The Dandy Dons: Bill Russell, K. C. Jones, Phil Woolpert, and One of College Basketball's Greatest and Most Innovative Teams

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-06-01
  • Publisher: Univ of Nebraska Pr

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In the mid-1950s three unrecruited black basketball players, coached by a white former prison guard who had never before coached a college team, led a small Jesuit university in San Francisco to two national titles.The Dandy Donsdescribes for the first time how the unprecedented accomplishment of the Dons, led by coach Phil Woolpert and future hall-of-famers Bill Russell and K. C. Jones, paved the way for black talent in major college basketball and transformed the sport. James W. Johnson traces the backgrounds of the coach and players, chronicles the heart-stopping games on the road to the championships, and details the Dons' novel techniques: a more vertical game, more central defense, and intimidation as part of game strategy. He also gives a textured picture of life on an integrated basketball team amid a culture of racism and Jim Crow in mid-twentieth-century America.

Author Biography

James W. Johnson is an emeritus professor of journalism at the University of Arizona in Tucson and the author of several books, including The Wow Boys: A Coach, a Team, and a Turning Point in College Football, available in a Bison Books edition.

Table of Contents

Preface: The Changing Gamep. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xix
Introductionp. xxi
Russell's Coming of Agep. 1
A Road Trip to Discoveryp. 9
On Catholic Schools and Racep. 15
Another Surprise Recruitp. 23
A School He'd Never Heard Ofp. 29
Roommates and Friends Foreverp. 35
Time to Producep. 45
A Disappointing Seasonp. 61
An Unlikely Coachp. 71
A Surprising Movep. 83
The Trail to the Titlep. 103
Russell Brings about Rule Changesp. 121
The Machine Rolls Onp. 129
Into the Deep Southp. 137
Holiday Travel and the Stallp. 145
Two in a Rowp. 161
A New Sport for Russellp. 175
The Aftermathp. 181
Epiloguep. 193
Notesp. 205
Bibliographyp. 237
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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