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THE QUESTION: What Section of the country produces the best basketball players and why? (Asked of college basketball coaches)

Jan. 25, 1960
Jan. 25, 1960

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Jan. 25, 1960

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THE QUESTION: What Section of the country produces the best basketball players and why? (Asked of college basketball coaches)

HONEY RUSSELL
Seton Hall University
South Orange, N.J.
The greatest number of college players come from the New York metropolitan district which includes New Jersey. An average New York high school has 2,000 boys. A high school elsewhere with half that number would be considered large. On percentage alone more good players are bound to develop in New York.

This is an article from the Jan. 25, 1960 issue

BUD MILLIKAN
University of Maryland
College Park, Md.
The best players, the really great stars come from all areas, but the East has had more than its share. Basketball originated in the East and has been improving ever since, particularly now within the Atlantic Coast Conference. A number of college stars from the East have become outstanding pros.

PRESS MARAVICH
Clemson College
Clemson, S.C.
New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania produce an intelligent group of players endowed with basketball savvy. They size up a scrambled situation and instantly go into a two-man play pattern. Coaching on the high school level is good and playground summer leagues are available to speed development.

JOHNNY WOODEN
UCLA
Los Angeles
I think that more players come from areas that go in more for winter sports, like the East and the north Midwest. That's not saying that they produce the best players. Just look at the rosters of the pro teams. These outstanding players hail from every section of the country, the West Coast, South, Midwest and East.

DOGGIE JULIAN
Dartmouth College
Hanover, N.H.
New York City, which means the entire Metropolitan area. Public schools do a lot of playing, with the many high school coaches doing a magnificent job. It's a bigger sport in New York City than college football. Of course, great players develop in other areas, but not as many as in New York.

DOC HAYES
SMU
Dallas
From a consensus of opinion and just plain gossip from other coaches, I wouldn't be surprised if the answer is Illinois because of the tremendous interest in high school basketball there. For years it was Indiana. Now you will find a number of Illinois boys playing regularly on a lot of the top teams in the Midwestern area.

JOEL EAVES
Auburn
Auburn, Ala.
I'm not too much of a judge of that because we recruit only from Alabama and Georgia. We like it this way, because we understand our boys. The fans like it, too. However, there is little doubt that the best high school basketball is played in Kentucky where the boys are more interested in basketball than in horses.

FORDDY ANDERSON
Michigan State University, East Lansing, Mich.
No one section has a monopoly, but the Midwest produces more good basketball players in number. Take Indiana as an example. It has only three really big cities. The other towns are too small for football so it's natural for them to emphasize basketball. However, the really great players come from every section of the country.

ISAAC MOOREHEAD
Texas Southern University, Houston
The really top players come from the Northeast—New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New England. The greatest colored players come from New York City, Chicago and Philadelphia. For instance, Wilt Chamberlain and Guy Rodgers, two of today's top pros, started out in Philadelphia schools.

JACK GARDNER
University of Utah
Salt Lake City
The Middle West. That's because they have more players in high schools. The weather, too, has a lot to do with it because sports have to be carried on indoors a greater proportion of the time than inv some other sections of the country. The boys also start basketball when they're younger.

BRANCH McCRACKEN
Indiana University
Bloomington, Ind.
That's hard to say. We have lots of kids who develop in the Indiana high schools and then leave the state to play with colleges in every section of the country. If we could divide them among all the Indiana colleges alone, every one of them would have good teams. But all sections of the country graduate great players.

JIM WEAVER
St. Mary's College
St. Mary's, Calif.
Originally they came from New England. Then the Midwest took over, followed by the South and now the West. Out here we play control basketball, with better balance between offense and defense. Since publicity is based on scoring average, our greatest players do not get the national buildup they should.

JOE LAPCHICK
St. John's University
Brooklyn
In the '20s it was the East. Then they began rearing stars in the Midwest. Baskets were nailed on garages and lampposts everywhere, and great shooters developed. The Midwest power players began beating us rather regularly, and we had to change our style. Now, no section has a monopoly on talent.

ADOLPH RUPP
University of Kentucky
Lexington, Ky.
It varies each year, but roughly, it's the Midwest. Last year California won with California players. Before that we won with Kentucky players. However, year in and year out the better players come from Ohio, Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky. High school coaching is better and the boys are bigger.

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