Pondering Caleb Green's Mid-Con legacy

2007-02-03T00:00:00Z Pondering Caleb Green's Mid-Con legacy nwitimes.com
February 03, 2007 12:00 am

David Robb

Times Columnist

Even standing on the brink of history -- well, Mid-Continent Conference history at least -- Oral Roberts senior Caleb Green seems utterly underwhelmed by himself.

Lost in the thrill of Valparaiso's stunning overtime win Thursday was Green's 19-point performance, which moved him into fourth place on the all-time Mid-Con scorers list. At his current pace, he has a shot at unseating UMKC's Michael Watson as the conference's top career scorer.

"That's not something I worry about," Green said, "and I don't think any players on this team have individual goals right now.

"I've been here a pretty long time, so I've had my time to break a lot of records."

The question comes down to ... is Green the Mid-Con's best player ever?

"That's not really for me to judge," he said. "So I can't really speak for nobody else."

It begs wondering, when Green's college career gives way to the pros -- possibly the NBA -- what legacy will he leave behind?

Statistically, no one in the history of the conference boasts a stronger body of work. The nation's active career scoring leader is also the only player in the Mid-Con ever to amass 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds.

Fifty-two straight games in double figures. Fifty-seven career double-doubles. You'd be hard pressed to find anyone in the country who has been this consistently good the past four years.

But does that make him the best player in the 25-year history of the Mid-Con?

Statistically, he holds a scoring edge on, say, Bryce Drew. But Drew led his team to three NCAA tournaments, including Valparaiso's only Sweet 16 appearance, and somewhere along the way hit a shot -- "The Shot" -- that forever enshrines him in college basketball lore, as well as being the answer to the trivia question: What picture has more duplicates on display around the Athletics-Recreation Center?

"I don't think you can base anything on just points," VU coach Homer Drew said. "I think it's what he does to make the team better and what success that they have in raising the level of the team. He's definitely one of the best players, and we'll have to wait and see how he finishes his senior season."

Perhaps a wait-and-see approach is in order here. Oral Roberts' first-round loss to Memphis as the No. 16 seed last year is its only NCAA tournament appearance with Green. If the Golden Eagles can crack the field of 65 again this year and win a game, maybe two, it would give Green's legacy some credibility for performing when it really counts.

If not, he'll just have to settle for being the most sickeningly consistent scorer/rebounder to ever suit up in this conference.

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