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Beck Leads MAC 30th Anniversary Team

January 3, 2003 · MT Media Relations

The field gets bunched when looking for a group of players that represent the best-of-the-best in thirty years of play at Murphy Center, but there's one that's a sure lock.  Jerry Beck heads the list of great players to have graced the "Glass House" during their careers.  The list was nominated by fans and pared down by a select committee of basketball observers.  Here are thumbnail sketches of the players selected.

 

Jerry Beck (1979-82) - Middle Tennessee's only two-time OVC Player of the Year, Jerry Beck was a force to be reckoned with.  Beck is listed in the Blue Raider "Millenium Club" with 1,401 points, but also ranks number five all-time in rebounding with 779.  Smooth as silk, Beck will be best remembered as a senior on Middle Tennessee's 1982 squad that won the OVC Tournament title and upset Kentucky in the NCAA Mideast Regional, 50-44.

 

Claude "Sleepy" Taylor (1975-78) - While Sleepy Taylor easily makes the Murphy Center 30th Anniversary Team, it's still easy to ask the question, "what if."  What if he hadn't had a tough knee injury?  Murphy Center fans loved him from the minute he walked on the court as he help guide the Raiders to a conference title and NCAA tournament.  Sleepy's play sure helped wake up basketball fans in Murfreesboro. His 1,421 points rank him ninth all-time in scoring.

 

Tim Sisneros (1973-76) - Known as the "Kokomo Kruncher," Tim Sisneros was the heart and soul of Jimmy Earle's building process in the 1970's that eventually led to the 1975 OVC title and NCAA tournament.  Sisneros ranks sixth in scoring with 1,426 points and fourth all-time in rebounds with 846.

 

George Sorrell (1974-75) - Also a part of the 1975 OVC champions, George Sorrell made his name in a short period of time.  Playing in only 54 games, his rebounding average ranks fifth all-time.  One of Sorrell's most memorable moments came against Austin Peay, when, with the game out of hand, disregarded the "no dunk" rule and slammed one home to the delight of the Murphy faithful and putting an exclamation point on the win.

 

Jimmy Martin (1973-75) - A terrific guard from Indiana, Jimmy Martin was one of the building blocks around which a conference champion was built.  Playing early in the 1970's when freshmen were ineligible, Martin's name does not come up on a lot of "career" lists.  However, his work on the floor in tandem with Sleepy Taylor and Freddie Allen is legendary.  He led the Raiders in assists during two seasons and ranks as one of the top assist men of all time in the program.

 

Warren Kidd (1991-93) - A "model of consistency" would be the best way to describe the play of Warren Kidd.  Kidd's ability to score was simply uncanny.  His .664 shooting percentage is number one all-time, and second place is not even close.  Playing in close to the basket, Kidd was also in position to clean the boards.  He ranks #1 all-time in rebounding with 1,048 and makes the Blue Raider "Millenium Club" with 1,165 points.  Kidd also blocked more shots than any Blue Raider ever (185).

 

Duane Washington (1986-87) - Another player whose career with the Blue Raiders was just too short, Duane Washington may be the most "complete" point guard ever for MT.  He had the ability to score, had the size to rebound, the vision to find the open man, and that intangible that made him a crowd favorite.  In just two years, he ranks highly on the all-time assist list, but his numbers in average assists per games played is what tells his story.  His 7.2 assist per game average is #1 all-time and second place isn't even close.

 

Greg Joyner (1977-78) - During the magical mid 1970's, Greg Joyner became a star at Murphy Center, helping lead the Raiders to the 1977 NCAA Tournament to face Dick Vitale and the Detroit Titans.  A workhorse on the floor, numbers do tell the story for Joyner.  He ranks eighth in scoring and fourth in field goals made.  He led the 1978-79 Raiders in scoring with a 20.9 points per game average.

 

Kerry Hammonds (1985-89) - Maybe the most complete inside player ever at Middle Tennessee, Kerry could score, rebound, and pass.  But most of all, he knew how to win.  The cornerstone of Bruce Stewart's great teams of the mid to late-1980's, Kerry finished his career number two in scoring with 1,616 points and number two in rebounding with 955.  Hammonds' legacy will be that his teams played in the post-season all four years he suited up for the Raiders.

 

Robert "Cat-Eye" Taylor (1990-93) - The name "Cat-Eye" surely fit Robert Taylor.  And his timing was right.  His ability to shoot from outside came along during the early years of the three-point shot.  That helped him shoot his way to the top of the all-time scoring list at Middle Tennessee.  His 1,622 is #1 all-time.  He's also tops in three point field goals taken and made.  Quiet as a cat, his demeanor was almost timid, but his play on the floor was quite loud.

 

Chris Rainey (1987-89) - A great shooter and floor general, Chris Rainey "quarterbacked" the Blue Raiders to three straight post-season tournaments.  He was in charge when the Raiders faced Notre Dame in the 1987 NCAA East Regional, the 1988 NIT run, and the 1989 Southeast Regional when the Raiders upset Florida State.  Rainey could also score, ranking seventh all-time with 1,426 points and is the # 1 all-time three-point shooter with a .471 career percentage.

 

Randy Henry (1986-89) - A little skill and a lot of hard work made Randy Henry one of the most productive Raiders over the last thirty years.  He ranks number four in scoring with 1,484 points and number one in field goals made with 641.  During the 1988 NIT, Henry scored 71 points over a three game stretch that saw the Blue Raiders knock off Tennessee and Georgia before losing in the quarterfinals to Boston College.

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