KU’s Modern-Time All-Star Team

Updated, 11/2003.

My selections for KU’s all-time basketball team include only those players on teams from 1950 on. My interest in KU Basketball began in 1950 and has continued unabated ever since, giving me the opportunity to see and evaluate Jayhawkers.

How’s this for a fabulous lineup?:

Wilt “the Stilt” Chamberlain, 7’2” center, KU 1957-58.  Excepting perhaps Michael Jordan, Chamberlain is the MAN to build a team around.  While only playing two seasons at KU, he single-handedly changed basketball.  A two-time All-American, he would have stayed at KU, but for the collapsing defenses of the Big 7 teams, which employed 3 or 4-on-one traps against the Big Dipper.  His career averages of 29.9 points and 18.9 rebounds per game are the best in Jayhawk history.  Wilt played 14 seasons in the NBA (in ’63 he recorded his 100 point game and averaged 50.4 ppg).  He is the NBA’s second all-time leading scorer, and a member of the Naismith BB Hall of Fame.

Clyde Lovellette. 6’9”, center, KU 1950-52.  Although a center in college and most of his pro career, I think he would be a dominant strong side force in today’s game.  A two-time All-American, he led the ’52 Jayhawks to the national title, and then dominated on the ’52 Olympics Gold medal team.  He ranks as KU’s fourth all-time leading scorer and eighth-leading rebounder, and played 12 seasons in the NBA. A member of the Naismith BB Hall of Fame.

Raef LaFrentz, 6’11” forward, KU 1995-98.  A two-time consensus All-American, he led what I believe is KU’s all-time best team in ‘98 (except for maybe ’52). He is KU’s third all-time leading scorer with 2,066 points, and is second on the rebounding list. Now with the Portland Trailblazers.

JoJo White, 6’3” guard, KU 1966-69.  Got to see him up close (and a lot) during my student stint at KU – even crossed paths in the B-School.  As a freshman, he led the great ‘66 Kansas team which lost to Texas Western, which then went on to beat Kentucky in the historic national championship “black vs. white game”.  White actually won the game on a last second shot, but a ref ruled that he stepped out of bounds (film later showed he was at least 6” in) – ah, what could have been!  A two-time All-American, White was a star for the Celtics, and lasted 13 years in the NBA.

Danny Manning, 6’10” forward, KU 1985-88.   Danny, of course, together with the “Miracles”, won the ’88 Championship.  He is KU’s  all-time leading scorer with 2,951 points and leading rebounder with 1,187 caroms, and ranks 2nd in steals.  His 12 year NBA career is mainly noted by his ability to recover sucessfully from 3 ACL injuries – which stunted his promise to become one of the NBA’s all-time best. Now an assistant coach at KU.

Darnell Valentine, 6’2” guard, KU 1978-81.  A home grown product from Wichita, All-American Darnell stands as KU’s fifth all-time leading scorer and ranks first in steals and fourth in assists.  He proved to be a strong man in the Pro’s during his 11 year NBA career.

Nick Collison, 6'10" forward, KU 2000-03.  He is KU's all-time 2nd leading scorer, 3rd in rebounding and 2nd in blocked shots.  An All-American, he is now with the Seattle Supersonics.

Best next nine:

Dave Robisch, 6’10” Center, KU 1969-71; The Jayhawk’s  6th all-time leading scorer: An All-American, played 13 years in the pros.

Drew Gooden, 6'9 Forward, KU 2000-02.  KU's 14th all-time leading scorer.  An All-American, now with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Bud Stallworth, 6’5” Swingman, KU 1970-72; KU’s  16th leading scorer. An All-American, played five years in the NBA.

Bill Bridges, 6’7” Power Forward, KU 1959-61; Kansas’  4th all-time leading rebounder (2nd in average). An All-American, he played 13 years in the NBA.

Walt Wesley, 6’11” Center. KU 1964-66; KU’s 21st all-time leading scorer. An All-American, he played for 11 years in the pros.

Paul Pierce, 6’7 Small Forward, KU 1996-98; The Hawk’s sixth all-time leading scorer. All-American. Now a top NBA player with the Celtics.

Kevin Pritchard, 6'3 Shooting and Point Guard, KU 1987-90; led KU's 1988 championship team. KU's 9th all-time scorer and 4th in steals.

Jacque Vaughn, 6'2 Point Guard, KU 1994-97; KU's all-time assists leader. Now with the San Antonio Spurs.

Kirk Hinrich, 6'3" guard, KU 2000-03.  KU's 8th all-time scorer, 3rd in assists and 3rd in steals.  Now with the Chicago Bulls.

Is there a college in the country that could form an all-star team that could compete with KU’s best?  I believe even UCLA, Kentucky, North Carolina’s best would come up short.  

Other great players from the 50's on include:

B. H. Born, 1952-54 Maurice King, 1955-57 Calvin Thompson, 1983-86
Wayne Hightower, 1960-61 Norm Cook, 1974-76 Adonis Jordan, 1990-93
Roger Brown, 1969-71 Roger Bohnenstiehl, 1966-67 Cedric Hunter, 1984-87
Rick Suttle, 1973-75 Tony Guy, 1979-82 Dallas Dobbs, 1954-56
Paul Mokeski, 1976-79 Carl Henry, 1983-84 Al Kelley, 1952-54
Greg Dreiling, 1984-86 Ron Kellogg, 1983-86 Steve Woodberry, 1991-94
Mark Randall, 1987-91 Milt Newton, 1985-89 Rex Walters, 1992-93
Scot Pollard, 1994-97 Richard Scott, 1991-94 Jeff Boshee, 1999-02
Greg Ostertag, 1992-95 Kenny Gregory, 1998-01 Jerod Haase, 1995-97


Due to lack of statistics, it's difficult to actually compare players in the first half of the century.  However, the following players were recognized as All-Americans and/or are in the Basketball Hall of Fame.

Charles B. ‘Hawk’ Black, Forward/Guard, 1942-47. One of only two four-time All-Americans in college basketball history. Also four-time All-Conference. Conference Scoring Champ. Helm’s Player of the Year. KU’s all-time career leading scorer in the pre-50’s.  P38 pilot in WWII. Played 4 years in NBA.  Retired jersey.

Paul Endacott, Guard, 1921-23. Two-time All-American.  Led KU to two national championships. National Player of the Year. Retired jersey. In Naismith BB Hall of Fame. Retired as President of Phillips Petroleum in 1967.

Tusten Ackerman, Center/Forward, 1923-25. Two-time All-American.  Led KU to two national championships. Conference Scoring Champ. Retired jersey.

Charles T. Black, Center/Forward, 1922-24. Two-time All-American.  Led KU to two national championships. Helms National Player of the Year. Captain of basketball, football and baseball teams at KU. Head coach at Nebraska for 6 years. In Naismith BB Hall of Fame. Retired jersey.

William 'Skinny' Johnson, Center, 1931-33. All-American.  In Naismith BB Hall of Fame.

Albert Peterson, Center, 1925-27.  Two-time All-American and Conference Scoring Champ. Retired jersey.

Ralph 'Lefty' Sproul, Forward, 1913-15.  All-American and three-time Conference Scoring Champ. In 1916 Olympic trials.

Fred Pralle, Guard, 1936-38.  Two-time All-American.  Conference Scoring Champ. Retired jersey.

Ray Ebling, Forward, 1934-36.  All-American and three-time Conference Scoring Champ.

Arthur 'Dutch' Lonborg, Guard/Forward, 1918-20.  All-American.  Coached at Northwestern for 23 years.  Manager of 1960 Olympic team. In Naismith BB Hall of Fame.  KU Athletic Director for 14 years.

Howard Engleman, Forward, 1939-41.  All-American, Conference Scoring champ. Retired jersey. Coached KU’s basketball team for 14 games in 1947.

Tommy Johnson, Forward, 1909-11.  KU's first All-American. Died of tuberculosis during senior year.

Gale Gordon, Forward/Guard, 1925-27.  All-American. Retired jersey.

Ray Evans, Guard, 1942-47.  Two-time All-American.  Retired jersey.  Member of Helms BB Hall of Fame and National Football Hall of Fame.  Retired as President of Traders National Bank.

Ted O'Leary, Forward, 1930-32.  All-American and Conference Scoring Champ. Coached two years at George Washington University then became a sports writer for the Kansas City Star.

Forest 'Frosty' Cox, Guard, 1929-31.  All-American. Coached at Colorado for 39 years and captured NIT national title in 1940.

Ralph ‘Cappy’ Miller, Forward, 1939-42.  Conference Scoring Champ. Coached for 39 years and retired as 6th winningest coach in NCAA history.  In Naismith BB Hall of Fame.

Otto Schnellbacher, Forward, 1943, 46-48.  KU’s 2nd leading scorer of the pre-50’s. Played in both NBA and NFL.


This Kansas Dream Team unselfish , 10/14/2005