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.