Austin Carr Inducted Into College Hoops Hall of Fame

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Austin Carr Inducted Into College Hoops Hall of Fame

Postby rlee » Fri Dec 21, 2007 7:23 am

A.C. Inducted Into College Hoops Hall of Fame ... 71207.html

One of the oldest sports clichés in the book is that “records are made to be broken.” But there are a few records that defy the cliché and may never be broken. Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak could survive and it’s a safe bet that Brett Favre’s 250-plus starts at quarterback won’t be matched any time soon, if ever.
In the world of hoops – specifically college hoops – there is a number that will probably stand forever. And it’s held by a member of the Cavalier family, the incomparable Austin Carr.

In 1970, playing for Notre Dame, the man colloquially known as “A.C.” dropped 61 points on Ohio University in the NCAA Tournament, a record that still stands 37 years later. His numbers from that game – field goals made (25) and field goals attempted (44) – are also untouched in the record books.

But as incredible as those digits are, the high-water mark that will probably never be touched – or even approached – is A.C.’s scoring average – 41.3 points per game over seven NCAA tournament games. He has three of the top five scoring games in Tournament history.

For all these accomplishments, Austin Carr – who played nine seasons with the Cavaliers after being taken No. 1 in the 1971 Draft – was named to the College Basketball Hall of Fame.

The induction ceremony was on November 17, 2007, with A.C. entering the Hall with collegiate legends like Tennessee’s Dick Barnett, Duke’s Dick Groat and the great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. They were joined by coaches Norm Stewart (Missouri), Guy Lewis (Houston) and Lefty Driesell (Maryland).

“That’s an outstanding class,” beamed Carr, now the color analyst for all Cavaliers telecasts. “Dick Groat is one of the greatest two-sport athletes to ever play college ball. Played with the Pirates, professionally. And we all know about Kareem.

“I played against Kareem since ninth grade in high school,” A.C. recalled. “I played against Kareem in old Madison Square Garden in ninth grade. And we had a good time reminiscing about those old days. When we built our new arena at Notre Dame, we opened up with UCLA. And it was like I said at the ceremony: "I’ve been fighting Kareem since the third grade and it’s nice to finally have him on my team."

A highly-recruited baller out of Mackin High School in Washington, D.C., Carr averaged 34.5 ppg over the course of his three-year career at South Bend. During his final two seasons, Carr became only the second college player ever to tally more than 1,000 points in a season, joining Pete Maravich in that select group.

But A.C. will always be in the history books for his otherworldly performances in the Tournament.

“It’s a great feeling to know that I had the opportunity to do something that might never be done again,” said the affable A.C.

While at Notre Dame, he played in 74 career games and scored 40 or more points 23 times. He averaged 22.0 points as a sophomore, 38.1 points as a junior and 37.9 points as a senior. Carr's 34.6 career scoring average ranks second all-time on the NCAA list.

“What I was most proud of in college was one thing: I shot the ball a lot, but I made a lot. My shooting percentage was 55 percent for my whole career. And in the NCAA Tournament, I was always at my best. And that’s what I wanted because as an independent school, we didn’t have a conference championship. I shot over 60 percent from the field for the entire tournament. So I was at my best when it counted the most.”

Carr is part of the second class to be inducted into the brand new state-of-the-art facility in Kansas City and is divided into four sections – the Entry Experience, the Fan Experience, Half Time, and the Hall of Honor. The founding class, inducted last November, included Oscar Robertson, Bill Russell, Dean Smith, John Wooden and the family of Dr. James Naismith.

“It’s a $25 million facility,” said Carr. “They have an arena right next to it and UCLA-Missouri played there that weekend. It’s a great facility, and I’ve heard that they’re looking to get a pro team back in Kansas City. The basketball experience there is really nice. They have shooting games, information kiosks, action pictures, stats. It’s a great visit for kids or anyone who’s into basketball.

The man affectionately known in certain circles as “Mr. Cavalier” averaged 16.2 ppg for the Cavaliers over his nine-year career in Cleveland. He averaged over 21 ppg over his first three seasons, but knee injuries slowed down what could have been a Hall of Fame pro career.

A.C. is legendary on several levels, but this past November he was rightfully enshrined as one of the greatest collegiate athletes of all time. And he’ll hold records that may stand forever.

“Records are made to be broken,” Austin said, breaking into his trademark smile. “But until they’re broken it’s really nice to have them.”
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Postby cagewriter » Fri Dec 21, 2007 7:41 am

He and David Thompson were the two best college players I ever saw, and Carr is the best shooter I've seen.


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