- Bob Guyette
- Hometown (Last School)
- Ottawa, IL (Marquette)
- 1972-73, 1973-74, 1974-75
- August 29, 1953
Robert “Bob” Francis Guyette was born August 29, 1953, in Ottawa, Illinois. Bob Guyette played high school basketball at (Ottawa) Marquette Academy and is the program’s leading scorer with 2,009 points, leading rebounder (1,510), most career free throws (477), most rebounds in a single game (36), most points in a game (51), and most points in a season (991). In Bob’s junior year he led the team to its first post season trophy by winning the IHSA District title and the Regional Title. The Crusaders advanced to the Championship game of the Sectional becoming one of 32 teams remaining in tournament play when there was only one class in High School. He was an All-Starer his junior year averaging 23 points and 18 rebounds. As a senior he averaged 32 points, 20.9 rebounds per game and was named an all-stater, as well as being placed on the top 10-player Sunkist All-American. His best game over-all was a 70-69 victory over LaSalle-Peru, in which he scored 43 points and hauled down 24 rebounds. His best scoring night was 51 points in a 96-59 victory over Seneca. In his final home game for Ottawa, Guyette scored 42 points, hitting on 17 of 24 shots from the field—nine of them from 15-foot range or better and grabbed 36 rebounds and blocked 11 shots to lead his team in an upset of 4th ranked Mendota.
Guyette was recruited by more than 300 colleges and strongly considered North Carolina, Notre Dame, Kansas and Marquette before signing with Kentucky on June 3, 1971. Joe B. Hall said of Guyette at the time, “He is a lot like Dan Issel. He’s a better outside shooter than Issel was when he was a freshman. He has some moves that Issel didn’t have and, of course, Issel had some moves he doesn’t. Guyette would really give us the base for an outstanding team.” Adolph Rupp witnessed the signing at Guyette’s home in Ottawa as Guyette became the third member of Coach and Athlete magazines “Super Ten” high school players to sign with UK. “I hope we live up to our potential,” Guyette said. “It could mean the NCAA title for us.”
Guyette was a three-year starter at Kentucky and played in the 1975 NCAA finals against UCLA. He had 16 points and 7 rebounds in that game. While at Kentucky, he averaged 9.0 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. Guyette scored 758 points in his UK career.
As a freshman at Kentucky, he was part of an undefeated team that was called the “Super Kittens.” Playing forward, Guyette scored in double figures in 18 games, and in rebounds 12. He had a personal high 22 points against Furman and Cincinnati, and 18 rebounds against Vanderbilt. He had a fine shooting touch for a big man, executing intelligent shot selection. He hit 47.1 percent from the field. He was considered a complete team player, started all 22 games and averaged 14.1 ppg and 10.0 rebounds. He committed the second fewest errors of the starting five (43).
Guyette returned to the center position as a sophomore and provided much needed rebounding and offensive board work early in the season. He earned a starting berth the fourth game and started nine times during the season. Described by Hall as a finesse type center with a good outside shot, Guyette was given the edge in the battle to replace Jim Andrews, mainly on his size, experience, and consistency as a freshman. He scored in double figures seven times with a high of 17 points against Kansas and 13 rebounds at LSU. He averaged 5.9 points and 4.7 rebounds despite playing only 13 minutes in each of 27 games.
Guyette blossomed into a fine shooter his junior year and led the team in percentage from the field with 55.7. He developed a good hook shot with either hand and hit the medium range jumper with good accuracy. He was team’s second leading scorer with 12.7 ppg and leading rebounder with 7.9 per game. Guyette finished third in SEC shooting percentage with 59.5 per cent in conference games, only 1-tenth of a per cent off the UK record. He set a UK record for single game shooting against LSU there, when he hit 10 of 11 shots for 90.9 per cent (still tied for 5th all-time as of 2022). He was an outstanding scholar finishing his junior year with a perfect 4.0 standing in pre-dentistry and was a Rhodes Scholarship candidate. He was the top man on the Academic All-SEC team and was named to the Academic All-America second team. Guyette led the team in scoring three times, scored in double figures 16 times, and led in rebounding 15 times. His high individual game scoring was 26 against LSU and Auburn and a team season high 16 rebounds against Ole Miss. At the end of the season, he was present the Chandler trophy, an award donated annually by Radio Station WVLK of Lexington in honor of A. B. (Happy) Chandler, two-time Governor of Kentucky and former Commissioner of Baseball. This trophy is awarded to the basketball player chosen by a secret committee as best exemplifying the qualities of leadership, scholarship, character and ability.
Guyette started 58 games in his UK career, mainly because of fine rebounding (528 in 82 games for a 6.4 career average with highs of 16, 15 and 14 three times). While shouldering much undeserved blame for UK’s poor record his junior year (13-13), Guyette also shouldered much of the scoring load, hitting between 17 and 26 points in eight games. Able to relax on a depth-rich club his senior year, he was UK’s top scorer twice and its top rebounder six times. Guyette returned to his normal position at forward as a senior and his clutch play his senior year sparked UK into the NCAA tournament. As a senior he was second in rebounding with 6.7 while scoring 8.6 points per game. Guyette snagged 15 rebounds to go with 14 rebounds and was instrumental as the Wildcats controlled the inside in a win over Marquette in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Two games later, the Wildcats shocked unbeaten and No. 1 ranked Indiana to reach the Final Four in San Diego
“The whole storyline coming in was that the Kentucky Wildcats just beat the Indiana Hoosiers and this is by far the best team in the Final Four,” Grevey said. “UCLA, Syracuse and Louisville were worthy of being there, but the whole story was Kentucky.”
Then the unthinkable happened, a sucker punch, on Easter Sunday no less, when UCLA coach John Wooden made the surprising announcement that he would retire after Monday’s championship game. The “Wizard of Westwood” was at the end of his 27th season and needed just one more victory to claim 10 national championships.
“Wooden’s announcement changed the whole feeling of that game,” Grevey said. “Who didn’t have great respect for coach Wooden? You had to as a player, coach or fan. So all of the sudden they are now the Cinderella favorite. Everybody wanted UCLA to go out a winner because of John Wooden and his greatness. Plus, we’re in San Diego, right in UCLA’s backyard.”
Against UCLA in the championship game of the NCAA Tournament, Guyette had 16 points and 7 rebounds. Guyette and his Wildcat teammates almost won the national title in a season that began with uncertainty and much doubt. If UK was 13-13 a year ago, what would happen now? A 26-5 record is what happened. For many reasons, of course. But perhaps characterizing this Kentucky team more than anything was its aggressive, roughhouse style of play, not always pretty but a strategy that would and did —win.
Guyette graduated from UK with Honors on May 10, 1975, with a bachelor’s degree.
Drafted by both the Kansas City Kings and the New Jersey Nets, Guyette decided to instead play in Spain. At Barcelona for five seasons, he led his team to a 205-32 record. During the 1976-1977 season Guyette averaged 34.6 points and was the leading scorer and rebounder in Spain. He was also the leading scorer and rebounder in 1975-76. He was the rebound leader in 1978-79 and 1979-80.
Ultimately, lower back problems ended his playing career. After his playing days, Bob attended the University of Kentucky Dental School and the University of Alabama School of Medicine to become an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.
Dr. Guyette is married, has three sons and is actively involved in community and national organizations. He has served as a member of the Arizona Board of Medical Examiners and is a practicing physician in Phoenix, Arizona at the Guyette Facial and Oral Surgery Center. He has conducted research and published articles on facial surgery relating to the treatment of sleep apnea and gives national presentations on facial cosmetic surgery. He also designed the Silhouette Nitrous Oxide delivery system. This revolutionary way to deliver nitrous oxide is much more comfortable for patients and allows doctors to perform dentistry or facial surgery better. The Silhouette is now available throughout the United States and many countries worldwide to keep patients everywhere comfortable during their procedure. He is board certified by the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.
Guyette was named to the Illinoi Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1982.
Interview with Robert “Bob” Guyette, March 25, 2017