The Best Davidson Wildcats

With that Davidson-Wisconsin battle only about a half hour away, I still can’t get those Davidson Wildcats from yesteryear out of my mind.

I was doing some heavy thinking(and not heavy drinking) the other day about the cast from Dallas with Larry Hagman, Patrick Duffy, Barbra Bel Geddes, Jim Davis, Victoria Principal, Linda Gray, and Charlene Tilton and the Davidson Wildcats from the late 1960’s and early 1970’s with their old mentor Lefty Driesell keep coming back to life now that sophomore Stephen Curry has re-put Davidson on the college basketball map.

I saw Stephen Curry and his younger brother Seth(who is headed to Liberty Univeristy) lose to Greensboro Day School in the NCISAA 3-A state title game back in 2006. I was doing the radio broadcast and GDS had no problem with Charlotte Christian and the Curry kids.

I saw Davidson play back in the day when the Wildcats ruled the real Southern Conference with Richmond, ECU, Furman, William and Mary and all the other giants of mid-major college basketball back in the late 60’s/early 70’s. I was there watching as the group I would call the best-ever Wildcats took the court. Mike Maloy, Doug Cook, and Jerry Kroll….There was never a better three-some at Davidson.

Maloy(now I remember Maloy with one “L”, like Buddy Landel with one “L”) was All-American in 1968, 1969, and 1970. The teams with Maloy, Cook, and Kroll were a win away from the Final Four two years in a row and lost each time to Dean Smith’s UNC Tar Heels. There was not a better trio around than Maloy, Cook and Kroll. Maloy was a black college athlete and he is still Davidson’s all-time career leader in rebounds and he did all it in three years. Like Stephen Curry; Maloy, Cook, and Kroll could compete with college basketball players on any level.

Maloy, Cook, and Kroll had a guy with them in ’68 and ’69 named Wayne Huckel and Huckel was also with the Wildcats in 1967. I remember Huckel real well and then in 1970 Bryan Adrian was one of the stars with the Maloy, Cook, and Kroll bunch.

Among the stand-alone greats at Davidson were Fred Hetzel who averaged 27.3 points per game in the 1963-1964 season and Hetzel has the Davidson single-game scoring mark with 53 points. Hetzel was All-American in 1963, 1964, and 1965. Dick Snyder averaged 26.9 points per game for the Wildcats in the 1965-1966 season. John Gerdy averaged 26.7 points a game for Davidson in the 1978-1979 season and Mike Maloy checked in at 24.6 points a game back in 1968-1969.

I still haven’t seen anything that can compare to the that team that featured Mike Maloy, Doug Cook, and Jerry Kroll and Maloy is, in my opinion, “the best-ever basektball player at Davidson and one of the best to ever play college basketball in this state”.

Davidson is set to take on Wisconsin in just about 5 minutes and maybe, just maybe, this will be the Wildcat team that goes over the top and makes it to the Final Four. Good luck to the ‘Cats.

7 thoughts on “The Best Davidson Wildcats

  1. Thanks for the great article! I’ve been enjoying the stories from people as they reminisce about my father and his teammates.


    Michael A. Maloy

  2. I remember your Dad came to the Carolina Coliseum along with Bryan Adrian and handed the highly ranked Gamecocks 1 of only 3 losses that season. Your Dad was a terrific ball-player and lead the way for other African-Americans to play basketball in the South. My fondest regards to you and your Father.

    Alan Pavon – South Carolina Class of ’72

  3. Alan,
    Thank you very much for the kind words. I’ve heard some interesting stories about what life was like during Mike’s stay…some good, some not-so-good. Still, after all these years the fact that he’s left such an impression on people does make me puff out my chest a bit and go “That’s my pop!”

    Best regards to you and yours,

    Michael A. Maloy

  4. Does anyone remember the claim that Maloy had the quickest first step in basketball? He did, the man was
    awesome and Davidson got a very RAW DEAL by the referees in Raleigh at the Eastern Regional’s against
    Carolina. It was the fastest 5 second count ever not recorded to assure Carolina got the ball back along with a
    charge by Davidson. Sorry if I still recent it, but I was there. I met Larry Miller many years later and he was
    introduced to me as one that still harbored resentment against UNC, he immediately said then he’s a
    Davidson fan, he knew about the crazy calls in those games as well as UNC stealing Charlie Scott away from
    Davidson as Scott had already verbally committed to Davidson.

    Does any remember Adrian schooling John Rouge at USC with I think 22 or 26 in the 2nd half putting
    Davidson #1 in the nation?

  5. I remember Davidson in the 1970 game against # 1 or # 2 (can’t remember) South Carolina (best team in USC history with John Roche, Tom Owens, Bobby Cremins, John Ribock, and Tom Riker). Brian Adrian, Kroll, Maloy came into Carolina Coliseum and beat USC I think 68-62. One of 2 games that USC lost in the regular season that year. Davidson had a great ball club. Broke my heart as a die hard Gamecock fan.

  6. Yes, I remember. UCLA was ranked #1 just lost to Houston, which made USC the #1 team in the land.
    Davidson had been ranked #3 which then became #1. I think Duke beat Davidson a week or so later to change
    all the rankings then. I really thought this happened in 68 or 69 as Lefty was still cocahing Davidson when this
    happened, and I think Lefty left for Maryland in 70. Anyhow, Adrian stole the show that night, he was
    unstoppable. I remember Steve Kirley and Ribock getting into it, it got nasty. Kirley was not a starter, he was a
    bruiser coming off the bench.

  7. Rest in Peace, Mike. (1949-2009).

    Sad news for the Davidson community. All our condolences to the Maloy family.

    Mike was one of the best.

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