The Perfect Season: A Memoir of the 1964-1965 Evansville College Purple Aces

By Russell Grieger | Go to book overview

11
NORTHWESTERN

WE WON OUR SEASON OPENER against the Iowa Hawkeyes, no thanks to me. It was not that I embarrassed myself with amateurish air balls, ill-conceived passes, or club-fisted ball handling. It was just that my play made little impact one way or another.

I knew I had to pick up my performance. At two o’clock on the Monday after the Iowa game, I hustled to Carson Center to put in extra work before we practiced for our Wednesday-night game against the Northwestern Wildcats. There I found my running mate, Sam Watkins, shooting alone.

“Hey,” I said.

“Hey,” he replied and kept up his drill, the only sound the bouncing of the ball against the floor. He shot, retrieved the ball, lobbed it out to a spot on the court, ran to it, and shot it again. Then he repeated the cycle.

The nickname Silent Sam fit him well. He carried himself with a poker face, tight-lipped under a pencil-thin mustache, expressionless and inscrutable. He said little and, when he did, it was said very quietly, his lips barely moving, always getting straight to the point.

-121-

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The Perfect Season: A Memoir of the 1964-1965 Evansville College Purple Aces
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Author’s Note xi
  • Prologue xiii
  • Part One - The Aces Get Ready 1
  • 1 - The Armory Days 3
  • 2 - Carson Center Preparation 9
  • 3 - The Iowa Hawkeyes 20
  • Part Two - The Ace Grows Up 29
  • 4 - The Beginnings 31
  • 5 - From Bullpup to Bulldog 41
  • 6 - Flailing and Falling 53
  • 7 - Flying 63
  • 8 - St. Louis Blues 74
  • 9 - Return to Evansville 87
  • 10 - A Dream Comes True—Almost 96
  • Part Three - The Aces Succeed 119
  • 11 - Northwestern 121
  • 12 - Notre Dame 129
  • 13 - A Holiday Feast 138
  • 14 - The Black Hills and the Badlands 148
  • 15 - Larry, Then the Holy Grail 157
  • 16 - Fans into Redshirts 165
  • 17 - Southern Illinois Surprise 175
  • 18 - Depauw and More 184
  • 19 - Five Games, Five Snapshots 194
  • 20 - Southern Illinois Redux 208
  • Part Four - The Aces Triumph 217
  • 21 - The NCAA Regional 219
  • 22 - The NCAA Finals 231
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