February 19, 2000
Phil Schlegel was an SMS basketball letterman from 1983 to 1986 and a veteran of 88 games during the first three years Charlie Spoonhour was SMS head coach. Though he started regularly for SMS only as a senior, Schlegel was a key component on SMS teams which had a three-year 59-31 record. A native of Joplin and a transfer from Oral Roberts University, Schlegel sat out a season after his transfer and then shot .564 from the field as a sophomore in 1983-84. SMS finished third in the league and had an 18-10 mark that year and then turned in a 17-13 record and finished fourth in the conference his junior year, reaching the finals of the Mid-Continent tournament. Schlegel averaged 10.3 points a game his junior year and was a key reason the ’85 Bears became the best-shooting team in SMS history, logging school record team percentages which still stand of .530 from the field and .768 from the foul line. The 1985-86 Bears captured the attention of Ozarks basketball fans when Schlegel was a senior as SMS made the Bears’ first Division I postseason tournament bid with a spot in the National Invitation Tournament. The unheralded Bruins scored an upset win over the University of Pittsburgh and, playing before an all-time SMS record home crowd of 9,229, knocked off Marquette University in the second round before falling by a single point at the University of Florida in the NIT quarterfinals on the way to a season mark of 24-8. Schlegel was a co-captain and all-Mid-Continent second team selection as a senior and was second on the team in scoring with 13.2 points a game. The 6-foot-6 sharpshooter wound up his playing days with 900 career points and 262 rebounds with career percentages of .518 from the field and .805 from the foul line.