Who’s in Your Top 10?
A group of SLAM writers and editors list their favorite college bball players.
New York, NY
10. Derrick Rose, Memphis: I’ve made my feelings on Rose abundantly clear over the years. Being right is fun.
9. Adonal Foyle, Colgate: My dad went to Colgate. I never had a chance not to like this scholar. He’s a nice guy, too.
8. Khalid Reeves, Arizona: He was never the baller Damon Stoudamire was, and he failed with the Nets, but his name always reminded me of Superman.
7. Donta Bright/Lou Roe, Massachussetts: Calipari’s Coach Cal’s Minutemen forwards, Lou the leader and Donta, the kid that just fit in so well.
6. Cameron Dollar, UCLA: Tyus Edny’s backup; always loved when he checked into the game.
5. Shawn Respert, Michigan State: His jumper had so much soul.
4. James Forrest/Travis Best, Georgia Tech: Loved Georgia Tech back in the day; had a hard time distinguishing this pick-and-roll tandem as two separate people.
3. Bootsy Thornton, St. John’s: St. John’s is my only true home team and Bootsy, again with the knee high socks and buttery jumper, did NYC proud. Plus… his name is Bootsy.
2. Kerry Kittles, Villanova: True story: the key to my basketball heart involves knee high socks and a buttery jumper. Being as skinny as a twig doesn’t hurt either.
1. Jalen Rose, Michigan: Brash and game-changing. “Freshman against all ya’ll…”
10. Acie Law IV, Texas A&M: Law seemed to hit clutch shot after clutch shot during his tenure at A&M. Though he has not become the pro I expected him to be, his performances at A&M will always be remembered.
9. Randy Foye, Villanova: One of the guys who put Villanova ball back on the map (Shouts to Ray, Lowry, Nardi, Sumpter, Fraser, etc).
8. Hakim Warrick, Syracuse: He was either dunking on someone, or blocking a shot. How could I not think he was going to dominate in the L when he was doing stuff like this?
7. Mateen Cleaves, Michigan State: Although his skill set did not translate well to the NBA, Cleaves gritty play was infectious and helped the Spartans win a national title in 2000. His time at MSU was like a fairy tale, capped off by the 2000 National Championship.
6. Juan Dixon, Maryland: Dixon’s on my list because he was Duke kryptonite in the flesh.
5. Scottie Reynolds, Villanova: After the departures of Foye, Lowry, Ray, and Nardi, someone had to assume the lead role of the program. Luckily, Reynolds was that guy. His game winner vs. Pitt in the ’09 Elite 8 is a classic Philadelphia basketball moment.
4. Kevin Durant, Texas: The first freshman to ever win the Naismith award. Don’t need to say more, but Durant had the frame of an awkward high schooler, yet he straight dominated.
3. Greivis Vasquez, Maryland: Every time I watched Vasquez play for the Terps, I felt like I was a Maryland student. Vasquez, Maryland’s second-leading scorer all-time with 2,171 career points, jacked a few unauthorized shots here and there — but no one matched his determination and fire on the court.
2. Carmelo Anthony, Syracuse: Has anyone executed the “one and done” better than ‘Melo? He led the Orange to their first NCAA title in ’03, winning Final Four M.O.P honors along the way. In one year of college ball, he just made it look easy.
1. Jameer Nelson, St. Joseph’s: Nelson and the Hawks had the Philadelphia/Southern New Jersey area in a frenzy during the 03-04 season. A 27-0 start? An NCAA tourney #1 seed? Came up just short of a Final Four appearance. (John Lucas’ three-ball still hurts). National Player of the Year honors in ’04. The list goes on…