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Gary Williams among ten finalists for Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame

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Gary Williams among ten finalists for Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame

Posted on 14 February 2014 by WNST Staff

Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Announces Ten Finalists for 2014 Election

Friday, February 14, 2014

First-Time Finalists include seven-time NBA All-Star Alonzo Mourning and ’94 NABC Coach of the Year Nolan Richardson

NEW ORLEANS, LA and SPRINGFIELD, MA – The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced today, at NBA All-Star Weekend, eight elite players, coaches and one team as finalists from the North American and Women’s committees to be considered for election in 2014.  Hall of Fame finalist recognition is a career highlight for many in the sport of basketball.  This year’s list includes six first-time finalists: three-time NBA All-Star Kevin Johnson, seven-time NBA All-Star Alonzo Mourning and 1994 Naismith, NABC Coach of the Year Nolan Richardson, four-time National Coach of the Year Eddie Sutton, NCAA National Championship coach Gary Williams and Immaculata University’s AIAW National Championship teams of the early 1970s.  Previous finalists included again this year for consideration are five-time NBA All-Star Tim Hardaway, four-time NBA All-Star Spencer Haywood, six-time AAU National Champion Coach Harley Redin and six-time NBA All-Star Mitch Richmond. The Class of 2014 will be unveiled at the NCAA Final Four in April.

“We are proud to present a distinguished group of finalists for the Class of 2014 who have made huge strides in the game of basketball,” said Jerry Colangelo, Chairman of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.  “Each finalist has made a difference to the game in their own way.  It’s not going to be easy for the Honors Committee to select the final class members.”

Also announced today are five Direct Elects who are the initial members of the Class of 2014.  They include Bob Leonard voted in from the American Basketball Association (ABA) Committee, Nat Clifton from the Early African American Pioneers Committee, Sarunas Marciulionis from the International Committee, Guy Rodgers from the Veterans Committee and David Stern from the Contributor Direct Election Committee.

The complete list of eight finalists from the North American Screening Committee include: players Tim Hardaway, Spencer Haywood, Kevin Johnson, Alonzo Mourning, Mitch Richmond and coaches Nolan Richardson, Eddie Sutton and Gary Williams. From the Women’s Screening Committee: Harley Redin and Immaculata University.

The Class of 2014 will be announced on Monday, April 7 at a press conference in North Texas prior to the NCAA Men’s Championship game.  A finalist needs 18 of 24 votes from the Honors Committee for election into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.  The Class of 2014 will be enshrined during festivities in Springfield, Mass. in August.

Women’s Committee Finalists:

HARLEY REDIN [Coach] – Redin, compiled an overall women’s record of 431-66 (.867) capturing six AAU National Championships (1956, 1957, 1959, 1961, 1970, 1971). Leading Wayland Baptist to two undefeated women’s season (1956, 2957), 17 top five finishes and went 110-2 during his first four seasons at Wayland Baptist. He coached the Women’s US National Team in 1959, the 1971 Pan-American Games, and the 1963 World Tournament in Peru. Redin is also a member of the US Olympic Committee and the AAU Rules Committee. He was the recipient of the Jostens-Berenson Service Award by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association for his lifetime of service to women’s basketball (1992) and the recipient of the Naismith Award for Outstanding Contribution to the game of women’s basketball (2000). Redin was named #42 in Sports Illustrated 50 Greatest Sports Figure from Texas.

IMMACULATA UNIVERSITY [Team] – Coached by Hall of Famer Cathy Rush, Immaculata University won three straight AIAW National Championships (1972-74), compiling an overall record of 60-2 in three seasons. They were the first women’s college team to play in a nationally televised game, play at Madison Square Garden and to play in Australia. The roster included some of the nation’s best women’s basketball players including: Theresa Shank, who was a three-time All American recording 1,167 points and 952 rebounds in her career, Marianne Crawford, who was a two-time Kodak All- America also recording 747 points and 544 assists and Mary Scharff, who was a Kodak All-American recording 1,235 points and 583 rebounds in her career. All three ladies were inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.

North American Committee Finalists:

TIM HARDAWAY [Player] – A 2000 Olympic Gold Medalist, Hardaway played 13 NBA seasons scoring a total of 15,373 points while averaging more than 20 points per game for four consecutive seasons.  He is the 1990 recipient of the Jack McMahon Award for most inspirational player and a 1993 All-NBA Third Team member.  He currently ranks thirteenth in NBA history with 7,095 career assists and 1,542 career three-point field goals.  The Chicago, Ill. native was a member of the men’s basketball at the University of Texas at El Paso (1985-1989) and played in the NBA from 1989-2003.  He is known for making his signature move – the “UTEP Two-step” – famous in 1989, the same year he was named WAC Player of the Year.

SPENCER HAYWOOD [Player] – Haywood joined the ABA in 1969 and then went on to play for 12 years in the NBA (1970-1983), where he scored 14,592 points, had 7,038 rebounds and won a National Championship with the Los Angeles Lakers in 1980.  He is a four-time NBA All-Star (1972-1975) and two-time All-NBA First Team member (1973, 1974).  Haywood was the leading scorer on the 1968 gold medal United States Olympic team.  During his time with the ABA’s Denver Nuggets, he was named ABA Rookie of the Year and ABA All Star Game MVP.  He holds ABA single season records for most minutes played (3,808), most field goals made (986), most rebounds (1,637) and highest rebounding average (19.5).  At the University of Detroit, he received a unanimous First Team All-America selection in 1969.

KEVIN JOHNSON [Player] – Johnson is the first player to have his jersey retired at the University of California.  After playing for Cal from 1983-1987 he played for 12 years in the NBA and holds the NBA Finals single-game record for most minutes played with 62.  Johnson is the first player in NBA history to average at least 20 points, 10 assists, a .500 field goal percentage and two steals per game for an entire season.  In 1989, he earned the NBA Most Improved Player award.  The three-time NBA All-Star (1990, 1991, 1994) is also an All-NBA Second Team member (1989, 1990, 1991, 1994) and an All-NBA Third Team member (1992).  Now the mayor of his hometown of Sacramento, CA, Johnson was a major advocate of keeping the Sacramento Kings NBA team in the city when it was at high risk of moving.

ALONZO MOURNING [Player] – Mourning was a seven-time NBA All-Star (1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2001, 2002) and a member of the Miami Heat NBA Championship team in 2006.  He is a two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year (1999, 2000) and a two-time NBA All-Defensive First Team member (1999, 2000).  He led the NBA in blocked shots (1998-99, 1999-2000) and blocks per game (1998-99, 1999-2000) and earned an NBA All Rookie Team recognition in 1993.  The Chesapeake, Virginia native attended Georgetown University (1988-1992) and played in the NBA from 1993 until 2008 and the all-time leader in blocks for the Miami Heat with 1,625.

NOLAN RICHARDSON [Coach] – The 1994 Naismith and NABC Coach of the Year, Richardson led the University of Arkansas to the 1994 National Championship and to three Final Four appearances (1990, 1994, 1995).  Richardson is an enshrinee in the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame and the Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame.  He was the 1998 SEC Coach of the Year and led Tulsa to an NIT championship in 1981 and Western Texas to a NJCCA national championship in 1980.  Richardson compiled a collegiate coaching record of 509-207 (.711).

MITCH RICHMOND [Player] – A six-time NBA All-Star, Richmond is a 1996 Olympic Gold Medalist, 1988 Olympic Bronze Medalist and won the 2002 NBA Championship with the Los Angeles Lakers.  At the beginning of his NBA career he became a part of the Golden State Warriors’ famous “RUN TMC” attack.  Richmond is the 1995 NBA All-Star Game MVP, the 1989 NBA Rookie of the Year and a two-time All-NBA Third Team member (1996, 1998).  He scored 20,497 points and averaged more than 21 points per game for ten consecuive seasons in the NBA.  At Kansas State University, he averaged 20.7 points and 6.0 rebounds per game and was UPI, The Sporting News and USBWA Second Team All-America in 1988.

EDDIE SUTTON [Coach] – The four-time National Coach of the Year (1977, 1978, 1986, 1995) and eight-time Conference Coach of the Year (1975, 1977, 1979, 1981, 1986, 1993, 1998, 2004) is the first coach in NCAA history to lead four different schools in the NCAA Tournament.  Sutton currently ranks eighth among Division I coaches in all-time victories and has recorded only one losing season in 37 years of coaching (1989).  He coached Oklahoma State University from 1991-2006 and ties the conference record for wins by a first-year coach with 24.  He guided his teams to three Final Fours, six Elite Eights and 12 Sweet Sixteens.

GARY WILLIAMS [Coach] – As head coach of the University of Maryland from 1990-2011, Williams led the team to 11 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances (1994-2004), a National Championship in 2002, an ACC Tournament championship in 2004 and was enshrined into the University of Maryland Sports Hall of Fame and University of Maryland Alumni Hall of Fame. Williams was named Coach of the Year from Basketball America, Playboy, CBSsportsline.com, District and the ACC.  He compiled an overall coaching record of 668-380 (.637) and led his teams to seven 25-win seasons and 22 appearances in postseason play.

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Boldin’s void still lingers as Ravens move closer to draft

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Boldin’s void still lingers as Ravens move closer to draft

Posted on 15 April 2013 by Luke Jones

If you’re reading this, congratulations on making it through the difficult part of the Ravens’ offseason.

Needless to say, it’s been an interesting five weeks as a number of key contributors to the Super Bowl XLVII championship team have departed with several newcomers arriving to fill those voids. And once again, general manager Ozzie Newsome has emerged to look as shrewd as ever just a few weeks after many fans and media alike questioned what exactly the Ravens were trying to accomplish by gutting their roster after winning their second NFL title in 13 years.

It was painful waving goodbye to the legendary Ed Reed as well as other defensive contributors such as Paul Kruger, Dannell Ellerbe, Bernard Pollard, and Cary Williams, but Newsome has walked away from free agency with an elite pass rusher (Elvis Dumervil), good defensive line depth (Chris Canty and Marcus Spears), a solid replacement for Reed (Michael Huff), and a low-risk, high-reward inside linebacker just three years removed from being a first-round pick (Rolando McClain). Though far from a guarantee, the argument can be made that a flawed Baltimore defense last year will emerge even stronger with the wholesale changes made this offseason.

With the Ravens now less than two weeks away from the draft, one position and one particular departure stands above all others in terms of the urgency felt to address it.

No, it isn’t left tackle, where the Ravens see veteran Bryant McKinnie dangling on the free-agent market while looking internally to find — yes — Michael Oher and Kelechi Osemele as potential candidates to man the blindside for quarterback Joe Flacco. The mere suggestion of Oher moving back to the left side — not a decision I endorse, mind you — is enough to keep many fans awake at night, but the Ravens aren’t nearly as concerned about the position as everyone else, even though they’ll keep their eyes open during next week’s draft for a long-term solution.

For all the encouraging moves made by the Ravens in response to the mass exodus that occurred in mid-March, it’s still difficult to move past the trade of wide receiver Anquan Boldin to the San Francisco 49ers for a sixth-round pick. There’s no need to rehash the details; the Ravens made it clear they didn’t believe Boldin was a $6 million player anymore and the 32-year-old wasn’t willing to take a $2 million pay cut.

It was a business decision that cleared enough cap space to make the signing of the Pro Bowl pass rusher Dumervil and several others first conceivable and eventually a reality, but that still doesn’t replace the production left behind by the veteran receiver. Over the last two seasons, Boldin accounted for 23.7 percent of the Ravens’ total yards via the air. His 2012 postseason is well documented as the possession wideout was on the receiving end of exactly 1/3 of Flacco’s 1,140 passing yards and reined in four of the quarterback’s 11 touchdown passes.

Make no mistake, we’re not talking about a bona fide No. 1 receiver and Boldin was struggling more and more to gain separation in man coverage, but his strong hands and ability inside the red zone must be replaced by someone — or some combination of players. The Ravens say they’re confident in tight end Dennis Pitta as well as young receivers Tandon Doss and Deonte Thompson to compete to fill the void in the slot, but there’s a reason why the latter two were little more than afterthoughts on the 53-man roster last season. Maybe one or both will emerge to become serviceable receivers, but the Ravens can’t possibly count on either to bring even a modest fraction of what Boldin offered.

Torrey Smith and Jacoby Jones certainly remind you that the cupboard isn’t totally bare at the position like it was a decade ago, but neither provides enough consistency in the short-to-intermediate passing game and are too valuable as vertical threats on the outside.

It’s worth asking how much of the burden will fall on Flacco, who is entering his sixth NFL season and is in the prime of his career after signing a six-year, $120.6 million contract earlier this offseason. Is the quarterback dependent on good receivers to be successful or are young receivers relying on the Super Bowl MVP in their own development at this stage in the game?

Still, you have to wonder what the Ravens have up their sleeve with barely a whisper of any significant interest in this year’s crop of free-agent wide receivers. Are the Ravens simply turning to the draft with confidence in a late first-round option such as Clemson’s DeAndre Hopkins, Cal’s Keenan Allen, or USC’s Robert Woods to potentially step in and contribute from Day One? Would a second-day target such as 6-foot-4 Justin Hunter of Tennessee or troubled Tennessee Tech wideout Da’Rick Rogers strike their fancy?

Or should we be on alert for a trade? Manned with 12 selections in next week’s draft, the Ravens have never shied away from dealing picks for established talent as they completed draft-weekend deals for wide receiver Kevin Johnson and cornerback Fabian Washington in the last decade.

Their summer trade two years ago for Lee Evans may have failed miserably, but it was another example of Newsome’s willingness to part with a mid-round selection to snag a wideout. And, of course, the Ravens dealt two picks to the Arizona Cardinals for Boldin three years ago in a deal that worked to perfection.

This offseason, all is quiet on the wide receiver front with no big names publicly on the block, but it’s difficult to imagine the Ravens simply standing pat with what they currently have at the position. Baltimore tried to enhance its wide receiver depth in each of the last three years by signing T.J. Houshmandzadeh in 2010, trading for Evans in 2011, and inking Jones last year, so the thought of Newsome and the front office allowing draft weekend to come and go without an impact draft selection or failing to explore a trade to address the void left behind by Boldin just doesn’t seem plausible.

By no means does it need to be a carbon-copy replacement, but Boldin’s giant shadow is still too great not to address with either a savvy veteran or a young player holding a higher ceiling than the candidates already on the roster.

In an offseason in which patience has been preached over and over, the Ravens will ask for a little more as nearly every other position has been handled in some shape or form for the short term. Even left tackle has several accessible backup options if a young prospect doesn’t fall into the Ravens’ laps in the first two days of the draft.

But failing to address the Boldin departure would be too great of a risk to take.

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