Mark Story

UK stats project a site to behold

In an idle moment, ever wonder how many left-handed men's basketball players have played at the University of Kentucky?

Answer: 25.

Or what number C.M. Newton wore in his playing days at UK?

Answer: No. 35.

Or among Allen Feldhaus Sr. and Deron Feldhaus vs. Terry and Cameron Mills, which father/son duo combined to score more points for UK?

Answer: 1,531 for the Feldhaus duo (Allen Sr. 299; Deron 1,232) versus 789 (Terry 424; Cameron 365) for the Millses.

Believe it or not, the absolute best one-stop, Wildcats stats stop on the Internet has no official tie to the University of Kentucky or its men's basketball program.

It is not affiliated with any media organization, either traditional or new.

It does not have a commercial purpose, no money is being made off it. It is not even produced by someone who has ever lived in Kentucky.

Jon Scott calls his Web site The Kentucky Basketball Statistics Project (http://www.bigbluehistory.net/bb/Statistics/statistics.html).

The amount of information on the history of Kentucky Wildcats basketball stored there is fairly astounding.

Want to know what UK's all-time record is against teams ranked No. 7 in The Associated Press poll?

Answer: 12-10.

Wonder what Kentucky's all-time mark is in games played in the metropolitan Indianapolis area?

Answer: 11-7.

Need to know the birth date of Fiddlin' Five hero Vernon Hatton?

Answer: 1/13/1936.

The man who has compiled this treasure trove of Big Blue trivia is a married, 39-year-old father of two who lives near Philadelphia.

A chemical engineer by training, Scott says "there's no way to measure" how many hours of research and database compilation he has put into his Web site.

Like many consumed Cats fans, Scott has no formal connection to UK. He says his degrees are from the University of Illinois and North Carolina State.

"I've never even actually lived in Kentucky," he says.

His zeal for Wildcats basketball traces back to his father, Ken.

"My father grew up in Paducah," Jon Scott says, "and, even though he didn't go to UK either, he has always been a big Kentucky fan. So I kind of grew up watching the Kentucky games."

Scott says he first took his interest in UK basketball to the Internet in "the early 1990s."

Initially, he says his aim was correcting what he saw as "misconceptions" that appeared in some of the national media over both Kentucky's history of NCAA probations and the debate about Adolph Rupp's stance on race.

Around 1998, Scott says he decided to try to build a statistical database that would be devoted to the history of Kentucky basketball.

Once he decided to take on that task, an engineer used many of the techniques of a historian.

Scott says he would utilize inter-library loan programs to get reference materials on UK basketball.

At one point, his wife had a job in metropolitan Washington D.C. Scott says he would use his visits to her to also go to the Library of Congress to peruse old newspapers that contained box scores of UK games from the 1950s and '60s.

As he gathered information, "the main thing was pulling together a database," Scott says. "I wanted something that would be update-able and I wanted my site to be clean and easy to use. There are not a lot of bells and whistles on my site."

Scott tries to keep his Web site continuously up to date. After most UK games, he says it usually takes him "an hour or so," to have all the new statistics entered.

For Scott, the wheels are always turning with new information about Kentucky basketball he'd like to add.

Earlier this season, after it was pointed out that current Wildcats star Jodie Meeks has a history of huge games in Freedom Hall, Scott decided he'd like to compile statistics on how Kentucky players have fared by arena.

"There's always more," says Scott.

So ever wonder how many former UK basketball players have died while serving in the U.S. military?

Answer: Six.

How many products of the state of Florida have played hoops for Kentucky?

Answer: 10.

Or how many ex-UK players have gone on to play for NBA champions?

Answer: 13.

Says Jon Scott: "I guess you'd say Kentucky basketball is my passion."

I guess so.

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