999 Wins Ago

First of all, I have to tell you that I wasn't there for #1000, but I saw #999 and #1003, although I didn't know it at the time.  No, I wasn't drunk and I knew I was in Memorial Coliseum; there just wasn't any mention of it at the time, that I recall.  No big deal.  We were expected to win.  Now, if my math and Jon Scott's site are both correct, here's the way it played out:

Georgia was in Lexington on January 13, 1969.  The Cats had a relatively easy time of it, winning 88-68.  Five days later, they traveled to Knoxville and beat the Volunteers 69-66 for win #1000.  That's right, friends, our landmark win came at the expense of our oldest, if not most virulent, rival.  If that doesn't warm the cockles of your heart, I don't know what would.

Continuing their road trip, UK won #1001 at LSU on Jan 28, #1002 at Alabama on Jan 27, and returned home on February 1 to beat Vanderbilt 103-89 for #1003. 

The starters on that 1969 team were:

- The late Mike Casey-drafted102 in the NBA draft, but didn't play, probably because of the horrible leg injury that delayed his senior year and slowed him to a great degree his last year at UK.  Great guy-a fraternity brother of mine.

-Mike Pratt-undrafted.  Later coached at ECU and is now a color announcer for UK.  Strong as a bull; and also a nice person.

-Phil Argento-drafted in the 10th NBA round.  Did not play in the league.  High school coach in the Cleveland area.  Good guy, but fairly quiet-played on the Kittens with him as he set scoring records.

-Larry Steele-drafted in the 3rd round and played 9 seasons with Portland, averaging 8.2 points and 2.9 rebounds per game. Another super guy.  Sat next to him in a history class.  Funny person with whom I shared class notes.

-Dan Issel (you may have heard of him!!)-Drafted NUMBER 122 OVERALL (you read that correctly) proving that the NBA scouts sometimes have their reports wrong.  Naismith Hall of Fame.  Over 27,000 points in the ABA and NBA combined, averaging over 20 ppg in nine seasons in the NBA after averaging over 25 ppg in six seasons in the ABA.  Another super person-gentle giant off the court-another fraternity brother.

So why was there little/no hoopla over win #1000?  Who knows?  Marketing and sports information functions were far less developed than they are now, and the internet did not exist. 

My purpose in putting out this little bit of information is so Tink and whomever else is going to the Drexel game will be well-equipped with a sense of history-where we've been and where we're going.  Good luck, guys, and yell a little louder for those of us who can't be there.

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