Kentucky Basketball: The 5 Most Deadly Post Players in Wildcats History
The University of Kentucky possesses perhaps the most storied history in all of college basketball.
If you can think of any team college basketball record the NCAA keeps track of, the Wildcats probably are on the top of that list.
They are No. 1 in NCAA history for most all-time wins (2,052), NCAA tournament appearances (51) and NCAA tournament wins (105), and there are many other prestigious records the Wildcats own.
However, a big part of the Wildcats' historic success has been their dominant post players.
Kentucky seemingly overcomes their opponents with outstanding low-post offense and defense year in and year out. Although there are so many post players from the University of Kentucky who deserve recognition, here are my five best post players in all of Kentucky basketball history.
5. Chuck Hayes (2001-2005)
Although very undersized at 6'6", Chuck Hayes was an outstanding post player for the Kentucky Wildcats from 2001-2005.
In his time at Kentucky, Hayes was named to the All-SEC Freshman Team in 2002 and was also named the 2004 SEC Defensive Player of the Year.
Hayes was a crucial part of Kentucky's dominance during those four years. He helped lead the Wildcats to an 87-15 record during his four years, and Kentucky finished in top 10 of the final AP rankings three times.
For his career, Hayes finished seventh on the school's all-time rebounding list with 910 career rebounds. He also placed eighth in steals, ninth in blocked shots and also tied a school record for most consecutive starts with 110.
Hayes was a player who contributed in multiple categories for the Wildcats and provided some of the most consistent low-post play in Wildcats history.
4. Bob Burrow (1954-1956)
Bob Burrow could easily be the best rebounder in the history of Kentucky Wildcats basketball.
He only played basketball at Kentucky for two years, but his impact was greatly felt. In those two years, Burrow was a two-time All-American, and the Wildcats had a combined record of 43-9.
Burrow's junior season was a remarkable first impression for the power forward. He averaged 17.7 rebounds per game in his junior season, which is a Kentucky record. He then averaged only 14.6 rebounds per game in his senior season.
Burrow holds the third-most rebounds in a single season at Kentucky with 459, not to mention he had a career scoring average of 20.0 PPG.
Simply put, Burrow was an outstanding force down low with his rebounding and excellent scoring ability. Consequently, the Wildcats retired his No. 50 jersey after he left.
3. Cliff Hagan (1950-1954)
Cliff Hagan was one the program's most dominating players during the 1950's.
In 1951, Hagan led the Wildcats to a National Championship as a sophomore.
He was also another rebounding machine for the Wildcats during his career. Hagan holds the school's third-most career rebounding total with 1,035, which averages out to 13.4 rebounds per game. His 13.4 rebounds per game is also second-best in Kentucky history.
Hagan was also a threat with his scoring ability, too. He ranks seventh on the school's all-time scoring average list with 19.2 PPG, and he scored a career total of 1,475 points.
Hagan was recognized nationally for his outstanding play by being named an All-American two times in his career.
2. Bill Spivey (1949-1951)
Bill Spivey had a terrific career while he was at the University of Kentucky, leading the Wildcats to SEC Championships and also the 1951 NCAA Championship.
Spivey was one of the school's most prolific scorers. He averaged 19.3 PPG, which ranks him sixth all time.
Not to mention, Spivey was also relentless on the boards.
He currently holds the school record for most rebounds in a single season with 567. The next closest to him is Cliff Hagan with 528.
After winning the National Championship in 1951, Spivey was named to the All-American Team and All-SEC Team for the second consecutive year, and was also named the Most Outstanding Player in the 1951 Final Four.
Unfortunately, Spivey's college career was halted by the point shaving scandal in 1951, which forced the Wildcats to forfeit their 1952 season. Spivey was not allowed to return back to Kentucky and was kept out of the NBA for several years before settling a lawsuit with the NBA.
Nevertheless, Spivey was one of the top post players in Kentucky basketball history.
1. Dan Issel (1966-1970)
Dan Issel is the best post player in Kentucky basketball history.
His deadly combination of scoring and defense made Issel a dominating presence in the low post.
He is the school's all-time leading scorer with 2,138 points and a 25.8 PPG average. He also held the record for most points scored in a game by a Kentucky player with 51 points, but that record was broken in 2009 by Jodie Meeks, who scored 54 points against Tennessee.
Issel also helped the Wildcats at the free-throw line. He ranks second in school history, converting 488 free throws out of 661 attempts.
Along with being the school's all-time leading scorer, Issel is also the school's leading rebounder. In his career, he grabbed 1,078 rebounds with a 12.9 RPG average.
Issel was named to the All-American team twice in his career, along with numerous conference awards.
Simply put, Issel dominated almost every category pertinent to a low post-player, making him the school's best post player in the program's history.