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Kansas Historical Quarterly - Some Notes on College Basketball in Kansas

by Harold C. Evans

May 1942 (Vol. 11, No. 28), pages 199 to 215
Transcribed by Tod Roberts and Lynn Nelson;
digitized with permission of the Kansas Historical Society.
NOTE: The numbers in brackets refer to endnotes for this text.

BASKETBALL is celebrating its fiftieth birthday. The game was born at the Y.M.C.A. Training School in Springfield, Mass., in the winter of 1891-1892, the result of an effort to find some method of exercise less monotonous than the established types of calisthenics and gymnastic games. Dr. James A. Naismith, an instructor at the school, worked out the rules, members of his class tried the game and liked it, and when they went home for the Christmas vacation some of them introduced it in their local Y.M.C.A.'s. In January, 1892, the rules were printed in the school paper, The Triangle, copies of which were mailed to many parts of the United States. From the "Y's" it spread to the high schools and colleges. So began a game which now rivals football and baseball in the affections of the American sports world, and which is popular in hundreds of countries all over the globe. [1]

When Doctor Naismith joined the faculty of the University of Kansas in 1898 basketball was generally regarded in Kansas college circles as a woman's sport. This could scarcely have been surprising to its inventor, for girls had begun playing it in the East when it was barely a month old. Coeds on Mount Oread experimented with it as early as 1896, the Kansas University Weekly reporting on November 21 that the girls had organized several teams and that the freshman and sophomore girls hoped to play a match game. There is no record of this contest, if it was played, but if the young women carried out their plan it probably was the first basketball game on a Kansas campus. In 1897 their athletic facilities were enlarged. A space was reserved to be used as an athletic field for women and facilities were provided for an open-air basketball court. [2] The women of Baker University first played the game in the spring of 1897, when the contest between the Delta Delta Delta team and one picked from the other girls of the university was a feature of the first spring field day, according to The Baker Orange of May 19. Girls pioneered in basketball at Washburn College, Ottawa University and Emporia Normal, as well as at K.U. and Baker. The Washburn Weekly Review announced on November 3, 1898, that "we may expect our young ladies to issue a challenge to some of the neighboring schools for a basketball game before long," and reported a week later that they were learning the fine points of the new pastime at the Y.W.C.A. gymnasium in Topeka.

Facilities for developing the game were inadequate in Kansas colleges of this period and the university was no exception. Doctor Naismith brought the game to his physical education class. [3] Bored with the monotonous routine of calisthenics, the K.U. men welcomed a competitive sport and basketball's popularity spread so rapidly that the Weekly reported on December 10, "... it appears that the basketball mania would carry all before it." Eight teams had been organized, it was said, and a series of tournaments arranged to select a representative for the university in intercollegiate competition.

The first game for the varsity was with the experienced Y.M.C.A. team of Kansas City, Mo. The game was played on the Kansas City court and K.U. was beaten, 16 to 5. A crowd of 150 persons witnessed the rout of Naismith's proteges. In the K.U. lineup were: Sutton, right forward; Owen, left forward; Hess, center; Henderson, right back; Avery, left back. Capt. Will Sutton was the K.U. star, while Henderson and Owen did some "clever rolling. [4] Obviously the dribble was unknown at that early date. Another invasion of Missouri territory resulted in two defeats at Independence, the Company F team furnishing the opposition. In Kansas the Jayhawks fared much better, winning three games from the Topeka Y.M.C.A. and one from the Lawrence Y.M.C.A. [5]

Home games were played on the skating rink during K.U.'s first basketball season. The old building, which was used for political meetings and social affairs as well as for the cradle of K.U. basketball, was the scene of a series of interclass games after the varsity team had completed its abbreviated schedule. Fire destroyed the building after the interclass tourney and the Jayhawks were without a basketball home. It had "at any rate served the purpose of showing the merits of basketball and that our teams can play a game of which they may be proud," commented the University Weekly. [6]

Baker University waited until its gymnasium was completed before the men of that institution took up basketball, but Washburn College began to play the men's game in the spring of 1899. Robert Stewart, now a prominent Topeka physician, was the first captain of the Ichabod quintet. Topeka buzzed with basketball activity the following winter, with Washburn, the high school, the Y.M.C.A. and the Santa Fe represented by teams. Washburn failed to win a game in this competition and the Topeka collegians were stalked by evil fortune throughout the season. Stewart was injured and forced to give up the game, and Fleming, "our star player," was not allowed to play in the post-season tournament because he was a member of the first Y.M.C.A. team. Said The Washburn Review:

This mid-winter sport does not receive the encouragement from Washburn College students that its value entitles it to. In all of the prominent schools this game is being made a feature of athletics.... It is difficult, one must admit, to see the game from a good vantage point, because few gymnasiums are supplied with galleries.... Since a game is often judged as to its merits from the spectator's standpoint, we would have to say that it is not very entertaining, because the spectator cannot see the play and because he cannot see he stays away.... It is to be regretted that this team has brought no glory to our school. [7] 

Topekans who have followed the game since its first feeble appearance in Kansas recall that the local Y.M.C.A. claimed the state basketball championship in 1900 and that there were several Washburn students on the victorious "Y" team. Men's basketball was abandoned at the college until 1905, and intercollegiate competition for women was banned in 1910. [8]

The K.U. team of 1900 rented the Lawrence Y.M.C.A. court for its home games and practice sessions, but played under a handicap because students found it hard to maintain interest in a game that was not played on the campus. An all-victorious football season the previous autumn had dimmed enthusiasm for the new game and many were content to pass the winter in contemplation of K.U.'s gridiron glory. The same difficulty discussed in The Washburn Review also proved a detriment to basketball at the university. There was no room for spectators in the box-like Y.M.C.A. gymnasium.

In its first meeting with a rival university the Jayhawk team met a crushing defeat at the bands of the Nebraska Cornhuskers, 48 to 8. [9] Games were won from the Haskell Indians and from the Omaha Y.M.C.A. The Kansas City "Y" twice defeated the Naismith men. [10] Unsuccessful efforts were made to organize an intercollegiate league, to include K.U., Baker University, Ottawa University, Emporia Normal, Washburn College and the College of Emporia. [11]

In 1901, however, Ottawa University put a team on the court and games were played with the Haskell Indians, the Topeka and Lawrence "Y" teams and K.U. Naismith's K.U. team won four and lost five games that season. [12]

While the college men were slow to accept basketball, the women of Baker, Washburn, Ottawa, and Emporia Normal were enthusiastic participants and played with high school and Y.W.C.A. teams for the state championship. The Indian girls at Haskell soon entered the lists.

Some of the high schools were too strong for the college girls, and in any event, the younger girls were able to provide stiff competition for their collegiate sisters. The girls soon began to take their competition seriously. Relations between Washburn and Topeka High School became strained as a result of bitter rivalry for the state title, which Washburn claimed in 1904 and 1905 after defeating the high school girls. School authorities concluded that it would be unwise to schedule other games and the 1905 meeting was the last. "... Feeling has arisen ... which even continues when the high school girls enter Washburn," explained the student publication in justifying the move. [13]

The Haskell Indians claimed the national championship in 1902, according to The Indian Leader of March 14, which described the game between the Indians and the M.W.A. team of Independence, Mo., former claimants of the title. The Indians were awarded the game by forfeit after the Missourians left the court early in the second half with Haskell leading, 17 to 15. The M.W.A. players declared they had been unfairly treated, although the record reveals that two of the three officials were Independence men. Other Haskell victims that season were the Universities of Kansas and Nebraska, William Jewell College, the Topeka Y.M.C.A., and the Kansas City Athletic Club. The Indians established some kind of a record in their 65 to 0 massacre of the athletic club, which The Indian Leader of February 14, 1902, described as "interesting if ... one-sided." Fallis, Hauser, Oliver, Shields, and Archiquette were the starting players for Haskell.

Meanwhile, Baker completed its new gymnasium and organized a men s team in the fall of 1902. [14] Emporia Normal and the Kansas Aggies entered competition for the first time during the winter of 1902-1903. The Normals and the Methodists divided a two-game series, Baker winning, 39 to 23, at Baldwin, and losing, 32 to 30, in a game at Emporia. [15]

The Aggies met a reverse that might have discouraged weaker men when Haskell massacred them 60 to 7, early in 1903. Oliver, the Indian center, scored eighteen field goals. [16] The Aggies also lost to the Topeka "Y," Baker, McPherson College, and Bethany College of Lindsborg, Kansas State College records reveal. The Manhattan school did not compete again until 1905.

Wichita college men learned the game from the local Y.M.C.A. Friends University's first game was played with the "Y" team on February 10, 1904, resulting in a 22 to 10 defeat for the Quakers. "Although some of our men had not seen the game before, they did some good work," said a Friends' publication. Fairmount soon followed Friends' example and the two Wichita institutions were competing with other colleges of the state within the next few years.

Veteran basketball men say that one factor that prevented basketball from becoming a major sport during the first decade of its existence as a Kansas college game was that men students regarded the game as effeminate. By 1910, however, Baker, K.S.A.C. and Washburn had banned intercollegiate competition for women. In discussing the decision of the college authorities The Washburn Review of November 9 said that it had been determined that girls did not recuperate readily from the physical and nervous strain of competitive athletics and that women's athletics were being exploited for financial gain. The Universities of Missouri, Chicago and Denver were mentioned as other institutions which abolished women's basketball. At K.U. the women's game had not developed to the extent it had in smaller schools, as Doctor Naismith had never been very friendly toward feminine participation.

The quality of basketball in Kansas had improved steadily since the turn of the century, however. The Kansas Aggies won five of eight games scheduled in 1906, [17] while K.U. defeated Nebraska that year for the first time in history, 38 to 17. [18] Baker, victorious by 22 to 18, was the only Kansas college quintet that beat the Jayhawks, although defeats were suffered at the hands of several out-of-state teams. [19]

The first meeting between the Aggies and K.U. was in 1907, and the Aggies emerged on the long end of a 29 to 25 score. [20] A powerful Baker team twice defeated the Aggies, however, and added the university team to its list of victims. The Haskell Indians were among the leaders in the state, defeating the Aggies twice. Kansas lost a two-game series with Missouri which marked the beginning of basketball relations between the Jayhawks and the Tigers. Nebraska defeated Kansas 32 to 19. [21]

A man destined to be a dominant figure in the basketball world entered the University of Kansas as a student in 1905. He was Forrest C. (Phog.) Allen of Independence, Mo., who had learned the game as a member of the athletic club team in his home town. Doctor Naismith met young Allen early in the 1900's when he took his team to Independence to play the athletic club. In 1905 Allen was a member of the Kansas City Athletic Club's famous team that thrice defeated the touring Buffalo (N. Y.) Germans, claimants of the national basketball championship. In 1908, while still an undergraduate, the Missourian relieved Doctor Naismith of his coaching duties at K.U. The Jayhawks won the championship of the newly organized Missouri Valley Conference, in competition with Iowa State College and the Universities of Nebraska and Missouri.

While directing the Jayhawks "Phog" Allen found time to coach at Baker and Haskell. Baker, under Allen in 1907, won fifteen games and was undefeated. After coaching another championship team at K.U. in 1909, Doctor Allen left W. O. Hamilton in charge of basketball. In 1912 he accepted a position as director of athletics and coach of all sports at Missouri State Teachers College, Warrensburg. While there his teams won seven conference championships. [22]

The Kansas Jayhawks continued their victorious marches to the Missouri Valley championship under their new coach, winning the conference race in 1910 and 1911. Tommy Johnson, one of K.U.'s greatest athletes, was captain of the 1910 team. In 1912 the Kansas Aggies won from K.U., 33 to 28, after the Jayhawks had defeated them in an earlier game, 37 to 24. Kansas and Nebraska shared conference honors in 1912, but the Cornhuskers were undisputed champions the following year. A Jayhawk quintet captained by Ralph "Lefty" Sproull, brought the title back to Mt. Oread in 1914 where it remained for two years. Nebraska took it back to Lincoln in 1916. [23]

The Kansas State Agricultural College officially entered the Missouri Valley Conference in 1916 and took its first basketball championship in 1917, winning ten games and losing but two in conference play. Missouri won in 1918 and the Aggies again in 1919. [24]

The Aggies were coached by Z.G. Clevenger and the squad included Hinds and Bunger, forwards; Jennings, center; Clarke and Cowell, guards; Winter, Foltz and Blair, substitutes. [25]

Although basketball had become firmly established as an intercollegiate sport as early as 1907, the game did not reach its peak in popularity until after the first World War. Dr. Forrest C. Allen returned to K.U. in 1919 as director of athletics and coached the basketball team in 1920, which finished third in the Missouri Valley Conference. [26]

About this time Southwestern College of Winfield, under the tutelage of Willis S. "Bill" Bates, began to assume the dominant position it has enjoyed for the past two decades. The Southwestern Moundbuilders won the Kansas Conference championship in 1920 and they have been rated among the best college teams in the United States since that date. In 1921 the Builders dropped to fourth place in the conference, Fairmount College of Wichita winning the title in an exciting race. [27] It was Southwestern, however, that won national recognition for the Kansas brand of basketball when the Builders advanced to the final round of the National A.A.U. tournament at Kansas City before losing a hard-fought game to the veteran team of the Kansas City Athletic Club, 42 to 36. [28] Southwestern's starting lineup was George Gardner and P. Reif, forwards; Kahler, center; Keyes and Cairns, guards.

Coach Bates' proteges won the Kansas Conference championship in 1922 and fell just a trifle short of their previous year's record in the National A.A.U. tournament, losing to the Lowe and Campbell team of Kansas City in the semi-final round. In 1923 Southwestern lost but one regularly scheduled conference game, and that to the Pittsburg Teachers. This record was adequate for recognition as the conference champion. Southwestern also boasted two victories over the University of Texas. [29] Both Southwestern and Fairmount advanced to the quarter-finals at Kansas City. [30]

While Southwestern and Fairmount were directing nation-wide attention to Kansas, "Phog" Allen had the Kansas Jayhawks back in the lead of the Missouri Valley Conference. A two-year period of Missouri leadership was ended in 1922 when the Jayhawks and Tigers tied for first place, each with fifteen victories and one defeat. Missouri defeated Kansas, 35 to 25; Kansas retaliated by beating the Tigers, 26 to 16. George Rody, captain and forward, was the main cog in the K.U. machine and led the conference in scoring. [31]

Many Kansas basketball fans cherish the opinion that "Phog" Allen's team of 1923 was his greatest. The old Missouri Valley Conference was composed of nine members and played a double round-robin basketball schedule, which meant sixteen conference games. The Jayhawks were undefeated. Waldo Bowman and Tusten Ackerman were the Kansas forwards, John Wulf, the center, Paul Endacott and Charles Black were in the guard positions. Reserves included Armin Woestemeyer and Verne Wilkins, guards, and Byron Frederick, center. [32] This was the first of five consecutive seasons in which Kansas had the undisputed championship of the conference, winning 72 games and losing but six in conference competition. A great Oklahoma team captured the title in 1928 to break the Kansas victory string. [33]

Arthur "Dutch" Lonborg, after a successful term of coaching at McPherson College, became the Washburn Ichabod's tutor in 1924. "Dutch" was a pupil of Doctor Allen, and captained the Jayhawk squad in 1920. Under Lonborg's direction Washburn began a rapid climb in the Kansas Conference, finishing in third place at the end of his first season. The Emporia Teachers, with 14 victories and one defeat, won the conference title, losing only to their neighbors, the College of Emporia. [34] Bethel College of Newton was second. Washburn was eliminated in the third round of the National A.A.U. tournament, [35] which was won by Butler College of Indianapolis, Ind. [36] The Indiana team was the first collegiate winner of the big tournament.

Kansas basketball teams reached three pinnacles of success in 1925. The Jayhawks of Doctor Allen, paced by the high scoring "Tus" Ackerman, annexed the Missouri Valley title with fifteen victories and one defeat. Washburn College, whose basketball team had "brought no glory" to the school in 1900, became the second college to win National A.A.U. honors when its team swept aside the mighty Hillyards of St. Joseph, Mo., in the final round, 42 to 30. In the Washburn lineup were: Clarence "Kid" Breithaupt and Orson "Shorty" McLaughlin, forwards; Gerald Spohn, center; Arthur Brewster and Lambert "Butch" Lowe, guards. Milton Poort, reserve guard, also saw action that night in old Convention hall. [37]

Washburn and the Pittsburg Teachers, who were coached by John Lance, had tied for first place in the Kansas Conference, each winning thirteen games and losing two. An upset defeat at the hands of Steve O'Rourke's unpredictable and always dangerous St. Mary's College team cost Washburn an undisputed title. [38] Pittsburg and Washburn did not meet during the season.

While K.U. and Washburn were winning championships, Wichita High School's basketball team became the second Kansas team to win the National High School tournament at Chicago, Kansas City having won the tournament in 1923. On the champion Wichita team were several future college and university stars, including McBurney, who later played with Wichita Municipal University, and Churchill, one of the mainstays of some great University of Oklahoma teams in subsequent years. [39]

The Kansas Conference race in 1926 resulted in another dead heat between Washburn and Lance's Pittsburg Teachers. Both teams entered the National A.A.U. tournament and the drawing placed them in the same bracket. Both survived the first round and were thus slated to meet in an impromptu Kansas Conference playoff which would settle a controversy that had raged in Kansas athletic circles for two years. Hundreds of Pittsburg and Washburn alumni and students attended. Washburn took an early lead, but was unable to maintain the pace set by the Teachers and the game ended with Pittsburg in the lead, 29 to 25. In the Pittsburg lineup were: Steele and Shaw, forwards; Short, center; Binford and Hoffman, guards; Anderson, substitute forward; Cormack and Meisenhaur, substitute guards. The Washburn lineup was: Breithaupt and McLaughlin, forwards; Spohn, center; Marsh and Poort, guards; Davis, substitute forward. [40]

The next upset came when the favored Pittsburg five were eliminated in the next round by a hard-driving team from the Emporia Teachers College. The score was 33 to 27. [41] On the Emporia team that stopped the Gorillas were Loveless and Hoover, forwards; Duke, center; Fish and Trusler, guards. The Emporians advanced to the semi-finals before they were eliminated.

In 1927 Wichita University and Washburn went to the semi-final round of the national tournament. There the Hillyards took revenge for their 1925 defeat by beating the Ichabods 34 to 29, 42 while the Ke-Nash-A team of Kenosha, Wis., eliminated Wichita. The Shockers gained third place by beating Washburn, 31 to 28, in the consolation game. [43]

The big schools in the old Kansas Conference withdrew in 1928 to organize the Central Conference. In the new circuit were the three state teachers colleges and Washburn, Wichita University, Southwestern, and the College of Emporia. McPherson College won the title in the abbreviated Kansas Conference. Pittsburg and Emporia Teachers were tied for first place in the Central. [44]

Washburn dedicated its new Whiting field house on December 18, 1928, by defeating the K.U. Jayhawks, 25 to 24. [45] After the holiday recess the Ichabods, coached by Roy Wynne, went on to win the Central Conference title. Kansas had one of its worst seasons, finishing in a tie with Kansas State for last place in the Big Six. [46]

The Allen team regained the title in 1931 and held it four consecutive seasons. In 1935 Iowa State nosed out the Kansas team to win its first conference title. The Jayhawks were second with twelve games won and four lost, while Iowa State, with a lighter schedule, won eight of its ten conference games. [47]

Kansas finished the 1936 season with a perfect percentage, winning ten Big Six Conference games, and the Jayhawks entertained hopes of representing the United States in the Olympic games. The Missouri Valley Olympic play-offs were held at Kansas City in March, Kansas winning from a tournament field that also included Washburn, Nebraska, and Oklahoma A. & M. Next obstacle in the Jayhawks' path to international honors was the rangy Utah State College quintet, Rocky Mountain champions. A three-game series to decide the Western championship was played in Convention hall, Kansas City, Mo. Kansas won the first game, 39 to 37, and apparently was well on the way to victory in the second game, when the Utah team rallied and forged ahead to win, 42 to 37. The deciding game went to the Westerners by the one-sided score of 50 to 31. [48]

In 1937 Kansas shared the Big Six lead with Nebraska, each team winning eight games and losing two. The Jayhawks were undisputed winners in 1938, but dropped to third place with six wins and four losses in 1939, while Missouri and Oklahoma were tied for first place. [49]

The National Intercollegiate Basketball tournament was first held at Kansas City, Mo., in 1938. According to The Baker Orange, February 7, 1938, Emil S. Liston, veteran Baker University athletic director, was originator of the idea. He was appointed chairman of the board of management. The tournament is open to all standard four-year colleges and universities in the United States with the stipulation that a team seeking entrance should be either a conference champion, the winner of an elimination tournament, or "have made a good showing throughout the season's play."

Southwestern College of Winfield, a perennial leader in Kansas collegiate basketball, brought another national title back from Kansas, City in 1939 when the Moundbuilders won the National Intercollegiate tournament by defeating San Diego State College of California in a thrilling contest in Convention hall, 32 to 31. [50] The Winfield school's success in national competition followed its fifth consecutive season as champion or co-champion of the Central Conference. "Over a span of almost half the life of the conference the combined genius of Bill Monypeny and George Gardner has led the Purple to the heights in basketball," said the Winfield Daily Courier of March 4, 1939.

Winfield was the city of basketball champions that spring of 1939. Sharing the spotlight with the Builders were the St. John's College Johnnies, who won first place in the All-Concordia tournament of Lutheran schools at St. Paul, Minn., and the Viking squad of the local high school, which won the Arkansas Valley league title, [51] and subsequently the state high school championship in the annual tournament at Topeka. [52]

Southwestern's lineup in the final game at Kansas City was: Hinshaw and L. Tucker, forwards; Briar and Smith, centers; Fugit, Dix and Bratches, guards. [53] Battling for St. John's in the championship game with the Concordia Teachers of Seward, Neb., were: Stelzer, Kroening, Widiger and Shappel, forwards; Janzow and Meyer, centers; Obermueller, Kaiser and Wiese, guards. [54]

St. John's College had been an associate member of the old Kansas Conference and was for many years a formidable rival of Southwestern for city honors. The school had been reduced to the status of a junior college, however, and was not able to compete with Kansas Conference or Central Conference teams on an equal basis. A member of Washburn's National A.A.U. championship team of 1925 recalls a beating received from the Johnnies on the big Southwestern court, "and we beat Southwestern by a big score the next night," he added. Fortunately for the Ichabods, the Lutherans were only associate conference members, and the defeat did not count against Washburn in the standings.

For many years there had been a difference of opinion as to which state was rightfully the "hot bed" of basketball, Kansas or Indiana. The big Kansas schools, K.U. and Kansas State, compete in the Big Six, while the Indiana teams, the State University and Purdue, are members of the Big Ten Conference and never cross the paths of the Kansans. Kansas supporters used to cite the excellent showing of Kansas high school teams in the national tournaments at Chicago, and Indiana partisans countered with the fact that Indiana high schools were never permitted to compete at Chicago. The only college teams that were ever able to win the National A.A.U. tournament were Butler of Indianapolis and Washburn of Topeka.

A comparison of the Kansas and Indiana brands of Doctor Naismith's indoor sport was presented for the first time in a big way at Kansas City's Convention hall in the spring of 1940 when the Hoosiers of Indiana U. met "Phog" Allen's Jayhawks for the National Collegiate Athletic Association title. This is not to be confused with the National Intercollegiate, won by Southwestern in 1939, as the latter is restricted to schools of smaller enrollment.

The Big Six race was one of the closest in the history of the game and when the conference schedule for 1940 was completed, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma were tied, each having won eight games and lost two. Post season play-offs were previously prohibited by the Big Six Conference, but with the N.C.A.A. tournament scheduled it was necessary to determine which team should represent the conference in the Missouri Valley play-offs. A series was arranged in which the Sooners, Tigers and Jayhawks could settle the question. Wichita's forum was to be the scene of the contests. Fortune favored Coach Allen in the drawing, which allowed his team to remain idle and watch Missouri and Oklahoma play the first game and to meet the winner on the following night. The Sooners won the first game, but bowed to Kansas. Kansas next opposed the Oklahoma A.&M. Cowboys, champions of the Missouri Valley Conference, at Oklahoma City, and defeated them, 45 to 43, thus achieving the right to represent the Missouri Valley region in the Western play-offs. [55]

Kansas drew Rice Institute, Southwest Conference champion, in the opening round at Kansas City, while Colorado was paired with the University of Southern California, Pacific Coast champions. The Jayhawks eliminated the Texans, 50 to 44, while the Trojans defeated the Colorado Buffaloes by a narrow margin.

Among the 10,000 persons who watched the machine-like precision of the Trojans in disposing of a great Colorado team, were few who felt that Kansas, a much smaller team, had much chance to stop the Californians. With a little more than a minute of playing time remaining the Jayhawks were leading the favored Trojans, 41 to 40, but with only fifty seconds remaining, the Trojans drove in for a basket to lead, 42 to 41.

Howard Engleman, sharp-shooting K.U. forward, had been withdrawn from the game in the final period. Allen knew that Engleman could score if he could only get his hands on the ball. He was sent in, but the difficulty with the Allen scheme was that a big Trojan had control of the spheroid at that moment and seemed intent on retaining it until the final gun. Bobby Allen, son of the coach and an ace Kansas player, caught the red-shirted Californian off balance, stole the ball, and dribbled frantically toward the Kansas goal. Engleman was there ahead of him. Bobby passed the ball to Howard and the Arkansas City lad dropped it through the netting for the two points that gave the Jayhawks a 43 to 42 victory and the Western championship. [56]

By winning the Eastern play-offs, the University of Indiana Hoosiers became the choice to meet the Jayhawks for the national title the following week. The Kansas team got off to an early lead, held it until mid-way of the first half, but when the Hoosiers found the range they forged ahead rapidly. The second half was a rout, the lead mounting steadily until the Hoosiers eased up in the closing minutes. The final score was 60 to 42, for Indiana. [57] Kansas could offer no excuses.

Kansas made its first appearance in Madison Square Garden, New York, during the Christmas holidays of 1940-1941, and was beaten, 53 to 42, by Fordham. [58] Two days later the Jayhawks lost to Temple University, 40 to 35, at Philadelphia. [59]

With Engleman, their All-American forward, setting a scoring pace that was difficult to overcome, the Jayhawks apparently were on the road to another Big Six title in 1941, but the team faltered in the closing weeks of the campaign and finished in a tie for first place with the Iowa State Cyclones. Because their scoring record for the season surpassed that of the Kansans, the Cyclones were accorded the right to represent the conference in the N.C.A.A. play-offs. [60]

Although Doctor Naismith, who died on November 28, 1939, did not live to see his Jayhawks win the Western championship, he had the satisfaction of watching his game develop into a major sport in Kansas and one in which Kansas teams have won more national and regional honors than in any other sport.

Dr. Forrest C. Allen, a Naismith pupil, has long been recognized as one of the leading basketball strategists in the nation. Doctor Allen, in turn, has taught a number of men who have made a reputation in the coaching profession, notably Arthur Lonborg, John Bunn, and Forrest Cox. Lonborg, K.U. captain in 1920, [61] coached the Washburn Ichabods to their national title in 1925 and has been head basketball coach at Northwestern University for the past decade. Bunn has had a long and successful career as coach of the Stanford University quintet; "Frosty" Cox has made the University of Colorado Buffaloes one of the leading teams of the West since he took over the coaching duties there. Cox hails from Newton, a center of high school champions, and Kansans have been watching a parade of Kansas talent toward Boulder during the Cox regime at the Rocky Mountain school.

With P. McCloud, former Newton High School star, leading the Colorado attack, Cox's Rocky Mountain Conference champions of 1942 eliminated the Jayhawks in the opening round of the Western N.C.A.A. play-offs at Kansas City, 46 to 44, on March 20. Kansas had finished in a tie for first place with Oklahoma in the Big Six Conference, but was chosen to rep-resent the conference in the N.C.A.A. competition because of a better scoring record. The Jayhawks defeated Oklahoma A.&M., 32 to 28, on March 17, thus winning the right to represent the Missouri Valley-Big Six region.

While Kansas was losing to the Buffaloes, Stanford University defeated Rice Institute and the Pacific Coast champions took the Western title by defeating Colorado the following night. Kansas won the consolation game from Rice, 55 to 53, and was awarded third place in the tournament.

Ernest C. Quigley of St. Mary's, who also is nationally known on the baseball diamond and the football gridiron, is the dean of Kansas basketball officials. Quigley is credited by Doctor Naismith with devising a plan that resulted in one of the major improvements in the game. As an official in the early days, Quigley was continually annoyed at the difficulty of determining whether a player was in or out of bounds when he was shooting for a basket under the goal, which was directly above the end line. At St. Mary's College "Quig" experimented by drawing a circle from the free throw line, of which an arc extended past the end line and was considered inside. The innovation was adopted in 1917 and the end zone has been extended in recent years so that players have ample room for maneuvering around the goals. [62]

Kansas coaches have experimented with every type of defense and offense from the fast break and five-man defense to the set play and zone-defense systems. "Phog" Allen calls one of his latest systems of defense the "stratified transitional man-for-man defense with the zone principle." [63] The astute Kansas coach has long contended that "dunking is not basketball" in arguing against the advantages formerly held by the teams with the tallest centers. Elimination of the center jump, except at the beginning of each period, has corrected this evil and has increased the tempo of the game to a considerable degree. The Goliath of the basketball court is no longer such an asset to his team.

The first basketball players wore ordinary gymnasium suits, often consisting of light-weight shirts and long trousers. To permit more freedom of movement in the strenuous modern game, the uniform has been greatly abbreviated. Special shoes have been designed, knee pads and sometimes braces are worn as protective equipment.

Since it became a major sport basketball has been able to pay its way in many Kansas colleges. The construction of specially designed field houses in recent years has provided nearly every college with a regulation playing court and adequate seating facilities. Of the larger schools, only Kansas State is unable to accommodate the potential basketball patronage in its small Nichols gymnasium and admission generally has been restricted to students.

In intrastate competition the larger schools cannot claim the superiority that is obvious on the football field. A football victory won by a Central or Kansas Conference team over K.U. or Kansas State is a major upset, but on the basketball court the small colleges often prove that they are a match for the Big Six teams. In recent years both Southwestern and Baker have beaten K.U. [64] and the Moundbuilders, Fort Hays State and Emporia State defeated Kansas State in 1939. [65]

The Central Conference race invariably is a free-for-all scramble, and the tail-end team is quite likely to defeat the conference leaders. Southwestern and Pittsburg have been the most consistent winners, but during the past decade the two other state colleges and Wichita, before its withdrawal from conference competition, have been strong contenders. John Lance's Pittsburg Gorillas won the title in 1931 and 1932 and shared the lead with Wichita in 1933. Emporia State was the 1934 champion; Southwestern and Pittsburg were tied in 1935. The Moundbuilders won an undisputed championship in 1936, but had to share the lead with both Fort Hays and Pittsburg in 1937. Southwestern won in 1938 and 1939. In 1940 the Gorillas, Builders and Fort Hays Tigers finished in another dead heat. Pittsburg won in 1941 and 1942, and finished third in the National Intercollegiate tournament in 1942.

In the Kansas Conference, Kansas Wesleyan, Baker and Ottawa have been leading contenders. In 1934 the College of Emporia and McPherson were tied for the title. The Ottawa Baptists won in 1935 and were ousted the following year by their traditional rivals, the Baker Orangemen, who repeated in 1937. Ottawa, McPherson and Kansas Wesleyan tied for the lead in 1938. The Baptists were champions in 1939 and 1940. Kansas Wesleyan, Bethany and Baker were joint 1941 title-holders, and in 1942 Baker and Kansas Wesleyan won.

Since 1933 a coaching school has been held annually at Washburn College under the sponsorship of the Kansas State High School Activities Association. The institute is usually scheduled during the latter part of August and is attended by high school and college coaches from a large area in the Middle West. Basketball is an important part of the curriculum and has been taught by some of the leading coaches. For the past few years Doctor Allen has held an annual basketball clinic, attended by high school coaches. The clinic is conducted at the close of the football season and is usually featured by a game between the K.U. varsity and freshman teams.

Veteran basketball enthusiasts in Kansas recall that the Kansas game was once reasonably believed to be superior to that played in any section of the country and the Missouri Valley circuit was considered the fastest. Basketball, however, was not considered a major sport in many sections of the country, particularly the East, until comparatively recent years. Since the Eastern schools have been giving more attention to the game and spectators have demanded a better brand of basketball Eastern teams have improved rapidly, as is evidenced by Fordham's defeat of Kansas in 1940.

Although the rest of the nation is now catching up with the Sunflower state in the quality of its basketball, Kansas blazed the trail and took the lead in the development of the game. Basketball's grand old man, Doctor Naismith, was a member of the K.U. athletic staff for more than forty years. In this golden jubilee year he is being fittingly remembered. Thousands of basketball teams throughout the country are donating the proceeds of one game on their schedule to the James A. Naismith Memorial Fund, the money to be used in building a gymnasium and Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass., "within dribbling distance of the Y.M.C.A. where basketball was first played." [66]

Notes

HAROLD C. EVANS, of Topeka, is supervisor of the Kansas Writers' program of the Work Projects Administration.

1. Naismith, James A., Basketball, Its Origin and Development (Association Press, New York, 1941), pp. 59, 111, 118, 143-160.
2. Kansas University Weekly, Lawrence, November 13, 1897.
3. Ibid., October 22, 1898.
4. Ibid., February 4, 1899.
5. Basketball at the University of Kansas (a booklet compiled by the K.U. News Bureau, December, 1937), pp. 7, 8.
6. Kansas University Weekly, March 25, 1899.
7. The Washburn Review, Topeka, March 9, 1899; March 91 1900.
8. Ibid., November 9, 1910.
9. Basketball at the University of Kansas, p. 3.
10. Ibid., pp. 7, 8.
11. Kansas University Weekly, December 9, 1899.
12. Ibid., May 25, 1901.
13. The Washburn Review, March 3,1905.
14. The Baker Orange, Baldwin, November 8, 1902.
15. Ibid., January 17, February 7, 1903.
16. The Students' Herald, Manhattan, January 22, 1903.
17. "Kansas State College Athletic Records" (mimeographed).
18. Basketball at the University of Kansas, p. 3.
19. Ibid., pp. 6, 7.
20. "Kansas State College Athletic Records."
21. Basketball at the University of Kansas, pp. 3, 6.
22. Graduate Magazine, University of Kansas, Lawrence, December, 1935, p. 5.
23. Basketball at the University of Kansas, pp. 3, 10, 11.
24. Ibid., p. 11. See, also, The Kansas Industrialist, Manhattan, March 12, 1919.
25. Ibid.; Kansas State Collegian, Manhattan, March 11, 1919.
26. Graduate Magazine, University of Kansas, January, April, 1920; December, 1935.
27. Winfield Daily Courier, March 8, 1921.
28. Ibid., March 14, 1921.
29. Ibid., February 22, 1923.
30. Ibid., March 16, 1923.
31. Basketball at the University of Kansas, pp. 4, 10, 11.
32. Graduate Magazine, University of Kansas, March, 1923.
33. Basketball at the University of Kansas, p. 11.
34. Emporia Gazette, March 7, 1924.
35. Topeka Daily Capital, March 14, 1924.
36. Ibid., March 16, 1924.
37. Ibid., March 15, 1925.
38. The Dial, St. Mary's College, St. Marys, Spring Number, 1925.
39. Wichita Eagle, April 6, 1925.
40. Topeka Daily Capital, March 18, 1926.
41. Ibid., March 19, 1926.
42. Ibid., March 19, 1927.
43. Ibid., March 20, 1927.
44. Ibid., March 4, 1928.
45. Ibid., December 19, 1928.
46. Basketball at the University of Kansas, p. 14.
47. Ibid., p. 14.
48. University Daily Kansan, Lawrence, March 8, 13, 15, 26, 27, 29, 1936.
49. Basketball at the University of Kansas, p, 14; University Daily Kansan, Lawrence, March 4, 1938; Graduate Magazine, University of Kansas, February, 1939, p. 8.
50. Winfield Daily Courier, March 20, 1939.
51. Ibid., March 6,1939.
52. Ibid., March 20, 1939.
53. Ibid.
54. Ibid., March 6, 1939.
55. Graduate Magazine, University of Kansas, March-April, 1940, p. 9.
56. Turtle, Howard W., "Give the Ball to Junior," The Saturday Evening Post, Philadelphia, Pa., December 28, 1940.
57. Kansas City (Mo.) Star, March 31, 1940; Graduate Magazine, University of Kansas, March-April, 1940.
58. Kansas City (Mo.) Star, December 29, 1940.
59. Kansas City (Mo.) Times. December 31, 1940.
60. Topeka Daily Capital, March 14, 1941.
61. Basketball at the University of Kansas, p. 10.
62. Naismith, op. cit., pp. 97, 98.
63. Turtle, loc. cit.
64. Basketball at the University of Kansas, pp. 6, 8.
65. "Kansas State College Athletic Records."
66. Time Magazine, Chicago, Ill., December 15, 1941, p, 64.