The Dandy Dons

By James W. Johnson




    In 1952 San Francisco University Dons coach Phil Woolpert offered scholarships to Bill Russell and K.C. Jones and basketball would never be the same again.  That team would go on to set a record by winning 55 consecutive games and two national championships.  They changed basketball by playing tenacious defense and recruiting and playing African-American players when it simply wasn't the norm.  They also changed the rules (namely Russell) and changed the college basketball post-season by making the NCAA tournament more prestigious than the N.I.T.

    The story goes into the lives of Woolpert, Russell, Jones, and the team and studies the history and the impact.  It is solid research.  The only drawback is that Russell did not provide interviews for the book.  It was done entirely through reading his four books.  But overall, if you are not familiar with this team and this time period, it is a very educational book on a fascinating subject.

Introspection:  N/A
Insight:  3
History:  1952-1960
Readability:  4

The Dandy Dons: Bill Russell, K.C. Jones, Phil Woolpert, and One of College Basketball's Greatest and Most Innovative Teams.  James W. Johnson.  University of Nebraska Press.  2009.

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