The game of basketball is completely different in college than it is in the National Basketball Association. There have been hundreds of college basketball stars down through the years that have made their mark by dominating during the regular season. On the other hand, there have also been quite a few stars who were born during March Madness because of their heroics. In order to be on this list of the best college basketball players ever a player had to be great throughout their entire college career. Here are the five best college basketball players ever.
Top Five College Basketball Players All Time
5. David Thompson- David Thompson isn’t always given his proper due when it comes to his greatness as a basketball player. Thompson had the best leaping ability of any college player ever. He once snagged a quarter off the top of the backboard. Thompson was a first-team All American in 1973, 1974, and 1975. He is best known for leading his North Carolina State Wolfpack over the heavily favored UCLA Bruins in the 1974 NCAA Championship game.
4. Bill Russell- Bill Russell is just one of those basketball players who makes everyone on his team better because of his amazing skills. At San Francisco, Russell led the Dons to 55 straight wins and two straight NCAA Championships in 1955 and 1956. Russell hit the glass like no other, averaging 20.3 rebounds per game in his college career.
3. Bill Walton- Walton was a three time player of the year for the UCLA Bruins. The Bruins had their record 88 game win streak while Walton was in Westwood. No big man could ever pass the basketball as well as Walton, and he was an amazing force on the defensive end of the court as well. Walton once made 21 out of 22 field goals in the 1973 Final Four.
2. Oscar Robertson- The Big O was way ahead of his time when it came to an all-around game that no other player could match. Robertson didn’t have a lot of help when he played at Cincinnati, but he averaged 35, 33, and 34 points per game in his collegiate years. His 6’5 and 220 pound frame was extremely tough to guard for anyone in this era. Robertson was supremely talented and was a great passer, shooter, and rebounder. He averaged a stunning 15.2 rebounds per game despite playing the point guard position.
1. Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul-Jabaar)- The UCLA Bruins went 88-2 in Alcindor’s three seasons and won the National Championship every single year. He once scored 61 points in a game, and his patented sky hook was simply unstoppable. The smooth touch of his shot was amazing for his size, and like Russell, he simply was a winner. Alcindor tops the list of best college basketball players of all time.
Are you wondering where guys like Pete Maravich, Magic Johnson, and Larry Bird are? All three of them just barely missed this list. As I said at the start, when you are narrowing it down to the top five of all time, there are some tough cuts that must be made!
SportsReference “Oscar Robertson Statistics”