Monday, September 4, 2023

1976 Rutgers Crushes Clemson Despite Horace Grant's 17, 10

Rutgers put on an offensive fireworks display and James Bailey threw the block party.

Yes, we know Labor Day is a baseball and football 3-day weekend, but with the college conference realignment sending us scrambling to create new all-time Value Add Basketball Game teams this weekend we had to get in at least one game from our tournament.

Clemson's Horace Grant looked every bit the dominant inside force who averaged a double-double at the next level during the Bulls first three NBA titles. He registered 17 points and 10 rebounds including the pictured roll in the first photo in which his and-one stick back gave the Tigers an early lead in the 48th possession (counting down to possession 1). However, his great teammate big man Elden Campbell was still just a freshman during this 1987 season so could only play 21 possessions, and that was not nearly enough.

The 1976 Rutgers team looked every bit the squad that averaged more than 93 points a game and went 31-0 until losing in the Final Four. Phil Sellers had a steal and score at the other end to finish the half with a 47-38 lead. From there, Rutgers pulled away for a 97-77 win that improves their ranking among our all-time great teams in our Pomeroy type rankings from a +1.2 to a +6.7 to improve from 68th to 28th in the rankings. Clemson drops from a -7.2 to -12.3 to fall from 155th to 174th.

Note: we had just increased the rating of all 178 teams by +2.2 because, like the ratings, this figure calculates the average score margin we would expect if the team played all 177 other great teams in the game. Against an average team (not the average of these great teams) each team would be a good 20 points better than their rating in this game of only playing other great teams. We we'd expect Clemson's player cards to average a 12 point loss against other all-time teams in the game, but at least an average of an 8-point win against an average team in a given season.

The dimes on the score sheet show the players who get the ball more often (on the 6, 7 and 8 die rolls on the 8-sided die) and Clemson relies on their inside game with dimes on the SF, PF and C positions, while Rutgers up tempo team relies on their small guys with the dimes on the PG, SG and SF. Rolls of 1-5 go to the player in that position, and if there are not enough dimes to cover a roll of 6,7 or 8 then the team rerolls all dice to see if a 1-5 gets it, but on the second roll it is a shot clock violation on a 6, 7 or 8. 

However, while Rutgers PG, SG and SF combined for an incredible 58 points in the game that included 7 extra possessions due to Rutgers up tempo style (click for 14 fast paced teams), the most incredible performance came from the Scarlet Knight's center and it was on defense. Center James Bailey easily set a record for the hundreds of VABG games with have played with a record 10 blocked shots to lead the team to 16 blocked shots.

Five years after averaging 3 blocked shots in only 23 minutes a game as a freshman on this Rutgers team, Bailey would go onto block 6 shots in three different NBA games in the 1980-81 NBA season.

Rutgers will await their next opponent in our 42-team tournament of our new teams but will get a bye as they are now assured of being one of the six top teams who will get byes in the next round of 21 first round winners. 

In the tournament of the first 96 teams we created, Bill Walton's UCLA beat Michael Jordan's UNC in the title game in which we only allowed a max of one team from each century per school. We then created another 50 teams and Paul Pierce' Kansas Mateen Cleaves Michigan State for the second title. Those two were not included in the first batch because I had gone with Wilt Chamberlain's Kansas team and Magic Johnson's Michigan State team. On the women's side Pat Summit's Tennessee beat Notre Dame for the title.

The lopsided win for Rutgers leaves them ranked only behind #14 Duke with Justise Winslow and the last two national champions - #21 defending National Champ UConn with Adama Sanogo and the previous champion Kansas with Ochai Agbaji. Below are pictures of tonight's game in action, as well as the box score. Instructions for playing your own match-ups appear at the bottom of the blog.

On the box score, keep in mind the game starts at 20-20 with the assumption all 10 player have already played 11 possessions each, However, because Rutgers has a +7 on tempo, there were 51 possessions played in this game, with the starters playing half (actually 4 of the extra 7). Horace Grant is the only player with the max Stamina of 44 on either team, so with the extra 4 that gives him the 48 possessions listed. However, this would really amount to 59 with the extra 11 from the beginning 20-20 tie. Lastly, while we say we play 44 possessions, in the final five minutes any position that starts with either team being fouled or a fast break off a steal creates and extra possession below the line in the far right column - and that happened five times in this game so really that was an extra 5 possessions for Grant and in real terms he would have played 64 of 68 possessions in this game. However, it is listed as 48 for the reasons in this paragraph.

Clemson 1987                   Poss      Starter   Pts    Reb   Stls   Blks   Fouls   
Grayson Marshall441-PG72203
Michael Tait442-SG83301
Jerry Pryor383-SF154025
Horace Grant484-PF1710111
Elden Campbell225-C108011
Clemson 1987PossBenchPtsRebStlsBlksFouls
Larry Middleton151-PG61002
Michael Brown202-SG41001
Tim Kincaid83-SF23011
Ricky Jones84-PF21001
Anthony Jenkins295-C61001
Clemson Totals51 77346517
Rutgers 1976PossStarterPtsRebStlsBlksFouls
Eddie Jordan401-PG184201
Mike Dabney452-SG164321
Phil Sellers473-SF245205
Hollis Copeland414-PF126144
James Bailey335-C440102
Rutgers 1976PossBenchPtsRebStlsBlksFouls
Steve Hefele111-PG82003
Mark Conlin92-SG41001
Jeff Kleinbaum83-SF33001
Mike Palko84-PF22001
Abdel Anderson255-C65001
Rutgers Totals51 973681620

This blog contains everything you need to play the Value Add Basketball Game. We added a couple of dozen teams, several from 2022 and 2023, and broke the teams into four lists because the file was opening and printing slowly for some people. Start by choosing two teams to play, click on the appropriate link below, and print the page number indicated for the team.

Click on the all-time great women's teams (we are just starting to have enough stats to make women's cards based on the great work by basketball reference, and will keep adding more teams as they fill in stats.

Men's Teams:

List A - Alabama 1977 to Georgia Tech 2004 (accidentally put UCF here under "Central Florida" for now

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