Teddy Dupay Interview | Best HS Scorer You Never Heard Of – Scores 70pts in 32 minutes
If Ballislife was around in the 90s we would probably be releasing VHS mixtapes like And1 ended up doing but the tapes would be showing KG almost averaging a quadruple double, Vince Carter throwing down dunks the NBA has yet to see and Iverson breaking ankles with his crossover (not chairs) to the sounds of Wu Tang, Black Moon and Hieroglyphics. Seeing those greats before they were household names is always fun but it’s not always the guys who “made it” that were the most exciting in High School. For every KG & Kobe there’s a Ronnie Fields and Teddy Dupuy and unless you were following sports during the 90s in Florida you probably wont recognize the name Teddy Dupuay but he was one of the best scoring machines in high school history and still has the record for most points scored in Florida . His senior average of 41.5ppg didn’t get the attention that a Dajuan Wagner got years later but he was putting up Dajuan numbers. No he didn’t score 100 in a game but how about 70 in 3 quarters or 50 in a half or 29 in the last five minutes of the game.
I had a fun chat with Teddy last week about his early days in high school and college. We didn’t get into his post college career because there’s enough controversy and drama there to make a documentary – that’s another post for another day.
You lead the nation in scoring with an insane 41.5ppg.
Did you consciously try to average over 40, 20 per half or did your coach only have 1 play which was for you to shoot the ball?
Our team goal was to get up 80 shots a game. We committed to that goal as a team. My job, as was everyone’s was to take the shot when you have the shot. My personal goal was not just to break the all time scoring record in the state, which I did, 3744pts, but to set the bar so high that it would never be broken. Consistency over the long hall is what I want to be rembered for. None of it would have been possible with out the willingness of my team mates to share in my success and to take ownership of the records and recognition. That record is our record and is the direct result to our commitment day in and day out to perfect the 4 second shot clock offense
Tell me about that 70 point night. 13-26 3 pointers in only 32 minutes!
I should have gone 26-26. It felt so good. Lack of concentration on some shot but they all felt good. When you watch the game and you take the time to understand the pace of the game. When the other team is hitting shots early we love it! It’s fun to play at tha pace. That style of play is exciting for fans and its fun. Its contagious.
Nobody practiced at tha pace. We would wear teams down and one mental fart or one missed assignemnt and we would go on a quick 10-0 run. Just like that, the game would be out of reach and we were the best at finishing games and making our free throws. 70 points was a great game but there were nights I would have 50 at half. One night I had 55 with 5+ minute to go in the 3rd quarter and was 7-7 from 3 in the third quarter. Coach sat me. One night against Shaker Heights from Ohio, They went 30 -1 that year and won the Ohio State Championship. We played them in the Hooters classic in St Pete. We were down 14 points with 4:39 to go. I had 29 points in the last 4:39 and my dad was sitting next to George Steinbrennor. The pace of the game will always take its toll. We were committed to our style of play and we were committed to imposing our will on our opponents
You also had a game where you scored 40 points in a second half but only finished with 49. Damn you sucked in the first half. What happened?
I missed a few bunnies early. When I wasn’t on, I let my teammates do their thing. There was one game a team played Triangle and two with the 2 on me, EVEN WHEN I DIDNT HAVE THE BALL! Noel scored 55 that night and I finished with only 23. It’s a team commitment and my records were because our our team mentality. The second half you ask???? Someone started talking a little smack and lit my fire. Coach took me out with 4 minutes left in the game.
When you were a freshman in HS you averaged 20 and 11assists. Did you look at those 11 assists and say that could mean 22-33 more points a game for me?
Nope. That was my role. Scoring all the points as a junior and senior sort of lableld me. If you watch any game at any level I ever played, my passing was a real strong point of my game. I learned to always go and attack the rim to score. Make the defense stop you. Early in my career, they would stop me and I would make the correct pass. In college, I led the SEC in assist to turnover ration twice. At the end of my career in High School, nobody could stop me so I would just score. I worked hard on my game, in the weight room, on the track and in the classroom. It was not fair in high school that last year. I had put in 3 or 4 X more time than everyone else. Its was apples playing oranges
You went to UF. I’m not saying this because I’m a Seminole but why the hell did you want to be a Gator?
I committed as a Soph. They day after Billy (Donovan) got the job, we were on the phone and he explained he was starting his program at point guard. Billy wanted me to committ early. It was not an easy choice because the Gators SUCKED. It would break the ice and make what would have been an impossible decision for Mike, UD, and Ladarius to make an easy one. Come to Florida and be the foundation of the program. Being first was important to me because I wanted to become a coach and I new that this type of planning and forward thinking would look good, especially after we won. I wanted to be coaches “guy”. There was no doubt. The rest as they say, is history
You played with freshman’s Mike Miller and a chunky Udonis Haslem. Any funny stories about them?
To many.. I remember the first day Mike walked on the campus. He was playing on the USA under 18 team so missed Summer B. First day of pickup, Mike went to the rim and had this crazy idea tha he was going to dunk on UD. Ive never seen anyone hit that ground that hard. Mike’s back problems started taht day in 1998. While Mike was on his back, in pain from the foul, UD stood over him and said “NO DUMPING!!!” and Brent Wright came over to rub salt in the wounds and said, “this isn’t South Dakota”. There are many many more!
Jason Williams also became a Gator – who also should of came to FSU with his high school teammate Randy Moss. Did you ever play him 1on1 and who won.
One on one is my game. We never played but once you get to a certain level of play, one on one is more of a training game than a competitive game. When guys that are good play for keeps, nobody wins and someone gets hurt. It would usually end in a draw unless the coaches were out there for individual instruction and would keep it organized. Most people that have never played at a high level completley underestimate the demeanor and mindset of the people that did make it. The intangibles are the difference. But to answer you question – I would win.
As a junior in college, You had surgery to repair a herniated disk in your lower back and was playing just 20 days later. That sounds about as crazy as Batman having his back fixed in that pit in the new Dark Knight movie and looking brand new a few days later. How much did that injury effect your game?
Changed my life. I suffer daily because of that decision. I have back problems that limit me in every single aspect of my life. I wanted to play.. I was a 20 year old gamer. My team was losing without me (1-3in the SEC with a loss to Vandy at home…bad loss) This is an example of the inexperince of our coaching staff. No way in the world they should have allowed me to do that. Keep in mind, you take a leader off any team and they will lose. Period. Im not saying it was because of me but without me our team was incomplete. I came back and we finished 12-4 and won the SEC for a second consecutive year. I had 30 on senior night as we beat Kentucky with Tayshon Prince, Keith Bogans and a bunch of other studs. I never got my senior night and Im tearing up just thinking about how sad that makes me. I did a lot for the Gator basketball program on and off the court and then put myself in a bad situation and paid a very serious consequence for that action.
Looking back, all I was focused on was winning and my guys. Had I been getting advice from someone that had my career and my future in mind, Im sure I would have sat the rest of that year out and rehabilitatted properly. Hind sight is always 20-20 and now with over a decade of real life experiences since then, that one decision is the one that haunts me most.
9-10 3pt in the 1st half
“Ted’s a great guy and we still keep in touch. I’ll tell you a story about Ted.
When we won the championship in Dallas we were celebrating on the court and I look over next to me. Amidst all the celebration, there’s nobody on the court but Miami Heat staff, coaches, personnel, players. Teddy Dupay is standing next to me on the court!
I don’t know how. I don’t know who he knew. If anybody knows Ted, then that’s typical Ted Dupay.” – Udonis Haslem