The best basketball player EVER in the ACC?

Posted by Andy Durham on March 27, 2011 at 7:35 pm under College | 6 Comments to Read

We had this topic on the board a while back and we got in a very good response to this question today and we share it with you here now on the front page…..

The best basketball player EVER in the ACC?

The response:

The question should really be:Who is the 2nd best player in the ACC? Anyone who grew up watching ACC games and has an appreciation for the conference knows that know one (so far) comes close to DT. He changed the college game in the way we thought of athletic forwards that can jump out of the gym. It is no coincidence that the dunk was reinstituted in college basketball in 1976 because of the influence of Thompson on the college game. Jordan himself has said that besides being his childhood hero , Thompson is the best ever in the ACC. The best of the rest:

2) Lenny Bias – have NEVER seen a single player take over a game the way he did against UNC in 1986

3)Christian Laettner-The best to ever pull on a Dukie uniform, and that is saying something

4)Ralph Sampson-Most dominating big man in the college game since Lew Alcinder, should have had a much better pro career

5)Phil Ford- In a league with an incredible string of PG’s Ford stands above them all

Apologies to James Worthy, Tim Duncan, Walter Davis, and Tyler Hansrough

Also best overall coach: Mike Krzyzewski (sorry Tarheels), best coach if I had to win just one game and my life depended on it: Jim Valvano

The question should really be:Who is the 2nd best player in the ACC? Anyone who grew up watching ACC games and has an appreciation for the conference knows that know one (so far) comes close to DT. He changed the college game in the way we thought of athletic forwards that can jump out of the gym. It is no coincidence that the dunk was reinstituted in college basketball in 1976 because of the influence of Thompson on the college game. Jordan himself has said that besides being his childhood hero , Thompson is the best ever in the ACC. The best of the rest:

2) Lenny Bias – have NEVER seen a single player take over a game the way he did against UNC in 1986

3)Christian Laettner-The best to ever pull on a Dukie uniform, and that is saying something

4)Ralph Sampson-Most dominating big man in the college game since Lew Alcinder, should have had a much better pro career

5)Phil Ford- In a league with an incredible string of PG’s Ford stands above them all

Apologies to James Worthy, Tim Duncan, Walter Davis, and Tyler Hansrough

Also best overall coach: Mike Krzyzewski (sorry Tarheels), best coach if I had to win just one game and my life depended on it: Jim Valvano


  • NotJimmelvin said,

    I believe Michael Jordan is the only former ACC player with more NBA rings than Chuck Nevitt

  • smh said,

    Andy,
    It’s Tar Heel. Two words. The nickname of the state you live in.

  • it's history said,

    I think the unc fans think if they keep lobbying enough that they can change history. DT was the best college player. MJ the best pro. Let it go.

  • Bamm Bamm said,

    Hard to argue against any of your picks….the 1st 2 names I thought of were David Thompson & Len Bias. I still have nightmare’s of what he did to Carolina in 86. Even as a Carolina fan, I don’t think you can put Jordan in the Top 10 ACC players of all time. The Carolina system is just not a system that allows an individual to stand out. You could make a similar case (or even better) for Worthy & Perkins & Ford, therein lies the problem. Coaching, I probably give the nod to Coach K, although I think Dean Smith did a much better job at preparing his players for the next level (NBA), so if the purpose of college is to “teach & learn”, I rate Deano #1. Never thought of Valvano as a great bench coach, they had 1 lucky run..but it was a great one! Just think it they had the 3 point line at that time. State would have won every game by 20!!

    You forgot one though…how about the greatest DEFENSIVE ACC player ever……any nominations????

  • Andy said,

    Bobby Jones’ name comes to mind and I always liked the defense played by Tony Rutland at Wake Forest.

  • Bamm Bamm said,

    I remeber Dudley Bradley at Carolina!!