By Lorenzo Tanos
And here it is – the continuation of last week’s SEC trivia! Again, if your favorite SEC school wasn’t represented last week, there’s a good chance it will be here.
1. Who is the first African-American scholarship athlete in the SEC, and what team did he play for?
Vanderbilt forward Perry Wallace became the first black player in the SEC when he played his first varsity game for the Commodores on December 2, 1967. He scored 1,010 points and grabbed 894 rebounds in his three-year career and was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 1970 Draft. He went on to become a lawyer and currently teaches at the Washington College of Law.
2. After a successful stint as Mississippi State’s head basketball coach, he became one of the ABA’s more colorful characters, coaching several teams including the Dallas Chaparrals and Kentucky Colonels.
James H. “Babe” McCarthy, a.k.a. Ol’ Magnolia Mouth, coached some very talented Bulldogs teams in the NCAA, including two 24-1 teams; the first one, the 1958-59 lineup, was led by future NBA Hall of Famer Bailey Howell. Unfortunately, segregationist state laws prevented Mississippi State from accepting NCAA postseason invitations due to the presence of African-American players in the tournament; as a result, the Bulldogs only got to play the tourney in 1963, where they made the Sweet 16.
3. What year did the Georgia Bulldogs play in their first NCAA tournament?
1983. Ironically, this was the season immediately following Dominique Wilkins’ jump to the NBA. Leading the way for the Bulldogs in ’83 was point guard Vern Fleming, who would also enjoy a successful NBA career, though definitely far from what the Human Highlight Film achieved.
4. Though his Major League Baseball success was only a fraction of former Ole Miss guard Don Kessinger’s, he nevertheless played 50 games as a reserve Cleveland Indians shortstop a few years after setting a record for highest season scoring average for Alabama.
The name Jack Kubiszyn may not ring a bell, but as a Crimson Tide guard in 1956-57, he set a team record for highest single season scoring average with 24.6 ppg, a record which still stands. Like fellow SEC guard turned MLB shortstop Kessinger, he wasn’t drafted by the NBA.
5. True or False – Charles Barkley recorded the first triple double in the history of the Auburn Tigers.
False. In fact, it was only earlier this year when Kenny Gabriel scored 24 points, grabbed 13 boards and blocked 10 shots to become the first Tiger to have a triple-double. For the 2011-12 season, Gabriel averaged 12.2 ppg, 7.4 rpg and 2.3 bpg.
6. A fifteenth round pick in the 1958 NBA Draft, this former Kentucky guard won MVP honors at the 1966 NBA All-Star Game as a member of the Cincinnati Royals.
Adrian “Odie” Smith didn’t have the most eye-opening career for the Wildcats, averaging 12.1 ppg and shooting just 37% from the field as a senior. In 1966, he scored 24 points off the bench to lead the East to a 137-94 rout over the West.
7. Since joining the SEC, how many SEC conference titles have the South Carolina Gamecocks won?
Two. The first came in 1997 when the Gamecocks went 15-1 in SEC play, only to be eliminated in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
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