ACC Announces the 2011 Men's Basketball Tournament Legends Class
Jan. 25, 20112011 ACC Men's Basketball Legends Photo Gallery
GREENSBORO, N.C.—Two former head coaches who combined for four NCAA Final Four appearances, the 1966 ACC Player of the Year, one of the centerpieces of NC State’s historic 1983 national Championship team, a member of the ACC’s 50th Anniversary team headline the 2011 ACC Basketball Tournament Legends Class announced today by the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Longtime North Carolina assistant and head coach Bill Guthridge and former Florida State player and head coach Hugh Durham each guided a pair of NCAA Final Four teams as head coaches. Former Duke guard Steve Vacendak (Scranton, Pa.) was the ACC’s 1966 Player of the Year as well as MVP of the ACC Tournament that year in leading the Blue Devils to the ACC Championship and a berth in the NCAA Final Four. NC State’s Thurl Bailey (Seat Pleasant, Md.), earned first-team All-ACC honors and led the Wolfpack in scoring and rebounding in its star-crossed 1983 National Championship season. Maryland’s Len Elmore (Springfield Gardens, N.Y.), selected as one of the ACC’s Top 50 players on its 50th Anniversary team in 2003, was one of the central figures in the Terps’ 1974 ACC Tournament Championship Game, a contest universally regarded as the greatest ACC basketball game ever played.
In all, this year’s Legends contingent includes seven former NBA Draft selections—including three first-round picks—two All-Americas, three All-ACC selections, four players or coaches who appeared in a total of 19 NCAA Final Fours and seven former players who accounted for a total of 58 years of professional basketball experience.
Joining them as Legends for the 2011 ACC Tournament are Boston College guard Michael Adams (Hartford, Conn.), a three-time All-Big East selection and a veteran of 11 NBA seasons; former Clemson swingman Greg Buckner (Hopkinsville, Ky.), who is the first Clemson player to lead his team to four consecutive post-season tournaments; Georgia Tech forward-center John “Spider” Salley (Brooklyn, N.Y.), a 2nd-team NABC All-America and one of the key figures of Georgia Tech’s emergence as a national basketball power under former coach Bobby Cremins; and former Miami forward Eric Brown (Brooklyn, N.Y.), the Hurricanes’ second-leading career scorer who helped former UM Coach Bill Foster resurrect the Miami program.
Completing the 2011 ACC Basketball Tournament Legends class are Virginia’s Chris Williams (Birmingham, Ala.), a prolific scoring forward on the Cavaliers’ teams of the early 2000’s; Virginia Tech’s Wayne Robinson (Greensboro, N.C.), a prototypical power forward/center for the Tech teams of the late 1970’s and Wake Forest’s Robert O’Kelley (Memphis, Tenn.), a prolific scoring backcourtman for the Deacons who was the 1998 ACC Rookie of the Year.
The Legends will be honored at this year’s ACC’s Men’s Basketball Tournament in Greensboro, N. C., March 10-13. They will be feted at the annual ACC Legends Brunch, which will be held Saturday, March 12, beginning at 10 a.m. at the Sheraton Four Seasons Hotel, and, later that day, will be introduced to the Greensboro Coliseum crowd at halftime of the first semifinal game. Ticket information for the ACC Legends Brunch is available on the ACC website at theACC.com.
Guthridge (1967-2000) served as an assistant to the legendary Dean Smith for 30 years before getting his own chance at running the program in Chapel Hill. During his time as Smith’s top aide he helped the Tar Heels win 845 games and appear in 28 NCAA Tournaments, 10 NCAA Final Fours as well as winning national championships in 1982 and 1993. He also served as one of Smith’s assistant coaches for the 1976 U.S. Olympic team which won the gold medal in Montreal. Taking over the UNC head coaching duties after 1997-98 after Smith’s retirement, Guthridge then posted a three-year record of 80-28 (.741), the 5th-best percentage mark in ACC history. He led UNC to Final Four berths in 1998 and 2000, and winning percentage of .727 in the NCAA Tournament, the 4th-best by an ACC head coach. Named consensus National Coach of the Year in 1998, he led the Tar Heels to the ACC title that year. He is one of only nine coaches in NCAA history who have taken a team to the NCAA Final Four in their first year as a head coach. A native of Parsons, Kansas, he lettered three seasons at Kansas State, helping the Wildcats to an NCAA Final Four berth in 1958. He later spent five seasons as an assistant coach under Tex Winter—helping the Wildcats to another Final Four berth in 1964—before coming to Chapel Hill to coach under Smith. As a player, assistant coach and head coach Guthridge participated in a record 14 NCAA Final Fours. Guthridge currently resides in Chapel Hill, N.C.
Durham (1955-78) spent a total of 24 seasons at Florida State as a player, assistant coach and head coach. He finished his playing career in 1959, averaging 18.9 points a game for his career and his 1,381 points still ranks 16th on the Seminoles’ career scoring list. After spending five years as an assistant coach, he took over the head coaching responsibilities in 1966-67, guiding the ‘Noles to a 229-96 (.705) 12-year record, still the second-highest amount of wins in FSU history. He led three Florida State teams to the NCAA Tournament, including the 1971-72 squad which posted a 27-6 record, finished the regular season ranked 10th nationally and reached the NCAA National Championship Game against UCLA. In 37 seasons as a head coach at Florida State, Georgia and Jacksonville, he posted a record of 633-429 (.596) and currently ranks 29th on the all-time NCAA coaching list for career victories. He is one of 12 coaches who have taken two different teams to the Final Four, also guiding Georgia there in 1983. A native of Louisville, Ky., Durham currently resides in Jacksonville, Fla.
Vacendak (1964-66), a standout guard for the Duke teams of Coach Vic Bubas in the mid-1960’s, was named second-team All-ACC in both 1965 and 1966. In his three-year varsity career, he helped lead the Blue Devils to a 72-14 record and a pair of NCAA Final Four appearances. In 1964 Duke reached the NCAA Championship Game before falling to UCLA. In 1966, he was named the ACC Player of the Year leading the Blue Devils to a 26-4 record including the ACC title and a berth in the NCAA Final Four. Vacendak was also named the MVP of the ACC Tournament that year as the Blue Devils finished third nationally, advancing to the national semifinals before losing to Kentucky, but defeating Utah in the consolation game. He was selected in the 4th round of the 1966 NBA Draft by the San Francisco Warriors but played three seasons in the American Basketball Association with the Pittsburgh and Minnesota Pipers and the Miami Floridians. He also spent time as an Assistant Athletic Director at Duke and as Director of Athletics and Head Basketball Coach at Winthrop College. A native of Scranton, Pa., he currently lives in Raleigh, N.C.
Bailey (1980-83) lettered four seasons for NC State, starting the last three under Coach Jim Valvano. A 6-11 power forward, Bailey helped the Wolfpack to three NCAA Tournament appearances and a four-year record of 82-41. A first-team All-ACC selection in 1983, he earned 2nd-team honors in 1982. He led State in scoring and rebounding for three consecutive seasons (1981-83). An accomplished shot blocker, Bailey had 207 blocks in his career, which still ranks 23rd on the ACC career list. As a senior, he helped lead NC State’s Cardiac Pack to a Cinderella season as the Wolfpack finished 26-10. That year State won its final 10 games, many of them in the last seconds to capture the ACC Championship and the NCAA title over Houston in one of the NCAA Tournaments greatest upsets. That year, he was named to the NCAA All-Final Four Team. A first-round choice of the Utah Jazz in the 1983 NBA Draft, Bailey enjoyed a 12-year NBA career with the Jazz and Minnesota Timberwolves and also played four years professionally overseas. Originally a native of Seat Pleasant, Md., he now resides in Salt Lake City, Utah, where he is an analyst on the Utah Jazz radio network.
Elmore (1972-74) started all three seasons at center for Maryland for Coach Lefty Driesell and is still the Terrapins’ all-time leading rebounder with 1,053 career rebounds and a 12.2 average. He earned first-team All-ACC honors as a senior in 1974 as well as 2nd-team All-ACC accolades as a sophomore (1972) and junior (1973). In 1974, he was a first-team All-America choice by both Converse and the NABC and a second-team choice by the Associated Press as he led the ACC in rebounding (14.7). He helped the Terps record a three-year record of 73-18, an NCAA Tournament berth in 1973 and the championship of the NIT in 1972. In 1974, Maryland, then ranked 4th nationally, dropped a 103-100 overtime game to top-ranked NC State in the Championship of the ACC Tournament. That game is recognized as the greatest game in ACC history. His career rebounding average of 12.2 per game ranks 14th among all ACC players.. Elmore was a first-round selection of the Washington Bullets in the 1974 NBA Draft, but chose to begin his professional career with two years with the Indiana Pacers of the ABA. He then spent eight seasons in the NBA with Indiana, Kansas City, Milwaukee, the New Jersey Nets and the New York Knicks. After the conclusion of his professional career, he attended and graduated from Harvard Law School and has served as a lawyer and college basketball TV analyst for CBS, ESPN and ABC. Elmore is also the CEO of iHoops, an organization founded to improve the quality of youth basketball in the United States. Originally a native of Springfield Gardens, N.Y., he currently lives in New York City.
Adams (1982-85) lettered four seasons and started three at guard for Boston College under then-coach Gary Williams. He helped the Eagles to a four-year record of 85-40 including one NIT and three NCAA Tournament appearances. A three-time, second-team All-Big East selection in 1983, 84 and 85, he was also an NABC All-District honoree in the same years. He still ranks 12th on the Boston College career scoring list with 1,650 points, averaging 13.9 points a game, is 7th on the BC career assist list with 475 assists and is the Eagles’ all-time leader in steals with 275. A third-round selection of the Sacramento Kings in the 1985 NBA Draft, he went on to an 11-year professional career in which he scored 9,621 career points and had 4,209 assists with Sacramento, Washington, Denver and Charlotte. A native of Hartford, Conn., he currently resides in Bowie, Md.
Buckner (1995-98) is the only player in Clemson history and only the fifth player in ACC history to lead the Tigers in scoring in each of his four collegiate seasons. He helped the Tigers of Coach Rick Barnes post a four-year record of 74-48 which includes four post season appearances including NCAA Tournament berths in 1996, 1997 and 1998. As a senior, Buckner helped lead the Tigers to a berth in the NCAA’s Sweet 16. He earned 2nd-team All-ACC honors in 1997 and 1998. In 1994-95 he led the Tigers in field goal percentage (.526) and in steals. He currently ranks 4th on Clemson’s scoring list with 1,754 points and a 14.4 career per-game average. He is tied with former Clemson standout Eldon Campbell for the most double-figure scoring games in Clemson history with 97 and he ranks 3rd at Clemson in career starts and 7th in career steals (179). In 1995 he became the first Clemson player to be named ACC Rookie of the Year. He was also named to the NABC All-District first team in 1997 and its 2nd team in 1998. The physical guard was a 2nd-round selection of the Dallas Mavericks in the 1998 NBA Draft. He then enjoyed a 10-year career in the NBA with Dallas, Philadelphia, Denver, Minnesota and Memphis. Originally a native of Hopkinsville, Ky., he now resides in Carrollton, Texas.
Salley (1983-86) paired with Tech All-America Mark Price during the 1983 through 1986 seasons to bring Georgia Tech to national prominence under then head coach Bobby Cremins. Salley helped lead the Rambling Wreck to a four-year record of 85-41, including back-to-back 27-win seasons and NCAA Tournament berths in 1985 and 1986 as well as Georgia Tech’s first ACC Championship in 1985. A 7-foot power forward with small forward skills, Salley was a second-team All-ACC honoree in 1985 and 1986 and earned 2nd-team All-America honors by the NABC in 1986. Nicknamed “Spider”, Salley led the ACC in field goal percentage in 1985 (.627) and still ranks 18th on the ACC career list with a .587 percentage. An excellent defender, he also blocked 243 shots, which ranks 15th on the ACC career list. A first-round choice by the Detroit Pistons in the 1986 NBA draft, he enjoyed an 11-year professional career with Detroit, Miami, Chicago, Toronto and the L.A. Lakers. In all, he was a part of four NBA Championship teams in Detroit (2), Chicago and Los Angeles. A graduate of Georgia Tech, he had his jersey retired by the school in 1988. Since his basketball career ended in 2000, he has pursued a career in entertainment, serving as an actor and host on a variety of movies and TV shows. Originally a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., he now resides in Los Angeles.
Brown (1986-89) is the second-leading scorer in Miami history, scoring 2,270 points in a four-year career trailing only former All-America and all-NBA star Rick Barry. Brown opted to help former UM head coach Bill Foster restart the Miami basketball program in 1985 after a 14-year hiatus. A 6-6 forward, he helped the Hurricanes post a 65-56 record including a 19-12 mark in his final season. During his career at Miami, he scored 30 points on nine occasions and topped the 20-point mark no fewer than 54 times. He still is the career leader at UM in field goal percentage, having made .535 of his shots from the floor. He also still ranks second in career free throws made. His 24.7 scoring average as a senior in 1989 is still the fifth-highest by a Hurricane player. Originally a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Brown currently lives in Homestead. Fla.
Williams (1999-02), a 6-7 performer who could play either the small or power forward position, still ranks 8th on Virginia’s career scoring list. Williams scored 1,812 points, shooting better than 50 percent from the field in each of his four seasons with the Cavaliers under then head coach Pete Gillen. A four-year starter, he helped the Cavaliers compile a 70-49 record. The 1999 ACC Rookie of the Year, he also earned ACC All-Freshmen honors in 1999 and was a third-team All-ACC selection in both 1999 and 2001 and a second-team pick in 2000. In 1999 he led the Cavaliers in field goal percentage (.512) and rebounding (7.5). A year later in 2000, he led Virginia in scoring (15.5) and was second in rebounding. Prior to the start of this season, he was still tied for third in steals (189), and ranked seventh in rebounding (786), field goals made (650) and blocked shots (97) on Virginia's career lists. A native of Birmingham, Ala., he currently lives in Hoover, Ala.
Robinson (1977-80), a versatile 6-9 player who alternated between power forward and center, he was a low-post presence for Head Coach Charlie Moir for the Tech teams of the late 1970’s. Robinson, who led Tech in rebounding for three consecutive seasons in 1978 (9.2), 1979 (9.1) and 1980 (8.2), helped the Hokies record an 81-35 record including one NIT and two NCAA Tournament appearances. Robinson helped lead Tech to the 1979 Metro Conference Championship and still ranks 26th on Tech’s all-time scoring list with 1,283 career points. He is eighth in career rebounding (852) and eighth in career field goal percentage (.517). Drafted in the second round of the 1980 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Lakers, he played in 81 games with the Detroit Pistons in his only NBA season, averaging 7.9 points a game. He later played seven seasons professionally in Europe. Robinson, now an ordained minister, resides in his hometown of Greensboro, N.C.
O’Kelley (1998-01), one of the top three-point shooters in ACC history, helped lead the Deacons to four consecutive post season tournament appearances from 1998 through 2001. As a four-year starter, he helped the Demon Deacons compile a four-year record of 74-53 which included one NCAA Tournament appearance (2001), one NIT national championship (2000) and two other NIT appearances. He played three seasons (1998-2000) for former Wake Forest head coach Dave Odom and one year (2001) for the late Skip Prosser. O’Kelley still ranks 11th on the ACC’s and 3rd on Wake Forest’s career three-point field goal list with 288. He also ranks 9th on the Deacons’ career scoring list with 1,885 points and topped double figures in scoring 101 times in his career. The 1998 ACC Rookie of the Year, O’Kelley led Wake Forest in scoring as a freshman (1998) and sophomore (1999) and in three-point field goals made in each of his four varsity seasons. He also earned 2nd-team All-ACC honors in 1999. A durable player, O’Kelley ranks third on Wake’s career list of minutes played with 4,012 and is 7th in career starts with 108. After leaving Wake Forest, he played professionally in Europe, Iceland and Brazil, and retired in 2006. He is currently living in his hometown of Memphis, Tenn. and is serving as a recreation sports ministry director at the Second Presbyterian Church in Memphis.