I’m not going to put up Lew Alcindor and Bill Walton or Bill Russel or anyone who played before I was born. Too bad the 79 cut off point takes away Magic and Bird but it still leaves plenty of great players.
10. Ed O’Bannon
Ed O’Bannon and his brother Charles returned UCLA to basketball glory in 1995 when UCLA won the NCAA Tournament. O’Bannon would have 30 points and 17 rebounds in the championship game and would win the John R. Wooden Award as well as the Oscar Robertson Trophy that year. His number 31 was then retired by the Bruins. His NBA career was mediocre leading Lil Wayne to say “Leave you missing like the…O’Bannons”
9. Juan Dixon.
Baltimore’s own Juan Dixon led the Maryland Terrapins to the NCAA Championship in 2002. Despite never becoming a great NBA player, Dixon was great in college. A smooth shot and a strong determination to win helped him become a great tournament player despite his size. He is the only player in NCAA history to accumulate 2,000 points, 300 steals and 200 three-point field goals.
8. Carmelo Anthony
Another Baltimore native, Carmelo Anthony only played one year of college basketball, but he made that year one to remember, taking Syracuse to the Final Four and winning the NCAA Championship in 2003.
7. Danny Manning
Danny Manning is considered one of the greatest college basketball players of all time. Manning had 31 points, 18 rebounds, 5 steals and 2 blocked shots in the NCAA championship against Oklahoma in 1988.
6. Tyler Hansbrough
Tyler Hansbrough is a great example of a four year college player. He excelled for each of the four years he played for North Carolina, eventually winning the Final four his senior year in 2009.
5. Michael Jordan
Despite being the greatest basketball player to ever live, Michael Jordan did not dominate in college, which would explain why two teams passed him up in the 1984 NBA draft. Jordan was still was an excellent player and showed his future clutch shooting when he hit the game winning shot against Georgetown in the 1982 NCAA Finals as a freshman and would go on to average 17.7 points a game for his three seasons at North Carolina becoming the Naismith and the Wooden College Player of the Year awards in 1984.
4. Larry Johnson
Larry Johnson was the most dominant player and personality of the UNLV teams of the early 90s. He approached the game like a mixture of Charles Barkley and Karl Malone, leading his team to two straight NCAA championships against Duke in 1990 and 1991, winning the first and losing the second.
3. Isiah Thomas
Before his days as a Bad Boy with the Pistons, Thomas had to serve under Bad Boy coach, Bobby Knight. Thomas would showcase his gritty style and decision making, leading Indiana to the NCAA Championship in 1981.
2. Grant Hill
Grant Hill would help lead the Duke Blue Devils to two consecutive championships in 1991 and 1992 defeating the very talented UNLV and Michigan teams. He would again lead Duke to the NCAA championship in 1994, which they lost to the Arkansas Razorbacks. Hill was the first player in ACC history to collect more than 1900 points, 700 rebounds, 400 assists, 200 steals and 100 blocked shots.
1. Patrick Ewing
Patrick Ewing led the Georgetown Hoyas to the NCAA Championship three times, winning against Houston’s Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler in 1984 and losing to Michael Jordan, Sam Perkins and James Worthy’s 1982 North Carolina team and to the Cinderella Villanova in 1985. During his four year career at Georgetown, Ewing would average 15.3 points, 9.2 rebounds and 3.4 blocks.