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Wake Forest Basketball: Ranking the Top 5 Demon Deacons Players of All Time

Colin SylvesterContributor IIIJune 8, 2014

Wake Forest Basketball: Ranking the Top 5 Demon Deacons Players of All Time

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    Tim Duncan remains one of basketball's all time greats, both at Wake Forest and as a pro.
    Tim Duncan remains one of basketball's all time greats, both at Wake Forest and as a pro.BOB JORDAN/Associated Press

    Most sports fans have been there.  An argument over last week's game has turned into an all out assault on your team, your city, or your alma mater.  And there's only one way to settle things in the sports fan octagon.

    My all-time team against yours.  Go.

    I, for one, take pity on whoever has to face Wake Forest Basketball in the sports fan octagon, because you'll be hard pressed to find a better all-time squad.  Take your Jordans and your Durants.  I'll take you back to school with the ageless fundamentals of Tim Duncan and the dazzling selflessness of Chris Paul. 

    Based on both achievements as a Demon Deacon and accolades in the NBA, here's my starting five—with a few All-Americans who could come off the bench. 

    Good luck.

Honorable Mentions

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    Jeff Teague in this year's NBA Playoffs.
    Jeff Teague in this year's NBA Playoffs.John Bazemore/Associated Press

    A team is only as good as it's bench, which is why this team is so great.  Here's a few names who didn't make the cut for my all-time team but have every reason to deem themselves members of Wake Forest's elite:

    Len Chappell—Led the Deacs to their only Final Four in 1962 and was just the second player at the school to pass the 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds mark in his career.  He was a two time ACC Player of the year and a NBA All-Star in 1964.

    Josh Howard—Howard was an AP All-American and ACC Player of the Year in 2003.  His No. 5 jersey was retired by the Demon Deacons in 2004, and he was a NBA All-Star in 2007 with the Dallas Mavericks.

    Jeff Teague—The still-improving point guard led Wake to number one in the nation in 2008, and he's building a reputation as a big game performer.  If you haven't checked out #PlayoffTeague, do yourself a favor.   

5. Dickie Hemric

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    Dickie Hemric was one of NCAA Basketball's first great scorers.
    Dickie Hemric was one of NCAA Basketball's first great scorers.www.celticslife.com

    Hemric was only the third player in NCAA history to surpass 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in his career, and he is still the all-time leader in points and rebounds at Wake Forest, giving him the starting nod over his NBA All-Star teammates coming off the Demon Deacon bench.

    Dickie had his own NBA successes as well, though, winning a NBA title in 1957 with the Boston Celtics.

4. Randolph Childress

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    If you consider yourself a Wake Forest fan and you haven't seen this shot before, shame on you.  It was the defining moment of Randolph Childress' brilliant ACC tournament performance in which he averaged 36 points per game en route to the ACC crown.

    Have you seen it now?  Good.  If nothing else you have been enlightened on how to execute a perfect mid-range floater.  Wake Forest University also appreciates the curious lack of help defense on that one, Tar Heels.  Thanks. 

3. Muggsy Bogues

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    Muggsy Bogues was everyone's favorite player in NBA Jam, and it makes sense given his actual size is not much larger than his on-screen replica.  At just 5'3", Bogues confused both college and pro defenses with his blinding speed and vision.

    Often overlooked on defense, Bogues is still the Deacs' all-time leader in steals.  To crack the top two of this team, though, it takes stats and accomplishments on par with the sport's best at both the collegiate and NBA level.  Thus, Muggsy stays at the three spot, just behind another No. 3.

2. Chris Paul

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    Chris Paul is a hometown hero in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
    Chris Paul is a hometown hero in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.Uncredited/Associated Press

    CP3 hails from Lewisville, North Carolina, just outside of Winston-Salem.  In only two years at Wake Forest, he compiled nearly 1,000 points and 400 assists.  He was a consensus first team All-American for the Deacs in 2005 and has been an NBA All-Star the last seven straight years.

    The one thing missing from his pedigree?  Titles. Something my all-time greatest Wake Forest basketball player has four of in the Association, and he's in hot pursuit of a fifth as we speak.

1. Tim Duncan

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    Tim Duncan is playing for a fifth NBA Championship with the Spurs and head coach Gregg Popovich.
    Tim Duncan is playing for a fifth NBA Championship with the Spurs and head coach Gregg Popovich.Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

    Like the two points after Tim Duncan has out hustled and out executed an opponent for inside position on the block, this one was inevitable.

    He is the only Naismith Award winner to play at Wake Forest and was the first player in NCAA history to record 1,500 points, 1,000 rebounds, 400 blocks and 200 assists in a career.  Duncan was the No. 1 overall pick in the 1997 NBA draft and the NBA MVP in 2002 and 2003.

    He won't have a shoe all the kids wear or a lunch box with his face on it, but with the ball in his hands and his back to the hoop he'll take you back to your freshman year seminar.

    The subject: Winning.

     

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