Maurice Lucas played college basketball for Al McGuire at the University of Marquette leading the team to the finals of the 1974 NCAA tournament. Lucas led the Warriors with 21 points and 13 boards in a loss to North Carolina State and future ABA-NBA superstar David Thompson. Chosen high by both the NBA and ABA in their drafts, Lucas decided to go play in the newer ABA. He had two solid years in the ABA and when the league merged with the NBA he was selected number two in the dispersal draft of players by the Portland Trail Blazers. Portland had traded two solid veterans for a chance to get Lucas and Coach Jack Ramsey quickly made him their power forward playing next to their franchise player Bill Walton. The Blazers gelled quickly and made an improbable run through the playoffs in their first season after the merger.