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Kentucky Greats: #22, Ron Mercer

Posted by ibleedblue040 on February 28, 2008

Not many people would say Ron Mercer’s name when rattling off the top players in Kentucky Basketball history, but if you look at his statistics and how the Wildcat teams that he played on finished you might change your mind. Ron Mercer is one of the more highly touted players to commit to the Kentucky program in their history. In high school Mercer was a two-time Mr. Basketball winner in the state of Tennessee, one of only 5 players in the last 20 years in Tennessee to accomplish that feat. Mercer was also a Parade First Team All-American and McDonald’s All-American as a senior. In college, despite only playing two seasons at UK, Mercer was a member of the 1,000 point club. Mercer amassed over 700 points as a sophmore, the second most points in school history by a sophmore, and also made 297 field-goals as a sophmore, the best by any sophmore in school history. Mercer then averaged at least 15 points per game in each of his first 7 seasons after entering the NBA Draft after his sophmore season. Here are some of Mercer’s college and NBA accomplishments:

  •  Ron Mercer ranks 5th all-time in single season points with 725 points in his sophmore season, only Dan Issel scored more points as a sophmore in school history
  •  Mercer ranks 3rd in school history with 297 made field-goals as a sophmore, the most made field-goals by a sophmore in school history
  •  Mercer ranks 9th on the school’s single season steals list with 66
  •  He ranks 5th among sophmores in UK history with 49 three-pointers made
  •  Mercer was 69-7 in his career, a winning percentage of 91%, with 2 NCAA Championship game appearances, including one win
  •  As a freshman Mercer made the All-SEC Freshman Team and made the All-NCAA Final Four Team
  •  As a sophmore Mercer was named First Team All-American, All-NCAA Final Four Team, NCAA Regional Most Outstanding Player, SEC Player of the Year, First Team All-SEC, & SEC Tournament MVP

Many people do not realize when they look back at that ’97 national runner-up team how good Mercer really was. He had arguably the greatest sophmore season in school history and won many more awards as a sophmore than anyone else in school history as a sophmore. Mercer compiled one of the greatest two year runs in school history, one that ranks second in my opinion behind Derek Anderson. Mercer went on to have a solid career in the NBA with 8 years averaging in double figures, including the first 7 years of his career.

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2 Responses to “Kentucky Greats: #22, Ron Mercer”

  1. […] UK Players of All-time still continues to be a bit strange to me.  Released recently were #22 Ron Mercer and #21 Scott Padgett.  I saw both guys play and I just can’t bring myself to say Mercer […]

  2. Moe said

    Mercer was a mediocre player, with a huge ego, and idiotic decision making skills. Look what he’s managed to do in both his personal and professional life. This guy’s an idiot to who refuses to accept responsibility for all the bad choices he continues to make. He should take a hard look in the mirror. Enough said.

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