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A Historical past of SEC Basketball

6 min read

23 days in the past
SEC Community

Picture: ESPN

Throughout the upcoming faculty basketball season, SEC Community will premiere “Southern Hoops: A Historical past of SEC Basketball,” a seven-part SEC Storied documentary chronicling the origin and development of the game for each women and men within the convention as the game approaches the seventy fifth anniversary of the primary NCAA Championship received by an SEC establishment. A brand new episode will debut each Monday evening at 9 p.m. ET from January 30 by March 13.

The collection, directed by “Saturdays within the South: A Historical past of SEC Soccer” filmmaker Fritz Mitchell, will span the historical past of SEC basketball, from Vanderbilt collaborating within the first males’s faculty recreation (1893) and Adolph Rupp main Kentucky to the SEC’s first nationwide title (1948), to basketball by the lens of the civil rights motion, and the emergence of powerhouse girls’s packages such because the Tennessee Girl Vols, led by legendary head coach Pat Summitt, and the reigning SEC and NCAA champion South Carolina Gamecocks beneath Daybreak Staley.

“After my expertise directing ‘Saturdays within the South,’ I puzzled if the fervour for basketball may match that for soccer within the SEC,” stated Mitchell. “Touring to traditionally wealthy SEC faculty cities is at all times an enlightening journey. Sonny Smith advised me about his early bootlegging days and I chuckled as Wimp Sanderson recounted hiding within the bushes to ambush a recruit. I visited Pat Summitt’s grave along with her household, feelings nonetheless uncooked even a number of years after her loss of life. I discovered myself mesmerized listening to Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf articulate the phrases of Malcolm X and sat enthralled as Andy Landers talked in regards to the grassroots efforts of girls’s basketball. I rapidly discovered that sure, there’s ardour for SEC basketball, and a shock round each nook.”

An Emmy and Peabody award-winning filmmaker, Mitchell began his tv profession as a researcher for CBS Sports activities in 1982, and has directed and produced documentaries for ESPN and PBS since 1998, together with two movies for the celebrated 30 for 30 collection – “The Legend of Jimmy the Greek” and “Ghosts of Ole Miss.” In 2019, he directed the acclaimed 8-part/12.5-hour documentary “Saturdays within the South: A Historical past of SEC Soccer” for ESPN’s Faculty Soccer 150 undertaking and the SEC Storied franchise. Extra just lately, he directed the Sports activities Emmy-nominated “The Trials of Bobby Hoppe.”

PART ONE: Naismith to Rupp, 1930-1959 (Debuts January 30)
Adolph Rupp got here to the College of Kentucky in 1930 – a 29-year-old who took courses on the College of Kansas from James Naismith, the inventor of basketball. Two years later, the SEC was fashioned, and Rupp’s Wildcats would dominate play within the convention for many years. In the meantime, a future teaching legend was born in Clarksville, Tenn. It was years earlier than Pat Summitt grew to become a family title however the early years of her journey foretold extraordinary promise.

PART TWO: Pioneers, 1960-1970 (Debuts February 6)
Because the South was reworked by the civil rights motion within the Nineteen Sixties, so too was the SEC. Texas Western’s historic win with an all-Black beginning 5 over Coach Rupp’s all-white Kentucky Wildcats within the 1966 NCAA remaining marked a turning level for basketball within the SEC. Vanderbilt’s Perry Wallace then grew to become the convention’s first Black participant, main the best way for pioneers who would journey a tough highway to historical past. Down in Baton Rouge at LSU, Pete Maravich customary one of the crucial extraordinary faculty basketball careers of all time. In 1970, one other transformative SEC basketball determine in Daybreak Staley was born in Philadelphia.

PART THREE: Altering of the Guard, 1971-1979 (Debuts February 13)
The Seventies delivered a brand new technology of groundbreaking fixtures to the SEC. Dale Brown, a North Dakota native, introduced an infectious character and ferocious competitiveness to LSU males’s basketball. In 1974, the incomparable Pat Summitt started her legendary teaching profession at Tennessee on the age of simply 22. In the meantime, the 12 months after the loss of life of Coach Rupp in 1977, his successor Joe B. Corridor and a pair of native Lexington stars led the Kentucky Wildcats crew to a memorable nationwide title, this system’s first in 20 years.

PART FOUR: The Entertainers, 1980-1989 (Debuts February 20)
There might not have been two extra entertaining and electrifying gamers within the SEC than Georgia’s Dominique Wilkins and Auburn’s Charles Barkley. The duo headlined the convention’s successes within the early Nineteen Eighties, whereas LSU’s Coach Brown took two groups to the Males’s Ultimate 4. Coach Summitt received her first nationwide titles with the Girl Vols in 1987 and 1989. Tennessee was pushed by an rising energy in Georgia beneath head coach Andy Landers, in addition to a powerful Auburn program led by coach Joe Ciampi that made it to a few straight NCAA title video games. The Girl Vols defeated the Tigers for the 1989 championship.

PART FIVE: From Nation to Metropolis, 1990-1999 (Debuts February 27)
In 1991 and 1992, a younger Daybreak Staley was ending up a stellar faculty basketball profession – incomes Naismith Faculty Participant of the 12 months honors in her junior and senior seasons – even assembly Coach Summitt’s Girl Vols within the 1991 NCAA title recreation. In the meantime Arkansas joined the SEC and the Razorbacks immediately grew to become one of many convention’s high males’s groups, led by their fearless, fiery coach Nolan Richardson and his “40 Minutes of Hell” assault. Arkansas received an NCAA championship in 1994, whereas Kentucky returned to prominence beneath Rick Pitino, who led the Wildcats to a nationwide title in 1996 in a Males’s Ultimate 4 that included a shocking Mississippi State crew. Again in Knoxville, Coach Summitt loved her biggest decade at Tennessee, profitable three consecutive nationwide championships from 1996 to 1998.

PART SIX: A Courageous New World, 2000-2011 (Debuts March 6)
Kentucky entered a brand new century led by their first Black head coach, Tubby Smith, who had taken the Wildcats to the nationwide championship in his first season in 1998. Later within the decade, Florida’s back-to-back titles in 2006 and 2007 beneath coach Billy Donovan marked the rise of a brand new energy within the SEC. Coach Summitt and celebrity Candace Parker led the Girl Vols to their very own set of consecutive nationwide championships in 2007 and 2008. And down in Baton Rouge, two memorable figures cemented their legacies. Three of LSU’s 5 straight Ladies’s Ultimate 4 appearances had been fueled by two-time Naismith Faculty Participant of the 12 months Seimone Augustus, with the final one coming beneath the helm of former Ole Miss coach Van Chancellor. On the lads’s aspect, tenacious guard Garrett Temple, the son of the primary Black basketball participant for the Tigers, helped take LSU to the Males’s Ultimate 4 in 2006.

PART SEVEN: From Outdated South to New South, 2012-2022 (Debuts March 13)
The previous decade has seen the expanded SEC proceed to thrive on the heart of the story of school basketball in America. John Calipari has continued the custom of excellence at Kentucky, main the Wildcats to 4 Males’s Ultimate 4 appearances together with a nationwide championship in 2012. That very same 12 months, Missouri and Texas A&M joined the convention, a season after head coach Gary Blair led the Aggies to the Ladies’s Ultimate 4 and a nationwide title. In 2016, the basketball world stated goodbye to one in all its biggest legends with the lack of Pat Summitt after a five-year battle with early-onset Alzheimer’s illness. In 2017, Vic Schaefer led Mississippi State to the primary of two consecutive nationwide title video games after knocking off top-ranked and undefeated UConn within the semifinals, earlier than falling to Daybreak Staley’s South Carolina Gamecocks led by A’ja Wilson. It was the primary NCAA championship for Coach Staley, with the second title, that includes Naismith Faculty Participant of the 12 months Aliyah Boston, coming 5 years later in 2022.