BATON ROUGE -- The LSU Athletics Department announced on Friday in a media conference that LSU basketball fans would have a lead role in the celebration of LSU’s 100 years of college basketball.
The celebration begins in January 2008 with the beginning of the selection by the fans of the all-decade teams and will culminate with the announcement of the all-century team at a gala honoring all former players on Jan. 30, 2009, the 100th anniversary of the first university sanctioned intercollegiate basketball contest with Dixon Academy in Covington.
LSU will also have a home televised league game on Jan. 31, 2009 to culminate the year-long celebration.
“This promises to be a year-long celebration of the great moments of LSU basketball and its players, some that are our fans are very familiar with and some that are fans may not be as familiar with,” said LSU Senior Associate SID Kent Lowe, Co-Chairman of the Centennial Committee overseeing the event. “But there are many stories and players that may have been forgotten over the years that we hope to bring back to life during the course of the next year.”
The voting for the All-Decade teams will take place during the Southeastern Conference games of the 2008 season, beginning with voting for the 1940s and 1950s All-Decade team. The nominees for the team will appear for the first time in the game program on Jan. 16 and fans will be able to vote online at www.LSUsports.net. Each home game different decades of player nominees will be spotlighted and voting will continue until the end of February. The all-decade teams will be announced at the final home game of 2008, against Alabama on March 5.
The Centennial Committee, composed of former players and coaches from the various decades, media members and historians, will select an early years team representing the first 30 years of the program from 1909-1939.
Those players chosen on the All-Decade teams along with the early team selected by the committee will be eligible for the All-Century team which fans will have the chance to vote on during the summer of 2008. The All-Century team will be picked on a weighted vote of both the fans and the Centennial Committee.
Also beginning in January, LSUsports.net will have a special section where all former players, managers, coaches and trainers can register their contact information so that the committee can locate as many members of the LSU basketball family for the reunion gala in January 2009.
Finally, LSU fans are asked to begin thinking of their favorite moments in the history of LSU basketball which can also be submitted online. LSU will announce the 100 greatest moments as chosen by the fans and the committee during the 2008-09 basketball season.
Members of the committee include such LSU basketball stars as Frank Brian (1940s), former LSU Athletic Director Joe Dean and one of three basketball players to have his number retired, Bob Pettit (1950s), Maury Drummond and Stanley Jacobs (1960s), Collis Temple, Jr. (1970s), Durand Macklin and Ricky Blanton (1980s) along with coaches Dale Brown and John Brady. Among the media historians on the committee are Peter Finney of the New Orleans Times Picayune, noted author of several books about LSU sports Marty Mule’, longtime Baton Rouge sports editor and columnist Sam King and former LSU SID Bud Johnson.
Of the events, Coach Brown, who coached the Tigers for 25 years from 1973-1997 said: “Here is a chance for all LSU basketball fans to vote for their favorite all-time players. Yes, we all know about Sparky Wade, Bob Pettit, Pete Maravich and Shaquille O’Neal, but there are many more that contributed to great LSU teams. Here is an opportunity to thank them with your vote.”
In January, fans can go to the 100th anniversary page links at www.LSUsports.net to find more information about the history of LSU basketball and how to vote for the All-Decade teams.
Press Conference Quotes
LSU HEAD COACH JOHN BRADY QUOTES
“First of all I want to thank (LSU Senior Associate Sports Information Director) Kent Lowe for all of his work that he is putting in to this. Kent’s a special guy, and he is loyal to LSU. I know he was great to coach (Dale) Brown, and he has been great to me and I appreciate all the work Kent does. The timing of being able to have the privilege of being the LSU coach now and being able to experience something like this is really an honor for me. The players that are here today, some of the greatest moments in the history of LSU basketball, are sitting at that table.
“Football, here, is celebrated, and it should be. But at the same time when the NBA makes its 50th anniversary team and LSU is one of only two schools in the country to have three players on that team tells you that LSU has had some great players here. Just the three banners (Bob Pettit, Pete Maravich, Shaquille O’Neal) that are hanging in that arena (Pete Maravich Assembly Center) alone typifies that. Ricky Blanton is arguably one of the most popular players to ever play at this place, and people are still talking about the shot he made in the dome against Georgetown.
“There have been some great moments here, and I am just privileged and honored to be a part of that. We have three players right now who are playing well in the NBA – Brandon (Bass) with Dallas, Tyrus (Thomas) with Chicago and now Glen (Davis) with Boston – we are trying to keep that going. This will be a great event. It is going to be exciting to see who the fans vote for and how that works out and involve them with their participation. I think it’s a great idea. I am excited about a banquet to have all the former players back in one night, and I hope that we can do everything we can to include everyone and not leave out anyone.
“I would be remiss if I didn’t say we are celebrating 100 years of LSU basketball, but 25 years was when Dale Brown was the coach here. Along with Pete Maravich, Bob Pettit and Shaq, the contributions Dale Brown made to put this program back and bring it to a national level and just have conversation about it – certainly to be a part of all that is a privilege and honor for me, so I am excited about it. I appreciate the work Kent’s doing. I appreciate the work of the committee. Hopefully we can have the assistance of the media to help us get it out and publicize it and make it what it needs to be – a truly great event.”
FORMER TIGER FORWARD RUDY MACKLIN QUOTES
“When Kent brought this idea to me, I was pretty excited about it because this is an opportunity for the fans to get involved in something that normally happens under Kent’s and (Senior Associate Athletic Director) Herb Vincent’s shop. To have the fans vote on their favorite players, their favorite decades, LSU teams and favorite moments in LSU basketball history is a first. Commemorating 100 years of LSU basketball, me being a transplant from Kentucky, to have something this large come down is really exciting to me.
“There are so many great special moments during my time, and when I got here I got to go back in time and see great films of when Bob Pettit played and Pete Maravich, who I watched when I was in high school. This is an opportunity to go back in time and see other great players that came up the LSU chain. Now the fans can have their say, and when you have fan interaction in any sport in anything you do, the fans are the ones who are the real historians because they can bring out different things that happened, times passed that we may have forgotten about or we didn’t know about.
“One of my hobbies is bowling on Thursday nights, and we have so many old quarterbacks, basketball coaches, wannabe coaches who think they know the game better than I do who know all the stats of every player who played even before Bob Pettit. They even know my stats and where I was born, where I grew up and everything, so they know it all. This is an opportunity for the fans to let us know what they think and how they feel about their favorite school. I embrace this 100 percent, and I’ll do what I can to help out and I hope everybody can feel as passionate as I do about this particular project.”
FORMER TIGER CENTER BOB PETTIT QUOTES
“I think Rudy expressed it very well, and there’s not a lot I can add other than to say I am very pleased to be a part of this. I think it’s a win situation for everybody, for LSU, certainly for the fans and certainly for us who are former players here. I’m excited about it. I’m delighted that Kent called me and asked me to be a part of it. I think it’s something we will have a lot of fun with. Everybody will enjoy it, and hopefully it turns out well, which I know it will. I am excited to be here and looking forward to being a part of this.”