College Basketball Power Rankings: Top 40 Point Guards in College Hoops History

Doug Brodess@DougbrodessCorrespondent IJune 27, 2011

College Basketball Power Rankings: Top 40 Point Guards in College Hoops History

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    When you think of great college point guards, what qualities come to mind?

    Do you simply think of ball-handling and play-making skills…?Or has your paradigm shifted to include the multi-talented, super-gifted players that now do it all from the “1”?

    Throughout the years, many of the best point guards were “pass-first” points, focused almost exclusively on bringing the ball up, running the offense and distributing the rock to their teammates in scoring position.

    More recently, we see that the players who run the point may be just as much of a scoring threat as anyone else on the court, while still delivering the ball to the rest of their team.

    There is no “right way” to play point. What matters most is that they are leading their team.

    They run the show. And In some cases, they are the show.

    Lets look at the Top 40 College Floor Generals of all-time.

    We will consider players back as far as the 1920’s and rank them according to a wide assortment of standards such as points, assists, steals, assists-to-turnover ratio, awards and many more.

    Because of the significant role that the PGs play, we will also factor in team accomplishments.

    What conference do you think has the most players on this list? Who do you think should be in the Top Ten of this list.

    Go ahead and take a stab at it before you begin!

40. Brevin Knight: Stanford

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    Brevin Knight was one of the top guards in Stanford history.

    In his senior season, Knight set single-season school records in assists (234) and steals (83).

    Knight also was a very consistent scorer, averaging 15 ppg for the 115 games he played for the Cardinal.

    Knight was the First-Team All-Pac-10 selection for three straight seasons as well as a Second-Team All-American selection and Wooden Award finalist.

    Knight was the 1997 winner of the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award (best player 6' and under).

39. Raymond Felton: North Carolina

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    Though North Carolina has never been known for turning out great point guards, Raymond Felton is another elite-level Tar Heel floor leader.

    Felton averaged 12.5 ppg, 4.1 rpg, and 6.9 apg over his three-year UNC career. 

    In his final season at North Carolina, Felton led the Tar Heels to the 2005 National Championship, he was selected as a Third Team AP All-American and was named the Bob Cousy Award (Point Guard of the Year) winner.

38. Greg Anthony: UNLV

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    Greg Anthony was the trigger man on some of the most dynamic teams in college basketball history.

    As the point guard for UNLV from 1989 through 1991, the Runnin' Rebels were 108-14, they won an NCAA Championship (1990), they played for a second championship and made it to the Elite Eight.

    Known as a top-rate distributor and a fierce on-the-ball defender, Anthony averaged 12.6 ppg, 3.1 rpg and 6.9 apg for his four-year career.

37. Kyle Macy: Purdue/Kentucky

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    Kyle Macy was a key player on the Kentucky Wildcats 1978 NCAA Championship team.

    After playing his freshman year at Purdue, Macy transferred to UK.

    Macy was one of the best free throw shooters in NCAA history, hitting 88.3 percent of his shots at the stripe.

    In his senior season, Macy was named an AP First Team All-American. 

    Macy was the first Kentucky player ever to be named consensus SEC Player of the Year. 

36. Rickey Green: Michigan

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    After being selected to back-to-back Juco All-American teams at Vincennes, Rickey Green was one of the most exciting point guards in Michigan school history.

    Twice selected to the NCAA All-Tournament team, Green was a consensus All-Big Ten selection each of his two years at Michigan.

    He wan an honorable mention All-American in 1976 and a consensus First Team selection in 1977.

    He was runner-up for the national collegiate player of the year that season.

35. Keith Jennings: East Tennessee State

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    Keith Jennings may be one of the least known and shortest (5'7") players on this list, but neither of these stopped him from putting together an exceptional college point guard resume.

    Over his four years, Jennings averaged 15.7 ppg, 3.9 rpg and 7.7 apg.

    For his senior season, Jennings averaged 20 points and 9 assists, was a Second-team All-American and the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award (best player 6' tall or under) winner.

    He led the Buccaneers to three SoCon Championships and three NCAA Tournament berths.

    Jennings ended up his ETSU career No. 4 in NCAA career assists. 

34. John Wall: Kentucky

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    John Wall was one of the best one-year point guards in college basketball history.

    From his first game playing for John Calipari at Kentucky, Wall was a dominant player as he skillfully led a Wildcat team that featured four freshman starters that went 35-3 and advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament.

    Wall averaged 16.6 ppg, 4.3 rpg and 6.5 apg,, and holds the record for most points in a season by a Kentucky freshman.

    He was voted as the 2009-10 SEC Player of the Year and was named 2010 SEC Tournament MVP.

    Wall was also named a 2010 Consensus First Team All-American and won the 2009-10 Adolph Rupp National Player of the Year award.

33. Steve Blake: Maryland

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    Steve Blake was a four-year starting point guard for Maryland.

    Blake was the first ACC player to put up 1,000 points, 800 assists, 400 rebounds and 200 steals.

    Known as an exceptional passer/playmaker, Blake finished his career 5th in NCAA all-time career assists with 972.

    Blake helped propel the Terrapins to a Final Four appearance in 2001 and the 2002 NCAA championship; .

32. Jacque Vaughn: Kansas

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    Jacque Vaughn was a classic pass-first point guard for Kansas.

    He was known for his great playmaking and passing abilities...a great floor leader,

    While his career stats weren't eye-popping (9.6 ppg, 3.0 rpg, and 6.4 apg), his contribution to the Jayhawks 115-21 record over his four years was unmistakable.

    Vaughn finished his career as the all-time leader in assists in Kansas basketball history with 804 total (since surpassed by Aaron Miles), as well as the Big Eight Conference's all-time record holder.

    Vaughn earned second-team All-American honors his senior year.

31. John Wooden: Purdue

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    Most college basketball fans are fully aware that John Wooden won ten NCAA Championships as the head coach of the UCLA Bruins.

    What many don't know is that he was the first three-time consensus All-American selection at Purdue in 1930-32.

    He led the Boilermakers to the 1932 National Championship.

    Wooden established a new scoring standard with an unheard-of 12.1 points per game his senior season.

    He was the first guard ever to lead the Big Ten Conference in scoring.

    Wooden was nicknamed "The Indiana Rubber Man" for his hard-nosed style of play and his penchant for constantly diving for loose balls.

    Check out this video about Wooden's Purdue legacy.

30. Tim Hardaway: Texas-El Paso

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    Who do you think of when the topic of killer cross-overs comes up? For me, it's Tim Hardaway. 

    Hardaway is first in UTEP Miners' history in assists (563) and steals (262), ranks third in career scoring with 1,586 points.

    He was an All-WAC selection three consecutive years (1987-89).

    In 1989, he received the Naismith Award and was named the WAC Player of the Year after averaging 22 points per game.

29. Ernie DiGregario: Providence

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    Ernie DiGregorio was a ball-handling and play-making wizard who is one of the best players in Providence College history.

    Ernie D is still the all-time assists leader and one of the top scorers in PC history.

    He was a consensus 1973 All-American selection and Lapchick Award winner (Most Outstanding Senior).

    DiGregorio was the only Providence player to ever make the NCAA Final Four All-Tournament team.

28. Damon Stoudamire: Arizona

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    Damon Stoudamire had a fantastic four-year career at Arizona.

    He guided the Wildcats to two Pac-10 titles and one Final Four appearance.

    In his senior season, Stoudamire was selected as a First Team All-American, was the first player in Pac-10 history to lead the conference in scoring (22.8) and assists (7.3), and he shot 46.5 percent from beyond the arc.

    He finished his college career first on the Wildcats' all-time list in three-pointers made (272), second in points (1,849), fourth in assists (663).

27. Chris Corchiani: North Carolina State

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    Chris Corchiani had an exceptional career at North Carolina State.

    Over his four years, Corchiani averaged 11.5 ppg, 2.1 rpg, and 8.4 apg and had an excellent assist-to-turnover ratio (2.6).

    He shot 46 percent from the field and 41 percent from beyond the arc.

    As a senior, Corchiani led the nation in assists (299; 9.6 apg), and was a Third-Team All American selection.

    Corchiani ended up his WolfPack career second in NCAA history in total assists (1,038),

26. Ed Cota: North Carolina

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    Ed Cota was a four-year starter for UNC that led the Tar Heels to three Final Fours.

    Cota was named the 1997 ACC Rookie of the Year and a Freshman All-American.

    As a sophomore, Cota broke the ACC record for most assists in a single season.

    He was the first player in NCAA basketball history to score 1,000 points, and have 1,000 assists and 500 rebounds in a career.

    He is No. 3 in NCAA history in assists, along with being the North Carolina all-time assists leader.  

    Cota also played 138 games without ever fouling out (a NCAA record).

25. Andre Miller: Utah

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    Andre Miller was a four-year starter for Utah.

    Miller was the Utes' all-time leader in steals (254) and second all-time in assists (721).

    In his junior year, Miller led Utah to the Elite Eight in the 1997 NCAA Tournament

    During Miller's senior season, he took the Utes to the 1998 NCAA Final Game, coming up short against Kentucky.

    Also during his senior season, Miller was selected for First Team All-America honors from the Associated Press, the NABC, the Sporting News, and USBWA.

    He was named Player of the Year in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC), in addition to First Team All-WAC and WAC All-Defensive Team honors.

24. Ty Lawson: North Carolina

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    Ty Lawson was a fantastic point guard at North Carolina from the very beginning of his three years in Chapel Hill.

    Over his three year UNC career, Lawson averaged 13.1 ppg, 2.9 rpg, and 5.8 apg.

    He had a great assist-to-turnover ratio (2.78) and shot a combined 52 percent from the field.

    During his final (junior) year as a Tar Heel, Lawson led UNC to win the 2009 NCAA Championship, was selected as the ACC Player of the Year, was a Consensus NCAA All-American selection and the Bob Cousy Award (top Point Guard) winner.

23. Chris Jackson (Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf): LSU

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    Chris Jackson was a high-scoring, shoot-first point guard for LSU.

    As a freshman, Jackson scored a school-record 30.2 ppg while still handing out 4.1 apg and was named the United States Basketball Writers Association Freshman of the Year.

    As a sophomore, he scored 27.8 ppg and still dished out 3.2 apg.

    He was selected both years as a First Team All-American and the SEC Player of the Year. 

22. Mike Bibby: Arizona

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    Mike Bibby played two incredible years for Arizona, starting all 69 games during his Wildcat career.

    As a freshman in 1997, he was named the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year after posting averages of 13.5 ppg, 5.2 apg and 3.2 rpg.

    Also as a freshman, Bibby helped lead the Wildcats to the 1997 NCAA Championship, where he was selected to the All Final Four Team.

    As a sophomore, Bibby was named Pac-10 Player of the Year, after averaging 17.2 ppg, 5.7 apg and 3.0 rpg.

    He helped the Wildcats get to the NCAA Tournament's Elite Eight and was selected as a First Team All-American.

21. T.J. Ford: Texas

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    While T.J. Ford's time in Austin was short (two years), he still made a big impact on Longhorn basketball.

    In his first season at Texas, Ford not only led the team in steals (72), he also became the first freshman player in NCAA history to lead the nation in assists (8.27 per game).

    Ford was also selected as the 2002 Big 12 Freshman of the Year.

    In his sophomore year, Ford was third in the nation in assists (7.7 per game), and led the Longhorns in scoring (15 ppg), assists and steals (66).

    He was a consensus First Team All-American and was selected as the Naismith and Wooden Award winner.  

20. Walt Hazzard: UCLA

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    Walt Hazzard was a key player in laying the foundation for the UCLA dynasty.

    The Bruins made it to the Final Four in Hazzard's first year on the UCLA varsity team.

    He was selected as a 1963 consensus Second Team NCAA All-American.

    During his senior season, Hazzard helped UCLA win the National Championship, was selected as the Final Four Most Outstanding Player, was a consensus First Team All-American as well as the National Player of the Year.

19. Mateen Cleaves: Michigan State

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    Mateen Cleaves was a fearless competitor and a tremendous leader for Michigan State.

    Cleaves was named the Big Ten Player of the Year twice (1998,1999).

    He led MSU and the conference in career assists with 816, and is Michigan State's all-time steals leader (193).

    Cleaves led the Spartans to the 2000 NCAA National Championship, and was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four.

    He was Michigan State's only three-time All-American (two times as Second Team, and one time as First Team).  

18. Allen Iverson: Georgetown

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    Iverson was a prolific scoring point guard who played for two years at Georgetown.

    Iverson won the Big East Rookie of the Year award and was named to the All Rookie Tournament 1st Team.

    In his freshman season, Iverson averaged 20.4 ppg, 3.3 rpg and 4.5 apg

    In his sophomore season, he averaged 25 ppg, and 3.8 rpg and 4.7 apg..

    Most people don't know that A.I. won two Big East Defensive Player of the Year awards

    He completed his college career as the Hoyas' all-time leader in career scoring average, at 23.0 ppg and being named as a 1996 First Team AP All-American.

17. Chris Paul: Wake Forest

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    Chris Paul played two outstanding years for Wake Forest.

    He led the Demon Deacons to two NCAA Tournaments, and one Sweet Sixteen appearance.

    In his freshman year, he was named the ACC Rookie of the Year, and National Freshman of the Year.

    Paul also earned ACC All-Defensive Team honors during his time at Wake and was among the Consensus First Team All-Americans in his sophomore year.

    By the time he declared for the 2005 NBA Draft as a sophomore, he had finished near the top of almost every offensive category at Wake Forest.

16. Johnny Dawkins: Duke

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    Johnny Dawkins was a high-scoring, four-year-starting point guard for Duke from 1983-86.

    At the conclusion of his years as a Blue Devil, Dawkins became the team's all-time leading scorer (since surpassed by J.J. Redick) after scoring 2,566 points.

    During his junior year, Dawkins was selected as a Second-Team All-American.

    During his senior season, he was not only selected as a First-Team All-American, but also as the 1986 Naismith Player of the Year.

15. Stephen Curry: Davidson

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    Stephen Curry was one of the best scoring point guards in college basketball history.

    Curry set the all-time scoring record for Davidson and the Southern Conference, set school career records for three-pointers (414), free throws (479), 30-point games and 40-point games,

    He set a single season NCAA record for three-pointers (162), and led Davidson to two straight NCAA tournament appearances

    As a senior, Curry averaged 28.6 ppg, 4.4 rpg, and 5.6 apg.

    Curry was twice named Southern Conference Player of the Year.

    As a sophomore, Curry was selected as a Second Team AP All-American.

    In his junior (and final) season at Davidson, Curry was selected as a First Team All-American.

14. John Lucas: Maryland

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    John Lucas was one of the great players in Maryland school history.

    In his four-year Terrapin career, Lucas averaged 18.3 ppg and 3.4 rpg.

    Lucas was selected as Second Team All-American his sophomore and junior years and was First Team All-American his senior season.

    He not only excelled on the basketball court. Lucas was an All-American tennis player too.

13. Kenny Anderson: Georgia Tech

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    Kenny Anderson was a point guard with a hair-trigger and super passing skills. 

    As a freshman, Anderson averaged 20.6 ppg, 5.5 rpg, and 8.1 apg.

    As a sophomre, he elevated his game by averaging 25.9 ppg, 5.7 rpg, and 5.6 apg.   

    For his two years at Georgia Tech, Anderson was selected as the 1990 United States Basketball Writer's Association National Freshman of the Year, and a Third Team (1990) and First Team (1991) All-American.

12. Jay Williams: Duke

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    Jay Williams was one of the top point guards in Duke basketball history.

    Williams was named ACC Rookie of the Year and National Freshman of the Year by The Sporting News, averaging 14.5 points, 6.5 assists and 4.2 rebounds per contest.

    He was also a First Team Freshman All-American by Basketball Times.

    As a sophomore, Williams led the Blue Devils to win the 2001 NCAA Championship, earning the NABC Player of the Year trophy.

    As a junior, Williams won both the Naismith and Wooden Awards as College Basketball's Player of the Year in 2002.

    In both his sophomore and junior years, Williams was named a First Team All-American. 

11. Sherman Douglas: Syracuse

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    Sherman Douglas was a classic "pass-first" point guard that led Syracuse to one of its greatest stretches in school history. 

    While Douglas took care of his teammates by delivering the ball to them in scoring position, he was not hesitant to take the tough shot when the game was on the line.

    Not known for his scoring, the General still averaged 14.9 ppg as he handed out 7 apg.

    Douglas ended his four-year career as the Syracuse all-time assists leader and was No.6 among the NCAA career assists leaders.

10. Jameer Nelson: St. Joseph's

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    Jameer Nelson was an outstanding player from the onset of his college basketball career at St. Joseph's.

    Nelson was named unanimous National Freshman of the Year.

    For his four-year career, Nelson averaged 16.8 ppg, 4.6 rpg, and 5.7 apg.

    In his senior season, Nelson won the 2004 Wooden and Naismith Awards, and the Oscar Robertson and Adolph Rupp Trophies.

    Nelson finished his St. Joseph's career as the best player in the program's history, as its all-time leader in scoring (2094 points), assists (714), and steals (256).

9. Jason Kidd: California

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    Few college basketball players have been better passers or defenders than Jason Kidd.

    During his first year at California, Kidd averaged 13.0 points, 7.7 assists, 4.9 rebounds, and 3.8 steals per game which earned him national Freshman of the Year honors and a spot on the All Pac-10 Team

    His 110 steals broke both the NCAA record for most steals by a freshman and set a school record for most steals in a season, while his 220 assists that season also was a school record.

    Kidd continued his success as a sophomore, tallying averages of 16.7 points, 6.9 rebounds, 3.1 steals and 9.1 assists, breaking his previous school record for most assists in a season with 272, while also leading the nation in that category.

    He was also selected a First Team All-American, the first Cal player to be so named since 1968, as well as Pac-10 Player of the Year

8. Gary Payton: Oregon State

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    Gary Payton was one of the greatest players in Oregon State basketball history, starring on both ends of the court.

    At the time of his graduation, the Glove held the school record for points (2,172), field goals (829), three-point field goals (178), assists (938), and steals (321).

    Payton was selected as the 1987 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year.

    He was an All-Pac 10 selection three times and a 1990 consensus All-American his senior year.

    He is currently No. 11 in NCAA career assists and No. 20 in NCAA career steals.

7. Bobby Hurley: Duke

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    Bobby Hurley is currently the all-time NCAA assists leader with 1076 assists in his 140 games as a point guard at Duke.

    Hurley was a First Team All-American in 1993.

    He went to the Final Four three times, and led the Blue Devils to back-to-back national championships in 1991 and 1992, earning Final Four Most Outstanding honors in 1992.

    Duke's record over Hurley's four-year career was 114-26.

    Not known for his scoring, Hurley still averaged 12.4 ppg, while handing out 7.7 apg.

6. Isiah Thomas: Indiana

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    Isiah Thomas was an electric performer for Indiana University.

    In his two years in Bloomington, Thomas averaged 15.4 ppg, 3.5 rpg, and 5.7 apg.

    Thomas' numbers, like many other great players, could have been much greater in a less-structured offensive set-up in college.

    In 1981, Thomas led the Hoosiers to the NCAA Tournament National Championship and earned the tournament's Most Outstanding Player award

5. Phil Ford: North Carolina

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    Phil Ford was the best point guard in ACC history.

    Back in the day, Ford was known for his incredible ability to break opponents down off the dribble.

    Ford averaged 18.6 PPG, scoring 2,290 total points, which made him the No. 1 scorer (now No. 2, to Tyler Hansbrough) in Tar Heel history.

    He was the first player in ACC history to score at least 2,000 pts and hand out more than 600 assists.

    Ford was a Second-Team All-American as a sophomore, and a First-Team All-American as a junior and senior.

    He was named the 1978 Wooden (Player of the Year) Award winner. 

4. Guy Rodgers: Temple

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    Guy Rodgers was one of the great point guards in the 1950's for Temple.

    In his three varsity years, Rodgers averaged 19.6 ppg and 6.5 rpg.

    Rodgers led the Owls to third-place finishes in the N.C.A.A. tournament in 1956 and 1958, becoming the school's leading career scorer with 1,767 points.

    Now over 50 years later, Rodgers is still third among Temple's all-time scorers.

    Rodgers was the school's first inductee into Philadelphia's Big 5 Hall of Fame.

3. Calvin Murphy: Niagara

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    Calvin Murphy was the highest scoring point guard in college basketball history.

    In his three varsity years at Niagra, Murphy averaged an amazing 33.1 ppg (2,548 points in 77 games).

    His sophomore season, Murphy put up an unbelievable 38.2 ppg and 4.9 rpg.

    A great shooter, he hit 43.8 percent from the floor and 84.9 percent from the line for his college career.

    At 5'9" and almost always the shortest player on the court, Murphy never backed down from any player of any size.

    Murphy was selected as a Second Team All-American his sophomore season, and a First Teamer both his junior and senior years. 

2. Bob Cousy: Holy Cross

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    Bob Cousy was the greatest college player of the 1940's.

    His uptempo style of play and unique flair revolutionized the college game that featured little player movement and two-handed set shots.

    Cousy may not have been the first player to use spin moves and behind-the-back passes, but he certainly popularized those and other moves.

    While he was not known primarily for his scoring, over his three varsity years at Holy Cross, Cousy scored 18 ppg

    Cousy was named to a Third Team All-American his sophomore year, a Second Team All-American his junior year, and a First Team All-American his senior year.

1. Magic Johnson: Michigan State

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    Magic Johnson was more than just the best point guard in the 1970's.

    He is the greatest college point guard of all time.

    Like few others, Johnson revolutionized the position and the game with his size and skill.

    The world has never seen a player who, at 6'9", could do what he did.

    His court-vision was unmatched. His ball-handling and play-making dexterity was beyond compare.

    In his two years in a Michigan State uniform, Johnson averaged 17.1 ppg, 7.6 rpg, and 7.9 apg.

    He was selected as a Third Team All-American as a freshman.

    As a sophomore, he led his Spartans to the 1979 NCAA Championship, was named the Final Four Most Outstanding Player, and a First Team All-American.