#45 Rudy Hackett
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6'9" 210 lbs Forward
HS: Mt. Vernon Mt. Vernon , NY
Born: 5/10/1953 Mt. Vernon, NY
Season Stats
Season Cl Pos G GS FG FGA % FT FTA % Asst Reb Fls DQ Pts PPG APG RPG
1972-73 So F
29
29
136
278
48.9%
79
122
64.8%
50
280
75
2
351
12.1
1.7
9.7
1973-74 Jr F
26
26
179
319
56.1%
78
129
60.5%
70
303
---
---
436
16.8
2.7
11.7
1974-75 Sr F/C 32 32 280 482 58.1% 149 217 68.7% 100 407 92 4 709 22.2 3.1 12.7
Career    
87
87
595
1079
55.1%
306
468
65.3%
220
990
+167
+6
1,496
17.2
2.5
11.4

Rudy Hackett was a strong forward for Syracuse for three seasons, powering the Orangemen to new levels of success. Hackett was a fine passing forward, with good leaping ability and an excellent rebounder. He developed a good perimeter shot to compliment his inside game. Hackett was fast to the basket, running well in the fast break, and cutting quick to the hoop in the half court set.

Hackett scored 322 points for the freshman team, averagin 17.9 points and 12.8 rebounds a game.

Hackett joined "Roy's Runts" as a sophomore, and the addition of the 6'8" sophomore quickly changed the nickname to "Roy's Runts Plus One". Teaming with seniors Mike Lee and Mark Wadach, and junior Bob Dooms, Hackett helped form a strong front line. Hackett played solid his sophomore season, leading the Orangemen in rebounding. This despite having an injured wrist for much of the season, and suffering from a long bought with the flu that caused him to lost 15 pounds by the end of the season. In the first round of the NCAA tournament, Hackett would play one of his best games of the season, pulling down 18 rebounds as Syracuse nipped Furman 83-82.

Hackett would take on a bigger role on the team his junior season with the departure of Mike Lee and Wadach. The team would be guard focused with Dennis DuVal and Jimmy Lee at the top, and Hackett was the primary focus down low. Senior-transfer Fred Saunders would become eligible in the second semester, providing Hackett with some support down low. Hackett would again lead the team in rebounding. In a February game at Holy Cross, Hackett would have one of the best games an Orangemen has ever had shooting 16 of 19 from the floor with 35 points, 18 rebounds and 7 assists.

The Orangemen would face Oral Roberts in the first round of the NCAA tournament. The game was tight, and the teams found themselves tied 74-74 late in the game. With 17 seconds to go, Fred Saunders passed to Hackett in the low post. Hackett went up for the lay up but was fouled and missed the basket. He would then go to the free throw line and miss both of his free throws (finishing the night 0-6 from the free throw line). The game would end in a tie in regulation, and go into overtime, where Oral Roberts jumped out to an early lead, and eventually won.

Hackett would be the co-captain of the team his senior year, along with classmate Jimmy Lee. They would form a solid inside-outside combination on the court. Hackett would lead the team in scoring and rebounds with 22.1 points a game and 12.7 rebounds, and shoot 58% from the floor. He would score 30+ points five times that season, none bigger than the 32 he scored against LaSalle in the first round of the NCAA tournament. The game would go into overtime, which the Orangemen would win 87-83. Hackett would make two free throws to ice the game, and he went 8-10 from the charity stripe that game.

The next round Syracuse played North Carolina. The Tarheels plan was to double team Hackett, and shut him down. They succeeded, but teammate Jimmy Lee made them pay.

Kansas State loomed large on the horizon; if the Orangemen could beat them, they would advance to the Final Four for the first time in school history. The Wildcats doubled Hackett again all game, but this time Rudy was able to get between the defenders and have a big game, finishing with 28 points. The game was tied as time was running out; Kansas State's Chuckie Williams hit a jumper to put the Wildcats ahead by two with 5 seconds to play. Jimmy Williams brought the ball up court for Syracuse, spotted Hackett cutting to the basket and hit him with a pass. The ball was slippery, and Hackett bobbled it as he went to make a left handed hook shot in front of the rim. The shot went in as the buzzer sounded, and the game went into overtime. The Orangemen would pull off the upset win in overtime, and head to the Final Four in San Diego.

Kentucky used the same game plan that North Carolina and Kansas State both had tried, with different results. The Kentucky front court wasn't fast enough to keep up with Hackett, but they were big and immoveable in the low post, so they doubled Hackett down low and kept him from the hoop. It worked as Hackett would have a tough game, picking up four fouls in limited time, and eventually fouling out without making much impact on the game. The Orangemen would lose 95-79 to Kentucky. In the consolation game against Louisville, the Orangemen fell behind early but battled back into the game, before fall short. Hackett would finish with 28 points in his last collegiate game.

Hackett finished his Syracuse career 2nd on the school's all time leading rebounding list (14 behind then-leader Jon Cincebox), and 2nd on the school's all-time leading scoring list behind the legendary Dave Bing. He would captain the Orangemen to their first Final Four, play in the NCAA tournament all three seasons on the varsity, and finish with the third most points in a single season with 709 his senior year. He would earn second team AP All-American honors that season.

Hackett would be drafted in the 3rd round of the NBA draft by the New Orleans Jazz with the 37th overall pick. He would instead play in the ABA for the Spirits of St. Louis in 1975-1976 (where he had also been drafted in the third round). He would play in 22 games, averaging 6.4 points per game. As the ABA league folded, Hackett would move on to the NBA in 1976, starting the season with the New York Nets. He would be traded to the Indiana Pacers after he had played only one game for the Nets (playing 8 minutes and scoring two points). He would play only 5 games for Indiana that season, scoring another 12 points.

ABA/NBA Career Statistics
Season Pos G Min FG FGA % FT FTA % Asst Reb Fls DQ Pts PPG APG RPG
1975-76 F
22
414
55
131
42.0%
31
49
63.3%
28
78
48
141
6.4
1.3
3.5
1976-77 F
6
46
3
8
37.5%
8
14
57.1%
3
13
8
0
14
2.3
0.5
2.2
Total
F
28
460
58
139
41.7&
39
63
61.9%
31
91
56
0
155
5.5
1.1
3.3

Hackett would leave the NBA and play in Europe in the Italian Professional league for 13 seasons, where he was very successfull. After his playing career he would coach for five seasons in the Italian league.

Hackett would become the strength and conditioning coach for the University of Southern California (USC) basketball team in the fall of 2005. His son Daniel joined him, as a freshman player on the team.

Hackett was named to the Syracuse University All-Century Team in 2000.

©RLYoung 2007