The 100 Greatest WVU Men’s Basketball Players Of All-Time: No. 70-66

In this 21-part series, I’ll count down the 100 greatest Mountaineer men’s basketball players of all-time.

Admittedly this list is not scientific. It is completely subjective, and obviously opinions may differ. Please feel free to visit our message boards at BlueGoldNews.com to provide your own thoughts on this list, either pro or con.

Below is another installment in this lengthy series with a count down from No. 70-66.

Previous Top Players

100-96    95-91     90-86     85-81    80-76    75-71

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66 – Greg Nance (1978-81)– Along with fellow forwards Donnie Gipson and Dennis Hosey, the 6-foot-8 Nance was part of Joedy Gardner’s final freshman recruiting class while coaching the Mountaineers. Nance wouldn’t do much for Gardner in his first season at WVU, averaging 0.5 points and 1.1 rebounds per game as a freshman, but he became an increasingly important piece to the puzzle when Gale Catlett arrived at West Virginia. The Mountaineers hadn’t enjoyed a 20-win season since 1963, but Nance’s solid play, along with the flashy scoring from guards like Lowe Moore and then Greg Jones, lifted WVU back up the ladder. Nance emerged as a starter in his sophomore season, averaging 7.4 points and 5.2 rebounds per game in helping West Virginia to a 16-12 mark. The Mountaineers were 15-14 in 1979-80, as the Washington, D.C., native led the team in rebounding (7.6), and he also scored 12.8 points per game. As a senior, Nance again led WVU in rebounding (7.1) and scored 10.9 points per game, as the club finished 23-10 and made it to the semifinals of the NIT in the program’s first postseason tournament appearance in over a decade. Nance finished his career at West Virginia with 920 points, 600 rebounds and 61 blocked shots.

67 – Jaysean Paige (2015-16)– The 6-foot-2, 210-pound guard was part of two outstanding Mountaineer basketball teams that each won at least 25 games and earned spots in the NCAA Tournaments. A native of Jamestown, New York, (which is also home of Lucille Ball), Paige spent two years in the junior college ranks after high school. He initially committed to Southern Miss, but when the Golden Eagles underwent a coaching change, he reopened his recruitment, which ultimately brought him to coach Bob Huggins’ Mountaineers. Paige was a member of a very balanced WVU squad in 2014-15, as nine Mountaineers averaged more than four points per game, topped by Juwan Staten’s 14.2. Paige started nine games early that season, but eventually found a comfortable role coming off the bench. He averaged 5.6 points per game that season and accumulated 37 steals in helping West Virginia to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. Though he remained WVU’s sixth man the next season, he was the Mountaineers’ offensive leader, averaging 13.7 points per game, while making 32.3% of his 3-point attempts and finishing second on the squad in both assists (98) and steals (53). Though West Virginia spent a good portion of that year ranked in the top 10 and finished with a 26-9 record, Paige’s senior season concluded in disappointment, as the Mountaineers suffered a first-round NCAA upset loss at the hands of Stephen F. Austin. Paige was voted the Big 12’s Sixth Man of the Year and also second-team all-conference his senior season. After graduating from WVU, Paige spent three seasons playing professionally overseas before moving back to the U.S. as a member of the NBA G League. This past January he was called up to the NBA’s Detroit Pistons on a 10-day contract.

68 – Clayce Kishbaugh (1955-57)– A native of Clarksburg, where he was a first-team all-state player for Roosevelt Wilson High School in 1953, Kishbaugh was front and center for a golden era of Mountaineer basketball. He entered WVU the same year as Hot Rod Hundley, and by their senior season (1956-57), they would be joined by four others who would make this top 100 list (Lloyd Sharrar, Don Vincent, Bob Smith and Joedy Gardner), as well as two additional players who would eventually be enshrined into the WVU Sports Hall of Fame (Ronnie Retton and Bucky Bolyard). In that group, especially with Hundley and Sharrar, Kishbaugh wasn’t going to be the leading scorer, but he still was a do-it-all guard who could put the ball in the basket when necessary (he averaged 10.8 points per game in his three seasons on the varsity), and also rebound (287 in his career), defend and distribute the ball. Playing for coach Fred Schaus, he was on three varsity clubs that amassed a 65-25 total record, won the Southern Conference tournament three straight years and went to the NCAA Tournament three straight as well. WVU had never been to the NCAA’s prior to Kishbaugh’s arrival. After his days in Morgantown, Kishbaugh became a school teacher and eventually a principal in Zanesville, Ohio. He passed away in 2012.

Former Mountaineer great Tyrone Sally took in a recent WVU game

69 – Tyrone Sally (2002-05)– A 6-foot-7 forward from Chesterfield, Virginia, Sally was part of an incredible transition in Mountaineer basketball, experiencing both tremendous lows and incredible highs. Coming out of the prep ranks, Sally was part of a ballyhooed freshman class for the Mountaineers in 2001 that also featured blue-chip recruits Jonathan Hargett and Drew Schifino. Sally was the only one of that trio that stayed at WVU through his senior year. Despite all that young talent, West Virginia fell apart in 2001-02 campaign. A 7-2 start to the season was followed by a 1-18 free fall in what would be coach Gale Catlett’s final year on the bench. John Beilein took over as head coach the next year, and he immediately began rebuilding the program. Sally was a huge part of that rebuild. After averaging 4.4 points per game as a freshman, he upped that to 8.3 as a sophomore, 10.2 as a junior and 12.2 as a senior. The team improved with him, as it was 14-15 in Beilein’s first season and was 17-14 with an NIT berth in the second. The best for Sally was saved for last, as his senior year, with the likes of Kevin Pittsnoggle, Joe Herber and Mike Gansey now at his side, saw the Mountaineers finish with a 24-11 mark, make runs to the Big East championship game and the NCAA’s Elite Eight, where it was a 93-85 overtime loss to Louisville away from the Final Four. Sally averaged 12.2 points per game his senior year. His block of a shot by Crieghton’s Nate Funk on one end and then dunk on the other with time winding down was the difference in WVU’s 63-61 first-round NCAA win. He had 21 points two nights later in a double-overtime upset of Chris Paul and No. 5 Wake Forest. Sally finished his college career with 1,092 points, 137 steals and 513 rebounds. After graduating from West Virginia, he spent a decade playing professional basketball, a stint that saw him lead the Dutch Basketball League in scoring with an average of 18.4 points per game for the Rotterdam Feyenoord in 2011-12. Sally has worked as a high school coach since his playing days concluded.

70 – Bob Hummell (1968-70)– A 6-foot-3 guard from Moundsville, West Virginia, Bob “Hummer” Hummell was a backcourt complement to two of the greatest offensive threats in Mountaineer basketball history. In Hummell’s first of three seasons on the varsity, he emerged as a starter alongside Fritz Williams. With Williams averaging 20.4 points per game in his senior season and Hummell posting 12.9 as a sophomore, they helped lead coach Bucky Waters’ squad to a 19-9 record and a spot in the NIT. With Williams off to the NBA in 1968-69, Hummell took over as WVU’s top scorer, averaging 15.5 points per game to go along with 3.0 assists. In Hummell’s senior season, as the Mountaineers moved into the new WVU Coliseum, he again shared the backcourt with another talented guard, as Wil Robinson joined the varsity for his sophomore campaign. With Robinson averaging 20.0 points per game for new head coach Sonny Moran, Hummell contributed 14.0 ppg, though West Virginia, which was no longer a member of the Southern Conference, struggled (11-15) against an independent schedule filled with national powers. Hummell finished his career with 1,117 points for an average of 14.1 per game. At the time of his graduation, Hummer was just the eighth Mountaineer to reach the 1,000-point mark, and he’s still No. 39 on that list. After graduating from WVU, Hummell was a coach and teacher for several years before moving into private business.

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  • #184061

    In this 21-part series, I’ll count down the 100 greatest Mountaineer men’s basketball players of all-time. Admittedly this list is not scientific. It
    [See the full post at: The 100 Greatest WVU Men’s Basketball Players Of All-Time: No. 70-66]

    #184098

    I knew Sally had the dunk to beat Creighton, but didn’t realize he also had the block.  He had to be really moving on that one, as the ball never touched the floor on the break.  Incredible.  Has to be one of my favorite Mountaineer memories.

    #184104

    The Sally block and then Pittsnogle’s pass to Gansey who passes to Sally for the game-winning dunk is one of the greatest plays in Mountaineer basketball history.

     

    #184107

    Definitely!

    #184108

    Early 2000s some of the greatest basketball at WVU in modern times, and some of the most memorable players and plays. Pittsnogle for threeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!! 👍

    #184109

    Also, great hustle by Sally on the prior play to save the ball to Gansey for a score.  Terrific player, terrific effort.

    #184110

    No dribbles.  It was great!

    #184111

    You’ve been Pittsnogled.  One of the greatest lines ever.

    #184113

    Early 2000s some of the greatest basketball at WVU in modern times, and some of the most memorable players and plays. Pittsnogle for threeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!! 👍

    Really didn’t start being great until 2005 just like the football team. JB 31-29 in his first 2 season. Then 2005 through 2007 JB was 73-31. Big turn around that could have been a disaster if not getting JB as head coach..

    Bob Huggins has continued that success and then some with his physical style of coaching.

     

    #184115

    need to show those replays to present players…about hussle and never giving  up…

    #184120
    JAL

    Really enjoying this series.  never really thought about not having a 20 win season from 1963 to 1981.

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Home Page forums The 100 Greatest WVU Men’s Basketball Players Of All-Time: No. 70-66

Home Page forums The 100 Greatest WVU Men’s Basketball Players Of All-Time: No. 70-66