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MULLIGAN ON HIS ALL-TIME ANTEATERS

Comments from the UC Irvine basketball coach on the top players during his 11-year tenure at the school:

KEVIN MAGEE

“I’m not sure he wasn’t as good as Larry Johnson at this stage. He could probably shoot as well or better. He sure could board with him. The difference is, Johnson had a much better supporting cast. Magee is the only guy in the history of the NCAA who was in the top 10 in field-goal percentage, rebounding and scoring in the same year. (Bill) Walton didn’t do it, (Kareem Abdul-) Jabbar didn’t do it, nobody. And Magee did it twice.”

BEN McDONALD

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“McDonald was the best defensive player we ever had. He played every position except center for us. One night I had him guard Leon Wood at point guard and we won the game because of what he did. He was a real leader-type guy, even though he didn’t say anything. All he had to do was look at you.”

TOD MURPHY

“He and McDonald were the most solid guys we had, guys who never had a bad practice. Magee was a scorer, period, but those two guys did everything. I remember one night in Nebraska, Murphy is guarding (David) Hoppen, who was a big-time scorer for them, and Murphy was really dragging. So he runs by the bench and says, ‘Coach, coach, give me a minute.’ I call timeout and look at him and say, ‘OK, Murphy, there’s your minute.’ I wasn’t taking him out of there. Murphy was the only one who could handle him.”

JOHNNY ROGERS

“Rogers had some unbelievable games for us. What made him so tough was his outside shooting ability for his size (6-feet-8). We were real fortunate his senior year, when we had Rogers, (Wayne) Engelstad and (Mike) Doktorczyk up front. We’d put all three of them in there, run the break and have them all knock down three-pointers.”

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SCOTT BROOKS

“He’s the best guard we’ve ever had. Brooks was the leading scorer on the West Coast his senior year. I never saw a guy do more with his size (5-11) or play as hard. He loved to play. He and Rogers were real gym rats. Brooks would be in the gym six hours a day, working on his shot.”

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