The people that made our list of the best NCAA basketball players may not all have essentially been the most outstanding players, but as the tournament spotlight shined brightly on them they took it over in a sublime way. Check out this awesome compilation of Top 10 Greatest College Basketball Players of All Time.
Greatest College Basketball Players of All Time
10. Oscar Robertson (Cincinnati)
A well-deserved addition to the list of the top 10 greatest college basketball players of all time, he led Cincinnati to two consecutive Final Fours averaging a total of 32 points and 13 rebounds. As the highest standing scorer in each of his three seasons, Robertson left his college with the title of all-time leading NCAA scorer.
Although the Championship trophy never really reached his hand, he was a three-time All-American to brag and was still the best player present on the floor. That’s the reason the Player of the Year Trophy is named rightfully after him.
9. David Thompson (North Carolina State)
UCLA was the team of the 1970s, so it was a really gigantic feat to stop their astounding run of seven consecutive NCAA Championships. Then comes David “Skywalker” Thompson who led his team from the front to the 1974 championship game where they defeated Marquette, but it was the matchup against UCLA in the semifinal that propelled him to instant stardom.
Thompson scored 28 points and grabbed a handsome 10 rebounds in the double-overtime semi, which made UCLA’s streak come to a halt. He is reasonably a valued addition to the list of the top 10 greatest college basketball players of all time.
8. Jerry Lucas (Ohio State)
Lucas clinched his formidable legacy by leading Ohio State to the 1960 National Championship, he was twice selected as the Final Four’s Most Outstanding Player during his three impressive straight trips to the Final Four. Lucas played alongside the basketball legends Bob Knight and John Havlicek.
He still retains the Buckeye record for points, field goals, rebounds and also shooting percentage in the tournament. Lucas now holds his place among the top 10 greatest college basketball players of all time.
7. Danny Manning (Kansas)
The 1988 NCAA Championship team from Kansas was popularly known as Danny and the Miracles because of their unlikely gallant march to the championship game, with 11 losses and a No. 6 seed. In the final against Oklahoma, Manning scored a brilliant 31 points, corralled 18 boards, made 5 steals and blocked 2 shots.
While doing that, he secured an incredible 83-79 victory for Kansas, hence earning his position in the list of the top 10 greatest college basketball players of all time.
6. Patrick Ewing (Georgetown)
Ewing was one of the most heavily and popularly recruited players of all-time; it was seemingly unheard of for a freshman to start his career let alone star for a Georgetown team back in the ’80s, but Ewing did both during Georgetown’s race to the 1982 Championship game where they would eventually lose to Michael Jordan’s North Carolina Tar Heels, in spite of Pat’s 23 points and 11 rebounds.
With brilliant statistics under his belt, Ewing now holds his place among the top 10 greatest college basketball players of all time.
5. Earvin “Magic” Johnson (Michigan State)
Magic is probably the most famous college basketball player of them all. His carefree smile and charm captivated the hearts of nearly all of the sports fans more than his perfect ability to score and dish passes. He is also one of the greatest athletes who are known by their alias names.
Magic Johnson spent two scintillating seasons at Michigan State, leading the Spartans from front to the Elite Eight in 1978 and the Finals in 1979. He is a well-deserved addition to the list of the top 10 greatest college basketball players of all time.
4. Bill Russell (San Francisco)
Legendary Coach John Wooden affectionately called him the greatest defender in the domain of college basketball. He was so dominating that the NCAA changed the rules right after he left. NCAA widened the lane thus eliminating the scope of goaltending. Russell led the Dons brilliantly to back to back titles in 1955 and 1956.
He was a substantial force on the inside, grabbing 50 rebounds in 1956 Final Four, a record that still exists, including 27 boards in the title game. Besides his unbelievable statistics in NCAA, he also holds his place among the greatest basketball players of all time.
3. Christian Laettner (Duke)
His NCAA moments are so fascinating that they require a separate story. His famous shot to beat Kentucky in 1992 still stands proud at the most memorable play ever in NCAA Tournament history. It’s played hundreds of times during the March Madness. He played in four consecutive Final Fours, scoring an astounding 407 points in 23 tournament games. His record still stands firm.
He won back to back titles back in 91’ and 92’. And now, he also holds his place among the top 10 greatest college basketball players of all time.
2. Bill Walton (UCLA)
He was a big reason that UCLA was triumphant in a record 88 games in a row. And, they made that feat way back in the era of 1970s. He won back to back national titles and also the Most Outstanding Players awards in 1972 and 1973. In his best game ever, Walton scored an incredible 44 points on 21 of 22 shooting. He made that feat in the 1973 Championship game over the Memphis State (as they were called back then).
He now rightfully claims a substantial position in the list of the top 10 greatest college basketball players of all time.
1. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (UCLA)
Basketball star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (aka Lew Alcindor) is the last inclusion to the list of the top 10 greatest college basketball players of all time. For three seasons between 1966 and 1969, he was the most resonant player on the court. He led the Bruins splendidly to three consecutive NCAA championships. He also received the Most Outstanding Player each year. Besides, he became the only player ever to accomplish this enormous feat. Other than his outstanding college career, he also scored the highest points in NBA history.
Alcindor was so good that the NCAA banned the dunk in 1967 especially because he was so good at it. He rapidly practiced the jump hook, which he perfected. Alcindor happened to be a man-child in college basketball. Alcindor was the proud recipient of the inaugural Naismith College Player of the year award. He was and still is, hands down the greatest college basketball player ever.