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For four years, Philip Hutcheson was the heart of the Bisons offense. He fulfilled the role admirably, by becoming college basketball's all-time scoring leader with 4,106 points and the Bisons' first player to have his number retired. He performed just as well in the classroom, graduating with a 4.0 GPA as a political science/ communication major. For his work on the court and in the classroom, Hutcheson received numerous honors and accolades, including being named the Bisons' Most Valuable Player and James R. Byers Award recipient for 1989-90. He was also named the NAIA's Player of the Year, and "CoSIDA / GTE Academic Player of the Year" two years in a row.
If one went back to read the March 19, 1986 sports section of the Tennessean it would tell how Lipscomb University captured the NAIA Championship the previous night. With a little closer observation in ironic fashion, you would see the name Philip Hutcheson in the upper right hand corner receiving one of the numerous prep awards for David Lipscomb High School. Little did anyone know that while the Bisons captured the title that Hutcheson would soon begin his legendary career with the Bisons. Hutcheson wasted little time making an impact on the Bison program scoring 37 points and grabbing 11 rebounds in his first game. While Hutcheson caught the attention of fans and the media for his scoring abilitites, it was his excellence in the classroom that made Hutcheson the premier student-athlete. While the 6'8" center ended his career with more points than any other college player, his perfect 4.0 grade point average may have been a greater accomplishment.
Officially, Hutcheson broke the mark of 4,045 points set by Travis Grant of Kentucky State in a third round game against Pfeiffer (NC) in the NAIA National Tournament in Kansas City. Hutcheson would hit an eight-foot jump hook-shot in the lane with 12:01 left in the first half to officially break the record. Hutcheson would end his career with 4,106 points and accumulate virtually every possible award including All-American each of his four seasons. He was also named 1990 NAIA Player of the Year and CoSIDA Academic Player of the Year in both 1988-89 and 1989-90. Hutcheson would conclude his career by becoming the first Lipscomb athlete to have his uniform retired, which hangs in the rafters today in Allen Arena. The legacy left by Philip Hutcheson will forever leave a remarkable stamp on Lipscomb University both on and off the court.
The Hutcheson Record
Replacing a star is difficult, but replacing a legend is virtually impossible. In 1990, John Pierce received the nod as the player who was to replace the legendary Philip Hutcheson. After a red shirt season of watching Philip Hutcheson do interview after interview, it was time for John Pierce to take center stage. It is almost impossible to think that one University could have college basketball's number one and number two all-time leading scorers. John Pierce did not think it was impossible. Pierce wasted little time at chasing his predecessor, as he netted 22 points in 21 minutes and grabbed nine rebounds in his first game in a Bison uniform. As the season rolled along and Pierce continued to pile up points, people began to wonder if Pierce would honestly have a chance to break what many believed was an unbreakable record. Throughout Hutcheson's career, he was able to play in unlimited games each season. However, just as Pierce began playing, college basketball instituted a game limitations rule making it nearly impossible for Pierce to have a shot at the record. However, after two seasons of breaking the 1,000-point mark, each year nearly would soon be possible and work on the Pierce-O-Meter would soon begin. Only in Hollywood could a record of this magnitude be broken. Not only was the player who was to fill Hutcheson's shoes breaking the record, but the fact that Hutcheson and Pierce were roommates during Hutcheson's record breaking year was almost too much.
As Pierce closed in on the mark, national attention began to focus on tiny McQuiddy Gymnasium. Historically the night was February 24, 1994 and the clock read 4:54 in the second half against Cumberland University. After being held to only eight points in the first half, Pierce exploded in the second half to become Lipscomb and College Basketball's all-time scorer. After the game many of the old-timers who had seen nearly every game in McQuiddy could be heard saying that never before had McQuiddy erupted like the moment when Pierce laid the soft bankshot off the glass to surpass Hutcheson. Along the record breaking run, Pierce would also break Lipscomb's single game scoring record previously held by Bruce Bowers. Ironically with Bowers in the stands for the Homecoming Ceremonies, set 52 points that had stood since January 6, 1972. Pierce would end his career with his #50 jersey being only the second Lipscomb Athlete to have his uniform retired. John Pierce finished his career with 4,230 career points, which to this day is still the most points ever scored by a college basketball player. During Pierce's career, he was named All-American each of his four seasons and was named NAIA Player of the Year in both 1993 and 1994.
Most Points, Career:
4230, John Pierce, David Lipscomb (Tenn.), 1990-94 (1,627 FGs, 881 FTs in 148 games)
Two-time All-American Darren Henrie foiled a lot of team's defensive plans during his career. As a threat anywhere on the court, no team could just sag in on Philip Hutcheson and leave the perimeter open. Darren Henrie scored 3,004 points from inside and outside to finish his career third in school history behind Pierce and Hutcheson. Henrie's dunks could bring a crowd to life, but nothing like the effect of one of his NBA length--or from the square in Franklin--three-pointers. His 87 blocks and 78 steals revealed his defensive capabilitites in his senior season. He is also third in Lipscomb's history in rebounds behind Pierce and Hutcheson. Henrie went on to pursue his basketball career overseas, and then tried out for the NBA Atlanta Hawks. Henrie came within one player of making the Atlanta Hawks roster but was passed over for a well-known star Mookie Blaloc. Henrie is the closest Bison to ever playing in the NBA.
Marcus Bodie was one of the most exciting players in Bison basketball history. During his four years at Lipscomb, Marcus developed a reputation for tenacious defensive play that often inspired the Bisons' offensive explosions. Fans watched him get the tough rebound and hit the clutch basket, but most exciting--were his steals. Bodie still holds the NAIA single season (175 steals,1989-90, 45 games, 3.9 per game) and career steals record (440, 1986-90,148 games, 3.0 per game).
When Marcus Bodie began playing with the Bisons in 1986-87, little did anyone know that he would end his career as the greatest defender in Lipscomb history, along with becoming college basketball's all-time steals leader. By his sophomore season, Marcus became known throughout the conference as the player no one wanted to go up against. As Marcus continued through his career, it was evident that while his classmates were doing their job by scoring he was just as important to the team's success. Utilizing his unbelievable quickness, Bodie frustrated the opposing team's best players with his sticky defense and knack for pick-pocketing unsuspecting dribblers.
Quickly Marcus became a favorite with Bison fans as he would defend an opponent and wait for just the right moment to attempt to flip the ball away. Marcus had an incredible ability to expose even the best player's weaknesses whether it was their passing or ball-handling skills.
During the 1989-90 season Bodie broke the single-season steals record with 175 steals. Marcus would also break the national mark for career steals with 440, and become college basketball's all-time steals leader. His 440 steals is a record that still stands to this day.
Marcus Bodie was every coach's dream player. Through pain or sickness, he came to play every practice and game. He truly dedicated his career to being a team player. Marcus Bodie was one of the main reasons the Bisons were considered the best.
Most Steals, Season: 175, Marcus Bodie, David Lipscomb (Tenn.) 1989-90 (45 games, 3.9 per game)
Most Steals, Career: 440, Marcus Bodie, David Lipscomb (Tenn.), 1986-90 (148 games, 3.0 per game)
The Bodie Book
After a brilliant high school career at David Lipscomb where he was named Mr. AA Basketball two straight years. Jerry Meyer decided to take a year off from basketball. In 1989-90, Jerry wasted little time getting back to his old form as he signed to play basketball for his dad at the University. In a year that the Bisons would set a national record with 41 wins, there is no doubt that Jerry Meyer, even though a freshman, was a key player for father Don and the Bisons. Jerry would lead the Bisons with his 385 assists while playing in all 46 games in his first year.
While Philip Hutcheson was on his way to becoming college basketball's all-time scorer, it was Jerry Meyer who was the set-up man. Whether it was a no-look pass to a posting-up Philip Hutcheson, an alley-oop pass to a high-flying Darren Henrie, or a cross-court pass to the corner to waiting Wade Tomlinson, Jerry dished off more assists than any other player to ever wear a Lipscomb uniform. The old mark was held by Ricky Bowers who had 255 in 1983-84. Jerry would break his own record during his sophomore season when he dished off 424, a national record. In 1990-91 Jerry dished off 19 assists in a single game, a record that still stands in the Lipscomb record books. Jerry would accumulate 1163 assists during his three seasons at Lipscomb that would break the career record of 701 held by Ricky Bowers.
After his junior season, Jerry decided not to attend Lipscomb his final season and finished his career at the University of Minnesota at Duluth. While at Duluth, Jerry would break the national mark for career assists. Meyer would finish his career with 1,314 assists, breaking the old mark of 1,259, set by Kelly Jobe of Oklahoma Christian.
Even though the record came thousands of miles away, it was a heartfelt evening when word came that Jerry had surpassed the career assist mark. During Jerry's career, he was named NAIA All-American, Academic All-American, as well as receiving the prestigious Frank Hesselbroth Leadership Award.
Most Assists, Career: 1314, Jerry Meyer, David Lipscomb (Tenn.)-Minnesota-Duluth, 1989-92; 1993-94 (148 games, 9.1 per game)
Finally, after all the assists from Meyer, the steals from Bodie, and all the points by Hutcheson and Pierce, the Lipscomb O-Meters were over...it was thought. Then came a sharp shooter from Clarksville named Andy McQueen. When McQueen signed to play with Lipscomb, he knew that he would get a chance to do what he does best--shoot the basketball. After watching Darren Henrie come within 10 three-pointers of college basketball's all-time record, McQueen set his sights on taking care of some unfinished business. McQueen would finish with 515 career three-pointers to break college basketball's all-time record of 467 held by Bill Elliott of Mid-American Nazarene.
McQueen was deadly from behind the three-point line hitting 112 as a freshman, 143 as a sophomore, 124 as a junior, and 136 his final season. While McQueen excelled both in the classroom and on the court, he quietly went about his business. It was McQueen, who on the night John Pierce gained national attention for breaking the all-time scoring record, would set a new Lipscomb single game record with 11 three-pointers.
Adnan Hodzic dominated the paint during his four year career with the Bisons. The native of Sarajevo, Bosnia, moved to the United States for cataract surgery when he was nine and escaping the Bosnia-Sebia conflict. A graduate of North Central High School in Indianapolis, Hodzic earned a starting role mid-way through his freshman year.
Hodzic, a marketing major, earned Associated Press All-American honors his junior year when he because the first Lipscomb basketball player to win Atlantic Sun Player of the Year honors. Hodzic finished as Lipscomb's NCAA era leader in points (2,002) and rebounds (840).
It can be easy to write off a player from a “Mid-Major” school. But in 10 games against “Major” programs over his final three years, Hodzic averaged 18.7 points and 7.7 rebounds.