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The Question: Do you agree with Gene Shue of the Fort Wayne Pistons who says that a basketball team composed of little men up to 6 feet 5 inches could beat a team of tall men 6 feet 5 inches and over?

April 08, 1957
April 08, 1957

Table of Contents
April 8, 1957

Hang On And Pray
Ohio State Diving
Events & Discoveries
Farrell Of The Indians
Hockey
Acknowledgments
Horse Racing
Preview
19th Hole: The Readers Take Over
Pat On The Back

The Question: Do you agree with Gene Shue of the Fort Wayne Pistons who says that a basketball team composed of little men up to 6 feet 5 inches could beat a team of tall men 6 feet 5 inches and over?

LIEUT. COL. FRANCIS J. ROBERTS
Graduate manager of athletics
Went Point
I disagree with Shue. In basketball you've got to get those rebounds. The really big men do have a great advantage, because to win in basketball, possession is paramount. Maybe an exception would be five Cousys on a team, but you see a Cousy in basketball once in a generation.

This is an article from the April 8, 1957 issue Original Layout

CARL BRAUN
New York
Knickerbockers
Yes. It wouldn't even be a contest. We'd kill them. Most of the small men, up to 6'5", were centers once and can pivot. A team of-George Yardley of Fort Wayne, Paul Arizin of the Warriors and Bill Sharman, Jim Loscutoff and Bob Cousy of the Celtics couldn't be beaten. I'd probably be a substitute.

DOLPH SCHAYES
Syracuse Nationals
No. In my estimation, the most important thing in basketball is getting the rebound. The bigger men get the rebounds and then start the ball toward the other team's basket. The more rebounds a team gets, the more tries they have for the basket. I'd love to play those little guys.

BOB COUSY
Boston Celtics
Generally, no, but it can happen. Even if we had our choice of players 6 feet 5 and under, we wouldn't stand a chance in a 10-game series. In one game, maybe. Why don't you ask the publisher of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED to promote this game annually and start a pension fund for basketball players?

GEORGE VERGARA
Mayor of
New Rochelle, N.Y.
I can't go along with Gene Shue. He's a small man like I am, 6'2". I'm an old football end. Today I'd have little chance snaring a pass against a really big end like Harlon Hill of the Chicago Bears. Men under 6 feet 5 inches would be as handicapped in basketball.

BILL HALLORAN
Onetime football referee
Providence, R.I.
You might be able to assemble one team of very big men that could lick all comers, but that would be all. There's not more than a half-dozen of them playing basketball. The other really big guys are still in the goon stage. Any number of smaller teams could be assembled to beat them.

JOE LAPCHICK
Basketball coach
St. John's University
Yes, the small men, including Cousy and Sharman, would press all over the court and win. This game was going to be played in Boston, but never was. Why doesn't SPORTS ILLUSTRATED promote it in Madison Square Garden? Red Auerbach, Celtic coach, and I would love to coach the little men.

G. HERBERT McCRACKEN
Publisher
Scholastic Coach
magazine
It would be no contest. The team of big men would win easily. Today's big man is highly flexible and agile, with excellent reflexes and fair speed. A team of Cousys couldn't handle Maurice Stokes (6'7"), Mel Hutch-ins (6'6"), Neil Johnston (6'8"), Dolph Schayes (6'8") and Bob Pettit (6'9").

MAURICE STOKES
Rochester Royals
Yes and no. It can happen because, in colleges, teams made up of small men have often licked the big fellows. But it depends on who the big fellows are. If the best five big men in our league played together, I don't think that any team of players under 6 feet 5 inches could beat them.

A.L. (SHORTY) HARDMAN
Sports Editor
Charleston, W. Va. Gazette
No. Let's face it. A man of 6'8" used to be a basketball freak. Today he's a well-coordinated, speedy individual with a distinct advantage over the small player. I'll have to disagree with Shue. Height is of the essence, and the big boys will always prevail under the present rules.

ELEVEN PHOTOS

The question on explorers, scheduled for this week, has been postponed