In what is likely not a coincidence, a day after the Wisconsin Badgers basketball team was named to the 2017 Hall of Fame Classic, legendary head coach Bo Ryan was named as part of the 2017 College Basketball Hall of Fame class.
Ryan will be in a class of eight people to go in to the Hall of Fame the day before the semi-finals take place. There are three Big Ten ties to the class, with Ryan joined by Indiana’s Scott May and Purdue’s Rick Mount in the class as well.
The other members of the class are by Wake Forest’s Tim Duncan, Winston-Salem State’s Cleo Hill, Creighton’s Paul Silas, Gonzaga’s John Stockton and Duke’s Jay Williams.
While most will know Ryan as the head coach at Wisconsin, he got to Madison in large part thanks to his work in transforming college basketball throughout the state. There were four national titles at Wisconsin-Platteville and two seasons at the helm of Wisconsin-Milwaukee before coming to Madison. He won 353 games at Platteville as well.
In Madison, Ryan has set the standard to be lived up to today. His UW teams never failed to reach the NCAA Tournament, never finished lower than fourth in the Big Ten standings and won a total of seven Big Ten championships.
There were also a pair of Final Four appearances, with the Badgers reaching the national semi-final in 2014 and the national championship game in 2015. It would be Ryan’s final full season on the sidelines of the Badgers.
He finished his career with a school-record 364 victories and went off to retirement following the last game before break for fall semester finals in the 2015-16 season.
Rick Mount is also legendary in his own right, being the first high school player to ever feature on the cover of Sports Illustrated. He played at Purdue from 1967-70 and still holds school records for most consecutive games in double figures (72) and scored 30-plus points in 46 of those games.
He finished his career averaging a crazy 32.3 points per game and his 2,323 points puts him tops on the all-time Boilermakers scoring list. All of that in just three seasons at Purdue, as freshmen weren’t allowed to play on the varsity at that point in time.
Mount also was a two-time unanimous All-American pick in his time in West Lafayette, Ind.
Over in Bloomington, Scott May was part of the nucleus of the last undefeated national championship team in college basketball. He led the Hoosiers in scoring in the 1975-76 national championship season and was named the National Player of the Year as well. May finished his career scoring 1,593 points and averaging 17.7 points per game and shooting 51.3 percent from the field.
May even ended a long-standing feud with IU over the firing of Bob Knight. He attended the 40-year reunion of the 1976 national championship team, largely at the behest of his son and UNC staffer Sean May.
The entire eight-man class will be honored on Nov. 19 at a ceremony the night before the Hall of Fame Classic featuring Wisconsin, UCLA, Creighton and Baylor is to take place.