State of Hogs: Counce gave Sutton 4 years and then some

Here is a column after a visit with Jim Counce:

I attended the Eddie Sutton Basketball Camp in July 1981 (stayed in Winston-Sharpe dorm across the street from Barnhill Arena, and would walk over nightly and watch pickup games. Darrell Walker usually played on opposite team of Alvin Robertson, and Scott Hastings was opposite the recent transfer Joe Klein. Great games for a 13 year-old Hog fan to watch).

Anyway, it might as well have been called the Jim Counce Camp. He did everything. Coach Sutton spoke to us campers one night as a group, but Jim Counce was hands on with us throughout the week. He made a great impression on me, and I always thought it ironic that we would later attend the same medical school.

(Memorable, too, was learning the news when our parents picked up my friend and I to head back to Texarkana, that Texarkana’s own Bill Rogers had just won the Open Championship… or British Open, as we called it)

Jimmy is a great friend and great man. Saved a lot of lives, probably many hundreds.

The type of people that help make for a healthy, thriving college culture. They are worth their weight in gold.

Another great column by Clay. I don’t think our fan base was ever more unified than during the early Sutton years.

Anybody know what ever happened to Steve Schall? His predecessor Steve Stroud passed away a few years ago.


I was fortunate to attend the Final Four in 1978 at St. Louis. I thought UK Coach Joe B. Hall out coached UA Coach Eddie Sutton. It appeared to me at the time our offense ran through Jimmy Counce. Coach Hall played tight defense on Jimmy not allowing him to pass and distribute freely crippling our offense. Perhaps the veterans on the Board can provide a better perspective of that game than me.

On a different note, I was always much impressed by Jimmy’s wisdom, intellect and maturity. A truly incredible person. Much greater than I.


I was also at that game, and my memory is that Marvin had a very poor shooting night. Never saw him miss so many shots.

Everyone is welcome to their opinions, but I did NOT think Joe B Hall out coached Sutton. I thought 3 early fouls on Schall was the difference. Hand checking had not been called to that point in the tournament but that’s what got Schall out of the game.

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