Monster at UNLV
I’m a big fan of lists and all-time rankings, I really didn’t get into college basketball until around 1983 or so. Many of my selections are based upon the fact that I live in the Northeast section of the country so I didn’t see Charles Barkley as much as I did Patrick Ewing. I can only go on what I’ve seen, no footage clips or one game that I happened to see on ESPN Classic. That’s not to say that Barkley wasn’t a great collegiate player, just that it would take away from the list for me to add him on someone else’s word.
So here is my list of top collegiate players, feel free to add your own or debate those on or NOT on my list.
This combination ignited a legacy of success
1. Patrick Ewing (Georgetown): We will never again see a player or a team as intimidating as Ewing and Hoya Paranoia.
2. David Robinson (Navy): I always wonder what the extra two years he gave the Naval Academy would’ve done for his pro career.
3. Derrick Coleman (Syracuse): The NCAA’s all-time rebounder, played on some great ‘Cuse teams that never got over the hump.
4. Larry Johnson (UNLV): Possibly the most dominant two-year player in NCAA history.
Playing against LJ wasn’t like going against your brother…more like your Pop.
5. Danny Manning (Kansas): Winning a National Championship with members of the football team in your lineup gets you high on this list.
6. Ralph Sampson (Virginia): This 3-time Naismith Award winner was drawing comparisons to Chamberlain and Abdul-Jabbar…in high school.
7. Hakeem Olajuwon (Houston): A card carrying member of Phi Slamma Jamma, The Dream was a nightmare for anyone who wandered into the paint.
About to get Dream shooook
8. Lionel Simmons (LaSalle): The last player that we’ll see score 3,000+points for a career. L-Train holds the Dean Dome record for points by a visiting player (42 points) as a sophomore.
9. Chris Webber (Michigan): “The Timeout” be damned, C-Webb was a prototype power forward who was a triple threat anytime he had the ball.
10. Grant Hill (Duke): I’m ashamed of myself for ranking a Duke player this high, but he was the sole reason Duke beat my Runnin’ Rebels in 1991.
11. Sean Elliott (Arizona): Played on some good Wildcat teams, but could never get to the Final Four.
12. Len Bias (Maryland): I nicknamed him “The Gift” after he passed because he was as physically gifted a player as I’ve ever seen.
Yeah, he’s shooting over HIM!
13. Tim Duncan (Wake Forest): TIM-MAY, in terms of his consistency, he hasn’t missed a beat between college and the NBA.
14. Pervis Ellison (Louisville): “Never Nervous” was the first freshman to win the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player after leading Louisville to the 1986 National Championship.
15. Glen Rice (Michigan): Was my favorite college player before Johnson, the Wolverines all-time leading scorer defined the term “shooting forward” noted for his long-range capability.
16. Chris Jackson (LSU): If I had to pick one guy to take the last shot to win the National Title – he’s the guy. The precursor to Allen Iverson. Jackson was unstoppable one on one or in the open floor.
Including Shaq, Jackson was the most unstoppable LSU player since Pistol Pete
17. Hank Gathers (Loyola Marymount): Became the second player in Division I to lead the nation in scoring and rebounding. Played in a system that was tailor-made for his skills.
18. Jamal Mashburn (Kentucky): My two years in Tennessee were spent watching the “Monster Mash” destroy the SEC. Stronger than advertised, an incredible scorer.
19.Chris Mullin (St. John’s): Any kid Black or White who travels from Queens to Brooklyn and the Bronx to get his run on deserves to be on this list. A lefty with a dead-eye stroke, Mullin was Bird-like.
He’ll shoot your eye out kid
20. Kenny Anderson (Georgia Tech): There was a play in his freshman season where he absolutely destroyed Duke’s Bobby Hurley; I don’t know what was better, the move itself, or the sound of Dick Vitale soiling himself with euphoria as only he can.
22. Allen Iverson (Georgetown): This baby-faced assassin tore through the Big East in two seasons…leaving dozens of ankles in his wake.
Iverson needed Big John’s man hand
23. Wayman Tisdale (Oklahoma): May just be the most forgotten player on this list. A 3-time All-American, Tisdale singlehandedly carried the Sooners.
24. Mark Macon (Temple): John Chaney greatest recruit and most beloved player. Macon was at the forefront of Temple’s emergence as a national power. As a freshman went into Chapel Hill and knocked off the Tar Heels.
25. Bo Kimble (Loyola Marymount): Running mate and close friend of Gathers had 5 consecutive games of 50 or more when Gathers was recovering from his first collapse. His left handed free throw in honor of his fallen friend and LMU’s run to the 1990 Regional Finals is the stuff of legend.