Wabash Blogs Wabash Hoops '53-'65 -

October 20, 2009

Teams of the Brock Era

 

1964-65_3-12

                      1964-65 -- 3-12

                         1963-64 Little Giants-- 5-12

               1962-63 Little Giants--9-9

 

         1961-62 Little Giants--6-12

 

   1960-61 Little Giants--15-7 NCAA Tournament

 

                  1959-60 Little Giants--14-7 NCAA Tournament

 

    1958-59 Little Giants--13-8 NCAA Tournament

 

     1957-58 Little Giants 13-9 NCAA Tournament

 

                1956-57 Little Giants 8-10

 

            1955-56 Little Giants 6-17

 

              1954-55 Little Giants 12-6-1

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October 12, 2009

Rex McCoy

Rex McCoy

 

Rex McCoy was the first of Coach Brock's players to score over 1000 pts.  He scored 1001 points in 80 games during his career from 1951-1955.  He was named captain and MVP his senior year.

 

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October 09, 2007

Tom Bennett — A Hall of Famer

Tom Bennett was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame. Read the whole story and see photos of the induction ceremony by clicking here.

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February 27, 2007

Pictures from the Coach Brock Reunion

Look at the faces on these Little Giants.  Did they

have a good time?

 

Coach Brock at center court.

The Wonder Five minus Whitey Wilcox.  Jim Price, Duane Axel,

Bill Boone, and Charlie West.

 

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February 20, 2007

Jim Amidon talks about Coach Brock

Jim Amidon wrote a great article in the Crawfordsville Journal Review just before the Brock era reunion. To see it, click on the link below. It is entitled "More than basketball."

More than Basketball

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Photos from the Coach Brock-Era Reunion

It was great to see so many alumni brave the snowy conditions to return to Wabash to honor Coach Brock and what he meant to all of us. Click here to see photographs from the reunion.

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February 13, 2007

Wedgie looks back

 

Dear Bill:

I came to Wabash in the fall of 1955 from Kansas City, Missouri which is less than an hour from the University of Kansas.  While Jayhawk fans were and are fanatic about basketball, my initial encounters with Hoosier basketball fans was a real eye opener.  I went to a Crawfordsville High School game when the season started and had to leave at half-time because the noise was so deafening.  My freshman year at Wabash was successful academically, but frustrating in terms of athletics.  As you can see in the 1955-56 team picture I do not appear.  However, by January of that season I had worked my way into the lineup.  What stands out most clearly about that year was the conversation I had with Coach Brock after the season ended.  I confessed to frustration that our record of 6 wins and 17 losses represented more losses than I had experienced in all of my high school years.  He was very encouraging and talked about how he thought things would improve the next year, and they did.

I have had more opportunities than most to be reminded of the years I spent at Wabash having served on the Board of the National Association of Wabash Men and the Board of Trustees.  I did not become actively involved with the College until after my ten year Class Reunion.  Since then I have continued to enjoy connecting with the College and other alums.  As the years have passed specific memories fade, but there are a few that stand out in my mind.  One that I am sure others are not aware of is that after my sophomore year we did not have home and home contracts with  Sewanee and Southwestern in Tennessee.  At that time, city ordinances in Nashville and Memphis prohibited interracial athletic contests.  Brock and I had a conversation about this during my freshman year and contracts for those trips were discontinued.

This was the beginning of a very special relationship I had with Coach Brock that has lasted up to now.  He understood that I had special issues I had to address on and off the court.  Yet, he never gave me any special breaks.  For example, to avoid any embarrassment, he did not take me with the team to Tennessee in my sophomore year for the last of those contracted games.  Shortly before the trip Brock told me he wanted me to shoot 100 shots a day while the team was gone.  I told him that it was semester break and I was going home. This running conversation continued until the team left and I went home.  The Sunday after semester break I showed for practice as scheduled and everything seemed OK, but I knew the other shoe would drop any moment.  We played Ohio Wesleyan on Monday evening.  I was not in the starting lineup.  I sat through the 1st half and through the second half.  Brock never said a word to me and I never said a word to him.  What added insult to injury was we won by 22 points!!  When I returned for my 25th Class reunion I saw Coach as usually do when I get to C' ville.  I finally asked him if we had been losing that game would he have played me.  Predictably, his response was, NO! 

Little things about my teammates stick in my mind.  I recall the way that Tommy Bennett always shot free throws from an angle. Charlie Bowerman always shot his free throws underhanded.  The year we set the record for team free throw shooting percentage started very innocently.  Tommy was then a junior and Charlie was a sophomore, but they were very competitive.  We usually shot about 100 free throws in intervals of 20 during practices.  Tommy and Charlie started shooting for Cokes.  Then the competition caught on and the whole team became very competitive at each practice to see who could make the most out of 100.  The key to setting the record was not just Tommy and Charlie who were excellent free throw shooters, but it was the guys who would come into the game off the bench and hit 1 for 1, or 2 for 2. 

The team enjoyed much more success in my junior and senior years going 13-9 and 13-8 respectively.  We usually played teams from schools much larger than the 500 men at Wabash.  We usually gave away a lot of height and weight to our opponents.  Sherm Franz was a tall 6-5, but he was slight.  I remember many nights after games when he would take off his game jersey his chest would be covered with black and blue marks.  But he never complained.  He was a real warrior!  So was Ben Fellerhoff who was a burly 6-3.  Ben would take on anybody under the boards.  One night when we were playing in the U.S. Marine Christmas tournament in  Quantico, we met St. Michaels from Winooski, VT.  They had a huge 6-8 center named Hank Gretowski.  I drove down the lane against him and got slammed to the floor.  I jumped up looking for who had hit me and Benny grabbed me.  When I saw who it was I continued to struggle, but I whispered to Ben, "Don't let me go!"

These are only fleeting memories. The guy on our team who had the most phenomenal memory for stats and opponent strengths was JohntHollett.  He devoured the sports page every day and not just about basketball.  We should get Hollett to his his recall button and I am sure he will remember incidents, events and people we have long forgotten.  My greatest thrills were the times we beat DePauw and Butler.  My greatest disappointment was the double overtime loss to Evansville in 1958 during the NCAA tournament.  No one was prouder than I when Wabash won the NCAA Division III Basketball Championship in 1982 partly because we had demonstrated in the late ' 50's and early ' 60's that Wabash could revive its winning tradition in basketball.

A few years ago I was visiting the College and dropped by basketball practice.  Wally Cox, a star guard for Butler in the late ' 50's was there watching his son who played at Wabash.  We had a wonderful visit talking about our respective teammates and what they had done after college.  Not once during that conversation did we mention wins and losses.  It was clear to both of us that we had shared an experience that was very special and that few other college students enjoyed who did not participate in varsity sports!

 

Bob Wedgeworth '59

 

 

 

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