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.
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.