The University of North Carolina has one of the most successful men's basketball programs in NCAA history, including 43 tournament appearances, an amazing 19 trips to the Final Four, and five NCAA championships.
With the success of the UNC program it is not surprising to see many former Tar Heels go on to succeed in the NBA. Here is my analysis as a college basketball fan of the former North Carolina players who have produced the best stats in the most important categories during their professional careers:
Notes: Hall-of-Famer Michael Jordan led the NBA in total points 11 times in his career and currently sits third on the NBA's all-time scoring list. Jordan's career average of 30.1 PPG is the highest in NBA history...Vince Carter, and eight-time NBA All-Star, has finished among the NBA's Top-10 in points five times in his career and is currently 31st on the NBA's all-time scoring list...Walter Davis, a six-time All-Star and 1978 NBA Rookie of the Year, averaged a career-high 24.2 PPG as a rookie in Phoenix.
Notes: Vince Carter hit a career-high 162 3-pointers in 2001, connecting on a career best 40.8% of his attempts that season. Carter is currently 18th on the NBA's all-time 3-point list...Despite hitting just 27 3-pointers in three years at UNC, Antawn Jamison has developed into a deep threat in the NBA, hitting a career-high 147 3-pointers in 2006...Rasheed Wallace hit 17 3-pointers in 23 playoff games in 2004, helping the Detroit Pistons win the NBA title.
Assists: 1) Michael Jordan - 5,633, 2) Kenny Smith - 4,073, 3) Walter Davis - 3,878
Notes: While being known primarily as a scorer, Michael Jordan averaged as many as 8.0 APG in 1989, finishing 10th in the NBA in assists that season...Kenny "The Jet" Smith played a key role in the 1994 and 1995 Houston Rockets titles, including post-season averages of 4.1 and 4.5 APG, respectively...Walter Davis was consistent as a facilitator during his 15-years in the NBA, averaging 3.8 APG throughout his career.
Rebounds: 1) Bob McAdoo - 8,048, 2) Billy Cunningham - 7,981, 3) Antawn Jamison* - 7,701
Notes: Hall-of-Famer Bob McAdoo finished among the NBA's Top-10 in rebounds five times in his career, including leading the league in total rebounds in 1975...Hall-of-Famer Billy Cunningham averaged 6.2 RPG in the 1967 NBA Playoffs while helping the Philadelphia 76ers win the NBA title...Antawn Jamison has finished among the NBA's Top-10 in total rebounds in 2006, 2008, and 2009.
Blocks: 1) Rasheed Wallace - 1,445, 2) Bobby Jones - 1,319, 3) Bob McAdoo - 1,147
Notes: Rasheed Wallace averaged a career best 1.8 BPG in 2004...Bobby Jones finished among the ABA's Top-10 in blocks in 1975 and 1976 then continued this trend by finishing ninth in the NBA in blocks in 1977...Bob McAdoo swatted an amazing 3.3 shots per game in 1974, finishing third in the league that year.
Steals: 1) Michael Jordan - 2,514, 2) Bobby Jones - 1,387, 3) Walter Davis - 1,289
Notes: Michael Jordan finished among the NBA's Top-5 in steals nine times in his career, including leading the league in 1988, 1990, and 1993. Jordan is third on the NBA's all-time steals list...Bobby Jones finished his NBA career with a 1.4 SPG average...Walter Davis played in 78 career playoff games, registering 88 postseason steals.
*Denotes currently active NBA player.
Stats provided by pro-basketball-reference.com (data here) and current as of 4/16/2012
Andrew Sweat is a college basketball fan a graduate of BYU and the University of Arizona. More from this author:
- Sports & Recreation
- Michael Jordan
- Walter Davis
- Antawn Jamison
- Rasheed Wallace
- Vince Carter