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BasketBuffs History Week: Chauncey Billups & Russell "Sox" Walseth

Discussion in 'Colorado Basketball Message Board' started by Goose, Jul 20, 2012.

  1. Goose

    Goose Hoops Moderator Club Member Junta Member

    Aug 25, 2005
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    Welcome to the final day of AllBuffs' BasketBuffs History Week. On a personal note, I want to thank everyone this week for reading and all of the comments/rep that has been sent my way. I was spurred on to do this from discussions with various people about how CU's history is not something to be ashamed of, despite what the Athletic Department seems to think (and by the way, you haven't seen passion until you've seen Rumblin' discuss this topic. The man KNOWS his history and I really wish he was a part of the AD). Also, I want to once again tease the fact that next week we will be voting for the All-Time Men's Basketball Team on AllBuffs. It will be broken down into three different sections. On Monday & Tuesday, we're going to vote for backcourt members, with the top players in votes recieved moving on. Wednesday & Thursday will be frontcourt players. Then on Friday and over the weekend, you will be voting on your top 5 players in CU Basketball History. How you vote is up to you. If you want to take into account pro careers, that's fine. If you're trying to come up with the best "team", that works. If you just want to vote for your favorite players, that works too. But it should be fun to see how everything shakes out. And hopefully, as you've seen this week, it's going to be a tough decision getting it down to just five guys.

    But that's next week. Today we're going to look at arguably the two best known people in CU Men's Basketball History. We have the local kid who goes on to a storied NBA career with a tournament stop at Boulder in between and the greatest coach in CU Men's Basketball History -- who might also be right up there for the Women's Basketball History as well.


    * 1996-97 All-American
    * 1996-97 All-Big 12 Conference First Team
    * 1995-96 All-Big 8 Conference Second Team
    * 1995-96 Big 8 All-Freshman Team
    * 1995-96 Kansas City Star Big 8 Players Team
    * Two Time Big 12 Player of the Week
    * Big 8 Player of the Week

    The most beloved player in school history, Chauncey Billups is usually the first person that people think of when they think Colorado basketball. The three time winner of Colorado's Mr. Basketball award and a member of the McDonalds All-American team his senior year, Billups could have gone anywhere in the nation to play his college ball. Even though it was obvious he wouldn't be staying for the entire four years due to a pro career calling his name, he had no shortage of suitors. With all of that, he decided to stay close to home and enroll at CU.

    In his first year at Colorado, he set a school record for points scored by a freshman and was named to the Big 8 All-Freshman team as well as the All-Big 8 Conference Second Team and the Kansas City Star Big 8 team -- an honor that was voted on by the players themselves. Unfortunately, Chauncey's first year in Boulder was filled only with individual accolades as the team underperformed and head coach Joe Harrington was relieved of duties. His sophomore year however, Chauncey was able to get the team going. Behind new head coach Ricardo Patton, Chauncey at one point had led the Buffs to a 14-3 record and the #18 ranking in the nation. This team would make the NCAA Tournament where they would upset Indiana, before losing to North Carolina in the second round. For his work, Chauncey was named not only to the All-Big 12 Conference First Team, but was named an All-American as well.

    Chauncey declared for the NBA Draft where he was the third pick overall of the Boston Celtics. He just finished his fifteenth year in the NBA and recently re-signed with the Los Angeles Clippers. He's a five time NBA All-Star and led the Detroit Pistons to the NBA Championship in 2004 where he was named Finals MVP. The University of Colorado honored him at a game in 2005.


    * Member of the CU Hall of Fame
    * Member of the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame
    * CU's All-Time Leader in Wins
    * Coached Three Big 8 Titles
    * Named Big 8 Men's Basketball Coach of the Year Five Times
    * Named Big 8 Women's Basketball Coach of the Year Once
    * Coached the CU Women from 1980-83
    * Six Time Letterman In Baseball & Basketball While At CU

    The man who the court is named after, Russell "Sox" Walseth spent 38 years in some capacity at the University of Colorado -- starting as an athlete, becoming a coach, moving to the administration before finally returning to the court once again. Sox played both baseball and basketball after serving in the Navy and graduated from CU in 1948. He stayed at CU to get his masters and coach the freshman basketball team before finally moving on in 1954. After stints at Arvin High School (Bakersfield, CA) and South Dakota State, he was back to Boulder where he would be named the men's head coach prior to the 1956-57 season where he would eventually become the winningest coach in CU men's basketball history.

    Under Sox, the Buffs won three Big 8 championships and was named Big 8 Coach of the Year five times. In the spring of 1976, Sox retired from coaching and took an administrative position in the athletic department. However, budget cuts and some persuasion from then Athletic Director Eddie Crowder got Sox back on the court coaching -- this time with teh women's team that was then known as the "Lady Buffs". Sox spent three years coaching the women's team and led them to a 77-21 record, along with an unbelievable 43-0 home record. This led to another Coach of the Year award, this time for the women's side.

    In 1996, the school wisely named the court in the Coors Event Center after him, and in 2002 he became a member of the fourth class inducted into the CU Athletic Hall of Fame. The Colorado Sports Hall of Fame has also enshrined Sox. When looking over CU's basketball history, it's impossible to find someone who was a bigger part of making the program what it is today.
    btbuff, Darth Snow, Buffnik and 2 others like this.
  2. RumblinBuff

    RumblinBuff That one blogging guy Club Member

    Oct 18, 2007
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    Great job this week, dude! Hard work you can be proud of. Can't wait to dive into the voting next week, I'll be pushing hard for Vandiver to make the cut.
  3. buffgal

    buffgal Club Member Club Member

    Jul 7, 2009
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    You have done a great job with this and I've learned some things I didn't know.
  4. Darth Snow

    Darth Snow Hawaiian Buffalo Club Member Junta Member

    Feb 1, 2008
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    :congrats: man. rough to end today. repost on monday.
  5. CVilleBuff

    CVilleBuff Club Member Club Member

    Aug 27, 2010
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    I might've been won over on Vandiver, we'll see

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