The state of Kansas has produced 30 college All-America basketball players through the years, including 13 who were selected to the first team by the Associated Press.
On our radio show this morning, we talked briefly about the top five college players to come out of Kansas and there have been some really good ones who weren’t All-Americans. Former Wichita State forward Warren Armstrong (Jabali) comes to mind.
But for the purposes of this list (and who doesn’t love a list?), I’m going to impose an All-America limit. If a player wasn’t a first-, second- or third-team All-American, he doesn’t get a nod here.
Essentially, this is a list of the greatest college players from either KU, KSU or WSU, and it was tough to put them in order. And there’s a good chance you’ll disagree with some of the rankings. But I can’t let that keep me from having some fun. And remember, this list is for fun, only. Any nasty reaction will be punished accordingly.
Here we go with an interesting Top 30:
1. Wilt Chamberlain – A first-team All-American in both seasons he played at Kansas.
2. Danny Manning – Another two-time first-team All-American who also made the second team once.
3. Clyde Lovellette – Don’t worry, we’ll get to some non-KU players soon. But big Clyde was a two-time first-teamer and a one-time third-teamer.
4. Dave Stallworth – My favorite all-time Wichita State Shocker slips into the top four. Of course.
5. Bob Boozer – The first K-Stater to be mentioned was a first- and second-team All-American.
6. Xavier McDaniel – Scorer, rebounder, tough guy. Are you gonna tell the X-Man he’s not one of the top six players in the state’s history?
7. Raef LaFrentz – This is maybe a guy who doesn’t get his due. He should since he’s one of only four two-time first-team All-Americans to play at a Kansas school.
8. Wayne Simien – Another brutish KU player who made two All-America teams, one as a first-teamer.
9. Paul Pierce – Has had such a great NBA career that we sometimes forget what a tremendous player he was at KU.
10. Drew Gooden – In the mold of LaFrentz, Simien, Manning and some of other strong KU forwards still to come on this list.
11. Jo Jo White – A point guard deluxe who made two All-America teams.
12. Nick Collison – Yes, another powerful KU forward joins the list.
13. Dick Knostman – Was never a first-team All-American for Kansas State, but made the second and third teams.
14. Michael Beasley – Sorry, this is as high as I can go for a one-and-done player, great as Beasley played for Kansas State.
15. Thomas Robinson – Kansas has had a bunch of big guys who would probably do well in a bar fight, huh?
16. Ernie Barrett – Mr. K-State says it all.
17. Dave Robisch – Sorry to be repetitive, but it’s like KU has a mold somewhere in Lawrence and builds these power forwards in a factory somewhere.
18. Sherron Collins – Made two All-America teams.
19. Jacob Pullen – It was difficult to rank Collins above Pullen, just as it would have been difficult to rank Pullen above Collins.
20. Jacque Vaughn – The third straight point guard on the list, Vaughn was a two-time second-team All-American.
21. Rolando Blackman – Great college player who surprisingly made only one All-America team, that as a third-teamer.
22. Darnell Valentine – This seems low for Valentine, until I look at the players above him. A rich list, don’t you think?
23. Kirk Hinrich – Could just as easily be five spots higher.
24. Antoine Carr – The Big Dog was a third-team All-American as a Shocker.
25. Marcus Morris – It took some time, but eventually Morris figured things out well enough to become a second-team All-American.
26. Mike Evans – The former K-Stater might be at the top of a shooter’s list.
27. Bud Stallworth – Big-time scorer and former third-team All-American for Kansas.
28. Tyshawn Taylor – Drove Kansas fans crazy, but also helped drive a team to the national championship game.
29. Walt Wesley – Bruising former center for the Jayhawks and former third-team All-American.
30. Cole Aldrich – His KU career peaked, then diminished.
Thanks for reading. As always, I’m curious to know what you think.