Sunday, November 21, 2010

Two Sport Athletes: Response to Philip

I was going to post this response to Philip and leave it in the comments section on the article on Nick Marshall. Then I thought that I should go ahead and post it, since more readers will see it and perhaps join the discussion.

At any rate, I want to thank Philip for responding to the challenge of naming guys who have played both football and basketball, and were "contributors," which I arbitrarily defined as scoring more than 5 points per game. Philip offered Reggie Love from Duke, and Julius Peppers of UNC as examples.

Reggie Love works at the White House so his is a name in the news these days. My objection to Reggie Love as an example of a contributing 2-sport guy is that he averaged 1 point and 1 rebound per game. Since he did start a few games for the team, and the team is Duke, then Love gets some extra credit, I suppose.

Julius Peppers did not play basketball his red-shirt year, but he did play hoops in two out of his four years. He last played basketball ten years ago, 2000/2001, averaging 7 points per game. After that season, however, Peppers felt he had to concentrate on one sport. He ended up giving up hoops for football.

Charlie Ward was drafted by the NBA, NFL, and MLB in the early nineties. Tony Gonzalez played a couple of years of basketball. Different situation entirely, but Kenny Lofton did play basketball and baseball at a high level back in the late eighties.

Closer to home, Georgia had Larry Brown in the late nineties, Fred Gibson and then Quentin Moses eight years or so ago. Moses didn't contribute much in basketball. He was all-SEC in academics, so he may have chosen to focus more on his studies. Besides, he played during that weird time just when Harrick was on his way out and Felton was brought in. Gibson scored just 5 points a game, but he helped out in a memorable win over Florida. Larry Brown had his moments, too, but I probably need some help from other fans who remember how many points per game he averaged.

Any others? Who did I miss? Is the football/basketball two-sport athlete at the college level rare or fairly common? Will Marshall successfully play both? What do you think? Help us out here.


Philip said...

My apologies, I did not look up the stats before posting. I grew up a Duke fan so Reggie Love, being on Duke, seemed a large contributor on the team. While his stats are not impressive, he stood out in my mind as somebody who did a great job at the little things. He played as an undersized big man. Julius peppers was part of the evil empire in my mind in Chapel Hill and as it turns out he was fairly successful in terms of stats. I guess my best conclusion is that it is not inconceivable that marshall plays basketball. Further, it is my understanding that he played AAU ball with Kentavious Caldwell and Tim Dixon. The fact that he has friends on the team encouraging him to play frequently should help him stick with basketball. On a more personal note, I am a student at UGA and go to every basketball game. I want basketball at UGA to be like it is at Duke and think that in time, this is possible, especially with bloggers like you spreading the word about the team so that recruits can continue this upward swing.

Anonymous said...

Ronald Curry and Charlie Ward come to mind when thinking about Marshall.

This kid is the best athlete in the state of Georgia this year.

I would not be surprised if he does not dedicate himself full time to basketball after his first year if he is not given an opportunity at QB.

I think that he could be UGA's best QB since Fran Tarkenton, but it remains to be seen if he will get a shot there at UGA, and if he is not, he might go on to be a great basketball player.