Oklahoma Basketball: All-Time Sooners Men’s Basketball Team

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Mar 27, 2015; Syracuse, NY, USA; The Oklahoma Sooners cheerleader perform during the second half against the Michigan State Spartans in the semifinals of the east regional of the 2015 NCAA Tournament at Carrier Dome. Michigan State won 62-58. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Wayman Tisdale (1982-85), First Team Forward

A three-time consensus All-American, Wayman Tisdale is perhaps the greatest player in Oklahoma basketball history. Recruited by head coach Billy Tubbs, Tisdale was rated the No. 1 high school player in the country coming out of Booker T. Washington High School in Tulsa.

Tubbs called Tisdale “the best player of all players.” There are a number of so-called great players coming out of high school, Tubbs said, but a good number don’t turn out that way at the college level. Tisdale was one that did excel…and them some. See for yourself by clicking on this highlights

of Tisdale while he was at Oklahoma.

There are a number of college firsts associated with Tisdale’s name. He was the first freshman ever named to the Associated Press’ All-America First Team, the first player in collegiate history to be named an AP First Team All-American his freshman, sophomore and junior seasons and the first and only player to lead the Big Eight in scoring in three consecutive seasons.

In addition to being a three-time All-American, Tisdale was named Big Eight Player of the Year in all three seasons he was at OU. The Sooners won two Big Eight regular-season titles (1983-84 and 1984-85), during which time OU posted a combined 70-11 record and was 33-0 in games played at home.

The man known for his positive attitude and the game’s biggest smile was Oklahoma’s leading scorer in 76 of the 104 games in which he played. He had a career scoring average of 25.8, a school record, and still holds program bests in points, rebounds, made field goals and free throws. He scored in double figures in his first 83 games as a Sooner, and was held below 10 points just once in his college career.

Tisdale was the top pick of the Indiana Pacers, No. 2 overall, in the 1985 NBA Draft. He spent three seasons and part of a fourth with the Pacers before being traded to the Sacramento  Kings, where he played for five and a half seasons. Over a 12-year NBA career, Tisdale averaged 15 points and 6 rebounds a game.

Tisdale retired from the NBA in 1997 to focus on his musical career. He was an accomplished bass player and recorded eight record albums.

In 1997, Tisdale became the first athlete in any sport at the University of Oklahoma to have his jersey number (23) retired.

He played on the gold-medal team in the 1983 Pan-American Games and on the 1984 U.S. Olympic team that won the gold at the Los Angeles Games.

Tisdale’s life was tragically cut short in May 2009 after a two-year battle with bone cancer. Following his death, at the age of 44, he was posthumously inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame.

Next: Alvan Adams (1972-75), First Team Center