SINCE 1926 1675-918 (.646)

Cuthbert  Victor

Cuthbert Victor

Men's Basketball
2003-200434−3410261903020.629928 0.3211061530.6931282193478064 45574749514.6
2002-200329−288491702850.5961136 0.306921390.6621091232328062 55385044315.3
2001-200232−288851512760.5471143 0.25660960.62512610923511258 41445037311.7
2000-200128−14457701240.565929 0.31025410.61050711215825 1821201746.2
2000−2004123−10432175819870.58940136 0.2942834290.660413522935330209 159160167148512.07

Cuthbert Victor was one of Racer basketball's more versatile stars. Though standing only 6-foot-5, he was a tenacious rebounder, solid defender and dependable scorer. When he left Murray State, he had scored 1,485 points and grabbed 935 rebounds, a combination eclipsed by only a handful of Racers all-time, and none of those matched his .589 career field goal percentage. Besides being ranked among MSU's all-time leaders in scoring (14th), rebounding (sixth), and field goal percentage (third), he is the Racers' career leader in blocks (160) and stands fifth in steals (167). During his four seasons, Murray State advanced twice to the NCAA Tournament, where he was the Racers' leading scorer both times. Twice he was named All-Ohio Valley Conference, and was the league's player of the year as a senior. Below is a feature story written by Will Aubrey of the Racer Insider during Victor's senior season at MSU. -- TT

Cuthbert Victor: Quiet Impact Player

By Will Aubrey
Racer Insider

The Destroyer novels tell the story of Remo and Chiun, two assassins employed by the American government. They are able to pass unseen through enemy defenses and complete their mission before the adversary knows what's happening. If need be, they dodge bullets in the process.
In much the same way Cuthbert Victor lurks, unnoticed on the floor until, out of nowhere, he rises into the air and rattles home a thunderous dunk. If need be, he'll dodge a couple of defenders in the process. You can watch a game and not notice him, then look up and see that he has 16 points and 10 rebounds. He may be the quietest impact player in the history of Racer basketball.
This year, Victor is putting up near-ridiculous numbers, 17 points and 11 rebounds per game while shooting 69 percent from the field and 44 percent from beyond the arc. He is second in the nation in rebounding and fourth in field goal percentage. Through five weeks of the season, Victor has been the Ohio Valley Conference player of the week three times. Against Western Kentucky he had 26 points and 20 rebounds. And yet, he remains as quiet and unassuming as ever.
When asked if he might be the player of the year in the OVC he said: "I'm just trying to win. My teammates help me out a lot, and I try to come through for them."
MSU head coach Mick Cronin wasn't so reticent. "How about in the nation," he exclaimed. "The coach's opinion is that he is the player of the year. But the Player of the Year award usually goes to the best player on the best team. So our team success will determine end of the year awards."
Still, Victor demurs. Despite being among the national leaders in shooting percentage he says he isn't a great shooter, just a good finisher. Well, no one can deny that he's a good finisher. But you have to also have a sweet stroke to hit 44 percent of your 3-point attempts.
Where does he rank among Murray State's all-time greats?
Well, at the end of the year there's a good chance that he will be one of only three MSU players in the top 10 in both scoring and rebounding. He could easily be the all-time leader in field goal percentage. And this season, if his attempts increase just a bit, he could challenge the single-season record for 3-point percentage. That last one is a stretch because Victor has never shot the three this well before. But what if he does it? Add that to all of his other marks and he'd have to be among the best ever.
"Cuffy is as good on the grab and putback as I have ever seen," longtime MSU radio announcer Neal Bradley declared. "Although he is undersized for his position, he plays with heart and a will to win, reminiscent of Vincent Rainey, who also got the most out of his size. As far as heart goes, he takes a backseat to no one. "I don't recall the game, but a couple of seasons ago at the RSEC, an opponent was running a fast break and Cuffy was on the wing when an opposing player tried a bounce pass to the corner. He pinned the ball to the floor, picked it up and triggered a fast break, finishing at the other end. Amazing. It was one of the best plays I have ever seen by anybody at any level."

Victor grew up in the Virgin Islands, which sounds like paradise to anyone who has seen Murray, Ky., in January. Victor sees it a bit differently though.
"It's a lot different at home, particularly the economy," he said. "It just isn't developed. The basketball is different too. We don't use a lot of plays down there, we just go out and play."
Of course, the islands have something Murray lacks, the beach. And Victor spent a lot of time there when he was younger.
"When I was a kid I spent a lot of time at the beach, but I don't go as much as I used to," he said. "We don't surf or anything, though. The water isn't rough enough for that."
When Victor was about 6 years old his brother introduced him to the game of basketball, and he quickly fell in love with the game. And when he got the opportunity to play organized basketball a couple of years later, it was readily apparent than he had a gift for the game.
"I started playing youth league when I was about 10," he recalled. "They called it Biddy Basketball. It was a lot of fun because I was kind of tall. I scored a lot and got a lot of rebounds. The first year I played, I won seven trophies."
As one of MSU's few high-risers, it's Victor's dunks that wow the fans. But the first time he dunked the ball, he shocked himself.
"I was 13 or 14 at the time," he noted. "It was a big deal because in junior high all I could do was touch the rim. Then one day I was trying it, and I ended up dunking the ball and I said, 'Huh? What did I do?' I surprised myself when it happened."
As a freshman Victor played for Complex High School. But he transferred to St. Joseph for his sophomore years and for the next three years he played for the Saints' Cuthbert George.
"He was one of the best coaches I've had," Victor said. "He's like coach Cronin in that he didn't want me to just play one position. And when I got a rebound he wanted me to push the ball. "He was a very relaxed person, and it was very easy to play for him. All of his players loved him."
In one particular game against Complex, Victor scored 40 points despite facing a box-and-one defense most of the game.
Among the schools vying for his services in college were Georgia Southern, IUPUI and DePaul. And the day after he signed with MSU, Louisville called.
"I liked the coaching staff here," Victor said. "They were all really nice. Coach T (Tevester Anderson) was a very nice guy. Some people say he wasn't a very good coach. But he stood up for his guys. He made sure everyone was treated fairly. "I love Coach T very much. He knew how hard it was for me to be away from my mother, and he took care of me."
Anderson certainly holds Victor in high regard.
"He's one of the top players to come through the program during my time there," he said. "He just does so many things. He's a good player and a good person. And he's easy to coach, he'll do whatever you ask him to. "He's mentally tough. Although he smiles a lot, underneath that is a mental toughness a lot of players don't have. And he can adjust to most any situation. He's just a special player and a special person."
And there can be no doubt that without Victor, Anderson's teams wouldn't have been nearly as successful as they were. He certainly had a number of big games over the last three years. But ask him which one stands out, and the answer comes quickly.
"I still remember the game against TSU on my birthday when I was a freshman," he said. "I scored 27 points and was 10 for 10 from the field and 7 for 7 on free throws. I was really ready to play because it was my birthday. When they told me I had a perfect game, I couldn't believe it."
Of course with Anderson's departure, Victor had to adjust to a new coach and a new system. And he struggled a little at first, particularly on defense.
"The press has been difficult to learn," he admitted. "I've never been on the ball in the press before. I've always been a safety. So it's been hard to adjust to, but I'm getting better at it."
And Cronin is more than pleased with his play now.
"He's our most valuable player, there's no doubt about that," he declared. "He's our leading scorer, leading rebounder and best defender. He's definitely the backbone of this year's team. "I think he could have played at a high-major. But I'm a firm believer in going where you can put up numbers. The guys that make money are the guys who put up numbers in college. At a high major he wouldn't have played as much. So I think he made the right decision in coming here."
And despite Victor's close relationship with Anderson, it's apparent that he's happy to be playing for Cronin.
"Coach Cronin is a very nice person, and he makes you comfortable," he said. "He told us from the start we would never come out for missing a shot, but if we don't take an open shot he'll put us on the bench. That really gives you a lot of confidence."
The style of play isn't the only change from last year in Victor's mind. Another big difference is the presence of Kelvin Brown.
"It makes it a lot easier because when they double him I'm open, and when they double me he's open," Victor noted. "We work on that a lot in practice, and we look for it in games."
The other difference has to do with desire.
"We play a lot harder than we did last year," Victor admitted. "Some players realize what a big chance we have this year, and everybody wants to win. I think we can be very good if we keep playing hard. "We have great chemistry. Everybody shares the ball. Everybody gets to shoot, and we all want to win. All of us just want whatever is best for the team."
Following his career at Murray State Victor intends to pursue a career in pro basketball.
"I want to play professionally for a while," he said. "After that I'd like to own my own business. I don't know what it'll be yet though. I'm still working on that. "I think I can play in the NBA. I played against some of those players last summer. It's all about opportunities. You just have to work hard. And if I do that I think I can play. If not I may play overseas. I'm not sure about that but it's a possibility."

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