This is a guest post by Bernie Stein from HeroSports. Make sure to check out his website at http://www.HeroSports.com.
There’s no better position to tell if a guy is ready for the NBA then playing point guard. Guys who are charged with handling the rock and distributing it among their teammates have that innate gift to see the whole court and turn the game back into a playground with themselves as the centerpiece. With young point guards like Lonzo Ball currently tearing up the NCAA, what better time to check out the top 10 best point guards in college basketball history?
Earvin “Magic” Johnson
You can debate the rest of this list until you’re blue in the face, but nobody tops Magic either here or on the NBA level. In his two years at Michigan State Basketball, he averaged 17.1 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 7.9 assists per game. Oh yeah, and he was 6 feet 9, inches tall. Just think on that for a moment, an inch taller than LeBron James and leading the nation in assists. He led the Spartans to the 1989 NCAA title, knocking off Indiana State and some kid named Larry Bird.
He could dribble behind his back, he threw no-look passes, and he slung the ball from left to right across the court. And he did it all in the 1940s for Holy Cross. At 6 feet, 1 inch, he was the original New York City playground superstar. He became a legend when he beat Loyola of Chicago by scoring 11 points in the final five minutes of a game held at Boston Garden, where he would go on to dominate the NBA for the Boston Celtics.
Pete Maravich once scored 44 points in a college game. Actually, more than once. He averaged 44.2 points per game during his three 44.2 points per game in 3 years. By playing in obscurity first at LSU and then in the ABA, we may never really know how great he was, but his scoring ability remains untouched four decades later.
A freak of nature on par with Magic Johnson, Robertson should have been a power forward in the years he played. Instead, he handled the rock as much as anyone for the Cincinnati Bearcats, and in the process was a three-time National Player of the Year as he averaged 33.8 points, 15.2 rebounds, and 4.8 assists. He remains the only NBA player to average a triple-double for an entire season, although both Russell Westbrook and James Harden are challenging that distinction this year.
If you’ve only been a basketball fan in the past couple of decades, you probably know Thomas as one of the worst front-office guys around. But before bumbling his way around the Knicks’ headquarters, he burned with a passion seen by few players before or since head coach Bobby Knight at Indiana, named the 1981 Final Four MVP.
OK, we get it. You hate Duke, I hate Duke. We all hate Duke. But Hurley defined winning, going 114-26 as a starter (.814) with a pair of national championships to boot. He’s also the NCAA’s all-time leader in assists.
How in the heck he got to a place like Oregon State we may never know. But he put the Beavers on the map in 1990 with one of the greatest all-around seasons by a point guard, averaging 25.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, 8.1 assists, and 3.4 steals per game.
At all of 5 feet 9 inches tall, Murphy played for tiny Niagara College, but boy did he have a big game. He put up 38.2 points per game as a sophomore and averaged 33.1 per for his career.
Before becoming famous as a mentor to the stars, particularly those who had let themselves be addled by drugs, Lucas led the Maryland Terrapins to a ton of NCAA appearances and was a multi-time all-American and the No. 1 pick in the 1974 NBA draft.
“The Answer” went into the Basketball Hall of Fame recently as one of the most uniquely gifted players the world has ever seen. The only player to ever leave Georgetown early during the John Thompson era, this six-footer was Big East Rookie of the Year as a freshman and all-American as a sophomore, finishing his two years with the highest scoring average – 22.6 points per game – in Hoya history.
Of course, a point guard, like other player positions in basketball, specializes in particular skills. A point guard’s initial job is to facilitate scoring opportunities for the team, or sometimes for themselves. Point guards are expected to be vocal floor leaders.
Michigan st beat Indiana st in 1979 not 1989