TDR keeps it rolling with another 5-year release of 3rd & 4th round draft profiles: 1966-1970
1966-1970 Research Problems:
Ken Wilburn: Like many HBCU picks, Central State didn’t really have any leads or positions to point me regarding Wilburn's career stats. I was glad to recover bit and pieces, but his information is far from complete.
Sam Singleton: Thanks to some digging, I retrieved Singleton's first two years at the University of Omaha (now Nebraska at Omaha), but his final playing season requires additional research to fill in the few gaps that remain. Singleton did not play his final season at Omaha as he was academically ineligible.
Richie Moore: Moore transferred to Hiram Scott after questioning his role with Villanova, but this turned out to be a bad move. His new, liberal college stood only six years before going bankrupt. The shaky beginning and abrupt end to his college career leaves his statistics fragmented, but I was able to obtain the numbers for scoring and games played. Much of the remaining data is missing.
Darryl Jones: I acquired a good portion of Jones' stats with the exception of some holes in his junior numbers.
Rob St. Pierre: To put it mildly, St. Pierre's numbers were about as easy to find as a needle in a hack stack. Hanover College could only provide career numbers. Everything else I have made available came through good old fashion research through various sources.
Billy Jones: Jones is another one of those players whose school just recently found his career numbers, thanks in large part to their new Sports Information Director. Perhaps his remaining numbers can be located, but it may be unlikely. I was able to retrieve his first two years, while his remaining years came through a multitude of sources.
Jimmy Wilson: While a good portion of Cheney's stats were not too challenging to obtain, his first two years at the HCBU are behind a dark veil. It's unconfirmed where he actually spent his first year, but I was able to verify that his sophomore year was indeed spent at Cheney.
Donald Dee: Dee is one of the most unique and uplifting stories in the draft. He was a tremendous player on the fast track to stardom at St. Louis before suffering a devastating knee injury that almost drove him away from the game. Dee later moved away and married his college sweetheart while working full time, but two years later (at the urging of a co-worker) he decided to give basketball one more chance. Dee was far removed from the big roots of St. Louis, so he spent a year at St. Mary of the Plains in Dodge City, Kansas to obtain eligibility and continue knee rehab. Two years later he went on to become an NAIA all-American while earning a spot on the gold winning 1968 Olympic team. Unfortunately, his school closed their doors in 1992. This left much of the his records lost or inaccessible. Dee’s stats are missing data in key spots. Only games played and points per game have been uncovered thus far.
Louie Dampier: Dampier spent nine All-star years in the ABA before ending his career after 3 seasons with the NBA. He makes this list based on being (arguably) the first small guard to utilize the three point shot to become an offensive force. Dampier was a specialist of the highest order in the fashion of Steve Kerr, yet slightly better at passing and ball handing. His shooting was prolific, as evidenced by 199 successful three point shots during the 1968-69 ABA season. This achievement stood unmatched in pro basketball until it was broken 26 years later by John Starks, who hit 217 three-pointers in the 1994-95 NBA season.
John Block: This one time all-star was a solid bench player with great rebounding and defensive abilities. Block was unfortunately dealt the same hand as the talented and constantly moving Jimmy Jackson of the 1990’s. He was often used as trade bait to sweeten deals between NBA teams.
Archie Clark: Clark was discovered by an assistant coach at the University of Minnesota, but was older than most rookies due to his time in the Army. His scoring ability made him a hot commodity in the newly forming ABA with several contract offers for his services. Clark went on to become a two time all-star and, unlike many African American players just a decade ago that were just happy to play in the NBA, this generation helped usher in a new bargaining position financially.
Norm Van Lier: Van Lier was a three-time NBA all-star known for his dominant perimeter defense. The original "Stormin Norman" teamed up with future Hall of Fame coach Jerry Sloan to form one of the NBA's best defensive backcourts of the mid 60’s through the mid 70’s. Sadly, this tough-nosed defensive point guard recently died in February 2009 at the age of 61 from an apparent heart attack.
Bobby Dandridge: Dandridge was a mere side note on draft night, but went on to be regarded as one of the finest forwards of the 1970’s. This four time NBA all-star won two NBA championship titles with the 1971 Milwaukee Bucks and 1978 Washington Bullets. Dandridge’s defensive ability and fundamentally sound game made him a versatile threat capable of a multitude of functions on the court. He is clearly one of the biggest steals in NBA draft history.
Greg Smith: Smith was a starter on the 1971 Milwaukee Bucks championship team and spent the majority of his career as a contributor off the bench, but he faced quite a bit of adversity before making the NBA. After Smith's junior year his brother, Dwight Smith, was drafted by the NBA. Western Kentucky University held a banquet to honor both brothers’ on-court accomplishments, but the evening ended in tragedy. On the car ride home, Greg hit a large pool of water on the road and began to hydroplane. The car flipped into a deep ditch filled with several feet of water. His brother and sister also occupied the the car, but did not survive. This left Greg with despair and guilt.
There is more great stuff out my historical vault. Dig into this latest release as I move on to make ready the 3rd and 4th round draft picks from 1971 through 1975.
Enjoy! Matthew Maurer