Anytime your team gives out an annual reward for the best rebounder and it has your name on it, you must have done something right.
The All-American center became the first great Wolfpack player, helping lead his team to three straight ACC titles in his three seasons.
Shavlik’s 1598 rebounds for his career were 500 more than his nearest competition in the school record books. If freshmen had been allowed to play varsity back in the early 1950s the number would have been almost unattainable for future generations. Shavlik still has the three best single seasons in rebounding as and he compounded it with an impressive offensive game.
Shavlik finished seventh in scoring with over 1700 points and still holds some of the best offensive performances in Wolfpack history including a 55-point performance in 1954.
Shavlik had a wonderful career and though he played before most its current roster’s parents were born, he is without question the top center not just in Raleigh but in basketball history.
He simply had too great a career to not be in the starting line-up, therefore I have to let him share the spotlight with Shavlik in the front-court.
Burleson certainly has the numbers to be on the list being in the top ten of both points and rebounds in just three seasons. He also has the accolades being a three-time All-ACC selection and a member of the 1972 U.S. Olympic Basketball team.
However, what makes Burleson so special is his ability to play on the biggest of stages. Burleson was a two-time ACC Tournament MVP (impressive considering who else was on his team). He, along with David Thompson, led the Wolfpack to a 73-11 record and a National Championship in 1974 while averaging a double-double every single season.
Really, there is nothing that needs to be said.
Thompson is N.C. State basketball.
Thompson was a three-time consensus All-American and ACC player of the year. He was twice named the National Player of the Year. He finished his career at N.C. State with a National Championship, the ACC scoring title of 2,309 points and the most successful stint in school history.
Thompson was an amazing scorer who revolutionized the game. Ask any true fan and they will tell you that Thompson helped invent the “alley-oop”. His teams were exciting to watch and almost impossible to beat.
Thompson was also consistent. He averaged over 26 points for his career, he shot well at the line and he started every single game in his career.
Thompson was recently named the 8th best College Basketball Player of All-Time by ESPN and those who have seen him play no why.
The man was a true definition of a point guard. Corchiani finished his career as the all-time assists leader in the history of the NCAA with 1,038, the first man to ever break 1,000.
Corchiani led the offense of the Wolfpack for four years, but his defense makes him an all-timer. Corchiani finished second in ACC history with 388 steals. Perhaps the greatest part of Corchiani’s career is that he set both of these records at the same time against Marquette, the same team that the Wolf Pack went through in 1974 en route to their first National Championship.
Corchiani’s fiery personality and tough demeanor on both offense and defense makes him worthy of this spot over other great point guard’s including 1983’s Sidney Lowe. He may never have gotten the credit he deserved from the outside media, but Wolfpack fans will remember Corchiani and his contribution to one of the best backcourts in ACC history.
Well you can’t have “Fire” without “Ice.” Corchiani and Monroe were a dynamic duo and who am I to break them up on the all-time list.
Monroe is the all-time leading scorer in N.C. State history with 2,551 points in his career and helped Corchiani shatter the all-time assists mark.
Monroe is best remembered for his 48-point performance against Georgia Tech where the Wolf Pack overcame a 15-point halftime deficit to shock the Yellow Jackets.
However, his 40 points in the second round of the NCAA tournament to defeat Iowa as just a sophomore is certainly no less impressive.
Corchiani and Monroe led their team to two NCAA tournaments and two 20-win seasons. They are so inextricably linked their jerseys were even honored on the same night.
Best of the Rest
Vinny Del Negro
Let the debate begin.