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 10: CHARLESTON TROJANS
(3) Charleston vs. (6) TBA
PG – Derrick Landrus (Eastern Illinois) 6-2, 31.2 ppg senior CHS led state, 1st points 1,462 points, 16-4-3 best year EIU, three years of double figures (1,115 college), 3rd Team All-State (Class AA), 46% 3FG senior CHS; Class of 1991
SG – Joey Miller (EIU, UIC, Dallas Baptist, G-League Knicks) 6-3, 11-3-3 as freshman at EIU; 3rd points 1,254; Class of 2011
G/F - Rex Morgan (Jacksonville, NBA Celtics) 6-5, 26.7 ppg as a junior at JU, 7 rpg, 9 apg senior year; National runner-up 1970 vs. UCLA, “Reckless Rex” Morgan; Class of 1966
G/F - Jeff Gueldner (Kansas) 6-5; (Started on 1988 NCAA Champion) 10-4-4-1.2 stl senior year KU, 4-year contributor; Won 3-point contest; 18-8-6-2 senior CHS; All-State; Class of 1986
F – Gregg Barcus (Iowa State) 6-8, All-State HM; 2x All-Area, 1,380 points at CHS; Class of 1969
G/F - Jeff Petersen (Spring Hill) 6-5, Area POY 1985, 5th points 1,197; Athletic; 20-8-3 as senior CHS; 40-inch vertical; Class of 1984
G/F – Rick Scott (South Alabama) 6-5, 2nd points 1,337; Team 44-8 last two years; Class of 1979
G - Bob Parkison, 6-2 (Illinois freshman team, also baseball) 3rd points 1,214, 21 ppg senior year; Class of 1955
G - Albert Walters, 6-2, 19 ppg junior year; Class of 1956
PF - TJ Bell (Indiana State) 6-8, 250lb, 13 ppg, 7-4 senior year ISU; Class of 2012
F – Carl Maples (Missouri) 1,112 points 7th, also played football at MU; Class of 1960
Brandon Murphy (Eastern Illinois, Illinois baseball) 1,032 points CHS; Class of 2003
C – Olaf Blab (Illinois, Evansville) 7-0 brother of Uwe Blab; Class of 1985
G - Dane Church (SIU-Edwardsville) 6-3, 2006 CHS graduate, defensive
G – Ethan Miller (Eastern Illinois) 6-2, 2013 CHS graduate, 1 year EIU
G - Stan Royer (Eastern Illinois, MLB) 6-3 1st round pick in 1988 (Athletics)
G/F - Brian Jones (Eastern Illinois football)
Dave Dooley; Sweet 16 team (1956-57) 14 varsity letters at CHS
Jeff Gossett (NFL) Pro Bowl punter for Raiders
PG – Ken Baker, 5-7, “Mighty Mite” floor general who led 26-2 season; Class of 1968
Tim Montgomery, 20 ppg, teammate of Landrus’ in 1990s
Overview: An All-State guard who put up 30+ points per game. An NBA player who came one John Wooden short of a national title. The starting wing on the 1988 Kansas national title winner. That trio right there is among the best in the entire project. Then mix in a G-League guard and a variety of Division-I frontcourt size. These guys are flat-out ballers.
Upside of roster: Is this the best shooting team in the entire project? The Trojans certainly have a case to be made. Four out, one in. Bombs away. Impossible to stop if they’re feeling it. Ignore the conference affiliation, this roster could beat any other one in the field on any given day.
Downside of roster: This team has just enough size to get by, but other teams have bigs coming out of their ears. Rebounding will not be this team’s strength. But it has so many positives that it’s hard to gripe about anything seriously.
Highlights of bench: Both Barcus and Bell will get 20+ minutes per game regardless. What’s also nuts about this team is that the firepower doesn’t drop off drastically when Morgan and Landrus take a breather. Jeff Petersen (Spring Hill) is one of the best pure athletes in this project (40-inch vertical!) and Rick Scott (South Alabama) might lead this team in scoring some nights.
Best season: The Trojans’ success dates back to the 1921 and 1934 state tournaments. Given the amount of talent in this program you’d think it’d have a more recent State run, but this program truly is a victim of poor luck in that none of the elite players ever overlapped in their prime (like at Effingham, for example).
Enrollment: 805 (2020)
GOAT: Rex Morgan has to be the pick here given that he made it to the NBA. He was truly one of the top players in college basketball from 1968-70. Possibly even in the All-Time 5 starting five. (Stay tuned for that list!)
Music: Fire engine rock. Light the nets on fire.
Controversial decision: Like I said above, the Bell-Barcus situation is a coin flip. Equally deserving.
Bonus: I am *this* close to naming Rex Morgan “The Best You’ve Never Heard Of” (most underrated) because he was a superstar at Jacksonville (nearly 27 ppg his best season!) and played for the Celtics, and yet I am certain that his name is not as well known as it should be. That’s why this project is so fun.
One More Bonus: 1950s star Bob Parkison (21 ppg his senior season of 1955) went on to found the Keystone Games in Pennsylvania, which athletes like Kobe Bryant, Rip Hamilton and Mike Mussina would go on to compete in.