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Olympic Fan
02-01-2013, 11:22 PM
I don't always agree with Bob Knight, but when it comes to his opinion of the so-called Fab Five, I gotta agree -- the single most overrated basketball team in college history.

Yeah, they played in two straight national title games -- as did Butler in 2010-11.

But for all the hype, the Fab Five:

(1) never won a national championship
(2) never won a conference championship
(3) never earned college degree (they were 0-for-5)
(4) took money from a gambler named Ed Martin
(5) spent all of three weeks at No. 1 (early in 1992-93, before they were whipped by No. 4 -- at the time -- Duke)
(6) talked a lot of smack and rarely backed any of it up

I guess their only significant accomplishment was that they popularized baggy shorts.

Duvall
02-01-2013, 11:40 PM
I don't always agree with Bob Knight, but when it comes to his opinion of the so-called Fab Five, I gotta agree -- the single most overrated basketball team in college history.

Yeah, they played in two straight national title games -- as did Butler in 2010-11.

But for all the hype, the Fab Five:

(1) never won a national championship
(2) never won a conference championship
(3) never earned college degree (they were 0-for-5)
(4) took money from a gambler named Ed Martin
(5) spent all of three weeks at No. 1 (early in 1992-93, before they were whipped by No. 4 -- at the time -- Duke)
(6) talked a lot of smack and rarely backed any of it up

I guess their only significant accomplishment was that they popularized baggy shorts.

I know Juwan Howard graduated, I assume King and Jackson did as well.

dukeofcalabash
02-02-2013, 01:49 AM
And their star player made one of the worst boneheaded plays in a championship environment that "gave" dUNCe a natty. Not to forget that he later admitted taking money that cost Michigan their wins. "Once a cheat, always a cheat" applies to him and that play marking dUNCe's national title forever.

oldnavy
02-02-2013, 06:19 AM
Agree with the above. They were novel at the time, loud and brash, but when you look at what they really accomplished, it is quite underwhelming in comparison to the hype they received. Products of the media really.

ClosetHurleyFan
02-02-2013, 06:33 AM
And their star player made one of the worst boneheaded plays in a championship environment that "gave" dUNCe a natty. Not to forget that he later admitted taking money that cost Michigan their wins. "Once a cheat, always a cheat" applies to him and that play marking dUNCe's national title forever.

I love when people say webber gave unc a championship by calling time out. What a joke. He walked and then was double teamed in corner by two of greatest defensive players in history of unc and acc, George lynch and Derek Phelps. What was webber going to do? Launch a three over them? Preparation and execution beat them. Period

oldnavy
02-02-2013, 06:43 AM
I love when people say webber gave unc a championship by calling time out. What a joke. He walked and then was double teamed in corner by two of greatest defensive players in history of unc and acc, George lynch and Derek Phelps. What was webber going to do? Launch a three over them? Preparation and execution beat them. Period

Well, you do have a point about the good defensive play and even the walk no-call. But, most other players in a trap situation close to the sideline will bounce the ball off of the defender out of bounds. Weber did make a bone head play. There is no way to know if Michigan would have won the game or not, but Weber most certainly lost it when he called the TO.

Bob Green
02-02-2013, 07:12 AM
I love when people say webber gave unc a championship by calling time out. What a joke.

I agree with you 100 percent. Nobody gave Carolina a championship, they earned it. Duke fans who say Webber gave Carolina the championship sound exactly like Kentucky fans who say Laettner should not have been in the game to make "The Shot." Sour grapes.

NashvilleDevil
02-02-2013, 07:21 AM
If Jalen Rose didn't mention the Fab Five every chance he got they would only be remembered for never winning anything.

Matches
02-02-2013, 07:22 AM
They did play in back-to-back national title games. That's not chump change. OK, Butler did it too - but Butler and Florida are the only two teams to do it yet this century.

The Fab Five were only overrated if we're basing our expectations on their own opinions of their abilities.

dukeofcalabash
02-02-2013, 07:40 AM
I agree with you 100 percent. Nobody gave Carolina a championship, they earned it. Duke fans who say Webber gave Carolina the championship sound exactly like Kentucky fans who say Laettner should not have been in the game to make "The Shot." Sour grapes.

Big difference is that Weber and at least one more of those players took money illegally and now matter what else happenned the timeout call looks too suspect coming from a cheater. It would not be the first time that a basketball player threw a game for money. This will be debated forever.

davekay1971
02-02-2013, 07:48 AM
The Michigan 1991/92 and 92/93 teams were noteworthy. There's no legitimate argument to state they were two of the best teams in recent memory...as they proved, they weren't the best teams of 1991/92 or 1992/93. But they are interesting from a sports and cultural standpoint. Culturally, they've over-emphasized the racial aspect of those teams compared to the Duke and UNC teams which beat them. It certainly wasn't Texas Western vs. Kentucky a quarter century earlier. As for the baggy shorts, that was coming along as a popular trend anyway. However, the ability for a group of freshmen to drive a team all the way to the national championship game was unprecedented at the time. It was certainly a major talking point in sports media during the 1991/92 tournament and was considered a pretty amazing achievement.

As noted above, making it to back-to-back championship games, even without winning, is respectable. At that time, however, it was hardly unprecedented. Duke, obviously, make 3 straight championship games in 1990-1992, and a fourth in five years including 1994. Going back in time, Georgetown made back-to-back championship games in 1984-1985 (and 3 in four years including 1982); Houston made back to back games in 1983 and 1984; UNC in 1981 and 1982. Going forward, Arkansas made back to back games in 1994 and 1995, while Kentucky went to three straight games in 1996-1998. The achievement became more unusual after that Kentucky run, however, with only Florida and Butler accomplishing it since. Early entry, increased parity, and the greater inconsistency of youth-dominated teams probably account for the decrease in frequency of teams making back-to-back championship games. So, while in modern terms, the back-to-back championship games that Michigan accomplished in those two years is remarkable, at the time it was a frequent event. But it had never been done by teams dominated by freshmen and sophomores. That deserves some recognition. Had the "Fab Five" stuck around for another year or two, giving Michigan that upperclassmen leadership that contemporary champions like 1992-1995 champions Duke, UNC, Arkansas, and UCLA enjoyed, perhaps they would have won a championship.

In my opinion, putting those two Michigan teams in perspective, they were a noteworthy story and announced the increasing importance and ability of young players in the college game. Nothing more, but certainly nothing less.

Regarding the post immediately above mine: has there ever been an accusation of Weber throwing the game for gambling interests? I've never heard that before.

Ggallagher
02-02-2013, 08:07 AM
Granted Michigan was a strong team - but there's a limit to how much love for them I can hear being expressed. It's always sort of warmed my heart when I hear The Fab Five praised for what they did - and then I get to point out that from the 90-91 season to the 94-95 season, Duke and Michigan played each other six times.
We won every game.
So while I have to admit that Michigan was a good team - I love the fact that we totally owned them.

Blue KevIL
02-02-2013, 08:08 AM
As for the baggy shorts, that was coming along as a popular trend anyway.

Members of the 1989 Flyin' Illini Final Four squad, Kendall Gill & Stephen Bardo, have some remarks about The Fab Five being the first to wear baggy shorts: http://sports.espn.go.com/chicago/news/story?id=6218609

Either way, most of the Illini guys were from Chicago and saw a certain guy with the Bulls who had already been wearing baggy shorts for a number of seasons by the time the 88-89 Illini went baggy.

OldPhiKap
02-02-2013, 08:25 AM
Tha Fab Five was a group of talented kids who showed that you could be young, brash and compete at a very high level. Their accomplishment is more than a footnote, but less than the hype.

I think Bobby is a little over the top here, but I don't like the Fabs enough to defend them really. They were a very talented team that were never coached/focused/lucky enough to win the championship. And do I remember correctly that their conference did not play championship tournaments either back then?

sagegrouse
02-02-2013, 08:27 AM
They did play in back-to-back national title games. That's not chump change. OK, Butler did it too - but Butler and Florida are the only two teams to do it yet this century.

The Fab Five were only overrated if we're basing our expectations on their own opinions of their abilities.

Back-to-back national championship games? It's happened over 20 times:

Oklahoma State (nee A&M) - 45-46 -under Hank Iba
Kentucky - 48-49
Kansas - 52-53
La Salle - 54-55
San Francisco - 55-56
Ohio State - twice - 60-62 - with Jerry Lucas
Cincy - twice - 61-63 with and without Oscar
UCLA - seven times - 64-65 and 67-73
UNC - 81-82
Houston - 83-84
Duke - twice - 90-92
Mich - 92-93
Ark - 94-95
Fla - 06-07
Butler - 10-11

Three in a row?
Ohio State
Cincy
Duke
UCLA - five times (seven years in a row)

sagegrouse
'First time through, from memory, I missed Kansas, La Salle, Houston, and Arkansas and was shaky on the years pre-1964'

roywhite
02-02-2013, 08:32 AM
The Michigan 1991/92 and 92/93 teams were noteworthy. There's no legitimate argument to state they were two of the best teams in recent memory...as they proved, they weren't the best teams of 1991/92 or 1992/93. But they are interesting from a sports and cultural standpoint. Culturally, they've over-emphasized the racial aspect of those teams compared to the Duke and UNC teams which beat them. It certainly wasn't Texas Western vs. Kentucky a quarter century earlier. As for the baggy shorts, that was coming along as a popular trend anyway. However, the ability for a group of freshmen to drive a team all the way to the national championship game was unprecedented at the time. It was certainly a major talking point in sports media during the 1991/92 tournament and was considered a pretty amazing achievement.


In my opinion, putting those two Michigan teams in perspective, they were a noteworthy story and announced the increasing importance and ability of young players in the college game. Nothing more, but certainly nothing less.



Yeah, that seems about right to me.

And they never beat Duke. Love that.

westwall
02-02-2013, 08:32 AM
The Fab Five were only overrated if we're basing our expectations on their own opinions of their abilities.

Isn't this the real point??

MCFinARL
02-02-2013, 08:48 AM
Isn't this the real point??

Agree. On a larger scale, what irritates many of us about the Fab Five is the same thing that irritates us about Harrison Barnes nicknaming himself and creating his own brand logo--or why Joe Flacco took so much heat a little while ago for saying he thought he was the best quarterback ever. On the one hand, we want our athletes to be confident, and they need to believe in themselves pretty totally to compete effectively at the highest levels; on the other hand, we want them to be, or at least appear, humble and and even modest about their abilities/accomplishments. It's a tough line to toe, and the Fab Five stepped over.

miramar
02-02-2013, 09:08 AM
1. While I agree that Webber made a boneheaded play, why was he bringing the ball up? I don't remember Laettner, for example, doing it. So it's probably more accurate to say that Steve Fisher made a bonehead call, or that he didn't school his players properly.

2. I find it unusual that the Fab Five still generate that kind of hype considering all the teams around the same time that were the real deal (UNLV, Duke, and Georgetown for starters).

3. Jimmy King needs to learn the value of silence. From the comment he made at the time that Hurley was an average player (presented at the end of the documentary on the 91-92 Duke teams) to his observation in the Fab Five documentary that he was probably one of the best players never to make the NBA, I have a hard time following his reasoning. I am probably one of the worst players to never make the NBA, and I have the same career stat line as King: 0 games, 0 points, 0 rebounds.

4. Some people got mad at Rose for some of the comments about Duke that he made in the documentary, and he got a well deserved smackdown from Grant Hill. Nevertheless, I found the whole thing to be rather sad because it seemed to me that his problem was that he wanted to be and deserved to be like Grant Hill. They were both gifted basketball players with fathers who were successful professional athletes, but Grant came from a great family and grew up under ideal circumstances, while Rose didn't even know who his father was and was really hurting as a kid. That's really tragic.

5. No matter what you went through as a kid, if you make over $100 million playing ball as Rose did, you really have to stop whining.

http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/r/roseja01.html

mapleleafdevil
02-02-2013, 09:51 AM
I am very surprised at the Fab 5 bashing on this board. While I hated them at the time, I have grown to appreciate what they brought to the game. They were fun to watch, they worked very well together, and let's not forget that they were all freshman. That is pretty amazing when you think about it.

sagegrouse
02-02-2013, 10:39 AM
1. While I agree that Webber made a boneheaded play, why was he bringing the ball up? I don't remember Laettner, for example, doing it. So it's probably more accurate to say that Steve Fisher made a bonehead call, or that he didn't school his players properly.

2. I find it unusual that the Fab Five still generate that kind of hype considering all the teams around the same time that were the real deal (UNLV, Duke, and Georgetown for starters).

3. Jimmy King needs to learn the value of silence. From the comment he made at the time that Hurley was an average player (presented at the end of the documentary on the 91-92 Duke teams) to his observation in the Fab Five documentary that he was probably one of the best players never to make the NBA, I have a hard time following his reasoning. I am probably one of the worst players to never make the NBA, and I have the same career stat line as King: 0 games, 0 points, 0 rebounds.

4. Some people got mad at Rose for some of the comments about Duke that he made in the documentary, and he got a well deserved smackdown from Grant Hill. Nevertheless, I found the whole thing to be rather sad because it seemed to me that his problem was that he wanted to be and deserved to be like Grant Hill. They were both gifted basketball players with fathers who were successful professional athletes, but Grant came from a great family and grew up under ideal circumstances, while Rose didn't even know who his father was and was really hurting as a kid. That's really tragic.

5. No matter what you went through as a kid, if you make over $100 million playing ball as Rose did, you really have to stop whining.

http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/r/roseja01.html

I don't have anything of value to add on #3.

#1. Perhaps Dean learned from K's move against LV in 2001 -- don't let the guards bring the ball up -- double team them and let a Larry Johnson or a Chris Weber handle the ball.

#2. This talk and documentary about the Fab Five is 150% attributable to Jalen Rose, who is doing well, thank you, as an up-and-coming star on ESPN.

#4. The Grant Hill-Jalen Rose contretemps (ooohh!) is a case study in how to handle a nasty issue. Jalen went a bit emotional and overboard on his dislike or envy of duke, esp. Grant Hill, during the documentary. Grant came back with a well-reasoned and pithy response that turned the knife on the Fab Five's lack of championships or victories over Duke. Then the issue was over; IIRC Jalen made an appearance at one of Grant's charity events and he may have done the same for Jalen, thus burying the hatchet. Classy all around.

sagegrouse

Mtn.Devil.91.92.01.10.15
02-02-2013, 10:43 AM
I am very surprised at the Fab 5 bashing on this board. While I hated them at the time, I have grown to appreciate what they brought to the game. They were fun to watch, they worked very well together, and let's not forget that they were all freshman. That is pretty amazing when you think about it.

There is a LONG history between UM and Duke. There's plenty of other threads on here that go into more detail, but the Michigan players were quite vocal in their dislike of Duke. As a Duke fan at that time, beating them when they were at the height of their pomposity was a joy that was only rivaled by the comebacks at Maryland in the early 2000's. Well, outside of wins against UNC, of course.

I have no particular opinion about their current incarnation.

Go Duke

killerleft
02-02-2013, 10:49 AM
I agree with you 100 percent. Nobody gave Carolina a championship, they earned it. Duke fans who say Webber gave Carolina the championship sound exactly like Kentucky fans who say Laettner should not have been in the game to make "The Shot." Sour grapes.

No doubt. But Webber DID give Duke fans a great opportunity to needle Tar Heels forever, what's the harm in that?:p. Works, too:D.

subzero02
02-02-2013, 10:51 AM
They might be over rated but don't be so dismissive of the magnitude of what they accomplished in 92. An all freshman starting 5 reaching the national championship game in an era when college basketball wasn't nearly as diluted(especially amongst the elite programs).

Matches
02-02-2013, 10:54 AM
I don't have anything of value to add on #3.

#1. Perhaps Dean learned from K's move against LV in 2001 -- don't let the guards bring the ball up -- double team them and let a Larry Johnson or a Chris Weber handle the ball.



Not sure if it's an after-the-fact urban legend, but I've heard that Webber having the ball in that spot was by UNC design. They were aggressively denying the ball to the guards to force the big guys to handle it in a key situation.

NashvilleDevil
02-02-2013, 11:24 AM
Not sure if it's an after-the-fact urban legend, but I've heard that Webber having the ball in that spot was by UNC design. They were aggressively denying the ball to the guards to force the big guys to handle it in a key situation.

Except Webber brought the ball up after a rebound of a missed free throw. And if I remember a teammate was there to get the ball when he had the non call travel.

Kewlswim
02-02-2013, 12:07 PM
Hi,

I always felt Michigan fans were as pompous as they came. They hated losing to Duke and that made victories over their team all that much sweeter. I loved it after I had to listen to weeks and weeks of harassing from them (clears throat), after their team lost to Duke in the National Championship Game I started to sing, "Hail to the 'National Champion RUNNERS-UP' GO DUKE" only to have them walk away with a string of expletive deleteds raining down on me. :) By the way, they need to update their fight song they are a bit more Midwestern than in the West, but I digress.

Also, Chris Webber destroyed my favorite NBA team, the Warriors, thanks to his antics and refusal to listen to Don Nelson. Granted Nelson could be, at times, a hard-headed old-school jerk, but Webber leaving the team when he did (Hardaway, Mullin, Richmond, etc. were all there at the time) destroyed whatever chance they had at a championship. I contend the Warriors have yet to fully recover.

GO DUKE!

oldnavy
02-02-2013, 06:16 PM
I agree with you 100 percent. Nobody gave Carolina a championship, they earned it. Duke fans who say Webber gave Carolina the championship sound exactly like Kentucky fans who say Laettner should not have been in the game to make "The Shot." Sour grapes.

Bob, I agree, they did win fair and square. But the way they won, much like the win against Georgetown in 82 was a bit "flukey" to say the least. I do not take ANYTHING away from UNC, my point is that UM did a very dumb thing that put them in the position to lose rather than win. Same with GT in 82.

UNC had nothing to do with that, so you cannot take anything away from them. To say that UNC's defense was awesome and that is what cause Weber to call a TO is only part true. It was a good trap, but Weber did a really dumb thing, in fact I cannot remember a situation like that since. But just like you have to second guess Pitino for not guarding Hill in 92, you have to have the discussion of Weber's timeout and Freddie Brown's pass to Worthy, it was part of the game at crunch time that was more of an "unforced error" by the opponent than and brillience on UNC's part.

UNC has the two banners and I do not begrudge them one bit. Now the '24 banner is a different story!

Cameron
02-02-2013, 07:26 PM
I don't always agree with Bob Knight, but when it comes to his opinion of the so-called Fab Five, I gotta agree -- the single most overrated basketball team in college history.

Yeah, they played in two straight national title games -- as did Butler in 2010-11.

But for all the hype, the Fab Five:

(1) never won a national championship
(2) never won a conference championship
(3) never earned college degree (they were 0-for-5)
(4) took money from a gambler named Ed Martin
(5) spent all of three weeks at No. 1 (early in 1992-93, before they were whipped by No. 4 -- at the time -- Duke)
(6) talked a lot of smack and rarely backed any of it up

I guess their only significant accomplishment was that they popularized baggy shorts.

Despite not cutting down the nets, they did reach the NCAA final two straight years as a group of 18 and 19 year olds. So, they certainly backed up some of their talking.

I don't know, I think that their back-to-back national title game runs at Michigan were pretty remarkable for being the first -- and, as far as I am aware, only -- all-freshman starting five to ever accomplish such a feat. And that is quite a feat. Basically, the only reason Bobby Knight, whom I love as a coach and personality, thinks the Fab Five was overrated is because they behaved brashly and Michigan was one of IU's biggest rivals in the Big Ten during that era.

They were a unique group who took the country by storm and really helped give college basketball a "cool factor" like never before. As you said in your post, their impact on popular culture -- such as the in-your-face style of play and baggy shorts -- was probably greater than their impact on the game of basketball itself, but they were also ahead of their time, doing things that no other freshmen-laden team had ever done and would not do again until John Calipari made it fashionable at Kentucky two decades later.

greybeard
02-02-2013, 07:45 PM
I coached Fred Brown's kid in rec basketball when Fred Jr. was 12. I asked Fred if he was trying to pass it to Eric Smith but pulled back when he saw Smith was covered. He answered, "there was only one guy who was getting the ball, and that was SleepyFloyd."

It turns out, as I just read in a Washington Post article, the way Fred said it unfolded the day after the game was that he looked to Floyd after rushing the ball down the court, Floyd was smoothered by a double team near the baseline, that he then looked to Ewing and Spriggs in the middle but both were covered, and then:

"At that point I should have called timeout, because picking up the dribble had killed the play but I decided to pass it to Eric Smith, who was on the right side of the lane. I thought I saw Smitty out of the right corner of my eye. But it wasn't him. It was James Worthy."

What I thought I saw was Brown beginning to pass to Smith on the right side between the baseline and foul line about five feet in from the sideline, but saw Jordan poised to shoot in and intercept. He began turning back and directly back as he tried to pull back but the ball floated out of his hand like a dead bird. I know that I saw Eric Smith seemingly wide open in the position I just described and thought I saw Jordan lurking, and then saw what seemed like a brain freeze by Brown.

Good defense or a major screw up? A heck of a game, either way. I loved that Thompson seemed to have told Ewing at the beginning to slapaway anything that Worthy put up, goal tending or not, which Ewing did. Worthy proceeded to kill Georgetown the entire game. A real gun fight.

I seem to remember thinking that Michigan had it won going into the last two minutes, maybe less, but UNC played some really amazing defense and Michigan as a team became completely undone. The final play by Webber, while ugly, was almost foretold by a really unnerved Michigan offense those final few minutes.

The remarkable part of the Fab Five story was how Juan, got Rose, and both of them got Webber, and then all three of them got King and Jackson from different places in Texas. Fisher had been handed a championship and was not a coach anyone would be clamoring to play for, Webber could have gone anywhere, including Duke who really went after him, and those guys really put on a show. That was the real deal about the Fab Five, they entertained. Webber leading breaks making behind-the-back or between-the-legs passes, Rose running the show in similar fashion, Juan being regal, King running the floor like a gazzel with soaring finishes, and Jackson being the rock, a no nonse rock who defended, shot the ball extremely well, and did what needed to be done to win. These kids built that team on their own, played their own very flashy but deadly style, and almost won it all.

I'd say that they were as unique a team as there ever was, and that they proved that young black men who had the talent could take things over and attract the attention of everyone. This was a bunch of amazingly talented young black ballplayers who came together to rule college basketball and, for my money, they did. The fact that they were a step short of the best does not detract from that. The lopsidedness of the second half against Duke was a tribute to the force that Duke was. But, as I remember it, the story before and after that Championship game was the Fab Five. And, to me, what a remarkable story it was.

davekay1971
02-02-2013, 08:20 PM
Greybeard, that was a fantastic post, particularly the insight into Fred Brown's ill-fated pass to Worthy. Thanks for that. It was a classic play in a classic game, and you've certainly improved my insight into that game!

The only point I'll quibble about is whether or not the ethnicity of the Michigan team was, by that point, contributory to the groundbreaking nature of their accomplishments. I think, without question, their youth was groundbreaking. But there were predominantly or all-African-American teams before the Michigan teams that accomplished as much, or more. I'd point first and foremost to the Georgetown teams of 1982-1985. The main contributors of those teams were all African-American. Adding to that was the prominence of John Thompson as a successful African-American coach. Those Georgetown teams were probably much more noteworthy, a decade earlier, than the Michigan Wolverines, for competing, and succeeding, at the highest level while being led, on and off court, by Black Americans.

Please don't take that as a critique of your post which was absolutely sensational.

dcdevil2009
02-02-2013, 08:23 PM
I don't always agree with Bob Knight, but when it comes to his opinion of the so-called Fab Five, I gotta agree -- the single most overrated basketball team in college history.

Yeah, they played in two straight national title games -- as did Butler in 2010-11.

But for all the hype, the Fab Five:

(1) never won a national championship
(2) never won a conference championship
(3) never earned college degree (they were 0-for-5)
(4) took money from a gambler named Ed Martin
(5) spent all of three weeks at No. 1 (early in 1992-93, before they were whipped by No. 4 -- at the time -- Duke)
(6) talked a lot of smack and rarely backed any of it up

I guess their only significant accomplishment was that they popularized baggy shorts.

I'm pretty sure Webber was the only one not to have finished his Michigan degree, but he had about 125 million reasons not to.

throatybeard
02-02-2013, 08:57 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong here, but I thought Carolina was already leading by about two points when Webber called the timeout he didn't have.

mbwalker
02-02-2013, 09:17 PM
(3) never earned college degree (they were 0-for-5)

Juwan Howard, Ray Jackson, and Jimmy King all graduated from Michigan in 1995. What's notable is that Howard graduation with his class (i.e., in 4 years), despite going pro after his junior year.

Jalen Rose graduated 11 years later, in 2005.

Chris Weber never graduated.

So, they were 4 for 5.

mbwalker
02-02-2013, 09:19 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong here, but I thought Carolina was already leading by about two points when Webber called the timeout he didn't have.

You're right. http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/espn25/story?page=moments/59

dukeofcalabash
02-02-2013, 09:21 PM
I'm pretty sure Webber was the only one not to have finished his Michigan degree, but he had about 125 million reasons not to.

As the saying goes ..... "Once a cheat, always a cheat!" That's what I'll always remember about these 5 individuals. I've long ago dismissed anything they think they accomplished.

roywhite
02-02-2013, 09:23 PM
Juwan Howard, Ray Jackson, and Jimmy King all graduated from Michigan in 1995. What's notable is that Howard graduation with his class (i.e., in 4 years), despite going pro after his junior year.

Jalen Rose graduated 11 years later, in 2005.

Chris Weber never graduated.

So, they were 4 for 5.

And 0 for 5 against Duke.

throatybeard
02-02-2013, 09:39 PM
You're right. http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/espn25/story?page=moments/59

So the only reasonable scenario under which Webber "handed the game" to UNC, is one in which he, or someone not double-teamed to whom he could pass, definitely would have hit a three. Got it.

Edouble
02-02-2013, 10:44 PM
Back-to-back national championship games? It's happened over 20 times:

Oklahoma State (nee A&M) - 45-46 -under Hank Iba
Kentucky - 48-49
Kansas - 52-53
La Salle - 54-55
San Francisco - 55-56
Ohio State - twice - 60-62 - with Jerry Lucas
Cincy - twice - 61-63 with and without Oscar
UCLA - seven times - 64-65 and 67-73
UNC - 81-82
Houston - 83-84
Duke - twice - 90-92
Mich - 92-93
Ark - 94-95
Fla - 06-07
Butler - 10-11

Three in a row?
Ohio State
Cincy
Duke
UCLA - five times (seven years in a row)

sagegrouse
'First time through, from memory, I missed Kansas, La Salle, Houston, and Arkansas and was shaky on the years pre-1964'

Great post... but you missed one!

Three in a row... Kentucky 96-98! Probably the best three in a row, actually, as they won two and the third ('97) went into OT!

oldnavy
02-03-2013, 07:30 AM
So the only reasonable scenario under which Webber "handed the game" to UNC, is one in which he, or someone not double-teamed to whom he could pass, definitely would have hit a three. Got it.

Well they may have scored a conventinal two point bucket and forced OT.... who knows?

My point is not that Weber "handed" UNC the game, no one did, UNC won the game fair and square, but that you cannot dismiss the impact of that play and the impact on UNC's win.

Weber's move sealed Michigan's loss/UNC' win. UNC was in a better position to win before he called TO, but the outcome was still in the balance. The TO and the following technical (2 shots and the ball) was the play that ended any hope UM had to win.

Like the Freddie Brown to Worthy play, it was a an error committed by the other team, vice a play made by UNC. You can argue that Weber's play was the result of excellent UNC defense and you would be correct. Weber was stuck for sure, but a wiser player would have done the old tried and true (learned in elementary school and used at all levels of BB from playground to pro's) of 'attempting' to bounce the ball out of bounds off of your opponent. He did not and the rest is history.

Freddie Brown, well everyone knows what happened there. James Worthy was so far out of position it wasn't even funny. I am not sure how anyone can credit UNC for playing good defense on that play, Freddie just made a bone head play. No problem, UNC had put themselves in a great position to win and they did.

Two of UNC's NCAA titles were won near the end of the game on weird plays committed by the opponent. Does that take anything away from them, heck no! They won, no sour grapes, but it did cement into my biased mind that UNC has or had that golden horseshoe firmly in place.... in other words, they got the breaks that you need to win tight games!

Duke has had their share of those breaks as well, except when it happens to Duke I see it as preparation meets opportunity. (Hey I said I was biased!)

Papa John
02-03-2013, 08:49 AM
I don't know, I think that their back-to-back national title game runs at Michigan were pretty remarkable for being the first -- and, as far as I am aware, only -- all-freshman starting five to ever accomplish such a feat.

Well, they were freshmen for the first title game. They were sophomores the following season. I don't think a team has reached back-to-back finals with freshmen starting fives in successive years ever. That would require two successive extraordinary recruiting classes, with the entire first recruiting class leaving early for the NBA.


Basically, the only reason Bobby Knight, whom I love as a coach and personality, thinks the Fab Five was overrated is because they behaved brashly and Michigan was one of IU's biggest rivals in the Big Ten during that era.

Or, it could be much more simple... He thinks they were overrated because they never won a championship.


They were a unique group who took the country by storm and really helped give college basketball a "cool factor" like never before. As you said in your post, their impact on popular culture -- such as the in-your-face style of play and baggy shorts -- was probably greater than their impact on the game of basketball itself, but they were also ahead of their time, doing things that no other freshmen-laden team had ever done and would not do again until John Calipari made it fashionable at Kentucky two decades later.

I respectfully disagree with all of the importance being placed on the "Fab Five" as this cultural phenomenon that launched all of these trends. As has been pointed out, the "baggy shorts" trend was already out there. And to suggest that the "Fab Five" initiated an in-your-face style of play is kinda loosey-goosey and nebulous... Many players preceded these particular five in college and pro ball who played flamboyant, in-your-face basketball.

At the end of the day, I agree with Knight. The "Fab Five" are, ultimately, a group of guys who were overhyped by the media but never won a championship.

Sgt. Dingleberry
02-03-2013, 10:05 AM
3. Jimmy King needs to learn the value of silence. From the comment he made at the time that Hurley was an average player (presented at the end of the documentary on the 91-92 Duke teams) to his observation in the Fab Five documentary that he was probably one of the best players never to make the NBA, I have a hard time following his reasoning. I am probably one of the worst players to never make the NBA, and I have the same career stat line as King: 0 games, 0 points, 0 rebounds.

King did play for the Raptors for a season.

Jalen Rose said something relevant to this topic on College Gameday yesterday. They were talking about Marshall Henderson and if he "crosses the line" or not. Rose said there is no line, he is who he is and he does what he does, saying that he played in a similar way. He went on to tell Digger Phelps that, when Phelps was at Notre Dame, he never would have recruited Rose because his attitude didn't fit their program and their way. From everything I understand about the Fab Five, Rose was the leader and that kind of attitude trickled down as their rallying cry, even if some of the kids (Webber) weren't as naturally cocky.

You could argue that Bobby Knight is just as angry, cocky and arrogant as Rose, he just has different values and principles. They come from a very different place.

If we are talking about their accomplishments on the court, I guess you could say they were overrated. However, I would say a lot of the Fab Five's accomplishments went beyond the basketball court. They were bigger than the game. I mean, here we are still talking about them today.

BD80
02-03-2013, 10:27 AM
... If we are talking about their accomplishments on the court, I guess you could say they were overrated. However, I would say a lot of the Fab Five's accomplishments went beyond the basketball court. They were bigger than the game. I mean, here we are still talking about them today.

People talk about the Kardashians, the Jersey Shore cast and Honey Boo Boo ... Some accomplishment

Cameron
02-03-2013, 10:34 AM
Well, they were freshmen for the first title game. They were sophomores the following season. I don't think a team has reached back-to-back finals with freshmen starting fives in successive years ever. That would require two successive extraordinary recruiting classes, with the entire first recruiting class leaving early for the NBA.

I am positive that you know exactly what I meant. Your are simply being argumentative for the sake of being argumentative.


Or, it could be much more simple... He thinks they were overrated because they never won a championship.

I don't think so. If Michigan presented themselves in a much more wholesome image, like Butler's kids from the Bulldogs' back-to-back finals appearances, Knight likely would have taken no issue with the Fab Five. As much as I love Knight, that's how he operates. He holds grudges against people and programs he does not like. He held a grudge against Coach K for almost a decade after Duke beat Indiana in the 1992 Final Four. He didn't even properly shake his former player's hand after the game. He just brushed right on by. And there is no doubt that the Fab Five rubbed the authoritarian Knight the wrong way.


I respectfully disagree with all of the importance being placed on the "Fab Five" as this cultural phenomenon that launched all of these trends. As has been pointed out, the "baggy shorts" trend was already out there. And to suggest that the "Fab Five" initiated an in-your-face style of play is kinda loosey-goosey and nebulous... Many players preceded these particular five in college and pro ball who played flamboyant, in-your-face basketball.


The Fab Five was a spectacular group of freshman who broke onto the scene with flash and a whole lot of personality, whether you liked it or not, and entertained the country with electric basketball on their way to consecutive championship game appearances as a band of teenagers. No other all-freshman starting lineup had ever achieved such heights of success. They were an iconic bunch for that reason and why they went down in history.

Sgt. Dingleberry
02-03-2013, 10:46 AM
People talk about the Kardashians, the Jersey Shore cast and Honey Boo Boo ... Some accomplishment

But, will they be talking about them 10 years from now? I doubt it and I hope not. Whether we like it or not, this is our culture, the Fab Five (and especially Rose) played the game, built an image and they are still cashing it on it today.

I'm not judging the value of what they have accomplished, but they have moved the meter a lot. They are a brand, they are modern day folklore.

weezie
02-03-2013, 11:44 AM
Whether we like it or not....the Fab Five...played the game, built an image and they are still cashing it on it today.


And wasn't it supremely eye-roll making to see "The Eternal Retread" Juwaun Howard at the White House accepting congratulations as a member of Heat?!
He's the Zelig of pro-basketball. Guess he's actually done all right for himself, the nitwit.

ncexnyc
02-03-2013, 12:12 PM
The Fab Five = The Sex Pistols

Both made a lot of noise, but in the end there isn't much to see.

Cameron
02-03-2013, 12:22 PM
But, will they be talking about them 10 years from now? I doubt it and I hope not. Whether we like it or not, this is our culture, the Fab Five (and especially Rose) played the game, built an image and they are still cashing it on it today.

I'm not judging the value of what they have accomplished, but they have moved the meter a lot. They are a brand, they are modern day folklore.

I agree with all of your posts on this subject.

The Fab Five didn't like Duke and called Grant Hill an "Uncle Tom." That's really the root of all the vitriol here, isn't it?

I was pretty young during that time so I don't really have much of a connection to that era at all, so perhaps my thoughts on the matter would be entirely different if I had. But, as Sgt. states above, the Fab Five was a larger than life group of amateur superstars. The limelight was solely on them. Not Michigan. There's never been anything like it, before or since, in the college game. And along the way, that group also finished with two NCAA runner-ups -- the fact that those banners are not hanging today means absolutely nothing in the grand scheme of things; the Fab Five did in fact play in two national championships and that can never be erased from memory. So they did quite well for themselves and IMO by winning 10 NCAA Tournament games in 12 tries, they lived up to the hype.

NashvilleDevil
02-03-2013, 12:30 PM
But, will they be talking about them 10 years from now? I doubt it and I hope not. Whether we like it or not, this is our culture, the Fab Five (and especially Rose) played the game, built an image and they are still cashing it on it today.

I'm not judging the value of what they have accomplished, but they have moved the meter a lot. They are a brand, they are modern day folklore.

I never thought of the Fab Five until Jalen promoted the heck out of his self produced 30 for 30 documentary. My guess is they will fade into the background until Jalen produces a 50th anniversary documentary on them.

Cameron
02-03-2013, 12:36 PM
I never thought of the Fab Five until Jalen promoted the heck out of his self produced 30 for 30 documentary. My guess is they will fade into the background until Jalen produces a 50th anniversary documentary on them.

You do realize that just because you didn't think of the Fab Five that it doesn't mean others haven't as well, right?

The legend of the Fab Five was still very much alive and referenced in the college game even before the documentary that aired on ESPN a couple of years ago.

Do you think people -- outside of us -- still think of Duke's back-to-back NCAA champion teams? My guess would be no. So I am not sure what point you are trying to make. Anything that happens in the past is, well, in the past. Historically, however, Duke's teams and the Fab Five are important parts of the college game and will always be part of its lore.

Sgt. Dingleberry
02-03-2013, 12:53 PM
the Fab Five was a larger than life group of amateur superstars. The limelight was solely on them. Not Michigan. There's never been anything like it, before or since, in the college game.

Exactly. It was a totally unique situation and something that the NCAA tries to discourage (even though they made gazillions off of the Fab Five).

Kentucky has created a brand through their freshman classes, but the face of that brand is Calimari and his program, not the players.

Sgt. Dingleberry
02-03-2013, 12:57 PM
I never thought of the Fab Five until Jalen promoted the heck out of his self produced 30 for 30 documentary. My guess is they will fade into the background until Jalen produces a 50th anniversary documentary on them.

Really? I will never forget them, especially as a Duke fan. I will always think of them as one of our most heated rivals.

Wheat/"/"/"
02-03-2013, 01:35 PM
And their star player made one of the worst boneheaded plays in a championship environment that "gave" dUNCe a natty. Not to forget that he later admitted taking money that cost Michigan their wins. "Once a cheat, always a cheat" applies to him and that play marking dUNCe's national title forever.

Repeating it over and over, like I often see, ...that Webber "gave" the UNC the title, just won't make it so.

Michigan got beat for that title by a team that played better, and that UNC team deserves respect, even if it is grudgingly.

Michigan was behind when the infamous Webber time out occurred, you may recall, and the official's extremely poor non call on an obvious travel was the only reason there was even the opportunity to make that time out mistake in the first place.

They were getting their butt kicked in crunch time.

How a player/team reacts under pressure in a game is much more important than, say, the athletic ability to jump high for a key rebound.

UNC got it done when it meant the most, and took that national championship.

That over-rated Michigan team folded like a weak deck chair. They didn't deserve to be champions and UNC did, and is...no need to denigrate that UNC team by saying it was "given" to them.

NashvilleDevil
02-03-2013, 02:32 PM
You do realize that just because you didn't think of the Fab Five that it doesn't mean others haven't as well, right?

The legend of the Fab Five was still very much alive and referenced in the college game even before the documentary that aired on ESPN a couple of years ago.

Do you think people -- outside of us -- still think of Duke's back-to-back NCAA champion teams? My guess would be no. So I am not sure what point you are trying to make. Anything that happens in the past is, well, in the past. Historically, however, Duke's teams and the Fab Five are important parts of the college game and will always be part of its lore.

I get what your saying and as someone who was in high school in Ohio when they arrived in Ann Arbor I heard all about their greatness. But 20 years later what impact other than being freshmen did they have on college basketball?

And yes people still think of Duke's back to back titles because of the legendary players on the team and their results do the talking. All Michigan, especially Jalen, did was talk and I always like Jalen. The shirts Duke wore after winning in 92 fit to this day. You can talk the game, but can you play the game? Duke, we can play.

NashvilleDevil
02-03-2013, 02:36 PM
Really? I will never forget them, especially as a Duke fan. I will always think of them as one of our most heated rivals.

Heated rivals? In order to be a rivalry one team should win on occasion. They were a talented team but all the hoopla about them is over the top

oldnavy
02-03-2013, 02:40 PM
Repeating it over and over, like I often see, ...that Webber "gave" the UNC the title, just won't make it so.

Michigan got beat for that title by a team that played better, and that UNC team deserves respect, even if it is grudgingly.

Michigan was behind when the infamous Webber time out occurred, you may recall, and the official's extremely poor non call on an obvious travel was the only reason there was even the opportunity to make that time out mistake in the first place.

They were getting their butt kicked in crunch time.

How a player/team reacts under pressure in a game is much more important than, say, the athletic ability to jump high for a key rebound.

UNC got it done when it meant the most, and took that national championship.

That over-rated Michigan team folded like a weak deck chair. They didn't deserve to be champions and UNC did, and is...no need to denigrate that UNC team by saying it was "given" to them.

I agree with you, now if we can just get the UNC and Duke haters to agree that we won the 2010 Championship and were not given it by being placed in a easy bracket by Duke loving tournament committe members, all will be right with the world!

I have a UNC friend to this day that says we cannot really count the 2010 championship because we played BUTLER for it.... go figure?

Starter
02-03-2013, 02:45 PM
When I was in high school -- in New Jersey, for context -- the biggest programs in college basketball were by far Duke and Michigan, because of the Laettner teams and the Fab 5, respectively. There was a ton of Duke gear being worn back in the early 90's in my school, and a ton of Michigan stuff as well, and UNC was probably third. (People got into Syracuse, Georgetown and Arizona later in the decade.) I wasn't even a huge college basketball fan yet, but I had a Webber Michigan jersey because that team was so damn cool. The Fab 5 played in the suburbs just as well as any other touchstone of hip-hop culture at the time. I think the people who want this team not to be relevant despised what Rose said in the documentary and are reacting to that, but it doesn't change history. The Fab 5 was one of the most colorful and significant college teams of all time, and they didn't need to win a championship to make that true. And they were an excellent team; I hardly think they were overrated or whatever. They went 10-2 in the NCAA Tournament over a two-year period, not an easy task.

And this will probably be even less popular than what I just said, but I had zero problem with what Rose said about what Michigan thought of Duke in the early 90's. I wrote something (http://www.sportsangle.com/2011/03/black-socks-in-the-hour-of-chaos/) about that at the time, if anyone would like that perspective.

75Crazie
02-03-2013, 03:12 PM
And yes people still think of Duke's back to back titles because of the legendary players on the team and their results do the talking.
Actually, it is probably more due to the talking that the Kentucky fans do.

Wheat/"/"/"
02-03-2013, 04:14 PM
I agree with you, now if we can just get the UNC and Duke haters to agree that we won the 2010 Championship and were not given it by being placed in a easy bracket by Duke loving tournament committe members, all will be right with the world!

I have a UNC friend to this day that says we cannot really count the 2010 championship because we played BUTLER for it.... go figure?

Cats and dogs...you know.

Butler was a really good team that year, and continues to be a high level program. Bad for them that Duke was just a little bit better.

Wheat/"/"/"
02-03-2013, 04:24 PM
When I was in high school -- in New Jersey, for context -- the biggest programs in college basketball were by far Duke and Michigan, because of the Laettner teams and the Fab 5, respectively. There was a ton of Duke gear being worn back in the early 90's in my school, and a ton of Michigan stuff as well, and UNC was probably third. (People got into Syracuse, Georgetown and Arizona later in the decade.) I wasn't even a huge college basketball fan yet, but I had a Webber Michigan jersey because that team was so damn cool. The Fab 5 played in the suburbs just as well as any other touchstone of hip-hop culture at the time. I think the people who want this team not to be relevant despised what Rose said in the documentary and are reacting to that, but it doesn't change history. The Fab 5 was one of the most colorful and significant college teams of all time, and they didn't need to win a championship to make that true. And they were an excellent team; I hardly think they were overrated or whatever. They went 10-2 in the NCAA Tournament over a two-year period, not an easy task.

And this will probably be even less popular than what I just said, but I had zero problem with what Rose said about what Michigan thought of Duke in the early 90's. I wrote something (http://www.sportsangle.com/2011/03/black-socks-in-the-hour-of-chaos/) about that at the time, if anyone would like that perspective.

For clarity, my use of the term over-rated was meant as a basketball team.

I agree that their impact on the game shouldn't be over-rated. It was big.

And I will stand with the fab five on their belief they were unfairly used, they were and probably still are by the NCAA, along with all the other revenue producing college athletes.

SupaDave
02-03-2013, 04:52 PM
It wasn't the baggy shorts. It was the black shoes and black socks MIXED with the baggy shorts worn by a group of hip hop loving freshmen.

It wasn't that they were the first all black team. It was the fact that they were all freshmen and the first of the "hip hop" kids to come thru. It was the individual rankings. The way they committed. The first time some KIDS decided to make a championship team (and they did indeed rule their conference). They rapped. They danced. They dunked on people viciously.

They WERE a hip hop phenomenon. They were fabulous.

Considering the respective lengths of Webber and Howard's careers and the fact that one of the group ended up with a NBA championship, I'm of the viewpoint that they are probably celebrated right about where they should be.

Duvall
02-03-2013, 04:56 PM
It wasn't the baggy shorts. It was the black shoes and black socks MIXED with the baggy shorts worn by a group of hip hop loving freshmen.

It wasn't that they were the first all black team. It was the fact that they were all freshmen and the first of the "hip hop" kids to come thru. It was the individual rankings. The way they committed. The first time some KIDS decided to make a championship team (and they did indeed rule their conference). They rapped. They danced. They dunked on people viciously.

They WERE a hip hop phenomenon. They were fabulous.

Considering the respective lengths of Webber and Howard's careers and the fact that one of the group ended up with a NBA championship, I'm of the viewpoint that they are probably celebrated right about where they should be.

It's kind of a stretch to say that one of the group earned an NBA championship, though. How much should we celebrate Mark Madsen's 1998 Stanford team for their NBA titles?

Sgt. Dingleberry
02-03-2013, 05:07 PM
When I was in high school -- in New Jersey, for context -- the biggest programs in college basketball were by far Duke and Michigan, because of the Laettner teams and the Fab 5, respectively. There was a ton of Duke gear being worn back in the early 90's in my school, and a ton of Michigan stuff as well, and UNC was probably third. (People got into Syracuse, Georgetown and Arizona later in the decade.) I wasn't even a huge college basketball fan yet, but I had a Webber Michigan jersey because that team was so damn cool. The Fab 5 played in the suburbs just as well as any other touchstone of hip-hop culture at the time. I think the people who want this team not to be relevant despised what Rose said in the documentary and are reacting to that, but it doesn't change history. The Fab 5 was one of the most colorful and significant college teams of all time, and they didn't need to win a championship to make that true. And they were an excellent team; I hardly think they were overrated or whatever. They went 10-2 in the NCAA Tournament over a two-year period, not an easy task.

And this will probably be even less popular than what I just said, but I had zero problem with what Rose said about what Michigan thought of Duke in the early 90's. I wrote something (http://www.sportsangle.com/2011/03/black-socks-in-the-hour-of-chaos/) about that at the time, if anyone would like that perspective.

Well said and I thoroughly enjoyed your article as well. An objective and unbiased analysis.

I still wear black shoes and black socks....:cool:

MartyClark
02-03-2013, 07:18 PM
It wasn't the baggy shorts. It was the black shoes and black socks MIXED with the baggy shorts worn by a group of hip hop loving freshmen.

It wasn't that they were the first all black team. It was the fact that they were all freshmen and the first of the "hip hop" kids to come thru. It was the individual rankings. The way they committed. The first time some KIDS decided to make a championship team (and they did indeed rule their conference). They rapped. They danced. They dunked on people viciously.

They WERE a hip hop phenomenon. They were fabulous.

Considering the respective lengths of Webber and Howard's careers and the fact that one of the group ended up with a NBA championship, I'm of the viewpoint that they are probably celebrated right about where they should be.

I always appreciate your insight SupaDave.

I never disliked these guys but, at the same time, always wondered what all the noise was about. I'm an old guy from a different background than these kids. I never cared how they dressed or what music they listened to. To me, it was more style than substance. The style was nothing to condemn but, at least to me, nothing to celebrate.

I've alway liked and respected Juwann Howard. I don't appreciate Jalen Rose, his television work, or his comments concerning Grant Hill or Duke. I'm glad that he and Grant apparently support each others non profits.

I think all five of these players would be at Kentucky in the current era.

throatybeard
02-03-2013, 11:16 PM
Really? I will never forget them, especially as a Duke fan. I will always think of them as one of our most heated rivals.

Me too. When I got to Duke in 1994-95, I really did regard them as public enemy #2. Over and above Virginia, and certainly State. I suppose it's good that Tommy went there and that cooled the thing, because I don't really like rivalries, and I'm not 18 anymore, but man. I hated those dudes. It was UNC, and then them.

throatybeard
02-03-2013, 11:18 PM
I think all five of these players would be at Kentucky in the current era.

This is a very good point. And I think it explains some of the Duke animus towards UK lately. We fear these crazy-frosh assemblies.

-bdbd
02-03-2013, 11:37 PM
This is a very good point. And I think it explains some of the Duke animus towards UK lately. We fear these crazy-frosh assemblies.

Hey Throaty. I think I appreciate where you're going with that joking sentiment. But I think "fear" is the wrong word. I think I'd sub the phrase "don't respect" instead. Duke is a school and a fan base that focuses more on academics and taking college seriously - certainly more serious than the parade of one-and-dones Calimari is amassing at KY. To be clear, the stereotypes aren't really 100% accurate, as KY does have kids who stay 3 and even four years, while Duke has had a few one-and-dones. But Duke's coach is a guy who preaches to kids about the value of "unpacking your bags" and taking in the college experience, whereas Coach Cal at KY is 100% fine with every one of his kids being one-and-done, as long as they win him championships. I, and I think most Duke fans, will always see that as a "sell out."

As for the Fab-5, it will always be a debate between opposing fan groups, and culturally as well. THEY will argue that the Fab-5 were a cultural phenomena that altered the face of a generation, or at least the face of basketball. WE will always say, well, you never beat us, and in fact never WON anything. It is a fair argument, and I'm perfectly fine with where we came out of it (with a second consecutive Natty), even if many think that the Fab-5 were "cooler." I'm ok with that trade-off.

Edouble
02-04-2013, 01:33 AM
It wasn't the baggy shorts. It was the black shoes and black socks MIXED with the baggy shorts worn by a group of hip hop loving freshmen.


Actually, they brought out the black socks and black shoes their sophomore year.

gus
02-04-2013, 08:41 AM
#1. Perhaps Dean learned from K's move against LV in 2001


One of the things Carolina fans always cite when describing Dean's in-game mastery is a story of Smith diagramming the play the other team was going to run. Now we know how he did it: the man had a time machine.

sagegrouse
02-04-2013, 09:28 AM
One of the things Carolina fans always cite when describing Dean's in-game mastery is a story of Smith diagramming the play the other team was going to run. Now we know how he did it: the man had a time machine.

Yep, I meant 1991, not 2001. Those pesky decades keep messing me up. Unfortunately, I have been through a lot of them. -- sagegrouse

ncexnyc
02-04-2013, 10:29 AM
That over-rated Michigan team folded like a weak deck chair. They didn't deserve to be champions and UNC did, and is...no need to denigrate that UNC team by saying it was "given" to them.

But it's ok for heel fans to claim 2010 was handed to us on a silver platter, because of the draw, the upsets, and the injuries to other players?;)

ncexnyc
02-04-2013, 10:40 AM
I still wear black shoes and black socks....:cool:

Baggy shorts with black shoes and socks isn't new. This ensemble was quite the rage in NYC in the ethnic neighborhoods during my time there in the early 60's. This was the normal shuffleboard or bocci court dress.:D

SupaDave
02-04-2013, 11:13 AM
Baggy shorts with black shoes and socks isn't new. This ensemble was quite the rage in NYC in the ethnic neighborhoods during my time there in the early 60's.

EXACTLY!!!!!!!!!

This is why they were feared and loathed. "Thugs" on the basketball court. However, everyone in MY hood LOVED them.

If I knew how to do it I'd upload a picture of them at Freaknic in 1993 just hanging out in the middle of the street (and yes in black Nikes for those who really want to know). These boys were different.

greybeard
02-04-2013, 11:21 AM
Greybeard, that was a fantastic post, particularly the insight into Fred Brown's ill-fated pass to Worthy. Thanks for that. It was a classic play in a classic game, and you've certainly improved my insight into that game!

The only point I'll quibble about is whether or not the ethnicity of the Michigan team was, by that point, contributory to the groundbreaking nature of their accomplishments. I think, without question, their youth was groundbreaking. But there were predominantly or all-African-American teams before the Michigan teams that accomplished as much, or more. I'd point first and foremost to the Georgetown teams of 1982-1985. The main contributors of those teams were all African-American. Adding to that was the prominence of John Thompson as a successful African-American coach. Those Georgetown teams were probably much more noteworthy, a decade earlier, than the Michigan Wolverines, for competing, and succeeding, at the highest level while being led, on and off court, by Black Americans.

Please don't take that as a critique of your post which was absolutely sensational.

I completely get your point, but I need to clarify mine. Black athletes had dominated the game for two generations, but were all but absent from the adult world that framed it. To suceed on the court the black athlete had to effectivly hide his color, while the former black athlete who should have coached and been a presense in the higher levels could not escape it. These kids refused to hide who they were, but instead were intent on bring it front and ceneter and boy did they. That is why they came to Michigan as a group and that it has they played the game their way. And, they put the dismissive connotation put on the use of the term "street ball" to bed. They did not do it bringing the streets black neighbors to the college game, as bring the college game to those streets. Their game was all about stylin, but it wasn't. It was also about intelligence, commitment, daring, and, in the best sense of the word, team. If they couldn't change color from those who defined the game, they could change the colorness from those young black talents who played it. And, they delivered. Isolated stars might have worn long "shorts," but an entire team, one that added black socks and sneakers, made an unmisstakeable statement ot it. For one moment, a flash of two years, the game belonged to a group of players who played and displayed as themselves. They said to the white establishment, we'll show you what the game that had long been stiffled could be and was. That game didn't need nobody, least of all these old white men, to make the defacto rules; they didn't need no coach telling them how to play. They said it and backed it up. And, what a game it was, it is, even if the display by a team never happens again.

So, and I mean it, I appreciate your thinking, your writing, which I find terrific, but think that you missed the animating force that brought these guys together and what their play said. Perhaps the most pernicious rule that they laid bare was one-and-done, and at whom it was directed. Just ask Calipari who now makes a mockery of it, years after the Fab Five had laid it bare.

DukeWarhead
02-04-2013, 11:54 AM
I completely get your point, but I need to clarify mine. Black athletes had dominated the game for two generations, but were all but absent from the adult world that framed it. To suceed on the court the black athlete had to effectivly hide his color, while the former black athlete who should have coached and been a presense in the higher levels could not escape it. These kids refused to hide who they were, but instead were intent on bring it front and ceneter and boy did they. That is why they came to Michigan as a group and that it has they played the game their way. And, they put the dismissive connotation put on the use of the term "street ball" to bed. They did not do it bringing the streets black neighbors to the college game, as bring the college game to those streets. Their game was all about stylin, but it wasn't. It was also about intelligence, commitment, daring, and, in the best sense of the word, team. If they couldn't change color from those who defined the game, they could change the colorness from those young black talents who played it. And, they delivered. Isolated stars might have worn long "shorts," but an entire team, one that added black socks and sneakers, made an unmisstakeable statement ot it. For one moment, a flash of two years, the game belonged to a group of players who played and displayed as themselves. They said to the white establishment, we'll show you what the game that had long been stiffled could be and was. That game didn't need nobody, least of all these old white men, to make the defacto rules; they didn't need no coach telling them how to play. They said it and backed it up. And, what a game it was, it is, even if the display by a team never happens again.

So, and I mean it, I appreciate your thinking, your writing, which I find terrific, but think that you missed the animating force that brought these guys together and what their play said. Perhaps the most pernicious rule that they laid bare was one-and-done, and at whom it was directed. Just ask Calipari who now makes a mockery of it, years after the Fab Five had laid it bare.

This is the stuff that makes many shake their heads and roll their eyes. This, many would say, is a bunch of fluff (or other choice words.) I suppose there is a debate about how much "style, flash, attitude, etc." matter in the big scheme of shaping college basketball. However, the game did not "belong" to them. As much as they or those that saw glory in their "newness" believed the hype, the game belonged to everyone playing at that time - and those winning championships. History remembers who won, and how they played. The greatest contribution UM made to the college basketball player was the reminder to always doublecheck how many timeouts your team has in the last minute.

Let's not confuse image and attitude for substance or acheivement.

SupaDave
02-04-2013, 12:08 PM
This is the stuff that makes many shake their heads and roll their eyes. This, many would say, is a bunch of fluff (or other choice words.) I suppose there is a debate about how much "style, flash, attitude, etc." matter in the big scheme of shaping college basketball. However, the game did not "belong" to them. As much as they or those that saw glory in their "newness" believed the hype, the game belonged to everyone playing at that time - and those winning championships. History remembers who won, and how they played. The greatest contribution UM made to the college basketball player was the reminder to always doublecheck how many timeouts your team has in the last minute.

Let's not confuse image and attitude for substance or acheivement.

What many fail to realize is that at the time Michigan as a University was FRESH off of a championship and the University as a whole was winning in a major way (Heisman Trophy too). They were the cherry on top for Michigan athletics. (love the UK comparison btw)

And while I don't necessarily like how Greybeard is stating his opinion - there's some truth in it. These KIDS came in and got what they wanted and they brought their "hoods" with them, something that many were forced to give up on the court. They represented and they are revered for that. Sometimes the game is about more than championships - sometimes the game really IS life. If you disagree then I doubt you were a teenage black male in 1992. Let's not forget at this VERY same time Allen Iverson was at Georgetown CONFORMING to John Thompson's program. But you don't hear me though...

gus
02-04-2013, 01:36 PM
EXACTLY!!!!!!!!!

This is why they were feared and loathed. "Thugs" on the basketball court. However, everyone in MY hood LOVED them.

If I knew how to do it I'd upload a picture of them at Freaknic in 1993 just hanging out in the middle of the street (and yes in black Nikes for those who really want to know). These boys were different.

I think he meant something more like this:

http://assets.dnainfo.com/generated/photo/2012/07/1342727612.jpg/image640x480.jpg

dball
02-04-2013, 01:49 PM
I think he meant something more like this:

http://assets.dnainfo.com/generated/photo/2012/07/1342727612.jpg/image640x480.jpg

Exactly, THUGS (terribly handsome underappreciated grandpaS)

TruBlu
02-04-2013, 02:41 PM
I think he meant something more like this:

http://assets.dnainfo.com/generated/photo/2012/07/1342727612.jpg/image640x480.jpg

I really don't appreciate you posting a picture of my son and nephew, without getting prior approval! ;)

ricks68
02-04-2013, 03:31 PM
I get what your saying and as someone who was in high school in Ohio when they arrived in Ann Arbor I heard all about their greatness. But 20 years later what impact other than being freshmen did they have on college basketball?

And yes people still think of Duke's back to back titles because of the legendary players on the team and their results do the talking. All Michigan, especially Jalen, did was talk and I always like Jalen. The shirts Duke wore after winning in 92 fit to this day. You can talk the game, but can you play the game? Duke, we can play.

I still have my shirt, but it is reallllllly too small for me now.:eek:

ricks

tbyers11
02-04-2013, 04:11 PM
It wasn't the baggy shorts. It was the black shoes and black socks MIXED with the baggy shorts worn by a group of hip hop loving freshmen.

It wasn't that they were the first all black team. It was the fact that they were all freshmen and the first of the "hip hop" kids to come thru. It was the individual rankings. The way they committed. The first time some KIDS decided to make a championship team (and they did indeed rule their conference). They rapped. They danced. They dunked on people viciously.

They WERE a hip hop phenomenon. They were fabulous.

Considering the respective lengths of Webber and Howard's careers and the fact that one of the group ended up with a NBA championship, I'm of the viewpoint that they are probably celebrated right about where they should be.

Fab Five was a very good team. They won a lot of games. Made it to 2 National Championship games. They had a BIG cultural impact. However, they NEVER won a Big Ten conference championship (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Big_Ten_Conference_men's_basketball_regula r_season_champions). T-3 in 1992 (Ohio State won) and 2nd to Indiana in 1993. Big Ten did not have a conference tourney then.

ncexnyc
02-04-2013, 05:08 PM
I think he meant something more like this:

http://assets.dnainfo.com/generated/photo/2012/07/1342727612.jpg/image640x480.jpg
That's pretty much the look, however back in the day it would have been black shoes with laces. The hat would have been one of those staw fedoras. And on a really hot day the shirt would be open exposing the classic white guido t-shirt. Also you need a can of Rheingold in a brown paper bag to make this photo complete.

oldnavy
02-04-2013, 05:22 PM
What many fail to realize is that at the time Michigan as a University was FRESH off of a championship and the University as a whole was winning in a major way (Heisman Trophy too). They were the cherry on top for Michigan athletics. (love the UK comparison btw)

And while I don't necessarily like how Greybeard is stating his opinion - there's some truth in it. These KIDS came in and got what they wanted and they brought their "hoods" with them, something that many were forced to give up on the court. They represented and they are revered for that. Sometimes the game is about more than championships - sometimes the game really IS life. If you disagree then I doubt you were a teenage black male in 1992. Let's not forget at this VERY same time Allen Iverson was at Georgetown CONFORMING to John Thompson's program. But you don't hear me though...

SupraDave, I find myself in the very rare position of having to disagree with you.

The 'cherry on top' as you call them left a big old stain on the UM program that has taken the program years to recover from.

At the time, I didn't really care for them because I saw them as a major threat to Duke on the court, however I admired their collective and individual talent.

But now I find very little to admire about them as a group. They came in and made a big 'cultural splash' due mainly to media hype, didn't win a title of any kind, and left the program in worse shape for them having been there.

How do you reconcile the blemish that they left on the University with the various scandles and NCAA violations?

What viture(s) did they possess or represent that deserves admiration? What am I missing?

Indoor66
02-04-2013, 05:50 PM
Yep, I meant 1991, not 2001. Those pesky decades keep messing me up. Unfortunately, I have been through a lot of them. -- sagegrouse

What the heck do you mean "unfortunately"? Jarhead, Jim3k and others, along with me, take umbrage at that. Consider the alternative, young man.

tommy
02-04-2013, 05:56 PM
What many fail to realize is that at the time Michigan as a University was FRESH off of a championship and the University as a whole was winning in a major way (Heisman Trophy too). They were the cherry on top for Michigan athletics. (love the UK comparison btw)

And while I don't necessarily like how Greybeard is stating his opinion - there's some truth in it. These KIDS came in and got what they wanted and they brought their "hoods" with them, something that many were forced to give up on the court. They represented and they are revered for that. Sometimes the game is about more than championships - sometimes the game really IS life. If you disagree then I doubt you were a teenage black male in 1992. Let's not forget at this VERY same time Allen Iverson was at Georgetown CONFORMING to John Thompson's program. But you don't hear me though...


Their "hoods" meaning the leafy suburb of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, where Chris Webber went to high school at Detroit Country Day? Ray Jackson and Jimmy King come from Austin and Plano, Texas; neither was the type of "inner city" environment they sought to portray themselves as being from.

But be that as it may. The Fab 5 really was a celebration of style over substance. They wore baggy shorts and black socks? So what? That makes them latter-day Jackie Robinsons or Muhammad Ali's? Granted, I wasn't a young black guy in the early '90's, but my answer would be: no. Not even close.

The thing that I'm surprised gets forgotten so easily by those who sing the praises of the Fab 5 is that the real cultural trailblazers were John Thompson's Georgetown teams a decade earlier, as well as Tark's UNLV teams, including those Rebel teams who played right around the same time as Michigan's guys were getting all their hype. The Thompson-Ewing Hoyas, they of "Hoya Paranoia," were the true inner city, all-black teams who rocked the establishment with their swarming, intimidating style of play, and their attitude. They are the ones who opened doors for future teams and coaches. And oh by the way, they won championships. If I was someone involved with that program at that time, I would resent the hell out of the Michigan players claiming the mantle of true challengers to the white status quo, when it was me and my teammates who were the first. It was Georgetown who had substance; Michigan, only style. And even their style was, ultimately, derivative. It was the Michigan players who didn't have the focus, discipline, maturity, and respect necessary to harness the great skills they had, in order to be champions. Georgetown and, later, UNLV, did.

SupaDave
02-04-2013, 05:58 PM
SupraDave, I find myself in the very rare position of having to disagree with you.

The 'cherry on top' as you call them left a big old stain on the UM program that has taken the program years to recover from.

At the time, I didn't really care for them because I saw them as a major threat to Duke on the court, however I admired their collective and individual talent.

But now I find very little to admire about them as a group. They came in and made a big 'cultural splash' due mainly to media hype, didn't win a title of any kind, and left the program in worse shape for them having been there.

How do you reconcile the blemish that they left on the University with the various scandles and NCAA violations?

What viture(s) did they possess or represent that deserves admiration? What am I missing?

You're not disagreeing with me. It was a cherry on top at the time. The scourge and trail of deception left by Ed Martin devastated the program and I'm still a bit bitter about their treatment of Tommy. Honestly, I too celebrated their demise as a Duke fan and family member to many Ohio State fans.

They didn't win any title but they won quite a bit and considering that freshmen hadn't been doing that too often - they won in a major way. They helped change recruiting and they made coaches and programs be more honest with the public and themselves. They also helped start a trend that carried over to Michigan State with the star players staying at home. Their impact has been far reaching.

Michigan was a full participant in the chaos and profited greatly off the backs of those student athletes and thusly I could care less about how they were affected. But hey - if Michigan itself can come around then so can I...

Actually this just gave me a thought for a thread...

Starter
02-04-2013, 06:16 PM
SupraDave, I find myself in the very rare position of having to disagree with you.

The 'cherry on top' as you call them left a big old stain on the UM program that has taken the program years to recover from.

At the time, I didn't really care for them because I saw them as a major threat to Duke on the court, however I admired their collective and individual talent.

But now I find very little to admire about them as a group. They came in and made a big 'cultural splash' due mainly to media hype, didn't win a title of any kind, and left the program in worse shape for them having been there.

How do you reconcile the blemish that they left on the University with the various scandles and NCAA violations?

What viture(s) did they possess or represent that deserves admiration? What am I missing?

I think it's been touched upon just how relevant, influential and successful they were at the time -- and in terms of reshaping basketball uniforms forever, to boot -- so I'll leave that be.

To play devil's advocate on a different topic, it's difficult for me to cast too much scorn on the Fab 5 for the Ed Martin situation when Corey Maggette essentially did the same thing. I was stunned Duke avoided sanctions and such on that, though I was obviously not broken up about it -- I mean, it's not like I'd prefer that -- but I remember thinking at the time that story broke two years after the fact that it was a near-certainty at the time they'd have their NCAA runner-up status revoked from the '99 team. I recall that the difference is the NCAA inferred that the Michigan program had knowledge of Martin and what he was doing, while Duke was ruled to have no idea about Piggie. But then, why should the players be blamed for all those Michigan sanctions? Webber's role was pretty much the same as Maggette's; it's the coaches and athletic departments that were determined to have the culpability that mattered here, right?

If I have anything wrong here historically, I mean, it's possible. I'm just recalling this stuff off the top. And I apologize if this is a tired topic that nobody cares about anymore, or if it's a taboo topic here. But like, why should Webber and such be damned for this while Maggette gets away scot-free? If anything, it's the coaches and athletic department that brought UM down with whatever knowledge of the situation they were deemed to have, not the players who actually took the money. Because if that were true, Duke wouldn't have its 1999 Final Four banner either, and that might have just been the start.

Duvall
02-04-2013, 06:27 PM
I think it's been touched upon just how relevant, influential and successful they were at the time -- and in terms of reshaping basketball uniforms forever, to boot -- so I'll leave that be.

To play devil's advocate on a different topic, it's difficult for me to cast too much scorn on the Fab 5 for the Ed Martin situation when Corey Maggette essentially did the same thing.

That's a pretty remarkable stretch, given Martin's decade-long ties to Michigan head and assistant coaches over the years. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Michigan_basketball_scandal) There's just no comparison to be made to the Maggette situation.

Starter
02-04-2013, 07:11 PM
That's a pretty remarkable stretch, given Martin's decade-long ties to Michigan head and assistant coaches over the years. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Michigan_basketball_scandal) There's just no comparison to be made to the Maggette situation.

There is, if you consider the Fab 5 themselves are being blamed here for bringing down the program with their involvement. My point was they did the same basic thing Maggette did. People are trying to delegitimize the Fab 5 by implying they brought the whole program down for a number of years. It doesn't absolve them, but I don't think it's right to pin all the misfortune that befell the program on Webber and Co., or even a lot of it. If the program had not been tangled with Martin, had no knowledge of the situation and such, there would have been no sanctions whatsoever, assuming the NCAA would have stayed consistent. You've offered further evidence with your link why we should realize that distinction exists.

Tommy, by the way, had an interesting point I missed earlier in that those Hoyas teams were most definitely the predecessor to the Fab 5 in terms of cultural relevance. I recall Spike Lee citing them as a touchstone for his own modern understanding of basketball. If anything, with Ewing offering the intimidation he was, they played the part a little better. But I would contend the Fab 5 had a combination of style AND substance, kind of a version of Georgetown's Public Enemy-inflected image updated for the MTV-dominated popular culture of the time. Just because Georgetown came first doesn't mean that both can't be relevant, or that the Fab 5 couldn't have established a vibe and oeuvre all their own. If not, then very few rock bands since the Beatles were worth a damn.

greybeard
02-04-2013, 07:16 PM
Fab Five was a very good team. They won a lot of games. Made it to 2 National Championship games. They had a BIG cultural impact. However, they NEVER won a Big Ten conference championship (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Big_Ten_Conference_men's_basketball_regula r_season_champions). T-3 in 1992 (Ohio State won) and 2nd to Indiana in 1993. Big Ten did not have a conference tourney then.

I forget for a second, who were the five starters on either of those teams? All five. :)

Duvall
02-04-2013, 07:23 PM
I forget for a second, who were the five starters on either of those teams? All five. :)

I don't anyone has suggested that the Michigan players lacked for fame - they certainly talk enough even today to keep anyone from forgetting, even if they wanted. It's championships where they are lacking.

BD80
02-04-2013, 07:51 PM
Their "hoods" meaning the leafy suburb of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, where Chris Webber went to high school at Detroit Country Day? Ray Jackson and Jimmy King come from Austin and Plano, Texas; neither was the type of "inner city" environment they sought to portray themselves as being from. ...

It bears noting that the one member of the Fab Five that was the "most" inner city, Juwan Howard, was the most coachable, the most willing to endure "oppressive" coaching. He earned a long career and a ring by being coachable and a team player, including on the defensive end. The other two top recruits were far less "coachable" - it took Webber years in the pros to figure out that he needed to play defense, and Jalen never figured it out. These guys weren't "street" they were egomaniacs, more into themselves than in playing basketball to the best of their abilities.

Cameron
02-04-2013, 08:01 PM
I forget for a second, who were the five starters on either of those teams? All five. :)

This is actually a superb point, and why the Fab Five are so iconic. Show me a serious college basketball fan, and I will show you somebody who knows all five of those kids' names. They were sort of like a rap group in that sense. Outside of Duke, '91 Vegas, '92 UK, a few UNC clubs or various teams we have played in the NCAAs throughout the years, there are no other teams in college basketball history for which I could name the starting five, and certainly none from 1992.

To believe that because they never won a national championship they left no impact on the game of college basketball is just silly.

NashvilleDevil
02-04-2013, 08:03 PM
I still have my shirt, but it is reallllllly too small for me now.:eek:

ricks

I don't know what happened to mine but I still have the Duke Takes the Bite Out of Tark's Sharks shirt.

tommy
02-04-2013, 08:31 PM
I forget for a second, who were the five starters on either of those teams? All five. :)

That's just the point. It wasn't about team success for the Fab 5. Look at me and my baggy shorts and my scowl. For the record, Michigan split with Ohio State in '92 (led by Jim Jackson) and were swept by Indiana (led by Calbert Cheaney) in '93, so they lost three of four.

throatybeard
02-04-2013, 08:33 PM
I don't know what happened to mine but I still have the Duke Takes the Bite Out of Tark's Sharks shirt.

Me too, but it's bout near disintegrated because I wore it every third day for the next three or four years.

Ignoring the racialization of the words "thug" and "thuggish," I didn't perceive the Fab Five as thuggish at all, at the time, partly because in the Final Four, they played Cincinnati--who everyone perceived as thuggish. Why this is, I forget. I did root for IU over them, but I also don't remember why.

77devil
02-04-2013, 08:35 PM
This is actually a superb point, and why the Fab Five are so iconic. Show me a serious college basketball fan, and I will show you somebody who knows all five of those kids' names. They were sort of like a rap group in that sense. Outside of Duke, '91 Vegas, '92 UK, a few UNC clubs or various teams we have played in the NCAAs throughout the years, there are no other teams in college basketball history for which I could name the starting five, and certainly none from 1992.

To believe that because they never won a national championship they left no impact on the game of college basketball is just silly.

Bob Knight wasn't referring to the Fab 5's impact on the game whatever that means. He simply stated they were the most overrated which is arguably true.

NashvilleDevil
02-04-2013, 08:36 PM
Me too, but it's bout near disintegrated because I wore it every third day for the next three or four years.

When we go to my Mom's I get it out of the drawer to look at the tattered shirt. One day it will end up in shirt heaven with your shirt and Jerry Seinfeld's golden boy

throatybeard
02-04-2013, 08:41 PM
When we go to my Mom's I get it out of the drawer to look at the tattered shirt. One day it will end up in shirt heaven with your shirt and Jerry Seinfeld's golden boy

What my mother in law did with all my wife's 1990-era shirts was cut out the design and sew them into a massive quilt. It's a rather striking document of the era.

My wife is petite and can still wear my 1986 ACC Championship shirt.

Cameron
02-04-2013, 09:27 PM
Bob Knight wasn't referring to the Fab 5's impact on the game whatever that means. He simply stated they were the most overrated which is arguably true.

I was referring to those here who act like nothing the Fab Five did is remembered today. They were rock stars. And like any significant rock band that ever made it famous, the Fab Five is remembered.

By impact on the game I simply mean that the Fab Five left a lasting legacy. Their chapter in college basketball history will never be forgotten.

-jk
02-04-2013, 09:29 PM
I don't know what happened to mine but I still have the Duke Takes the Bite Out of Tark's Sharks shirt.


I still have my '84 "Majoring in Smartass" Ken Denlinger T. Might be the cheapest/flimsiest t-shirt I ever got, but I had to have it. Instant classic.

-jk

greybeard
02-05-2013, 01:14 AM
Couple of things. John Thompson's teams did change the game, in some remarkable ways, including taking kids who never would have gotten into and made it at Georgetown and proved that they could become outstanding men and play a game that had never before been played--90 feet of presure, playing an unheard of deep bench, with many players who knew the game as any kid in college ball and were superb in playing 90 feet of pressure probably in as many different ways. They conducted themselves like gentlemen and it was Thompson's iron fisted way of the highway.

The Fab Rive were something entirely different. They were the show, they had some remarkably talented players, Webber had to be the best forward prospect ever, and Jalen at what, 6'8" could do it all and was/is sharp as a tack. Juan, 15 years in the pros says it all, doesn't it? King surprised me by not making it as an NBA start, but he had to be among the very best athletes in the game in his time playing the shooting guard. Jackson, a block of granite with grite to go with it, and a very nice 3-ball and ability to play off the bounce.

What made them the streets was that they played and carried themselves that way, including the big three. Webber went to a preppy prep school, so what. He dazzled and pranced and blocked shots and dribbled and through passes unseen since Magic and posed like inner city to me. These kids came in to make a particular statement and did. They were not Jackie Robinson, not even close. He had to hold his tounge and try to disappear, to hide the rage inside. John Thompson converted those players, including in the Ewing era into a disciplined, highly discipline, no affect, killing machine. He was Bobby Knight with more genuis, with a greater vision and place in history than just basketball.

The Fab Five had guys who could really play and did on that Championship team mentioned sitting on the bench and, from all appearances, being fine with it. What they were seeing, what we all were seeing, was nothing short of remarkable. Five Freshman and then sophomores playing against mature teams, mature men, and getting to the Championship game twice, outplaying Duke that first half (I don't care that it was a 1 point game, Michigan was running things, and then playing Carolina down to the very end, a one point loss.

Indiana and Ohio state had two of the very best college ballplayers in the country and were coached by two very tough-minded men who were driven to win. They did, but again, besides the stars, Channey and Jackson, who else do you remember. The Fab Five were about remembering, they were shooting for it all and came closer than most teams can ever dream of getting, and did it while they were kids among men. They did it playing street ball, which we were all shown on the biggest stage possible was nothing like the game that the media portrayed it. The game that they represented was bright, intelligent, talented beyond imagination, they outside name brands like Nike and Adidas, and they played as a team on their terms and made it work.

Calipari did not copy the Fab Five, the Fab Five just unraveled the hypocracy, the myth, that the black player did not deserve a big piece of the pie because it needed the structure that the suits had created to sell product. They sold the game, they destroyed that hog wash, and the NCAA crushed them beyond what was just and fair when they caught their hand in the same cookie jar that ALL of Wooden's championship team had reached into. We should know why the ceiling fell in on those kids, why their very existent was wiped not only from the books, but also from the school they brought so much attention to. Jalen came back and told the story and again showed me at least that these young men were beyond smart and talented, and that they could make the fat cats look like the exploiters that they were and are once again.

Some see it differently, and I'm not mad at your view. It is the view of convention, and it makes sense in that world, many parts of which I long for like you guys and hate to see any of it that is left threatened. But, once you make the marriage that the NCAA and its member particpants into a marketing arm for the NCAA, shoe and apparell industries, the sports media industry that feeds off their, the kid's talents and labor, then I have to side with those who stand up to such hypocracy and exploitation that says that the players do not deserve their fair share, not a small stipend, but their fair share.

Webber, Juan, and Rose, after they made their statement, made their point, went out and did just that. They deserved every penny. Just the way I see it. Not putting down the other view, just think that the ship of the old days has sailed. It was that that Calipari finds legitimacy in, can stand up and legitimately say that he is playing it the only way that serves these kid's interests and doing it well. I think that the Fab Five paved his way, and he and others like him will start bringing down the walls that seperate the dough they bring and the lack of it that the players get. The Fab Five made stylin as a team the show, and they had reason to think that all five of them would get their money when the time came after a couple of years. Too bad it didn't work out for the other two that way. They had earned it in my book.

oldnavy
02-05-2013, 06:00 AM
You're not disagreeing with me. It was a cherry on top at the time. The scourge and trail of deception left by Ed Martin devastated the program and I'm still a bit bitter about their treatment of Tommy. Honestly, I too celebrated their demise as a Duke fan and family member to many Ohio State fans.

They didn't win any title but they won quite a bit and considering that freshmen hadn't been doing that too often - they won in a major way. They helped change recruiting and they made coaches and programs be more honest with the public and themselves. They also helped start a trend that carried over to Michigan State with the star players staying at home. Their impact has been far reaching.

Michigan was a full participant in the chaos and profited greatly off the backs of those student athletes and thusly I could care less about how they were affected. But hey - if Michigan itself can come around then so can I...

Actually this just gave me a thought for a thread...

The University was fully complicit in the violations and I have no sympathy for UM at ALL. They got what they deserved.

As far as the "Fab Five" goes, my feelings are... ehhh, they were a very solid group of basketballers, and a team you really didn't want to face come March (although it worked out ok for us and UNC), but that's about were my feelings end. Not impressed with all the other things they did. They have a place in history for sure because they did make an impact, but when you really look at the impact including the bad parts, the total body of work was less than impressive to me. I can see how others would feel differently, and that is what makes the world interesting!