WKU Men’s Basketball: University announces All-Century team
After weeks of voting, WKU Hilltopper Basketball announced its All-Century Team in honor of the program’s upcoming 100th season.
The 15-player All-Century squad, a prestigious list comprised of some of the best to ever compete on the hardwood for the Hilltoppers, is led by head coach E.A. Diddle.
Diddle coached the Hilltoppers to a 759-302 record over 42 seasons at the helm from 1923-64, becoming the first coach to ever guide his team through 1,000 games at one school. His 759 wins were the highest total ever by a college coach at the time of his retirement.
Diddle helped develop 13 All-Americans during his tenure, including six members of the All-Century Team.
As the players appearing on the highest percentage of total ballots, the captains of the WKU All-Century Team are guard Courtney Lee and center Jim McDaniels.
Lee and McDaniels share the WKU all-time scoring record with 2,238 career points each. Lee was named Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year and received All-American honors in 2008. McDaniels, who passed away in 2017, was an All-American every season from 1969-71 and a consensus All-American in 1971.
Lee and McDaniels are joined on the team by Johnny Britt, Darel Carrier, Ralph Crosthwaite, Tellis Frank, Clem Haskins, Kannard Johnson, Chris Marcus, Tom Marshall, John Oldham, Bobby Rascoe, Dwight Smith, Art Spoelstra and Carlisle Towery.
The All-Century Team members represent decades ranging from the 1930s to the 2000s.
Their list of collective accomplishments is staggering, including 21 All-America honors. They earned nine conference Player of the Year awards, including multiple wins for both McDaniels and Haskins, and received 44 total all-conference selections.
In all, the 15 All-Century players scored 23,753 career points in their time as Hilltoppers. They accounted for 11 NBA Draft picks, including four first-rounders and three second-rounders.
All eight WKU players with a jersey retired in the Diddle Arena rafters are represented on the All-Century Team. Diddle himself also has a banner in his honor in the venue.
WKU invited fans to vote online in recent weeks and put together their own teams to count for a percentage of the overall voting totals. Simultaneously, other voting groups contributed to the process, including members of athletic administration, WKU Basketball Athletic Hall of Famers, active W-Club basketball lettermen and the W-Club Board of Directors.
WKU will honor the 100th season of Hilltopper Basketball throughout the 2018-19 campaign. The school is also honoring the 100th seasons of Hilltopper Football and Baseball this year as well.
In its previous 99 seasons, WKU Basketball has amassed an all-time record of 1,775-912. The Hilltoppers rank 17th in NCAA history in all-time wins, eighth in winning percentage (.661), third in regular-season championships (42) and seventh in 20-win seasons (44).
WKU Hilltopper Basketball All-Century Team
Head Coach: E.A. Diddle (1923-64)
Johnny Britt, Guard (1973-76)
Darel Carrier, Guard (1962-64)
Ralph Crosthwaite, Center (1955, ’57-59)
Tellis Frank, Forward (1984-87)
Clem Haskins, Guard (1965-67)
Kannard Johnson, Forward (1984-87)
Courtney Lee, Guard (2005-08) – captain
Chris Marcus, Center (2000-02)
Tom Marshall, Forward (1951-54)
Jim McDaniels, Center (1969-71) – captain
John Oldham, Guard (1943, ’47-49)
Bobby Rascoe, Guard (1960-62)
Dwight Smith, Guard (1965-67)
Art Spoelstra, Center (1952-54)
Carlisle Towery, Center (1939-41)