A while back I picked up a copy of the 1953 Official NCAA Basketball Guide. Within the 269 pages of the Guide, there is almost everything one could want to try to reconstruct the state of the game back then, including previews of the upcoming season, standings for the previous season, and a rule book.

And the game was quite a bit different than the one we know today. Periodically, I’ll share pages from it. To start things off, let’s look at page 1, the “National Preview-Review”, penned by future HOF’er Jim Enright. This is not the most exciting part of the book, but it will give you an idea of the style of writing 57 years ago. Perhaps in 50 years, we’ll look at Simmons’ writing in the way we look at Enright’s now. (Although, I like the idea of calling a team’s leading scorer “Mr. Points”.)

The other thing you’ll notice is that this was a production of the NCAA. Whereas now we can go to Barnes and Noble and pick up any one of a dozen or so independently created preview mags. Back then, I’m assuming this was it. Thus, you have Mr. Enright comparing the cage game’s resurgence from the game-fixing scandal of 1951 to something like winning World War II. You also have only a brief mention in the entire publication that likely preseason number one Kentucky was banned from play for violations related to the ‘51 scandal.

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