Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Five Favorites From Duke and North Carolina

With Duke and North Carolina squaring off tonight in Chapel Hill, let's skip the negative and get to the positive. As someone who has been watching the Tar Heels and Blue Devils more longer than he'd care to admit, here are staff writer Ron Green Jr.'s five favorite players from both programs.

DUKE

1. Bobby Hurley

I loved the way he played. He wasn't always the prettiest but he was the grittiest. And the 3-pointer he hit late in the NCAA tournament win over UNLV was among the biggest shots in school history.

2. Grant Hill

He was so good and so stylish that even North Carolina fans admired him.

3. J.J. Redick

I still haven't figured out why he was so disliked. Maybe because he was that good.

4. Gene Banks

We're going back a few years with this one but Tinkerbell had style. Upon being introduced for his final game in Cameron Indoor Stadium, he threw roses to the crowd -- then hit a late jumper to beat the Tar Heels.

5. Kenny Dennard

They don't make them like Dennard any more. He was tough, relentless and great fun.

NORTH CAROLINA

1. Larry Miller

I know he played more than 40 years ago but he had style, charisma and game. If he played today, he'd be an enormous star and he's still the most important recruit in Dean Smith's career.

2. Michael Jordan

You know why he's on the list.

3. Phil Ford

There's a good argument to be made that there's never been a better point guard in the ACC than Ford. Next to Jordan, he may still be the most beloved Tar Heel.

4. Charlie Scott

I know the game has changed since he played but if he were 20 again, he'd be the best player in the ACC right now and maybe the best in the country.

5. Mike O'Koren

Okay, I've gone entirely old school with the Tar Heels. It's a generational thing, I suppose. It's no slap at the more recent Tar Heels, just one guy's list of his favorite players.