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Know Your KU History: Greg Dreiling

In the pantheon of great big men to play at the University of Kansas, Greg Dreiling’s name often gets left out. The Know Your KU History series sings the praises of this forgotten giant.

Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Conner Frankamp recently announced that he was taking his talents to Wichita. To my recollection, there hadn’t been a transfer between the schools since Greg Dreiling made the switch from Wichita to Lawrence in 1982. While the two schools will not likely meet on the regular season hardwood any time soon, what’s less debatable is the impact that these two players will have or in Dreiling’s case, had on their new teams.

Dreiling, a Wichita native, played the 1981-82 season for his hometown Shockers and averaged 8.1 points and 4.2 rebounds per game before making the switch to KU and playing three seasons in Lawrence from 1983 until 1986. Once the big seven footer got on campus in Lawrence, and having had a complete season to do nothing but practice due to transfer rules, his career skyrocketed.

During his sophomore season, he saw his minutes increase from 18 to 23 and along with that, his average in both points and rebounds improved, to 9.7 and 4.8 respectively. The increase in production was not coincidental to Larry Brown’s first year in Lawrence. Brown had nine years of professional coaching under his belt at that time and clearly knew what it took to make a big man with potential into a legitimate professional.

But perhaps the addition of freshman Danny Manning in 1984 made even more of a difference. With the attention of opposing defenders turning to the super-frosh, Dreiling was freer than ever to operate in the lane. In his junior year with Manning at his side, Dreiling averaged 13 points and seven rebounds per contest.

His finest game came in his senior season, at what was at the time, the biggest game for Kansas in quite some time. Dreiling scored 19 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in KU’s 75-67 win over North Carolina State in the Midwest Regional Final in Kansas City’s Kemper Arena. His performance helped Kansas clinch its first Final Four berth in 12 years.

In the totality of his Final Four senior season, Dreiling scored at an 11.6 point per game clip while hauling in an average of 6.7 boards per game. In his finest two seasons in a Jayhawk uniform, Dreiling shot 59% from the floor and 72% from the line.

All the work paid off and the 1981 McDonald’s All-American was drafted in the second round of the 1986 NBA draft by the Indiana Pacers. He played seven years in Indianapolis, two in Dallas and one in Cleveland. He made a career coming off the bench with these clubs, and over his 10 seasons in the NBA, Dreiling averaged 2.1 points and 2.1 rebounds per game.

Today, Dreiling works as an advanced scout for the Dallas Mavericks.