College Basketball: Most Dominant Player at Each Position of the Past 10 Years
Year after year, a new college basketball player takes over as the most dominant force in the game.
Sadly, many of them aren't as successful in the NBA. That is no different with the list I have compiled.
The fact remains, these players put up the numbers to at least be considered by the majority as the most dominant at each position of the past 10 years.
There were two major requirements in compiling this list:
First, the player had to play more than one year of college basketball. There are no one-and-dones on this list. So you can go ahead and forget about Carmelo Anthony, Michael Beasley, Kevin Love or Kevin Durant.
Agree with it or not, I feel players should play at least two years in college before we list them as the "most dominant."
Second, the player had to show some dimension to his game. Simply being a scorer, a big-time rebounder or blocker doesn't earn "dominant" status in my book.
Feel free to post your own list if you have disagreements with mine.
That said, let's move on to the list.
PG: Chris Paul, Wake Forest 2003-05
Craig Jones/Getty Images
2004-05 Season Stats:
33.4 MPG, 45.1% FG, 47.4% 3PT, 83.4% FT
15.3 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 6.6 APG, 2.4 SPG, 0.0 BPG
What a menace Chris Paul was in the ACC. It's a shame the Demon Deacons didn't have much of a supporting cast around him.
Paul has been described by many as a "pit bull" on the court, which is something I cannot argue.
He has a competitive fire you wish every player could have, and being just 6'0" and 185 pounds means nothing to him. Paul will out-physical anyone that steps in his way.
He wasn't any different in college as we've seen him in the pros, either.
Paul's ball skills were already amazing coming out of high school. He's always had a low dribble, crossovers and lightning-quick spin moves. It was, and still is, a task to guard CP3.
He could score in just about every way, which made him even tougher to defend. Play him close and he'll take the ball to the hoop. Back off and he'll bury a three.
Then there was the alley-oop. Before he made L.A. "Lob City," Paul was doing his thing at Wake with lesser talent. His touch was amazing, and he remains one of the best point guards in the NBA.
Despite only playing two years at Wake Forest, he ranks seventh on their all-time list in steals and assists. He's also second in three-point percentage.
SG: Dwyane Wade, Marquette 2001-2003
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
2002-03 Season Stats:
32.2 MIN, 49.9% FG, 33.3% 3PT, 78.1% FT
21.6 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 4.6 APG, 2.1 SPG, 1.3 BPG
Dwyane Wade basically ran the show at Marquette, whether it was on defense or offense.
In 2002-03, Wade led the team in points, steals, and yes, even blocks. He was also second in rebounds and assists.
That, my friends, is getting it done.
Wade was always a smooth operator and an athletic anomaly. He could take it coast-to-coast, zig-zag through defenses in the half court and dunk on just about anyone with his effortless ups.
He also had the gift of being able to find open players when they had a better look.
The only downside to Wade was his inability to nail the three. That's an issue that still plagues him to this day—unless, of course, it's in the clutch.
Marquette hadn't won a championship or even been to the Final Four since 1977. They were merely a blip on the college basketball map. That was until Wade dropped a triple-double on Kentucky in the 2003 Elite Eight.
He finished that game with 29 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists.
Unfortunately, his team would be smashed by Kansas in the Final Four, but his performance in the NCAA tournament put him on the map (along with Marquette). It also helped him earn a First-Team All-American selection that season.
That summer, the Miami Heat would select Wade fifth overall in the 2003 NBA Draft.
SF: Adam Morrison, Gonzaga 2003-06
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images
2005-06 Season Stats:
36.5 MPG, 49.6% FG, 42.8% 3PT, 77.2% FT
28.1 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 1.8 APG, 1.1 SPG, 0.3 BPG
Yes, that guy with the mop-top head and the peach-fuzz mustache was once a baller.
Adam Morrison didn't blow anyone away with athleticism or superior ball-handling. Fortunately for him, you can get away with that in college.
Even though he wasn't particularly strong, he out-willed his more physical opponents with his endless motor. He didn't have a large repertoire of moves in the post, but his turnaround jumper was almost unstoppable at the collegiate level.
Adam Morrison was everything you wouldn't expect when looking at him.
As deadly as he was in the post, he could take the ball five feet beyond the arc and bury opponents there, too. Distance wasn't an issue, which makes it even more surprising he hasn't at least found success in that aspect of his game in the pros.
Because of Morrison, many had Gonzaga as their sleeper for a national title in 2006. He managed to carry his Gonzaga Bulldogs to the Sweet 16, but they couldn't hold the lead against UCLA. Gonzaga lost, 73-72.
Adam Morrison hasn't played in the NBA since 2010, but he's trying to make a comeback tour. He is currently on the Portland Trailblazers roster, and is hoping for a reserve spot on the wing.
PF: Tyler Hansbrough, North Carolina 2005-09
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
2008-09 Season Stats:
30.3 MPG, 51.4% FG, 39.1% 3PT, 84.1% FT
20.7 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 1.0 APG, 1.2 SPG, 0.4 BPG
There is a reason this man was hated by so many around college basketball.
Tyler Hansbrough was probably the toughest, most physical basketball player on the court at all times during his tenure at North Carolina. That physicality is likely what led Gerald Henderson to give Hansbrough a bloody nose in the last minute of a Carolina victory over Duke in 2007.
But one thing I can say about Hansbrough—he rarely crossed the line.
His physicality was within the context of the game. He wasn't dirty, he was just stronger and had more will than anyone defending him.
Needless to say, he rightfully earned the moniker of "Psycho T."
Double-teams didn't matter. He'd still drop a leaner or get enough contact to reach the charity stripe. And unlike many bigs, he could actually knock down the free throws, too.
Hansbrough always had a nice stroke from mid-range. By his senior season, he was occasionally seen behind the arc sinking treys.
Tyler Hansbrough was dominant from the jump, receiving unanimous votes for 2006 ACC Freshman of the Year and for First-Team All-ACC. That freshman season included a 40 point game against Georgia Tech.
Nobody in ACC history has more 20-point games under his belt than Hansbrough.
The list of accolades is long and distinguished for this former Tar Heel juggernaut. So long, in fact, his jersey was retired and hanging in the Dean Dome rafters by 2010.
Tyler Hansbrough has yet to make quite the splash in the NBA. He's currently a bench warrior for the Indiana Pacers, averaging 21.1 minutes per game.
C: Andrew Bogut, Utah 2003-05
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
2004-05 Season Stats:
35.0 MPG, 62.0% FG, 36.0% 3PT, 69.2% FT
20.4 PPG, 12.2 RPG, 2.3 APG, 1.0 SPG, 1.9 BPG
Simply put, Andrew Bogut is a power forward in a center's body. He was one of the best shooting and passing centers I have seen on the college hardwood.
He could back his defenders down in the post or sit behind the arc and pop a three. If the defense crashed in on him, he could dish the rock behind his back to the cutter for an easy score.
Bogut's basketball IQ was top-notch, as he was often seen directing players on the court.
Bogut was also an excellent rebounder, finishing second in Division I with 12.2 rebounds per game in 2004-05. He was relentless on the block, battling for position at all times and using his ridiculous wingspan and his seven-foot frame to gain an advantage.
He may not have been quite as physical and overpowering as Psycho T, but his motor never stalled.
In his final season, Bogut took home the Naismith, Wooden, AP and ESPN Player of the Year awards.
You won't find Andrew Bogut beyond the arc very often these days, but he has proven himself to be one of the top centers in the NBA—at least when he isn't injured.
Bogut is currently playing for the Golden State Warriors and hoping to be available for the start of the 2012-13 NBA season.