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 5: DANVILLE VIKINGS
(2) Danville vs. (7) TBA
PG - Stan Gouard (Southern Indiana) 6-5, 2x D2 National POY, 19 ppg, 8 rpg three years, 1st in career steals, 3rd points (1,619), 5th rebounds (702) at USI all-time; 1995 National Champ
PG – Kendle Moore (Colorado State) 6-0, 1st points 1,732, 2x All-State, 21-4 apg-3 spg; Area POY; Class of 2017
G – DaJuan Gouard (Loyola) 6-2, 16-3-3 senior year LU, Area POY 2001, 1,302 points, 17 ppg, 2x All-Area; Class of 2001
G/F – Donte Ingram (Loyola, G-League) 6-6, Final Four, NCAA All-Region, 14-7 best season LU; NCAA All-Region; Playing for Greensboro Swarm right now
C – Keon Clark (UNLV, NBA) 6-11, 13th pick in 1998 Draft; 11-7-1.5 best year NBA, 15-10-4 bpg best year UNLV
Minutes off the bench
G - Ted Houpt (Winthrop) 6-3, 18-3-3 Winthrop; 1980s, .852 FT % college
F - Mike Drews (Ball State) 6-4, 2x All-State 75-76, 76-77, 16-5-2 senior year; Held scoring record (1,400+ points) Class of 1977
G/F – Phil Styles (Northwestern) 6-3, 8-3-3 best year NU, defensive specialist
G – Ron Rigoni (West Point football) 6-1, 2x All-State basketball (First Team, five players [!] in 1952), 1,122 points
G/F - DeMarko Wright (UT-Martin) 6-5, 12-4 best year UTM, 1993 State 3rd place team (6th scorer 53 points, 4 games); 18 ppg senior year; Could shoot the 3 too; Class of 1993
C – Ray Watson (Northern Illinois) 6-7, First Team All-State Tournament 1974 (50 pts in 2 games); 3-3 1 year NIU; 1,003 points; Class of 1972
G – Huggy Dye (Maine) 6-2; 15-3-2 best year at Maine; Class of 1997 at North Central (Ind.) where he transferred to play with Jason Gardner
Jerry Wright, Was third in points (1,122)
F - Antatius Clark (Florida Southern) 6-4, One of leaders of 1993 State team, 15 ppg senior year; 15 ppg, 2.2 spg best year FSC; HM All-American D2; Class of 1993
G - Charlie Brooks, 5-10, First Team All-Big 12; 2nd in conference in scoring (22.8); 950 points; Class of 1975
G – Travis Schofield (North Texas) 5-11, One of leaders of 1993 State team, 11 ppg best season UNT; Class of 1993
G - Anthony Williams, 6-2, HM All-State (two-class system) 1981; Class of 1981
Kareem Williams, Unanimous All-Area 1992
F - Ollie “OJ” Harrison (Utah State) 6-4, All-Big 12
G - Matt Houpt (Charlotte) 6-5, 77-78 All-State, 5 ppg best year UNCC
Charles Evans, 6-4, Was 2nd in career points (1,237), First Team All-State Tournament 1971; Class of 1972
PG - Brett Springer (DACC JuCo, All Region, Armstrong State)
F - Gene Michaelson, 6-4, co-captain and Sweet Sixteen All-Star 1950s
G – Bob Wright, 5-11, First Team All-State Tournament 1950
Gene Loerscher, 5th scoring State Tournament 1950
William Spangler, 6th scoring State Tournament 1950
G – D’Lando Carter (Cumberland) 6-1, All-Area First Team 2010
G - Dick Jones, 6-1, 1936 State runner-up
C – Chucky Cooper, 6-9 legend
G - Durrell Robinson (Parkland, overseas)
G - Sean Houpt (w/o Bradley) 6-4
PG - Nathanael Hoskins (Current) 6-2
G/F - Tevin Smith (Current) 6-4
F/C - Julian Pearl (Illinois football) 6-6, 250-pounder, finishing up redshirt freshman year along with Caleb Griffin (kicker, athletic hooper who can throw it down)
G - John Stevenson (Illinois) 1950s
C - Jordan Cunningham (Millikin) 6-5, 300 lbs
PF – Andreas Coleman (Morehead State, Quincy) 6-7, 230 lbs, 2000s
G – Mason Speer (Illinois College) 12 ppg
F - Jerome Nelson (SIU-Edwardsville) 6-1, First Team All-Big 12 Class of 1975
Ed Smith (79-80) All-Big 12
Kevin Williams, All-Big 12 1977-80
G - Lamar Hillsman, 6-2, 15 ppg junior; Class of 1991
PF – Mike Fitzgerald, 6-8; 13-12 a game; Class of 1991
(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: This team will play like a family in large part to the fact that it literally is a family! From brothers DaJuan Gouard and Donte Ingram to their cousin Kendle Moore whose cousin is Tevin Smith, to Gouard and Ingram's uncle Stan Gouard. But it's more than that -- Danville is just an incredibly tight-knit place that bands together. This team will play like that, and there's just about every kind of player you could want in this pool of players, from an elite rim protector to a bevy of fours to big guards to floor generals. It'd be a coach's dream.
Upside of roster: Balance, chemistry and depth. How about this number: Nine players who either averaged double digits at the D-I level or were the D-II national player of the year. That's some serious scoring depth. Keon Clark's length and sheer presence is also a luxury in this tournament.
Lineup strategy: Having the best rim protector in All-Time 5 is a major leg up to start. It also has indirect benefits, namely that Keon Clark and his highlight-reel blocks and dunks enables this roster to go a little bit smaller at the other positions than it would be able to do without someone to anchor the back. Which is key because this roster's rich with guards and it's all about getting your best players on the floor regardless of position. So that means that they can roll with Donte Ingram at the four, with a three-headed lead guard monster of Stan Gouard, DaJuan Gouard and Kendle Moore. Gouard's size at 6-5 is critical because he can guard the other team's three, while his nephew DaJuan (6-2) and Moore (6-0) can focus on pressuring the ball.
Downside of roster: I really think you have to squint to find a flaw in this roster, I mean there are nine players who either averaged double figures at the D-I level or were the D-II national player of the year (Stan Gouard). Players who reached the peak of high school (multiple State trips), college (pick a player) and the NBA (lottery pick). A tradition of winning in the one- and two-class systems, not just the four-class era. I suppose you could argue that the team has incredible scoring balance but not a player who put up 20 points per game in a major conference. But I have no doubts that any number of players would step if the team needed a bucket in crunch time. Most recently, Donte Ingram proved that in the NCAA Tournament, for starters. He drained a shot from the logo to beat No. 6 seed Miami in the First Round.
Highlights of bench: I love this bench because it's guys who would have a chip on their shoulder, like all-timer Mike Drews, who held the scoring record at more than 1,400 points and put up really good numbers at Ball State but was written off as a 6-4 forward. Or Ted Houpt, who had the highest-scoring Division-I season of anybody on this roster with 18 points a game at Winthrop (granted, before the Big South was a Division-I conference). But we can have fun with this: Imagine an all-scrappy lineup of Ron Rigoni, Ted Houpt, Phil Styles, Mike Drews, Ray Watson and Matt Houpt off the bench. Or an All-Star cast of big names like DeMarko Wright, Huggy Dye, Antatius Clark, Tevin Smith and Charlie Brooks or Travis Schofield. You could go in any direction you wanted.
Best season: The Vikings haven't won a state championship but placed in 1936, 1950, 1971 and 1993. I think a lot of people today would argue the 1993 team had the most talent. If it weren't for a freakish King team that was nationally famous, there's a good chance that team would have been the one to hoist the trophy. The 1971 team was similarly unlucky, facing off against the great Quinn Buckner and eventual champion Thornridge in the semifinals.
Enrollment: 2,400 (1971), 1,840 (1993), 1,497 (2020)
GOAT: Keon Clark is certainly the most famous, and arguably the best college player too. As for the best *in a Danville uniform* that debate would be much more up for grabs. It might be a 10-way tie! Kendle Moore and Mike Drews have the career numbers to make a claim. Ron Rigoni was First Team All-State (five players!) and others were one-class All-Staters. Donte Ingram played on the best team (Simeon, where he transferred). On and on and on. Truthfully, the best may have been none of those. Would be a fun coffee shop debate someday.
Music: Intense Viking adventure soundtrack. Vikings row together!
Controversial decision: Some might say Ray Watson deserves to be in that starting five, which is fair. However, he's held back by his brief college career, which is an important factor in this project. Perhaps Mike Drews should have gotten a crack given his successful high school and college career compared to a young player like Kendle Moore who is still forming his legacy. These are just hypothetical questions. DeMarko Wright is another guy who I suspect would end up getting 25 minutes a game -- I mean you'd have heavy substitutions in a game like this. The starters are by no means minute hogs.
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)
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: The 2 seeds
March 17: 2 seed
No. 5: Danville (6 p.m. and 10 p.m. show)
March 18: 1 seed
No. 4: Stephen Decatur/Decatur High (6 p.m. and 10 p.m. show)
No. 3: TBA (6 p.m. and 10 p.m. show)
No. 2: TBA (6 p.m. and 10 p.m. show)
No. 1: TBA (6 p.m. and 10 p.m. show)
- "Selection Sunday": Revealing the Bracket (5 p.m. and 10 p.m. shows)
- Fan voting begins for First Round Games
First Round Results Announced
Sweet 16 Results Announced
Final Four Results Announced