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Old 02-24-2008, 02:58 AM   #1
morgan n' 7
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Default Grady Wallace | Scoring's silent partner

Grady Wallace | Scoring's silent partner

By BOB SPEAR - bspear@thestate.com




If anyone had waited for Grady Wallace to talk about his basketball exploits, his career achievements at South Carolina would be no more than a few lines in the archives.

His skills did his talking.

In USC annals, Wallace, who died in 2006, owns the best career scoring average (28 points per game) and, for good measure, ranks second (12.8) in rebounding.

“He scored whenever and from wherever he wanted to,” says Bud Cronin, a former USC player who played in textile tournaments with Wallace after their college careers.

Wallace honed his shooting skills on a backyard court in Kentucky, came to USC from Pikeville Junior College and played two seasons (1956-57) for the Gamecocks. He gave a hint on his prowess with a 23.9 average the first year, then led the nation in scoring (31.2) his next season — and he did not have benefit of the 3-point goal.

“I came in and thought I would shut him down (in pick-up games),” Cronin said. “What a joke. He was as good as I have ever seen, and I grew up in West Virginia during the days of Jerry West and Hot Rod Hundley.”

Wallace, 6-foot-4 and 165 pounds in his playing days, had to be prodded to talk about his basketball exploits.

In a 2003 interview, he said he liked to recall USC’s 84-81 win over Duke in the 1957 ACC tournament.

“I can’t remember the exact numbers, but they were up by a substantial margin, and we had a little push in the second half and won,” he said.

Well, yes, Bob Fulton, USC’s longtime broadcaster says, the description is accurate — but sadly lacking in detail.

“Basically, Grady stood in the corner and tore the nets down,” Fulton says.

For the record, Wallace scored Carolina’s final 14 points to cap a 41-point game. He made a three-point play with 20 seconds remaining to put the Gamecocks ahead for good.

“He wasn’t a ball hog,” Cronin says. “He would go up for his jump shot and hang like he was on a hook. (The defender) would come down and he would still be up there, ready to shoot with the ball behind his head. He shot a lot like (Alex) English; you couldn’t block his (jump) shot.

“Years later, some of his co-workers did not know he played basketball. He was a humble superstar.”

Reach Sports Editor Bob Spear at (803) 771-8406.

http://www.thestate.com/gamecocks/story/323917.html
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Old 02-24-2008, 02:01 PM   #2
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Default Re: Grady Wallace | Scoring's silent partner

The best player we have ever had.
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