Post by espresso1 on Apr 18, 2015 18:21:20 GMT -5
The board seems to be in lull right now. Not much going on and not much to comment about. So, I thought I would take a trip down memory lane. Neumann did a thread about the 05-06 season.
So I thought I would talk about the 1970-71 season, my sophomore year. We all remember the 68-69 team that went 23-1 but was on probation. Gola had taken over as coach for that season and he was also the coach for the 69-70 season. The team had lost some talent from the 23-1 team, mainly Larry Cannon. But added Bobby Fields as a JUCO transfer for the 69-70 season. The team still has Durrett and Fran Dunphy for that season. In 69-70 the team finished 14-12 despite Durrett averaging 24 points, Dunphy 18 and Fields 16. Gola had gotten the team past probation but realized that he wasn't a coach. The team hired Paul Westhead to take over in 70-71.
He had been an assistant at St Joe's. Interestingly, at that time, he also taught English classes when he came to La Salle. He use to like to quote Shakespeare.
That period was the golden age of the Big Five. All games were played at the Palestra. It's hard to believe but La Salle used to average around 5,000 attendance at that time. It was also a very good time for the other teams as well. Penn finished 29-1 in 70-71. Dick Harter was the coach and the team was led by Craig Littlepage and Dave Wohl. Villanova went deep into the NCAA tournament and was led by Howard Porter. St Joe's had a good team that finished 19-9 and was led by Mike Bantom. Temple has a so-so season finishing 13-12. They were still being coached by Harry Litwack at the time.
We were picked to finish last in the Big Five that year. Dunphy had graduated. The main addition to the team was Jim Crawford who was a sophomore.
But Westhead showed that he could coach. The starting line-up was Durrett at 6'7' at center. Crawford was 6'6'. Ron Kennedy was 6'5'. That was the main front line. Fields at 6'3' was the SG. The point guard was Greg Cannon. Cannon was the shorter less talented of the Cannons. He was not a scorer but was the floor general. Westhead put in a set game plan and it worked. Durrett averages over 27 and 12 rebound per game. Fields really came on average more than 23 points per game.
The team took off. At the end of 17 games we were 15-2. Our only loses coming to Penn and Syracuse.
I remember 3 games especially during that season. The first was a game against Western Kentucky. We use to play them often back in those days. Western Kentucky has a stud 7'0' center named Jim Mc Daniels. He has a very good game against our small team scoring something like 25 points and grabbing 20 rebounds. But Durrett had a game. He scored 45 points and we went on to win by 15.
The second game I remember was the 17th game of the season. We were smashing Canisius by something like 20 points. It was the middle of the second half. Durrett came down on his leg and fell to the floor. He had to be helped to the bench. He was really never the same again. He tried to come back but wasn't able to.
The last game that I remember was the next game after Durrett's injury against big bad Villanova with Howard Porter. We were without Durrett. The team came out and played one of the most amazing and inspired games I ever remember witnessing. Fields scored 30 points. Kennedy who wasn't much of a scorer got 17 and we went on to beat Villanova 73-69. The team was 17-2 at this point.
Unfortunately, they couldn't maintain without Durrett. They finished the rest of the season 3-4 and had to settle for the NIT. They lost in the first round.