Farewell, Jud Heathcote

Jud Heathcote, photo courtesy MSU Basketball

“Michigan State has lost one of its icons today. And yet nothing can erase his impact on the program, the players he coached and the coaches he mentored. Spartan basketball is what it is today because of Jud Heathcote.”
~MSU Basketball Coach Tom Izzo

Legendary Michigan State University basketball coach Jud Heathcote has passed away at the age of 90:

George M. (Jud) Heathcote coached the Michigan State men’s basketball team from 1976-95, guiding the Spartans to 340 victories, three Big Ten titles, nine NCAA Tournament berths and one national title during his 19 seasons in East Lansing.

Heathcote is the second-winningest coach in MSU history with a record of 340-220 (.607), including a 14-8 (.636) mark in the NCAA Tournament. His overall record was 420-273 (.606) over 24 seasons, including five years at Montana.

In his third season in East Lansing, Heathcote led Michigan State to its first NCAA men’s basketball championship in 1979 and won back-to-back Big Ten titles in 1978 and 1979. During those two seasons, Heathcote had the opportunity to coach one of the game’s greatest players, All-American Earvin “Magic” Johnson, who propelled the Spartans to a 51-10 record in his two seasons at MSU.

A two-time Big Ten Coach of the Year (1978 and 1986), Heathcote coached seven All-Americans (Johnson, Gregory Kelser, Jay Vincent, Sam Vincent, Scott Skiles, Steve Smith and Shawn Respert) and 22 NBA players. Five of his players won the Big Ten scoring title a total of six times. During Jud’s tenure, MSU had at least one player among the first-team All-Big Ten selections in 12 of his 19 years.

Prior to his retirement, Heathcote ensured that the future of Spartan basketball would be in good hands. In 1990, he promoted assistant Tom Izzo to associate head coach, and fought for Izzo to be named his successor.

Read on for more and please share articles about him that you enjoyed in the comments!

Here’s a brief video on Heathcote from CBS Sports…

The Smitty and Detroit’s University Club

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the.smitty // Detroit, MI, photo by Brian Day

Historic Detroit says that the University Club:

…was a fraternal organization where the city’s educated men could go to hang out and network.

The organization was founded in 1899 in Swan’s Chop House at the northwest corner of Woodward and Larned. To be a member, you had to have graduated from a university or college. George P. Codd, a congressman and mayor, was the group’s first president. The group would move several times before it would move into this structure on East Jefferson in 1931. It was designed by William Kapp of the architectural firm Smith, Hinchman & Grylls in the Collegiate Gothic style. Among its features were underground 4 Singles and 1 Doubles Squash Courts, and 1 Racquets Court, and a grand two-story great hall. There were also 24 bedrooms on the third floor. This building was for only the boys, and women were forced to use a side entrance on Jefferson.

…At 4:30 a.m. on June 15, 2013, a massive fire ripped through the club’s dining hall and destroyed other parts of the building. “It took fire crews nearly six hours to completely extinguish the blaze, which continued to flare up into the evening,” DetroitUrbex.com notes.

Click the pic to view it bigger and see more of Brian’s work at BrianDay.org.

Tom Izzo: Definitely One of the Most Famous Natives of Michigan

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Tom Izzo, photo by Hillary Higgens

TRUE CONFESSION: Page-at-a-time slideshows make me want to smash my screen, but I have to say that what mLive is doing with slideshows has been pretty cool. Their feature on the Most Famous Natives of Michigan has their pick for the most famous person from each of Michigan’s 83 counties. Definitely worth a read. Share your thoughts here on on the Michigan in Pictures Facebook!

It’s hard to argue with their choice for the most famous person from Dickinson County, Michigan – Michigan State University Spartan coach Tom Izzo:

Since 1995, Tom Izzo has led the Michigan State men’s basketball team as head coach. Born Jan. 30, 1955, Izzo was recently inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Under his watch, the Spartan team has made it to the Final Four seven times and taken home an NCAA Men’s Division I Championship.

Hillary took this photo back in 2011. View it background big and see more in her 2011 Champion’s Class slideshow.

Pistons Ringing the Bell for Big Ben Wallace tonight!

Rasheed Wallace to Ben Wallace Alley Oop

Alley Oop, photo by Dave Hogg

In 2016, the Detroit Pistons are retiring the jerseys for Piston greats Ben Wallace (#3) and Chauncey Billups (#1). Big Ben Wallace kicks it off tonight with Rip Hamilton and Chauncey on hand.

Wallace, acquired by Detroit from the Orlando Magic in 2000, spent nine seasons with the Pistons collecting NBA Defensive Player of the Year honors four times (2002, 2003, 2005, 2006) and was named a NBA All-Star four times (2003-06). Wallace was an All-NBA Second Team selection three times (2003, 2004, 2006), All-NBA Third Team selection twice (2002 and 2005) and an NBA All-Defensive First Team selection five times (2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006). During his first stint with Detroit (2000-06), the Pistons made the playoffs in five of the seven years, winning Eastern Conference Championships in 2004 and 2005 and the NBA Championship in 2004. Wallace is the franchise’s all-time leader in regular-season and playoff blocks (1,486 and 215, respectively) and ranks first among Pistons’ all-time playoff leaders in rebounds (1,237). He holds franchise single-game records for blocks in a game (10 – twice), defensive rebounds in a quarter (10) and blocks in a quarter (6). In 655 games with the Pistons, Wallace averaged 6.6 points, 11.1 rebounds, 2.3 blocks, 1.4 steals and 1.5 assists in 32.6 minutes per game.

“We celebrated many great accomplishments during my years in Detroit and to be recognized for my contributions in this way, I’m honored,” said Wallace. “I look forward to sharing this experience with all the fans who supported me throughout my years as a Piston.”

Wallace, a 6’9″, 240-pound center went undrafted in the 1996 NBA Draft and spent time with Washington, Orlando, Detroit, Chicago and Cleveland. Wallace recorded 10,482 rebounds during his career, becoming one of only 37 players and the only undrafted player (Moses Malone was drafted in the 1974 American Basketball Association Draft by the Portland Trail Blazers in the ABA Dispersal Draft in 1976) in NBA history to record 10,000 rebounds. He is also one of only 10 players in NBA history to record 10,000 rebounds and 2,000 blocks and is the shortest player at 6’9″ to record 2,000 career blocks. Overall, in 1,088 career NBA games, Wallace averaged 5.7 points, 9.6 rebounds, 2.0 blocks, 1.3 steals and 1.3 assists in 29.5 minutes per game.

View Dave’s photo of a (Rasheed) Wallace to Wallace alley oop from Christmas Day, 2005 big as Big Ben and click for more of his Detroit Pistons photos.

More Detroit Pistons on Michigan in Pictures.

PS: Here’s a bonus photo by Dave that previously appeared on Michigan in Pictures because it’s so awesome.

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Farewell Mr. Big Shot: Chauncey Billups announces retirement

Billups has the sweet shot

Billups has the sweet shot, photo by Andrew McFarlane

Mark Spears of Yahoo Sports broke the story that Pistons great Chauncey Billups is retiring:

Billups was best known for his first stay with the Pistons from 2002-08. He earned the nickname “Mr. Big Shot” for his clutch shooting when he led Detroit to the 2004 NBA championship and another Finals appearance in ’05. He was part of the Pistons’ star foursome that also included Ben Wallace, Rip Hamilton and Rasheed Wallace.

Billups said the “best memories” of his career were with the Pistons.

“Before that, my career was in jeopardy in a few different stages,” Billups said. “I persevered, sustained and continued to work hard, and finally got my opportunity in Detroit, and I never turned back from that point. That’s what made it so sweet to me to win a championship after what I went through. I had to scrap and fight to get through it and to reach the pinnacle made it even sweeter.

“Winning the championship was the ultimate. I never set out to win the [Finals] MVP. Winning the championship was enough.”

…Billups averaged 15 points, 5.4 assists and made 38.7 percent of his 3-point attempts during his NBA career. He made the All-NBA second team twice, the All-NBA third team once and the All-Defense team twice. He finished with 15,802 points, ranks 39th all-time with 5,636 assists and sixth with 1,830 3-pointers made. He also had 1,051 steals in his career.

Read on for more, visit his NBA player page for stats & such, have a look at his top 10 Piston highlights from the NBA and definitely read this great feature on Chauncey Billups at Grantland by Jonathan Abrams.

I’m not sure if Billups will make the Hall of Fame, but he’s one of their all-time greats in my book! It’s rare when I use one of my own photos here – this one’s from a 2006 game at the Palace where I had a great time. View it bigger and see more in my Pistons v Grizzlies slideshow.

More Detroit Pistons on Michigan in Pictures!

Michigan March Madness Tip-off Tonight!

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atUmich, photo by Justin_Wan

Three Michigan teams take to the hardwood today for the NCAA Men’s Basketball tourney. It starts with theWestern Michigan Broncos facing Syracuse at 2:45 followed by the media darling Michigan State Spartans vs Delaware at 4:40 and #2 Midwest seed Michigan vs Wafford at 7:10!

Justin got this awesome action shot last year at Ann Arbor’s Crisler Arena for the State News. View his photo bigger and see more in his Winter Sports 2012-2013 slideshow!

More basketball on Michigan in Pictures.

Slam Dunk for Old Man Winter

Icy Michigan Morning

Icy Michigan Morning, photo by daveumich

Much like Uncle Drew, Old Man Winter brought his A-game over the weekend, creating havoc across much of the state. The Freep reports that this weekend’s ice storm knocked out power for over 300,000 people. An interesting fact I learned from the article is that a quarter of an inch of ice is the equivalent of 500 pounds of weight on a span of power line. WLNS adds that thousands of people might be out of power through Christmas – here’s hoping that’s wrong!

View David’s photo from Lansing background big and see more shots of the storm in his slideshow.

There’s more ice on Michigan in Pictures, and mLive has a nice gallery of photos from around the state too!

Twice as Sweet: Michigan & Michigan State both make the Sweet Sixteen!

Tim Hardaway Jr. Oop vs. MSU

Tim Hardaway Jr. Oop vs. MSU, photo by Robbie Small

USA Today notes that Michigan and Michigan State have combined to make hoops history this year:

For the first time in the 75-year history of the NCAA tournament Michigan and Michigan State have advanced to the Sweet 16.

The Big Ten’s Wolverines and Spartans earned their tickets right in their backyard, in dominating fashion, in a supercharged atmosphere Saturday at the Palace.

Michigan, just 36 miles from its Ann Arbor campus, started the celebration, dissecting Virginia Commonwealth’s vaunted press 78-53 in the opener.

Michigan State, 81 miles from East Lansing, made it a historic day, slamming the front door on Memphis 70-48.

They were also the first two teams into the Sweet Sixteen. Michigan will face #1 seed Kansas on Friday while MSU squares off against #2 Duke.

Robbie took this shot at a March 3rd meeting between Michigan and Michigan State in which the Wolverines eked out a 57-56 win thanks to a game-saving steal & slam by Trey Burke. (click that link for Robbie’s photo) Check this out background bigtacular or view a great gallery from the game at  robbiesmallphotography.com!

More basketball on Michigan in Pictures.