Who’s in Your Top 10?
A group of SLAM writers and editors list their favorite college bball players.
Great Neck, NY
10. Gerry McNamara, Syracuse: Earned his spot on this list just for that 43-point game, when he drained 9 threes.
9. Omar Cook, St. John’s University: Once watched him absolutely dominate a Big East opponent at MSG during his freshman year. Wish he hung around for those soph, junior and senior seasons.
8. Jameer Nelson, St. Joseph’s University: Single-handedly made St. Joe’s a joy to watch for those four seasons. Still can’t believe they didn’t win the ’04 tourney.
7. Jason Williams, Duke: Embodied the Duke leadership and team-play ideals that Coach K always preached, but also had the athleticism to succeed at the pro level, which he probably would have had it not been for that accident.
6. Gordon Hayward, Butler: A five seed going to the finals? Led by a skinny whiteboy? Fun times.
5. Khalid El-Amin: There are so many college players, that as someone who was never a fan of a particular program, guys who stuck out for whatever reason would tend to draw me in: Wearing a t-shirt under your jersey and weighing a little more than the average point guard, for example. Cool dude.
4. Richard Hamilton, UConn: His Huskies were on top right when I was getting into college ball. Vaguely remember loving how he dominated the ’99 tourney.
3. Mateen Cleaves, Michigan State University: Just a damn great college pg. Put the Spartans on his back time after time.
2. TJ Ford, Texas: The crazy speed, along with the passing ability, made him a blast to watch. The ultimate video game point guard.
1. Carmelo Anthony: The ultimate college player — had inside and outside game, defended the wing in Boeheim’s zone masterfully (before he hit the League and became solely a pure scorer), and put his team on his back in clutch moments. And the fact that he did it all as a freshman made it that much more fun.
10. Christian Laettner, Duke: Forget about his forgettable NBA career. Laettner was a beast in college. His game-winning shot in the win over Kentucky in the East regionals in ’92 is legendary.
9. Chris Webber, Michigan: Known as the centerpiece of the mighty infamous “Fab Five,” Webber balled out of control in college. And save for that blunderous timeout call against NC in the title game in ’93, Webber had an unmatched career in undergrad.
8. Grant Hill, Duke: Before injuries put the brakes on his NBA career, Hill was the second coming to anybody with a press credentials to basketball games. Versatile and oh so smooth, Hill dominated while playing for Coach K.
7. Bobby Hurley, Duke: Hurley was the floor general for the Blue Devils during their back-to-back championship run in ’91-92. To this day, Hurley remains the all-time leader in dimes with 1,076.
6. Glenn Robinson, Purdue: Known as the “Big Dog,” Robinson lit up all comers while playing at Purdue. He led the nation in scoring during his ’93-94 campaign and was the first Boilermaker to be selected as Naismith Player of the Year since John Wooden. Respect.
5. Larry Johnson, UNLV: Before he was “Grandmama,” Johnson rewrote the history books at UNLV as the go-to man of one of the most dominant college team in NCAA history. The two-time first team All-America forward even slayed Duke in ’90 for the chip.
4. Allen Iverson, Georgetown: The Answer only spent two seasons as a Hoya, but he did so in eye-popping fashion, averaging 23 ppg and earning two Big East Defensive Player of the Year awards for his ability to pick guards’ pockets.
3. Tim Duncan, Wake Forest: Before his first ballot Hall of Fame career in the NBA, the Big Fundamental dominated the low post for the Demon Deacons. Not convinced? He was the first player in NCAA history to net 2000 points, 1500 rebounds and 200 assists.
2. Ed O’Bannon, UCLA: O’Bannon may be on everyone’s “bust” list when it comes to the NBA Draft, but this silky smooth forward did damage while suited up for the Bruins. He led them to the Promised Land in ’95 averaging 20.4 ppg and 8.3 boards.
1. Ray Allen, UConn: There’s a reason Spike Lee chose Allen to play Jesus Shuttlesworth. That jumper? Killer. The range? Uptown, downtown and all-around. “Jesus” finished his reign as a Huskie with 1,922 points (good for third all-time) and set a single-season school record by connecting on 115 Js from deep in ‘95–96.