Friday, October 3, 2014

Friday Five: Top Five ACC Basketball Players-North Carolina Schools Only

I recently saw a list a few basketball fans in these parts (central NC) were trying to put together featuring all of the ACC schools.  Should the list be twenty-five players?  Fifty?  Can we include Syracuse and Louisville players from their non-ACC conference days?  I was interested in their list which ended up quite long and swollen, yet filled with some really good names.  So, here's my starting 5 ACC basketball players from only the big 4 North Carolina schools.  For those not on the East Coast that's UNC, Duke, NC State, and Wake Forest.  Ready, Set, Go......

Center- Christian Laettner Duke
Laettner played on four Final Four teams at Duke.  How many people have pulled that off?  Four players.  While he was there he led the Blue Devils to back to back National Championships in 1991 and 1992.  He was the Most Outstanding Player of the 1991 Final Four and was the Wooden Award winner the following year in 1992.  He owned the record for most tournament games played and points scored too.  Here's "the shot".  

Also considered Ralph Sampson. 

Forward- Tim Duncan Wake Forest 
Duncan does not have the Tournament success that some of the other players on my list enjoyed, but he still had a few good showings.  Duncan averaged a double-double for three of his year's in Winston-Salem and lead the ACC in scoring, rebounding, field goal percentage, and blocked shots during the 1996-1997 season.  He won the ACC Player of the Year two years in a row and was also named First Team All-American.  

Also considered Tyler Hansbrough and Lennie Rosenbluth 

Small Forward- Michael Jordan UNC 
Jordan did not score as much as some of the other players on this list, but Dean Smith played a slow style of play.  Jordan was a pre-shot clock era player and the Tar Heels did a lot of walking.  He still managed to score 17 points a game at Chapel Hill including a year of 20 a game and another at 19.  He won the 1982 NCAA Championship, hitting the game winning shot, and also picked up some hardware for ACC Freshman of the Year and Two All-American Awards.  Also majored in geography.  

Also considered Grant Hill 

Guard- David Thompson NC State
Before there was Michael Jordan there was David Thompson.  Most die-hard ACC folks put him at the top of the heap as far as best player ever in the conference.  If you have any doubts about it, know that Michael Jordan considers him the best.  During three seasons in Raleigh Thompson averaged 26.8 points a game was a three time consensus All-American, All-ACC, and ACC Player of the Year. In 1973 Thompson led NC State to an undefeated 27-0 season.  In 1974 he helped lead NC State to a National Championship and wrecked the UCLA dynasty.

Also considered JJ Redick 

Guard- Phil Ford UNC 
Arguably the greatest player in UNC history, Ford is easily the best point guard in the history of the ACC.  He ran the four corners offense of Dean Smith to perfection.  Remember that the Tar Heels played slow, but Ford averaged 18.6 points a game and left Chapel Hill as the greatest scorer in the history of the school.  He's been passed by Tyler Hansbrough.  He was the first ACC player to score 2000 points and record 600 assists.  He was named a member of the first team All-American team his final two years.  

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