Driving to work this morning, Tony Kornheiser argued, if only briefly, that Christian Laettner is one of the 10 best college players ever. Could this be? Laettner was an amazing, dominating college player. But if you're making a list of the 10 best college players ever, you really only have 6 openings to argue about, since 4 of them--Walton, Kareem, Bird, and Magic--are locks.
So who would round out those other 6 spots? Off the top of my head, I'd say:
Those guys all deserve high consideration. Certainly Laettner does, too. But who else?
Update: Commenters pointing to Pistol Pete are dead-on; I don't know how I left him out. Maravich averaged--averaged!--44.2 ppg in at LSU.
Others have suggested Grandmama Johnson. I don't buy it. Johnson was a man among boys and here, I'll say it: The '91 UNLV team which lost to Duke by a bucket in the Final Four was the best college team I've ever seen play. They were defending national champs, had an ungodly record, and lost to a Duke team playing the game of its life. They replay that game 100 times, UNLV wins it 99 of them. That said, Johnson only played two years and averaged 21.6 points and 11.2 rebounds per game. Great, awesome numbers, but not Top 10 All-Time material.
Does anyone have stats for David Thompson?
PS: This CBS Sports link has all sorts of good NCAA tourney stats and Basketball Reference has everything else you'll need for this discussion.
3 hours ago