Paul Westphal Makes Naismith Hall Of Fame

Former USC guard Paul Westphal was elected to the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame today.

Westphal is the 11th Trojan in the Basketball Hall of Fame, joining 6 other men — Bill Sharman, Jack Gardner, Alex Hannum, Tex Winter and coaches Sam Barry and George Raveling — along with 4 women (Cheryl Miller, Cynthia Cooper, Lisa Leslie and Tina Thompson).

Westphal was on the 1971 USC men’s basketball team that went 24-2 record. He was a first-team All-American first the following season.

Westphal averaged 16.9 points a game in his career with a high of 20.3 in 1972.

He will be enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame with 11 other honorees from the 2019 class during festivities in Springfield, Mass., on Sept. 6.

Westphal scored 12,397 points during his 12-year NBA career and averaged 15.6 points and 4.4 assists per game in his career.


12 thoughts on “Paul Westphal Makes Naismith Hall Of Fame

    1. Congrats to Paul – very well deserved. The 71 team was something, including Ron Riley and Mo Layton.

      Raveling had a long coaching career, but you are right, I dont think there was anything particularly noteworthy.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. After SC AD Mike McGee introduced him as Jim Raveling it all went downhill from there.

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  1. I was at the game that was ours to win that year 1971. It was the 1st one at the old Sports Arena. USC had the bruins with 4 minutes to go and then Sydney Wicks, acting as truly a bona fide field general, began barking orders to the other bruin players. He pointed at Patterson et. al. and flat out coached his peers to victory. USC had the heart but sadly they never had ‘that’ kind of a presence especially that night.

    The re-match was over the first 6 minutes when bel-air tech went ahead by double digits and never looked back. Those were the days of only 16 teams in the entire NCAA tournament.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I too was at that game and Sydney Wicks didn’t have all that much to do with USC losing. USC lost because Ron Riley picked up his 4th foul with a little more than 6 minutes remaining and USC up 59-50. Riley got a ticky-tack reach in foul out at mid-court, where, considering he was a center, he probably shouldn’t have been. But there was a loose ball, and he went after it. It happened right in front of me. Ron Riley alone was out-battling Wicks, Rowe and Patterson for rebounds. With Riley on the bench, USC turned to Bill Taylor, who had no business being on the court with those other four. UCLA got almost every rebound the rest of the way, and scored 10 straight to lead 60-59 (including several put-backs). Then UCLA got the ball back and went into a stall (there was no shot clock at that time). USC only scored 1 more point, and the final was 64-60.

      So, while Wicks was a great player, nothing he did would have mattered if Riley weren’t sitting on the bench. I too remember Wicks giving verbal instructions to the other Bruins, however, the way I recall it, that only occurred after UCLA went into their stall.

      I was also at the rematch at Pauley, and you are correct, it was over quickly. I wanted to go home at halftime. However, Dad worked for both USC and UCLA Game Management in FB and BB, so he couldn’t leave until the end of the game. Needless to say, it was a painful second half.

      And you are also right about the limited, 16 team NCAA playoffs. Here USC was the second best team in the country, and they didn’t qualify for the tournament. Today that seems absurd.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You saw what you saw and I saw what I saw – a focused opponent who understood the game was on the line and moved his team to a victory I hated to see. ucla was used to winning and they showed it by the way Wicks took control – they’d been there and understood how to win.

        We have never had a better group than we had that night at that moment in time…sadly it wasn’t the outcome we all hoped for.


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