Thursday, July 23, 2009

Top 20 Players of the Gary Williams Era

Last month in the Washington Times D1SCOURSE blog, Patrick Stevens ranked the top 20 players of the Gary Williams era based on their college careers, counting down to number 1: Juan Dixon. You can read his full top 20 at the bottom of the post.

Here is my own Top 10, based solely on post-college professional success. Feel free to debate in the comments section!

#11) Keith Booth: 2 NBA seasons, where he got an NBA Championship ring with the Bulls (albeit at the end of the bench). Post-NBA, he has developed into a good assistant coach, and could move up on this list before his coaching career is over. Keith was originally my #10, but at the last minute before posting, I remembered someone else who had to be on the list, so I'm keeping Keith Booth here as an honorable mention. ( Profile, Wikipedia)

#10) Juan Dixon: 7 NBA seasons and counting as a good role player off the bench, but he may have peaked in 2005-06 with Portland (the only year he was consistently a starter). ( Profile, Wikipedia)

#9) Terence Morris: Played a few years off the bench in the NBA, then went to Europe where he became a highly-respected starter. Made it to the Euroleague Finals twice, but lost twice. All-Euroleague team in 2008. ( Profile, Wikipedia)

#8) Chris Wilcox: 7 NBA seasons and counting, but may have peaked in 2005-07 with Seattle when he was one of the team's star players. Recently joined the Pistons, where he could rejuvenate his career and move up on the list. ( Profile, Wikipedia)

#7) Steve Blake: 6 NBA seasons and still improving. Blossomed into a starting point guard in the league in Denver and Portland. Could move up on this list before his career is over. ( Profile, Wikipedia)

#6) Drew Nicholas: The NBA thought he was too small, so he went and became a star sharp-shooter in Europe, winning a Euroleague championship this spring. Italian league scoring champ in 2005, Euroleague scoring champ in 2006. (Wikipedia)

#5) Tony Massenburg: Played for 12 NBA teams in 13 seasons plus some great seasons Europe, winning an NBA Championship with the Spurs in 2005 and a Spanish League Championship with Barcelona in 1994. Started 233 career NBA games. ( Profile, Wikipedia)

#4) Walt Williams: 11 seasons in the NBA with 6 teams. 409 career starts, but only played in 35 post-season games, since he was on a lot of bad teams. ( Profile, Wikipedia)

#3) Joe Smith: #1 draft pick and 14 seasons (and counting) in the NBA. His career got off to a slow start, but he has turned into a consistent role player that contending teams covet. ( Profile, Wikipedia)

#2) Steve Francis: 9 NBA seasons, #2 draft pick, Co-Rookie-of-the-Year, 3-time All-Star. Could have become a Hall of Fame Player if his career hadn't been plagued by injuries and playing for the Knicks. ( Profile, Wikipedia)

#1) Sarunas Jasikevicius: His NBA run fizzled, but the guy is a genuine STAR on and off the court in Europe, with four Euroleage championships with three different teams. Led Lithuania to the 2003 FIBA European Championship. All Euroleague Team in 2004 and 2005, Euroleague Final Four MVP in 2005, FIBA European Championship MVP in 2003. Won national league championships in Slovenia, twice in Spain, twice in Israel, and twice in Greece. Sarunas has NOT won a league championship in only 4 of his 11 pro seasons, including his two years in the NBA. (Wikipedia)

1 comment:

TerpFan said...

Nice list. Wilcox should be ranked ahead of Massenberg.

Sarunas shouldn't be in the top 5.

Francis should be #1.