100 Seasons Of UMass Basketball All-Time Team Of 1970s Announced
Oct. 29, 2008
AMHERST, Mass. - The All-Time Teams of the 100 Seasons Of UMass Basketball continue to be released with the 1970s squad on Wednesday. This squad, selected by a media panel, is headed by Basketball Hall of Famer Julius Erving. He is joined by Johnny Murphy, Mike Pyatt, Al Skinner and Jim Town. The 1970s players will be honored on Jan. 17 when UMass hosts Temple on ESPN2 at 7 p.m.
Julius Erving (1970-71) is unquestionably, the greatest known athlete in UMass history. Simply to the world as "Dr. J," he played basketball for two seasons under legendary head coach and fellow UMass Hall of Famer Jack Leaman from 1969-71. During his two seasons, Erving averaged an incredible 26.3 points and 20.2 rebounds per contest. Incredibly, only once in his 52 career games did he fail to record a double-double. Erving turned pro following his junior year, but not before leading UMass to two Yankee Conference titles and its first two appearances in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT). He set UMass records, both of which have since been broken, in both scoring (1,370 points) and rebounding (1,049), in just two seasons. Erving went on to become one of the greatest players in both ABA and NBA history, leading the then New York Nets to ABA titles in 1974 and 1976, and the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers to the 1983 NBA championship. He was inducted into the UMass Hall of Fame in 1980, and the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993.
Johnny Murphy (1973-75) was the 1975 Yankee Conference Player of the Year a senior, averaging 17.9 points per game and 9.3 rebounds per contest. He was drafted by the NBA's Chicago Bulls. Murphy was named to the 1974 First Team All-Yankee Conference as a junior after averaging 15.4 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. He scored his career-high of 31 in a win over UConn in that 1973-74 season. He stands 23rd in career scoring with 1,184 points.
Mike Pyatt (1975-78) ranks as the ninth all-time leading scorer in UMass history with 1,503 points. which was the school record when he graduated. In 1978, with 16.8 points and 6.4 rebounds per game, Pyatt was named first team All-New England and All-Atlantic 10 Second Team. He was honored as a First Team All-Yankee Conference member in 1976 as a sophomore with 15.6 points per game. Pyatt was an NABC All-District player for three years as well.
Al Skinner (1972-74) was a three-time All-Yankee Conference selection in each varsity season. Skinner led the team in rebounding from 1972-74, totaling 749 boards. He set a school record for highest career field goal percentage at UMass (.557), as well as in a single-season (.620), records he held for nearly 20 years. He helped UMass to two Yankee Conference titles. He led the league in scoring in 1974, averaging 18.7 points per game. He was the eighth player in school history to join the 1,000-point club, finishing his career with 1,235 points. Upon completion of his UMass career, Skinner went on to play professionally. A ninth-round draft pick by the Celtics in 1974, Skinner wound up playing for the New York Nets of the American Basketball Association, where he was named to the ABA's All-Rookie team. Upon completion of his playing career, Skinner went into coaching. Currently, Skinner serves as the head coach at Boston College.
Jim Town (1975-77) was the 1975 MVP of the Yankee Conference as he averaged 14.9 points and 12.4 rebounds per game. He was also a member of the 1975 First Team All-Yankee Conference. He was a second-team All-ECBL in 1977 with 16.2 points and 11.2 rebounds per game. He ranks sixth in career rebounds with 879 in just three seasons. His 10.6 rebound average is also sixth. Town grabbed an amazing 27 rebounds against Boston College in 1976, just the third player in school history with that many in a single game. He scored 1,211 points, to rank tied for 20th in school history. He was drafted by the Denver Nuggets in the sixth round.
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