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  1. #1

    Best College Basketball Player (formerly in the recruiting thread)

    Note from Jason Evans:
    The content of this thread originally started in the 2019 recruiting thread, which may make it seem out of left field at times. It was moved to a new thread as it ventures far afield from the purpose of the recruiting thread.

    -Jason E.



    Quote Originally Posted by Steven43 View Post
    Do we have a Grant Hill on the roster right now that will return for next year or is one on the way? BTW, I didn’t know Grant Hill was the PG for Duke in 1994. I guess I don’t remember the details of that roster as well as I should.
    He was PG and guarded the opponent’s best player every game whether he was a guard or a power forward. Which reminds me that Vitale said Jordan was among the 4 best college players of his broasting career which made me yell out loud (yol??). Ewing and Sampson were the others. I’m sure there are plenty of obvious choices over Jordan but Grant Hill, Shane Battier and Danny Ferry are no brainers. Bobby Hurley, JJ Redick, and Jason Williams are contenders and that’s just the Dukies. As much as I hate to admit it, Hansborough was a better college player than Jordan. I’m on team Jordan for NBA GOAT but not college.
    Last edited by JasonEvans; 12-31-2018 at 11:51 AM.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by lotusland View Post
    He was PG and guarded the opponentís best player every game whether he was a guard or a power forward. Which reminds me that Vitale said Jordan was among the 4 best college players of his broasting career which made me yell out loud (yol??). Ewing and Sampson were the others. Iím sure there are plenty of obvious choices over Jordan but Grant Hill, Shane Battier and Danny Ferry are no brainers. Bobby Hurley, JJ Redick, and Jason Williams are contenders and thatís just the Dukies. As much as I hate to admit it, Hansborough was a better college player than Jordan. Iím on team Jordan for NBA GOAT but not college.
    Laettner.

    EOM

  3. #3
    Nolan, Scheyer were both effective PGs their senior year. Seth Curry was ineffective at PG his junior year which caused TT to play way more PG mpg than DBR could stand. Grayson Allen at PG was a mixed bag I guess. I feel like success was affected greatly by the team make up. Jon and Nolan led veteran teams that played good team defense and spread the floor well. Seth and GA tried to play lead guard while they were also the best shooter on the team which caused their offense to suffer. I think GA would have done well in 2010 and 2011. Iím less confident about Seth because he was a sub par defender and never showed great vision in college. Next yearís rotation is unknown but Grant, Nolan, Jon and Grayson were seniors. Frank Jackson was advertised as a freshman Combo Guard but that team relied on Matt and Grayson. Frank had a good year but did not contribute as a lead guard on a team that had a need. DT and Duval struggled as freshmen and they were supposed to be true PGs. Iíve never seen Moore play but I have reservations about his ability to be an effective PG as a freshman on a team that will likely rely on several other freshmen in the rotation. I think JGold will be ready for more PT next year but his lack of offense may not be a great fit on a team that doesnít have any proven scorers. This feels like a year that we need a really strong PG in to have a great year.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by curtis325 View Post
    Laettner.

    EOM
    Vitale included Laettner in his top 4 - Laettner, Ewing, Sampson and Jordan.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by lotusland View Post
    Vitale included Laettner in his top 4 - Laettner, Ewing, Sampson and Jordan.
    Maybe he is not so stupid. Can't say the same for me.

  6. #6
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    I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!
    Quote Originally Posted by lotusland View Post
    Vitale included Laettner in his top 4 - Laettner, Ewing, Sampson and Jordan.
    Laettner, Ewing, Sampson, Thompson, and Olajuwon for me. Jordan was very good, but NO ONE saw his NBA career coming. Not like that. No. As for unc, I would put Ford, Worthy and Davis among others mentioned ahead of Jordan in college.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by jimsumner View Post
    Hill was the "point forward" for the 1994 team. He led Duke with 176 assists. Jeff Capel had 108, Chris Collins 77.
    Clark Kellogg was the commentator on a lot of Duke games back then, and he called Grant "the stat sheet stuffer" for his well rounded scoring, rebounding, playmaking...
    Don't waste your time on House of Cards S6!
    -We found out Frank was critical to making anyone else in the show interesting...not a surprise...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reddevil View Post
    Laettner, Ewing, Sampson, Thompson, and Olajuwon for me. Jordan was very good, but NO ONE saw his NBA career coming. Not like that. No. As for unc, I would put Ford, Worthy and Davis among others mentioned ahead of Jordan in college.
    I dunno, Reddevil. He was a very exciting player at UNC. I remember seeing Jordan play at the ACC's in the early '80s. If he had a breakaway, the ACC crowd would stand and start screaming as he reached mid-court, knowing how fast he was and how athletic the dunk was gonna be. The crowd didn't do that for anyone else.
    Sage Grouse

    ---------------------------------------
    'When I got on the bus for my first road game at Duke, I saw that every player was carrying textbooks or laptops. I coached in the SEC for 25 years, and I had never seen that before, not even once.' - David Cutcliffe to Duke alumni in Washington, DC, June 2013

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Reddevil View Post
    Laettner, Ewing, Sampson, Thompson, and Olajuwon for me. Jordan was very good, but NO ONE saw his NBA career coming. Not like that. No. As for unc, I would put Ford, Worthy and Davis among others mentioned ahead of Jordan in college.
    Vitaleís top 4 were taken from his 40-years broadcasting college games on espn. He said David Thompson was before his time. Obviously Magic, Bird, Lew Alcinder, etc. also wouldnít qualify.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by sagegrouse View Post
    I dunno, Reddevil. He was a very exciting player at UNC. I remember seeing Jordan play at the ACC's in the early '80s. If he had a breakaway, the ACC crowd would stand and start screaming as he reached mid-court, knowing how fast he was and how athletic the dunk was gonna be. The crowd didn't do that for anyone else.
    Iím in 100% agreement, Sage. Of all the college basketball players Iíve ever seen, Jordan was the most electrifying. I didnít see David Thompson play, only highlights. But Michael Jordan was must-see-tv like no one else. I was a huge fan of his, though not his school.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Steven43 View Post
    Iím in 100% agreement, Sage. Of all the college basketball players Iíve ever seen, Jordan was the most electrifying. I didnít see David Thompson play, only highlights. But Michael Jordan was must-see-tv like no one else. I was a huge fan of his, though not his school.
    Thompson was a better college player than Jordan IMO, though his pro career was nothing like Jordan's. There were no dunks allowed while DT played in college, and yet, he and Monte Towe virtually created the alley oop. Part of the confusing Jordan college career is that his biggest moment came with the jumper against GTown in the finals...but Jordan was not top dog on that team. He was third fiddle after Worthy and Perkins that season. The next two years he clearly was the man for the Cheats...and they had early exits in both NCAA tournaments...one of which was won by NC State and Jimmy V.

    This is in contrast to how Laettner and David Thompson finished their college careers. They were both the recognized stars on national championship teams. Jordan never was that (but he was that a ton in the pros of course). No one was a better NCAAT player than Laettner - (maybe Alcindor).
    Don't waste your time on House of Cards S6!
    -We found out Frank was critical to making anyone else in the show interesting...not a surprise...

  12. #12
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    Washington, D.C.

    Thompson

    Thompsnís NBA career would have been pretty amazing, but drugs really derailed it, sadly.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by MChambers View Post
    Thompsnís NBA career would have been pretty amazing, but drugs really derailed it, sadly.
    DT # 1 Christian #1a. They were the two best college basketball players these blue eyes saw. Jordan was a very good college player that went on to become what most NBA fans claim to be the best pro player. As MChambers posted, drugs derailed Thompson's pro career. I would have loved to have seen just how good he would have been. GoDuke!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by HereBeforeCoachK View Post
    TThis is in contrast to how Laettner and David Thompson finished their college careers. They were both the recognized stars on national championship teams. Jordan never was that (but he was that a ton in the pros of course). No one was a better NCAAT player than Laettner - (maybe Alcindor).
    Thompson was the best player in ACC history by a clear margin, IMO.

    But he did not finish his college career on top. Great individual season, to be sure. National POY. But Maryland finished first in the 1975 ACC regular season, while UNC defeated State in the ACCT title game. Bothered by leg cramps, DT ended his college career with a 14-point performance in a loss.

    Not much different that Jordan v. Indiana.

    Only two teams per conference went to the NCAAS in those days. UNC got the automatic bid, Maryland the at-large.

    State was invited to the NIT right after the UNC loss and the seniors-Thompson, Towe, Tim Stoddard, Mo Rivers, Mark Moeller--told Norm Sloan they weren't interested.

    So, Sloan turned down the bid.

    The seniors reconsidered and went to Sloan the next day and told him they wanted to play. Sloan told them it didn't work that way; the slot had been filled by someone else.

    NCAAs? Alcindor/Jabbar not only never lost in the NCAAs, he never came close to losing. A handful of players had better pro careers. But as a college player, he was unrivaled. Again, IMO.

  15. #15
    Jim, how would you rate the careers of Alcindor vs Bill Walton ? I value your opinion very highly. Thanks in advance

  16. #16
    In addition to his resume, the Kentucky game puts Laettner at the top IMO. No other player did THAT when the stakes were so high. I mean, he played nearly a perfect game (10/10 fg, 10/10 ft) AND hit the winning shot that defines the drama of the tournament nearly three decades later.

    Laettner and college basketball are inextricably linked, more than any other college player in history, and they will remain so for many decades to come (as long as those who watched him are still alive at least).
    Last edited by Philadukie; 12-28-2018 at 10:40 PM.

  17. #17
    Laettner hit TWO buzzer-beaters to put us in the Final Four. Not just go-ahead shots... legit buzzer-beaters.

    It's almost incomprehensible.

    What are the odds that a team would even be in such a position two times in three years?

    The Kentucky game dwarfs that UConn game for obvious reasons but it is staggering that the guy did it twice.

    And, of course, the game-clinching free throws against UNLV.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pghdukie View Post
    Jim, how would you rate the careers of Alcindor vs Bill Walton ? I value your opinion very highly. Thanks in advance
    I would rank Alcindor higher than anyone, Walton included.

    Alcindor was just unstoppable. Huge, athletic, skilled, intelligent, competitive. The perfect basketball player.

    I think back to the 1968 NCAAT, his junior year. Hampered by a scratched cornea, Alcindor had been outplayed by Elvin Hayes in the Astrodome. Houston upset UCLA 71-69 in the first big, made-for-TV college basketball game.

    Houston ended the regular season undefeated, ranked No. 1 in the polls. Hayes won the national POY awards over Alcindor.

    They met in the Final Four. UCLA won 101-69. Think about that. The undefeated number one team in the country lost by 32 points.

    Alcindor had 19 points and 18 rebounds. But more importantly, he smothered Hayes, who shot 3-for-10 and scored 10 points.

    Hayes averaged 36.8 ppg that year.

    UCLA met UNC in the title game, the only time Wooden and Smith coached against each other. This Carolina team started both Larry Miller and Charlie Scott, augmented by Rusty Clark, Bill Bunting and Dick Grubar. A darn good team.

    Smith was so afraid of UCLA that he had Carolina hold the ball for the first half. Little good it did. UCLA won 78-55,
    Alcindor had 34 points and 16 rebounds.

    UCLA beat the number one and number four teams in the AP poll by a combined 55 points!!

    I know, I know. UCLA had great talent, you say. Their 1968 starting lineup was Alcindor, Mike Lynn, Mike Warren, Lucius Allen and Lynn Shackelford. Allen was a very good college guard. But this was not a Who's Who. The big guy just lifted them into becoming a great team.

    UCLA won its four NCAAT games in 1967 by margins of 49, 16, 15 and 15 points. In 1968 by 9, 21, 32 and 23 points. In 1969 by 15, 38, 3 and 20 points. An 85-82 win over Drake was the only time UCLA was seriously stressed in that three-year run. Alcindor had 25 points and 21 rebounds against Drake, blocking shots on three consecutive possessions down the stretch.


    Walton only lost once in the NCAAs but that was one more time than Alcindor lost. And Walton may well have had more talent surrounding him, Henry Bibby, Keith Wilkes, Dave Myers, Larry Farmer.


    Walton would certainly be in the discussion for number two, as would be Thompson, Oscar Robertson, Bill Russell, Jerry Lucas, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Hayes, Laettner maybe at the end of the top 10, and others. If we just consider regular season, then Ralph Sampson would be on the short list. But his relative lack of NCAAT success knocks him down a bunch of notches.

    Just my two cents.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by lotusland View Post
    Vitale included Laettner in his top 4 - Laettner, Ewing, Sampson and Jordan.
    No love for Len Bias? He was amazing, maybe the best college player I have seen

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by howardlander View Post
    No love for Len Bias? He was amazing, maybe the best college player I have seen
    You took the words right out of my mouth. Bias had a full skill set and was playing at an NBA level in college when that was rare. He had less talent around him than Jordan, which may have facilitated his dominance. He has to be in any conversation of top 5 players of the era.

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