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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / Top 16 North Carolina Tar Heels of All Time

Top 16 North Carolina Tar Heels of All Time

The Top 16 Tar Heels of All Time!
Publish Date: 11/06/2023
Fact checked by: Mark Lewis

The North Carolina Tar Heels are a true blue blood in College Basketball. They are not an on-and-off program like many have been. For the last eighty years the Tar Heels have been at or near the top of the Basketball world.

16) Bob McAdoo

Bob McAdoo had two seasons of Junior College ball at Vincennes Junior College before starting his stellar college career at North Carolina, where he enjoyed an incredible year (1971-72).

McAdoo was an exceptional outside shooter for a man of his size (6’9″ and 210 lbs), particularly during his prime years.

He averaged 19.5 points per game and 10.1 assists, making 51.6 per cent of his shots from the field.

McAdoo earned honorable mention selections to both the All-ACC and All-ACC Tournament teams and was named to both the NCAA East Regional and Final Four all-tournament teams.

Video: 75 Stories | Bob McAdoo

75 Stories | Bob McAdoo

15) Sean May

May was a huge reason for a turnaround from 8-20 in 2002 to winning a National Championship three years later. The 2005 Title game was May’s crowning moment as he scored 26 points and missed just one shot in the win over Illinois.

Video: How Sean May & UNC beat Deron Williams & Illinois in the '05 National Championship

How Sean May & UNC beat Deron Williams & Illinois in the ’05 National Championship

14) George Glamack

George Glamack was a two-time All-American (1940 and 1941) and twice Helms Foundation Player of the Year award (the only national POY at that time).

Glamack, a 6’7″ giant (extremely tall for that era), earned himself the moniker “Blind Bomber” due to his poor eyesight and remarkable hook shot accuracy.

He is one of only eight players to have their jersey number retired by UNC.

13) Mike O’Koren

Mike O’Koren earned three consecutive first-team All-American selections (1978-80) and All-ACC honoree recognition.

As a 6’7″ forward, O’Koren was an impressive shooter, shooting 57.2 per cent from the floor during his college career and including an astounding 64.3 per cent during his sophomore season.

Over his four years at UNC, he averaged 15.1 points per game and 7.0 runs per game.

In 2002, O’Koren was selected for the Atlantic Coast Conference’s 50th Anniversary Men’s Basketball Team.

Video: O’Koren Grab-and-Go

O’Koren Grab-and-Go

12) Walter Davis

Walter Davis (1974-77) was an outstanding all-around player for the Tar Heels, ranking ninth in scoring (1,863 points) and 12th in assists (409).

Davis was a combination SG/SF who posted an impressive field goal percentage of 53.1 and connected on 77.3 per cent of his free throws.

Davis is remembered for his offensive prowess but also earned a place among UNC’s greatest on-ball defenders.

Davis earned a spot on the Second Team All-ACC during his junior season.

Sweet D was a First Team All-ACC, All-East Regional and All-Final Four performer during his senior season (1977).

Video: Down 8 Points With 17 Seconds

Down 8 Points With 17 Seconds

11) Sam Perkins

Perkins put his unusually long arms to good use, grabbing 1,167 career rebounds to establish a career record that wasn’t broken for 25 years.

Video: North Carolina vs Houston 1982. Jordan/Worthy/Perkins/Olajuwon/Drexler

North Carolina vs Houston 1982. Jordan/Worthy/Perkins/Olajuwon/Drexler

10) Bobby Jones

Bobby Jones (1971-74) was one of UNC’s greatest all-around stars.

Jones (6’9″, 210 lbs) was one of two players to lead the ACC in field goal percentage three times.

He ranks fourth in UNC history in career field goal percentage at 60.8 per cent, averaging 13.7 points and 8.9 rebounds per game.

Jones was an unstoppable defender and one of the hardest workers on any team he played for.

Jones earned All-America honors from the USBWA and All-ACC recognition in 1974.

Video: Bobby Jones’ Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Speech

Bobby Jones’ Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Speech

9) Antawn Jamison

Jamison averaged 15.1 points and 9.7 rebounds as a freshman, then helped carry the Heels to consecutive Final Four appearances as a sophomore and junior. In 1997-98, Jamison produced one of the greatest Carolina seasons, with 22.2 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 57.9 per cent shooting.

Video: Antawn Jamison (22 PTS) vs Duke | 1998 ACC Tournament

Antawn Jamison (22 PTS) vs Duke | 1998 ACC Tournament

8) Larry Miller

Larry Miller averaged 20.9, 21.9 and 22.4 points a game during his three varsity seasons (1966-68), for an overall career mark of 21.8 points per game.

Miller averaged a career double-double despite being shorter (6’4″) than most frontcourt players.

He achieved a school record by scoring in double figures in 64 consecutive games, which still stands today.

Miller earned two consecutive ACC Player of the Year honors in 1966 and 1967, leading his team to back-to-back Final Four appearances.

Video: The 40 Club Podcast: It's Larry Miller Time

The 40 Club Podcast: It’s Larry Miller Time

7) Billy Cunningham

Cunningham’s average of 15.4 rebounds per game was impressive considering that he stood only 6-7 and weighed 210 pounds. Cunningham also is second in scoring average behind Lennie Rosenbluth; Billy C averaged 24.8 points for his three seasons. He was ACC Player of the Year, a senior and first-team All-America junior. “The Kangaroo Kid” left his mark in North Carolina.

Video: UNC Legend Billy Cunningham Remembers Coach, Mentor and Friend, Dean Smith

UNC Legend Billy Cunningham Remembers Coach, Mentor and Friend, Dean Smith

6) Lennie Rosenbluth

Rosenbluth’s career scoring average of 26.9 is easily No. 1, and he also was fourth in rebounding average at 10.4. Rosenbluth was the clear Legendary 1957 Tar Heels leader, who would go unbeaten and beat Wilt Chamberlin and Kansas in triple overtime to win the National Championship.

Video: Lennie Rosenbluth

Lennie Rosenbluth

5) Charlie Scott

Scott had to deal with the added pressure of breaking the color barrier at UNC. Scott played for consecutive Final Four teams, averaging 17.6 points and 6.0 rebounds as a sophomore, then 22.3 points and 7.1 rebounds as a junior. In his senior season, Scott averaged 27.1 points and 8.6 rebounds.

Video: Charlie Scott Feature on ACCN's All Access with Carolina Basketball

Charlie Scott Feature on ACCN’s All Access with Carolina Basketball

4) Tyler Hansbrough

Hansbrough would become college basketball’s first-ever four-time first-team All-American. He was named the National player of the year in 2009, and while his talent level may not have been up in the top 10, his relentlessness and will to succeed made him a great player.

Video: Tyler Hansbrough -- The Psycho T Mix

Tyler Hansbrough — The Psycho T Mix

3) James Worthy

Jordan hit the shot in 1982 to win the title, but Worthy was named the most outstanding player of that Final Four. Worthy attempted 27 shots in the 1982 Final Four and made 20 of them! His competition with Hakeem Olajuwon and Patrick Ewing makes that more incredible. They didn’t call him “Big Game” James for nothing.

Video: James A. Worthy's Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Speech

James A. Worthy’s Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Speech

2) Phil Ford

As a four-year starter, Ford attempted at least 370 shots in each of his four seasons as a Tar Heel; he never shot below 51.6 per cent. He averaged 18.6 points and 6.1 assists for his career. Ford was a two-time consensus first-team All-American and played on teams that reached the Elite Eight and the NCAA Tournament championship game.

Video: ACC Kings of the Court | Phil Ford | ACCDigitalNetwork

ACC Kings of the Court | Phil Ford | ACCDigitalNetwork

1) Michael Jordan

In 1982, very few Freshmen were depended on by teams, and Jordan was teaming with Worthy put Coach Smith over the top in his quest for a title. He hit the shot that won Dean Smith his first National Championship as a freshman. He averaged around the 20 points mark his last two years and was a great team player for Coach Smith.

Video: Michael Jordan: NCAA tournament highlights, top plays

Michael Jordan: NCAA tournament highlights, top plays

Honorable Mention

Bob Lewis

Raymond Felton

Jack Cobb

Rashad McCants

Brad Daugherty

Ty Lawson

Jerry Stackhouse

Al Wood

Vince Carter

Doug Moe

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