The 12 Most Dominant Players in College Basketball History
12) Austin Carr (Notre Dame Fighting Irish)
Carr is still Notre Dame’s all-time leading scorer with 2,560 points. Carr also holds NCAA tournament records for most points in one game (61 vs. Ohio in 1970), most field goals in one game (25), and most field goals attempted in one game (44). His record scoring average of 50 points per game in seven NCAA playoff games may never be broken.
11) Jerry West (West Virginia Mountaineers)
He was a two-time All American selection (1959 and 1960). In those same years, he was also named the Southern Conference’s Player of the Year. West was known for his prolific scoring (2,309 points in three varsity seasons), but what was equally impressive was the fact that he pulled down 1,240 boards as a 6’2” wing.
10) Danny Manning (Kansas Jayhawks)
The multi-talented 6’10” forward carried the Jayhawks to the 1986 Final Four and led KU to the 1988 National Championship, where he was selected as the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player. Many players have scored more points and pulled down more rebounds, but few have had the success that Manning achieved.
9) Elvin Hayes (Houston Cougars)
On January 20, 1968, the Big E and the Houston Cougars faced Lew and the UCLA Bruins in the first-ever nationally televised regular season college basketball game. In front of a record 52,693 fans at the Houston Astrodome, Hayes scored 39 points and had 15 rebounds while limiting Alcindor to just 15 points as Houston beat UCLA 71–69 to snap the Bruins’ 47-game winning streak in what has been called the “Game of the Century”. Hayes averaged over 30 points and 17 rebounds a gane during his college career.
8) Pete Maravich (LSU Tigers)
Pistol Pete scored 3,667 points in a mere 83 games. Portland State’s Freeman Williams scored 418 fewer points in 23 extra games. Wow! He could hit shots from every angle and every distance imaginable. No shot was off limits, every opening was potential field goal attempt. Throw in the fact that Maravich was probably the greatest ball handler in history.
7). Larry Bird (Indiana State Sycamores)
Bird was selected as a consensus All-American in both 1978 and 1979. He won virtually every national player of the year award in 1979 and was named as the Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year in 1978 and 1979. “Larry Legend” single-handedly lifted Indiana State to the peak of the college basketball world. He led ISU to the 1979 national championship game, only to fall to the Michigan State Spartans.
6) Magic Johnson (Michigan State Spartans)
Johnson could have been a much more high-volume scorer, but decided to put facilitating the Spartans offense ahead of putting points on the board himself. Because of his all-everything skill set, Johnson took Michigan State University on a two-year ride that included a trip to the Elite Eight as a freshman, and winning the National Championship in 1979.
5) Wilt Chamberlain (Kansas Jayhawks)
the dominance that began in his first varsity game at KU, where he scored 52 points and grabbed 31 rebounds. He was named a consensus All American in both his years playing varsity ball in Lawrence. Even though KU didn’t win the 1957 NCAA championship, Chamberlain was still selected as the Final Four Most Outstanding Player.
4) Bill Walton (UCLA Bruins)
The Bruins were undefeated national champions in Walton’s sophomore and junior seasons. In the 1973 NCAA championship game, he delivered one of the most dominating performances, shooting 21 of 22 from the field and scoring 44 points.
Walton is one of the most awarded college basketball players of all time. He was named the Final Four Most Outstanding Player twice. He was selected as a consensus All American three times. He won the Naismith National Player of the Year three times.
3) Bill Russell (San Francisco Dons)
Let’s start off with the fact that for his career he averaged 20 points and 20 rebounds per game. Russell led the University of San Francisco to back-to-back NCAA Championships (1955 and 1956).
2) Oscar Robertson (Cincinnati Bearcats)
Robertson’s scoring prowess was emphasized by the fact that he won the national scoring title in all three of his varsity seasons at Cincy.
The Big O was so much more than just a big time scorer. His 15.2 rebounds per game average is extraordinary. Even his 4.8 assists per game average was unbelievable, when you consider everything else he contributed on a game-by-game basis.
Robertson was a three time Sporting News College Player of the Year and a three time consensus All-American (1958-1960).
1) Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Formerly Lew Alcindor; UCLA Bruins)
This to me is a no-doubter, Abdul-Jabbar made a clean sweep of just about every possible award or accolade. He led the Bruins to three NCAA championships (1967, 1968 and 1969). In those three championships, he averaged 30.3 points and was named the Final Four Most Outstanding Player.
He was a three-time first team All American and he won the Oscar Robertson National Player of the Year twice (1967 and 1968) and was the first Naismith award winner.