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Rutgers' 50 Best: A look at some hoops candidates

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Ever wonder who the fifty best Rutgers athletes are? Not just football or hoops....all athletes. Well, let's take a look.

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Steve Politi is putting together a list of the 50 greatest athletes in Rutgers' history.

We're helping Steve out with the project because who knows Rutgers better than....Rutgers fans?  That's us.  In a previous post we looked at wrestling, lacrosse, soccer, and track & field. And remember, these are ideas and they aren't ranked. Steve  Politi is tackling the tough one: ranking the 50 best. Next up, in alphabetical order....

Basketball

Abdel Anderson - Men's Basketball
In his four seasons, Anderson played on teams which made two NCAA and two NIT appearances. Those teams were a combined 95-28, the best four-season mark in school history.  Coming off the bench as the sixth man in the 75-76 season, the 6-7 Anderson averaged 9.4 points per game during that 31-2 season when the Scarlet Knights won their first 31 games and finished the season ranked fourth in the nation. Anderson was the consummate team player. As a sophomore, he tallied 15.2 points per game when the Knights went 18-10 and made the NIT. His junior year he averaged 12.3 points an outing in helping to lead the Scarlet Knights to a 24-7 record and to a third-place finish in the NIT. He capped his career by averaging 11.8 as a senior, second on the team to All-American James Bailey, as the Knights compiled a 22-9 record and a berth in the NCAA Tournament. Anderson's 1,459 career points ranks him 12th on the all-time Rutgers University scoring list.

Eugene "Gene" Armstead - Men's Basketball
The first high school All-American to play basketball at Rutgers, the 6'9'' Armstead was, at the time, the tallest player in Scarlet Knight history. At the conclusion of his career, Armstead, was ranked first in RU history in blocked shots, second in rebounding and 10th in points. His .555 career field goal percentage was a Rutgers record that stood for 29 years. Nicknamed "The Dominator" because of his ability to intimidate the opposition around the basket, Armstead poured in 1,046 points in a three-year career (freshmen were not eligible to play varsity in his era). Armstead helped lead Rutgers to three winning seasons, an overall record of 45-29 and an appearance in the 1973 NIT. Armstead was the second-leading scorer on the 1970-71 team with a 16.1 average and pulled down a team-leading 11.8 boards in helping RU achieve a 16-7 record. He averaged 13.4 points and 11.8 rebounds in helping to lead the 1971-72 team to a 14-11 mark as a junior. He then averaged 13.7 and 9.4 rebounds per game his senior year for the 1972-1973 team which finished with a 15-11 record.

James Bailey - Men's Basketball
James Bailey is number three on the Rutgers all-time scoring list (2,034), and just behind Phil Sellers in rebounding (1,047). The 6-9 Bailey was the freshman center on the 1975-76 Final Four team and went on to capture All-America honors from UPI and The Sporting News in 1978. Bailey, whose number 20 was retired in 1992, played nine NBA seasons with the Seattle Supersonics, New Jersey Nets, Houston Rockets, New York Knicks and Phoenix Suns. Known as "Jammin' James," he was the recipient of the prestigious Coursen Award and the Widmer Trophy.

John Battle - Men's Basketball
John Battle starred at Rutgers from 1981-1985 before going on to a long and productive career in the NBA. A lightly-recruited player who was the sixth man on his high school team as a senior, he played sparingly in his freshman year and then saw his role begin to expand late in his sophomore season, as he provided a spark which helped the 1982-83 Scarlet Knights gain a berth in the NCAA Tournament. That Rutgers team, which featured 1995 RU Hall of Fame inductee Roy Hinson, had a wion in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. In his junior year, 1983-84, Battle exploded, averaging 21 points per game in both his junior and senior seasons. A tremendous leaper and dangerous three-point threat, Battle scored 608 points in his senior year, 1984-85, and finished his career with 1,385 points. That point total places him 15th all-time at Rutgers (it was 10th when he graduated ). Battle was a fourth-round draft pick of the Atlanta Hawks in 1985. He played with the Hawks and Cavaliers from 1985-1996.

Hollis Copeland - Men's Basketball This uncommonly graceful 6-6 forward is the fifth-leading scorer in Rutgers history with 1,769 points. His 850 rebounds is sixth-best on the all-time Rutgers charts. He enjoyed his best statistical season as a junior, when he averaged 16.1 points per game, to go with 8.1 rebounds per outing. His career average was 14.6 points per game and 7.0 rebounds an outing. As a sophomore, he played a significant role and was an integral member of the 1975-76 Final Four team. His teams qualified for post-season play in all four of his years "On the Banks," with a pair of NCAA and NIT appearances. A honorable mention All-American in 1977, Copeland was a third-round pick of the NBA's Denver Nuggets.

Caroline DeRoose - Women's Basketball
DeRoose was a two-time Kodak District II Honorable Mention All-American that helped the Scarlet Knights to an impressive 88-25 record (.779), four straight NCAA Tournament berths and two Atlantic-10 titles during her career. DeRoose closed out her career as one of RU's all-time leaders in scoring with 1,762 points and 14.9 points per game. She closed out her career as RU's all-time leader in three-point field goals made (205). DeRoose is among the Scarlet Knights' career leaders in free throw percentage and by hitting at a .883 clip from the line in 1992, DeRoose set an school record for single season free throw percentage. She also finished ranked among the top-10 in assists (359), field goals made (630), field goals attempted (1,430), free throws made (297) and free throws attempted (356). DeRoose was an All Atlantic-10 honoree throughout her career with third team honors as freshman in 1991, second team in 1992 and earning two Atlantic-10 First Team accolades as a junior and senior in 1993 and 1994. She was named the NJ Basketball Coaches & Sports Writers Association Player of the Year in 1993 and as a senior in 1994, she was named the Atlantic-10 Player of the Year, Tournament MVP, All-Academic Team member and the Headley-Singer Award winner for Rutgers' most outstanding female athlete.

William "Bucky" Hatchett - Men's Basketball
"Bucky" Hatchett was Rutgers' first 1,000 point scorer. Hatchett is still ranked 18th on the all-time list with 1,245 points. His scoring record stood until 1965-66. He averaged 12.6 ppg. in his freshman year, 18.3 ppg. as a sophomore, 17.2 ppg. as a junior, and averaged 14.4 in his senior year. A 1991 inductee into the Rutgers Football Hall of Fame, Hatchett won10 letters in three sports (football, basketball, track). After graduating from Rutgers, Hatchett became a legend in the Eastern Professional Basketball League. During his pro career, he served as an executive with RCA.

Roy Hinson - Men's Basketball
The 6-9 Hinson came to Rutgers as a raw, thin athlete and left as a first-round NBA draft choice. Hinson is the Scarlet Knights' second all-time leading shot-blocker with 356. The 1983 Rutgers graduate added a little bit to his game each season at Rutgers, improving his scoring averages from 9.7 as a freshman to 16.6 as a senior. His 1,525 career points are 10th on the all-time list and he is the fifth-leading rebounder in school history with 860. Hinson was a first-round draft choice of the Cleveland Cavaliers. He averaged 14.2 points per game in an NBA career, which included stints with the 76ers and Nets.

Regina Howard - Women's Basketball
The "Sticks" half of the formidable "Wicks and Sticks" combination, Regina Howard remains near the top of RU's all-time scoring and rebounding charts. She finished her career with 1,807 points and was the first women's basketball player in RU history to haul in over 1,000 career rebounds (1,036). Additionally, Howard remains one of the Scarlet Knights' all-time leaders in steals with 216, including averaging 2.8 per game during the 1986-87 season, and led Rutgers in field goal percentage in each of her four years. During her senior season, which saw Howard named as a Wade Trophy Candidate and voted Player of the Year by the New Jersey Coaches & Sportswriters Association, she captured the Most Valuable Player Award at the NCAA East Regional and shared the Lady Knight MVP with Sue Wicks as Rutgers advanced to the NCAA East Region finals. Howard was a two-time Atlantic-10 All-Tournament Team member, including earning MVP honors in guiding the Scarlet Knights to the 1987 championships. She was a member of the 1984 Atlantic-10 All-Rookie Team and was named First Team All-Atlantic-10 in 1986 and 1987.

Eddie Jordan - Men's Basketball
First, forget the last three years.  Eddie Jordan was the point guard and catalyst of the great Rutgers teams of the mid-1970's. "Fast Eddie" was the on-court general for the 1975-76 Scarlet Knights, who fashioned a perfect 26-0 regular season mark, reached the Final Four, and wound up with a record of 31-2.  He is the all-time assist leader with 585 and steals leader with 220. Jordan is also the seventh-all-time leading scorer with 1,632 points. Drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the third round of the 1977 NBA draft, Jordan was later a member of the 1982 Los Angeles Lakers' NBA Championship team.

Bob Lloyd - Men's Basketball
Bob Lloyd was the first Rutgers All-American in 1967 (UPI first-team and AP second-team) and was the first Scarlet Knight to score over 2,000 points, this in an era when varsity athletes were limited to three seasons. Averaging an astounding 26.6 points a game for his career, he amassed 2,045 career points and led the nation in free throw percentage (.921) in 1966-67. He and fellow Hall of Fame inductee, Jim Valvano, led the 1966-67 Scarlet Knights to a third-place finish in the NIT. His number 14 was the first to be retired, in 1987, in Rutgers basketball history.

Janet Malouf - Women's Basketball
Janet Malouf was one of the greatest point guards in Rutgers history, leading the Scarlet Knights to four NCAA Tournament berths and two Atlantic-10 Conference Tournament championships. Starting 125 of RU's 129 games during her career, she established the Rutgers career assists mark by dishing the ball out 718 times in her four seasons "on the banks". The team's assists leader all four of her seasons, including amassing 209 assists during the 1986-87 season, Malouf also captured 202 career steals. A selection to the 1986 Atlantic-10 All-Freshman Team, after averaging 5.6 assists per game as a rookie, she later was a 1989 Atlantic-10 All-Third Team selection. Malouf won a gold medal with the 1986 U.S. Select Team at the Jones Cup Tournament in Taiwan.

June Olkowski - Women's Basketball
June Olkowski is Rutgers only four-time Street & Smith All-American and four-time EAIAW All-Region honoree. Her number 45 was the first Rutgers women's basketball jersey to be retired in program history back in 1988. Olkowski finished her career with 1,500 points and 780 rebounds and remains among RU's all-time leaders in scoring at 14.6 points per game and rebounding at 7.6 boards per game. In 1982, as the Scarlet Knights captured the AIAW Championship, Olkowski was the recipient of the Rutgers Headley-Singer Award as RU's top graduating female athlete and a First Team Kodak All-American. She was a Wade Trophy candidate in both 1981 and 1982. One of the first Scarlet Knights involved with USA Basketball, Olkowski was a member of the gold medaling U.S. World University Games Team, U.S. Junior National Team and National Sports Festival East Team in 1979 and four-time member of the U.S. Select Team.

Natasha "Tasha" Pointer - Women's Basketball
Tasha Pointer led the Scarlet Knights to their first-ever Final Four appearance as a junior captain in 2000. She was named the 1998 BIG EAST Rookie of the Year and garnered All-BIG EAST first team honors in 1999 and 2001. In 2001, Pointer was also tabbed an Associated Press All-America Honorable Mention. Pointer was named to two NCAA all-tournament teams, to the 1999 Midwest Region and the 2000 West Region squads. At the conclusion of her career, the point guard set Rutgers' all-time assists and steals records - men's and women's - with 839 assists and 292 steals, respectively. In addition, Pointer scored 1,456 career points. Following her time "on the banks", Pointer was drafted by the WNBA's Portland Fire in 2001 and in 2003 she was named to the BIG EAST 25th Anniversary Hall of Fame Team.

Phil Sellers - Men's Basketball
Phil Sellers was the leader of the 1975-76 Final Four team. This aggressive athlete set the tone for the 31-2 Scarlet Knights that season. Sellers is Rutgers' all-time scoring and rebounding leader with 2,399 points and 1,115 rebounds. A 6-4 forward, Sellers was a two-time Haggerty Award winner as the Metropolitan New York area's top performer. He was a first-team AP All-American in 1976. He later returned to Rutgers as an assistant coach for four seasons. His number 12 was Rutgers' second to be retired in basketball history, in 1988.

Tammy Sutton-Brown - Women's Basketball
Sutton-Brown averaged 9.6 points and 5.3 rebounds per game during her career, finishing her time "On the Banks" ranked third in field-goal percentage (.577), fifth in blocked shots (148), seventh in free throws made (304), 14th in rebounds (685) and 20th in scoring (1,246).  Sutton-Brown made an immediate impact at Rutgers, leading the squad in field goal percentage and blocks as a freshman. As a sophomore, Sutton-Brown earned Third Team All-BIG EAST honors, as she shot over 67 percent from the floor, setting an RU single-season field goal percentage record in the process. Sutton-Brown was named to the BIG EAST All-Tournament Team as a junior. Over the course of the tournament's three games, Sutton-Brown logged 39 points and hauled in 17 rebounds. As a senior, Sutton-Brown was a Third Team All-BIG EAST selection and candidate for the Naismith National Player of the Year Award. Altogether she helped lead the Scarlet Knights to four NCAA Tournament berths, including an Elite Eight finish in 1999 and a Final Four bid in 2000. Sutton-Brown went on to be the 18th overall pick of the Charlotte Sting in 2001. The 12-year WNBA veteran was a two-time WNBA All-Star. She was also a member of the 2000 Canadian Olympic team.

Sue Wicks - Women's Basketball The only Rutgers player to garner three Kodak All-American selections and Lady Knight Most Valuable Player awards, Sue Wicks is the most highly-decorated player in the history of Scarlet Knight basketball. Wicks was a three-time Kodak All-American and 1988 Naismith and U.S. Basketball Writers Association National Player of the Year as a Scarlet Knight and still owns RU career records for points, rebounds, scoring average, rebounding average, field goals made and attempted, free throws made and attempted, and blocked shots. Her scoring and rebounding totals are records in both the men's and women's history books. Wicks is also a member of the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame, Rutgers Hall of Distinguished Alumni and only the second Scarlet Knights on the women's side to have her jersey retired. As a senior, Wicks established single-season records for points, field goals made, free throws made and scoring average, while as a junior she set the rebounding and blocked shots standards. A three-time Atlantic-10 Conference Player of the Year (1986-88), she led Rutgers to a 105-21 (.833) record, two Atlantic-10 Tournament titles (1986-87). Wicks was named the MVP of the 1986 and 1988 Atlantic-10 Tournaments, the co-MVP in 1987, and a member of the 1986 and 1987 NCAA All-East Regional Teams.  A gold medalist at the 1987 Pan-American Games, she spent more than 15 years playing professionally overseas. When the WNBA was formed in 1997, she was the first-round selection of her hometown New York Liberty, where she played for six seasons before announcing her retirement in April of 2003.

Up next: Olympic sports, part 2: Baseball, softball, fencing, swimming, crew/rowing, special cases