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Old 08-01-2010, 06:49 PM   #1
darius15
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Default Who is the best college basketball player YOU have ever seen?

Note: this is not an ALL TIME thread.

I've been watching since 98 or so, so here is my list, no order.

Tyler Hansborough (UNC): hurts to me to say this since I'm a Duke fan to the death, but he was incredible to watch.

Kevin Durant (Texas): Just one season, but damn what a player

Blake Griffin (Oklahoma): Just so dominating, it was unbelievable

Jay Williams (Duke): This dude could really do it all (except free throws). But IMO, out of all the guys I listed, he had the most "wow" factor.

Jameer Nelson (St Joseph): was impressed every time I watched him.

Carmelo Anthony (Syracuse): a standout season at Syracuse, you just knew he would be good in the NBA. A sure #1 pick in any other draft.

Juan Dixon (Maryland): Man, he was clutch!

Shane Battier (Duke): just a great player to have on your team overall.

JJ Redick (Duke): Could shoot the lights out at any given time

Adam Morrison (gonzaga): could score a bunch of points very quickly. With him in the game, you knew that the game was never over.
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Old 08-01-2010, 08:10 PM   #2
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Default Re: Who is the best college basketball player YOU have ever seen?

Glenn Robinson
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Old 08-02-2010, 01:33 PM   #3
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Default Re: Who is the best college basketball player YOU have ever seen?

The best I've seen in person would be Glenn Robinson or Chris Webber.
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Old 08-02-2010, 01:37 PM   #4
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Default Re: Who is the best college basketball player YOU have ever seen?

The best player I've seen in person is Durant, but far from the best performance because he was horrible that game.
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Old 08-03-2010, 06:00 PM   #5
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Default Re: Who is the best college basketball player YOU have ever seen?

Pistol Pete Maravich, followed very closely by Bill Walton.

Alcindor was likely even better, but his skill and mobility was so far and away beyond the other big guys of the era, it was truly hard to determine just how great he was.
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Old 08-03-2010, 06:50 PM   #6
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Default Re: Who is the best college basketball player YOU have ever seen?

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Originally Posted by JMT
Pistol Pete Maravich, followed very closely by Bill Walton.

Alcindor was likely even better, but his skill and mobility was so far and away beyond the other big guys of the era, it was truly hard to determine just how great he was.
If it was that far beyond, why does it make it hard to gauge how good he was? It's not like basketball had drastically changed between the late 60's and the mid-70's, when Walton played.
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Old 08-03-2010, 08:26 PM   #7
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Default Re: Who is the best college basketball player YOU have ever seen?

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Originally Posted by TheGame414
If it was that far beyond, why does it make it hard to gauge how good he was? It's not like basketball had drastically changed between the late 60's and the mid-70's, when Walton played.

I understand what you're saying, because it looked strange when I wrote it too. But the game really did change dramatically in that time imo, at least in regard to talented bigs.

The influx and influence of black players absolutely shifted the game in that era. "Pace" took on a different meaning. Not that the 60's was slow or stall ball by any means, but the evolution of the big, athletic slasher really began post-Alcindor.

If you look at All America teams during the Lew years, you saw Alcindor/Hayes & Unseld...all centers, playing pretty traditionally (though Big E had some flavor) plus a bunch of guards.

In 69, Haywood came along, and he was the type player that was slowly evolving.

By Walton's era, you had guys like Ratleff, Wilkes, Thompson, McAdoo, Barnes, Russell.

Front lines became so much stronger. It was no longer a freakishly big guy surrounded by guards. Centers had to move more on defense, be more versatile. Offensively, there were guys big and fast enough to make double teaming a good center much more effective than just a few years earlier. It was the generation of player that ushered in Erving and the like.

To me, it became much more difficult to dominate a game when the forwards were big, athletic guys, as opposed to jump shooters. If memory serves, Maravich and Mount were both listed as G/F on one All America squad. That was gone by the 70's.

I guess, like most of the criticism he faced throughout his career, Lew/Kareem just made it look too easy.

Last edited by JMT : 08-03-2010 at 08:28 PM.
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Old 08-03-2010, 09:08 PM   #8
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Default Re: Who is the best college basketball player YOU have ever seen?

Yeah, I guess now that I think about it, that was about the time that a semi-dramatic shift started to happen in basketball. Bill Simmons said it best about Kareem, though: he was the surest two points in the history of basketball.
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Old 08-03-2010, 09:09 PM   #9
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Default Re: Who is the best college basketball player YOU have ever seen?

I third Big Dog, and no homer even. I remember watching him when I was like 11 and had no real context for just how good these guys really are and understanding he was something different offensively. I've never seen a guy score so easily at the college level. If only he'd had a heart.
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Old 08-03-2010, 10:18 PM   #10
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Default Re: Who is the best college basketball player YOU have ever seen?

Durant was the best I have ever seen. He was bigger than most college center's, more athletic than most forwards, and a better shooter than almost all guards. Just think this past season where he finished 2nd in the MVP would have been his sr. year. He could have averaged 40 and 20 in college if he had stayed.
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Old 08-03-2010, 11:50 PM   #11
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Default Re: Who is the best college basketball player YOU have ever seen?

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Originally Posted by joyner82
He could have averaged 40 and 20 in college if he had stayed.
I hate when people say things like this, because too often they're serious. No, Kevin Durant would not have averaged 40 and 20 in college as a senior. Most likely, his averages wouldn't have changed a great deal from his freshman year.

For one thing, if Durant's sticking around for most of his college career, it's unfair to assume that all the other early entries wouldn't, either. Durant sticking around till his senior year is one of the most extreme examples you can think of, because he's going to be one of the greatest players ever. So if he's sticking around, there's dozens more guys who would, also, and Durant would have tougher competition. Not to mention, better teammates: in this scenario, he's teaming up with Lamarcus Aldridge, P.J. Tucker and Daniel Gibson as a freshman.

Even still, his improvement over the course of his college career would likely come in terms of his all-around game: passing, positional defense, ballhandling, etc. Because as he stuck around, he'd have been surrounded by far more talent and not needed to do it all.

Look at the talent he'd have been playing with at Texas this year:

PG- DJ Augustin (we're assuming he stayed too, right?)/Dogus Balby
SG- Avery Bradley/J'Covan Brown/Justin Mason
SF- Durant/Jordan Hamilton
PF- Damion James/Gary Johnson
C- Dexter Pittman/Alexis Wangmene

I mean....does he even put up the same numbers on this team as he did his freshman year? Why would he need to?

But forget all of this. Even if we assume that nothing changes, that everyone else left school early and for some crazy reason, only Kevin Durant stuck around for four years....it's still outrageous to think he'd average 40 and 20. I'll give you 30/12, tops. (Now, if he he wanted to be a shot-mongering, ball-stopping asshole? Sure, he could top 35 ppg in college. But what about him suggests he would?)
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Old 08-04-2010, 12:02 AM   #12
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Default Re: Who is the best college basketball player YOU have ever seen?

You do realize Durant averaged 28 and 13 in conference play during his freshman year, right?
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Old 08-04-2010, 12:29 AM   #13
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Default Re: Who is the best college basketball player YOU have ever seen?

Yep. And I watched almost every game of his that was nationally televised.

But like I said, it just does not logically follow that because he did x as a freshman, he would do 2x as a senior. It just does not happen when your numbers start out so astronomically high. He was incredibly efficient to begin with, so do you think he's going to suddenly start taking 8-10 more shots a game?

Like I said, he'd be playing with way better players later in his career. You know why his team lost 11 games and didn't make the Sweet 16 while he was putting up those absurd numbers? Because aside from a decent year from DJ Augustin, he was basically doing it himself. As the talent around him significantly improved- and it would have considering who was at Texas...not to even fathom who else would've came to play with Kevin Durant- it would be borderline retarded for one guy to keep taking 20 shots, no matter how great. The best college teams have balanced scoring.

My guess? His scoring goes down to 22-24 ppg (taking way less shots to get it with outrageous shooting percentages), his rebounding levels off because he'd be playing a little more on the perimeter, and he develops an unfairly complete, all-around floor game, getting everyone involved in a point forward capacity and becoming a Battier-like defensive player. While his points and rebounds would probably level off, he'd end up averaging 4-5 assists, 2+ blocks and 2+ steals. There's only so far you can go as a scorer and a rebounder. The next step in his improvement is becoming the total package, kind of like where his as an NBA player now.

There's a really good chance his points/rebounds averages may have actually peaked his freshman year, had he stayed. Since Lew Alcindor was mentioned earlier in this thread, there's a great example. He averaged 29 ppg and 15.5 rpg as a sophomore (freshmen, of course, not being eligible then). As a senior? 24 and 14.7.

Michael Jordan averaged 13.5/4.4 in a slowdown system, playing with James Worthy and Sam Perkins as a freshman. Did his numbers double as he became the featured guy the next two years? Nope, he topped out at 20.0/5.5. (Yes, I realize percentage-wise, that's a similar increase to what Durant would make going to 40/20. But MJ didn't start out with outrageous numbers. So look at MJ as an NBA player. He peaked as a scorer well before he peaked as a player, improving his all-around game as the talent around him improved.)

You're just not thinking this through if you think KD would have put up anywhere near those numbers. Not only wouldn't he, but it would be stupid if he did.

Last edited by TheGame414 : 08-04-2010 at 12:35 AM.
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Old 08-04-2010, 07:09 PM   #14
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Default Re: Who is the best college basketball player YOU have ever seen?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGame414
Yeah, I guess now that I think about it, that was about the time that a semi-dramatic shift started to happen in basketball. Bill Simmons said it best about Kareem, though: he was the surest two points in the history of basketball.

No doubt.

Aside from the evolution at the forward position, I'm sure Walton's fire vs Lew's serenity made a difference in the way that I viewed them at the time.
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Old 08-04-2010, 10:42 PM   #15
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Default Re: Who is the best college basketball player YOU have ever seen?

I think that's true of the way a lot of people view those two, respectively, in historical terms. While no one questions Kareem's place in basketball history- a strong case can be made that through every level of basketball, he had the most accomplished career ever- it seems to me that Walton is remembered more fondly. Part of that is the total unselfishness and surreal passing ability, and part of it is the mystery, the "what if?" factor, not knowing just how great his career would've been if he didn't have such mangled feet.

On the flipside, for multiple reasons- some his fault, some completely not his fault- Kareem just wasn't beloved. Everyone knows he was great, but the warm, fuzzy memories that people have of Walton's brief career just aren't there with Kareem, no matter how indisputable his greatness was.
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