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  1. #1

    Are the Final Four teams of today better than the Final Four teams of 20 years ago?

    30 years ago?

    Back then you had four year All-Americans playing as seniors. Today, it's rare; the best players are often freshmen or sophomores.

    Does the difference in athleticism in today's athlete make up for the lack of experience?

    Discuss. I'll hang up and listen.

  2. #2

    Re: Are the Final Four teams of today better than the Final Four teams of 20 years ag

    I don't believe that todays athletes are any better. We haven't evolved into a new species or anything. They're just better trained athletically and have expanded their skills training even more to where every one has to be able to handle the ball and play facing the basket. So if you took the same 22 year olds from 30 years ago who had been trained in the new ways and played them against the 18 year olds from today then the older guys would thump them regularly IMO.

  3. #3
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    Re: Are the Final Four teams of today better than the Final Four teams of 20 years ag

    Quote Originally Posted by ShoesSwayedBlue View Post
    I don't believe that todays athletes are any better. We haven't evolved into a new species or anything. They're just better trained athletically and have expanded their skills training even more to where every one has to be able to handle the ball and play facing the basket. So if you took the same 22 year olds from 30 years ago who had been trained in the new ways and played them against the 18 year olds from today then the older guys would thump them regularly IMO.
    Interesting. My thinking has always been that athletes today are much more athletic, but you make a good point. How much better would Lew Alcindor have been had he trained today?

    But I think Darrell is asking what would happen if you had a time machine and brought a team from then to now or vice versa. There my knee-jerk reaction has always been the teams today would beat the older teams. But I'm not so sure. If the game was played in November, I'd go with the "old" guys who, as Darrell suggests, would be seniors. If the game is in April, maybe not so much. But what I'm getting at is that "team" wins.
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  4. #4
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    Re: Are the Final Four teams of today better than the Final Four teams of 20 years ag

    Athletes are much better. Sadly, the teams are not.
    Real Fan since 1958

  5. #5

    Re: Are the Final Four teams of today better than the Final Four teams of 20 years ag

    I think the teams 20 years ago were better, as the pool of good players was deeper then now good players leave after one season.

  6. #6
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    Re: Are the Final Four teams of today better than the Final Four teams of 20 years ag

    I think the older more mature team would win. I do believe athletes are better today but I think that advantage would be negated by the physical maturity of oldest players. With that said I will take a team that has played together for a few years over the young immature college teams today.

  7. #7
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    Re: Are the Final Four teams of today better than the Final Four teams of 20 years ag

    Quote Originally Posted by snoopcat View Post
    I think the older more mature team would win. I do believe athletes are better today but I think that advantage would be negated by the physical maturity of oldest players. With that said I will take a team that has played together for a few years over the young immature college teams today.
    I think I'd have to agree with this. Older players at the college level would have the advantage of knowing the game better as a team with their teammates around them, and having played and practiced together during that amount of time. 😉

  8. #8

    Re: Are the Final Four teams of today better than the Final Four teams of 20 years ag

    No comparison. Yesterdays teams were better, more developed talent wise, and players were just as gifted..at least over the last fifty years or so.

    Obviously there were relatively fewer athletes..as well as doctors, and lawyers, and policemen, etc..

    Unlike in the past, todays game is built to highlight that athletic ability rather than limit its effect on the game. The ability to showcase athletic movement has since become an art. Mostly by the ability of the camera to capture it and the broadcast to relay it to the viewer.

    In the seventies you could go to any playground in Louisville and find Jordan caliber athletes that had dropped out of school and were living life on the mean streets. Forty inch verticals and Curly Neal handles were fairly common even back then.

    As a side note, there has not been an athlete of Chamberlains ilk since he played the game. But the advent of "Showtime" in LA allowed future players with uncanny abilities to shine and sparkle with guarantees of protection to entice more fans.
    None could do what they have done in the old league and survived to impact the game in the way they have. Those guys would not have stepped aside or allowed Sportscenter highlights at their expense anywhere on the court. And you could not play the game with your tongue hanging out and hope to ever eat ice cream the normal way again.

    Unless you were actually Wilt who could not be stopped without rules changes

    " When I was a freshman, I fooled around with shooting free throws this way: For some reason, I thought you had to stay within the top half of that free-throw circle, so I would step back to just inside the top of the circle, take off from behind the line and dunk. They outlawed that, but I wouldn't have done it in a game, anyway. I was a good free throw shooter in college."
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    Last edited by kingcat; 07-11-2018 at 06:21 PM.

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  9. #9
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    Re: Are the Final Four teams of today better than the Final Four teams of 20 years ag

    IMO the great teams of the 1950s through 1990s were better; BUT there are more good teams now. Folks think teams were so much smaller in the 1960s but that isn't true. The 1967 UCLA team started players 7-2, 6-9, 6-7, 6-4, 6-1. The 1975 and 1976 IU teams were absolute brutes with a back court of 6-6 Buckner and 6-7 Wilkerson.

    The Final 4s back in the day were just loaded in many years with few weak teams. 2010, 2011, 2013 all were very weak years as was 2014.
    If I had an all time starting 5 in college it would have 0 modern players:

    C Alcindor
    PF Elvin Hayes or Jerry Lucas
    SF David Thompson
    Lead Guard Oscar Robertson
    SG Pete Maravich or Austin Carr

    Interesting question, Darrell.

    Darryl

  10. #10

    Re: Are the Final Four teams of today better than the Final Four teams of 20 years ag

    Quote Originally Posted by MickintheHam View Post
    Athletes are much better. Sadly, the teams are not.
    I don't think I agree. If I look back at the 96 team with Walker, Mercer, etc...I don't think the athlete on the 2012 were any better. I really don't. Mercer was a freak athlete. So was Toine til he let his body go. As was D. Anderson.

    Match them up position

    Turner or Teague? Turner IMO
    Delk or Lamb? Toss up??
    McCarty or Jones? Jones
    Walker or MKG? Walker
    Pope or AD? NC

    Anderson or Wiltjer? Anderson

    I mean is sort of opinion and I guess I could flip a bit but its not overwhelming
    Last edited by Doc; 07-11-2018 at 06:26 PM.


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  11. #11
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    Re: Are the Final Four teams of today better than the Final Four teams of 20 years ag

    Quote Originally Posted by Darryl View Post
    IMO the great teams of the 1950s through 1990s were better; IBUT there are more good teams now. Folks think teams were so much smaller in the 1960s but that isn't true. The 1967 UCLA team started players 7-2, 6-9, 6-7, 6-4, 6-1. The 1975 and 1976 IU teams were absolute brutes with a back court of 6-6 Buckner and 6-7 Wilkerson.

    The Final 4s back in the day were just loaded in many years with few weak teams. 2010, 2011, 2013 all were very weak years as was 2014.
    If I had an all time starting 5 in college it would have 0 modern players:

    C Alcindor
    PF Elvin Hayes or Jerry Lucas
    SF David Thompson
    Lead Guard Oscar Robertson
    SG Pete Maravich or Austin Carr

    Interesting question, Darrell.

    Darryl
    Wait, what? You mean you don't include Shaquille O'Neal on that all time great roster??
    I'm shocked, I tell ya, I'm shocked! 😉

  12. #12

    Are the Final Four teams of today better than the Final Four teams of 20 years ago?

    Really good points made. Interesting reading from all.

  13. #13

    Re: Are the Final Four teams of today better than the Final Four teams of 20 years ag

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc View Post
    I don't think I agree. If I look back at the 96 team with Walker, Mercer, etc...I don't think the athlete on the 2012 were any better. I really don't. Mercer was a freak athlete. So was Toine til he let his body go. As was D. Anderson.

    Match them up position

    Turner or Teague? Turner IMO
    Delk or Lamb? Toss up??
    McCarty or Jones? Jones
    Walker or MKG? Walker
    Pope or AD? NC

    Anderson or Wiltjer? Anderson

    I mean is sort of opinion and I guess I could flip a bit but its not overwhelming
    I would take Delk all day every day over Lamb.

  14. #14
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    Re: Are the Final Four teams of today better than the Final Four teams of 20 years ag

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc View Post
    I don't think I agree. If I look back at the 96 team with Walker, Mercer, etc...I don't think the athlete on the 2012 were any better. I really don't. Mercer was a freak athlete. So was Toine til he let his body go. As was D. Anderson.

    Match them up position

    Turner or Teague? Turner IMO
    Delk or Lamb? Toss up??
    McCarty or Jones? Jones
    Walker or MKG? Walker
    Pope or AD? NC

    Anderson or Wiltjer? Anderson

    I mean is sort of opinion and I guess I could flip a bit but its not overwhelming
    But if you go back exactly 20 years ago (and not 22), the talent wasn't what you describe. The other thought I have is, are you looking at just what the raw talent of those players was as freshmen vs. what they became. For example if you look at freshmen year stats, Teague had 401 pts. v. Turner at 156, 3 pt shooting Teague 32% Turner 25%, Assists Teague 191 v Turner 56. I don't mean to cherry pick and use just these players, but to me there was a clear edge to Teague. It's not close. I agree Mercer was a freak and had some outstanding stats, but he still wasn't close to scoring as much as Teague.
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  15. #15

    Re: Are the Final Four teams of today better than the Final Four teams of 20 years ag

    Quote Originally Posted by ukpumacat View Post
    I would take Delk all day every day over Lamb.
    I would as a shooter and player..as an athlete I wont argue with your choice but I think its a close one


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  16. #16

    Re: Are the Final Four teams of today better than the Final Four teams of 20 years ag

    Quote Originally Posted by MickintheHam View Post
    But if you go back exactly 20 years ago (and not 22), the talent wasn't what you describe. The other thought I have is, are you looking at just what the raw talent of those players was as freshmen vs. what they became. For example if you look at freshmen year stats, Teague had 401 pts. v. Turner at 156, 3 pt shooting Teague 32% Turner 25%, Assists Teague 191 v Turner 56. I don't mean to cherry pick and use just these players, but to me there was a clear edge to Teague. It's not close. I agree Mercer was a freak and had some outstanding stats, but he still wasn't close to scoring as much as Teague.
    You are correct. Turner was not a major part of that team...brain fart on my part. Blame it on low blood sugar. I should have given Anderson, Epps or Sheppard, 2 of the 3 I'd put as superior athletes to Teague. BasketbalI stats are fine but the point you mentioned was "athletes". I don't ever recall seeing Teague puting his nuts in anybody's face like DA does below. That is what I would use an an example of athleticism, not shooting %. I know fat unathletic slobs that can shoot a descent 3% but can't jump high enough to touch the net...myself included.

    PS...IM looking back 22 years because this is KSR as in Kentucky which is what Im best versed in. Figured its most logical to discuss what we know the most about. I mean we could talk Memphis State and Baskerville Holmes if you want but it wouldn't be all that interesting
    Last edited by Doc; 07-12-2018 at 07:56 AM.


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  17. #17
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    Re: Are the Final Four teams of today better than the Final Four teams of 20 years ag

    Quote Originally Posted by ukpumacat View Post
    I would take Delk all day every day over Lamb.
    I agree. Delk and Lamb are comparable shooters but IMO Delk was a much better overall athlete, a better defensive player and a better leader.

    Also, I would make Walter McCarty vs. Terrence Jones a push. Both were versatile and talented big men who could play inside and out.
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  18. #18
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    Re: Are the Final Four teams of today better than the Final Four teams of 20 years ag

    Quote Originally Posted by MickintheHam View Post
    But if you go back exactly 20 years ago (and not 22), the talent wasn't what you describe. The other thought I have is, are you looking at just what the raw talent of those players was as freshmen vs. what they became. For example if you look at freshmen year stats, Teague had 401 pts. v. Turner at 156, 3 pt shooting Teague 32% Turner 25%, Assists Teague 191 v Turner 56. I don't mean to cherry pick and use just these players, but to me there was a clear edge to Teague. It's not close. I agree Mercer was a freak and had some outstanding stats, but he still wasn't close to scoring as much as Teague.
    I don't think you can really use stats for this purpose. Teague accumulated some big stats his freshman year in large part because he started every game and played 32 minutes a game.

    Wayne Turner as a freshman averaged 13 minutes a game and don't believe he started any of them.

    Remember that Wayne Turner as a freshman was competing against initially Tony Delk and soon thereafter Anthony Epps for playing time as a point guard. Who was Teague competing with for time at that slot? The only other point guard they had was unproven walk-on Jarrod Polson. (Sam Malone and Brian Long I don't count since neither were good enough to play meaningful minutes and neither were points guards, they were just short.) Lamb could move over if needed and Darius Miller or Twany Beckham (who didn't become eligible until the 2nd half of the year) could hold down the position in a pinch, but there was frankly no one else on the roster who was a natural high level point guard to compete for time with Teague.

    BTW, from an athleticism standpoint I'd say Turner vs. Teague is a push.
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  19. #19

    Re: Are the Final Four teams of today better than the Final Four teams of 20 years ag

    Quote Originally Posted by JPScott View Post
    I agree. Delk and Lamb are comparable shooters but IMO Delk was a much better overall athlete, a better defensive player and a better leader.

    Also, I would make Walter McCarty vs. Terrence Jones a push. Both were versatile and talented big men who could play inside and out.
    I won't disagree...which is my point. I don't believe the athlete today are markedly better then 20 years ago. I think a logical case could be made that Jones was a better athlete, or it was Walter. Ditto on the Deron or Tony. All kinds of comparisons, but I just dont see a significant difference in the athlete themself. I do in the maturity, knowledge and skill level. No question there, especially in the mid to upper mid level talent player


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  20. #20
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    Re: Are the Final Four teams of today better than the Final Four teams of 20 years ag

    Quote Originally Posted by ShoesSwayedBlue View Post
    I don't believe that todays athletes are any better. We haven't evolved into a new species or anything. They're just better trained athletically and have expanded their skills training even more to where every one has to be able to handle the ball and play facing the basket. So if you took the same 22 year olds from 30 years ago who had been trained in the new ways and played them against the 18 year olds from today then the older guys would thump them regularly IMO.

    This is pretty much what I've thought.

    I started following basketball in the late 70's / early 80's and frankly I don't buy the common assumption that today's athletes are that much better, once you account for some of the differences in training and nutrition etc. that are available now vs. then.

    When I look at players like Dominique Wilkins or James Worthy or Dr. J. or Isiah Thomas etc. I think they were all great athletes who would have no difficulty being great if they were playing today. (especially as noted above if they were afforded the same training etc. afforded today's athletes.)

    The one difference I see when looking back at old NBA game video is that while there were great athletes back then, there are more of them today. Back then there were maybe 4 or 5 great athletes on the floor at any given time to go along with a number of other guys who might be skilled at a few things but weren't great athletes. (*) In today's NBA it's rare to find many players on the floor who aren't very good to great athletes.

    To the original question about are Final Four teams of today better than Final Four teams of 20, 30 years ago, I don't really think so. Largely this is driven by top players leaving early.

    I still say that the heyday of college basketball in terms of talented teams was the mid-80's when you had true powerhouses like Houston, Georgetown, North Carolina and yes Kentucky with multiple All-American caliber upper classmen. Akeem Olajuwon, Patrick Ewing, Michael Jordan, Clyde Drexler, Sam Bowie, James Worthy, Ralph Sampson etc. all in college around the same time and surrounded by a deep and talented supporting cast? A ridiculous amount of talent that simply can't be replicated once the floodgates of NBA-early entry started.

    (*) - BTW, the analogy of having a handful of 'great' athletes on the floor in the 1980s NBA can be extended to earlier times as well. The 1960's and early 1970's were before my time but my impression is that there were great athletes during those times as well, they just weren't as numerous. So for example an Oscar Robertson or Wilt Chamberlain etc. I have no doubt were great athletes for that time and could be great athletes if they played today.
    Last edited by JPScott; 07-12-2018 at 08:47 AM.
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