1953 College Basketball Recap

Updated August 5, 2020 | Infoplease Staff

Final AP Top 20

Major Conference Champions

NCAA Tournament (22 teams)

NIT Tournament (12 teams)

Player of the Year

Consensus All-America

Both the NCAA and SEC put Kentucky's basketball program on the shelf for the entire 1952–53 season, grounding Rupp and the Wildcats not for any involvement with gamblers, but for recruiting violations.

Meanwhile, Indiana (19–3) rose to No.1 in the final AP Top 20 and wound up meeting third-ranked Kansas (back despite the graduation of Clyde Lovellette and three other starters) in the NCAA final at Kansas City. The Hoosiers won, but needed a Bob Leonard free throw with 27 seconds left. Indiana's 6-10 center Don Schlundt had 30 points in the final, but Kansas' 6-9 center B.H. Born was named the outstanding player of the tournament with 28 points against Washington in the semifinals and 26 more against Indiana.

Back in New York, the 12–team NIT field narrowed to a Seton Hall-St. John's final with the Hall, led by 6-10 center Walter Dukes, winning 58–46.

The one-and-one free throw was introduced and both team and individual scoring averages soared. Frank Selvy of Furman led the nation in scoring with a record 29.5 points a game (he would hit 41.7 in 1954) while the Paladins averaged over 90 points an outing. Another rule change ended the option of waiving free throws in favor of taking the ball out of bounds.

Sources +