1953–54 Kentucky Wildcats men's basketball team

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1953–54 Kentucky Wildcats men's basketball
SEC Regular season champions
Helms Foundation National Champions
Conference Southeast Conference
Coaches No. 2
AP No. 1
1953–54 record 25–0 (14–0 SEC)
Head coach Adolph Rupp
Assistant coach Harry Lancaster
Home arena Memorial Coliseum

The 1953–54 Kentucky Wildcats men's basketball team represented University of Kentucky. The Head Coach was Adolph Rupp. The team was a member of the Southeast Conference and played their home games at Memorial Coliseum. They were named national champions by the Helms Athletic Foundation.[1]

Season summary[edit]

This team finished unbeaten a 25-0, and though it won the Southeastern Conference title and could have played in the NCAA tournament, it chose not to because star players Frank Ramsey, Cliff Hagan and Lou Tsioropoulos were ruled ineligible because they had already graduated. That rule has since been abolished, but it prevented the Wildcats from competing for the national championship.


1953–54 Kentucky Wildcats men's basketball team
Players Coaches
Pos. # Name Height Weight Year Previous school Hometown
F 66 Bibb, BillBill Bibb 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 190 lb (86 kg) So Owensboro, KY
F 22 Bird, JerryJerry Bird 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 200 lb (91 kg) So Corbin, KY
G 73 Chandler, DanDan Chandler 5 ft 11 in (1.8 m) 160 lb (73 kg) So Versailles, KY
F 34 Coy, HughHugh Coy 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) 185 lb (84 kg) So Madison Richmond, KY
G 35 Curry, JessJess Curry 5 ft 11 in (1.8 m) 167 lb (76 kg) So Portsmouth, VA
G/F 42 Evans, BillyBilly Evans 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) 170 lb (77 kg) Jr Berea, KY
G 32 Evans, ClayClay Evans 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m) 165 lb (75 kg) So Flemingsburg, KY
F 44 Grawemeyer, PhilPhil Grawemeyer 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 180 lb (82 kg) So duPont Manual Louisville, KY
G 25 Grigsby, PetePete Grigsby 5 ft 0 in (1.52 m) 165 lb (75 kg) So Martin, KY
C 6 Hagan, CliffCliff Hagan 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 200 lb (91 kg) Sr Owensboro Owensboro, KY
C 77 Hurst, HaroldHarold Hurst 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 190 lb (86 kg) So Powell County Waltersville, KY
G 33 Puckett, LinvilleLinville Puckett 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) 165 lb (75 kg) So Clark County Winchester, KY
G 30 Ramsey, FrankFrank Ramsey 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) 185 lb (84 kg) Sr Madisonville Madisonville, KY
G 20 Rose, GayleGayle Rose 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) 170 lb (77 kg) Jr Paris, KY
G 19 Rouse, WillieWillie Rouse Injured 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) 190 lb (86 kg) Jr University Lexington, KY
F 16 Tsioropoulos, LouLou Tsioropoulos 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 200 lb (91 kg) Sr Lynn Classical Lynn, MA
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)

  • (C) Team captain
  • (S) Suspended
  • (I) Ineligible
  • (W) Walk-on

Last update: 2015-09-07


The Wildcats were the top-ranked team in the nation with a record of 25–0. Despite the undefeated season, the Wildcats did not participate in any post-season tournament. Three players (Lou Tsioropoulos, Frank Ramsey, and Cliff Hagan) had technically graduated the year before (when Kentucky was banned from playing a competitive schedule due to the point-shaving scandal a few years earlier), so those players were ruled ineligible for the NCAA tournament. Despite the wishes of the players, coach Adolph Rupp ultimately decided his team wouldn't play.

Team players drafted into the NBA[edit]

No one from the Wildcats was selected in the 1954 NBA Draft, as Ramsey, Hagan, and Tsioropoulos had been drafted the previous year, and those teams held their rights.[2]