Tag Archives: 100 Greatest Players

Greatest Carolina Players in the ACC Era: A Summary

Now that the top 100 list is complete, I figured I’d do some quick post-game analysis.

Which state has produced the most top 100 Heels? It’s actually a tie at the top:

1. North Carolina: 22
1. New York: 22
3. Pennsylvania: 12
4. Virginia: 9
5: International: 5
6. Maryland: 4
6. New Jersey: 4
8. Indiana: 3
8. Ohio: 3
10. South Carolina: 2
10. Florida: 2
10. California: 2
10. Tennessee: 2
14. 8 tied with 1

And what is the distribution by decade (using peak seasons)? Continue reading

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Carolina’s Greatest Players of the ACC Era: The Top 10

Well, we’ve finally made it to the cream of the crop. It’s been a long process (see: 91-100 (+ methodology), 81-90, 71-80, 61-70, 51-60, 41-50, 31-40, 21-30, and 11-20), but we’ve now reached the top of the mountain: the ten greatest players in Carolina basketball history!

First, a quick review of 100 through 11: (Click on a name to jump to that player’s details)

100 – 91 90 – 81 80 – 71
100. Marcus Ginyard
99. Bob Cunningham
98. Dick Kepley
97. Henrik Rodl
96. Jimmy Braddock
95. Jackie Manuel
94. Ranzino Smith
93. Dave Popson
92. Brad Hoffman
91. Ray Respess
90. Kevin Salvadori
89. Ed Stahl
88. Steve Previs
87. Charlie Shaffer
86. Harvey Salz
85. Al Lifson
84. Kris Lang
83. Reyshawn Terry
82. Warren Martin
81. David Noel
80. Jim Hudock
79. Dudley Bradley
78. Marvin Williams
77. Serge Zwikker
76. John Kuester
75. Jerry Vayda
74. Dante Calabria
73. Joe Quigg
72. Deon Thompson
71. Brian Reese
70 – 61 60 – 51 50 – 41
70. Lee Dedmon
69. Brandan Wright
68. Ed Davis
67. King Rice
66. Kevin Madden
65. Steve Bucknall
64. Jason Capel
63. Ademola Okulaja
62. Jawad Williams
61. Matt Doherty
60. Pete Chilcutt
59. Scott Williams
58. Jimmy Black
57. Darrell Elston
56. Steve Hale
55. Jeff McInnis
54. Dick Grubar
53. Joe Wolf
52. Danny Green
51. Tommy LaGarde
50. Bill Bunting
49. Bill Chamberlain
48. Larry Brown
47. Jeff Lebo
46. Donald Williams
45. Brendan Haywood
44. Rusty Clark
43. Shammond Williams
42. Wayne Ellington
41. Ed Cota
40 – 31 30 – 21 20 – 11
40. Derrick Phelps
39. George Karl
38. Hubert Davis
37. Tommy Kearns
36. Bob McAdoo
35. J.R. Reid
34. Rashad McCants
33. Rick Fox
32. Vince Carter
31. Doug Moe
30. Lee Shaffer
29. Raymond Felton
28. Joe Forte
27. Rasheed Wallace
26. Eric Montross
25. Jerry Stackhouse
24. York Larese
23. Dennis Wuycik
22. George Lynch
21. Mike O’Koren
20. Walter Davis
19. Kenny Smith
18. Mitch Kupchak
17. Bobby Jones
16. Sean May
15. Pete Brennan
14. Brad Daugherty
13. Al Wood
12. Bob Lewis
11. Ty Lawson

I won’t leave you in suspense a second longer.
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Carolina’s Greatest Players of the ACC Era: 20-11

To review picks 21-100, see: 91-100 (+ methodology), 81-90, 71-80, 61-70, 51-60, 41-50, 31-40, and 21-30.

Time to introduce numbers 20 through 11.

20. Walter Davis: 1974-77, SF/SG, 6’5″, 180, Pineville, NC

  • Peak season (1977): 15.5 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 3.3 apg, 2.4 spg, 57.8 FG%, 77.8 FT%, 61.1 TS%
  • Career averages (4 years): 15.7 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 3.4 apg, 53.1 FG%, 77.3 FT%, 56.9 TS%
  • Accolades: one 1st-team All-ACC, one 2nd-team All-ACC, one regional All-Tournament team, starter on one Final Four team

As alluded to in the George Lynch write-up, Davis is the only member of this list’s top 20 to not have an All-American honor on his resume. While Davis’s scoring averages did not change much throughout his career (14.3 PPG as a freshman, 16.1 as a sophomore, 16.6 as a junior, 15.5 as a senior), he became a more and more efficient scorer (year-to-year TS%’s of: 53.6, 54.4, 58.3, 61.1). Much like Vince Carter, the upperclassman version of “Sweet D” was an efficient and dangerous secondary/tertiary scoring option (behind Ford and Kupchak). On different teams (like, say, the Forte teams of 2000 and 2001), Carter and Davis could have easily been 20-PPG scorers (albeit with a probable loss in efficiency). Davis was a fantastic passer and defender, rebounded well for a wing, and could affect the game in many ways. His most famous Tar Heel memory is probably the long banker against Duke to cap the ’74 “8 points in 17 seconds” comeback. Davis averaged 19.0 PPG and 7.7 RPG (including 31 and 12 in an opening round win against Wake) as the Heels won the ’75 ACCT, but was somehow left off the All-Tournament (first) team. After scoring 22 points in the ’77 ACCT semis, Davis was limited to 8 minutes in the championship game with a broken index finger. He missed the Round of 32 game, struggled in the Sweet 16 (while adjusting to his taped-together fingers), then busted out in the Elite 8. Despite the injury to his shooting hand, Davis averaged 20 PPG (on 64.5% from the field) and 6.3 RPG over UNC’s final three games (Elite 8 versus Kentucky, and Final Four match-ups against UNLV and Marquette). While injuries eventually caught up to the Heels in ’77, Davis’s postseason run was one of the most heroic and memorable in the program’s history. Like Phil Ford, Davis is missing that elusive national championship to complete his legacy. The lack of a ring wasn’t at all related to his stretch-run performance, however. Continue reading

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Carolina’s Greatest Players of the ACC Era: 30-21

To review picks 31-100, see: 91-100 (+ methodology), 81-90, 71-80, 61-70, 51-60, 41-50, and 31-40.

Let’s crack the top 30.

30. Lee Shaffer: 1958-60, PF, 6’7″, 220, Pittsburgh, PA

  • Peak season (1960): 18.2 ppg, 11.2 rpg, 43.6 FG%, 78.6 FT%, 48.8 TS%
  • Career averages (3 years): 14.0 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 44.4 FG%, 76.7 FT%, 49.8 TS%
  • Accolades: one 1st-team All-American, one 3rd-team All-American, one ACC Player of the Year, one 1st-team All-ACC, one 2nd-team All-ACC, two All-ACC Tournament teams

In his first year on the varsity in 1958, a sophomore Shaffer averaged 11.0 PPG, 6.1 RPG, and shot 74.1% from the line. Those numbers improved across the board in each of the next two seasons (13.2/7.1/77.1, 18.2/11.2/78.6), culminating in ACC Player of the Year and 1st-team All-American honors in ’60. After a rough start to his ACC Tournament career (4.7 PPG on 31.6% from the field in ’58), Shaffer played extremely well in Raleigh (the annual site of the ACCT in those days). In ’59, he averaged 18.3 points and 12.0 rebounds in three ACCT games (including 21 and 21 in the 1st round versus Clemson). He was even better as a senior, averaging 25.0 points and 11.5 rebounds in two games. Shaffer made the All-Tournament team in both of those seasons. At a solidly-built 220 pounds (quite big for the late-50s), Shaffer combined physicality, skill, and a soft shooting touch. While he’s the least heralded of Carolina’s ACC POYs (a group that also includes Rosenbluth, Brennan, Cunningham, Miller, Kupchak, Ford, Jordan, Jamison, Forte, Hansbrough, and Lawson), Lee Shaffer has earned his place among the program’s legends.

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Carolina’s Greatest Players of the ACC Era: 40-31

The first 60 selections on the list can be found here: 100-91 (+ methodology), 90-81, 80-71, 70-61, 60-51, and 50-41.

Picking back up with #40.

40. Derrick Phelps: 1991-94, PG, 6’3″, 180, Pleasantville, NY

  • Peak season (1993): 8.1 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 5.4 apg, 2.3 spg, 45.7 FG%, 67.5 FT%, 31.3 3Pt%, 51.9 TS%, 3.32 WORP / 35 games
  • Career averages (4 years): 7.3 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 4.8 apg, 1.9 spg, 44.8 FG%, 71.8 FT%, 32.2 3Pt%, 53.2 TS%, 9.19 Career WORP, 2.84 WORP/ 1,000 minutes
  • Accolades: one 2nd-team All-ACC, one All-ACC Tournament team, starter on one Final Four/national championship team, reserve on one Final Four team

Phelps was one of the truly elite defenders in Carolina history, winning three straight Carmichael-Cobb awards from ’92-’94 (no easy task with George Lynch, also a top-notch defender, on the roster for two of those years). Like Cota (passing), Phelps (defense) had one truly extraordinary talent. He gets the (slight) nod due to the rest of his game being slightly better than the rest of Cota’s game. After backing up King Rice as a freshman in ’91 (and playing about 10 MPG during UNC’s Final Four run), Phelps moved into the starting line-up permanently in ’92. In February of that season, he set a UNC record with 9 steals against Georgia Tech. He also added 11 assists in that game, demonstrating how profoundly he could affect the outcome on both ends without scoring (he scored just 5 points on 5 FGAs in that game). Phelps steered the Heels to a title in ’93 in his typical fashion– no gaudy stats, just game-changing contributions on both ends (like locking down Cincinnati’s Nick Van Exel in the 2nd half of the Elite 8 contest). As a senior, Phelps made 2nd-team All-ACC, then All-ACC Tournament team by averaging 10.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, 6.3 assists, and 3.0 steals in three UNC wins. His career ended in a disappointing manner as he suffered a concussion after a flagrant foul by BC’s Danya Abrams. Phelps played just 14 minutes in that Round of 32 loss before being injured.
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Carolina’s Greatest Players of the ACC Era: 50-41

If you’re just tuning in, catch up with past installments: 100-91 (+ methodology),
90-81, 80-71, 70-61, and 60-51.

50. Bill Bunting: 1967-69, PF, 6’8″, 195, New Bern, NC

  • Peak season (1969): 18.0 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 59.8 FG%, 82.7 FT%, 64.8 TS%
  • Career averages (3 years): 11.3 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 51.4 FG%, 74.0 FT%, 56.3 TS%
  • Accolades: one 1st-team All-ACC, one regional All-Tournament team, starter of three Final Four teams

Along with classmates Grubar and Clark, Bunting moved right into the starting line-up as a sophomore in ’67, joining “The L & M Boys” (Bob Lewis and Larry Miller) in bringing Dean Smith his first Final Four appearance. Bunting, a three-year starter, was just a role player in his first two seasons (7.8 PPG, 5.8 RPG) before busting out in his All-ACC senior campaign (18.0 PPG, 7.7 RPG). It wasn’t just a matter of having more opportunities, either: after shooting 44.0% from the field and 66.3% from the line as a sophomore/junior, he improved those percentages to 59.8% and 82.7% in 1969. Bunting’s junior-to-senior PPG increase of +10.1 trails only Donnie Walsh’s (+10.2) in Carolina history. Bunting was a huge contributor in the ’69 postseason, too: chipping in 16.0 PPG/9.3 RPG in the ACC Tournament, 18.0/8.5 in the East Regional, and 19 and 7 in the Final Four loss to Purdue. While the Class of ’69 never got over the hump in the Final Four, its three consecutive trips there left an indelible mark on the program– especially considering they were the first three of the Dean Smith era.

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Carolina’s Greatest Players of the ACC Era: 60-51

In earlier posts, we’ve counted down 100-91 (+ methodology), 90-81, 80-71, and 70-61.

We’ll pick it up here with #60.

60. Pete Chilcutt: 1988-91, C/PF, 6’10”, 230, Eutaw, AL

  • Peak season (1991): 12.0 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 53.8 FG%, 76.5 FT%, 57.5 TS%, 3.24 WORP / 35 games
  • Career averages (4 years): 8.2 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 53.4 FG%, 71.0 FT%, 56.7 TS%, 6.35 Career WORP, 2.00 WORP / 1,000 minutes
  • Accolades: one 3rd-team All-ACC, starter on one Final Four team

Chilcutt started his Carolina career off with a bang by hitting a last-second turnaround jumper to send the Hall of Fame Tip-off Classic (vs. top-ranked Syracuse) into overtime. UNC won in OT, capping a 14-point comeback without the services of suspended stars J.R. Reid and Steve Bucknall. Upon Reid’s return, Chilcutt eased into a reserve role as a freshman. He moved into the starting line-up as a junior in ’90, averaging 9 points and 6.6 boards per game. Chilcutt added 17 points in the Round of 32 upset of #1-seed Oklahoma, although his performance was overshadowed by the heroics of fellow junior Rick Fox. In 1991, seniors Chilcutt, Fox, and King Rice led the Heels back to the Final Four for the first time since 1982. Chilcutt scored a career-high 12 points per game that season, shooting 54% from the field and 77% from the charity stripe.

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Carolina’s Greatest Players of the ACC Era: 70-61

The first three installments of this scintillating series can be found here (100-91 + methodology), here (90-81), and here (80-71).

We’ll start this segment with #70.

70. Lee Dedmon: 1969-1971, C, 6’10”, 195, Baltimore, MD

  • Peak season (1971): 12.4 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 2.8 apg, 49.8 FG%, 72.9 FT%, 56.0 TS%
  • Career averages (3 years): 11.4 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 2.0 apg, 48.1 FG%, 67.8 FT%, 52.5 TS%
  • Accolades: one ACC Tournament co-MVP, one All-ACC Tournament team, key reserve on one Final Four team

As a sophomore, Dedmon was the top frontcourt reserve on Carolina ‘s’69 Final Four team (backing up seniors Rusty Clark and Bill Bunting). While Charlie Scott’s 40-point explosion deservedly earns most of the credit for UNC’s victory over Duke in the ’69 ACCT championship game, Dedmon was also sensational. He added 19 points and 11 rebounds in 28 minutes off the bench– Heels other than Scott and Dedmon combined for just 26 points in Carolina’s 85-74 victory. As both a junior and senior, Dedmon led the Heels in rebounding. He added 2.8 assists per game as a senior in ’71– an incredible figure for a center. Dedmon capped off his UNC career by averaging 15.3 points and 7.3 rebounds over 3 games to win co-MVP of the ACC Tournament (despite losing the pivotal jump ball against South Carolina that cost the Heels the title). He then played an instrumental role in leading Carolina to the NIT championship (back when that was still a really big deal in the one-NCAAT-bid-per-conference era).

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Carolina’s Greatest Players of the ACC Era: 80-71

If you’ve missed the first two installments, click here (91-100 + methodology):

and here (81-90):

Let’s pick things back up with #80.

80. Jim Hudock: 1960-62, PF, 6’7″, 218, Tunkhannock, PA

  • Peak season (1962): 14.9 ppg, 10.1 rpg, 45.6 FG%, 64.0 FT%, 49.2 TS%
  • Career averages (3 years): 9.1 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 46.3 FG%, 64.9 FG%, 50.6 TS%
  • Accolades: one 2nd-team All-ACC

After playing sparingly as a sophomore in 1960, Hudock moved into the starting line-up as a junior for the 19-4 ’61 Heels, averaging 12 points and 8 boards. Stars Doug Moe and York Larese graduated following that season and, more importantly to the future of the program, Dean Smith replaced Frank McGuire. In Smith’s first year, Carolina, captained by Hudock, fell to 8-9. Despite the team’s struggles, Hudock averaged a double-double in ’62 on his way to earning 2nd-team All-ACC honors. He can always be remembered as the sole captain of Dean Smith’s first Carolina team.

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Carolina’s Greatest Players of the ACC Era: 90-81

If you missed the first installment, it’s right here (including a description of the methodology):

http://tobaccoroadblues.com/2011/10/12/carolinas-100-greatest-players-of-the-acc-era-91-100/

Jumping right back into it:

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