Scott May collegiate ‘Player of the Year’

Scott May collegiate ‘Player of the Year’

by Bob Hammel, H-T Sports Editor

March 2, 1976

From the March 2, 1976 Bloomington Daily Herald – Telephone

Indiana’s Scott May today was named college basketball’s Player of the Year – the first Hoosier ever to win the honor.

May, a 6-7 senior, was picked by professional basketball scouts and general managers in balloting conducted by The Sporting News.

In separate voting, May and junior center Kent Benson of IU were named to United Press International’s all-America team.

The two also were named to Associated Press all-Big Ten team, with teammate Bob Wilkerson on the second team.

May headed The Sporting News all-Americas, which included a “first” for the St. Louis-based publication’s 34-year-old selection system: all five Hoosier starters got at least one vote for all-America. Seniors Quinn Buckner and Tom Abernethy are the other starters for Indiana’s unbeaten, No. 1-ranked team.

Hoosier coach Bob Knight was informed of May’s Player of the Year selection in Evanston, Ill., where Indiana won its 26th straight game, 76-63, Monday night as May led the way with 25 points.

From the March 2, 1976 Bloomington Daily Herald – Telephone

“I’m really pleased for him,” Knight said. “All his work has paid off. I’ve never seen a really good player who keeps working as hard as he does.”

Buckner, the Hoosiers’ co-captain with May, said “Great! I think that’s one of the greatest honors that can be bestowed on a player and he’s deserving of it.”

May, who had his IU career high of 41 points last Thursday night when Indiana clinched the Big Ten championship by winning at Wisconsin, leads the Hoosiers in scoring with 618 points and a 23.8 average.

He’s the No. 3 scorer in IU history with 1,459 and No. 4 for a single season with his current total.

He’s scored 33 points in Indiana’s ballyhooed, nationally televised 84-64 opening victory over UCLA. And, in the Hoosiers’ Holiday Festival showdown with unbeaten St. John’s in December before the largest college crowd ever to see a game in New York’s Madison Square Garden, he had 29 points as Indiana squeezed through, 76-69.

Scott May (42) pulls down a rebound against Ohio State.

May was named the New York tourney’s most valuable player, and St. John’s coach Lou Carnesecca agreed with the award. Carnesecca said he alternated players on defense against May to keep a fresh man on him. “And he still got 29 points,” Carnesecca said. “That goes to show you what a great player he is.”

May called the role of No. 1 scorer “kinda easy. I just move around and get open and there’s the ball. Quinn and Bobby (Buckner and Wilkerson) will have it there if I get open, and Tommy and Bennie (Abernethy and Benson) will set the screens that get me open.

“That’s why this award is a great honor to me, but I really feel very deeply our whole team should be ‘Player of the Year.’ There are four other guys who work out there right with me in everything we do.

“I just want to be known as a player – a complete player. I hope I can do other things when I’m not scoring – rebound, play defense, set screens, get a few assists.”

May came to Indiana from Sandusky, Ohio, where he was an all-America high school player in football and basketball and one of the national leaders in the discus throw in track and field.

He was joined on The Sporting News all-America team by Adrian Dantley of Notre Dame, Robert Parish of Centenary, John Lucas of Maryland and Phil Ford of North Carolina.

May and Dantley led the voting (by sports writers throughout the nation) for UPI’s all-America team. They and Lucas were repeat selections to the first five, and they were joined on that team by Richard Washington of UCLA and Benson – the first time on a wire-service all-America for IU’s 6-11 center from New Castle.

Benson is averaging 16.9 points per game and he leads Indiana rebounders with 226. He also is the Big Ten’s leading shooter.

Buckner received honorable mention on the UPI team.

The Associated Press all-Big Ten team, also picked by sports writers, had league scoring leader Terry Furlow of Michigan State, Rickey Green of Michigan and Michael Thompson of Minnesota, plus May and Benson. (Complete teams, Page 9).

The Sporting News named Tom Young of Rutgers as its 1975-76 Coach of the Year. Knight won the award last year, when he swept every such award given.