Information About the Basketball Roster Website
This website attempts to compile as complete a roster as possible of all individuals who have been part of the varsity basketball program at the University of Michigan from the 1909 and 1918 school year through the present. It includes varsity and reserve letterwinners as well as non-letterwinners and members of the freshman team.
The database contains over 2,000 player/year records, i.e., one record for each year an individual was a member of the team. Elroy Hirsch, who played only on the 1944 team, has one record. Bennie Oosterbaan, who was a member of three teams from 1296-1927, has three records.
The roster information is derived from a number of sources:
- Athletic Dept. Official List of Letter Winners
- Michigan Baseball Media Guides, 1945-present
- Basketball Game Program rosters
- Team Photos
- Alumni Directory (through 1921, a compiled list of graduates and non-graduates)
- University General Catalog (includes yearly listings of enrolled students, 1879-1930)
- Student Directories (1898 to present)
- Michiganensian, (student yearbook)
- Michigan Daily (student newspaper)
- Michigan Alumnus Magazine
- Alumni Association Necrology Files (obituaries, newspaper clippings etc. about former students, assembled by the Alumni Association)
Notes on Database Fields
- Names are entered in separate database fields for last name and first name-middle name/initial. The results are displayed in last name, first name order. Variant spellings of last names have been standardized. Shortened versions of first names and nicknames have been standardized based on the most commonly used form. (Jim to James for example). Middle names/initials are included when available or necessary to distinguish between individuals with the same first and last names. For some years, rosters gave only last names. In most cases it was possible to determine the first name from other sources. Last names followed by question marks indicate either that the name did not appear in any of the other sources or could not be definitively identified among several possibilities. Question marks following a first name indicate it is probably correct, but not certain.
- Player's uniform number. It appears numbers were first used in the 1918 season, but rosters with player numbers data only from the 1934 seaon and then sporadically until 1961. Some numbers have been derived from photos or othr sources. Numbers are often not available for some non-letter winners and freshmen.
- Baseball season
- Indicates the letter the individual was awarded. The field is blank for non-letterwinners.
A variety of letters have been issued over the years:
- af - All-Freshman numeral or letter (1918-1972)
- ama - an intermediate between varsity and reserve (1915-1929)
- amav -- AMA varsity (1918-1970)
- jv -- "Junior Varsity" (1973-1976)
- m -- Student manager
- r -- Reserve (1918-1962)
- sa -- Secondary award (1944-1945)
- sub -- Substitute
- v -- Varsity M
- The player's position as listed in the Media Guides, game programs or other sources.
- G = Guard
- F = Forward
- C = Center
- The class field usually gives the player's current class status as Freshman (Fr.), Sophomore (So.), Junior (Jr.) or Senior (Sr., Sr. + for 5th year seniors). For the 1943-1944 seasons, the class field lists the players military status: C=Civilian, M=Marine, N=Navy, R=Reserves.
- Hometown, State
- Player's hometown as listed in Media Guides or Game Programs or in other sources (usualy the university General Catalog, Student Directory or the Alumni Association Necrology File). US states use standard postal abbreviations. Canadian provinces are abbreviated as: ONT = Ontario, QUE = Quebec. Occasionally Media Guides and Game Programs listed different hometowns for a player in different years. The student directories and other sources were used to determine the correct hometown, though in a few cases players (or their families) did change "hometowns" during their college careers.
- High School
- Player's high school is listed when the information was present in media guides, game programs or other sources. For most smaller towns, the presumption is that the name of the high school is the hometown name. Many records, particularly for earlier years, do not include high school information.
Some Known Deficiencies
While every effort has been made to make the database as complete as possible, the rosters are known to be incomplete in several respects. For most of the years 1909 and, 1918-1944 the main source of information is the Official List of Letterwinners which typically lists only letterwinners.
Before preseason team rosters become available in 1945, and the list of letterwinners is the primary source of information, many non-letterwinning palyers are probably not listed. For example, a player may have won a freshman letter and then not won a varsity letter until his senior season. He would not be listed in the database for his sophomore and junior years though it is probable he was a member of the team.
The "All-Freshman" letter was first awarded in 191. The letter award was changed to the "Freshman Numeral" in 1927 and continued through the 1972 season when freshmen were made eligible for varsity competition. Rosters of freshman letterwinners are not available for all years. The freshman letterwinner rosters do not, in most cases, include all individuals who were members of the freshman team. For several years a separate Junior Varsity team competed and "jv" letters were awarded
Walk-ons and other non-roster players who were with the team for all or parts of seasons, but did not make it into a game program, media guide roster or a team photo are likely not included.
Efforts to fill the deficiencies and update the database continue as time permits. If you find an error in an entry or know of a player who is not included in the database, please contact me with the information and any supporting evidence at firstname.lastname@example.org.