Bevo Francis

Born Clarence Francis on 4 September 1932, Bevo Francis went on to become one of the greatest scorers in college basketball history during his career at Rio Grande College. He was 6'9, and was known for his great shooting touch.

In 1953, Bevo averaged 48.3 points a game, which is an NCAA record. This included a record 113 in a single game. He actually averaged 50.1 points per game over the season, but the NCAA excluded some of his best games because they were against lesser competition, such as junior colleges. One of the games that did not count during his career was an 116 point game against Ashland Junior College. In 1954, he averaged 48.0 points a game. He still holds the top two scoring averages in NAIA history, along with many NCAA records.

Bevo Francis and his coach Newt Oliver later signed with Boston Whirlwinds, a barnstorming team that played against the Harlem Globetrotters. He was later drafted by Philadelphia of the NBA, but after two seasons of constant travel with the Whirlwinds opted to return home to his wife and family.

Top scoring performances

*152 vs Ashland Junior College of KY 52-53.
*187 vs Hillsdale College 53-54.
*84 vs Alliance College 53-54.
*82 vs Bluffton College 53-54.
*76 vs Lees College 52-53.
*72 vs California State 52-53.
*69 vs Wilberforce 52-53.
*68 vs Mountain State 52-53.
*64 vs Erie Tech 53-54.
*63 vs53.

Quotes from Bevo Francis

"At that juncture in history, where he met that fork in the road, Bevo was the greatest shooter in the history of basketball."-William Nack, author and former "Sports Illustrated" writer on the ESPN documentary on Francis.

"Francis was a great player in his own right. He proved that. He was the [George Mikan| [George] Mikan] of his time. He would have been a great player at any time.....(After the betting scandals), Bevo brought back some dignity to the sport. He took the sting out of it. He restored it to its place, the way [Babe Ruth| [Babe] Ruth] and [Lou Gehrig| [Lou] Gehrig] had done for baseball after the 'Black Sox' scandal. He had a unique ability to stimulate the crowds. He mesmerized the country."-Former Villanova University Coach, Alex Severance.

"He was the best player I ever saw. He had a great jump shot. And he had a great ball club along with him. After it{the game} was finally over, I thought I’d just seen the greatest player then alive – college or pro."-Kenny Mast, former Coach Bluffton College.

"Bevo had the finest touch I’ve ever seen."-Ron Shavlik, North Carolina State All-American, 1954

"Bevo was a real fine ball player. He was a pure shooter."-Ned "Dickie" Hemric, Wake Forest All-American. ACC player of the year,1954.

"Francis convinced me. He was a great player. He was an excellent shooter from the floor and was big enough to control the boards. And don’t overlook his playing companions. They were an excellent college team. Bevo was to Rio Grande what Larry Bird was to Indiana State later."-Tony Hinkle, Hall of Fame former Coach, Butler University.

"There wasn't a stiff among them. They could all pass and handle the ball. Bevo could shoot with anyone in the game– even today."-Norm Ellenberger,Butler University,1954 and former head Coach, New Mexico State University.

"He was one of those drum-beat stories. You sit by the tree, you hear people talking about the great legends of the game, then you hear people talk about Bevo, yeah", says former Georgetown coach John Thompson about Bevo Francis on ESPN Classic's SportsCentury series.

ee also

*List of basketball players who have scored 100 points in a single game

External links

* [ Sportscentury: Bevo Francis]
* [ The Bevo Francis Story]

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