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The Dengler Domain: College Basketball Players

March 18, 2016
Sean Dengler - Columnist , Dysart Reporter

Rim shattering dunks, falling three pointers, and upsets are plenty. March Madness is upon us, and it is amazing. This is my favorite time of year. Many different athletes take part in this madness on this big stage they will never see again. While I could discuss this year's tournament, I want to talk about historically great, before my time college basketball players. Cue the announcer.

At shooting guard, standing six feet, four inches tall, Davvvvvvvvid Thompsonnnnnnnnnnnnn. This North Carolina State product has an amazing stat line. As a small forward/shooting guard, his scoring average went up by two points each year, and he averaged around eight rebounds each season. This is incredible considering Thompson's small stature because his rebounding average is good for any player on a basketball team. David is a champion, too, with a title in 1974 as a member of the Wolfpack. In 1975, he won national player of the year, and he was a three-time first team All American. A solid player and leader all around.

No historically great college basketball list can be complete without Lew Alcindor, commonly known as co-pilot Roger Murdock from the hit film, Airplane! Kareem Abdul-Jabbar averaged a double-double his entire basketball career. Fun fact #1: that is unbelievable. Fun fact #2: The NCAA outlawed dunking because of Kareem. The dunk is the best part of basketball, and they had to stop it. That is insane.

In the three years he played varsity basketball at UCLA, he was a three-time national college player of the year and a three-time consensus first-team All-American. Mr. Alcindor was amazing at the sport of basketball in college. He also too home three NCAA basketball championships and three NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player awards. In summation, Kareem had a solid college career.

You might be thinking to yourself, "Sean, you must be crazy. How can anyone follow Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's career?" Two words; Pete Maravich aka Pistol Pete. I love high scoring basketball games, and guess who scored a plethora of points, Mr. Maravich. While he may not have won the title in college, he led the NCAA in scoring every year with an average of more than forty-three points. There was also no three-point line.

Pistol Pete is also the all-time NCAA scoring leader with 3,667 points. He was in the same boat as Kareem, and he was not able to play his freshmen year. That does not matter. Mr. Maravich leads the next closest person by more than 400 points. This man scored at will, and he played very entertaining basketball. He used trick shots and passes to form his game of basketball into an artistic adventure. Most players do not obtain the level Pistol Pete was at, and in this day in age, Pete Maravich would still be ahead of his time.

David Thompson, Kareem-Abdul Jabbar, and Pete Maravich are reasons why college basketball would have been amazing in the past. It is incredible they stayed in college for as long as they did. Maybe the NBA was not as reviled as it is today, but these talents were greatly exhibited in college basketball. These three great players built the importance of college basketball today, and I would take these three guys in any three on three game against anyone. This high scoring threesome would easily break the scoreboard.

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