The Perfect Season

The Perfect Season

A Memoir of the 1964-1965 Evansville College Purple Aces
Russell Grieger
Distribution: World
Publication date: 09/19/2016
Format: Paperback 16 b&w illus.
ISBN: 978-0-253-02276-9
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In 1964, the Evansville College Purple Aces raced undefeated through the Indiana Collegiate Conference, posting a perfect 24–0 regular-season record and winning the College Division NCAA championship. The skeleton of this season exists in newspaper archives and in books that capture the on-court action, but the flesh and blood has never been written—until now. This is the story of Russell Grieger, a starting guard, and his observations, feelings, reactions, and struggles of that season. It provides a game-by-game look into the team, showcasing Grieger’s teammates, Coach Arad McCutchan, and Evansville’s love for the Aces. The Perfect Season is an insider's inspiring story of a team whose motto—"If you’re going to go, go big time or don’t go at all"—inspired them to achieve their dream.

Author Bio

A native of Evansville, Indiana, Russell Grieger was a starting guard on the undefeated 1964–1965 Evansville College Purple Aces NCAA Championship basketball team. A licensed clinical psychologist, he now resides in Charlottesville, Virginia. He was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016.


“We've all wondered what really goes on inside a player's mind during the tension of a close game, in a wild arena, when big things are on the line. We’ve all wondered if these "kids" have egos and self-doubts. Russ Grieger answers those questions and more while introducing us to one of college basketball's all-time underappreciated great teams—and a season and a coach to match.”
 — Bob Hammel, author of All The Way: NCAA Indiana

“Relying upon his considerable skill as a master psychologist and his unique experience as an integral part of a star-studded national championship team, Russ Grieger not only captures all the excitement and thrills of the Evansville Aces perfect season of 1964-65 but also provides a very personal and in-depth analysis of what it meant to grow up in Indiana with a passionate love of basketball. Along the way, we get fascinating insider’s portraits of Coach Arad McCutcheon and superstars Jerry Sloan, Larry Humes, and the rest of that slick and talented team that accomplished the ultra-rare feat of an undefeated national championship season. This is the story of a basketball odyssey filled with ups and downs and challenges both internal and external—a great story and a great read!”
 — Mike Roos , author One Small Town, One Crazy Coach: The Ireland Spuds and the 1963 Indiana High School Basketbal

“The Perfect Season is a winner! Russ Grieger was part of the 1964-65 Purple Aces Evansville College perfect season and takes us through that magical time. Grieger also shares how the lessons learned on the court with a team helped him later succeed in life.    ”
 — Kyle Keiderling, author of Trophies and Tears, The Story of Evansville and the Aces

“Russ Grieger's poignant memoir is more than just a sports book. It is a book about how a quiet, genius coach and five very different personalities melded to produce something extraordinary, and how one of those personalities came to understand that he was not just a basketball player—he was a unique person who happened to play basketball.”
 — Tom Tuley, retired journalist

“Russell Grieger has lovingly captured a time and a place—Indiana a half-century ago—when basketball mattered so much to that part of the world, and when a boy who happened to be very good at the game enjoyed the sweetest season that any player anywhere could dream of.”
 — Frank Deford , author and commentator

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Table of Contents

Part One: The Aces Get Ready
1. The Armory Days
2. Carson Center Preparation
3. The Iowa Hawkeyes
Part Two: The Aces Grows Up
4. The Beginnings
5. From Bullpup To Bulldog
6. Flailing and Falling
7. Flying
8. St. Louis Blues
9. Return to Evansville
10. A Dream Comes True—Almost
Part Three: The Aces Succeed
11. Northwestern
12. Notre Dame
13. Holiday Feast
14. The Black Hills and The Badlands
15. Larry, Then The Holy Grail
16. Fans into Redshirts
17. Southern Illinois Surprise
18. DePauw and More
19. Five Games, Five Snapshots
20. Southern Illinois Redux
Part Four: The Aces Triumph
21. The NCAA Regional
22. The NCAA Finals

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