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.

79. Dudley Bradley: 1976-79, SF/SG, 6’5″, 195, Edgewood, MD

  • Peak season (1979): 9.2 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 2.0 apg, 3.3 spg, 51.2 FG%, 60.8 FT%, 53.1 TS%
  • Career averages (4 years): 4.4 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 1.1 apg, 1.6 spg, 45.6 FG%, 55.2 FT%, 47.1 TS%
  • Accolades: one ACC Tournament MVP, one All-ACC Tournament team, reserve on one Final Four team

Bradley played limited minutes off the bench in Carolina’s 1977 run to the national championship game (45 minutes in 7 ACCT and NCAAT games). He did have a terrific performance against Purdue in the Round of 32: 8 points, 8 rebounds, 2 steals, and a block in 16 minutes. Bradley’s play helped the Heels advance past the Boilermakers even without the services of injured star Walter Davis (broken finger). One of the finest wing defenders in UNC history, Bradly moved into the starting line-up as a junior in 1978. Although he scored sparingly (5.6 ppg), Bradley averaged 2 steals per game that season. That number exploded to 3.3 in 1979, an ACC-leading figure. Bradley’s 97 steals in a single season and his 3.3 per-game average are still Carolina records. He also boosted his scoring average to 9.2 ppg as a senior, easily achieving career-highs in FG% and FT%. Bradley had a couple signature moments as a Heel– most notably, perhaps, his last-second, game-winning steal and dunk to shock NC State in Reynolds Coliseum. He was also named MVP of the ’79 ACC Tournament after a 16-point, 7-steal, 4-assist performance led the Heels to a win over Duke in the championship game.

78. Marvin Williams: 2005, PF, 6’9″, 230, Bremerton, WA

  • Peak season (2005): 11.3 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 50.6 FG%, 84.7 FT%, 43.2 3Pt%, 62.7 TS%, 2.14 WORP / 35 games
  • Career averages (1 year): 11.3 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 50.6 FG%, 84.7 FT%, 43.2 3Pt%, 62.7 TS%, 2.20 Career WORP, 2.76 WORP / 1,000 minutes
  • Accolades: ACC Rookie of the Year, top reserve on a Final Four/national championship team

Williams was arguably the final piece that made Carolina’s ’05 title run possible. A terrific shooter, he made 85% of his free throws and 43% of his 3s in his only year as a collegian. In addition to his smooth shooting stroke, “it happen(ed) sometimes that (Marvin) dunk(ed) on people.” FSU’s Alexander Johnson learned this the hard way: Marvin Crushes on FSU. Had he returned for his sophomore season, Williams would have been poised for a Stackhouse-/Wallace-style breakout. Despite only being in Chapel Hill for one campaign, Williams had his share of memorable moments– specifically, the put-back to beat Duke on Senior Day and the tip-in that gave the Heels a late 72-70 lead against Illinois in the national championship game.

77. Serge Zwikker: 1994-97, C, 7’2″, 255, Maassluis, The Netherlands

  • Peak season (1997): 11.5 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 1.7 bpg, 49.2 FG%, 75.8 FT%, 51.6 TS%, 2.05 WORP / 35 games
  • Career averages (4 years): 7.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 1.1 bpg, 50.1 FG%, 69.6 FT%, 52.2 TS%, 3.91 Career WORP, 1.61 WORP / 1,000 minutes
  • Accolades: one 3rd-team All-ACC, starter on one Final Four team, reserve on one Final Four team

Zwikker’s breakthrough moment came as a sophomore in the ’95 NCAAT against Murray State. With Rasheed Wallace hobbled by a sprained ankle, Zwikker contributed 19 points and 6 rebounds in 20 minutes off the bench. With Wallace in foul trouble, Zwikker also provided 16 key minutes in the Elite Eight upset of Kentucky, adding 5 points and 4 rebounds. He moved into the starting line-up for his final two seasons, averaging 30.2 MPG, 10.5 PPG, 7.2 RPG, and 1.6 BPG as an upperclassman. Despite being 7’2″, Zwikker preferred a finesse post game and mid-range jumpers (especially the short corner). This was reflected in his anemic career FTA Rate of 20.3. Though a below-average run-and-jump athlete, his size, positioning, and intelligence made him a solid defender, shot-blocker, and rebounder.

76. John Kuester: 1974-77, SG/PG, 6’2″, 170, Richmond, VA

  • Peak season (1977): 9.7 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 4.0 apg, 51.7 FG%, 81.6 FT%, 56.6 TS%
  • Career averages (4 years): 5.4 ppg, 1.4 rpg, 3.1 apg, 48.2 FG%, 75.6 FT%, 52.9 TS%
  • Accolades: one NCAAT Regional MVP, one NCAAT All-Regional team, one ACC Tournament MVP, one All-ACC Tournament team, starter on one Final Four team

After spelling Phil Ford and Brad Hoffman as a reserve sophomore guard in ’75, Kuester joined Ford in the starting backcourt for the next two seasons. While Ford was the primary ball-handler and distributor, Kuester was also more than capable of running the offense. He averaged 5.3 and 4.0 assists per game in ’76 and ’77– Ford had 7.0 and 6.6 in those two seasons. A fantastic defender, Kuester also won the Carmichael-Cobb award in both 1976 and 1977, averaging 1.9 steals per game in those years. Kuester’s best stretch of basketball occurred during the final month of his Carolina career. After Ford fouled out with 6 minutes remaining in the ACC Tournament championship game, Kuester carried the Heels to a comeback win versus Virginia. UNC’s senior leader averaged 13.5 points and 4 assists in the Tournament, earning MVP honors in the process. Kuester followed that up with another MVP award in the East Regional. After 14 points, 8 assists, and 7 steals in a hard-fought win over Notre Dame, he added 19 points (on 13-of-14 from the line) against Kentucky to help secure UNC’s Final Four berth. Ford played just 15 minutes (scoring 2 points) versus the Wildcats after hyper-extending his elbow, but his long-time backcourt partner picked up the slack in his absence.

75. Jerry Vayda: 1953-56, PF/SF, 6’4″, 200, Bayonne, NJ

  • Peak season (1954): 17.0 ppg, 8.7 rpg, 41.3 FG%, 63.1 FT%, 46.8 TS%
  • Career averages (4 years): 12.9 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 40.6 FG%, 67.0 FT%, 47.2 TS%
  • Accolades: one 2nd-team All-ACC

Like Al Lifson, Vayda’s career also bridged the gap between the Southern (1 season) and Atlantic Coast (3 years) Conferences. In Carolina’s first year in the ACC, Vayda was its leading scorer and MVP. He also became the first Tar Heel to earn an All-ACC selection– a 2nd-team honor in ’54. When Lennie Rosenbluth joined the varsity in 1955, Vayda’s offensive role was reduced. It was further reduced when Pete Brennan, Tommy Kearns, and Joe Quigg moved up in ’56. Vayda went from being a volume-scoring top option on some mediocre teams to a role-playing contributor on a very good one (the 18-5 ’56 Heels who would become the 32-0 national champs the next (post-Vayda) season. Even as his role was changing, Vayda remained very adept at getting to the charity stripe. Of Carolina’s 63 1,000-point scorers, only 4 (Brennan, Hansbrough, Stackhouse, and Haywood) had higher career FTA Rates than Vayda’s 59.5.

74. Dante Calabria: 1993-96, SG/SF, 6’4″, 185, Beaver Falls, PA

  • Peak season (1996): 12.7 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 4.2 apg, 42.5 FG%, 70.9 FT%, 39.5 3Pt%, 56.6 TS%, 1.67 WORP / 35 games
  • Career averages (4 years): 8.1 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 2.5 apg, 45.2 FG%, 71.9 FT%, 41.2 3Pt%, 59.0 TS%, 4.67 Career WORP, 1.46 WORP / 1,000 minutes
  • Accolades: one 3rd-team All-ACC, starter on one Final Four team, reserve on one Final Four/national championship team

Calabria came to Chapel Hill after prepping at Blackhawk High under the legendary John Miller (whose sons, Sean and Archie, are currently running their own D-I programs). Calabria played a reserve role as a freshman on the ’93 national champs (just three total minutes in the last four games of the NCAAT) before seeing his minutes increase as a sophomore (15 starts, 20.4 MPG in ’94). As a full-time starter in ’95, Calabria set the UNC single season record for 3-point accuracy by knocking down 49.6% of his attempts from behind the arc. Prior to missing all seven of his threes against Arkansas in the Final Four, Calabria’s 3-point % stood at 52.4%. As a senior in ’96, Calabria’s offensive role expanded (with the losses of Stakchouse, Wallace, and D. Williams) which corresponded with a decrease in efficiency. He still shot nearly 40% from behind the arc on his way to a 3rd-team All-ACC selection. Calabria was also a good passer and outstanding decision-maker; his career A:TO of 1.72 is tied for 5th (with Steve Bucknall) among Tar Heels who played the majority of their minutes on the wing (trailing Wes Miller, Steve Hale, Henrik Rodl, and Matt Doherty). Dude had great hair, too.

73. Joe Quigg: 1956-57, C, 6’9″, 205, Brooklyn, NY

  • Peak season (1957): 12.0 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 40.2 FG%, 65.0 FT%, 46.5 TS%
  • Career averages (2 years): 11.0 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 41.9 FG%, 68.4 FT%, 48.2 TS%
  • Accolades: starter on one Final Four/national championship team

Quigg hit the two biggest foul shots in Carolina history, sinking a pair with six seconds left in the third overtime to beat Kansas by a point in the 1957 national championship game. He started at center as both a sophomore and a junior as the Heels won 50 of their 55 games over those seasons. A broken leg suffered in practice before his senior season effectively ended Quigg’s basketball career. He would go on to have a successful career as a dentist in Fayetteville. Had he been able to compete as a senior (on another fantastic UNC team), Quigg would certainly rank higher on this list. As it is, Carolina fans should forever remember Joe Quigg as the Tar Heel whose clutch performance at the line secured the program’s first NCAA Tournament title.

72. Deon Thompson: 2007-2010, PF, 6’9″, 240, Torrance, CA

  • Peak season (2010): 13.7 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 48.4 FG%, 69.3 FT%, 52.4 TS%, 1.81 WORP / 35 games
  • Career averages (4 years): 9.3 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 49.4 FG%, 65.6 FT%, 52.1 TS%, 4.71 Career WORP, 1.45 WORP / 1,000 minutes
  • Accolades: one NIT All-Tournament team, starter on two Final Four/one national championship team (s)

To many Carolina fans, Thompson’s legacy is somewhat tarnished by his role as a senior leader on the NIT-bound 2010 Heels. Like Capel and Lang in 2002, Thompson wasn’t built to thrive as a go-to scorer or top option. His finesse post arsenal (highlighting a turn-around jumper) was ineffective at drawing fouls, causing his scoring efficiency to suffer. He was also mediocre on the backboards for an ACC post player. Thompson was at his best as a 4th or 5th offensive option– the role he played on Carolina’s great teams of 2008 and 2009. He was also an underrated paint defender who became better and better on that end as his career progressed. Thompson’s shining moment as a Tar Heel may have been in the 2009 national championship versus Michigan State. He scored 9 points in the game’s first 9 minutes, leading Carolina to an early 29-11 advantage at the 11:16 mark of the 1st half. He was a solid contributor on some excellent UNC teams– a description that fits many of the players who populate this region of the top 100 list.

71. Brian Reese: 1991-94, SF, 6’6″, 205, Bronx, NY

  • Peak season (1993): 11.4 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 2.4 apg, 50.7 FG%, 69.2 FT%, 36.7 3Pt%, 57.4 TS%, 2.42 WORP / 35 games
  • Career averages (4 years): 8.3 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 2.0 apg, 50.1 FG%, 64.3 FT%, 31.8 3Pt%, 54.9 TS%, 5.18 Career WORP, 2.02 WORP / 1,000 minutes
  • Accolades: one All-ACC Tournament team, starter of one Final Four/national championship team, reserve on one Final Four team

After a very solid junior season during Carolina’s ’93 championship run, Reese regressed significantly as a senior. After shooting 51/69/37 in ’93, he dipped to 49/51/19 in ’94. Losing complete confidence in his perimeter game, Reese made just 6 of 32 3-pointers as a senior (including Jerry Stackhouse, who made just 2 of 20 3s in ’94, Carolina’s small-forward position combined to shoot 15.4% behind the arc). While Reese didn’t go out on a high note (he averaged just 16.8 MPG over his final 6 games at Carolina), he was a 3-year starter, a terrific athlete, and an underrated defender (often overshadowed by playing alongside George Lynch and Derrick Phelps, two of Carolina’s best ever on that end of the court). His finest hour as a Tar Heel may have been the 1993 ACC Tournament when he led UNC in scoring with 56 points in 3 games (18.7 PPG), including 24 against Georgia Tech in the title game.

Check out numbers 70 through 61 on the Carolina Top 100 list.

About Adrian

I'm the editor of Maple Street Press's Tar Heel Tip-off, and live in Raleigh with my wife and 2-year-old daughter. I grew up along the banks of the Allegheny River, and terrorized the WPIAL as a pass-first point guard. Follow me on Twitter @FreeportKid.
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