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 7: SPRINGFIELD HIGH SENATORS

(2) Springfield High vs. (7) TBA

PG - Randy Rice (Illinois State) 6-0, 6-3-4 ISU, 18-5-7 senior year SHS, CS8 Male Athlete of the Year 1998

SG - Steve Dixson (Vincennes JC) 6-4, 1,774 pts 2nd SHS, HM All-State 1996 (Class AA), Led City in scoring 1995 (61), 1996 (60), 1997 (55)

SF - Tyron Lee (Missouri) 6-6, 23 ppg SHS, 11-5 best year MU, 10 years overseas, Led City in scoring 1993 (52) + 1994 (78), 1992-93 sectional championship; Class of 1994

PF - Tom Cole (Michigan) 6-7, 2x All-Big Ten, Captain at UM, 1959 State Championship (33-1), 2x All-State 1958 + 1959; MVP and State Champion; 1,666 points SHS, 14-10 average at Michigan; City-high 65 1959; Class of 1959

C - Dave Robisch (Kansas, ABA/NBA) 6-10; 2x Big 8 POY, 27-12 best year KU, 16-9 best season ABA; 13 years NBA/ABA; 1971 Final Four; 8th IHSA points in season (1,057 1967); Had cartoonish 152 points at State in 1967 (49 more than 2nd); City-record 98 points in 1967; Class of 1967

 

Minutes off the bench

PF - Harold McMath (Bradley) 6-6, 10 rpg 9 ppg best year BU; 2nd Team All-State 1975 + 1976, 799 rebounds at BU, 726 points

PF – Obi Church (Missouri State) 6-7, 7 ppg, 6 rpg all four years (600 reb, nearly 700 pts)

F - Herb Scheffler (Illinois, Oklahoma, NBL) 6-4, star of 1935 state champions, Played for Detroit Gems of National Basketball League and minor league baseball in Red Sox system, Led state tournament in scoring; Class of 1936

SG - Shelby Roberson (Duquesne) 6-1, 5-2-2, Part of early 1990s resurgence

SF – Willie Wiley (Evansville) 6-7, All-CS8 2010 + 2011 + 2012

SG – Ray Ramsey (Bradley, NFL, briefly NBA 1948-49) 6-2

F - Larry Bauer (Illinois) 6-7, All-State 1961, two varsity seasons Illinois

Bob Plohr, All-State 1961

Mark Stoddart, 1967 State team, wingman to Dave Robisch, 7th in scoring (51 pts) at State

PG – Lonell Reeves (Louisiana-Monroe) 5-10

Michael Lee, Led City in scoring 1982 (56 pts)

Marcus Barker, 48 points tied for most at City (1988)

Tives Gardner, Sr., Led City scoring 1990 (54) + 1991 (65)

George Mathis, 1959 state champs, 6th scoring at State Tournament

Lynn Neff, 1959 state champs

Charles Shauger, 4th scoring option on 1959 state champs

Tommy Hayes, All-CS8 1996

Todd Moore, All-CS8 1998

Tony Hammonds, All-CS8 1999

Willie Collins, All-CS8 1999

Phil Jones, All-CS8 1999

Brian Price, All-CS8 2000

Sam Johnson, All-CS8 2000

F - Keith Elbert, All-CS8 2001 + 2002, Led City in scoring 2001 (46)

F - Colin Beveridge (UIS) All-CS8 2003, Led City in scoring 2003 (64)

Davion Lucas, All-CS8 2004

Eddie Snow, All-CS8 2007

Kyle Klunick, All-CS8 2008

Mike Gilchrese, All-CS8 2009

Mark Gilchrese, All-CS8 2011

PG - Isaiah Hale (UIS) 5-9, All-CS8 2009 + 2010

Bryan Bridges, All-CS8 2010

Don Casper, Led City in scoring 1951 (49)+ 1952 (63)

Dick Schofield, Sr., (MLB) Led City in scoring 1953 (67)

The 1917 State Champions: Max Poscover, Jerome Dunne, Harry Eielson, Ben Clouser

G - Bennie Slater (Current) 6-4, Class of 2021

G - Shane Miller (Current) 6-1, Class of 2021 

(Did we miss a player? Email gordon.voit@wandtv.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: In terms of history, it doesn't get any better than this. State championships in 1917, 1935, 1959 and then 3rd in 1967 with an NBA player at the helm (Robisch). The 1990s were maybe the highest concentration of talent in program history, with playmakers left and right. How on Earth do you attack a team with a lineup of 6-10, 6-7, 6-6, 6-4, 6-0 that each has an elite list of accolades?

Upside of roster: This team is arguably the most balanced in the field, with stars at all three positions. Where exactly is there a weakness? Nowhere. The 6-10 Robisch is among the most accomplished players in Central Illinois history, Cole was All-Big Ten, then Dixson and Lee were both forces of nature -- Lee averaging double-digit points in the Big 12 and Dixson making it to Southern Illinois after putting up more points than anyone in SHS history other than Robisch. Rice is a great floor general to lead this group because he can get a bucket with the best of them but his passing will be huge to help distribute the ball to all these amazing playmakers.

Downside of roster: I really don't think you can say there is one. That's what makes this top tier of teams so dangerous. The gap between the Senators and the six teams ranked higher is minuscule. Big leagues.

Highlights of bench: Look at the size off the bench. Other programs would beg to have even one of these guys in the starting lineup. McMath. Church. Wiley. Bauer. All Division-I caliber forwards. Dozens of weapons on this bench, I mean look at the All-CS8 picks.

Best season: I love the consistency of championships in 1917, 1935, 1959 and then 3rd in 1967 followed by explosive talent in the 1990s. Are the Senators due for another run to State? ...

Enrollment: 1,462 (2020)

GOAT: Dave Robisch. 12 years in the NBA/ABA. Final Four. 2x POY in the Big 8. Scoring record at SHS and the City Tournament. End of story.

Music: Hail to the Chief. The school closest to the state capitol will have other teams saluting them by the end of the game.

Controversial decision: There's no way Obi Church isn't a "starter" and same with McMath and the many All-Staters from the program's early days. 

Bonus: Three Major League Baseball players! All three Cubs! That's pretty cool. Bill Madlock even had 1,000 points and reportedly had many basketball scholarship offers. Kevin Roberson and Roe Skidmore were also stars, with Roberson putting up big numbers at EHS and Skidmore scoring 41 points in a game at Millikin.

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 21 (Phase 1)

March 21 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)

No. 31: St. Joseph-Ogden

No. 30: Maroa-Forsyth

No. 29: Glenwood

February 12: The 7 seeds

No. 28: Warrensburg-Latham

No. 27: Lakeview

No. 26: Teutopolis

No. 25: Shelbyville

February 19: The 6 seeds

No. 24: Monticello

No. 23: Mahomet-Seymour

No. 22: Clinton

No. 21: Unity

February 26: The 5 seeds

No. 20: St. Teresa

No. 19: Mattoon

No. 18: Sacred Heart-Griffin

No. 17: Taylorville

March 4: The 4 seeds

No. 16: Rantoul

No. 15: Mt. Zion

No. 14: Riverton

No. 13: Southeast

March 11: The 3 seeds

No. 12: Effingham (6 p.m. show)

No. 11: MacArthur (March 12 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.)

No. 10: Charleston (10 p.m. show)

No. 9: Jacksonville (10 p.m. show)

March 13 (Note: The schedule has been changed in light of all local sports being cancelled by coronavirus concerns.)

No. 8: Eisenhower (10 p.m. show)

March 16:

No. 7: Springfield High (6 p.m. show)

No. 6: TBA (10 p.m. show)

March 17:

No. 5: TBA (6 p.m. and 10 p.m. show)

March 18:

No. 4: TBA (6 p.m. and 10 p.m. show)

March 19:

No. 3: TBA (6 p.m. and 10 p.m. show)

March 20:

No. 2: TBA (6 p.m. and 10 p.m. show)

March 21:

No. 1: TBA (6 p.m. and 10 p.m. show)

March 22:

- "Selection Sunday": Revealing the Bracket (5 p.m. show)

- Fan voting begins for First Round Games

March 26:

First Round Results Announced

April 1:

Sweet 16 Results Announced

April 9:

Final Four Results Announced

April 16:

Championship Announced

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.