Above, we present 30 men’s basketball players and 10 women. Just so you know, this disparity because women’s basketball has only been an official sport for 25 seasons, while the men have played for 84.
At some point, despite all one’s knowledge, picking the best basketball players of the century is akin to picking names out of a hat. The list we present here took many factors into account. There are too many to relate here, but it’s worth mentioning that players of the modern era are given more credit. We can’t prove it, but we think there’s no contest between players of the 1930s and those of today.
But at the same time, you can’t ignore the old-timers’ accomplishments entirely. That’s why several of them made the list (And we readily concede that 6-6 center Joe Holup probably wouldn’t have had 20 points and 20 rebounds a game in 2000).
In general, no one should pay too much attention to what team a player is on, because the science of ranking players is extremely imprecise. The top players are no-brainers, but after that it gets a little shaky. At that point, all the statistics we can find come into play.
One factor worth noting is the number of years a player played. Pat Tallent falls behind Jon Feldman because with an average fourth year – freshman weren’t allowed to play varsity then – Feldman would have easily overcome Tallent on the career lists. But players are rewarded for sticking around. Koul almost knocked Dare off the first team, but we felt the best player on the best team in GW history should be on the first team. Again, two more years and Dare would have some impressive career stats. On the flip side, one year does not make a trend, and that’s why one-hit wonders Bob Tallent and SirValiant Brown aren’t higher. But Brown and Chris Monroe both have the potential to rapidly climb up this list.
But that’s a story for another century.
– David Holt