In this 21-part series, I’ll count down the 100 greatest Mountaineer men’s basketball players of all-time.
Admittedly this list is not scientific. It is completely subjective, and obviously opinions may differ. Please feel free to visit our message boards at BlueGoldNews.com to provide your own thoughts on this list, either pro or con.
Below is another installment in this lengthy series with a count down from No. 25-21.
Previous Top Players
96-100 95-91 86-90 85-81 80-76 71-75 70-66 61-65 56-60 55-51
50-46 45-41 40-36 35-31 30-26
21 – Dale Blaney (1983-86) – An unheralded recruit coming out of tiny Hartford, Ohio (population 462), Dale Blaney turned into one of the great guards of the Gale Catlett era. Recruited to WVU by assistant coach Gary McPherson, the 6-foot-4 Blaney emerged as a starter midway through his freshman season and held that role throughout the rest of his Mountaineer career. He averaged 7.0 points per game as a freshman and was named to the Atlantic 10’s all-rookie team. That set him up for future success, as he averaged 12.3 points per game as both a sophomore and junior. He upped that to a team-leading 17.0 points per game as a senior in 1985-86, which brought him first-team all-Atlantic 10 honors. During his time at WVU, Blaney helped the Mountaineers to records of 23-8, 20-12, 20-9 and 22-11. They earned berths in the NCAA Tournament in ’83 and ’84 though they had to settle for the NIT in ’85 and ’86. With 1,520 career points, Blaney remains 19thin school history in that category. After his college days, Blaney was a fourth-round draft pick of the Los Angeles Lakers, and he appeared to have a roster spot secured with that NBA club but instead walked away from that opportunity. Instead he moved into the family business of auto racing. He was a six-time champion on the All-Star Circuit in sprint cars and was inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in 2016. Blaney was inducted into the WVU Sports Hall of Fame in 2013.
22 – Deuce McBride (2020-21) – A 6-foot-2 guard from Cincinnati, Ohio, Mile “Deuce” McBride had a huge impact on Mountaineer basketball fortunes, though his stay at WVU was relatively short. An injury while playing football at Archbishop Moeller High School kept him off the basketball court for most of his junior season, and probably slowed his recruitment by some powerhouse schools. WVU’s Bob Huggins had seen enough to warrant a scholarship offer, though. That trust was warranted, as McBride bounced back with a first-team all-Ohio performance at Moeller his senior year (13.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game) while leading the Crusaders to a 29-0 record and a Division I state championship. Deuce gained playing time from day one of his freshman season at West Virginia, though it wasn’t until a 21-point outing in leading the Mountaineers to a 67-59 win over No. 2 Ohio State in Cleveland in December that McBride opened the eyes of the college basketball world. He normally came off the bench during his freshman season but still was able to average 9.5 and 1.8 assists per game that year. He helped WVU to a 21-10 record, though Covid brought a sudden end to the postseason. He was named to the Big 12’s all-freshman team at year’s end. McBride became a full-time starter for the Mountaineer as a sophomore in the 2020-21 campaign (19-10), and he led the team in both scoring (15.98 ppg), assists (4.8 per game) and steals (1.9 per game). ). That performance earned him second-team all-conference honors, and it also gained him the attention of NBA scouts. After strong workouts with pro teams following his sophomore campaign, McBride decided to forego his final two years of college eligibility and remain in the draft. He ultimately was the sixth pick of the second round, selected to the Oklahoma City, who turned around and traded his rights to the New York Knicks. The 6-foot-2 guard spent the 2021-22 season bouncing back and forth between the Knicks and the club’s G League team. He posted 27.8 points and 10.8 assists per game in six outings with the Westchester Knicks in the G League, and he also saw action in 30 games with the NBA version, averaging 2.2 points and 1.0 assists with New York.
23 – Maurice Robinson (1975-78) – A 6-foot-7, 215-pound forward from Welch, West Virginia, Mo was one of the great interior forces in Mountaineer basketball history. With 1,307 points and 881 rebounds in his four-year WVU career, Robinson is one of just six Mountaineers ever to record over 1,300 points and 880 rebounds, along with Jerry West (2,309 points and 1,240 rebounds), Warren Baker (1,556/1,070) , Kevin Jones (1,822/1,048), Rod Hundley (2,180/941) and Rod Thorn (1,785/912). Robinson was one of the most highly recruited prep players in the country coming out of Welch High in 1974, having scored 1,748 points in his Maroon Wave career. Mo was WVU’s new head basketball coach Joedy Gardner’s first-ever recruit, and Robinson made a quick impact once he arrived in Morgantown. He earned a starting spot late in his freshman season (7.2 points and 6.1 rebounds per game). As a sophomore, he averaged 6.4 points and 5.7 rebounds per game, and then his numbers really took off in his final two collegiate seasons. He averaged 15.5 points and 9.8 rebounds per game as a junior, earning second-team all-Eastern 8 honors. As a senior, he gained first-team all-E8 accolades, as he averaged 19.9 points and 11.7 rebounds per game. That remains the 12thbest single-season rebounding average in WVU history, and no Mountaineer has topped that mark in the last 44 seasons. Selected by the Atlanta Hawks in the ninth round of the 1978 NBA Draft, Robinson settled in Morgantown after his playing days were over, working and raising a family.
24 – Don Vincent (1956-58) – A 6-foot-2 guard from Shinnston, West Virginia, Vincent was an outstanding guard whose achievements ultimately earned him induction into the WVU Sports Hall of Fame in 2016. It’s what he wasn’t able to do, though, that will forever be one of the biggest questions in Mountaineer basketball annals. Vincent moved into the starting lineup midway through his sophomore season – his first with the varsity – alongside the likes of Hot Rod Hundley, Lloyd Sharrar, Clayce Kishbaugh and Joedy Gardner. Vincent averaged 6.5 points and 4.9 rebounds per game in that 1955-56 season (21-9) and then 8.3 points and 3.9 rebounds per game the next (25-5). With Hundley leading the way each year, West Virginia earned NCAA Tournament berths in both, but it failed to advance past the first round in either of them. Hundley was off to the NBA after the 1956-57 campaign, but still Sharrar, Gardner and Vincent returned for the ’57-’58 season, and they were joined on the varsity by soon-to-be All-American in Jerry West, as well as another sophomore, Willie Akers. Vincent’s senior season was going spectacularly well, as he averaged 13.2 points in WVU’s 23-1 regular season. He was one of five Mountaineers who averaged double figures in scoring that year along with Bob Smith (12.4 ppg), Sharrar (11.8 ppg and 13.8 rebounds per game), West (17.8 ppg and 11.1 rebounds per game) and Gardner (12.0 ppg) . Many still consider it the best assemblage of basketball talent ever at WVU, better even than the team that would finish as the NCAA Tournament runners-up the next year. This ’56-’57 group knocked off No. 5 Kentucky (77-70) and No. 1 North Carolina (75-64) on back-to-back days in December at the Kentucky Invitational Tournament in Lexington to ascend from No 8 in the AP poll to No. 1. They spent the next seven weeks atop the rankings and were No. 2 in the country heading to the Southern Conference Tournament in Richmond. There disaster struck. West Virginia rolled to three victories in the tourney to capture its fourth straight SoCon crown, but Vincent broke his leg in an 81-70 semifinal win over Richmond. Though WVU was still the top seed heading into the following week’s NCAA Tournament, without its senior leader, it came up short in an 89-84 first-round loss to Manhattan. Vincent’s college career was over, as he finished his Mountaineer days with 777 points, 374 rebounds and 137 assists. He graduated from WVU with a degree in education and taught and coached at Bridgeport and Victory high schools in Harrison County before moving into private business. Inducted into the WVU Sports Hall of Fame in 2016, Vincent passed away in 2021 at the age of 86.
25 – Lowes Moore (1977-80) – A highly-regarded recruit, who was a fourth-team Parade All-American coming out of Mount Vernon, New York, Moore was a big part of improving Mountaineer basketball after some tough times in the ’70s. An electric point guard, Moore wouldn’t see the fruits of all his labor in terms of team success while he was at West Virginia, but he helped set the stage for the program’s upward arc after his graduation. The 6-foot-1 Moore arrived at WVU in the summer of 1976, and he spent his freshman season backing up Bob Huggins (heard of him?) at point guard. Moore averaged 5.0 points and 1.5 assists in his rookie campaign for coach Joedy Gardner’s club, which finished 18-11, its best record of the decade. Huggins graduated after the 1976-77 season, and Moore took over as the starting point guard, holding that job for the next three years. He had a sensational sophomore season, averaging 21.3 and 3.5 assists points per game, leading the team in both categories. His scoring average that year has been topped just once by a Mountaineer (Greg Jones, 22.3 ppg, 1982-83) in a single season in the last 44 years. Lowes would earn first-team all-Eastern 8 honors in 1978. Though WVU was just 10-15 in the regular season that year, Moore led the Mountaineers on an improbably run to the championship game of the E8 Tournament in March. West Virginia fell to Villanova (63-59) in the ’78 title clash, denying WVU a berth in the NCAA Tournament. It was also the last game Gardner coached at WVU, as Gale Catlett took over the next year. Moore was a huge part of Catlett’s rebuild, leading the team in scoring and assists as both a junior (17.3 points and 2.7 assists) and a senior (16.4 points and 4.4 assists). He repeated as a first-team all-Eastern 8 selection in 1979 and garnered second-team honors in 1980 in which he was also the E8 Tournament MVP after again leading West Virginia (15-14) to a runner-up finish. In his four seasons with the Mountaineers, Moore scored 1,696 career points (currently 10thall-time in school history) and handed out 344 assists (15thmost in WVU history). A third-round pick of the New Jersey Nets in the 1980 NBA Draft, Moore had stints with the Nets, Cleveland Cavaliers and San Diego Clippers in the NBA, while also spending extended stretches in CBA before retiring from basketball in 1992. He then went on to become a minister and eventually served as the CEO of the Mount Vernon Boys and Girls Club. Moore was inducted into the WVU Sports Hall of Fame in 2008, and in 2017, he became one of the inaugural members of WVU’s Mountaineer Legends Society.