The year was 1994. We were rocking the Sega Genesis. We woke up early that Saturday morning because we had to be at school for the team bus by 10AM. The JV squad rolled in school vans over to Good Counsel High School where they got beaten by 13. An amazingly skinny 14 year old freshman had 8 points, 3 assists, and a team high 7 turnovers to go with his 2 poutings on the bench, 1 talk-back to the coach, and 3 interactions with an opposing player that could be used against him in court. Before we left the house, we set the VCR to tape the Wake Forrest/Duke game at 2:30 PM. We were taken back when we turned on ESPN Classic last night.
How tight was the ACC? This is from memory because we couldn't find historical roster data. Why is that so hard to find by the way? To us, this is the sort of thing the internet was invented for.
Duke: Grant Hill, Jeff Capel, Cherokee Parks (he was bootsy but still played in the NBA for a spell)
Wake: Tim Duncan and our favorite college player ever, Randolph Childress. More on Randolph in a moment.
UNC: Jerry Stackhouse, Rasheed Wallace, Eric Montross, and one of our 37 least favorite college players ever: Donald Williams.
Maryland: Joe Smith, Keith Booth, Ugly Johnny Rhodes, X-Ree Hipp, and Duane Simpkins
Note: Our boy Joe believes that Johnny Rhodes also should have been a star in the NBA.
Georgia Tech: Travis Best and we think Drew Barry? Remember Drew Barry?
UVA: Curtis Staples, Harold Deane, and we think that Junior Burroughs was on the squad, also Cory Alexander played in the NBA although we have no idea what his game was. What did he do? No one knows.
Clemson: Sharone Wright,
Florida State: Bob Sura, Charlie Ward
Note: Bob Sura!
NC State: Not sure they fielded a team for a couple years after they lost Gugliotta. We literally can't remember a single player off this team.
Back to what inspired this blog. Sometimes, in life, there are mysteries. The greatest mystery of all time to us is how Randolph Childress was not a star in the NBA. He was incredible. Is there anyone here who carried his squad (a squad that included Duncan) to an ACC title over one of the greatest college teams ever and set a record for points in a tournament? OK, Randolph we have you... anyone else? No? No one that tight ever?
His game was incredible. He was buckets, great handle, saw the court and was always under control. So smooth. His game was literally like an infant's buttocks... in terms of the smoothness.
We taped that game back in '94. After we got home, showered, played through Revenge of Shinobi on Genesis (we always got unlimited shurikens and tons of extra lives so you could beat it the tight way of saving the chick and killing the boss), we rewound the tape and watched an all-time classic.
In the 1st half, Childress passed on a lot of shots and was a distributor. Duke put the uber-athletic Grant Hill on RC. The game went back and forth with Wake trailing by a hoop in the final minute. Duncan was all tawkward and lanky at this point and his offensive game was like that 51 year old at the Y with rec specs. So, Wake works the ball around to Childress with about 20 seconds left. They clear out the side. 16 seconds. Childress drives on Hill. 14 seconds. Childress steps back with his super tight stepback move that no one has ever done better ever. 13 seconds. Childress launches a 3 over the 6'8" frame and outstretched arms of Hill, the same Hill that caught a ball above the square on an alley-oop and was one of the most athletic guys ever before the injuries. 11 seconds. Buckets. 3 pointer puts Wake up 1. No one at Cameron Privileged Suburban Stadium knows what to do. Hill misses a shot at the buzzer. Wake wins.
It was a great Saturday. Note: We did not talk to any girls.
After he was drafted by the Pistons, he hurt his knee. He resurfaced a few years later playing in dumb leagues overseas. We can't help but think of what he would have been in today's league with the handchecking rules. We think he'd be 20 and 8 and be a feared crunchtime scorer. Wow he was tight. We'll literally never forget.