Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Father And Daughter

TigerBlog received a comment yesterday asking to see the reaction of Bella Alarie and her family after her selection as the No. 5 overall pick in the WNBA draft Friday night.

For those who missed it, here it is again:
It's perfect, right?

Also yesterday TB mentioned that he had read somewhere that Alarie's selection made her and her father Mark the third father/daughter pair to be NBA and WNBA first-round picks. He tried to find the other two, and he definitely found one: Cheryl Ford, who won thre WNBA titles with the Detroit Shock, is the daughter of Hall-of-Fame men's player Karl Malone, and both were first-round picks.

Who was the other?

Could it be Natalie Williams, a four-time WNBA all-star and the daughter of Nate Williams, who played for eight season in the NBA after being a first-round selection, sort of. Nate Williams was taken in the 1971 Hardship Draft, back when players whose college classes had not yet graduated could only be in a supplemental draft by proving a financial hardship.

Williams was the first player taken in that draft, and the Cincinnati Royals (who started out in Rochester and are now the Sacramento Kings, by way of Kansas City-Omaha) gave up their fourth-overall selection in the first round to take Williams.

Whether or not that counts, the Alaries are certainly on a short list and have clearly made history.

Mark Alarie, by the way, ranks seventh all-time in Duke men's basketball history with 2,136 career points. He then scored 2,432 in his five years in the NBA before knee injuries ended his career.

Between Mark and Bella, they scored 3,839 career points in college. That's a lot of points.

Looking a bit closer, Mark Alarie played 133 college games, while Bella Alarie played 106. In the 1985-86 season, Mark's senior year, Duke played 40 games, reaching the NCAA final before falling to Louisville 72-69, in a game in which Alarie had 12 points and six rebounds in 33 minutes. He also had 12 points and eight rebounds in a 71-67 win over Kansas in the semifinals that season; TB did not realize that current Maryland coach Mark Turgeon was on that Kansas team.

In fact, Alarie started all 133 of his games at Duke. Only one player in program history has ever started more games than Alarie. Any guesses?

Because Mark played so many more games than Bella, it's worth looking at their per-game averages. In this case, they're the same, as both father and daughter averaged 16.1 points per game for their college careers.

Actually, Bella scored 1,703 points in 106 games, an average of 16.066, while Mark scored 2,136 in 133 games, an average of 16.060. If Mark had scored one more point in college, his average would have gone to 16.068, which would have bettered Bella's.

You know. Just in case Bella wants to point that out to her dad every Thanksgiving or so.

Bella, by the way, had the edge in career rebounds (964-833), assists (263-152) and blocked shots (249-104).

Interestingly, according to Duke's online media guide, the Blue Devils have had 67 players reach the 1,000-point mark in their careers, tying with Villanova for fourth place. UNC was No. 1 with 77, followed by Kentucky with 68.

Again, this was prior to the 2019-20 season, so TB can't vouch for anyone who might have gotten there this past season.

Maybe the most interesting thing about that is that Duke would include in its media guide a somewhat not widely known stat in which UNC ranks first.

Before TB forgets, the only player who started more games at Duke than Alarie? That would be current Harvard head coach Tommy Amaker.

Oh, and after spending so much time looking at the Duke record book online yesterday, TB couldn't help but wonder how many times he would have seen the name "Bill Bradley" in that book had Bradley chosen to go to Duke instead of Princeton.

He senses the answer to that is "a lot."

The Duke record for 30-point games in a career is 20. Bradley had more than twice that number (43) in his Princeton career. 

Yes. The correct answer is "a lot."

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