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  • Who’s Your Five?

    by Mike Coffey

    Whenever an honorary society is created, timing becomes important.  Yes, everyone invited to join is being honored, but there’s an unspoken hierarchy created by the order in which people are asked.

    Notre Dame is running into this issue with the basketball Ring of Honor created last year.  A capacity crowd at the Purcell Pavilion this weekend saw Irish superstar Austin Carr receive his just due, with his #34 raised to the rafters while the emotional former National Player of the Year smiled through his tears.

    But some folks couldn’t help but notice that #34 joined two numbers already up there — Luke Harangody’s #44 and Ruth Riley’s double-zero.  Why, they wondered, wasn’t Carr afforded the first spot in the Ring?  After all, he is beyond question the greatest ND player ever.

    The answer, as so many are, is complicated.  Everyone wants the chance to allow the honorees to participate in their own enshrinement.  But with so many seemingly-obvious choices for Ring membership still active in professional basketball as players, coaches or administrators, and with so much overlap between the professional and collegiate seasons, getting on the honorees’ schedules can be a challenge.

    Harangody, the second-leading scorer in ND men’s basketball history was enshrined when the Ring was created last year, the logic being once he began his career in the NBA, it’d be much tougher to get him back to do it.  When Riley was on campus for a reunion with the 2001 National Championship team, she was similarly honored.

    While some may feel Carr should have been first regardless, it’s important to note no snub was intended or perceived.  A.C. has always been an ND man at heart, and still maintains a loyalty and love for the program and school that taught him what he considers the important things in life.  That he was third in the induction queue doesn’t make a difference, and likely won’t make a difference to future inductees.

    But let’s pretend for a moment that it does.  For the next five minutes or so, you and Jack Swarbrick do a “Freaky Friday”, and you have to determine the next five people added to the Ring.  For the purposes of this exercise, let’s assume Adrian Dantley is already scheduled (for the record, I don’t know this to be true) and move down the list.

    Who’s your five?

    45 Responses to “Who’s Your Five?”

    1. ndbrian says:

      From a guy in his early 30’s (trying to disclaim my recency bias)

      (not in any order)
      Laphonso Ellis
      David Rivers
      Kelly Tripucka
      John Shumate
      Troy Murphy
      And a 6th would be Pat Garrity

    2. @Dascenzo says:


    3. The Beef says:

      Assuming AD is already in, my next 5 are:

      1. Shumate
      2. Tripucka
      3. Garrity
      4. Hawkins
      5. Murphy

      Its a tough call. I think strong cases can be made for my “next 5” in:

      6. Krause
      7. Rivers
      8. Paxson
      9. Brokaw
      10. Ellis (If he could have remained eligible he would have been a top 5 lock)

      • dbcsmith says:

        1) without doubt adrian dantley
        2) troy murphy
        3) rosenthal
        4) kelly tripuka
        5) Nowak (if he is still alive – might even make him after dantley if he is still around) otherwise Shumate
        6) hawkins – maust also get him while still around

    4. Jim Collins says:

      These 3 lists piss me off. I realize the posters are from the younger generation but these lists give short shrift to the greats of ND basketball that existed in the ’50s and ’60s. They don’t even bother to do their homework. No mention of Gene Duffy and Tony Hawkins is way down on one of the lists. Shame. Is it any surprise that someone finally awoke to find Austin Carr was a serious omission.

    5. CoachZ43 says:

      1) Tripucka
      2) Woolridge
      3) Paxson
      4) Rivers
      5) Shumate

    6. Adrian Dantley! He should be next.

    7. mike sheridan says:

      Duck Williams, Tommy Hawkins, John Shumate, Kelly Tripuka, Dwight (the shot) Clay

    8. Bob Bixby says:

      Collis Jones

      in that order

    9. jack barthel says:

      Tom Hawkins
      Jack Stephens
      Moose Krause

    10. John Shumate, Kelly Tripucka, John Paxson, David Rivers and Pat Garrity would be my top five. If I could have a sixth pick it would be Richard “Digger” Phelps, the coach who built ND into an elite program and presided over the “golden age” of Irish basketball (1973-81).

    11. (Assumes AD is in)
      1. Tom Hawkins
      2. Kelly Tripuka
      3. John Paxton
      4. Troy Murphy
      5. Moose Krause

    12. John Logan says:

      Tom Hawkins
      David Rivers
      Pat Garrity
      Laphonso Ellis
      Troy Murphy
      6th-Kelly Tripucka

    13. Kevin Casey says:

      My pre-Digger list:
      Moose Krause
      Kevin O’Shea
      Tommy Hawkins
      Bob Whitmore
      Collis Jones

    14. Dantley , Krause and Hawkins – it’s tough beyond that but a case could be made for all – except Laimbeer – come on now

    15. 1. Bill Varner
      2. Phil Hickey
      3. Dan Duff
      4. Phil Hickey
      5. Either one of the Ross twins

    16. 1. Digger
      2. Moose Krause
      3. Kelly Tripucka
      4. Tom Hawkins
      5. John Shumate

    17. In any order, not sure you can limit it to 5

      John Shumate…..the first legitimate AA big we had
      Troy Murphy…the second big AA
      Gary Brokaw…..sweet and smooth, Al McGuire’s AA
      Bob Whitmore…..another great, played on great teams. Bob Arnzen should also be considered from this team
      Kelly Tripucka….big scorer on our best team in the NCAAs to date
      Orlando Woolridge…..still remember him windmill dunking on Ralph Sampson
      J. Collis Jones….would have been true AA if not in the shadow of the incomparable AC

      After that, surely

      Tom Hawkins
      John Paxson
      Dwight Clay
      Laphonso Ellis

    18. Jim Biggs says:

      What? Not even a mention of Bob Arnzen?

    19. Order needs to be brought to the Ring of Honor process. First and foremost every All-American, living or dead goes first. I believe all of the following were All-Americans: Moose Krause, Vince Boryla, Jack Stephens, Dick Rosenthal, Kevin O’Shea to just mention a few. Then there is Tom Hawkins, John Fannon, John Paxson, Troy Murphy, and the rest mentioned above.

    20. Tom Drake says:

      Let’s not forget the distaff set: the top two scorers in ND women’s basketball history (I believe they both had more than 2000 points), who set the bar for the program and led ND to its first Final Four appearance in 1997, Beth Morgan and Katrina Gaither. Both were All-Americans.

    21. Tom Drake says:

      For the boys: Pre-1968: Tom Hawkins and Moose. After that, Dantley, Brokaw, and Tripucka.

      Also deserving: John Shumate, Collis Jones, Troy Murphy, and Ben Hansbrough.

    22. leftcoastirish says:

      1. Hawkins
      2. Moose
      3. Shumate
      4. Tripuka
      5. Collis Jones

      and, if coaches allowed, Digger and Keogan

    23. Ray Meyer – 1930’s team was 62-8 in his 3 years, Hall of Fame Coach at DePaul
      Moose Krause
      Johnny Moir
      Paul “Giz” Nowak
      Nowak, Moir, and Krause were 3 time consensus All Americans in the 30’s

      Then we can talk about Tripucka, Murphy, Quinn, etc.

    24. Peter Barko says:

      1. Kelly Tripuka
      2. Troy Murphy
      3. Pat Garrity
      4. John Shumate
      5. Orlando Woolridge

    25. Charlie Carroll says:

      Lots of support for Moose and Digger but none for the greatest ever ND basketball coach? Moose’s predecessor George Keogan was 327-97. In the 20 years before his untimely death he never had a losing season and lost more than 10 games only once. And he is the only ND men’s basketball coach to win a National Championship. In fact, he won two (Helms Foundation) championships- 1927 and 1936. As for my other four, well throw a couple dozen names from the 1970’s into a hat and pull four out.

    26. medic8r says:

      Let’s not put Hansbrough on the wall after just two good seasons (OK, one good season and one great season). Does he go on the Mississippi State wall as well?

    27. Jim Henegan says:

      1. Arian Dantley – close second to Carr
      2. Digger
      3. John Shumate
      4. Moose Krause
      5. Kelly Tripucka
      6. John Paxon
      7. Tom Hawkins
      8. Gary Brokaw
      9. David Rivers
      10. Troy Murphy
      11. Pat Garrity
      12. Chris Thomas
      13. Duck Williams
      14. Rich Branning – 4 year starter at point
      15. Toby Knight
      16. Bill Hanzlik
      17. Orlando Woolridge

      Shumate was the best player on the best ND team ever – that broke UCLA’s 88 game winning streak. He is easily the third best ND player of the last 40 years.

    28. gipper geiger says:

      John Schumate
      moose krause
      muffet mcgraw
      digger phelps
      kelly tripuka
      bill laimbeer

    29. The top – no doubt about it.


    30. From the time I started following Notre Dame sports when Paul Hornung was playing, the only name I ever saw or heard in relation to basketball was Tommy Hawkins. Never heard another player’s name until the Digger era. So after Hawkins, anyone else is fine.

    31. Shumate
      Collis Jones

    32. Why is everyone leaving out Adrian Dantley? You people are fools.

      • El Kabong says:

        Because they read the article carefully and noted where I said to assume Dantley was already first in line.

    33. Dantley

      Dwight Clay should get some love, just for “the shot”.

    34. jack barthel says:

      Can I vote again……3 guys on the 56-57 team went into the priesthood….John Smyth, still doing great work in Chicago…….Bob Devine and John McCarthy

    35. It is a shame that only one per year can be honored… dating back to Moose, Ray Meyers on to Vince, Dick R,Tommy Hawkins etc – a means has to be established to let the depression lads who initiated the era of Ted and Ned to get them all in before Satan

      • El Kabong says:

        I don’t think they’re limited to one a year. Both AC and Ruth Riley went in this year. I could see them inducting the whole 1936 crew in one fell swoop.

    36. Let’s induct the 1977-78 Final Four team as a unit. I saw them win in the quarterfinals at Oral Roberts University. I flew to Kansas City to see them defeat DePaul to make it to the Final Four. I was also lucky enough to go to St. Louis to cheer them on against Duke in the Final Four. There were 10 players drafted by the NBA from that team. The starters were: Dave Batton, center – Spurs, Bullets; Rich Branning, guard; Bruce Flowers – forward, Cavaliers; Kelly Tripucka, forward – Pistons, Jazz; Duck Williams, guard – Jazz. Second string players were: Bill Hanzlik, guard – Nuggets, Supersonics; Bill Laimbeer, center – Cavaliers, Pistons; Orlando Woolridge, forward – Bulls, Nets, Lakers, Nuggets, Pistons, Bucks, 76ers; Tracy Jackson, forward – Pacers, Bulls, Celtics. Wow! They were great!

      • Joe Libby says:

        Bob Whitmore 69 was a stellar player for ND. He definitely deserves to be counted in ND’s best.