Leading Lyndal Scranton's top 10 Missouri State Bears of all time are, from left, Curtis Perry, Winston Garland, and Daryel Garrison. (Photos courtesy Missouri State Athletics)

OPINION |

Lyndal Scranton ranks the top 10 Missouri State men’s basketball players (not including current players) he has seen play:

1 — Curtis Perry, 1966-70. Though I was young, Perry made a lifetime impression with his size, scoring ability and rebounding for a Bears’ team that went far in postseason play.

2 — Winston Garland, 1985-87. The best all-around basketball player I’ve covered came along at a special time in program history, as the Bears made their first Division I postseason splash.

3 — Daryel Garrison, 1971-75. There was nothing quite like watching games in a packed McDonald Arena and there was no one better at scoring than Garrison. 

4 — Danny Moore, 1996-99. Opponents game-planned around the big man, but double teams rarely slowed the centerpiece of the 1999 Sweet 16 team. Moore’s No. 32 jersey is overdue to hang in the JQH Arena rafters.

5 — Kyle Weems, 2008-12. The second-leading scorer in school history, Weems is the only Bear to win Valley Player of the Year honors (2011) while leading the team to its lone regular-season league title.

6 — Alize Johnson, 2016-18. An absolute double-double machine, Johnson’s two-year career was diminished a bit by the Bears’ finishes of sixth and seventh in league play.

7 — Johnny Murdock, 1991-95. Perhaps the most underrated player in the DI era, Murdock helped the Bears reach the NCAA Tournament as a freshman in 1992. He’s fourth on the school’s career scoring list.

8 — Blake Ahearn, 2003-07. The greatest free-throw shooter in NCAA history and MSU career leader in 3-pointers had an unmatched work ethic that helped him reach the NBA, albeit briefly. 

9 — Chuck Williams, 1967-71. A sharp-shooting forward from Buffalo who ranks No. 7 on the career scoring list, Williams and Perry were a formidable inside-outside duo. 

10 — Kelby Stuckey, 1985-89. A hard-working, undersized post player who won more games (87) than anyone in school history. Part of an NIT and three NCAA Tournament teams. 

Just missing: Jimmie Dull (1974-78), Kevin Ault (1996-2000), William Fontleroy (1996-2000), Mike Robinson (1978-80). 

Lyndal Scranton

Lyndal Scranton is a Springfield native who has covered sports in the Ozarks for more than 35 years, witnessing nearly every big sports moment in the region during the last 50 years. The Springfield Area Sports Hall of Famer and live-fire cooking enthusiast also serves as PR Director for Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, Missouri, co-hosts The Sports Reporters on Jock 96.9 FM, 99.9 FM and 1060 AM on Monday mornings with Ned Reynolds and is co-host of the Tailgate Guys BBQ Podcast. Contact him at Lscranton755@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @LyndalScranton. More by Lyndal Scranton