What’s in a number? Mountaineers’ best basketball players: 10-15 | WVU | West Virginia Mountaineers Sports Coverage

Previous to this series, we took a deep dive into the best Mountaineer football player to wear every uniform number, and recently started our review of the best players to don every basketball number. Today our take on the best of those who wore 10-15.

Although WVU first fielded an inter-varsity basketball team in 1903, the first recorded use of jerseys with numbers by Mountaineer basketball players did not occur until 1933. Since the start of the 1950s college basketball players were limited in the numbers they could wear. To facilitate the officials’ ability to relay fouls to the scorer’s table, high school and college basketball players may only have numbers that can be hand signaled: 0-5, 10-15, 20 -25, 30-35, 40-45 and 50-55. Sometimes in the 1930s and 1940s a mountaineer wore a uniform with a 6, 7, 8 or 9, but since 1950 it’s always a number that only contains 0-5.

Joe Stydahar, a college and professional WVU football player, was also a force on the Mountaineers basketball court from 1933 to 1936, where he was one of those no longer wearing numbers. He wore several numbers during his hoop days, including # 16, # 27 and # 43, although he ended his career with # 44. Of course, the number 44 became West Virginia’s most famous basketball number, as it was also worn by Hall of Famers Jerry West and Rod Thorn. No Mountaineer male basketball player has donned the number 44 since Thorn graduated in 1963.

Like Stydahar, many WVU men’s basketball players have worn multiple numbers during their careers. When more than one uniform number was used, I tried to focus on the number most associated with that individual.

Granted, there were many very deserving candidates relegated to the honorable mention category in this series because there were simply so many good ones to choose from. But when you can only have one winner per number, someone has to be kicked out. Obviously, this list is completely subjective, so feel free to express your own opinions in our BlueGoldNews.com forums.

Previously in the series


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10 – Clayce Kishbaugh (1955-57). Hailing from Harrison County, West Virginia, town of Nutter Fort, Kishbaugh was a key member of some of the Mountaineers’ top performing teams. He served as co-captain, along with Hot Rod Hundley, for the 1956-57 WVU team, which posted a 25-5 record. A 6-foot-2 goaltender, the Kishbaugh Mountaineers went 65-25 in his three seasons in college and earned NCAA spots each of those years. He scored 833 points during his time at WVU, averaging over 12.5 points in his last two seasons. A graduate of Roosevelt-Wilson High in Clarksburg, Kishbaugh served as a high school teacher, coach and athletic director in Zanesville, Ohio, for 30 years after his stint at WVU. He died in 2012.

Honorable Mention – Don Weir, Greg Jones II, Jermaine Haley

11 – Lowes Moore (1977-80). One of the most dynamic basketball players to ever wear the Gold & Blue, Moore had high-flying abilities well beyond his 6-foot-1 height. A native of Mt. Vernon, New York, Moore arrived in West Virginia in the fall of 1976 and spent his first season off the bench as a substitute behind a point guard named Bob Huggins (whom you may have heard of). Moore took over as a WVU starter the following year after graduation from Huggins and immediately became the driving force behind the Mountaineer offense. He dominated West Virginia scoring in sophomore (21.3 points per game), junior (17.3 points per game) and senior (16.4 points per game). His 1,696 career points are still the 10th highest in school history, and he is also among the top 25 climbers for assists (344) and steals (132). He has scored 20 or more points 37 times during his career at WVU. Moore was elected to the All-Eastern 8 first team in 1978 and 1979, while gaining second team recognition in 1980. He was drafted by the New York Nets in the third round in 1980 and played three seasons in the NBA, then eight seasons with the ABC. After his playing days, he was executive director of the Boys & Girls Club in his hometown of Mount Vernon for 28 years. He was inducted into the WVU Sports Hall of Fame in 2008.

Honorable Mention – Moo Moore, Butch Goode, Jim McCormick, Earnie Hall, Tony Washam, Holman Harley, Chris Leonard, Joe Alexander, Nate Adrian, Emmitt Matthews

Former mountaineer Lowes Moore on Alumni Day

12 – Tarik Phillip (2015-17). Another of the many uniform numbers that was a tough call on this list. Rudy Baric is a member of the WVU Sports Hall of Famer who was instrumental in the de facto 1942 West Virginia National Championship with his NIT title. Additionally, Norman Holmes was a very good player in the ’60s who helped break the color barrier within the WVU and Southern Conference basketball program. But it’s impossible to ignore what Tarik Phillip meant to mountaineering teams over a three-year span from 2014 to 2017. The 6-foot-3 guard from Brooklyn, New York, originally had a ticket to the University of South Carolina, but had to make a detour to Independence (Kansas) Community College. After a year in college, Phillip was drafted in West Virginia, where he combined in the backcourt with Jevon Carter, Daxter Miles and Jaysean Paige, and helped WVU set records of 25-10, 26- 9 and 28-9. . His three members of his mountaineering team secured spots for the NCAA tournament and two qualified for the Sweet 16. His 3 points with 28 seconds left against Buffalo in the 2015 NCAA tournament first round game – the one of only six treys Phillip had that entire season – cleared West Virginia to retain a 68-62 victory that year. A tough, uncompromising guard perfectly suited to the “Press Virginia” style of the day, Phillip’s offense improved over the course of his career. He ended up scoring 814 points over his three seasons at WVU to accompany 154 steals and 238 assists. He was the Big 12’s sixth man of the year in 2017. Since leaving West Virginia, Phillip has spent three seasons playing professionally overseas and one year in the United States as part of the G League. Because Tarik’s mother is an English citizen, he was also able to be part of the British national team at recent FIBA ​​events.

Honorable Mention – Rudy Baric, Frank Spadafore, Joedy Gardner, Paul Popovich, Buddy Quertinmont, Norman Holmes, Curtis Price, Rich Coles, Dana Perno, Taz Sherman

13 – Deniz Kilicli (2010-13). “Is-Tan-Bull” from West Virginia, Kilicli came from Turkey to the United States as a high school student, and first attended and played basketball at Mountain State Academy in Beckley, Va. -Western. This led to his recruiting and final signing at WVU. The 6-foot-9, 260-pound college career had to wait 20 games as his first season was delayed by an NCAA penalty. Kilicli had played for a club team in Turkey, and although Deniz was not paid some of his teammates were, which was an NCAA violation at the time, although this rule has since been repealed. Once eligible, Kilicli became a powerful inner force for the Mountaineers, whether coming off the bench as a freshman in WVU’s Final Four season or later in his career as a starter. . His hook shot was his best offensive weapon, helping him score 899 career points, as he also amassed 454 rebounds, 42 blocks and 288 fouls (22nd in school history). Kilicli’s engaging personality made him a fan favorite, and he was good enough on the pitch to be voted honorable mention all-Big 12 as a senior. Deniz has been playing professional basketball in Turkey since leaving West Virginia nine years ago. In 2015, he married Busra Cansu, a member of the Turkish national volleyball team. She was part of a team that finished ninth at the 2012 Olympics in London.

Honorable Mention – Brooks Berry, James Long, Teddy Allen, Isaiah Cottrell

14 – Wil Robinson (1970-72). One of the greatest offensive players in West Virginia history, Robinson has averaged 24.7 points per game over his three college seasons at WVU. Only Jerry West (24.8 points per game) averaged more, and only West (2,309 career points), Hot Rod Hundley (2,180) and Da’Sean Butler (2,095) scored more than the 1 850 of Robinson during their time with the Mountaineers. A 6-foot-1 goaltender from Uniontown, Pa., Robinson has averaged at least 20 points in each of his three college seasons, a statistic only Hundley has matched. Robinson has always been very good, but he took his game to another level as a senior. He averaged 29.4 points per game, which is better than any mountaineer before or since, and has crossed the 30-point barrier 13 times and scored at least 40 eight times. He owns six of a mountaineer’s seven best performances at the WVU Coliseum, including the all-time high of 45, which he reached against Penn State in 1971. First all-American team in 1972, Robinson was drafted in the fourth round by the Houston Rockets. , but never played in the NBA, although he spent a season with the Memphis Tams in ABA. A graduate of Laurel Highlands High School, Robinson was inducted into the WVU Sports Hall of Fame in 1997 and the Pennsylvania State Hall of Fame in 2017. After his playing career, he worked for many years as a as a district manager for a shoe retailer, living near Buffalo, New York.

Honorable Mention – Jack Shockey, Ronnie Retton, Ricky Ray, Tony Robertson, Vic Herbert, JJ Crawl, Darris Nichols, Gary Browne, Chase Harler

15 – Marsalis Basey (1991-94). Hailing from Martinsburg, West Virginia, Basey was in the WVU freshman class in 1990, which also included guard Mike Boyd and forwards PG Greene, Ricky Robinson and Phil Wilson. At 5-foot-8, Basey was the point guard of the group and ultimately had the most successful college career of the five. A replacement as a true freshman, he took on a starting role midway through his second season and held that position for 74 games until the end of his career. He scored a total of 1,168 points during his four years with West Virginia to accompany 514 assists, which is the third in school history, and 182 assists, the eighth-best total ever. registered at WVU. Also an athlete good enough to be a top football and baseball player (he spent four seasons in the minor leagues), Basey was an Atlantic 10 third team selection as a junior and a pick of the second team as a senior. After graduating from WVU, Marsalis returned to his hometown of Martinsburg where he coached basketball and runs his own business.

Honorable Mention – Don Vincent, Lee Patrone, Ed Harvard, Larry Harris, Dave McCardle, Jess Hutson, Drew Schifino, Lamont West

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