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UC Irvine starts tallest lineup in college basketball history

Ervins Meznieks, Mamadou Ndiaye

Boston College forward Ervins Meznieks, left, and UC Irvine center Mamadou Ndiaye grapple for the ball during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game at the Wooden Legacy tournament, Friday, Nov. 27, 2015, in Fullerton, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)


UC Irvine is off to a solid 8-4 start this season and casual college basketball fans probably know the Anteaters as the team that has 7-foot-6 junior center Mamadou N’Ddiaye.

But the Big West program has plenty of other size on the roster and decided to trot out the tallest lineup in college basketball history on Friday night in a game against Division III Chapman University.

Starting 6-foot-10 Mike Best at point guard, the Anteaters’ shortest starter was 6-foot-8 and they decided to go with this lineup in-part because Chapman doesn’t have a player taller than 6-foot-8.

UC Irvine started the game with N’Ddiaye, Best, 7-foot-2 Ioannis Dimakopoulos, 6-foot-10 Jonathan Galloway and 6-foot-8 Shawn Ray.




The height advantage helped UC Irvine to a 65-51 win as they blocked 13 shots on the night and never trailed.

While it’s a nice publicity stunt for UC Irvine to run this lineup against a Division III program, we’ll have to see if they have the courage to test out this group against Kansas on Dec. 29.