Donald "Cisco" ross, RIP

VCU Heel

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Crazy that I knew that. It is what happens during research. I read about his father. I also know Don played at Armstrong. Back when Armstrong was founded it was called a Normal school. Virginia Randolph went there. Oh and I also saw all kinds of funny advertisements during my VCU periodical search.
Keep doing your research and make a history of VCU documentary. Maybe a multipart Ken Burns type thing.
 

ViCtorioUs

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Keep doing your research and make a history of VCU documentary. Maybe a multipart Ken Burns type thing.
I have shamefully pleaded with ‘horn to do a history of MBB at RPI through the present. I won’t grovel anymore, but he would be the perfect person to do this.
 
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Crazy that I knew that. It is what happens during research. I read about his father. I also know Don played at Armstrong. Back when Armstrong was founded it was called a Normal school. Virginia Randolph went there. Oh and I also saw all kinds of funny advertisements during my VCU periodical search.

In the '60s, the area Black schools were Maggie Walker and Armstrong in the City, Virginia Randolph in Henrico. GW Carver in Chesterfield, John Gandy in Hanover, Peabody in Petersburg and Carter Woodson in Hopewell. That all began to change in late 60s when the Black and White schools consolidated. Walker, of course, was key to VCU with Jabo Wilkins, Jesse Dark and Richard Jones coming to Ramland. Prior to that, most of the top Black players from Black high schools went to HBCUs. Ross did come to VCU, but on the rebound from Cleveland State. Thus far I haven't seen anything on Cisco on the VCU Athletic site.
 

BaNgMyPrOgRaM

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Yeah 'Horn would be great as a chronicler. But it looks like the task may fall to youu @AlienAiden. Don't worry though you should have a lot of help on these boards.;) I thought @VCUgene was going to be the one historian for the longest time.
 
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Somber note ... the 1969-70 Rams had just four Black players: Jabo Wilkins, Don Ross, Charles Chambliss and Charles Booker .... all are deceased. Also gone from that squad are Mike Fling, Barry Sudduth and Keith Lawson ... as well as head coach Benny Dees. That was the last team to play home games in old Franklin Street Gym.
 

VCU Heel

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Somber note ... the 1969-70 Rams had just four Black players: Jabo Wilkins, Don Ross, Charles Chambliss and Charles Booker .... all are deceased. Also gone from that squad are Mike Fling, Barry Sudduth and Keith Lawson ... as well as head coach Benny Dees. That was the last team to play home games in old Franklin Street Gym.
My dad was a 1970 graduate of VCU and watched them play some in 1968-70 at Franklin Street Gym. He passed away in January. Wish I could ask him what he remembers of those teams.
 
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There can't be more than a dozen fans who have followed VCU since the first season, 68-69 ... I'm not one of them ... my first season was 69-70 and my first game was the 142-point rout of College of Charleston. The Rams got something like 70 rebounds that night.
 

VCU Heel

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There can't be more than a dozen fans who have followed VCU since the first season, 68-69 ... I'm not one of them ... my first season was 69-70 and my first game was the 142-point rout of College of Charleston. The Rams got something like 70 rebounds that night.
My dad went to some games when he was at VCU from 68-70. He went on to be a school teacher and a basketball/football coach (he won two Virginia state championships in 3 years and was runner up the middle year as an assistant coach at GW Carver High School in Martinsville, VA). He didn’t really follow VCU after moving back to Martinsville because there was no way to watch or listen to VCU games in that part of state for decades. He started going to games with me in the 2010s when I started getting season tickets.
 
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There can't be more than a dozen fans who have followed VCU since the first season, 68-69 ... I'm not one of them ... my first season was 69-70 and my first game was the 142-point rout of College of Charleston. The Rams got something like 70 rebounds that night.
I'm not sure what year it was but I remember seeing the Rams playing Newport News Apprentice and Washington and Lee at the Richmond Arena. I think that was the fall of 1968. It was while they were putting the finishing touches on the new Franklin Street gym.
 
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I'm not sure what year it was but I remember seeing the Rams playing Newport News Apprentice and Washington and Lee at the Richmond Arena. I think that was the fall of 1968. It was while they were putting the finishing touches on the new Franklin Street gym.

VCU played Virginia Union twice at the Arena (Big Barn on the Boulevard), in 68-69 and again in 69-70.
In both cases, it was Union's home game. The Panthers often played there vs. the likes of Norfolk State, Virginia State and Hampton.
The 68-69 games with VUU are intriguing.
Tom Harris, the elderly coach/AD at Union, approached VCU's Benny Dees about starting a series with the idea of making money.
Dees at first said "no," feeling the fledgling Rams were not ready for the likes of Union.
Harris countered by "guaranteeing" VCU would win at least one game. So, Dees agreed.
The Rams won the first .... but for reasons never explained, VUU's sensational Mike Davis (one of best players in HBCU history) did not play or even dress for the contest.
In the rematch, with Davis, the Panthers prevailed.
Dees was convinced that Davis was held out for no other reason than to make sure Harris' promise was kept.
Davis went on to lead the nation in scoring, was an NBA first-round draft choice and made the NBA All-Rookie team with Baltimore
Bullets. He ranks with the best players to ever take the court vs the Rams --- but he only did it once.
 
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VCU Heel

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VCU played Virginia Union twice at the Arena (Big Barn on the Boulevard), in 68-69 and again in 69-70.
In both cases, it was Union's home game. The Panthers often played there vs. the likes of Norfolk State, Virginia State and Hampton.
The 68-69 games with VUU are intriguing.
Tom Harris, the elderly coach/AD at Union, approached VCU's Benny Dees about starting a series with the idea of making money.
Dees at first said "no," feeling the fledgling Rams were not ready for the likes of Union.
Harris countered by "guaranteeing" VCU would win at least one game. So, Dees agreed.
The Rams won the first .... but for reasons never explained, VUU's sensational Mike Davis (one to best players in HBCU history) did not play or even dress for the contest.
In the rematch, with Davis, the Panthers prevailed.
Dees was convinced that Davis was held out for no other reason than to make sure Harris' promise was kept.
Davis went on to lead the nation in scoring, was an NBA first-round draft choice and made the NBA All-Rookie team with Baltimore
Bullets. He ranks with the best players to ever take the court vs the Rams --- but he only did it once.
Best player that VCU has ever played? I doubt it.

Just some of the guys we‘ve played over the last 20 years:
Chris Paul (Wake Forest, 2005) - this is the correct answer for the best player VCU has ever played against.
Patrick Beverly (Arkansas, 2007)
Jrue Holiday (UCLA, 2009)
Darren Collison (UCLA, 2009)
The Morris twins (Kansas, 2011)
Victor Oladipo (Indiana, 2012)
Seth Curry (Duke 2013)
Malcom Brogden (UVA 2014)
D’Angelo Russell (Ohio State, 2015)
Brandon Ingram (Duke, 2016)
Buddy Hield (Oklahoma, 2016)
Gary Payton II (Oregon State, 2016)
Duncan Robinson (Michigan, 2017)
Mohamed Bamba (Texas, 2017)
De’Andre Hunter (UVA, 2018)
Obi Toppin (Dayton, multiple years)
 
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Best player that VCU has ever played? I doubt it.

Just some of the guys we‘ve played over the last 20 years:
Chris Paul (Wake Forest, 2005) - this is the correct answer for the best player VCU has ever played against.
Patrick Beverly (Arkansas, 2007)
Jrue Holiday (UCLA, 2009)
Darren Collison (UCLA, 2009)
The Morris twins (Kansas, 2011)
Victor Oladipo (Indiana, 2012)
Seth Curry (Duke 2013)
Malcom Brogden (UVA 2014)
D’Angelo Russell (Ohio State, 2015)
Brandon Ingram (Duke, 2016)
Buddy Hield (Oklahoma, 2016)
Gary Payton II (Oregon State, 2016)
Duncan Robinson (Michigan, 2017)
Mohamed Bamba (Texas, 2017)
De’Andre Hunter (UVA, 2018)
Obi Toppin (Dayton, multiple years)

Please don't misquote me. I said, "ranks with the best," and he was. But when we're saying "best," do we mean as a collegian or as a future NBA player? There is a big distinction there. Davis scored about 2,800 points in just over 100 games for Union, led the nation in scoring, was a first-round draft choice (when there were far fewer teams), made first-team All-Rookie and averaged 10.1 points for his NBA career.
The list you present is impressive, but don't forget Ralph Sampton, Jeff Lamp, Robert Parrish and Fly Williams. Also, your list is too 2000 to now heavy. The best single game any player had against VCU was by Ty Marioneaux, a 7-foot Black man with a strong Cajun accent who tossed in 53 vs. the Rams in 1970. That's most points a VCU team ever allowed. Marioneaux was drafted in sixth round by Cincy Royals but did not play in NBA.
 

VCU Heel

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Please don't misquote me. I said, "ranks with the best," and he was. But when we're saying "best," do we mean as a collegian or as a future NBA player? There is a big distinction there. Davis scored about 2,800 points in just over 100 games for Union, led the nation in scoring, was a first-round draft choice (when there were far fewer teams), made first-team All-Rookie and averaged 10.1 points for his NBA career.
The list you present is impressive, but don't forget Ralph Sampton, Jeff Lamp, Robert Parrish and Fly Williams. Also, your list is too 2000 to now heavy. The best single game any player had against VCU was by Ty Marioneaux, a 7-foot Black man with a strong Cajun accent who tossed in 53 vs. the Rams in 1970. That's most points a VCU team ever allowed. Marioneaux was drafted in sixth round by Cincy Royals but did not play in NBA.
Sorry… read your post as “ranks as the best” instead of “ranks with the best.”

But he’s not likely one of the top 10 players we’ve played through the years. There’s a big difference in playing at VUU in the late 60s versus playing at the highest level of college basketball in later years.

As for the actual best player we’ve ever played… I don‘t like Chris Paul, but he’s a first ballot HOF’er with these credentials. I can’t see anyone we’ve played ranking ahead of him. At the college level he was consensus first team All-American and at the pro level he was voted one of the top 75 players of all-time. I would think he’d be the only player we ever faced that made the NBA 75th Anniversary Team.
 
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