Best College Basketball Player of All-Time?

Publish date:

Last night, North Carolina Forward Tyler Hansbrough set the school’s all-time scoring record. To say this feat is impressive would be an understatement. He has surpassed the likes of Michael Jordan, Antawn  Jamison, James Worthy, Rashad McCants, and the now number two leading scorer Phil Ford.

In his fourth season, Hansbrough has played with more intensity, determination and focus than most players in college basketball. His intangibles are through the roof. Willingness to be a team player and commitment to play four years at a time when elite players barley want to play college ball are just some of the things you’ll hear about this young man. Have I forgotten to mention, he’s also won a National Championship and is reining National Player of the Year.

But as I look at the present, gaze at the past and the players before him, and stare to the future, this is where the love fest for Hansbrough stops. It’s needless to say his list of accomplishments is outstanding. But lately I’ve been hearing that Tyler Hansbrough may be the greatest player in college basketball history. Are you kidding me? Tyler Hansbrough, and strictly based on talent and basketball ability is not even the best basketball player from his own school, let alone the entire country.

If you even have the thought at this, I encourage you to think about this. How impressive would his accomplishments be if he hand not stayed all four years. Certainly he could have left, should he felt it was the right time. Now think about the careers players have had even if they only stayed a year or two. Because players do not fulfill their four year commitment to pursue and NBA career, this does not discredit there claim to be one of the best college players of all time.

Now I won’t stoop to a level where I’ll name better college players than Hansbough but think about why some of the all-time great players left school early; talent and ability.

Hansbrough’s game while impressive as it may seem at times, will not translate into the NBA game which is dependant more on talent and ability than hard work and effort. In “mock” draft boards already starting to stir around NBA circles, you won’t Hansbough’s name in the top 5, 10, 15 and possibly later.

Surely, for the reining National Player of the Year, National Champion, all-time scoring leader, and soon to have plenty more accomplishments added to his list, it would seem that he’s a sure fire number one draft pick; but he’s not.

The fact of the matter remains, Tyler Hansbough has had a storybook career at North Carolina. His accolades won’t soon be surpassed. His jersey will be retired, and he’ll go on to play the bench at the NBA level.

I certainly applaud his efforts. Would I love to have seen him in a Spartan jersey? Absolutely. But before the “Tyler Hansbough is the best college basketball player of all time” bandwagon get too full, I ask that we all take a step back and think about what that statement means, and the players you’re surpassing if you make this mistake.

In your mind, who is the best college basketball player of all time?