February 19, 2018

Cheyney Honors the 1977-78 Men’s Division II National Championship Basketball Team

Cheyney Honors the 1977-78 Men’s Division II National Championship Basketball Team

On Saturday, February 17, 2018, Cheyney University of Pennsylvania honored its 1978 men’s Division II National Championship team prior to the start of the men’s basketball game inside of the Cope Hall gymnasium. Several members of the 1978 men’s basketball championship team were joined on the court with Naismith Hall of Fame head coach, John Chaney and former athletic trainer Joe Iezzi.

The 1978 men’s Division II National Championship Team was comprised of All-American Milt Colston, Tournament MVP Andrew Fields, Kenny Hinson, John Butts, Duane Coleman, Jeffrey Hutcherson, Roger Leysath, Gerald Mills, Charles Murphy, Gilbert Saunders, Arthur Stone and John Walter.

The team was well-balanced, having four players averaging in double figures, led by senior Milt Colston at 15.1 points per game (ppg) and his backcourt mate and fellow senior Jeff Hutcherson who averaged 13.4 ppg, junior Andrew Fields averaged a double-double with 11.2 points and 10.9 rebounds per game and 11.2 ppg from sophomore Charles Murphy.

In the first Division II poll of the season (published on January 11, 1978), Cheyney State College opened as the #2 team in the nation behind Green Bay, who held the number one spot the entire season with its only loss of the season coming at Division I: DePaul University. The Wolves were never lower than 7th ranked and headed into the post-season ranked fourth in the nation.

Coach Chaney was assisted by the late Charles Songster and Joe Iezzi. Iezzi is also the father of one of the current Wolves Athletic Trainer’s, Steve Iezzi.

Top photo courtesy of Ronald Gray of The Philadelphia Tribune [standing from left]: Arthur Stone, Arthur Stone III, Duane Coleman, Andrew Fields, Charles Murphy, Roger Leysath. Seated, Jeffrey Hutcherson, coach John Chaney, Gerald Mills and trainer Joe Iezzi.