It's WAND's "All-Time 5"! Which local high school has the best all-time, all-star lineup of basketball players from any era, together on one court in a tournament of 33 teams!
51 pages. 8,900 words (and counting). Countless conversations, messages, box scores, All-State lists and school records. Now that Gordon Voit's research packet has been compiled, we begin the fun.
WHAT: A competition to see who has the best all-time all-star squad of any high school basketball program in the 217 area code.
WHEN: February 5 - March 18 (Phase 1)
March 18 until the NCAA Final Four in April (Phase 2)
HOW: Gordon Voit will release four more teams every single Wednesday night, two during the 6 p.m. show and two during the 10 p.m. show. This is Phase 1. Phase 2 consists of a bracket challenge pitting the teams against each other in a simulated tournament.
RELEASING THE TEAMS
February 5: The 8 seeds
NUMBER 31: ST. JOSEPH-OGDEN
(8) St. Joseph-Ogden vs. (1) TBD
ST. JOSEPH-OGDEN SPARTANS
SG - Brandon Trimble (UW-Parkside D2) 6-2, 1st scoring 2,115; 29 ppg senior; State champs 2015-16; Class of 2017
Brandon Frerichs, 3rd points 1,622; 1st avg (20.3 ppg career) Class of 1996
Jason Franklin (Millikin track) Decathlete, 24.5 ppg 1989-90
F - Les Busboom (Illinois) 6-4, 3 letters; Class of 1965
PF - Rick Schmidt (Illinois) 6-6, 1,105 points UI, was No. 12 reb too (394) 2nd points 1,739; 1st reb 12.6 rpg; Class of 1971
F - Deon Flessner (Illinois) 6-4, 2 letters; Ogden High Class of 1963
F - Rudy Schmidt (Wisconsin football) 1st rpg 15.1 in 1965-66
Lance Freeman (Montana State?) 6-6, 2nd rebs (332) in 1976-77
G – Nate Michael (McKendree) 6-2, 7th scoring 1,244
PG – Craig Harper, 1st apg 8.9 in 1990-91
F - Brent Schluter (Millikin) 6-4, 4th scoring 1,293; Class of 2014
Kevin Taylor, 5th scoring 1,286; Class of 1992
Bryce Frerichs, 6th scoring 1,260
Rich Connell (Illinois freshman team) Class of 1972
Jim Cotter honorary 6th man: Lukas Graves (Wrestling and baseball superstar)
(Did we miss a player? Email email@example.com so we can update the roster! Thanks for your help in making this special project complete.)
Best season: 2016 State Champion (Class 2A)
Enrollment: 467.5 (2020)
GOAT: Trimble was a virtually unstoppable offensive force in high school but Rick Schmidt is the clear-cut choice here given his success in college, putting up 1,105 points in the Big Ten and averaging nearly 13 rebounds per game.
Why they're seeded here: The Spartans have a state championship under their belt, which is a helpful tiebreaker but we know that this competition is about having elite players over time, not necessarily one season or another's success. The Spartans have dudes. Trimble can score against almost any defense, Schmidt is one of the top players to come out of a small school in the 217 area code. What makes the Spartans in the field over other state champion-winning programs is that they have an abnormally deep bench that includes Illinois forward Deon Flessner (SJO Class of 1963) and Rudy Schmidt, who played football at Wisconsin but was a rebounding machine in the 1960s, with a Dennis Rodman-like 15.1 rebounds per game in 1965-66. Lance Freeman is a player I could not confirm 100% but it appears that he went to Montana State, while Nate Michael is another super dependable player who has experience in big games (2016 state champion, currently at D2 McKendree).
February 12: The 7 seeds