Kansas basketball: Ranking the 10 greatest big men in Jayhawks history

NBA legend Wilt Chamberlain (Photo by Matt Campbell/Getty Images)
NBA legend Wilt Chamberlain (Photo by Matt Campbell/Getty Images) /
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Kansas Jayhawks logo on a basketball. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 3: Clyde Lovellette (1949-1952)

Kansas basketball career stats: 77 games, 24.5 PPG, 10.2 RPG, 45.2% FG

By the time Lovellette graduated from Kansas, he had become the best player in the program’s history. The two-time First Team Consensus All-American propelled the Jayhawks to their third-ever NCAA Championship in 1952, the same season he won the Helms College Player of the Year award.

Despite spending only three years on the Jayhawks’ varsity team, he still ranks No. 4 in Kansas basketball history for total points accumulated. Lovellette was one of the most dominant paint scorers ever in his era at both levels of the game. He became the first player to win an NCAA title, an Olympic gold medal, and an NBA Championship — more impressively, it took him less than two years to do so.

It can be argued that his showing during the 1951-52 season is among the best years a Jayhawk has ever recorded. He averaged 28.4 points and 12.8 rebounds that year, including a 35.3 point-per-game average in the NCAA Tournament. Although he played in a much different time period, it’s impossible to diminish the accomplishments he garnered during his time at the university.