The 100 Greatest WVU Men’s Basketball Players Of All-Time: No. 75-71

Seldon Jefferson

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. 75-71.

Previous Top Players

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

Get all of our print editions with your subscription today!

* * * * * *

71 – Tracy Shelton (1989-93)– An explosive guard from Oak Hill, West Virginia, Shelton overcame injury to score 1,316 points in his Mountaineer career. After being the state’s high school player of the year in 1986, where he averaged 26.4 points per game for the Red Devils, the 6-foot Shelton spent a year at Fork Union (Va.) Military Academy before joining Gale Catlett’s Mountaineers. He was a key reserve as a freshman, averaging 6.5 points per game in helping WVU to a 26-5 record and the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Taking over as a starter in the backcourt the next year after the graduation of Herbie Brooks, Shelton became West Virginia’s leading scorer as a sophomore, posting 17.8 points a game, as well as 64 assists. He was voted second-team all-Atlantic 10 for his performance that year. Shelton suffered a wrist injury early in the 1990-91 season, though, and ultimately redshirted after playing just five games. He returned to action in the 1991-92 season, but the scoring prowess he displayed as a sophomore wasn’t the same in his final two seasons at WVU. He averaged 6.8 points per game as a redshirt junior and 12.2 as a fifth-year senior. After surpassing the 20-point mark 12 times in his sophomore season, he did so just five more times the rest of his career. Still, he concluded his days at West Virginia as the program’s 14thleading scorer at the time (1,316 career points), and he remains 24thon that list today.

72 – Willie Bergines (1953-56) –Like other Mountaineers of the ’50, Bergines often gets lost in the large shadows cast by Mark Workman, Hot Rod Hundley and Jerry West, but make no mistake that the 6-foot-6 forward from Beckley, West Virginia, was a huge part of WVU’s fortunes during that period. Though he could score (773 career points, 7.3 per game), Bergines strength was rebounding. He was the first Mountaineer to record more than 800 rebounds, and his career total of 1,025 boards remains fifth in West Virginia history behind such illustrious names as West (1,240), Lloyd Sharrar (1,178), Warren Baker (1,070) and Kevin Jones (1,048). He had 21 rebounds in a game against Penn State in 1953. Only nine other individuals at WVU have bettered that mark in a single game. A prep star at Beckley’s Woodrow Wilson High School, who led the Flying Eagles to state championships in 1951 and ’52, Bergines eventually settled with his family in Santa Clara, California. He passed away in 2019.

73 – Steve Berger (1987-90)– A rock-solid 5-foot-11, 170-pound point guard from Boomer, West Virginia, Berger was the perfect combination of scorer, playmaker and defender who was key to WVU’s late ‘80s success. He helped the Mountaineers to a pair of NCAA Tournament berths (1987 and ’89), which included a run to the second round in 1989 where WVU fell in a 70-63 heartbreaker to Duke. Besides scoring 1,262 points in his 122 games at West Virginia, which included 90 starts, Berger also handed out 574 assists. That still remains the top assist mark in WVU history. A graduate of Valley (Fayette) High who spent a year at Fort Union (Va.) Military Academy before becoming a Mountaineer, Berger was a member of the Atlantic 10’s all-freshman team in 1987, a first-team all-A10 selection in 1980 and a second-team choice in 1990.

WVU Coliseum

74 – Seldon Jefferson (1995-97)– The 6-foot-3 point guard came to West Virginia University from Brooklyn as a highly-regarded recruit in the fall of 1993. It took a little while for Jefferson to get things going, as academic shortcomings coming out of Bishop Loughlin High School kept him off the court his freshman campaign. When he finally donned a Mountaineer uniform, though, he immediately became a force. He led WVU in scoring in two of his three seasons – 14.9 per game in 1994-95 and 15.6 in 1996-97 – and served as team captain both his junior and senior years. In his three years playing for West Virginia, he scored 1,168 points, handed out 386 assists (the 13thmost in school history) and came away with 151 steals (15th). His best game statistically came in his final college win at the WVU Coliseum. In a duel with Bowling Green’s Antonio Daniels, who would go on to a 15-year NBA career, Jefferson scored a career-high 29 points, hitting 13 of 18 field-goal attempts, in leading the Mountaineers to a thrilling 98-95 win over the Falcons in the opening round of the NIT. Daniels’ 38 points (the sixth-most by an opponent in Coliseum history) may have won the head-to-head matchup, but Jefferson gained the team victory. Seldon returned to NYC after graduating from WVU and has worked in education and coaching for the last 25 years.

75 – Red Holmes (1952-54)– A 6-foot-1 guard from Charleston, Holmes was one of WVU’s top offensive threats in the years between Mark Workman (1950-52) and Hot Rod Hundley (1955-57). Holmes was a part-time starter as a sophomore on a Workman-led team that finished 23-4 and won the Southern Conference regular-season title with a 15-1 mark when the league featured the likes of N.C. State, Duke, Clemson, Maryland, South Carolina, Wake Forest and North Carolina. The next year, on a WVU squad that was 19-7, Holmes took on a bigger role, averaging 10.1 points per game and starting 25 of WVU’s 26 contests. The following year he stepped up even more, averaging 14.4 points and a team-leading 4.9 assists per game. In his three seasons of varsity action, Holmes scored 783 points and was credited with 273 assists. His average of 3.64 assists per game remains the 14thbest mark in Mountaineer history. He was first-team all-Southern Conference as a senior in 1954.

Home Page forums The 100 Greatest WVU Men’s Basketball Players Of All-Time: No. 75-71

  • This topic has 0 replies, 1 voice, and was last updated by Greg Hunter.
Viewing 1 post (of 1 total)
Viewing 1 post (of 1 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Home Page forums The 100 Greatest WVU Men’s Basketball Players Of All-Time: No. 75-71

Home Page forums The 100 Greatest WVU Men’s Basketball Players Of All-Time: No. 75-71