Pac-10 Basketball: Brockman is 8 grabs from rebound fame
By DAN RALEYP-I REPORTER
WASHINGTON BASKETBALL player Jon Brockman will pass Doug Smart on Wednesday, and probably again on Thursday.
Brockman will have a seat on a charter bus ferrying his team to the airport when it skirts alongside University of Washington Medical Center, where Smart is recovering from hip surgery.
Once at Oregon, Brockman needs just eight rebounds to replace Smart as the Huskies' all-time and Pac-10's eighth-best rebounder -- exceeding Smart's 1,051 total that became the school standard 50 years ago.
Smart, 72, has had a difficult week, watching his Orcas Island home destroyed by fire and fracturing his hip while loading a truck. Well before suffering those setbacks, he discussed handing over the rebounding record to Brockman in a gracious manner, acknowledging he has been caught up in the countdown.
"Gosh, yes, when you have very little claim to fame you watch it," said the former UW center, who played from 1957 to 1959. "Fifty years is long enough. I'd be happy to see it move elsewhere. I hope for the sake of the program that it doesn't take another 50 years to do it again."
Smart averaged 13.5 rebounds per game in his three-year varsity career. In three-plus seasons, Brockman grabs 9.4 rebounds on average.
Explaining his higher volume, the 6-foot-7 Smart, who shares Brockman's height but played at 20 pounds lighter, said he had fewer people to contend with for his rebounds, though he teamed with 6-9 Bruno Boin, another career double-figure rebounder.
"I was only really pushed by three or four people on the court," Smart said. "We didn't have guards with 40-inch vertical leaps."
People who have witnessed both rebounders in action say their desire to go get the ball is very similar.
"Doug played with much of the focus and tenacity Jon expresses," said Jerry Johnson, 75, a former UW guard and current season-ticket holder.
Smart's career high in a game was 23, which he accomplished twice. Brockman's best is 18 on four different occasions, three times this season.
Maintaining his current pace, Brockman should rise to fourth among the Pac-10's all-time rebounders, surpassing USC's Ron Riley (1,067), Stanford's Tim Young (1,081), Oregon's Greg Ballard (1,114) and Stanford's Adam Keefe (1,119).
Only UCLA's Lew Alcindor (1,367), UCLA's Bill Walton (1,370) and Oregon State's Mel Counts (1,375) are statistically out of reach for the UW player.Only UCLA's Lew Alcindor (1,367), UCLA's Bill Walton (1,370) and Oregon State's Mel Counts (1,375) are statistically out of reach for the UW player.