REACT: Who is the greatest college player of all time?
Sports Illustrated asked its writers to weigh in with their picks for the greatest college basketball player of all time. We invited readers to submit their choices as well. Here's a sample of the responses we received.
Pete Maravich. In college, your teammates are children and you cannot control them and their talent. Therefore, I don't think winning a championship is a requirement for this title. Maravich's points-per-game average and "legend" put him in a class by himself. --Tim, Chicago
There are no candidates like Pistol Pete. A three-year average of over 40 points per game with no 3-point shot? He was an unbelievable player who saw every kind of defense one could dream up, yet he racked up points and wins with an otherwise poor team. He was the greatest I ever saw, way ahead of his time. --Dee Human, Greers Ferry, Ark.
People forget that Maravich was a great passer as well as being one of the most spectacular, unstoppable guards ever to play the game. The numbers speak for themselves. Had he been on one of John Wooden's UCLA teams (like Lew Alcindor or Bill Walton were) there would be no discussion. No one has ever done more with a mediocre supporting cast. --Loren Stagg, Kinder, La.
With out a doubt it's gotta be Oscar Robinson, because he was the only basketball player to average a triple double. --Brandon Gay, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Diana Taurasi. No other player could control the tempo of the game like she did. People thought that UConn was just a great system, but look what happened when she left. --Michael, Ontario, Calif.
Mr. Hoya Destroya, Patrick Ewing. He was one of the best -- if not the best -- players in the 1980s. It was bad enough that opponents were deathly afraid of that Georgetown team. Then they had to face this guy in the middle. --Amankwa, Laurelton, N.Y.
Bill Russell, because of his record at USF, and his impact on the rules of the game. --Dennis, Mobile, Ala.
Glenn "Big Dog" Robinson. In college, the Dog ate and ate, and ate some more...30 points and 10 boards per game is amazing in today's game. Great mid-range shooter with a mean streak! --Eric, Waukesha, Wis.
Larry Bird, based on his individual performance, that fact that he was a team player -- and that he stayed to graduate! --Mike Cooney, Cedar Point, N.C.
David Thompson. What can I say? He was the king! The originator, progenitor of you-know-what. If not for the probation, N.C. State should've won two national championships with Thompson. --Bruce Lee, Knoxville, Tenn.
Hank "The Bankman" Gathers. He and Bo Kimble revolutionized the way college basketball was played. We still miss Hank. --Chris Evans, Memphis
Michael Jordan. He was and will always be the best. He is a living legend. Scoring, passing, rebounding ... if it was basketball he did it and he did it well. He was a great individual and team player. He was amazing, plain and simple. --Raquel, Brownfield, Texas
Rebecca Lobo. Before her women's basketball was a novelty. She helped build UConn into a national power. She could play center, power forward or any other position if needed, and was a tremendous player and team leader. --Terry, Bridgeport, Conn.
Christian Laettner. He shut down everyone he played against. Larry Johnson, Shaquille O'Neal and Alonzo Mourning all got outplayed by Laettner. And he had nerves of steel like no one before or after him. --Joe Stevens, Durham, N.C.
Lew Alcindor played with finesse and purpose. He played within the structure of a team, but if a shot was needed he got it done. He stepped up and raised the bar for which the big men of the game would be forever measured. --Joe Orsua, lompoc, Calif.
Cheryl Miller. She did for the women's game what Julius Erving did for men's basketball: she took the game off the court and put it into the air. --Chris Trimble, Los Angeles
Is the greatest player the one who raises an average closest to the pinnacle? If so, Bird and Danny Manning have to be at the top. Is it the player who is greatest among great -- or at least excellent -- peers? If that's the measurement, Laettner, Thompson and Alcindor would get my vote. Some of the candidates you discussed are, to me, clearly not in the same league. But I find it impossible to objectively select THE best from the truly great ones. --Jay Barish, Cary, N.C.
Bob Kurland. He led Oklahoma A&M to back-to back titles, was a two-time tournament MVP and was so dominant at blocking shots that they had to institute the goaltending rule just to stop him. --Wes, Alva, Okla.
It takes a good player to be a star at UNC or Duke. These programs are built to be a haven for stars and future NBA franchise players. It takes a great player to do the same at the Naval Academy. David Robinson went from playing one year of high school basketball to becoming the most dominant force in the NCAA for three of his four years at Navy. Yet he wasn't there to play basketball and make it to the NBA; he was there to get an education and serve his country. He did both with pride, dignity and honor. And along the way he became one of the greatest basketball players ever to grace the court. --Steven Martin, Winchester, Va.