This week's College Basketball Preview found its unifying
principle on July 22, when senior editor Dick Friedman opened an
email from staff writer Seth Davis. "Two words: Old School," the
email read. "We could make the preview a celebration of the
people, programs and trends that embody old school values and
that too often get overlooked." The theme stuck, and under the
direction of Friedman, associate editor B.J. Schecter, deputy art
director Ed Levine and associate photo editor Porter Binks, the
staff produced a 60-page package.
Senior writer Alexander Wolff, on the college hoops beat for SI
since 1980, gets as old school as possible, writing about Dr.
James Naismith's original 13 rules of basketball. Elsewhere Wolff
examines how today's college players have fallen behind their
European counterparts in the fundamentals.
Retro can be rewarding, as senior writer Grant Wahl shows in his
stories about Kansas teammates Nick Collison and Kirk Hinrich,
possibly the most fundamentals-oriented duo in the land, and
Miami (Ohio) coach Charlie Coles, who teaches a class in
basketball theory at the university. Wahl--a 1996 graduate of
Princeton, where they tend to stress the basics--also compiled
SI's All--Old School team, which includes Pitt senior guard
Brandin Knight, who studies tapes of Pistol Pete Maravich, Earl
Monroe and Oscar Robertson.
But the section isn't mired in the past. Davis does his best
impression of the NCAA selection committee, assembling SI's
65team tournament field. Scouting reports come from Wahl, Davis,
senior writer Phil Taylor, writer-reporter Chris Ballard and
reporter John O'Keefe. On the women's side senior writer Kelli
Anderson profiles Duke's do-it-all guard Alana Beard and ranks
the Top 10. An editorial dream team? Friedman thinks so. "Working
with this group is like having Jordan, McGrady, Bryant and Sheryl
Swoopes," he says. "You just have to roll the ball out there."
A frequent contributor to the magazine over the years,
photographer Gregoire faced the challenge of portraying SI's
All--Old School team in an old school style. So the Rhode Island
native arranged to get a vintage uniform for each player. That,
as things turned out, was the easy part. "They were hesitant to
wear the tight jerseys and shorts," he says. "I think it would be
the equivalent of our wearing Bermuda shorts and socks up to the
Now that's old school.