Bio's for support
Posted on: April 26, 2012 at 14:00:52 CT
Letterman – 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989
The ultimate role player and the epitome of a “Norm” guy, the 6'8 forward/guard started 20 games as a freshman in a year that saw the Tigers return to the NCAA tournament after a two year absence. The next season he started 34 games for a Tiger team that won both the regular season and conference tournament championships. Sandbothe was the player who new his role, as well as his limitations, and consistently delivered on what you were expecting. All four years his ppg and his rebounding didn't fluctuate outside a range of 1.7. Sandbothe is tied for second all time at MU in single game steals with 7, and he also had two 6 steal games. For his career he is 8th all time at MU in FG%, and 6th in assists, and 5th in steals. But probably the stat the most accurately captures Sandbothe is that he is the MU all time leader in games played at 134. To put that in context that is 33.5 games all 4 years of eligibility.
Letterman - 1955, 1956, 1957
A sharp shooting guard from Madison, MO Lionel was part of the most successful years of the Sparky Stalcup era. Making an immediate impact his first year of eligibility, Smith avged 10 ppg on a team that included veteran stars such as Norm Stewart, Med Park, and Bob Reiter. The Tigers would climb to as high as #6 in the polls and finish second in conference, as well as winning the conf tourney. In the game that would decide the league title, it was the sophomore Smith who led the Tigers with 15 but the Tigers would lose to Colorado in a game that would allow CU to capture the crown. The Tigers would again finish 2nd in his junior campaign. His senior year he took over leadership of the team and in a game against Marquette, Smith destroyed the single game MU record for points (the year prior Norm had scored 36 in a game) by scoring 44. It is still the second highest individual game scoring output in program history, done without the benefit of a shot clock or a three point line. For the season he would avg 20.4 ppg. And at the conclusion of his playing career his 992 total points ranked 3rd all time in MU history.
Letterman - 1969, 1970
A JUCO transfer that keyed the rebirth of the program under Stewart, the 6'7 center helped the Tigers to their first upper division finish in 5 years with 12.6 ppg and a team leading 7.3 boards and earning an honorable mention all conference selection in his first season at MU. Then as the lone returning starter, Smith erupted with one of the finer seasons in program history. In the season opener the Tigers beat Arkansas thanks to 35 points and 12 rebounds by Smith, and then a 25 point 13 rebound effort toppled reigning conference champ Ohio. MU would race out to 7-1 until losing to #1 ranked UCLA on the road. Smith would top 30 twice more and MU would finish in a tie for second and their 17 wins on the season were the most for MU since the 1920 season. In the season's final game, Smith would go for 24 points and 14 rebounds but MU would fall to ku in overtime by 1 in the final game ever at Brewer. For the season Smith would avg 22.3 ppg (then 3rd best ever) to lead the Tigers, which is currently the 9th highest individual scoring season in program history as well as leading them in rebounds with 9.4 per game. He was choosen as a first team all conference selection. His career scoring avg of 17.4 ppg and his career rebounding avg of 8.4 boards both rank in the top 10 all time (9th in both). He was selected by the Milwaukee Bucks in the 4th round of the NBA draft.
Letterman - 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997
A 6'1 skywalker from S. Dakota, Sutherland played the game with a reckless abandon and was a legitimate force and game changer on the defensive end. Introduced to the MU fanbase in the epic overtime thriller of a Braggin Rights game in 1993-94, Sutherland's play in the extra periods helped carry MU to a 108-107 win that changed the course of the season and eventually led to MU's only undefeated conference championship and #1 NCAA seed. He would move into the starting lineup as a sophomore and along with O'liney became the team's deep threat. He would enjoy his best season statistically as a junior when he lead the Tigers in scoring, but MU after starting ranked preseason #14 would fail to qualify for the NCAA tournament for the first time in 11 seasons. As a senior he was named the 'most annoying player in college basketball' by Sports Illustrated. He finished his career by leading MU on an improbable run to the tournament championship game as a 10 seed in the Big 12's initial tournament, scoring 16.3 ppg and making the all tournament team. At the conclusion of his playing career he was the all-time leading three-point shooter (now 6th) and free-throw shooter in MU history. His junior season currently ranks 5th all time in 3 point % for a season. He also holds the MU record by making 39 consecutive free throws, and was 2 off the all time mark by making 18 points from the line in a single game. He is 26th all time in points scored at MU with 1,194 for his career.
Letterman - 1985, 1986
A high scoring JUCO guard, Strong came to MU and made an immediate impact. Just weeks into his Tiger career he scored 24 points in a shocking win over seventh-ranked North Carolina in the championship game of the Hawaii Pacific Invitational. For the season he would avg 16.8 ppg and be named to the Basketball Weekly First Team All American JUCO Transfer team. It is still the highest ppg output for a first year Tiger since Willie Smith's initial season in 1975. He missed the early part of his senior season to a stress fracture in his foot, but would return to avg 18.5 ppg and help MU return to the NCAA tournament after a 2 year absence. His career scoring avg of 17.5 ppg is currently 8th all time (one of only 3 Tigers since 1976 to avg at least 17.5 ppg for their career) and despite playing only two seasons for MU reached the 1,000 point mark as a Tiger. He was drafted by Milwaukee in the NBA draft but did not make the team.
Letterman - 1975, 1976, 1977
A 6'1 point guard from Kirksville, MO Sims was a coach's son who played a reserve role his first two years as a Tiger on some of our most successful teams to date. As a junior he was the backup to Willie Smith in a season that saw MU win its first conference championship in over 30 years, advance to the elite eight, and win 26 games (which at the time was the most in program history). His senior year saw him move into a starting role and burst onto the schene...winning the MVP of the Sun Bowl Preseason tournament. He ended up avging 15.9 ppg and 4.9 assists on the season, 4 times reaching double digits in assists in a game. His 142 assists on the season is the 6th highest ever in MU history. The Tigers won the conference holiday tournament (their 5th in 6 years) and went 21-8 on the year, but because they finished second in conference (only conference champs made the NCAA tournament, and MU declined the NIT's invitation) Sims missed reaching the postseason for the only time in his Tiger career. He was drafted by the Spurs in the 5th round, and appeared in 12 games for them.