This column will definitely generate some controversy, and that is exactly my intent! If I wanted to win the 2018 NCAA Championship, I would build my team around these five all-time all-stars from Ole Miss basketball history:
Johnny Neumann: If you blinked, you may have missed his Ole Miss career (1969-71). But for those of us who didn’t, we watched “Johnny Reb” (his nickname) lead the nation in scoring, an accomplishment no other Ole Miss player has ever come close to achieving. After a stint with the Memphis Pros in the American Basketball Association, the 6-6 forward was selected by the Chicago Bulls in the sixth round of the 1973 NBA draft.
Elston Turner: After playing at Ole Miss from 1977-81, Turner was chosen in round two of the NBA draft, playing eight seasons in the pros for the Dallas Mavericks, the Denver Nuggets and the Bulls. Among his many achievements, the 6-5 Turner led the Rebels to their first-ever NCAA tournament.
Gerald Glass: Known at Ole Miss as “World Class Glass,” the 6-5 scoring machine was fourth in the nation in scoring his junior year. He completed his Ole Miss career as the sixth all-time leading scorer after only two seasons! A round-one pick in the 1990 draft, he later played pro basketball with the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Detroit Pistons, the New Jersey Nets and the Charlotte Hornets.
Marshall Henderson: Wow! What a splash this high-spirited athlete made in Oxford! Leading Ole Miss to a 27-9 record and an NCAA bid, Henderson was SEC Rookie of the Year in 2013 and led the league in scoring at a 20.1 clip. During that same season, he was named the MVP of the SEC Tournament in Nashville. And he is only 6-2!
Carlos Clark: The 6-4 guard was taken in round 4 of the 1983 NBA draft. The Somerville, Tenn. native was recognized as an honorable mention for the All-American squad during his tenure at Ole Miss. He was among the first four-year (senior) class that was invited to four consecutive postseason tournaments. His career shooting percentage of 54.7 is the third best in Ole Miss history.
There you have it. Let the games (and criticism) begin! Who are your picks for Ole Miss’ all-time best basketball players?
Steve Vassallo is a HottyToddy.com contributor. Steve writes on Ole Miss athletics, Oxford business, politics and other subjects. He is an Ole Miss grad and former radio announcer for the basketball team. Currently, Steve is a highly successful leader in the real estate business who lives in Oxford with his wife Rosie. You can contact Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 985-852-7745.