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Channing
01-12-2012, 10:04 AM
I was talking to a guy today who was at Duke in the early 70s, and he said that when Bucky Waters was coach a significant portion of the team quit because they couldn't stand him. He went on to say that after Waters was subsequently fired, Duke had an agreement in principal with Adolph Rupp to come coach the team, but that Rupp's business partner ultimately died and he backed out. As a result, Mcgeehey (??) ended up getting the job for a year or so, and then gave way to Foster.

Is that story true?

alteran
01-12-2012, 10:37 AM
I was talking to a guy today who was at Duke in the early 70s, and he said that when Bucky Waters was coach a significant portion of the team quit because they couldn't stand him. He went on to say that after Waters was subsequently fired, Duke had an agreement in principal with Adolph Rupp to come coach the team, but that Rupp's business partner ultimately died and he backed out. As a result, Mcgeehey (??) ended up getting the job for a year or so, and then gave way to Foster.

Is that story true?

It's within striking distance, if memory serves. I'm coming up short on the google right now, but my memory is that Bucky had a phenomenally talented freshman team (#1 in the nation?), most of which transferred before becoming eligible to play varsity. (Back then, freshmen couldn't play on varsity.)

I also know Duke had serious discussions with Rupp after Kentucky had eased him out to pasture. Whether there was an agreement in principle which Rupp backed out of, I don't know. Either way glad THAT didn't come to pass.

Bucky was fired/reassigned in '73 and Foster arrived for '74, so someone must have held the reins in the interim.

sagegrouse
01-12-2012, 10:42 AM
Bucky was fired/reassigned in '73 and Foster arrived for '74, so someone must have held the reins in the interim.

Neill McGeachy. After all, someone had to be the coach during the "gone in 17 seconds" game.

McGeachy has survived and is doing well as the AD at Lenoir-Rhyne for the past nine-plus years.


sage

CameronBornAndBred
01-12-2012, 10:44 AM
Lots can be found in this recent thread.
http://www.dukebasketballreport.com/forums/showthread.php?26860-Where-are-they-now-Neill-McGeachy&highlight=mcgeahy

OZZIE4DUKE
01-12-2012, 11:10 AM
I was talking to a guy today who was at Duke in the early 70s, and he said that when Bucky Waters was coach a significant portion of the team quit because they couldn't stand him. He went on to say that after Waters was subsequently fired, Duke had an agreement in principal with Adolph Rupp to come coach the team, but that Rupp's business partner ultimately died and he backed out. As a result, Mcgeehey (??) ended up getting the job for a year or so, and then gave way to Foster.

Is that story true?
Essentially yes, that's the story about Rupp as I always heard it, but listening in on the outside. Yes, many of Bucky's all star freshmen had transferred before I got to Duke in August of '72. We chanted "Bye, Bye Bucky, we're glad to see you go!" often, hoping to see him fired/leave. Neill McGeachy (that's the correct spelling) did indeed coach the team for one year, 1973-74 season, our last win (70-60 over GaTech (note- GT was NOT in the ACC at that time) on 2/16/74 in Cameron) preserving the streak of double digit wins (10-16). Believe me, it was in grave danger of not continuing. And yes he coached the - no, I'm not going there again.

Now you know! :cool:

Olympic Fan
01-12-2012, 11:19 AM
This has been discussed numerous times on this board. A quick summary for the newcomers:

When Vic Bubas retired at the end of the 1969 season, Duke had three choices to replace him. Future Hall of Famer Chuck Daly was Bubas' top assistant and he got an interview (No. 2 assistant Hubie Brown didn't). Davidson coach and Duke grad Lefty Driesell wanted the job badly ... he visited Durham on his way to the East Regionals in College Park and saw Bubas, but he couldn't get an interview with Cameron. Instead. AD Eddie Cameron zeroed in on Bucky Waters, a former Bubas assistant who had done a good (but not great) job at West Virginia.

Waters was a recruiting dynamo, who landed a five-man freshman class that proceded to have the first undefeated freshman season in Duke history. The first defection -- Jim Fitzsimmons was not, I think, his fault. Fitz left after one semester because he was homesick for Boston (and, remember, he was playing for freshman coach Jack Schalow, who the kids loved, not Bucky). Fitz transferred to Harvard where he led the Ivy League in scoring.

After his first year at Duke, Bucky did lose sophomore Don Blackman, a Bubas recruit and Duke's second black player who transferred to Rhode Island, and junior Brad Evans, a two-sport prep All-American who elected to play basketball for Bubas, but after one year playing for Bucky, switched to football.

The next year with four talented freshmen joining senior holdovers Randy Denton (the most underrated superstar in Duke history), Dick DeVenzio and Rick Katherman. They had Bucky's best year, going 20-10 and reaching the quarterfinals of the NIT (back when the NIT meant something since only one team per conference could play in the NCAA).

But after that season, sophomore guard Jeff Dawson, who averaged 9.6 ppg for that team, elected to transfer to Illinois (where he later led the Big Ten in scoring. He also lost Sam May, Duke's third black player, who left after his freshman season (he went to Puget Sound and was an okay player). And one game into his third season, Bucky lost the gem of his second recruiting class -- 6-10 Dave Elmer. As a freshman, Elmer had thoroughly outplayed NC State's Tommy Burleson. In the middle of the Duke opener in 1971-72 Bucky tried to send Elmer into the game. He refused, having decided that he was going to transfer and not wanting to lose eligibility. He quit the next day and transferred to Miami of Ohio, where he had a nice career (including leading Miami to a victory over UNC in Chapel Hill).

The record started to decline with all the defections. Duke dropped to 14-12 in Bucky's third season. Midway through the season, junior Richie O'Conner, the team's leading scorer at the time, quit the team. He transferred to Fairfield and led that team to the NIT (playing for Fred Barakat, the future longtime ACC director of officials). After the season, sophomore forward Ron Righter (6.5 ppg) quit and transferred to St. Joe's, where he was a solid player for two seasons.

The bottom fell out in 1972-73. Duke finished 12-14 -- its first losing season since 1939. The recruiting fell off too. Only two members of Bucky's first recruiting class were still on hand as seniors -- Gray Melchionni and Alan Shaw.

After that season, Bucky went to new AD Carl James and asked for an extention on his five-year contract. At the time, Duke was famous for not firing coaches ... although football coach Tom Harp had just been released after his five-year contract expired (Duke insisted that was a firing, he was just not renewed). James refused to make any promises, so in September, Bucky quit (he was NOT fired ... he could have coached his fifth year).

James was in a bind -- where do you find a quality coach in September? Would you even want a guy who would run out on his current team after classes had started?

He came up with a brilliant solution. Kentucky Hall of Fame coach Adolph Rupp had been forcibly retired two years earlier and he wasn't happy about it. He agreed to take the Duke job for a year while James found a long-term coach. But just before that deal could be announced, Rupp's plantation manager died and he decided that he couldn't leave his estate unmanaged. He backed out and James turned to Bucky's top assistant Neill McGeachy.

Neill didn't have much chance -- Duke wert 10-16 in his one season, losing two memorable games to UNC (Bobby Jones' steal in Cameron and the Walter Davis prayer in Carmichael). That spring, James hired Bill Foster to restore Duke's fortunes ... which he did after three tough seasons.

As for Bucky ... he was just too intense for his own good. Not sure you can blame him for Fitzsimmons and maybe not May (neither actually ever played for him), but Evans, Backman, Dawson, O'Conner, Elmer, , Righter ... those are all on him. I'm not sure that with those guys Duke would have been able to compete with the great teams at State (David Thompson and company) or Maryland (Lucas, McMillen, Elmore, etc.), but they would have been an upper echelon ACC team. Without them, it was just about the worst era in Duke basketball history.

jv001
01-12-2012, 11:32 AM
This has been discussed numerous times on this board. A quick summary for the newcomers:

When Vic Bubas retired at the end of the 1969 season, Duke had three choices to replace him. Future Hall of Famer Chuck Daly was Bubas' top assistant and he got an interview (No. 2 assistant Hubie Brown didn't). Davidson coach and Duke grad Lefty Driesell wanted the job badly ... he visited Durham on his way to the East Regionals in College Park and saw Bubas, but he couldn't get an interview with Cameron. Instead. AD Eddie Cameron zeroed in on Bucky Waters, a former Bubas assistant who had done a good (but not great) job at West Virginia.

Waters was a recruiting dynamo, who landed a five-man freshman class that proceded to have the first undefeated freshman season in Duke history. The first defection -- Jim Fitzsimmons was not, I think, his fault. Fitz left after one semester because he was homesick for Boston (and, remember, he was playing for freshman coach Jack Schalow, who the kids loved, not Bucky). Fitz transferred to Harvard where he led the Ivy League in scoring.

After his first year at Duke, Bucky did lose sophomore Don Blackman, a Bubas recruit and Duke's second black player who transferred to Rhode Island, and junior Brad Evans, a two-sport prep All-American who elected to play basketball for Bubas, but after one year playing for Bucky, switched to football.

The next year with four talented freshmen joining senior holdovers Randy Denton (the most underrated superstar in Duke history), Dick DeVenzio and Rick Katherman. They had Bucky's best year, going 20-10 and reaching the quarterfinals of the NIT (back when the NIT meant something since only one team per conference could play in the NCAA).

But after that season, sophomore guard Jeff Dawson, who averaged 9.6 ppg for that team, elected to transfer to Illinois (where he later led the Big Ten in scoring. He also lost Sam May, Duke's third black player, who left after his freshman season (he went to Puget Sound and was an okay player). And one game into his third season, Bucky lost the gem of his second recruiting class -- 6-10 Dave Elmer. As a freshman, Elmer had thoroughly outplayed NC State's Tommy Burleson. In the middle of the Duke opener in 1971-72 Bucky tried to send Elmer into the game. He refused, having decided that he was going to transfer and not wanting to lose eligibility. He quit the next day and transferred to Miami of Ohio, where he had a nice career (including leading Miami to a victory over UNC in Chapel Hill).

The record started to decline with all the defections. Duke dropped to 14-12 in Bucky's third season. Midway through the season, junior Richie O'Conner, the team's leading scorer at the time, quit the team. He transferred to Fairfield and led that team to the NIT (playing for Fred Barakat, the future longtime ACC director of officials). After the season, sophomore forward Ron Righter (6.5 ppg) quit and transferred to St. Joe's, where he was a solid player for two seasons.

The bottom fell out in 1972-73. Duke finished 12-14 -- its first losing season since 1939. The recruiting fell off too. Only two members of Bucky's first recruiting class were still on hand as seniors -- Gray Melchionni and Alan Shaw.

After that season, Bucky went to new AD Carl James and asked for an extention on his five-year contract. At the time, Duke was famous for not firing coaches ... although football coach Tom Harp had just been released after his five-year contract expired (Duke insisted that was a firing, he was just not renewed). James refused to make any promises, so in September, Bucky quit (he was NOT fired ... he could have coached his fifth year).

James was in a bind -- where do you find a quality coach in September? Would you even want a guy who would run out on his current team after classes had started?

He came up with a brilliant solution. Kentucky Hall of Fame coach Adolph Rupp had been forcibly retired two years earlier and he wasn't happy about it. He agreed to take the Duke job for a year while James found a long-term coach. But just before that deal could be announced, Rupp's plantation manager died and he decided that he couldn't leave his estate unmanaged. He backed out and James turned to Bucky's top assistant Neill McGeachy.

Neill didn't have much chance -- Duke wert 10-16 in his one season, losing two memorable games to UNC (Bobby Jones' steal in Cameron and the Walter Davis prayer in Carmichael). That spring, James hired Bill Foster to restore Duke's fortunes ... which he did after three tough seasons.

As for Bucky ... he was just too intense for his own good. Not sure you can blame him for Fitzsimmons and maybe not May (neither actually ever played for him), but Evans, Backman, Dawson, O'Conner, Elmer, , Righter ... those are all on him. I'm not sure that with those guys Duke would have been able to compete with the great teams at State (David Thompson and company) or Maryland (Lucas, McMillen, Elmore, etc.), but they would have been an upper echelon ACC team. Without them, it was just about the worst era in Duke basketball history.

Pretty much the way I remember it Olympic Fan. If I remember DeVenzio's(rip) class as being a top rated recruiting class. How many game did their freshman team lose? Back then it was fun to watch those teams play, with expectations for the next varsity season. The 70's prompted me to root for NC State as my 2nd team. Thanks for those memories, however difficult those games were. GoDuke!

budwom
01-12-2012, 12:19 PM
A few points:

Fitzimmons couldn't stand Bucky. (Few could back then).

DeVenzio was the top ranked guy largely because back in those days, you didn't have the huge number of summer camps where the best could play the best numerous times. There were some, not many.
The AAU circuit wasn't as well developed either.

As a result, a highly disproportionate number of the "best" guys in a lot of classes were white....kids like Devenzio and Dennis Wuycik at UNC were very good players, but seriously overrated vs. a lot of the
black players who weren't seen as much.

As such, two of Duke's super highly rated recruiting classes (Fitzsimmons/Melchionni/Dawson/Shaw/O'Connor and DeVenzio/Denton/Evans/Katherman) didn't have one black player on either of them.

In short, the recruiting classes were good, but not as spectacular as advertised.

jaytoc
01-12-2012, 12:34 PM
A very minor correction to the excellent response from OF-

"The first defection -- Jim Fitzsimmons was not, I think, his fault. Fitz left after one semester because he was homesick for Boston"

Sunny Jim Fitzsimmons left after his first semester, and it's true he enrolled at Harvard, where he had a basketball career not quite measuring up to his talents or his advance billing (Jim had broken all of Calvin Murphy's New England scoring records.) But it wasn't because he was homesick for Boston. Fitzsimmons was from Connecticut and had played at Fairfield Prep. Some of you may not recognize the distinction between Boston/Mass. and other parts of New England, but others of us do.

roywhite
01-12-2012, 12:59 PM
Checking around on Fitz and came across this old article from The Harvard Crimson (http://www.thecrimson.com/article/1971/4/14/fitzsimmons-wait-till-next-year-ppossibly/)


Waters's tenacity began paying dividends immediately. Fitzsimmons led the Duke freshmen to eight straight wins-"I was shooting 60 per cent" -and was averaging more than 20 points a game. Then in the middle of the season, Fitzsimmons quit the team. dropped out of school, and transferred to Harvard.

His reason for quitting Duke are manifold. "There is no single reason I left," Fitzsimmons said. "The jock atmosphere had a lot to do with it. Sports are a big thing down in Durham. and academics as opposed to the rest of the student body are grossly underplayed for athletes, which I just couldn't understand."

Fitzsimmons, officially a freshman,- "Since I had been accepted, they treated the Duke year as a leave of absence" -has been practicing with the varsity off-and-on this past season.



Having seen all, or most of the 8 games Fitz played for the Duke freshman team, my recollection is that he was a terrific shooter, who could shoot with range but also had a mid-range shot that was deadly.
At Harvard, he had James Brown (the current TV commentator and big-time high school star around D.C.) as a teammate, but the stories were that the atmosphere was pretty casual and the team never rose to great heights.

Channing
01-12-2012, 02:26 PM
Does anyone who was in the pep band in 1971 have any photos they can scan into the computer? One of the guys I work with was in the pep band that year and remembers the NIT trip to NY well. Would love to be able to share some photos to kindle his memories.

Olympic Fan
01-12-2012, 02:49 PM
Pretty much the way I remember it Olympic Fan. If I remember DeVenzio's(rip) class as being a top rated recruiting class. How many game did their freshman team lose? Back then it was fun to watch those teams play, with expectations for the next varsity season. The 70's prompted me to root for NC State as my 2nd team. Thanks for those memories, however difficult those games were. GoDuke!

The DeVenzio Class is very familiar to me -- that was my class at Duke.

It was Bubas' Class and it was the first recruiting class that really got a lot of attention. Sometimes an individual freshman (such as Art Heyman) might get a lot of hype, but even the great Jeff Mullins-Jay Buckley-Buzzy Harrison class was under the radar.

You are right that DeVenzio was the star of that class ... either he or Brad Evans. DeVenzio, a 5-10 point guard who played for his father in Ambridge, Pa., was perhaps the most highly recuited player in the country. John Wooden came east from UCLA to court him. Dean Smith was all over him. Lefty Driesell put on a fullcourt press at Davidson, thinking he was the missing piece with Mike Maloy, Doug Cook and Jerry Kroll (a team that twice lost in the East Regional finals to UNC).

But Durham High's 6-2 Evans was a megastar too -- he was the Ron Curry (or maybe Greg Paulus) of his day. He was a first-team Parade All-America in football and second team in basketball. Bear Bryant wanted him to play quarterback at Alabama, Joe Paterno was after him at Penn State. Notre Dame, Southern Cal, Ohio State ... all came calling.

Raleigh's Randy Denton didn't get nearly as much hype, but he turned out to be the best of the bunch. To this day, his numbers are eye-popping. He was 6-10, 250 and had the agility of Mason Plumlee, along with Laettner's midrange jump shot. He averaged 19.7 ppg for his career (better than Dawkins, Gminski, Laettner ...) and 12.7 rebounds (the top average in Duke history). They didn't keep blocks in that era, but if they had, he'd be at or near the top in that category too.

The fourth member of that class was Rick Katherman, a 6-7 forward with a deadly jumper. He was from Manchester, Mass., and had the nickname the Manchester Rifle.

The fifth member of that class -- and the only one that didn't become a significant starter -- was Steve Litz, a burly 6-6 power forward from Western Pennslyvania. A nice player and a hard worker, but he had few offensive skills and was just a tad undersized for his position.

They were a a talented group, but strangely stumbled a few times as freshmen. They lost a high scoring game to Davidson in Charlotte and two of three games to a UNC freshman team that had Lee Dedmon, Dave Chadwick, Don Eggleston, Richard Tuttle and Dale Gipple. Only Dedmon became a starter at UNC. The only one of the three matchups that Duke won was in Carmichael Auditorium and that one was a miracle -- with Duke down one in the final seconds, DeVenzio launched a 75-foot shot from the opposite foul line -- that swished to give Duke the win. In the final game in Cameron, the Big Four championship was at stake and first-year UNC freshman coach Bill Guthridge coached the pants off Duke's freshman coach (I can't remember who that was ... I think Hubie Brown took over one year later) and UNC won in a rout.

The 1969-70 freshman class: 6-9 Alan Shaw, 6-4 Richie O'Conner, 6-3 Jeff Dawson, 6-2, Gary Melchionni and 6-1 Jim Fitzsimmons was an incredible team to watch. The averaged 94.5 ppg. It looked like one of Coach K's small-ball teams with a slender, agile center, a powerful small forward and three guards. They blitzed everybody to finish 16-0 ... my understanding is that they were the first undefeated freshman team at Duke since 1930. There were some good players on the rival Big Four freshmen teams -- George Karl at UNC, Paul Coder and Bob Heuts at NC State -- but they beat them all.

They barely slowed down after Fitzsimmons left after eight games. Sorry I mixed up his hometown -- but I'm sure that homesickness was touted as a reason at the time. Fitz was interesting ... he didn't shoot or score in like Duke's first 3-4 games. I remember thinking, 'Well, one bust out of five isn't bad.' Then he started to shooting ... and he never missed. I'm not kidding. I think he was something like 28 of 29 from the floor when he left -- and they were not layups. Most were midrange jumpers.

BTW, I just sumbled across an old story from that 1971 freshman game when Dave Elmer outplayed Burleson. The State freshmen were unbeaten at the time and contrary to the myth that Burleson was a late developer, he was averaging 24 points and 17 rebounds at the time (the "late developer" would average 21.3 ppg and 14.0 rpg as a varsity sophomore in 1972). But Elmer scored 40 points and added 12 rebounds in his matchup ... Burleson had 10 points (no rebounds given) before fouling out and way crying when he went to the bench.

gw67
01-12-2012, 03:24 PM
A few points:


As a result, a highly disproportionate number of the "best" guys in a lot of classes were white....kids like Devenzio and Dennis Wuycik at UNC were very good players, but seriously overrated vs. a lot of the black players who weren't seen as much.



My recollection of Wuycik is a little different. He was a 2-time first team ALL ACC and a very good college player. His career overlapped with Charlie Scott as well as Fogler, Delany (Big Ten Commish) and George Karl. As I recall, he and Dedmon were the stars after Scott left. Maybe not the best in his class but a star nevertheless.

gw67

roywhite
01-12-2012, 03:43 PM
My recollection of Wuycik is a little different. He was a 2-time first team ALL ACC and a very good college player. His career overlapped with Charlie Scott as well as Fogler, Delany (Big Ten Commish) and George Karl. As I recall, he and Dedmon were the stars after Scott left. Maybe not the best in his class but a star nevertheless.

gw67

I think that's right.

Interesting Duke/Carolina angles with DeVenzio (who's been gone for a while, from cancer) and Wuycik.
Both played at Ambridge PA High for DeVenzio's father; Ambridge won the PA state championship in 1967 with an undefeated team that also included a 6'9" kid named Frank Kaufman who played at Purdue. Ambridge blew out a very good Chester team in the state finals by 30+, and is often considered one of the best high school teams ever in PA. Both DeVenzio and Wuycik were recruited heavily by Duke and Carolina.

DeVenzio came to Duke, but stayed in contact with Dean Smith. El-Deano would praise DeVenzio lavishly in the papers, and DeVenzio spoke very well about Dean and the program there. There was some thought that DeVenzio was less than enthusiastic with recruits who visited Duke while he was there, and even pushed UNC. That's not a nice thing to say, but there was that feeling among some people close to the Duke program. And certainly it would not be unusual for El-Deano to slyly use the relationship and flatter DeVenzio for his own purposes.

Wuycik was a very good player at UNC who went on to the start the PoopSheet, which eventually transformed into the ACC Sports Journal. Over the years, Wuycik made a number of contacts at Duke, got on well with Duke people, and attended social functions, etc. in Durham. The UNC team led by Wuycik and Bill Chamberlin defeated Duke (with DeVenzio, Denton and others) in 1971 in the NIT and went on to win the title.

budwom
01-12-2012, 03:49 PM
I did specifically say that Wuycik was a very good player, gw67, so I'm not sure we disagree on that.

My point is simply that many of the very top rated players were white, and they were often overrated relative to black players in the same year.

TruBlu
01-12-2012, 04:12 PM
Neill McGeachy. After all, someone had to be the coach during the "gone in 17 seconds" game.

McGeachy has survived and is doing well as the AD at Lenoir-Rhyne for the past nine-plus years.


sage

Thanks to Uncle Sam, I was overseas for THAT game. My brother mailed me newspaper articles about Duke football and basketball. Thankfully, he had the wisdom to not mail me any news of THAT game. It was months after THAT game before I received the sordid details.

throatybeard
01-12-2012, 09:09 PM
DeVenzio (who's been gone for a while, from cancer)

Through my own inattention, this was news to me. Colon cancer at 52? Good Lord.

http://www.bcshof.org/halloffamers/devenzio1985.htm

Olympic Fan
01-13-2012, 01:22 AM
DeVenzio came to Duke, but stayed in contact with Dean Smith. El-Deano would praise DeVenzio lavishly in the papers, and DeVenzio spoke very well about Dean and the program there. There was some thought that DeVenzio was less than enthusiastic with recruits who visited Duke while he was there, and even pushed UNC. That's not a nice thing to say, but there was that feeling among some people close to the Duke program. And certainly it would not be unusual for El-Deano to slyly use the relationship and flatter DeVenzio for his own purposes.

I don't know about Dean slying praising Devenzio for his own purpposes or anything. I know Dick cried when he told Dean that he was coming to Duke. It was a near thing.

As for Dick's later behavior ... he did become very embittered toward the end of his career. Dick was a pass-first point guard who flourished in the open court. That's the game he was recruited to play by Bubas. And even though he and the team struggled a bit as sophomores, they finished the 1968-69 season strong, beating No. 2 ranked UNC in the regular season final (after the game, Smith told the press, "We lost this game two years ago when Dick deVenzio picked Duke over UNC"), then beating Virginia and No. 13 South Carolina (the Roche, Owens team) in the ACC Tournament. Matched again with UNC in the title game, DeVenzio was on his way to being the tourney MVP with Duke up 11 early in the second half. He was dfominating the game (as he dominated the South Carolina game) with his playmaking. Then Charlie Scott went nuts -- there's no other way to explain it. He singlehandedly saved UNC (he had 28 of his 40 points in the second half, hitting 12 of 13 shots from the floor -- most from today's 3-point range) and Duke's season ended.

The problem for DeVenzio was that Bubas had announced his retirement before the home finale against UNC. The coach he had signed to play for was gone and he was forced to play the last two years of his career for Bucky Waters, who scrapped the fullcourt game Bubas preferred and installed a show halfcourt game that emphasized the inside skills of Denton and 6-11 Larry Sanders, a transfer from Northwestern.

DeVenzio felt betrayed ... it was almost like he was a pro-style quarterback who saw his team taken over by an option coach. He did become bitter. On top of that, he was one of many players in that era who hated playing for Bucky. I think he came to regret his college choice. I know that when Mitch Kupchak, a very highly touted center prospect, visited Duke, Dick whispered to him that he would be better off playing for Dean Smith at UNC (which he did). I don't know if he told any other recruits that.

After graduating, Dick became a very outspoken advocate of athletes' rights. He did some good work there before his untimely death. Rest in peace.

gw67
01-13-2012, 07:40 AM
I did specifically say that Wuycik was a very good player, gw67, so I'm not sure we disagree on that.

My point is simply that many of the very top rated players were white, and they were often overrated relative to black players in the same year.

Bud,

I agree with your point. I'm not even sure who rated players back in the 60's and early 70's. I recall a guy from North Carolina, Bob Gibbons who may have provided recruiting info in the mid and late 70's. When freshmen were allowed to play, i paid attention to those playing in the ACC who were ranked highly. There were several "misses" on the more touted players, particularly at UNC and NC State. In many cases, youngsters from small high schools did very well. With AAU ball and the large number of recruiting guru's, the misses, particularly with the top 25-30 players, seem to be fewer.

gw67

budwom
01-13-2012, 09:06 AM
Bud,

I agree with your point. I'm not even sure who rated players back in the 60's and early 70's. I recall a guy from North Carolina, Bob Gibbons who may have provided recruiting info in the mid and late 70's. When freshmen were allowed to play, i paid attention to those playing in the ACC who were ranked highly. There were several "misses" on the more touted players, particularly at UNC and NC State. In many cases, youngsters from small high schools did very well. With AAU ball and the large number of recruiting guru's, the misses, particularly with the top 25-30 players, seem to be fewer.

gw67

Hubie Brown used to go over the recruiting newsletters with me, GW. There weren't all that many...Howard Garfinkle was the most respected guy, and there was one other one Hubie liked.
I remember him showing me the rankings of the coveted Dawson/Shaw/Melchionni/O'Connor/Fitzsimmons class, and he was very prescient about one thing.
Melchionni was the one non-"blue chipper" of the bunch (at least according to one of the major lists...he was seen to be very good, but not as good as the others) but Hubie told me he thought
Melchionni might well prove to be the best of the group, and I think he was right. What a smooth, smooth player he was....and quicker than the other guys, too...

weezie
01-13-2012, 08:52 PM
....Yes, many of Bucky's all star freshmen had transferred before I got to Duke in August of '72. We chanted "Bye, Bye Bucky, we're glad to see you go!" often, hoping to see him fired/leave. Neill McGeachy (that's the correct spelling) did indeed coach the team for one year, 1973-74 season, our last win (70-60 over GaTech (note- GT was NOT in the ACC at that time) on 2/16/74 in Cameron) preserving the streak of double digit wins (10-16).

Standing O! Outstanding Fan of the Board!
That's some impressive Duke lore knowledge, that is.