PSL Final Four Participants

Chris Douglas-Roberts

Northwestern product Chris Douglas-Roberts appeared in his first Final Four in 2008 as a member of the Memphis Tigers. He is at least the 18th PSL product to appear in the men’s Final Four since its inception in 1939. (Photo Scout.com) 

The NCAA tournament began in 1939, but most felt that the NCAA tournament was the consolation tournament during the tourney’s first two decades, much like the NIT is viewed today. 

At least 18 Detroit Public School products have been on the roster of a team that participated in an NCAA Final Four.  (They may have been a benchwarmer or academically ineligible, but they were on the team.)  DetroitPSLBasketball.com has also indicated the seasons when a Michigan university made the Final Four, even if no PSL product was on the team.

We also have a second list that shows when a PSL product was on a school’s freshman team during the same year that the varsity made a Final Four appearance.  For years freshmen were ineligible to play varsity basketball, so scholarship freshmen and non-scholarship freshmen played together on the freshman team.  For the sake of argument, we have included these players because if the freshman-rule did not exist they may have been on the varsity.  (Please let us know if we forgot any.)

FYI
Today the winner of the NIT can chant “We’re number 1!” but the fans of those teams that made the NCAA’s field of 65—today’s Big Dance– may snidely remark, “You’re number 66!”  Since the NIT enjoyed about two decades being thought of as “the big tournament,” DetroitPSLBasketball.com will have a PSL NIT Final Four Participants in the near future.  We’ll also do the Final Fours for NCAA DII and DIII, NAIA, NJCAA (JUCO) DI and DII, too.  We would be ignorant to exclude the Final Fours of the Historic Black colleges who, for years, were excluded or “limited-by-design” from the aforementioned tournaments.  Be patient and check back.  You can help by sending us the names of PSL products that played in those Final Fours.

1957
Dave Scott, Michigan State, Cooley

1964
Bill Buntin, Michigan, Cass Tech/Northern
Oliver Darden, Michigan, Western
Bill Yearby*, Michigan , Eastern

1965
Dennis Bankey, Michigan, Detroit St. Thomas
Bill Buntin, Michigan, Cass Tech/Northern
Oliver Darden, Michigan, Western

1976
Alan Hardy, Michigan, Northwestern

1979
Gerald Gilkie, Michigan State, Kettering
Greg Kelser, Michigan State, Henry Ford

1987
Jarvis Basnight, UNLV, Butzel Middle School (had left the state by high school)
Derrick Coleman, Syracuse, Cooley/Northern

1988
Marvin Branch**, Kansas, Murray-Wright

1989
Michigan, no PSL participants

1990
Anderson Hunt, UNLV, Southwestern

1991
Anderson Hunt, UNLV, Southwestern

1992
Jalen Rose***, Michigan, Southwestern
Michael Talley***, Michigan, Cooley

1993
Jalen Rose***, Michigan, Southwestern
Michael Talley***, Michigan, Cooley

1996
Todd Burgan, Syracuse, Benedictine/Pershing

1999
D Bryant, Duke, Cass Tech
Shamar Herron, Ohio State, Cass Tech/West Bloomfield/Pershing
Ken Johnson, Ohio State, Henry Ford
Michigan State, no PSL participants

2000
Michigan State, no PSL participants

2001
Michigan State, no PSL participants

2005
Maurice Ager, Michigan State, Crockett
Brandon Jenkins, Louisville, Southeastern

2008
Chris Douglas-Roberts, Memphis, Cass Tech/Northwestern

2009
Michigan State, no PSL participants

2010
Derrick Nix, Michigan State, Murray-Wright/Pershing

*-Bill Yearby was a scholarship football player at Michigan but appeared in one varsity basketball game during the 1963-64 season for the Wolverines.
 
**-Marvin Branch started the first 14 games for Kansas during the season of 1987-88, but became academically ineligible.

***-Jalen Rose and Michael Talley did each appear in two different Final Fours, but those years have were marred by the undue influence scandal and U-M had to abdicate its appearances.

Freshman Team Members
1940
Alex Omalev*, USC, Northern

1965
Gerald Peaks, Michigan, Eastern
Jim Pitts, Michigan, Northwestern

1972
Willie Solomon, Louisville, Northern

*-DetroitPSLBasketball.com is still researching Alex Omalev, but we have reason to believe that Omalev was on the freshman team at the University of Southern California (USC) during the1939-40 season when the Trojans made it to the Final Four.  In 1943, during his senior year, Omalev was the Trojans’ second leading scorer.


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