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Zag 77
01-26-2013, 07:11 PM
Elias Harris moved up to #4 on the career rebound list. I might be off by a few for him, but here is what I think his current career numbers look like compared to the others:

Jerry Vermillion (1952-55): 1670
Gary Lechman (1965-67): 910
Cory Violette (2001-04): 880
Elias Harris (2009-12): 870
Ronny Turiaf (2002-05) 859



Vermillion played 4 seasons, Lechman played 3. The others all played 4. Vermillion played 27 games a season and his career was before GU became Division 1.

If my math is right, that means that Vermillion must have averaged a robust 15.46 rebounds per game. (1670 divided by 4 seasons of 27 games).

I have already confessed I went to law school, not math school. That being said, it seems to me that Vermillion must have played in an era of a flat ball causing a lot of bricks, or his mom was keeping the stat book.

Anybody else think that Vermillion's rebound numbers are a bit suspect?


For point of comparison, Bill Russell is the WCC career rebound leader at 1606 from 1953-56.

ZagsBaby
01-26-2013, 07:42 PM
Meh. Just a different time.

He probably just had an advantage over the opposition in one way or another that you just don't see anymore.

hondo
01-26-2013, 07:57 PM
make you wonder what the shooting percentages were in those days.

MDABE80
01-26-2013, 08:06 PM
Lechman did very well for being 6 ft 5 in and only two seasons. Ex Military as I recall but he was a tough cookie.

maynard g krebs
01-26-2013, 09:01 PM
Couple of things come to mind. Lots of shots going up, and more misses to be had. Lower shooting %'s too. Also, fewer big strong guys competing for the ball. In the pros, Wilt and Russell used to average like 25 boards. Thurmond was probably over twenty also. Oscar averaged a triple double for a season playing guard.

Rebounding stats then and now is apples and oranges.

Oregonzagnut
01-26-2013, 09:38 PM
Lechman was 6' 5" but Vermillion was only 6' 4".

Jerry played center for all the opening tip jump balls. He won over 90% of the jump balls too. Apparently his rebounds were a result of his extraordinary skill at jumping. He had almost a 3' vertical leap and could touch the 11' 1" mark.

mgadfly
01-26-2013, 10:25 PM
I don't know, but I came across the Division 1 stats for team freethrows from the 50s one time, and if I remember correctly GU (which was considered to be a horrible FT shooting team in 2010 or whenever it was) would have been #1 in the nation in the 1950s. It might not have been that bad, but I remember being pretty shocked about how poor the FT shooting percentages were for every team. So there may have been a lot more opportunities for players to get rebounds.

rijman
01-26-2013, 10:28 PM
I know someone who played with Jerry and he says Jerry was the real deal. He says Jerry was a great rebounder who could also score. If not for a childhood injury he may have been an even better player.

TheZagPhish
01-26-2013, 10:49 PM
I know someone who played with Jerry and he says Jerry was the real deal. He says Jerry was a great rebounder who could also score. If not for a childhood injury he may have been an even better player.

Some time ago there was a segment on The Mark Few Show featuring Jerry and specifically addressing his record. Though a number of factors had to line up for such a record to be made, no doubt Jerry was the real deal. Humble fellow and a joyful Zag.

caduceus
01-26-2013, 11:10 PM
His numbers are astounding when you consider the fact that there was no shot clock back then.

Birddog
01-27-2013, 03:40 AM
Lechman came out of the Navy. He was not very athletic (by the current definition) and didn't have much in the way of hops but he was a wide body, strong as hell and could box out. It was incredible to watch him outplay all the longer leapers that he was up against.

bartruff1
01-27-2013, 04:30 AM
His numbers are astounding when you consider the fact that there was no shot clock back then....different time, different game...I won't look it up...but I think Charlie Jordan averaged around 14 rebounds per game one year and Gonzaga was in D1 then... I think Elgin led the nation one year with 20 or more...

RenoZag
01-27-2013, 06:42 AM
http://i1178.photobucket.com/albums/x375/RenoZag/6667ZagsStats_zpse9e2d4e6.jpg

http://www.sports-reference.com/cbb/schools/gonzaga/1967.html

FWIW: The link above is to a pretty neat searchable site with a ton of data on college hoops along with other major team sports.

sittingon50
01-27-2013, 10:05 AM
Reno.

That shows team totals of 57.7 & 43.1.

This year: GU 36.3 OPP 29.0.

It appears the game has changed.

Zag Man
01-27-2013, 10:14 AM
Lechman did very well for being 6 ft 5 in and only two seasons. Ex Military as I recall but he was a tough cookie.

I got to see Gary Lechman play at Gonzaga and he was a great technician on the basketball court. A lot of guys could out-jump Lechman, but he blocked out extremely well and had great hands that really controlled the ball. The fact that Elias Harris is going to end his career with more rebounds than Gary Lechman is a real testimony to what a great rebounder he is!

bartruff1
01-27-2013, 10:19 AM
Spangler was going to be another Lechman....I need to get over that... he is not coming back....is he..???

GeorgiaZagFan
01-27-2013, 10:22 AM
can someone answer this question....let's say a guard drives the lane and puts up a floater that just misses and one of the big's is in position for a put back...he tips it, misses, tips it again, misses, tips it for a third time, misses. Finally he grabs it and lays it back in....we've all seen this play at times ...does the player get credited for 4 rebounds ...or just one?? ...and has this scoring changed any over the years?

gamagin
01-27-2013, 10:29 AM
his brother Denny, too. He was a force. He was a tremendous athlete and a great guy, too -- a hero to us little kids.

How he would stack up today I don't know. I'd say, however that he would likely fit somewhere as a combo of Lechman/Calvary & Pendo. Lechman for the soft hands and easy, soft handed shooting style, Calvary for the athletic hops and Pendo (Hart, too) for a great nose & hustle for the ball and a very high IQ.

As a kid, Jerry used to hand us neighborhood kids each a (leather) basketball to carry in to the old gym (now Russell theatre). This was his way of getting us in to the game, past the ushers, without tickets (or money).

Without comparing stats, I will only say he was the dominant star of his time and as popular on campus as any Zag I've seen. I think it's fruitless to try and compare. Reminds me of the old argument about which was the better dancer, Fred Astaire or Ginger Rogers. The punchline was they were about equal, except Ginger danced backward, and in high heels.

Vermillion shot heavy leather balls and wore canvas shoes. The lighting was poor and I never saw anyone stretch in any serious way, until about the '80's. You were either born limber or you weren't it seemed to me. And Vermillion was as limber as they came. And athletic. And fast. and aggressive. And smart. And he put it all together over and over as a Zag. And his record shows it.

I'd put Vermillion in a league for notoriety (on campus) with Jean Claude, (Greek giant) George Tronzos, Frank Burgess, and Lechman -- all in their day. He was THE big man on campus, too, and everyone knew who he was and that he was a great, yet humble, small town kid (as I recall, though don't know for sure), without the ball in his hands.

I ran in to JV with Jack Stockton at Jack and Dan's perhaps 10 years ago. Jack called me over and asked me if I "remembered this guy?" It happened fairly often and it was fun.

Then he asked Jerry if he remembered me ? We both flunked the test except I said, I pictured another GU basketball player from the Hank Anderson period, noticing a still lanky figure sitting with a bunch of Stockton cronies. Then Jack told us each who the other was.

I immediately knew, & even recognized him in an older body. And, to my surprise, he said he remembered my family of brothers and a gang of St. Al's kids hanging around the Boone Avenue barn.

I thanked him for getting us into games all those semesters ago, much to the chagrin of Fr. (Harrington/Dussault/Kohler -- each in their time), who were famous for confiscating basketballs from us kids for playing in the gym after hours. Like in the middle of the night. Each complained something about the light bill . . .

Vermillion said he remembered all that and said it was all part of the fun for him at GU.

I think the occasion was an GU all-school or his class reunion, but I'm not positive.

Next time I see Jack, I'm going to ask him about this amazing rebounding number and I will report back. Jack, in his day, worked on campus as a manager, and a great eyewitness to many years of GU sports. He also has an amazing memory for all things Gonzaga.

Birddog
01-27-2013, 10:55 AM
Lechman also missed 7 games in his Jr season (65/66) due to injury. That would translate to almost another 100 RBs.

bballbeachbum
01-27-2013, 10:58 AM
cool read gamagin, thanks. interested to hear what he says of course :)

Birddog
01-27-2013, 11:06 AM
At his present clip, Harris is good for about another 100 RBs. With a good run post season he might just go over 1,000 total. That would be sweet.

hondo
01-27-2013, 11:26 AM
"Lechman also missed 7 games in his Jr season (65/66) due to injury. That would translate to almost another 100 RBs."

But when Leach came back it was soon time for the Put Down in Pullman. The Cougs had beaten the Zags (without Lechman) 106-78 to open the new Kennedy Pavillion. About 2 months later, this time with Gary, we returned the favor with a 97-82 win at WSC. One of my all time favorite games.

hondo
01-27-2013, 11:32 AM
Very good story Gamagin.

BTW Does anyone remember If Larry Brown came to Gonzaga out of high school or had he also been in the service like so many other guys who played for Hank?

Birddog
01-27-2013, 11:33 AM
One of my all time favorite games.
Mine too. I'll never forget what I can remember of it. There was a keg in the back of the bus and upon exiting everybody was handed two small blocks of wood (courtesy of White Pine Sash and Door I believe) and then we sat behind the basket on the concrete bleachers of old Bohler Gym. The Spokane Club organized that and Pat Stiles was the man in charge I think. We made a lot of noise that night.

hondo
01-27-2013, 11:35 AM
"We made a lot of noise that night." and drank some beer.

bostonzagfan
01-27-2013, 12:30 PM
in those days they shot much more often and made a much lower percentage of shots.

Zag 77
01-27-2013, 07:09 PM
Must be a bit like looking at baseball stats from the Dead Ball Era. Still, people must have been shooting a lot of bricks with old-fashioned set shots in those days.

bartruff1
01-27-2013, 07:14 PM
Must be a bit like looking at baseball stats from the Dead Ball Era. Still, people must have been shooting a lot of bricks with old-fashioned set shots in those days. Remember when Whitey Ford and Warren Spahn ect...used to pitch 20 or so complete games in a year !!!

Once and Future Zag
01-27-2013, 07:24 PM
Must be a bit like looking at baseball stats from the Dead Ball Era. Still, people must have been shooting a lot of bricks with old-fashioned set shots in those days.

I'd expect that there were fewer long rebounds due to no 3P shot - so someone with an instinct for positioning had more opportunities in the mid/short range...

Birddog
01-28-2013, 03:42 AM
in those days they shot much more often and made a much lower percentage of shots.
Out of curiosity I checked this year's team vs Lechman's team.
To date this season the Zags are averaging 55.8 shots per game (51.1%) and 22 FT's per game (71.5%)

Lechman's team 69.7 shots per game (45.1%) and 27 FT's per game (67.6%)
so yes teams probably did jack up more shots and made less back in the day.

Potential rebounds based on shots missed (only Zag misses) this year they are averaging 27 missed FG's per game and Lechman's team averaged 38 misses per game. So yeah, in today's world there are less potential RB's available based only on a small sample and only on Zag shots not opponents.
That makes more recent rebounding numbers (Elias' for instance) all the more remarkable.

ValencyLovesZagsInAtlanta
01-28-2013, 04:37 AM
Elias Harris moved up to #4 on the career rebound list. I might be off by a few for him, but here is what I think his current career numbers look like compared to the others:

Jerry Vermillion (1952-55): 1670
Gary Lechman (1965-67): 910
Cory Violette (2001-04): 880
Elias Harris (2009-12): 870
Ronny Turiaf (2002-05) 859



Vermillion played 4 seasons, Lechman played 3. The others all played 4. Vermillion played 27 games a season and his career was before GU became Division 1.

If my math is right, that means that Vermillion must have averaged a robust 15.46 rebounds per game. (1670 divided by 4 seasons of 27 games).

I have already confessed I went to law school, not math school. That being said, it seems to me that Vermillion must have played in an era of a flat ball causing a lot of bricks, or his mom was keeping the stat book.

Anybody else think that Vermillion's rebound numbers are a bit suspect?


For point of comparison, Bill Russell is the WCC career rebound leader at 1606 from 1953-56.

Hi

It would probably be as difficult as the common law rule against perpetuities (That I studied this year as a 1L!) to track down our 1952-55 bookkeeping sources to confirm these Vermillion rebound #'s. I would trust our old timers :) here to confirm the #'s. There has to be a couple old timers here right? A shout out to the old timersxoxoxoxoxooxoxoxoxoxo!!! Wooohoooo :)

Val

bartruff1
01-28-2013, 04:46 AM
I believe his numbers are accurate for that time .... the game has changed. I don't think Babe Ruth's mother kept the records either...

gamagin
01-28-2013, 10:53 AM
I believe his numbers are accurate for that time .... the game has changed. I don't think Babe Ruth's mother kept the records either...

Most of the old school athletes I watched had jobs in the summer. Many were jobs on campus, too, during the off-season, to help pay for their scholarship. Or for credit towards board and room if the schollie covered the sport.

I didn't see nor hear about a lot of full scholarships. I.e. room, board and tuition, books, travel and misc., like today. That meant work, on or off campus. For a meal ticket or whatever was missing, which was usually money.

It wasn't unusual to see one of several players working the grounds around campus, or managing a team during their off-season. A brother of mine who had a scholarship in baseball was a clubhouse manager in basketball and worked on the railroad in the summer.

Just to make ends meet. He started at third base as a freshman and soph, but gave up the scholarship because he needed more money than the scholarship and managing jobs provided. That's more the norm I watched.

Training and working on your game was seldom in the equation. Survival was. You started practicing when practice started for your sport. Or a few weeks earlier, after work. For the rest of the year there were intramural sports to keep busy or active. And girls. Plus keggers. And school and grades.

There was no such thing as working on your game 12 months a year. I'm sure there were exceptions, but as a kid, when I was a towel boy for the basketball team under Hank Anderson, the weight room didn't seem to be that busy. There were body builders, but not what I would call a concerted effort and emphasis, much less classes, for those playing sports. The weight room was open at night. That was the program. At least that I saw.

A training table, such as it was, might involve eating at the coaches house once in awhile, and getting sore muscles treated with mentholatum heat by Joey August. Or soaking in a whirlpool bath.

Some of the old timers at GU played more than one sport, also. Lots of athletes did. Herm Brass, way back there, was captain of the football, basketball and baseball (or was it track, 3 sports, anyway, I know) teams at GU. Imagine that.

Who knows how he might have done, what advice he might have gotten, had he had the expertise around him and chosen just one sport ? Or just two. But athletics was a ticket to an education back then, so he got through that way.

And he, too, worked in the summers. His son was a neighbor and classmate and I knew him all my life. Another neighbor, Jim Reilly, a GU boxer, trainer and boxing coach, had the same situation. Most juggled school, work and their athletics. That was normal.

The Presleys, Etters, Stocktons, Hares, Higgins, Fraziers, Murphys, Flaherteys --- to name a few just in my neighborhood -- all worked their way through GU. While playing sports & holding down jobs.

Who knows how good many of these athletes could have become if they only had to concentrate on one sport -- year around -- for four years. With all the help, encouragement, pocket money and overhead covered in the process.

So to just look at the weight of the ball, or the scorekeepers, or the many obstacles our alums had to face in the good old days during the game itself, is not enough. There was much, much more to it. Yet they performed well.

A few of them wound up stars. Stars tend to do that, no matter what the circumstances.

hondo
01-28-2013, 11:08 AM
Sure wish someone,hint, hint would write a book about the old neighborhood before the main character are all gone.

rijman
01-28-2013, 12:17 PM
Sure wish someone,hint, hint would write a book about the old neighborhood before the main character are all gone.
+1. Our buddies Tom and George in addition to some forum members would be great resources for Zags sports history and personal stories.

zag944
01-28-2013, 12:28 PM
The nations rebounding leader was often above 20 rpg prior to 1970, and never went past 15 after 1980.

I would estimate as shooting from a ways out became more popular, longer rebounds shaved a few off what guys could do. Then of course the 3 point line just compounded this.

Zerogame
01-28-2013, 06:45 PM
Hi

It would probably be as difficult as the common law rule against perpetuities (That I studied this year as a 1L!) to track down our 1952-55 bookkeeping sources to confirm these Vermillion rebound #'s. I would trust our old timers :) here to confirm the #'s. There has to be a couple old timers here right? A shout out to the old timersxoxoxoxoxooxoxoxoxoxo!!! Wooohoooo :)

Val

I spoke with a teammate of Jerry's today to find out what He remembered. His first words were, "he had really long arms." He said Jerry was only 6"4', but he had some kind of spine issue and would be about 6"8'. He was a little surprised he played for 4 years, he thought 3 years was standard.

This same fellow told me that after graduation he was an assistant for a couple of years and basically had one job, to coach the seven footer from France. When they finally got him shoes they were size 22.

His wife said they had boxes of news clippings in the attic from that time period, that would be fun to go though .

rijman
01-28-2013, 07:07 PM
I spoke with a teammate of Jerry's today to find out what He remembered. His first words were, "he had really long arms." He said Jerry was only 6"4', but he had some kind of spine issue and would be about 6"8'. He was a little surprised he played for 4 years, he thought 3 years was standard.

The teammate I talked to also mentioned something about a childhood injury that caused a hunched back spinal issue and stunted Jerry's growth.

I just found this online, Jerry Vermillion wrote a book, "Jerry's Ledger: A World Gone By"
http://books.google.com/books?id=48ewP08On10C&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false
This is a 48 page preview with a few chapters. It talks about his early years growing up.

Zerogame
01-28-2013, 07:46 PM
The teammate I talked to also mentioned something about a childhood injury that caused a hunched back spinal issue and stunted Jerry's growth.

I just found this online, Jerry Vermillion wrote a book, "Jerry's Ledger: A World Gone By"
http://books.google.com/books?id=48ewP08On10C&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false
This is a 48 page preview with a few chapters. It talks about his early years growing up.

just bought the ebook for 3dollars plus(my first book like this). So far a great read Gonzaga star or not. From the introducton;
His standing jump was 11'1''. For those who don't know, that's 13 inches above the rim. At 6'4'', he jumped center for Gonzaga in over one hundred games and controlled 90 percent of them!

Zag 77
01-28-2013, 07:58 PM
Just wondering where Vermillion and Lechman are now. Since the passing of Frank Burgess, these 2 guys are perhaps the best link to the past era of GU basketball.

It would be interesting if somebody found some video from any games played in the old Russell Theater ? (the east end of the "AD" Building, aka "College Hall." ) From what I have heard, it was dark, cramped, hot and those were its good points. I think Hondo wrote once that often the ball would go out the door onto Boone Avenue (it was a busy street then) and somebody would have to go retrieve it.

In any event, it would be nice to have Vermillion and/or Lechman come to a game and be recognized by the fans.

UberZagFan
01-28-2013, 09:00 PM
He was a little surprised he played for 4 years, he thought 3 years was standard.

It was standard. It used to be that Freshman weren't allowed to play. Don't know when that rule was implemented and don't know when it was done away with...

hondo
01-28-2013, 09:28 PM
Lechman comes often to the alumni game. Chuch Thomas and Suter were there this year along with Art Taylor.

Angelo Roncalli
01-28-2013, 09:35 PM
The Vermillion family owns a seafood wholesale company on Hood Canal down near Alderbrook.

gamagin
01-28-2013, 09:53 PM
Lechman comes often to the alumni game. Chuch Thomas and Suter were there this year along with Art Taylor.

2-3 times in the past 5 years. I visited with John Brodsky 2-3 games ago. He was with a group of friends & zag alums. Nice fellow.

krozman
01-28-2013, 11:02 PM
College basketball isn't a stat driven game as much as baseball. If Kelly O was on a team with a bunch of low talent nobodys he would put up godly numbers, yet the team would probably lose every game.

Stats have their place, but ya, comparing yourself to some guy who's now 70 years old and saying it's the same game is laughable. No disrespect to Lechman. Just saying it's kinda apples and oranges ish.

Rangerzag
01-29-2013, 02:03 AM
It was standard. It used to be that Freshman weren't allowed to play. Don't know when that rule was implemented and don't know when it was done away with...

There was a freshman team. Stats were not part of permanent record. Once again, not sure of what time frame this encompassed but was in effect in the late 60's.

Birddog
01-29-2013, 03:09 AM
I think Hondo wrote once that often the ball would go out the door onto Boone Avenue (it was a busy street then) and somebody would have to go retrieve it.

I'm not sure about games, but that happened all the time when the gym was open for either practice or for student use. Unless it was bitterly cold, one or both of the double front doors were open for ventilation purposes and yes the ball would go bouncing down the steps frequently. It would take a good roll to make it all the way to the street but it makes for a good story. If we urchins weren't involved in a game or shooting baskets then we would all be waiting for an errant ball to pounce on.

bartruff1
01-29-2013, 04:35 AM
College basketball isn't a stat driven game as much as baseball. If Kelly O was on a team with a bunch of low talent nobodys he would put up godly numbers, yet the team would probably lose every game.

Stats have their place, but ya, comparing yourself to some guy who's now 70 years old and saying it's the same game is laughable. No disrespect to Lechman. Just saying it's kinda apples and oranges ish.

The game has changed so much and the players are so much bigger and more athletic...but the great old timers like Burgess would not only play but be stars today...

As for baseball.... I remember a interview with Ted Williams a lifetime 300 hitter .(who was the last player to hit 400)

Like Mantle and others his top salary was $100,000 a year and he was complaining about 280 hitters who were making $20,000,000 a year...

So when the interviewer ask him what he would hit today he said "about 250".... only 250 !!! the reporter exclaimed.

" Well, keep in mind, I am 73 years old !"

CarolinaZagFan
01-29-2013, 05:21 AM
Remember when Whitey Ford and Warren Spahn ect...used to pitch 20 or so complete games in a year !!!

My favorite record in sports is Walter "Big Train" Johnson's 110 complete game shutouts. That's just ridiculous. The active MLB leader is Roy Halladay with 20. Records are made to be broken but it's safe to say nobody will ever sniff that one.

gamagin
01-29-2013, 08:30 AM
My favorite record in sports is Walter "Big Train" Johnson's 110 complete game shutouts. That's just ridiculous. The active MLB leader is Roy Halladay with 20. Records are made to be broken but it's safe to say nobody will ever sniff that one.

Satchel Paige and be truly amazed as well. Larry Tye has a book called "satchel." A great read.