tBBC All-Time Tourney CHAMPIONS – 1960

Written May 18th, 2012 by WVaBuckeye

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.

Taken from a post on Buckeye Planet from January 27, 2010 by Buckskin86 during the 50th Anniversary Celebration: An updated glimpse at the 1959-60 Ohio State national champions:-Mel Nowell, 6-foot-2, sophomore, Columbus (East HS), Ohio. An All-Ohio selection as a senior in high school, Nowell ended up as the Big Ten’s second-leading scorer for the 1960 team at 14 points a game. Drafted by the Chicago Zephyrs in the 12th round of the 1962 draft, Nowell played only one season in the NBA. He also played in the Eastern League and ABA. He was state budget director under Ohio Gov. James Rhodes for 2 1/2 years, then went into retail, real estate and construction. Now semi-retired, he and his wife have four children and 10 grandchildren.-Gary Gearhart, 6-2, sophomore, New Lebanon, Ohio. Gearhart scored 49 points in 19 games, then worked as a manufacturer’s representative for a high-school jewelry company in Lima, Ohio.-John Havlicek, 6-5, sophomore, Bridgeport, Ohio. Havlicek averaged 14.6 points over his Ohio State career, and helped the “Super Sophs” compile a 78-6 record. Many might be surprised that Havlicek was the Buckeyes’ second-leading rebounder. A great all-around athlete, he thought about playing for the Cleveland Browns, who took him in the seventh round of the NFL draft, before joining the Boston Celtics, who had selected in the first round in 1962. He helped the Celtics win eight NBA title and was immortalized by Johnny Most’s 1965 call of his play that helped win a title, “Havlicek stole the ball! Havlicek stole the ball!” He scored more than 26,000 points in 16 seasons and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1983. He was selected one of the top 50 players of the NBA in 1997.-John Cedargren, 6-5, senior, Columbus (North HS), Ohio. While taking a five-year mechanical engineering class, Cedargren contributed some key moments off the bench, scoring 16 points in 13 games as a backup for Lucas. Cedargren died in 1966.

-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.

Larry Siegfried, Head Coach Fred Taylor and Jerry Lucas clown around after winning it all in 1960

Team and Individual Accomplishments from 1960-62
Overall Record of 78 wins and 6 losses
Record of 13 wins and 4 losses against ranked opponents
NCAA Tourney record of 10 wins and 2 losses
3 Big Ten Titles
3 National Finals appearances
1 National Title
Finished as unanamous #1 in final polls (61&62)
Four 1,000 point scorers, Lucas 1,990;Siegfried 1,228;Havlicek 1,223;Nowell 1,200
Record for Team single season scoring average 90.4
Siegfried, Havlicek and Lucas awards as All Big Ten,All-Americans & NBA 1st round picks
Among other things, Jerry Lucas won a Gold Medal with Team USA in the 1960 Olympics and became a two time National POY in 1961 and 1962. He led his team in academics as well and every team member from the 1960 squad graduated from THE Ohio State University. Most becoming very respected in their fields outside of their basketball careers.
There are two records that Lucas and Havlicek have in tOSU anals that may never be broken. They are #1 and #2 on the NCAA tournament all time scoring and rebounds list. Lucas comes in with 266 points and 197 rebounds for his career and Havlicek has 156 points to go with 105 rebounds. Both players move on to great NBA careers and become Hall of Famers in their favorite sport. Both have had their jersey’s retired at Ohio State.
For more records and reading about the 1960-62 squad check out stats at the official Ohio State website.


  1. C-DogNo Gravatar
    May 18th, 2012 at 9:06 am

    I’m not sure for one second that the 1960 team would beat the 2007 team head to head. But a national championship trumps a runner-up, and two Hall of Famers trump a lineup whose best player might turn out to be Mike Conley.


    WVaBuckeyeNo Gravatar
    May 18th, 2012 at 9:31 am

    I wasn’t on the fence when we began this, but have learned alot about the intelligence of the 1960 team and the unbelievable athletic ability they possessed. I believe it would be a great game for sure and agree with the HOF comment. The other little tidbit that I left out is that all five starters of the 1960 team played in thr NBA.


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