Butler Honors Former Players On Teams of the Sesquicentennial

Feb. 3, 2006

Butler University, celebrating its 150th anniversary, paid tribute to its heralded past with a special recognition of 25 former men's and women's basketball players at the Teams of the Sesquicentennial Banquet, held at the NCAA Hall of Champions on Friday, Feb. 3. Highlighting the evening was the announcement of the men's and women's Teams of the Sesquicentennial.

Selected to the 15-player men's Team of the Sesquicentennial were Bob Dietz (1939-41), Ralph "Buckshot" O'Brien (1947-50), Bobby Plump (1955-58), Tom Bowman (1961-63), Jeff Blue (1962-64), Billy Shepherd Jr. (1970-72), Daryl Mason (1971-74), Lynn Mitchem (1979-83), Darrin Fitzgerald (1983-87), Chad Tucker (1983-88), Darin Archbold (1988-92), Mike Marshall (1996-2000), Thomas Jackson (1998-2002), Joel Cornette (1999-2003) and Brandon Miller (2000-03).

Named to the 10-player women's team were Liz Skinner Spencer (1979-82), Barb Skinner (1980-83), Beth Piepenbrink Schwecke (1980-83), Elza Purvlicis Harris (1981-84), Melissa Kilgore LaGrange (1985-88), Julie VonDielingen (1990-93), Mary Majewski Shaw (1990-93), Sarah Schuetz Stremlow (1995-98), Jennifer Marlow (1996-98) and Nancy Bowden (2001-04).

The two honor squads include Butler's all-time leading scorer, all-time leading rebounder and all-time assist leader for both men's and women's basketball. There are 11 members of the Butler Athletic Hall of Fame and three 2006 Hall of Fame inductees. Five of the honorees earned All-America mention and five of the players earned league "Player of the Year" recognition. All 25 players earned all-star or all-conference recognition.

Dietz became the second player in Butler basketball history to earn All-America recognition in 1940-41. He was selected as captain of the 1941 College All-Star team, and he was inducted into the Butler Athletic Hall of Fame in 1993. O'Brien was the first Butler basketball player to score 1,000 career points, and he was named to the All-America team in 1949-50. A two-time Butler Most Valuable Player, he was named MVP of the Mid-American Conference in 1948-49. O'Brien was inducted into the Butler Athletic Hall of Fame in 1994.

Plump, who hit perhaps the most famous shot in Hinkle Fieldhouse history while leading Milan High School to a state championship, was a four-year, all-conference performer for the Bulldogs and a two-time Butler MVP. He set a Butler single game record by hitting 17 of 17 free throws against Evansville in 1958, and he compiled a Butler career record 475 free throws made. Plump finished his career with 1,439 points, and he was inducted into the Butler Hall of Fame in 1994.

Bowman and Blue were teammates who helped lead Butler to its first NCAA Tournament appearance in 1961-62. Bowman was the leading scorer and MVP of that squad, while Blue was the team's leading rebounder. Bowman, who finished his career with 1,334 points, was a three-time, all-conference player and the Most Valuable Player in the Indiana Collegiate Conference in 1962. He was named to the USA Basketball All-Star team for the first USA-USSR game, and he was inducted into the Butler Athletic Hall of Fame in 1998. Blue, who compiled 1,392 career points and 953 career rebounds, was a three-time, all-conference performer and a two-time Butler MVP. He was named to Butler's Athletic Hall of Fame in 1997.

Shepherd became the first Butler player to score more than 1,500 career points, and he was Butler's all-time leading scorer at the time of his graduation with 1,733 points. He still owns Butler's single season (27.8) and career (24.1) records for highest scoring average. The Butler guard was a three-time all-conference pick, a two-time Butler MVP and was named to the All-America Team in 1970-71. He was inducted into the Butler Athletic Hall of Fame in 2001.

Mason led the Bulldogs in rebounding for three consecutive seasons and was the top rebounder in the Indiana Collegiate Conference for two straight years. He finished his career with a Butler all-time record 961 career rebounds, while also establishing Butler's single game (26) and single season (354) rebounding records. He was inducted into the Butler Athletic Hall of Fame in 2003.

Mitchem was a three-time all-conference performer and a three-time Butler MVP. He was Butler's leading scorer and leading rebounder for three consecutive seasons. The talented forward was Butler's all-time leading scorer at the time of his graduation, and he currently ranks third on Butler's all-time scoring list (1,798 points) and fourth on Butler's all-time rebounding list (742 rebounds). He will be inducted into Butler's Athletic Hall of Fame in July.

Fitzgerald was the first player in Butler basketball history to score over 2,000 points, and he currently stands second on Butler's all-time scoring list with 2,019 career points. He played just one season under the NCAA three-point field goal rule, and he set a national single season record with 158 three-point field goals in 1986-87 that still stands today. The sharp-shooting guard holds Butler's single game scoring record with 54 points against Detroit in 1987.

Tucker, who played on the same teams with Fitzgerald for three seasons, finished his career as Butler's all-time leading scorer with 2,321 points. He currently ranks eighth on Butler's all-time rebounding list with 689 career rebounds. The talented forward led Butler in scoring in three different seasons, and he was a three-time, first team all-conference performer. He was named Butler's MVP three times.

Archbold was named the Midwestern Collegiate Conference Player of the Year in 1990-91, and he set a Butler single season scoring record with 770 points in 1991-92. He led Butler in scoring for three consecutive seasons, and he currently stands fourth on Butler's all-time scoring list with 1,744 career points. The versatile forward led the NCAA Division I in free throw shooting in 1990-91, and he stands second on Butler's all-time free throw shooting list with a .864 career free throw percentage.

Marshall, who stands fifth on Butler's all-time rebounding list with 722 career rebounds, was a key performer on Butler teams that compiled a four-year, 90-39 record and made four consecutive postseason tournament appearances. He was a two-time Butler MVP and a two-time all-conference performer. He was Butler's leading rebounder for two straight seasons and the Bulldogs' leading scorer in 1998-99.

Jackson became the first player in Butler basketball history to record 1,000 career points and 500 career assists. He finished his career as Butler's all-time assist leader with 540 career assists, while scoring 1,334 career points. He's also Butler's all-time leader with 270 career steals. He holds Butler's single game record for assists (15) and Butler's single season record for steals (74). Jackson helped Butler to two NCAA Tournament appearances and two trips to the National Invitation Tournament (NIT).

Cornette owns Butler's all-time record for games played (128), and he was a key performer on Butler teams that compiled 100 wins and made four consecutive postseason tournament appearances. He was the first Butler player to be named to the Horizon League All-Defensive Team for three straight years, and he was a Co-MVP on Butler's all-time winningest team in 2002-03. Cornette finished his career with 1,100 points and 712 rebounds. Miller was a Co-MVP with Cornette on the 2002-03 team, which advanced to the "Sweet 16" of the NCAA Tournament. He's one of just eight players in Butler basketball history to score over 1,000 career points in just three seasons, finishing his career with 1,121 points. He currently ranks third on Butler's all-time list for three-point field goals (189) and stands sixth on the school's all-time list for assists (305).

Liz and Barb Skinner and Piepenbrink helped Butler compile three consecutive 20-win season from 1979-82, including a school-record 26-2 mark in 1980-81 and Butler's lone trip to the AIAW National Tournament in 1981-82. Liz Skinner was the first female basketball player to score 1,000 career points (1,224), and she finished her career as Butler's all-time leader in steals (419). She was inducted into the Butler Athletic Hall of Fame in 1998.

Barb Skinner, one of only two players in Butler women's basketball history to record 1,000 career points and 500 career assists, finished her collegiate career with 1,448 points and 509 assists. She currently ranks fourth on Butler's all-time scoring list and on Butler's all-time assist chart. She owns Butler's single season record for assists per game (7.6) and Butler's single game record for assists (14). She entered the Butler Athletic Hall of Fame with her sister in 1998.

Piepenbrink was one of just two players in Butler women's basketball history to post 1,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds. She currently stands second on Butler's all-time rebounding chart (1,013) and fifth on Butler's all-time scoring list (1,378). She was named first team AIAW All-State, AIAW All-Midwest Region and American Women's Sports Federation Division II All-American in 1981-82. The talented center was inducted into the Butler Athletic Hall of Fame in 1999.

Purvlicis is the only other player in Butler's women's basketball history to score 1,000 career points and grab 1,000 career rebounds. She currently ranks as Butler's all-time leading rebounder (1,050) and second all-time leading scorer (1,517). She also stands second on Butler's all-time list for blocked shots (164). She was inducted into the Butler Athletic Hall of Fame in 2001.

Kilgore finished her career as Butler's all-time assist leader (584). She also ranks fourth on Butler's all-time list for minutes played (3,293) and sixth on the school's all-time list for steals (201). The 2004 Butler Athletic Hall of Fame inductee holds Butler single game marks for assists (14) and steals (11).

Majewski and VonDielingen were four-year teammates at Butler, 1990-93. Majewski finished as Butler's all-time leader in minutes played (3,607), while ranking second in career assists (583) and career steals (332). She led Butler in assists in all four of her seasons. VonDielingen wound up as Butler's all-time leading scorer (2,018), the only player in Butler women's basketball history to score 2,000 career points. She's the second-leading scorer in Midwestern Collegiate Conference/Horizon League history, and she's the only player in league history to earn first team all-league honors for four consecutive seasons. Majewski and VonDielingen both will be inducted into Butler's Athletic Hall of Fame in 2006.

Schuetz wound up as Butler's fourth-leading rebounder (774) and seventh-leading scorer (1,320). She's a three-time MCC All-Defensive Team selection and a two-time All-MCC pick. She led Butler in rebounding in three of her four seasons and in scoring twice.

Marlow finished her career as Butler's third all-time leading scorer (1,485), and she currently stands fifth on Butler's all-time assist chart (382). She's Butler's career leader in both three-point field goal percentage (.443) and free throw percentage (.835). The three-time All-MCC selection holds the top three spots on Butler's single season list for three-point field goal accuracy.

Bowden ended her career as one of just two Butler players to record 1,000 points and 500 assists. She currently ranks third on Butler's all-time lists for assists (540), steals (305), minutes played (3,441) and free throws (364). She led Butler in assists in three of her four seasons, and she was a three-time Horizon League All-Defensive Team pick.

The Teams of the Sesquicentennial were chosen by a process that included an internet fan vote and a review by a selection committee, made up of former coaches, members of the media, athletic department personnel and Butler alums.