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Jeff TullyWhen Ruben Douglas was named CIF...

Jeff Tully

When Ruben Douglas was named CIF Southern Section Division IV Player

of the Year in 1998, he proved he was a top talent among a fine group

of athletes.


However, what the men’s basketball player accomplished this season

at University of New Mexico is the finest feat in Douglas’

illustrious career.

Last week, Douglas, a senior, finished the NCAA regular season as


the top scorer in the nation. He ended his collegiate career with a

28-point average, scoring 783 points in 28 games. Douglas edged out

Eastern Illinois’ Henry Domercant, who averaged 27.9 points a game.

Unfortunately for Douglas -- a 6-foot-5, 200-pound guard -- he

wasn’t able to take his scoring title into the NCAA tournament. The

Lobos (10-18) were defeated by BYU, 71-56, March 13 in the

quarterfinals of the Mountain West Conference Tournament and didn’t

not get an invitation to the Big Dance.


To make matters worse, the Lobos weren’t even invited to take part

in the National Invitational Tournament, which they participated in

last season.

It was New Mexico’s first losing season in 20 years, as the Lobos

went 14-15 in the 1982-1983 season.

Along with his national scoring title, Douglas accomplished a long

list of feats at New Mexico:

* In just three seasons, he is UNM’s fifth all-time career scorer


with 1,782 points. Including his freshman season at Arizona, he ended

with 1,998 career points.

* He fell one point shy of breaking Kenny Page’s single-season

school scoring record of 784 points.

* He was named Mountain West Conference Player of the Year,

averaging a conference record 32.1 points a game and shooting 40.3%

from the field and 45.7% from the three-point line. He was also third

in the conference with 7.2 rebounds a game.

* He played in all 28 games for the Lobos and had scoring outputs

of 43 (twice), 40 and 39 (twice) points. He scored in double figures

in every game and his season low was 12 points. He also had 94


Since Douglas is not taking part in the NCAA tournament, the next

thing he has to look forward is the June 26 NBA draft.

There is a good chance Douglas will be chosen in the two rounds of

the draft. However, while some basketball Web sites have predicted he

will likely be taken in the second round, one mock draft has him as

high as the 17th overall pick, while some have him not being drafted

at all.

Before going to UNM as a sophomore, Douglas played his freshman

season for Coach Lute Olson at Arizona. In his one season with the

Wildcats, he was named to the Pacific 10 Conference All-Freshman


While a senior at Bell-Jeff, Douglas led the state in scoring with

a 34.6 average. With 1,073 points, Douglas ended the season with

California’s firth-best single-season scoring mark and his 2,578

points ranked him No. 9 on the state career scoring list.