Past, present are honored with victory

Between them, they scored 31,482 points and helped bring home six SEC regular-season championship trophies.

They played in 34 wins over Kentucky, 62 over Vanderbilt and 891 overall.

"Reading some of those numbers, that's crazy,'' an impressed J.P. Prince said Saturday. "Like one guy averaging 20 rebounds. It's not all about scoring.''

Saturday at Thompson-Boling Arena was about more than Tennessee beating Vanderbilt and holding firm in the SEC East race. It also was about honoring the past.

Prince and the current Vols held up their end with a 69-50 win over the Commodores. That fit the mood for honoring UT's All-Century Team, which was introduced at halftime.

Thirteen of the 20 members were present, along with dozens more lettermen from across the decades.

"It's a great honor,'' said Dyron Nix, who led the SEC in scoring 21 years ago. "It's good to feel the love from the old fans.''

UT coach Bruce Pearl made sure his current team was immersed in the spirit of the weekend.

"Our guys,'' said Pearl, "were so impressed by the accomplishments of these men.

"I wish we could have had a few more spots on that team because a few more guys were deserving.''

Dale Ellis, a 1983 consensus All-American, enjoyed mingling with old teammates.

"Being back in Tennessee is always nice,'' said Ellis. "Nothing's changed.''

Reggie Johnson's career bridged the Ernie Grunfeld-Bernard King teams and the Ellis years.

"We had a real good run when we were here,'' Johnson said. "We had some good teams and it's hard to single out one memory.

"The most important thing is we won the (SEC) championship. We did what we had to do.''

King was welcomed by a thunderous cheer. Grunfeld wasn't able to attend, nor was all-time scoring king Allan Houston.

Chris Lofton, who is playing in Turkey, was represented by his mother Kathy and uncle.

Lofton was on the 2005-06 team that also included All-Century members C.J. Watson and Dane Bradshaw. Watson couldn't attend because of his NBA schedule.

"I can't put into words what an honor it is,'' said Bradshaw. "The fans (who voted) obviously had a big thing to do with it.

"This was truly a special ending to my career.''

Pearl instructed the team on the importance of representing the program on a historic day against a historic opponent. Pearl and his entire staff were decked out in orange blazers to honor the late Ray Mears, who placed special value on the Vanderbilt rivalry.

The team got a kick and a history lesson out of the highlights shown at the banquet Friday night.

"It was fun,'' said Prince, "just watching the way they ran offenses and how the game has changed over the years.

"I'd have been pretty good if we didn't have a 3-point line back in the day. It was just fun seeing those guys and how they still watch us.

"That's going to be us 20 years from now.''

Free-Throw Woes: Old Vols Billy Justus and Jimmy England probably averted their eyes in the stands as UT went 6-of-14 at the free-throw stripe in the first half, at one point missing seven in a row.

England is UT's career leader at 88.1 percent and Justus wasn't far behind at 84.9 percent.

All-Century Team: Along with King, Grunfeld, Ellis, Lofton, Nix, Watson and Bradshaw, the others on the team are A.W. Davis, Mike Edwards, Allan Houston, Johnson, Billy Justus, Bernie Mehen, Ron Slay, Herman Thompson, Gene Tormohlen, Paul "Lefty" Walther, Tony White, Ron Widby, Carl Widseth.

Get Copyright Permissions © 2009, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
Want to use this article? Click here for options!

© 2009 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Stories

Comments » 32

volsfan92 writes:

good story, great tradition

Titan writes:

Decided at the last moment this morning to drive up from Nashville for the game. What a great decision. A really special day. Thanks Bruce for honoring the history and tradition of Tennessee basketball. And thank you current team for beating the Commode Doors. Year in and year out - the team and their fans have to be the biggest bunch of whiners in the league. Will be nice going to church tomorrow and work next week wearing orange.

palmtr7855#660430 writes:

I noticed none of the Vanderbilt players had tattoos. What's up with that? I thought that was in the rule book.

MidTennVol writes:

in response to palmtr7855#660430:

I noticed none of the Vanderbilt players had tattoos. What's up with that? I thought that was in the rule book.

I wish it was an NCAA-wide rule, personally.

RockyTop1 writes:

I agree on England should have been there! Jimmy was a GREAT player that broke many teams hearts when John Ward would say, "England shoots.....BOTTOM!!"

richvol writes:

in response to 02champs#209256:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

It's good to hear UT is getting a little better at doing things like this with class. I will never forget them giving Hall of Fame player and coach George Cafego a USED worn out van when he retired after 40 years at UT.

Jimmy England deserves to be on this team...

Pops writes:

Brandon Wharton should have been on that list

gbeejr#1354500 writes:

No Michael Brooks? No disrespect to those listed, but perhaps with the exception of A. Houston there isn't a better outside scorer listed here than Brooks. The system he played in was designed for him to be our outside threat and our go-to-guy, and the opposition knew it and rarely stopped him. I feel bad for him that he has been forgotten.

ladylbc writes:

I think they left off great players like
Michael Brooks,Gary Carter, Larry Robinson, Steve Ray,
Jimmy England, and Johnny Darren

Who are some of the guys that came back? As much as I liked Dane
did he really deserve being on this team?

pms151 writes:

Dale Ellis was right when he said nothing has changed. That's why we will never win a national championship in men's basketball. It is all show, a dog and pony show. Oh, sorry, I forgot the unicycle.

UTitan writes:

The problem with this team is that Dane Bradshaw should never have been on the ballot to begin with. If he hadn't been included on the ballot in the first place, truly deserving players such as Jimmy England wouldn't have been left off. The committee who devised this whole thing up should have anticipated that a player from the most recent era would make the team -- deserving or not -- if based, at least to some degree, on fan voting.

ggriggs939#223122 writes:

If you are looking for outside shooters, how about Joe Treadway from Happy Valley? Most of you have never heard
of him or his high school in Carter County.
One of his two-handed push shots from near midcourt counted only two points. Since no records were kept on long shots then, it is not possible to check who was best.

Titan writes:

I think I understood them say at the game yesterday that the top ten in fan voting were included and then a "committee" picked the remaining ten. Dane is probably one of the few players to ever make an all century team with a 4.8 ppg average. I'd nearly put him in the same category with Steve "In the Way" Ray. Lots of heart and hustle and some timely plays - a fan favorite because of that - not stats. An all century player? Probably not. I was surprised at the omission of some of the ones mentioned above. A couple big men that didn't make it that probably also got some votes - Bobby Croft and Tom Boerwinkle. I was also a bit perplexed yesterday that John Ward was not part of the program although I was glad to see Don Devoe included.

coachschultz14#660061 writes:

in response to volsfan92:

good story, great tradition

how in the world can you leave out all american off this team,players like jimmy england,danny schultz and a few more.in the sixtys when they were only five players to make all american teams.not like this day and time where there are so many all american teams.the players that were on the century team you name some where great players and some where good players tn has only had less then twenty all americans in the history of the school just look at the records danny and jimmy still hold records after forty years that is unbeleive and plus they were local players danny from ky and jimmy knox tn.

Titan writes:

Interesting stat on the game broadcast yesterday. SEC has had 23 players to score over 2000 points in their career. TN has six of them. UK only three.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to MidTennVol:

I wish it was an NCAA-wide rule, personally.

I hate the tattoo trend. I think it's because so many older people I know with them all wish they'd never gottoen them.

Great game great day for Tennessee basketball. I'm glad Bradshaw could represent some of the less talented heroes in the game. I don't understand how anyone could think he should't be on this list. Maybe they could have an all time greats lists and a special mention or recognition of all time "6th men"....something like that.

MiserableFloridaVol writes:

Does Maze lose the braids since AI lost his this weekend?

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to pms151:

Dale Ellis was right when he said nothing has changed. That's why we will never win a national championship in men's basketball. It is all show, a dog and pony show. Oh, sorry, I forgot the unicycle.

Is that your initials or some problem you're having?
You just don't see very cheerful right now...or very positive.

798orange writes:

I think it was neat that this team was put together. However, as I stated in an earlier post, they should have included more players for fairness and to remove some of the subjectivity.
After giving it some thought and going back as far as my memory will allow, I think these players should have been added:

Jimmy England
Danny Schultz
Michael Brooks
Gary Carter
Vincent Yarbrough
Ed Wiener (from what I have read)
Larry Robinson

Also, these players should be considered and remembered:

Howard Bayne
Red Robbins
John Snow
Rodney Woods
Tom Boerwinkle
Len Kozmalski
Lang Wiseman
Brandon Wharton
Steve Ray
Terry Crosby
Johnny Darden
Mike Jackson
Willie Burton
Howard Wood

I'm sure there are a few others that I have forgotten who should also be mentioned.

Couchdummy writes:

All the names from the past stirs up memories for an old curmudgeon like me. Anyone remember Roger Peltz, who rode the unicycle in the early 70's during BB warmups? He went on to become a very successful comedian and voice-over guy in entertainment.

798orange writes:

I should have included JaJuan Smith. Tyler Smith and Wayne Chism should be future members and J.P. Prince has a chance also.

DroopyDrawers writes:

I still can't believe that Ed Wiener was left off of the list.

What a tragedy. Ed Wiener has to be in the top 10. Too many young pups voting.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to GOTGO:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

The past is always underrated. Youth always think they're right, but at least they recognized King and Ellis. No doubt the best
two players in UT history. Maybe in SEC history.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to Titan:

I think I understood them say at the game yesterday that the top ten in fan voting were included and then a "committee" picked the remaining ten. Dane is probably one of the few players to ever make an all century team with a 4.8 ppg average. I'd nearly put him in the same category with Steve "In the Way" Ray. Lots of heart and hustle and some timely plays - a fan favorite because of that - not stats. An all century player? Probably not. I was surprised at the omission of some of the ones mentioned above. A couple big men that didn't make it that probably also got some votes - Bobby Croft and Tom Boerwinkle. I was also a bit perplexed yesterday that John Ward was not part of the program although I was glad to see Don Devoe included.

Well, any limitation of the number of players to be honored would leave off someone who somebody else felt should have been on there. If nothing else, it has been a great opportunity to reminisce about all our personal favorites. One guy's all-time favorite will be another's "Who's he?" These affairs give us all a chance to remember ALL the great men who have worn the Orange. I'm sure each of the honorees could name somebody they thought should be on there, even in their own place. That is what makes them worth honoring in the first place.

Hunter writes:

WHERE IS DOUG ROTH??????????? THE FOUR-EYED PHENOM, THE SULTAN OF SWEATBAND, THE ROCKSTAR OF THE REBOUND?????

Seriously, how fun were some of these guys to watch, even in the Wade Houston era? Speaking of Wade, he wasn't the All-Century coach? Travesty.......

johnlg00 writes:

in response to Plasticman:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

From what I know of John Ward, he would have either been embarrassed by the attention he would have received or he would have felt his presence would deflect attention from the honorees; both, probably. I'm glad he had a prominent role at the award banquet.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to Couchdummy:

All the names from the past stirs up memories for an old curmudgeon like me. Anyone remember Roger Peltz, who rode the unicycle in the early 70's during BB warmups? He went on to become a very successful comedian and voice-over guy in entertainment.

I remember him well! I was in school with him and saw a great deal of him. Great guy! I even played with him a few times and never understood why he didn't play more on the team. OTOH, Mears was SO DARNED SERIOUS all the time, I don't think he thought Roger was serious enough about the game, though he at least recognized Roger's entertainment value. Anyway, good times!

BillVol writes:

We should have had Ben Byrd and Marvin West get in a room to decide this team. Nobody else. While we all love Dane Bradshaw, it is a disgrace that he was named to this team.

Basketball_Jones writes:

Ya know I understand many UT fans today love Dane Bradshaw but if anyone can honestly say he was one of the best players ever to play at UT they're crazy. He was a hustler bottom line.

Lang Wiseman was 100x's better than Bradshaw and had a 4.0 GPA and graduated from Harvard Law after his career. This list is a joke and a disgrace to the basketball tradition

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to Basketball_Jones:

Ya know I understand many UT fans today love Dane Bradshaw but if anyone can honestly say he was one of the best players ever to play at UT they're crazy. He was a hustler bottom line.

Lang Wiseman was 100x's better than Bradshaw and had a 4.0 GPA and graduated from Harvard Law after his career. This list is a joke and a disgrace to the basketball tradition

They may be the wrong players for this kind of recognition..but I don't see how the word disgraceful fits. Bradshaw was as good a kid as any ever at UT. He probably didn't belong on this list but the process of picking the right people out of so many years is impossible if you want to please everyone. The truly gifted physically for the most part don't even make it to college.So what 's the criteria? Academics? Physical talent? Heart? I suppose a good mix is best but it still all boils down to someone's oppinion.I personally am very impressed when someone with less ability elevates the people around he or she to a different level. I doubt very many would say Bradshaw did not do that.

Basketball_Jones writes:

This isn't about voting for "good kids" its about voting for great basketball players. The problem is, fans were aloowed to vote in this process. With the internet and the fact that many 12 year olds have the capability to vote it makes Bradshaw relevant.

Like I said before, Bradshaw was a hustler bottom line, but he should have never have been on the ballott. They should have let coaches, media, former players etc vote.

Nothing against Dane but this list is a joke

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to Basketball_Jones:

This isn't about voting for "good kids" its about voting for great basketball players. The problem is, fans were aloowed to vote in this process. With the internet and the fact that many 12 year olds have the capability to vote it makes Bradshaw relevant.

Like I said before, Bradshaw was a hustler bottom line, but he should have never have been on the ballott. They should have let coaches, media, former players etc vote.

Nothing against Dane but this list is a joke

Dane's team would have beaten allmost every team in our past. Probably every team. Do you get to decide the criteria? Is it just about skill? Ok if that's what you want but I'd take a Bradshaw over a lot of "phenoms" on the list. Maybe you didn't notice the crowds cheering for Bradshaw when he'd pull one his little miracles.

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.

Features