FanPost

2011-12 Will Be 40th Anniversary Of Two UK Basketball Memories

The most obvious is the 40th anniversary of Adolph Rupp's last season as UK coach. Despite the loss of Tom Payne to the NBA Hardship Draft, stars like Larry Steele and Mike Casey to graduation, and starting guard Kent Hollenback to injury (NOTE that's 4 starters lost from the 1970-71 team), UK managed to put together a 21-7 season and win the SEC title in 1972. The Cats went on to defeat 7th ranked Marquette in NCAA before losing to Hugh Durham's Florida State squad that included Kentuckians Ron King, Otto Petty, and Larry Gay on its roster. FSU would lose to UCLA at Final 4.

Coach Rupp finished his UK coaching career with 5 straight SEC titles (1968 through 1972). His 71-72 squad was led by Jim Andrews and Tom Parker (both All-SEC players). Larry Stamper, Ronnie Lyons, and Stan Key filled out the lineup - each playing key roles that season. Depth was lacking - Rick Drewitz filled in at F or C and Bob McCowan at G.

Perhaps the best team at UK during the 71-72 season was the fabled Super Kittens (UK frosh team) who were 22-0 and named (mythical) national frosh champions. The Kittens were led by Kevin Grevey, Jimmy Dan Conner, Mike Flynn, and Bob Guyette in the last year of freshman ineligibility for Div I Men's basketball. Had those 4 (and others) been available to play varsity, one can only wonder what the 72 Cats might have accomplished.

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