Counting down MSU’s top 50 basketball players all-time: No. 41 – Bill Kilgore

This is the 10th in a 50-day summer series, counting down the top players in Michigan State basketball history, as I see them. The criteria is impact and performance at MSU only, professional career irrelevant. Have your own opinion? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

No. 41 – Bill Kilgore
Center, 1970-73, River Rouge

The skinny: Kilgore was a big-time rebounder immediately in the Big Ten, though by the early 1970s, undersized for his position at 6-foot-7. His 11.3 career rebounding average is third all-time at MSU and he left as the school’s second-leading rebounder behind Johnny Green. He never averaged fewer than 14 points per game, playing his final two seasons on middle-of-the-pack Big Ten teams, alongside star Mike Robinson.

Bill Kilgore recorded 814 rebounds at MSU, at the time he finished in 1973, second only to Johnny Green. (MSU Athletic Communications)

Why he’s No. 41: Kilgore remains a relatively obscure name in MSU lore. He never played on a team that won more than 13 games or finished better than fifth in the Big Ten, he was never an all-conference selection, and was rightfully overshadowed by Robinson.

But Kilgore’s numbers can’t be ignored — two 20 rebound games in 1971, 12.8 rebounds per game that season, 16.7 points per game as a senior, all while shooting 56 percent from the floor. He played on competitive teams and produced as basketball was making the turn into the modern era.

Previously …
No. 42: Pete Gent
No. 43: Al Ferrari
No. 44: Ken Redfield
No. 45: Chris Hill
No. 46: Raymar Morgan
No. 47: Kevin Smith
No. 48: Kevin Willis
No. 49: Matt Steigenga
No. 50: Marcus Taylor

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3 Responses to Counting down MSU’s top 50 basketball players all-time: No. 41 – Bill Kilgore

  1. avatar Spartan 81 says:

    How about top 50 LSJ columnists of all time

    # 49 Todd Schultz had he not covered MSU in an obscure era before the internet took off he might have much higher on Graham’s list

  2. avatar Mountain Sparty says:

    We were at MSU from ’69-’75 and saw every game Kilgore and Robinson played at home – usually from half court in the 5th or 6th row at Jennison. In those days the tickets were less than a buck and there were plenty of empty seats. Those teams could have been pretty good if we had other players beside Bill and Mike. I can’t say we were there in the “good old days” ‘cuz the football team was even worse than the basketball team – but in Spartan Stadium we did beat the #1 ranked Buckeyes.

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