inches tall and he weighs 175. Schu is one of Rupp's Big Three, carried over from the record-smashing 1944 basketball outfit.
KENTON CAMPBELL: Six feet four inch freshman center has done well in the pivot spot vacated by Alex Groza. Member of the powerful Newark, Ohio high school team for three years. Campbell has been named Al1-SEC since playing for the Wildcats. Campbell is eighteen and he weighs 195. Playing with a smooth easy style. he has fit well into the Rupp scheme of basketball.
JOHN STOUGH: fast-moving freshman guard, is five feet 11 inches tall and he weighs 155. He is 19 and hails from Montgomery. Alabama, and the high-scoring Sidney Lanier high school team of which he was captain for two years.
JAMES HOWE: freshman forward, earned scoring honors in the few games he played before the draft intervened. Six feet tall and weighing 163, Howe was a Highlands (Fort Thomas) star before entering the University. A football player as well, Howe might have taken the regular guard post on the Wildcat basketball team had he not entered the Army midway in the season.
BlLL STURGILL: junior guard from Prestonsburg, is six feet two inches tall and weighs 185. Sturgill is another good offensive man and Coach Rupp has alternated him with John Stough at the guard post. Sturgill will be back to play varsity ball at Kentucky his senior year.
JAMES DURHAM: freshman forward from Anchorage is six feet three inches tall and he weighs 180. Durham all season has been one of Rupp's most promising freshmen but the possibility that he might be drafted has kept the Kentucky coach from depending too much upon Durham.
BUDDY PARKER: sophomore forward is five feet ten inches tall and he weighs 150. A wiry defensive and offensive player, Parker is spirited and determined. His "spark" pulled the important Long Island University game in New York from a near loss into a certain win hy renewing the team's faith and spirit. Parker is 19 and a native Lexingtonian.
ALONZO NELSON, ED ALLIN, and GEORGE VULlCH, in addition to Tingle, Schu, Parkinson, Campbell, Parker, Sturgill. Stough, Durham, and Groza were awarded letters, Numerals were presented to DEWARD COMPTON, ERNEST SPARKMAN, CHESTER DUFF and SINGLETON YEARY.