#14 Keith Cieplicki. #32 Bill Chambers. #32 Chet Giermak. #42 John Lowenhaupt. #52 Jeff Cohen.
What do all of these numbers have in common? That’s right, they’ve all been retired by William & Mary men’s basketball. But 4+ years after his graduation, perhaps W&M’s greatest player of all time has yet to have his number raised to the rafters. And in our humble opinion, it’s long overdue.
With this article, we wanted to do a quick run-through, revisiting the past, to see how W&M’s greatest players of all time stacked up against each other. Obviously keep in mind that the three point line wasn’t introduced until 1986 — so Marcus Thornton clearly had the upper-hand when it came to racking up the points.
The list below (via the Tribe Men’s Basketball Record Book) is sorted in order of points, but one can get a feel for their overall stats by checking out their career stats in the bottom row of each player card. Also keep in mind the era in which they played, as listed below each name.
Can we just say, it’s incredibly hard to fathom just how many points Chet Giermak scored during his time at W&M without a 3-point line (2,052)… it’s absolutely mind-boggling. And did you know that Bill Chambers currently holds the all-time NCAA single-game rebounding record? He once nagged 51 rebounds against UVA in a game played in W&M’s Blow Gymnasium (now Blow Hall). Yeah, that won’t be broken anytime soon. Or ever.
And how about John Lowenhaupt finishing his career with a 51.7% shooting percentage? Somehow Keith Cieplicki managed to best that by finishing his career shooting 54.1%.
Jeff Cohen is equally impressive, actually finishing with the highest career PPG total on the entire list, having averaged 19.4 points per game throughout his time at W&M. And do we really even need to rehash “the scholar and a baller’s” (Marcus Thornton)’s career numbers? Y’all remember him well.
Ultimately, all of these players’ numbers are retired for a reason — more than one reason, to be exact; they were the absolute GOATs of their eras (greatest of all time, for you poor, uninitiated souls).
The point is, Marcus more than fits in with this elite group. It feels like just yesterday that we witnessed him make history in Kaplan Arena by breaking the all-time scoring record. And it’s now time to see our guy back in Williamsburg…perhaps during this year’s #GoldRush game for the official retirement ceremony?
Let’s make it happen.
LET’S GO TRIBE.