Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Villanova Players by the Number: 22 is for Gary McLain

Guard, 1981-1985
In this spot I could have very easily used Gary Buchanan, but Gary McLain is more interesting because of his dazzling performance in the 1985 NCAA Championship Game and his subsequent admission in Sports Illustrated that he was high on cocaine during the national semifinal against Memphis State as well as in the White House rose garden when the team was being honored by President Reagan.  Compounding matters was his assertion that Rollie Massimino and Villanova administration knew that he had a drug problem and did nothing about it.  The circumstances around McLain's article in SI are disputed to this day, and even back in 1987 when the allegations first surfaced.  Even if McLain was high on cocaine, this was prior to the death of Len Bias (who was on the Maryland team Villanova beat in the 1985 Tournament) which shed further light on the dangers of cocaine.  Getting away from the cocaine allegations, McLain was probably the single most important player on the floor against Georgetown in 1985.  His ability to break the legendary press of The Hoyas paved the way for Villanova to win the game.  Though I mainly chose him because of the controversy he generated, Gary McLain really could ball. 

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