Still not terribly much going on, so I thought that instead of diving head first back into the abundant pool of mid-summer college football talk, we'd begin the work week by taking care of the first round matchups in the White Region of our All-Time Greats Tournament.
1. Pervis Ellison (1985-1989)
The only player in Cardinal history to total over 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds, "Never Nervous Pervis" Ellison became the first U of L player to be taken number one overall in the NBA Draft when the Sacramento Kings took him with the first pick in 1989. He is Louisville's all-time leading shot blocker, having blocked at least one shot in 130 of his 136 collegiate games, and is also the school's third leading scorer. In 1986 he led the Cards to a national championship, and became the first freshman since 1944 to be named Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four.
16. Ricky Gallon (1974-1978)
Gallon averaged double figures in each of his last three seasons at U of L, and led the '75-'76 team in scoring, rebounding and field goal percentage. He averaged eight points and nearly five rebounds a game on the 1975 Final Four team. One of Tampa Bay's greatest prep athletes, Gallon ranks 25th on Louisville's career scoring list with 1,355 points.
8. Don Goldstein (1956-1959)
A member of the U of L Athletic Hall of Fame, Goldstein led Louisville to its first Final Four in 1959 by averaging 21.4 points and ten rebounds in the NCAA Tournament. Despite playing just three seasons, he became the tenth player in Cardinal history to hit the 1,000 point mark, finishing his career with 1,019. He earned All-American honors in '59 and was drafted by Detroit in the first round of the NBA Draft that same year.
9. Nate Johnson (1996-2000)
Louisville's 18th all-time leading scorer, Johnson was named Conference USA Freshman Player of the Year and helped the Cards get to the Elite 8 in 1997. A versatile forward who averaged double figures in each of his four years as a starter, he ranks sixth at U of L in career steals, and is tied for fifth in games started.
4. Herbert Crook (1984-1988)
"Superb Herb" Crook was a starter on the '86 national championship team who was named the Metro Conference's Player of the Year a season later. A fan favorite because of the passion he brought to the game, Crook is Louisville's 9th all-time leading scorer and ranks sixth in career free throws made.
13. Manuel Forrest (1981-1985)
Kentucky's Mr. Basketball in 1981 and Jefferson County's all-time leading scorer, Manuel Forrest was right on Patrick Ewing's heels as the top recruit in the country when he graduated from Moore High School. Though his career at U of L was largely considered a disappointment, he did average nearly 13 points and five rebounds a game during the '84-'85 season, and managed to improve his free-throw percentage an astounding 34 percentage points from 47% as a freshman to 81% as a senior.
5. Samaki Walker (1994-1996)
Though he only played two seasons at U of L before becoming an NBA lottery pick, Walker holds the school record for blocked shots in a game, and ranks fifth in the category of highest field goal percentage in a season. He achieved the first triple-double in Louisville history when he recorded 14 points, 11 blocks and 10 rebounds against Kentucky in his freshman season.
12. Alvin Sims (1993-1997)
A throwback to the decade that preceded him, Alvin Sims will go down as one of the most prolific dunkers in U of L history. Only Dr. Dunkenstein Darrell Griffith himself stands between Sims and the top spot in the categories of career dunks, dunks in a season and dunks in a game. An All-Conference USA performer his senior season, Sims did find other ways to score and finished his Louisville career with 1,060 points.
3. Clifford Rozier (1992-1994)
A transfer from North Carolina, Rozier became Louisville's first consensus First-Team All-American since Darrell Griffith when he averaged 18.1 points and 11.1 rebounds as a junior in 1994. He was the Metro Conference's Player of the Year for both the '92-93 and '93-'94 seasons, and recorded 41 double-doubles during his two-year stay at U of L.
14. Jim Morgan (1953-1957)
Another member of the U of L Athletic Hall of Fame, Morgan was the guy responsible for getting the ball to Charlie Tyra most of the time throughout their four years as teammates. His scoring average rose considerably, however, in his junior and senior seasons when he averaged 14.4 and 17.4 ppg respectively. His career performance as a Cardinal came when he netted 14 points in U of L's 1956 NIT Championship game victory over Dayton.
6. Mike Grosso (1968-1970)
Grosso played just two seasons for the Cardinals, but the record books will forever remember him as one of the greatest rebounders in U of L history. Only Charlie Tyra and Wes Unseld stand above him in the categories of rebounds in a game and rebounds in a season. He earned All-Missouri Valley Conference honors in both his years at Louisville, averaging 15.7 ppg as a junior, and a team-best 18.6 ppg as a senior.
11. Dwayne Morton (1991-1994)
Another Kentucky Mr. Basketball, Dwayne Morton is Louisville's all-time leader in three-point field goal percentage (.461), and his career scoring average of 15.0 ppg is 16th best at U of L. Morton earned First-Team All-Conference honors in 1993 when he averaged a team-high 16.1 ppg, and then took home Second-Team honors a year later when his average of 15.3 ppg was second only to First-Team All-American Cliff Rozier.
7. John Reuther (1962-1965)
A dominant center/forward who led the Cards in scoring in each of his three seasons, Reuther's career scoring average of 18.2 ppg has him tied with Charlie Tyra for fourth best all-time at U of L. His junior season average of 19.6 ppg and his senior season average of 18.8 ppg are the 12th and 14th best single season scoring averages in Louisville history.
10. Greg Minor (1991-1994)
At times the most electrifying player on the court, Minor totaled 1,199 points in three years as a Cardinal. After being named to the Metro Conference's Second-Team his junior year, Minor earned First-Team accolades after a senior season that saw him average 13.8 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.7 steals.
2. Derek Smith (1978-1982)
A starter on the 1980 national championship team and one of 19 Cardinals to have his jersey retired, Smith ranks sixth on U of L's all-time scoring list with 1,826 career points. He was a three-time All-Metro Conference performer, and the league's Player of the Year in 1981. A member of the flashy "Doctors of Dunk," Smith and teammate Wiley Brown are believed by many to have invented (or at least popularized) the high five.
15. Poncho Wright (1979-1982)
Overshadowed by a bevy of talented teammates in the early 80's, Poncho Wright was an able role player who would go on to be selected in the NBA Draft following his senior season. The "instant offense" to Roger Burkman's "instant defense," Wright gets bonus points for coining the phrase "The Ville is going to the Nap" in 1980.