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Easy argument starter: Best players since ’85 without a title


Not so simple college hoops question: Would you take Chris Mullin over David Robinson? Or Glenn Robinson over Tim Duncan? Or Shaquille O’Neal over Sean Elliott?

OK, that was three questions. Still, those answers aren’t easy.

A Sporting News ranking of the 10 best college hoops players who did not win a championship focused on the top guys since 1985 who didn’t win it all. “Best players” arguments usually include the likes of Christian Laettner, Patrick Ewing, Danny Manning or Jason Williams, but they all won a crown (or two). Trolling through Mike DeCourcy’s list reinforced just how often the elite college players did end up winning it all.

Still, some great ones didn’t. Mullin topped their list, followed by Robinson, Shaq, Duncan, Robinson, Elliott, Antawn Jamison, Lionel Simmons, Jameer Nelson and Danny Ferry.

That’s a damn impressive list. One can quibble about the order – I’d slot Robinson No. 1, followed by Duncan and Big Dog – but that’s better suited for a bar, with beers in hand.

What about the other guys who could’ve made the list?

Right at the top would be LSU’s Chris Jackson (best scorer of last 25 years), Oregon State’s Gary Payton (only Big Dog had a more dominant single season), Memphis’ Keith Lee (ask anyone from Memphis), Bradley’s Hersey Hawkins (that ’88 season was a marvel) and J.J. Redick (name a better scorer in the last decade without a title).

After that, I’m thinking Marcus Camby, Ray Allen, Len Bias, Alonzo Mourning and Jamal Mashburn, but could be swayed. In fact, I probably need to be at a bar with beer in hand talking with DeCourcy about the list.

And anyone on Twitter who wants to chime in.

You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.