The season began with the elimination of the center jump after each basket and ended with Temple winning the first National Invitation Tournament at Madison Square Garden in New York.

In between, Hank Luisetti closed out his sensational four-year career at Stanford with a season that featured an unheard of 50–point game against Duquesne and a third straight Pacific Coast Conference championship. After a 9–18 record his freshman year, Luisetti and Stanford went 68–12 over the next three seasons under coach John Bunn.

The Indians were 21–3 in 1938, but did not play in the inaugural NIT. Temple, at 20–2 the top team in the East, did play and trounced all three Midwestern teams in the tournament—Bradley, Oklahoma A&M and Colorado—to win the title.

One of the Colorado starters was football hero and future Supreme Court Justice Byron “Whizzer” White, who had led the nation in scoring and total offense in the fall. He joined the basketball team in January after taking the football team to the Cotton Bowl.

Men's Division 1 National Champion:

Year Record Winner Won Coach Outstanding Player
1938 Temple 23-2 NIT James Usilton Meyer Bloom, G

NIT Tournament (6 Teams)

All games at Madison Sq. Garden, New York

Quarterfinals Temple 53, Bradley 40
NYU 39, LIU 37
Semifinals Temple 54, Oklahoma A&M 44
Colorado 48, NYU 47
Third Place Oklahoma A&M 37, NYU 24
Championship Temple 60, Colorado 36
Most Valuable Player Don Shields, Temple


  Before NIT Head Coach Final Record
Bradley 18–1 Alfred Robertson 18–2
Colorado 14–5 Frosty Cox 15–6
LIU 23–3 Clair Bee 23–4
NYU 15–6 Howard Cann 16–8
Okla. A&M 24–2 Hank Iba 25–3
Temple 20–2 James Usilton 23–2
Note: Temple won the NIT.


Rules change:

Center jump after every basket is rescinded.


Helms All-America Team

** Meyer Bloom, Temple

** Hank Luisetti, Stanford*

** John Moir, Notre Dame

** Paul Nowak, Notre Dame

** Fred Pralle, Kansas

** Jewell Young, Purdue

Bonnie Graham, Mississippi 

Hubert Kirkpatrick, Baylor 

John O'Brien, Columbia 

Ignatius Volpi, Manhattan

Major Conference Champions

Conference Regular Season Tournament
Big 6 Kansas (9–1) —
Big 7 Colorado/Utah (10–2) —
Big 10 Purdue (10–2) —
Ivy Dartmouth (8–4) —
Missouri Valley Oklahoma A&M (13–1) —
New England Rhode Island St. (8–0) —
PCC North Oregon (14–6) —
PCC South Stanford (10–2)* —
SEC Kentucky (6–0) Ga. Tech
Southern N. Carolina (13–3) Duke
SWC Arkansas (11–1) —
*Won playoff for league championship.