|#44||Cotton Nash (L)||C-F||Jr.||6-5||220||Lake Charles, LA (High)||All-American [Consensus (2nd), AP (2nd), UPI (2nd), NABC (2nd), USBWA (1st), Converse (2nd), Helms, Look Magazine (2nd)]; All-SEC [First Team (AP & Coaches)];|
|#22||Charles Ishmael (L)||G||Jr.||6-5||205||Mount Sterling, KY||-|
|#12||Ted Deeken (L)||F||Jr.||6-3||185||Louisville, KY (Flaget)||-|
|#14||Scotty Baesler (L)||G||Sr.||6-0||170||Lexington, KY (Bryan Station)||-|
|#23||Roy Roberts (L)||F||Sr.||6-4||190||Atlanta, GA (Northside)||-|
|#40||Don Rolfes (L)||C||So.||6-7||220||Harrison, OH (High)||-|
|#25||Terry Mobley (L)||G||So.||6-2||188||Harrodsburg, KY (High)||-|
|#11||Randy Embry (L)||G||So.||5-11||170||Owensboro, KY (High)||-|
|#45||John Adams (L)||C-F||So.||6-7||215||Rising Sun, IN||-|
|#32||Sam Harper (L)||G||So.||6-3||175||Clinton, KY (Hickman County)||-|
|#34||George Critz||F||Jr.||6-3||194||Bellbrook, OH (Sugar Creek)||-|
|#33||Pat Doyle (L)||F-G||Sr.||6-2||175||Calvert City, KY (North Marshall)||-|
|#50||Ron Kennett||G||So.||6-0||170||Lawrenceburg, IN||-|
|#31||Tom Harper||G||Jr.||6-2||180||Winchester, KY (Clark County)||-|
|#52||Denny Radabaugh||F||So.||6-4||190||Savanna, IL||-|
|-||Ray Frudenberger||F||-||-||-||Long Island, NY||(Ineligible 2nd semester);|
|#32||George Atkins||C-F||Sr.||6-6||190||Hopkinsville, KY (High)||-|
| Schedule | Player Statistics | Game Statistics |
Front Row (l to r): Coach Adolph Rupp, John Adams, Ron Kennett, Randy Embry, Scotty Baesler, Cotton Nash, Tommy Harper, Assistant Coach Harry Lancaster
Season Review - Kentucky Posts 16-9 Mark in Rupp's Worst Season (Kentuckian)
The 1962-1963 basketball season was unsuccessful by traditional Kentucky standards. Everything that had gone right through the many years of winning basketball seemed to go wrong this year. The result was a 16-9 record, the worst mark, percentage-wise of the Rupp era.
Erratic Cats Win UKIT for Only 1963 Title
Virginia Tech spoiled the season for many fans by taking the season opener in the Coliseum, 80-77. This was the first opening game loss for the Cats in 35 years. An ugly spectre of hard times ahead loomed in Philadelphia as Kentucky was pushed to the limit by a weak Temple outfit. The Wildcats scraped by, 56-52. Back home for a long December stand in Lexington the team settled down and blitzed Florida State 83-54. In a punishing game against Big Ten representative Northwestern, Kentucky played harder and took their third victory. But an expected winning streak was choked off by speedy North Carolina who took the victory in the final seconds, 68-66. It became apparent that Kentucky was weak at guard.
The Wildcats hit their season's peak in the UKIT, ripping Iowa in the opener and easing past nationally ranked West Virginia in the finals, 79-75. This was to be their biggest win of the year.
At this point it looked to long-time observers of Kentucky basketball as if the Cats were jelling. This was apparently confirmed by a 95-49 rout of Dartmouth and a 78-70 win over highly-regarded Notre Dame at Freedom Hall.
Shell-Shocked Kentuckians Hammered by SEC Rivals
Dreams of Kentucky basketball glory were decisively smashed in St. Louis on New Year's Eve as the Billikens pounded an inept Kentucky team 87-63, the worst defeat for the Cats in many years. Still fans shook off this defeat and looked hopefully toward the SEC competition to come. Despite their defeats the Cats were considered a prime contender.
Georgia Tech jolted the Cats early, taking the conference lid-lifter in Lexington, 86-85, the Cats' second one-point defeat. Once again the team made a comeback attempt. A barrage of baskets against Vandy at Nashville gave the Cats their highest point total of the year as they won 106-82. Then successive road victories over LSU and Tulane put Kentucky in a good spot to challenge for the league lead, as Tennessee came to town. Here again Kentucky was unable to produce in the clutch, and Tennessee carried their coach off the floor after an overtime victory. Fans were getting used to watching these "victory rides."
An easy victory over a rough Xavier team was followed by another loss to Tech, in a game televised back to Lexington. It became apparent that Kentucky would win no titles this year.
Again the Cats caught fire for a short streak, whipping Georgia, Florida, and Mississippi. Losses by league leaders during this stretch left Kentucky still in the running for the league crown despite the three losses on the worksheet. Given another chance the Cats could not produce against Mississippi State and were squeezed out at Starkville, 55-52.
The god of basketball evidently could not believe the Cats were not leading the SEC so he gave them one more chance for post-season honors. Tech and Auburn, the league leaders, were upset and Kentucky, by sweeping its last four games, could still qualify for the NCAA tournament. The battered Kentuckians rose from the mat and smote powerful Auburn 79-58.
Vanderbilt beat the Cats in Lexington, and Tennessee won in Knoxville. A late season win over Alabama went for naught as Kentucky wound up fifth in the conference with an 8-6 mark, the worst SEC finish since Rupp assumed command in 1930.
There were many reasons advanced for the team's poor showing. At first there were no guards capable of running Rupp's guard-oriented offense. Charlie Ishmael did develop into a capable backcourtman just before he was declared scholastically ineligible. Nash, as the only consistent scorer, was exposed to constant pressure by opponents. It was too much for him to overcome and he performed below par. The flu struck down key performers in crucial spots and left the delicate team balance in a constant state of flux.
With few losses from graduation and another fine freshman crop on the way up, prospects for next year are encouraging, but this time fans have adopted a wait-and-see policy.
Kittens Post 14-2 Mark Before Grades Fell Four Starters
The Kittens romped to a 14-2 record before grade trouble felled four top performers at mid-season, forcing cancellation of all but one of their remaining four games.
Scoring over 100 points in several games the smooth-working future Wildcats displayed awesome scoring power and rebounding ability.