College Basketball

The Magic Number

June 27, 2020

There's nothing like a great sports debate — and the College Basketball on FOX Twitter account is keeping us all busy on that front.

Last week, it was the best player to wear No. 23. We had a feeling who most fans would lean towards.

Earlier this week, the ladies of college hoops got into the mix.

And this weekend, FOX College Hoops is at it again – and this might be the toughest debate to date.

Eight different guys. Eight different legacies. Eight all-time great college basketball players.

So who is the best player to ever wear No. 33? We don't have the answers — because we're leaving that up to you. But we do have the resumes.

Antawn Jamison, North Carolina

Jamison played three seasons at UNC, participating in two Final Fours. He was also a 2-time All-American and won National Player of the Year honors in 1998 when he averaged 22.2 points and 10.5 rebounds. His number is retired in the Dean Dome next to Michael Jordan and others.

Upon completing his career at UNC, he was selected 4th overall in the 1998 NBA Draft by the Toronto Raptors before being traded to the Golden State Warriors.

Patrick Ewing, Georgetown

Ewing is one of the most dominant defensive big men in college basketball history, as evidenced by him being a 4-time Big East Defensive Player of the Year.

Over the course of his four seasons at Georgetown, Ewing averaged 15.3 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 3.4 blocks. He was named the Final Four Most Outstanding Player in 1984, Big East Player of the Year in 1984 and 1985, National Player of the Year in 1985, and was a 3-time First-Team All-American from 1983-1985.

Ewing's individual dominance translated into on-court success for the Hoyas, as they played in three National Championship games during his four seasons, winning it all in 1984.

Ewing was selected with the 1st overall pick by the New York Knicks in the 1985 NBA Draft.

Grant Hill, Duke

Another 4-year star, Hill averaged double figures every year he played at Duke from 1990-1994.

Hill's career averages at Duke are 14.9 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 3.6 assists. He was a 2-time All American, and was also named the 1994 ACC Player of the Year. He helped lead Duke to back-to-back National Championships in 1991 and 1992.

Hill would go on to be selected 3rd overall by the Detroit Pistons in the 1994 NBA Draft.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, UCLA

Most would agree it's hard to top Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's college resume.

During his three seasons of varsity basketball at UCLA, Jabbar averaged 26.4 points and 15.5 rebounds.

Every season that he suited up for UCLA between 1966-1969, he was National Player of the Year, a First-Team All-American, NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player and a National Champion.

He was selected with the 1st overall pick by the Milwaukee Bucks in the 1969 NBA Draft.

Larry Bird, Indiana State

Bird was a bad man in the NBA for the Boston Celtics, and just might have been an even badder man in college.

During his three seasons at Indiana State from 1976-1979, Bird averaged an eye-popping 30.3 points, 13.3 rebounds, and 4.6 assists.

He was a 2-time First-Team All-American in 1978 and 1979, as well as being named National Player of the Year in 1979, the same year he would lead Indiana State to its first and only National Championship appearance.

He was selected with the 6th overall pick in the 1978 NBA Draft by the Boston Celtics before joining the franchise in 1979.

Earvin "Magic" Johnson, Michigan State

The man who defeated Bird in the 1979 National Championship was none other than Earvin "Magic" Johnson.

During his 2-year stint at Michigan State, Johnson averaged 17.1 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 7.9 assists.

Johnson would be named consensus First-Team All-American in 1979, as well as the Final Four Most Outstanding Player after leading Michigan State to their first national title.

He would go on to be selected with the 1st overall pick by the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1979 NBA Draft.

Shaquille O'Neal, LSU

O'Neal is widely-regarded as the most dominant offensive force to touch an NBA court, and the signs were evident at LSU.

During his 3-year college stay from 1989-1992, O'Neal averaged 21.6 points, 13.5 rebounds, and 4.6 blocks.

He was named AP Player of the Year in 1991, SEC Player of the Year in 1991 and 1992, as well as a consensus First-Team All-American in both seasons.

He would go on to be selected with the 1st overall pick by the Orlando Magic in the 1992 NBA Draft.

Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State

Smart is representing the new generation of hoopers on the list, and he had a stellar career in his own right during his 2-year stay in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

Smart averaged 16.6 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 4.5 assists from 2012-2014.

He was named a Second-Team All-American in 2013, as well as the Big 12 Freshman and Player of the Year.

He would go on to be selected with the 6th overall pick by the Boston Celtics in the 2014 NBA Draft.

Let us know your thoughts on Twitter!


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