Brad Rock: Utes need a McGill on the Hill

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  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    Feb. 22, 2014 1:31 p.m.


    Here's something from ESPN:

    Billy McGill went on to become a legend. Starring as few ever had in Los Angeles, he was pegged to land among the best of the very best and certainly would have had it not been for a fateful game in his junior year... knee injry. The doctors told him that he would never play again... He never told anyone else about his sore knee or about how its limitations changed the future of his game. The knee, constantly swollen, had to be drained daily for years by a doctor who was sworn to secrecy. This did not stop McGill from earning a basketball scholarship to the University of Utah.

    Having grown to 6-foot-9 by now and working incessantly on his game under the master tutelage of Hall of Fame Coach Jack Gardener, Billy added range to his jump hook -- shooting accurately out to 20 feet. He ultimately led his team to the Final Four in 1961, setting records that stand to this day. As a senior at Utah, McGill was the nation's top scorer despite still playing on one leg.

  • TandJ LaVerkin, Utah
    Feb. 21, 2014 6:10 p.m.

    I'm sorry, but you did not live through The Hill days as a student at the U of U. I did, and I can tell you that The Hill was not looked upon as being that great. He was simply the tallest tree in college basketball at the time. He was turned down by all the California teams because of his academics. Utah looked stupid taking him and coddling him like they did. When a 7 footer is allowed to stand in the paint, as they were then, all you have to do is lob the ball to him and prayerfully hope that he handles it. He was fouled a lot because he was worse than Collingsworth at making free throws. He left the U of U immediately after playing his last game, and he sought pro teams. He only got to B grade teams which were around them. He never made in the NBA. Winder, after seeing him play in one game, could in my opinion play circles around The Hill under present rules. Time limit for standing in the paint was one of the good things The Hill brought about.

  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    Feb. 21, 2014 3:37 p.m.

    LaVerkin, Utah

    Winder is a winner and definitely a keeper. Way to go Winder.

    BYU basketball: Cougars knock off No. 25 Gonzaga, revive NCAA tournament at-large hopes’
    11:43 p.m. Feb. 20, 2014


    Sweet 16, Final 4, career 27 PPG McGill was horrible but one game wonder Winder is a winner?


  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    Feb. 21, 2014 4:17 a.m.


    The opposing team usually scored a quick basket right after The Hill did or after he lost the ball (his ball handling was atrocious). They scored with an advantage of 5 on for 4. They scored usually long before The Hill made it across the center line to play defense.


    The opposing team usually lost considering with him we had a Sweet 16, Final Four, and 23-3 record.

    No idea why you're so mad but move on, people that know basketball more than you and I disagree with your analysis of his game.

    FYI he was inducted into the PAC-12 Hall of Fame, not NBA HOF. So his pro-career is irrelevant. Just like your opinion.

  • 81Ute Central, UT
    Feb. 20, 2014 5:49 p.m.

    It easy to see that Brad Rock is a BYU fan by his comments about not having a superscorer.

    Personally, I view bball as a team sport. No single player can win a game. I do not wish to denigrate Mr. McGill nor his accomplishments but mutliple players in double digits is a better option.

    Regarding my comments about BYU fans, they just love hero/idol worship. There seems to be an inate desire to place a player above the others. I won't go into examples here you already know them and can name a 12 or so (bball) since 1980.

  • Gone fishin Seattle, WA
    Feb. 20, 2014 4:25 p.m.

    So CB, If it is a guess then why do we have to "Mark it Down"?

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 20, 2014 2:10 p.m.


    Ya it was a good game and tough loss last night. No moral victories, but proud of the team and confident the future is bright.

    You may remember a post by Tator, but he made the comment at least one time AFTER we knew final conference rankings and bowl matchups

    I'm the first to admit I make predictions and many go wrong. Its a guess.

    But I don't make up claims for which we know the answer just to try and bolster my point.

    When we know the answer and the fact, I use them.

    Tator claimed Texas won the big 12 and was playing in a BCS bowl after it was all decided.

    He also said he would not post on any sports article for a week if Utah won the byu/Utah basketball game. And did he refrain from posting for a week after Utah won?

    He did not.

    So yes, much credibility has been lost.

    Thanks McGill for your hard work as a Ute. Proud of our history.

  • TandJ LaVerkin, Utah
    Feb. 20, 2014 2:10 p.m.

    Nice statistics for a guy standing 7 feet and with his arms could reach the rim of the basket without jumping. In fact, he could not, or at least did not jump. Basketball at that time was also a non-contact sport. All the U of U had to do was lob the ball to The Hill. Defenses could not touch him, that was then a foul. He scored. But unfortunately he turned the ball over very consistently, generally for travelling or mishandling the ball. If he dribbled, the other team got the ball from him without much effort. He was their only offense and he was not present as a defensive player. The opposing team usually scored a quick basket right after The Hill did or after he lost the ball (his ball handling was atrocious). They scored with an advantage of 5 on for 4. They scored usually long before The Hill made it across the center line to play defense. He did not play defense, and his very short time in the pros reflects that.

  • Objectified Tooele, UT
    Feb. 20, 2014 12:46 p.m.


    A good game and tough loss last night.

    I remember that comment by comment by Tators during the football season. If I recall correctly, Texas had been leading the Big 12 shortly before his (or her) comment. And had they continued (but ended up 2nd), they've would've gone to a BCS bowl game. Perhaps Tator's comment was anticipatory. Either way, it wasn't a big stretch, but more like a missed prediction. And I did read Tator's admission shortly afterward. Therefore, no lost credibility in my book.

    Out of curiosity, how many predictions of yours have been wrong? I could name quite a few and also recall you being called out quite often for things you said during the football season that were off the mark.
    Many would even take issue with your "premier university in the state" comment you just made. There are many academic and athletic national ratings that would give that title to BYU. And I'm saying that as someone who actually follows both universities about equally (also USU). I have no local favorite.

    Team fans should be careful about living in glass houses when they throw so many stones.

  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    Feb. 20, 2014 12:28 p.m.


    Many college athletes don't graduate that doesn't take away from his accomplishments:

    * Career average of 27.0 points per game
    * 38.8 points per game as a senior (Best by any center in NCAA history, overall 3rd)
    * Utes reached the Sweet 16 his sophomore year
    * Utes reached the Final Four his junior year
    * 23-3 his senior year in 1962 (school banned from the NCAA tournament, would have won NC)
    * He was the first African-American to play basketball at the U

  • daviscoug Syracuse, UT
    Feb. 20, 2014 11:22 a.m.

    Chris B:

    "I LOVE the direction of this basketball program and feel its probably safe to say the next team to win a sweet 16 game from the state will probably the same as the last team to do so: The Pac 12 Utes."

    Only one problem with that statement: The PAC 12 Utes have never won a sweet 16 game... or any game in the Tourney... or, been to the Tourney. Context is a bummer, isn't it?

    I do agree with one part or your statement, though. The direction this Utes team is headed is definitely upward. I do hope it continues as it makes the College BB season funner.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 20, 2014 11:22 a.m.


    What makes universities great are COLLECTIVELY what the students/fans/professors make them. Some people add great academic value, some add athletic value, some add monetary value, some add research value.

    I'm perfectly with the fact that PART of what makes the University of Utah great is our athletic programs and if kids contribute athletically to the university but aren't adding anything academically - fine. We all have strengths and add different things.

    You added to the pep band but not to anything athletically.

  • TandJ LaVerkin, Utah
    Feb. 20, 2014 10:49 a.m.

    I was a student at the U of U during the years that Billy McGill played basketball. I was a member of the pep band. McGill did not meet even the academic requirements to be admitted to any California team. Yet the U of U took him. He is definitely nothing to be proud of. I attended several classes with McGill. They were required classes for all students. McGill never attended class. But I found out that he got A's in each of those classes. They admittedly were physical education classes, and before anything is said they were indeed required of all students in those days. At that time you had to pass a swimming test to be able to graduate from the U of U. McGill of course did not graduate. The last game that he played for the U of U was an away game. McGill did not even return with the team. He dropped out of school on the last day that he played basketball for them. Proud of this man and the U of U that supported him, I definitely am not.

  • Tators Hyrum, UT
    Feb. 19, 2014 11:23 p.m.

    Kudos to the Utes for playing a gutsy game and giving Arizona all they could handle. Missed free throws, BYU's nemesis in close losses this season, also became Utah's nemesis. 9 misses from the charity stripe loomed ever so large. Those and that last errant pass in overtime with about a half minute to play that undoubtedly would've tied the score otherwise.

    An exciting game. But like Chris B is so fond of saying after BYU's losses against ranked opponents... Moral victories don't mean much. But it still feels a bit differently when it's your own team with an almost.