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? Tune in every Wednesday at 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. through March 18 as Gordon Voit announces a new group of seeds in the bracket!
53 pages. 12,000 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. (Quick reminder: It's not who was the best player in high school, or who had the best stats. It's which player [evaluated at his peak] would help the team stay competitive against the Lanphiers and Lincolns of the tournament, who have All-Americans up and down the lineup.)
NUMBER 4: STEPHEN DECATUR
(Decatur High 1911-1957, Stephen Decatur 1957-2000)
(1) Stephen Decatur vs. (8) TBA
G - Tarise Bryson (Illinois State) 6-1, 7th scoring ISU (1,736) with one more year left; 3rd average (19.1); 1st scoring SDHS 1,921 points; FT record at ISU; 2nd Team All-State (two-class system, AA;) 28 ppg senior year; MC POY 1997; Class of 1997
G - Michael Wilder (Louisiana Tech) 6-2, 9-2-2-1.3 spg best year LaTech, 21 ppg, 4 apg, 5 spg senior year SDHS; Explosive; Class of 1998
G – Perry “PT” Hines (Southern Illinois) 6-3, Lake Land JuCo All-American 26 ppg, 8-3 best season SIU; HM All-State 1970; 51 points in a game at LLCC; Robbed of senior season SDHS because of age, but exploded in JuCo; Class of 1971
F - Ken Barnes (Wisconsin) 6-3, UW-record 42 points in a game (vs. Indiana 1965) which was finally tied by Michael Finley, 15-9 best year UW; 2nd points 1,473 SDHS; State Champs 1962; All-State 1962; Class of 1962
C - Dave Scholz (Illinois, NBA) 6-8, 20.5 ppg, 9.7 rpg 3-year average UI; Was No. 1 all-time when he left UI; 20-10 right off the bat as a sophomore; 1,141 points SDHS, 1964 3rd place (one class); All-State; Played for 1969-70 76ers; Class of 1965
Second Wave of Starters
C - Mike Moore (Vanderbilt) 6-7, All-State 1972, 26.1 ppg senior year was SDHS record; Best year 13-5 at VU, career .501 shooting, All-State 1972; Class of 1972
F – Bob “Chick” Doster (Illinois) 1945 state champions, 96 points in four games at State, led the Illini in scoring as freshman (3rd in freshman Big Ten) but diagnosed with liver disease and it ended his career, 1,022 points SDHS; Class of 1945
F - Jack Sunderlik (Millikin) 6-1, tied CCIW record 62 pts vs. Carroll College (1967), 1964 All-State one team; 2x All-CCIW, 1,066 points SDHS, 24 ppg career Millikin; All-State 1963 + 1964; Class of 1964
G - Taurus Cook (UIC) 6-1, 6-2-2 one year at UIC, 18-5-6 senior year SDHS; HM All-State
G - Dale Minick (Illinois, Millikin) 6-1, One of the IHSA's "100 Legends" all-time, 1936 state champs, 1937 runners-up, Millikin Hall of Famer; Class of 1937
G - Ken Norman (Colorado) 6-2, All-State 1951 + 1952, 1,058 points, Class of 1952
G - Charles Currie (Truman State) 6-1, 2nd Team All-State 1964; State champions 1962
G – Lee Utt (Bradley) 6-3, Bradley MVP 1955 + 1956, 12-5 best year, 1954 team finished 2nd NCAA Tournament, made it to AAA with Pirates
Third Wave of Starters
C - George Riley, 1,018 points; Co-Star of 1945 state champions; Scored 803 points in 40 games senior year; Class of 1945
F - Bob Moser (Iowa State) 6-4, Class of 1968
George “Butch” Smith (Wichita State football) Part of mid-1960s juggernaut
Bobby Warnsley, 1963-64 team
G - Stacey Peoples, 6-0, 43 points was school record (vs. Mac)
Karl Meurlot (Illinois baseball) 4th scoring at 1951 state tournament
F - Terry Cook (SW Baptist) 6-4, DPS HOF, HM All-State, 3x All-MC, Parkland HOF; Class of 1984
Ken Park (Illinois, Murray State); Illinois to Murray State after one year Class of 1936
PG - Marquise Richardson (South Dakota State) 6-1, 17 ppg at Lake Lake, led national D2 JuCO in both assists (12.6) and steals (4.5) per game. 11-5-5-2 senior year South Dakota State.
G/F - Shalin Bond, Unanimous All-Big 12, 19 ppg, 8 rpg senior year, 1,229 points at EHS (school of graduation) and SDHS (three years) (note: originally listed on Eisenhower team); Class of 2001
Jack Lipe (SD player, Thornton coach – 100 IHSA legends)
Wes Mason (Wichita State football)
Jim Mason, All-State 1960 (Montana)
Dick Phillips, 6-0, All-City First Team 1971, 15.7 ppg senior year
Tony Singleton “King Sing” (Lake Land) Class of 1982
Ray Rex, Star of 1931 state champions
Fred Outlaw, 6-6, First Team All-County 1985, Class of 1985
F - Chris Rice, 6-2, 17-10 senior year SDHS, First Team All-MC; Class of 1998
Duane Williams, All-State 1948
Don Dare, All-State 1949
Alan Anderson, All-State 1949
Carroll Landry, All-State 1955
Jim Lee, All-State 1955
Tim Sidney, All-State 1960
Gather Warnsley, All-State 1960
Al Risby, All-State 1960
Jim Johnson, All-State 1962
Prentis Jones, All-State 1962
Jerry Hill, All-State 1962 + 1963
PG - Jim Hallihan (Miami OH) 5-10, All-State 1962 + 1963
Rich Smith, All-State 1966
Bob Mosser, All-State 1966
Rodney Johnson, All-State 1974
C - John Sauer (Middle Tennessee State) 6-9, One year MTSU, Early 1970s
(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. If you submit a name for consideration, please remember to include height, position, graduation year, college destination as well as a list of accolades. Please also remember that this is a fun hypothetical basketball project.)
Overview: I hope other teams are conditioned. They're about to be tested! This team will operate in step with its "Runnin' Reds" reputation -- a blistering pace and waves of substitutions. It's a good thing that they'll substitute often, too, because there are way too many legends on this list to play seven guys a game.
Upside of roster: Speed, scoring, pedigree, depth, success. Four state championships in the one-class system. That says it all. The 1990s were chock-full of talent, too. Tarise Bryson will be the team's alpha scorer in the backcourt, with Mike Wilder providing defensive pressure and Perry Hines helping glue everything together while shooting from the outside too. Dave Scholz and Ken Barnes will be a headache for other teams. They were both Big Ten stars who didn't need to be the biggest guy in the paint to do big damage.
Lineup strategy: Pace is the name of the game and both can keep up with the Runnin' Red reputation. That's Job No. 1 for these guards especially: push a breakneck pace offensively and frustrate the heck out of the other team on defense. When other teams tire, this program will bring in five more sets of fresh legs with Division-I and All-State credentials. Nightmare for other teams. The Second Wave of Starters might not have the same scoring pop but it has everything else: speed, athleticism, statewide reputation and a first-rate anchor in 6-7 SEC standout Mike Moore. You name it, the Reds have it.
Downside of roster: Height. This isn't a knock on Barnes, Scholz and Moore, because they are elite pieces for any roster, but instead of 6-3, 6-8 and 6-7 other programs like Effingham have twin 7-2 posts. Like all Decatur teams, there is no 7-foot presence on this roster. (When will somebody do a scientific study on this? Would be fascinating. Is it atmospheric? Genetic? There must be some reason for Decatur's overall lack of height.) But the Reds will use that to their advantage, tiring out teams that bring big lineups to the floor. Scholz didn't get to the NBA by luck -- he's used to playing (and succeeding) against bigger opponents.
Highlights of bench: There pretty much is no bench! There are about four waves of qualified starters who will take turns. But if forced to single out a few names, you can start with the Second Wave of Starters, plus guys like 1945 star George Riley, 70s high school star Terry Cook, Iowa State's Bob Moser, and on and on and on. No joke: the fourth five would probably be a No. 6 seed in this tournament if it were its own school.
Best season: State champions in 1931, 1936, 1945, 1962 with a large handful of placings at State to boot. The 1962 is the one whose legacy endures, beating Chicago legend Cazzie Russell and his Carver team. There are at least two legendary "What If" teams too, starting with the 1964 dynamo that was upset by tiny Cobden. Then there's the electric 1996-97 team that was undefeated in the regular season (25-0) and No. 4 in statewide Class AA poll (two-class system) before losing to No. 16 Springfield High in overtime in the sectional final.
Enrollment: 1,200 (1962)
GOAT: Dave Scholz and Tarise Bryson had the best high school careers, and both were stars at the next level as well. Scholz did it in the Big Ten, however, and reached the NBA (even for a cup of coffee). Younger generations will say Bryson is the GOAT, while the older crowd will say Scholz or even Kenny Barnes. It's a matter of preference and era, I suppose. But this program is built on swarming other teams, not individual efforts. So seems wrong to declare one GOAT.
Music: All aboard! The Runnin' Red Express is leaving the station.
Controversial decision: Flip a coin on any lineup spot not occupied by Bryson, Barnes or Scholz. You truly cannot go wrong with anyone on this roster. I went with a mixture of aura/esteem (Hines), raw explosiveness (Wilder) and college production (Moore, others) as tiebreakers to put people in the First and Second Waves of Starters. Nobody is "benched" -- some just had more compelling cases for cracking the first and second units than others. College production is a big factor to me because that's an even measuring stick for comparing players from different levels, communities and eras. It's uniform -- you can either play at that level or you can't. It doesn't discriminate.
ALL-TIME 5 OVERVIEW
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 22 (Phase 1)
March 22 through April 18 (Phase 2)
March 22: Selection Sunday
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
No. 33: Mt. Pulaski (Play-in game)
No. 32: Okaw Valley (Bethany-Findlay) (Play-in game)
February 12: The 7 seeds
February 19: The 6 seeds
February 26: The 5 seeds
March 4: The 4 seeds
March 11: The 3 seeds
March 13: 2 seed (Note: The schedule has been changed in light of all local sports being cancelled by coronavirus concerns.)
March 16: 2 seeds
March 17: 2 seed
March 18: 1 seed
No. 4: Stephen Decatur/Decatur High (6 p.m. and 10 p.m. show)
March 19: 1 seed
No. 3: TBA (6 p.m. and 10 p.m. show)
March 20: 1 seed
No. 2: TBA (6 p.m. and 10 p.m. show)
March 21: 1 seed
No. 1: TBA (6 p.m. and 10 p.m. show)
March 22: "Selection Sunday"
- Revealing the Bracket (Half of the bracket at 5 p.m. and half at 10 p.m.)
- Fan voting begins for First Round Games
First Round Results Announced
Sweet 16 Results Announced
Final Four Results Announced