I recently told a friend who, in the late 1970s was a college basketball assistant coach and, now, helps operate my favorite Southern Maine inn (commercial plug: the inn is called "Ocean Woods Resort" in the Goose Rocks Beach area of Kennebunkport, Maine), about this blog. He was kind enough to submit what he called his "All Dinosaur" team from MAAC teams.
Unfortunately, my friend hasn't followed the conference closely in a few years (make that many years), and his selections, while all among the best players in their respective schools' histories, all played before the MAAC even came into existence.
Here's are his picks ...
- Elnoro Webster of Saint Peter's, a bruising 6-foot-5 forward who played two seasons (1967-68, 68-69), scored 1,338 points in 54 games and grabbed 769 rebounds (still 2nd on the school's all-time list)
- Calvin Murphy, Niagara, the dynamic 5-9 guard of the late 1960's, early 1970s, who averaged well over 30 points per game over his college career and had a distinguished NBA playing career.
- Jeff Ruland, Iona, a 6-10 center of (if memory serves) mid-1970s vintage who helped vault his school into the national limelight, had a distinguished NBA career, recently coached at Iona and, now is an assistant coach with the Philadelphia 76ers.
- Billy Campion, Manhattan, a 6-10 center of the early-to-mid 1970s' era who became that school's first player to accumulate 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds.
- George Bucci, a big guard who played alongside Campion and finished with over 1,300 career points at Manhattan.
Great players all, but all played in the pre-MAAC era.
Which leads to the question ... who were the best players to compete in the MAAC?
We'll get to that eventually, but opinions prior to this typist's picks, would be appreciated.
Let's limit it to 10 players, regardless of position.
I have followed the MAAC closely since its formative years, and had covered MAAC basketball as a writer for 18 seasons. So, hopefully, I've developed a little insight on the topic.
But, as it is with all such subjective topics, there will be disagreements and debates. And, when it comes to sports, that is always a good thing. My choices won't necessarily be definitive. They will just be my choices.
So, let the debates rage. Oh, and let's pick an all-time list of top coaches, too. Since most current MAAC staffs have four full-time coaches, let's pick the conference's all-time top four coaches.
In conjunction with my eventual choice for an all-time, all-MAAC team I will also offer my "favorite" MAAC players. Those might not necessarily be the best who ever played for conference teams, although they might be. They will just be a group of 10 (or so) of players I took a little extra pleasure in watching or interacting with during my time around college basketball.