James LeBuffe, '70 (Basketball)
Jim LeBuffe was the sixth player in CUA history to score 1,000 career points. And he did it in just three years on the varsity. He finished with 1,149 points and currently ranks 23rd among the school’s all-time leading scorers. The Washington Post often took notice of his scoring exploits, including this item from Jan. 19, 1970:
“Jim LeBuffe of Catholic University continued his move on George Washington’s Mike Tallent in the area university scoring race. While Tallent was idle, LeBuffe scored 50 points in two games to improve his average to 22.6, compared to Tallent’s 24.1.”
Because freshmen were not eligible to play varsity basketball during his era, LeBuffe had to wait until his sophomore year to begin his assault on the CUA record book. He didn’t wait long. In a game against Mt. Saint Mary’s in January 1968, he tallied a career-high 33 points. In an 82-78 victory over Old Dominion in the 1968 Mason-Dixon Conference Tournament, he scored 30 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, both game highs. He also had a 28-point effort in 73-60 win at Loyola (Md.).
As a junior, LeBuffe had 25 points and 18 boards in a victory at Gallaudet and, against Mt. Saint Mary’s, produced 19 points and a career-high 20 rebounds.
LeBuffe, a team captain his final year (1969-70), started strong with 27 points and nine rebounds against Towson in the season opener, followed by 17 points and 13 boards at Delaware. The next game, a 76-62 victory over Washington (Md.) College, he collected 10 rebounds and tallied 26 points on 12 of 14 shooting.
“A few choice words from coach Bob Reese at halftime and hot shooting by senior forward Jim LeBuffe shook Catholic University loose from first-half doldrums and the Cardinals came from arrears for a 76-62 Mason-Dixon Conference conquest of Washington College …” (The Washington Post, Dec. 10, 1969). His 3-point play with nine seconds to go forced overtime in an 83-80 loss at Louisiana State-New Orleans. He finished with 31 points.
A graduate of nearby Gonzaga College High School, LeBuffe played with his brother, Vince, and two CUA Hall of Famers, Jack Bruen ’72 and Bill Wilson ’69.