Courier-Journal All-OVC 1971
By JOHN FLYNN Courier-Journal & Times Staff Writer Now, to one of the easiest tasks of a long basketball season the naming of Western Kentucky's Jim McDaniels as The Courier-Journal's Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Year. The season belonged to the Western star, even more so than a year ago when he dominated OVC teams like they never had been dominated before. Wherever he played from . . . Madison Square Garden to Johnson City, Tenn. . . turnaway crowds flocked to see this marvelously gifted 7-footer with the touch of a pickpocket. Not once did he disappoint them. On the road, for instance, he was a 32.5 scorer, while he averaged only 25 points at home, a mark of a clutch performer. "He is a great talent the best, in my mind, ever to play in our league," said Murray State coach Cal Luther. "But the thing I like about him, he wants the ball in the tough situation." Averages 29.2 points McDaniels led the conference in every department except free-throw shooting and his mark of 74.7 per cent placed him among the top 10 in this department. His 29.2 scoring average was tops, as were his shooting percentage of 54.2 and rebound average of 15.5. This was the year in which McDaniels, whose offensive abilities never were questioned, grew in stature as a rebound-er and defensive player. He averaged five blocked shots a game and became an intimidating force around the basket in the mold of Jacksonville's Artis Gilmore, whom Mac will face for the third time in the NCAA Mideast Regional Saturday at Notre Dame. He also became one of the nation's best rebounders, averaging almost 20 a game in the last six games of Western's drive to the OVC championship. Off the court, despite trials which would have soured a less engaging individual, McDaniels won numerous friends with candor and an unrelenting sense of humor. Oldham, Strong close behind He was the target of every team's defense and of stories that he had signed a million dollar contract with the American Basketball Association, but his only concession to his need for privacy was to have his telephone number changed and unlisted. At the same time, there was another story developing in the OVC the coaching job turned in by Luther at Murray State. He took a small team, taught it patience on offense and toughness on defense and cajoled it into almost stealing the OVC title from Western. As a result, his selection as The Courier-Journal's Coach of the Year was almost as easy to make as McDaniels'. However, in Luther's case, there was some competition from Western's John Oldham, who led his team to its second straight title, keeping it together through thick and thin, and Eastern Kentucky's Guy Strong, who had molded together as fine a team as there was in the league by the last month of the season. Day's hustle pays off Luther, however, was chosen' on the basis of the things that Murray, which finished with a 19-5 record, did so well rebounding position, defense away from the ball, willingness to wait for the good shot. All the things, in other words, that require hours and hours of skillful teaching. Meanwhile, Morehead State's 6-foot-8 Jim Day had another steady, hardworking year and won first-team A11-0VC honors for the second season in a row. i Day shot better than 50 per cent, averaged 24.5 points and 13.7 rebounds and made hustle the name of the game. Three newcomers completed the first team Western forward Jerry Dunn, Murray forward Lester Taylor and Eastern guard George Bryant Dunn, a 6foot-4 transfer from Vin-cennes Junior College, gave Western muscle on the boards and made it difficult to two-time McDaniels by averaging 15.8 points with a nice shooting touch from the outside. 2nd team star-studded, too Taylor, although only a sophomore, quickly gained a reputation as one of the league's most feared defenders and re-bounders. He also shot better than 50 per cent and averaged 15.8 points in Murray's slowed-down offense. Now, to Bryant. Is there a more devastating outside shooter around than this 5-foot-10 product of Burnside, Ky., who began maturing late last season, his sophomore year? He used speed, jumping ability and shooting touch to average 24.5 points and become, in Strong's words, "an example to every little man who wants to play the game." Remove McDaniels and the second Ohio Valley all-star team FIRST TEAM Player, School Ht. Yr. Ave. Jim McDaniels, West. Ky. 7-0 Sr. 29.2 Jim Day, Morehead State 6-8 Sr. 24.4 Geo. Bryant, Eastern Ky. 5-10 Jr. 24.7 Les Taylor, Murray State 6-3 So. 15.8 Jerry Dunn, Western Ky. 6-4 Jr. 15.8 SECOND TEAM Player, School Ht. Yr. Ave. Jim Young, Murray State 5-10 Sr. 16.2 Jim Rose, Western Ky. -.6-2 Sr. 15.3 Ken Riley, Middle Tenn. 6-5 Sr. 15.3 Chas. Mitchell, East. Ky. 6-3 So. 16.6 Wayne Pack, Tenn. Tech 6-2 So. 17.6 team of Western's veteran Jim Rose, Murray's Jimmy Young, Middle Tennessee's Ken Riley, Tennessee Tech's Wayne Pack and Eastern's Charlie Mitchell isn't far behind the first unit. It has exceptional shooters in Rose and Young; a combination scorer and re-bounder in Riley; a flashy playmaker in Pack, and one of the league's most promising performers in Mitchell, a 6-foot-3 sophomore who averaged over 20 points the last half of the season. Freshman stars cited Finally, looking to the future, The Courier-Journal chose Morehead State's Leonard Coulter and Howard Wallen; Murray's Marcellous Starks and Steve Barrett and East Tennessee's Henry White on its All-Freshman team. Morehead and Murray had undefeated freshman seasons and were rated the best first-year groups in the OVC since McDaniels was a freshman at Western. Coulter, a 6-foot-5 forward, and Wallen, a guard, are expected to step into More-head's lineup next season, while Starks, a 6-foot-9 prospect, is expected to play center for Murray. Barrett, a quick, 5-foot-9 native of Otwell, Ind., also could win a starting role for Murray as could his running mate in the backcourt 6 foot-4 Steve Bowers of Washington Courthouse, Ohio. White, who averaged 30 points a game for the East Tennessee freshmen, is given a chance to become' a varsity star next year. A guard, he has exceptional shooting accuracy and range. ABA s leading scorers Playar, Team O FO FT TP Ave. 1. Dan Issel, Kentucky 73 811 534 2,154 .S 2. John Brisker, Pittsburgh 69 774 370 1,995 28.9 3. Rick Barry, New York 48 475 372 1,33 5 27.8 4. Mack Calvin, Florldians 72 472 417 1,9 7 6 27.4 5. Charlie Scott, Virginia 72 780 401 1,973 27.4 6. Larry Cannon, Denver 67 621 508 1,859 24.8 7. Donnia Freeman, Texans ..53 470 318 1,258 23.7 8. Joe Caldwell, Carolina 63 601 266 1,474 23.4 9. Zelmo Beatv, Utah 62 547 343 1,439 23.2 King Edward' PANETELA DELUXE Distributed by Linker Distributing Co.