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Original Issue

A decade of records

A unique collection of figures reveals the best major-college coaches, teams and players of the past 10 years

These past 10 years were unquestionably the golden decade of college basketball, and this despite the famous scandals of 1951 which almost ruined the game. It is a tribute to the appeal of basketball that the sport has rebounded to a new peak of popularity, prosperity and performance. Attendance, which dropped off a million and a half the year of the scandals, has climbed steadily back up. Ten years ago there were only 24 college field houses and gyms capable of seating over 6,500 people. That number has been doubled since then. The game is much faster. Thirteen years ago the average number of points scored in a college game by both teams was 91.8. In 1956 it was over 50 points higher. During this decade Frank Selvy became the first player ever to score more than 1,000 points in a single season. But it was also the decade in which a tall center named Bill Russell made defensive play glamorous. When point production fell off the last two seasons, it marked the first real decline in 34 years. Russell's San Francisco team won an unprecedented 60 games in a row. Kentucky was voted the No. 1 team four times within a six-year period. It was a decade in which names like Gola, Cousy, Lovellette, Pettit and Wilt the Stilt became famous.

He ranked as the Most Valuable Player in the two seasons he played college ball.

He is the only player to be voted MVP in both the NCAA and NIT tournaments.

He established the single-season record for goals, free throws, points and average.

In 1951 he led the nation in scoring, was second in assists, second in rebounding.