Nov. 10 couldn’t come soon enough.
As we slide through the final weeks before college basketball returns, we’ll look at one storyline about the upcoming season that lines up with the number of days until opening day. Keep coming back to see if we have the creativity and dedication to pull this off. No promises.
It’s Sept. 29 and we’re just 42 days from opening day.
Like no other number, 42 is synonymous with one person in athletics: Jackie Robinson. And though track and football may be his most notable non-baseball sports, he did letter in basketball while at UCLA.
So with Robinson and his MLB-wide retired #42 in mind, let’s look at several players and coaches that should see their names and jerseys in the rafters one day. This list is far from exhaustive, so please — angrily or otherwise — let us know who else is tracking toward mythical status. And a forewarning: this list was put together with no consideration of an individual schools’ criteria for retiring a name, jersey or number.
Mike Daum (Junior), South Dakota State
The legend of Mike Daum was born in 2016-17. After a good freshman season, he became arguably the best scorer in college basketball as a sophomore (25.1 PPG). His 878 points were second-most any Summit League player has scored in a single season. Assuming two more seasons and good health, he’ll break Nate Wolters’ SDSU scoring record (2,363) and Oral Roberts’ Caleb Green’s Summit record (2,504). He’ll also climb into the top-five in all-time scoring, as he’s on pace to get above Doug McDermott (3,150, #5) if he maintains his production from last season. That’s a Daum tall order, but regardless, we’re witnessing one of the great scorers in NCAA history. He’s also on pace to be among the top-ten in SDSU history in rebounds and made three pointers.
Tyler Hall (Junior), Montana State
How Montana State’s Tyler Hall became the best kept secret in college basketball https://t.co/nLiufIsPkd— SB Nation CBB (@SBNationCBB) August 18, 2017
Hall’s scoring numbers aren’t that far off Daum’s as both enter their junior year. He didn’t score at the rate Daum did last season, but Hall has averaged 20.9 points per game over his two-year career. With 1,317 points, he may well surpass Bobcat scoring leader Larry Chanay (2,034) this upcoming season. The Big Sky career scoring record held by Idaho’s Orlando Lightfoot (2,201) is also easily within reach if he stays two more years with good health. The forward is a deadly three-point shooter and developing as a playmaker. Whether the NBA comes calling after this season or not, he’s one of the best players in Montana State history.
Thomas Wilder (Senior), Western Michigan
The senior guard has a realistic shot at becoming the Broncos’ all-time scoring leader. Coming into the season with 1,437 career points, he’s just 685 points shy of David Kool and the top spot (2,122). He’ll also almost certainly finish in the top-five in career assists as well. And with Western Michigan looking like the MAC West favorite — in large part because he returned — there could be extra games for Wilder to rack up stats.
The head coaches
The guys below are already legends at their respective schools. The may even already have a court named after them or name in the lights (we should’ve done more homework, we know), and if they don’t, they certainly — to one degree or another — could one day:
- Mark Few, Gonzaga
- Bob McKillop, Davidson
- Rick Byrd, Belmont
- Greg Kampe, Oakland
- Phil Martelli, Saint Joseph’s
- Ben Jacobson, Northern Iowa
- Randy Bennett, Saint Mary’s
- Mike Young, Wofford
- Scott Cross, UT-Arlington
- Kermit Davis, Middle Tennessee
- Randy Rahe, Weber State
- Tommy Amaker, Harvard
- Will Brown, Albany
- LeVelle Moton, North Carolina Central
- Tim Cluess, Iona