When Joe Dexter and I began this journey, we had more than a few conversations about how well the Jerry Lucas led Buckeyes would fare against “modern” teams. I have to admit that I too believed that the team from 2007 would provide a tough match-up for them and quite possibly could beat them on the hardwood.
After great participation from the fans and readers of our mythical championship, the Lucas-Havlicek-Nowell led superstars of the 1960′s left little doubt. In the largest margin of votes during the tourney, the 1960 National Champs obliterated the best team the “modern” era has to offer from 2007. Let’s take a final look at the Champs.
-Jerry Lucas, 6-8, sophomore, Middletown, Ohio. Still considered one of the greatest high school players ever (2,460 points, 76-1 record) for the Middies, Lucas was a first-team All-American all three years he played at Ohio State (freshmen were not eligible,. He also led 1964 U.S. Olympic team to a gold medal. A brilliant student, Lucas maintained an A average that put him in the top 4 percent of his class in Ohio State’s College of Commerce and Administration. Taken in first round of the NBA draft by the Cincinnati Royals, he sat out his first year after signing with the ABA’s Cleveland Pipers before finally joining the Royals. He starred for 11 years in the NBA, averaging 15.6 rebounds for his career. He won a championship with the New York Knicks in 1973 while starring as a rebounder and long-range shooter. Selected as one of the greatest 50 players in NBA history in 1997, he has written text books and popular books about memorization. Now with five grown children, Lucas lives in Templeton, Calif., and still travels, putting on memorization seminars. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1979.
-Dick Furry, 6-7, senior, Columbus (West HS), Ohio. More than almost anyone else on the Ohio State team, Furry stood to lose the most by the arrival of the sophomores. After starting and averaging 11.5 points as a junior, he had to share time at forward with Havlicek and ended up averaging 5.1 points as a senior. After graduation, he became president of a paint, dye and ink company in suburban Cleveland.
-Richie Hoyt, 6-4, junior, Mt. Vernon, Ohio. Another valuable sub on the team, Hoyt once scored 50 points in a high school game. He totaled 58 in 23 games for the 1959-60 Buckeyes, then became an executive for a workers’ compensation company.
-Joe Roberts, 6-6, senior, Columbus (East HS), Ohio. Roberts thrived in coach Fred Taylor’s offense, averaging 11 points and seven rebounds. He was drafted by the Syracuse Nationals in the third round, and played three years in the NBA with the Nationals and one year in the ABA. He went into coaching and spent several years as an assistant in college ranks and the NBA. He eventually went into education before retiring in California.
-Dave Barker, 6-2, senior, Columbus, Ohio. Scored 23 points in 16 games as a backup guard. After graduation, he became owner of David Barker Art Gallery in Columbus.
-Gary Milliken, 5-11, junior, Waynesburg, Pa. Milliken did not score in two games. After graduation, he became manager of a utility company in Pittsburgh.
-Larry Siegfried, 6-4, junior, Shelby, Ohio. Ohio State’s MVP in 1959 and a consensus second-team All-American in 1961, Siegfried was drafted in the first round by the Cincinnati Royals in 1961. He passed up the NBA to spend two seasons in the ABA. Like Havlicek, he eventually found a home with in Boston and spent seven years playing for Red Auerbach, helping the club win titles in 1964-66 and 1968-69. He played for three more teams before retiring after the 1972 season, having scored almost 6,000 points. He later coached, counseled prisoners at the Mansfield Correctional Institution and did motivational speaking.
-J.T. Landes, 5-11, sophomore, Columbus (North HS), Ohio. Saw action in only six games, scoring four points for the Buckeyes. He became a school administrator in Green Bay, Wis.
-Bob Knight, 6-4, sophomore, Orrville, Ohio. Better known as a coach than a player, Knight averaged 3.7 points as a sub on the national championship team. He would go on to win more games (902) than any college coach. He spent six years (1965-71) at Army, going 102-50, and 29 years (1971-2000) at Indiana, where he went 661-240, won 11 Big Ten titles and NCAA championships in 1976, 1981 and 1987. He closed out his successful yet turbulent coaching career with seven years (2001-08) at Texas Tech, going 138-82. He is now an analyst on ESPN, and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1991.