Some UK records won't be broken

At least eight Kentucky standards should stand up to the test of time

Herald-Leader Sports ColumnistJanuary 25, 2009 

After Jodie Meeks and his 54 points broke Dan Issel's 39-year-old Kentucky single-game scoring record, it got me thinking.

What other major University of Kentucky men's basketball records could be vulnerable to falling?

What I instead found is at least eight significant UK standards that look all but impossible to break.

8. Dan Issel's single-season scoring average of 33.9 points a game (1969-70) is darned near bullet proof.

In its entire history, UK has never had another player average more than 30 in a season.

The only way I see this record ever being threatened would be if you had one great player on a team whose roster was otherwise decimated (by injuries, a scandal) to such an extent you ran the entire offense through the one scorer.

7. Issel's mark of 64 career games with a double-double will be tough to match.

6. UK's single-game rebounding record of 34, shared by big men Bill Spivey (vs. Xavier, 1951) and Bob Burrow (vs. Temple, 1954) seems likely to be threatened only in a multi-overtime game with lots of missed shots.

5. and 4. Burrow's career rebounding average (16.1) and season rebounding average marks (17.7 in 1954-55) will not be easily broken.

3. Spivey's school-record 42 field-goal attempts in one game (against Georgia Tech on Feb. 18, 1950) looks eternal to me.

2. Believe it or not, the Kentucky single-game, team rebounding record is 108 (vs. Mississippi on Feb. 8, 1964). That rather astounding mark seems safer than the gold at Fort Knox.

1. I do not think UK — nor anyone else in major college basketball — will ever again match the 129-game home-court winning streak that Adolph Rupp's Cats compiled from Jan. 2, 1943 to Jan. 8, 1955.

As to the gold standard of Kentucky men's basketball marks, Issel's career-best 2,138 points looks difficult to break but not impossible to me.

Consider this what-if scenario:

If Meeks were to return next season for his senior year. Should UK reach the Southeastern Conference Tournament and NCAA Tournament finals both this season and next (which presumes 40 games each year).

And if Meeks scored exactly what he is averaging (26 points a game) the rest of this season and all of next year, then he would finish with 2,272 points.

Of course, Kentucky is not very likely to reach the NCAA finals in both the next two seasons. And it will be very difficult for Meeks to maintain his 26-point average for two full seasons.

It's hardly certain that he will return next season.

The main factor protecting Big Dan's UK career scoring mark is this:

In the present basketball environment, players who would be good enough to threaten the record are not apt to stay in college long enough to do so.

Mills to India

Former Kentucky basketball player Cameron Mills is bound for India on a two-week (Feb. 2-17) Christian mission trip.

Mills is part of a group of four men that will travel to India on behalf of the Lexington-based Christian organization Fishhook International.

"We're partnering with two Indian pastors who oversee orphanages and schools," Mills said last week. "I'm hoping to build some basketball goals and maybe have some mini-camps. I'm excited."

Mills, 33, said he had decided to go on the trip to India in late November. Then the terrorist attacks on Mumbai occurred.

"Oh yeah, I had second thoughts," Mills said. "I'd heard that things weren't necessarily safe there anyway. I put a lot of thought and prayer into whether I should go. I decided I needed to."

Mills, who has worked as an evangelist since his UK career ended after the 1998 NCAA championship game, says his trip will not take him to Mumbai.

He says he hopes to blog daily during his time in India on his Web site cmm21.com.

Cup race in Kentucky?

During the 2009 NASCAR pre-season media tour last week, Bruton Smith, chairman and CEO of Speedway Motorsports Inc., was asked about his plans for his most recent purchase, Kentucky Speedway.

Smith indicated that the pending appeal by the speedway's former ownership group of an antitrust suit against NASCAR prevented a Sprint Cup race in Sparta this year.

"We didn't buy it to go on without a Cup date," Smith said. "We would have had one this year, but the former owners have appealed a lawsuit against NASCAR. But we'll get past that and have a Cup race in 2010."

Reach Mark Story at (859) 231-3230 or (800) 950-6397, ext. 3230, or mstory@herald-leader.com. Your e-mail could appear on the blog Read Mark Story's E-mail at Kentucky.com.

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