1) Bill Walton: In 1973, 1974 and 1975 Bill Walton was named College Player of the Year. He averaged over 20 points and 15 rebounds per game during his college career. Walton was able to capture 2 Championships and was part of a legendary UCLA team that won an astonishing 88 straight games. It helped that he had maybe the greatest coach of all time calling the shots. Some regard him as the greatest college player of all time. His college career was a clinic on how to win basketball games. He was the leader of a team that could not be beaten and lead them to one of the greatest dynastys in sports. He once shot 22 for 23 from the field in a single game.
2) Lou Alcindor: In 1967 and 1969 Lou Alcindor was named College Player of the year and took a UCLA team to 3 straight Championships. Each year he was named the most valuable player. He averaged over 26 points and 15 rebounds per game during his college career. It was tough to put the great Lou Alcindor at number 2 but it was also painful to leave out other legends that didn't make this list. He was highly recruited by colleges across the nation but the great John Wooden was able to convince Alcindor to become part of a program that will go down as one of the greatest in sports. He was a contributing factor in the dunk being banned in college basketball from 1967 to 1976. Another legend that could change the way the game was played.
3) Oscar Robertson: In 1958, 1959 and 1960 Oscar Robertson was named College Player of the Year. He averaged over 33 points and 15 rebounds per game during his college career with Cincinnati. These numbers are remarkable for any starting forward but Oscar Robertson played point guard. Can you imagine a point guard that could average 15 rebounds in three years at the college level. Like Bill Russell, Robertson also faced the horrors of playing basketball with the racism that engulfed the 1950's. He was never able to win a Championship but finished his career as the number one scorer in college basketball history. In 1970 the man that holds the number 5 spot on this list was able to surpass the great Oscar Robertson as the greatest scorer.
4) Bill Russell: In 1956 Bill Russell was the USA Player of the year and averaged over 20 points and 20 rebounds per game during his college career. He won two Championships with San Francisco and changed the way the defensive game was played. Russell dominated the game in which he played while at the same time he was not allowed entry into hotels and restaurants across the country. He may have won his battles on the court but racism and segregation was a fight that all men of his generation would have to endure.
5) Pete Maravich: In 1970 Pete Maravich was awarded the Naismith Trophy but never had the chance to compete in the NCAA tournament. He averaged over 44 points and 6 rebounds per game during his college career. In his first game with LSU Pistol Pete scored 50 points 14 rebounds and 11 assists. A great game that showed his father and coach how dominating he could be. This was a time in basketball when the 3 point shot was unavailable to the greatest scorers in the game. I know some of you will not like this pick at number 5 and feel other players should have been included. Sometimes you just have to make a decision and Pete Maravich is my pick as one of the greatest.
This top 5 list shows some of the greatest basketball players to ever play the game at the college level. They would show how the accomplishment of boys can lead to legendary status.