I Ranked The 64 Greatest College Basketball Players Of This Century

March Madness is here! What better way to celebrate everyone's favorite 64-team tourney than ranking the 64 best players of this century. (Sorry, no play-in games lol)

March Madness graphic on a basketball court

NOTE: This was extremely difficult to narrow down the players, and I chose to leave off this year's All-Americans due to recentness bias. Please sound off in the comments of who should be on this list, because there are 210 first and second-team All-Americans for this century!

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Here's how I ranked the greatest college basketball players I have watched since 2001:

64.DeJuan Blair, Pitt

DeJuan Blair slams dunk

Blair was a king of the boards. As an All-American, he averaged 12.3 total rebounds per game (rpg). He brought a great intensity to the floor.

Blair was drafted by the Spurs in the second round of the 2009 NBA Draft.

Gregory Shamus / Getty Images

63.Arron Afflalo, UCLA

Arron Afflalo dribbles a basketball

A great three-point shooter that consistently proved he was a top player in the Pac-10 for the three seasons he played.

Afflalo was drafted 27th overall in the 2007 NBA Draft by the Detroit Pistons.

Jed Jacobsohn / Getty Images

62.Willie Cauley-Stein, Kentucky

Willie Cauley-Stein dribbles the ball

One of the best defensive ratings in college basketball for 2015, Cauley-Stein was a raw talent with some of the least amount of playing time I've seen from an All-American. Coming off the bench of that undefeated Kentucky team, he was proof that they were loaded with depth. Even though they fell short of the championship, his defensive presence should not be shunned from this list.

He was drafted by the Sacramento Kings at six overall in the 2015 NBA Draft.

Andy Lyons / Getty Images

61.Juan Dixon, Maryland

Juan Dixon dribbles a basketball

Top 20 all-time in steals, Dixon was a heck of a two-way player for Maryland. He averaged, in his championship-winning season, 20.4 points per game (ppg) and averaged 2.6 steals per game.

Dixon is currently the head basketball coach at Coppin State University.

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60.Anthony Edwards, Georgia

Anthony Edwards celebrates

Edwards was a sneaky great player. His offense really elevated the Bulldogs, which led to him being the first pick overall in the NBA Draft after his one-and-done season.

Carmen Mandato / Getty Images

59.Deandre Ayton, Arizona

DeAndre Ayton points in Arizona uniform

A lot of people sleep on Ayton, who averaged 20.1 ppg and 11.6 rpg in his one season at Arizona. He was the Pac-12's most efficient big man that season and an All-American.

Drafted No. 1 overall by the Phoenix Suns in 2018, Ayton is part of the best team in the NBA right now.

Christian Petersen / Getty Images

58.Ja Morant, Murray State

Ja Morant celebrates on a basketball court

What more can be said about Ja than he might be the best athlete of this century. I had no clue where Murray State even was until this 24.5 ppg, 10 apg (assists per game), 5.7 rpg introduced himself on the world stage of March Madness in 2019. He led the nation in assists and points produced, but his turnovers kept him from being higher on the list.

Murray is currently NBA's hottest young star on the Memphis Grizzlies.

Maddie Meyer / Getty Images

57.Kelly Olynyk, Gonzaga

Kelly Olynk pulls down a rebound

First in the nation for Player Efficiency Rating (PER), Olynyk had a knack for keeping Gonzaga in games in the 2012-13 season. He had his best year, scoring 17.8 ppg and 7.3 rpg.

He is currently on the Detroit Pistons.

William Mancebo / Getty Images

56.Lonzo Ball, UCLA

Lonzo Ball shushes the crowd

Leading in total assists and assists per game at UCLA, Ball was an eyeopener when it came to passing. He was a lot of fun to watch and could score 15 points if needed. Being the best true shooter in the Pac-12 was enough to earn him All-American honors.

Ball is currently on the Chicago Bulls.

Joe Robbins / Getty Images

55.Malcolm Brogdon, Virginia

Malcolm Brogdon dribbles a basketball

A two-time All-American, Brogdon elevated the Virginia program, in my opinion, to new heights. He didn't lead in any particular statistical category, but watching him in the NCAA Tournament was enough to realize he was special.

He is currently on the Indiana Pacers.

Patrick Mcdermott / Getty Images

54.Luke Harangody, Notre Dame

Luke Harangody jumps for a rebound

Harangody played three-out-of-four college seasons averaging more than 20 points per game. He was the big man in the Big East for three years, leading in field goals for three years straight. Didn't jump out on paper against other NCAA players' stat sheets, but he was still a bruiser on the court.

He was drafted by the Boston Celtics in the 2010 NBA Draft (52nd overall).

Chris Graythen / Getty Images

53.Jalen Suggs, Gonzaga

Jalen Suggs shoots basketball

Suggs was the key scorer for the Zags, and from buzzer-beaters to scoring streaks, he seemed to do it all on offense. I liked his work on defense as much as his offense, but he didn't garner enough stats in his one season to climb higher on this list.

Suggs currently plays for the Orlando Magic.

Jamie Squire / Getty Images

52.Caleb Swanigan, Purdue

Caleb Swanigan in Purdue uniform

Nation leader in total rebounds (2017), Swanigan was a dominant force under the basket. 18.5 ppg, 12.5 rpg, and 3.1 apg (which, as a big forward, is impressive), it felt like everything moved through him.

Swanigan was drafted 26th overall by the Portland Trail Blazers.

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51.Joakim Noah, Florida

Joakim Noah yells and fist bumps

Noah was a menace on the court. He led the SEC in field goal percentage and was a top-notch defender. He helped the Gators win back-to-back NCAA titles.

Noah was drafted ninth overall by the Chicago Bulls.

Andy Lyons / Getty Images

50.Gordon Hayward, Butler

Gordon Hayward shoots basketball

The man who should have won an NCAA title. Throw all his stats away; it's what he did in March Madness in 2010. He almost banked in a buzzer-beater that would have made him the stuff of legends, but his Cinderella run was still impressive, carrying Butler on his back.

Hayward was drafted by the Utah Jazz ninth overall in the 2010 NBA Draft.

Victor Decolongon / Getty Images

49.Josh Hart, Villanova

Josh Hart pumps fist

An NCAA Champion, Hart's place on this list has to be credited to his final two seasons. Had the Big East's best PER in his final year, but it was really his team defense and team offense...he just seemed to make everyone around him better when he was on the floor.

The Utah Jazz drafted Hart 30th overall in 2017, and he currently plays for the Portland Trail Blazers.

Mike Stobe / Getty Images

48.Fred VanVleet, Wichita State

Fred VanVleet shoots basketball

A Cinderella Story darling, VanVleet was the leader of the Shockers on their magical runs in March Madness. He was also an extraordinary player that led his conference (Mountain Valley) in assists.

VanVleet was an integral part of the Toronto Raptors championship run.

Mitchell Layton / Getty Images

47.Brandon Roy, Washington

Brandon Roy in Washington Huskies shirt

Oh what could have been. Roy was a stud at Washington, earning consensus All-American honors and averaging 20.2 ppg in his final season. In '05-'06, he led the Pac-10 in scoring.

His NBA career didn't pan out due to knee injuries.

Alika Jenner / Getty Images

46.Jared Sullinger, Ohio State

Jared Sullinger screams in celebration

Sully was a terrific forward for the Buckeyes. He led the Big Ten in rebounds and PER, but for me, it is his defensive rating, which was the best in the Big Ten.

Sully went on to be a first-round selection by the Boston Celtics.

Gregory Shamus / Getty Images

45.Grant Williams, Tennessee

Grant Williams handles a basketball

An All-American, Williams had just about every offensive stat in the SEC for the 2018-19 season. He averaged 18.8 ppg, 7.5 rpg, and 3.2 apg.

He is currently on the Boston Celtics.

Joe Robbins / Getty Images

44.Drew Timme, Gonzaga

Drew Timme flexes

Well, Timme, welcome to the list. This All-American big man is a scorer, and although isn't the top in the nation for any stats, he was a dog in the NCAA Tournament before falling short to Baylor last season in the Final.

Timme is currently trying to make another run at the title, but good luck with Duke (and Coach K's final ride) in your way to glory.

Tim Nwachukwu / Getty Images

43.Shabazz Napier, UConn

Shabazz Napier cries in UConn jersey as confetti rains down

A two-time National Champion, Napier was an All-American whose stats didn't jump out at you, but his play during March Madness was legendary. In six games of the 2014 NCAA Tournament, he averaged 21.2 ppg, which, offensively, led the way for the Huskies.

Napier last played in Russia's Pro Basketball League, until he left due to the attacks on Ukraine.

Ronald Martinez / Getty Images

42.Jahlil Okafor, Duke

Jahlil Okafor claps

Okafor captured a title AND was top 10 in almost every important statistic for a center. His stat line averages for his lone season: 17.3-8.5-1.3 with an average of 1.4 blocks per game.

Okafor went third overall to the Philadelphia 76ers in 2015 and currently plays in China.

Streeter Lecka / Getty Images

41.Russ Smith, Louisville

Russ Smith flexes

Leading the nation in steals and free throws in separate years, Smith was the epitome of consistency. That consistency led Louisville to an NCAA Championship in 2013.

Smith was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers in 2014.

Andy Lyons / Getty Images

40.Draymond Green, Michigan State

Draymond Green sweats

No doubt, Green was the best defender and rebounder in the Big Ten for 2012. He averaged 16.2 ppg, 10.6 rpg, and 3.8 assists. He has the fifth-best career NCAA Box Plus/Minus.

Green fell to the second round in 2012 where the Golden State Warriors selected him 35th overall. He has gone on to win three NBA titles.

Jonathan Daniel / Getty Images

39.Dwyane Wade, Marquette

Dwayne Wade in Marquette jersey

D-Wade, in his last collegiate season, averaged 21.5 points, 6.3 rebounds, 4.4 assists per game. Dominated statistically in the Conference-USA, but never in the country...else he would be a lot higher on the list.

Wade went on to be the 5th pick overall in the draft and an all-time Miami Heat player.

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38.Al Horford, Florida

Al Horford grabs a rebound

A two-time NCAA Champion, Horford, in his best and final season, averaged 13.2 ppg and 9.5 rebounds. An integral part of the Gators' back-to-back championships, Horford led the SEC in rebounds.

He was drafted third overall in the 2007 NBA Draft and is currently on the Boston Celtics

Andy Lyons / Getty Images

37.Jalen Brunson, Villanova

Jalen Brunson in Villanova jersey

Not many college players have two NCAA Championships, but Brunson is one of them. Winning in 2016 and 2018 (when he also won the Wooden Award), had a career best of 18.9 points and 4.6 assists per game in his final year. Didn't lead the nation in any noteworthy stat, but winning and winning a lot for Villanova helped him leave his mark.

Brunson is currently on the Dallas Mavericks.

Ronald Martinez / Getty Images

36.Denzel Valentine, Michigan State

Denzel Valentine celebrates in Spartans uniform

I am a sucker for plus/minus stats, and Valentine led the NCAA in Box Plus/Minus for the 2015-16 season. A great shooter with elite three-point and free throw percentages, Valentine's per game stat line was an impressive 19.2-7.5-7.8.

In the 2016 NBA Draft, the Chicago Bulls selected Valentine with the fourteenth overall pick.

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35.Greg Oden, Ohio State

Greg Oden points

Leading in blocks and rebounds for the Big Ten, Oden dominated the boards and was a big piece for the Buckeyes to get to the NCAA Tourney Finals.

The Portland Trail Blazers drafted Oden first overall in the 2007 NBA Draft.

Jonathan Daniel / Getty Images

34.Ty Lawson, North Carolina

Ty Lawson dribbles a basketball

North Carolina doesn't win in 2009 without Lawson. He was a great point guard on offense and defense, leading the ACC in assists and steals.

He went 18th overall in the NBA Draft to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Streeter Lecka / Getty Images

33.Frank Mason III, Kansas

Frank Mason III reaches in for basketball

In his final season, Mason won the Wooden Award and averaged 20.9 ppg. He didn't really lead the nation in any stat, but the Big 12 was OWNED by this man.

Mason is currently still grinding and putting in work for the G-League.

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32.Karl Anthony-Towns, Kentucky

Karl Anthony-Towns cheers

Not a "sexy stat" guy, but Anthony-Towns was a superior defensive player, totaling 88 blocks in his one-and-done season. He finished top-10 in almost every important center stat.

KAT is still on the Minnesota Timberwolves, and it would be quite shocking if he stayed there his entire career.

Andy Lyons / Getty Images

31.DeMarcus Cousins, Kentucky

DeMarcus Cousins holds up his fingers

Cousins had the best PER in the nation and led the SEC in rebounds.

He went on to be the fifth overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft.

Andy Lyons / Getty Images

30.John Wall, Kentucky

John Wall claps

Wall = Dougie. Everyone knew who this guy was, and his personality was larger than the game. That being said, he was an unreal prospect, BUT he led the nation in turnovers, so that hurt his positioning a tad.

He went No. 1 overall to the Washington Wizards.

Andy Lyons / Getty Images

29.T.J. Ford, Texas

TJ Ford shoots basketball

The "assists-king" in 2002, Ford was a solid shooter and made Texas better. I think of the good Texas teams in the 2000s, and Ford for me was really the start of greatness. He was the Wooden Award winner that season and a consensus All-American.

He was drafted eighth overall by the Milwaukee Bucks in 2003.

Ronald Martinez / Getty Images

28.Emeka Okafor, UConn

Emeka Okafor with his hands on his hips

NCAA Champion Okafor was the leader in rebounds and blocks for a dominant '04 UConn team. With a team effort, sacrifices needed to be made in scoring for Okafor, thus hurting his overall points per game. I didn't want to hold it against him too much.

He was drafted second overall in 2004 by the Charlotte Bobcats.

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27.Buddy Hield, Oklahoma

Buddy Hield screams in celebration

Whoa, Buddy...this guy could shoot. In 2016, he led the nation in points and three-point field goals. Although his all-around game wasn't "lights out," he was still good enough offensively to earn the Wooden Award, averaging 25 ppg his final season.

Hield was drafted by the New Orleans Pelicans, sixth overall in the 2016 NBA Draft.

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26.Adam Morrison, Gonzaga

Adam Morrison holds his finger up

Leading in points per game in 28.1 points for the 05-06 season, Morrison was a great scorer. He finished in Top-20 for almost every stat that year, but it was the wins that really got him national attention, which eventually led to him earning the Wooden Award.

Jonathan Ferrey / Getty Images

25.Luke Garza, Iowa

Luke Garza posts up against his opponent

Averaged 23-plus ppg in back-to-back seasons, Garza had two seasons where he was must-see basketball. A Wooden Award winner in his final year, and in that year, led the NCAA in points, field goals, and PER.

Garza is currently playing for the Detroit Pistons.

Mitchell Layton / Getty Images

24.Trey Burke, Michigan

Trey Burke yells

This isn't a slight, but Burke to me is the most forgotten about Wooden Award winner of the 21st century...and it is easy to forget how amazing this guy was. He was the clear leader on Michigan and led the NCAA in points produced.

He was drafted 19th overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2013.

Gregory Shamus / Getty Images

23.Victor Oladipo, Indiana

Victor Oladipo runs down court

A steals-machine, but didn't have a ton of stats to blow people away. For me, he passed the "eye test" for basketball. He was an All-American, and his leadership on the floor was apparent by helping Indiana turn their program around in 2013.

He was drafted second overall by the Orlando Magic. He currently plays for the Miami Heat.

Andy Lyons / Getty Images

22.Chris Paul, Wake Forest

Chris Paul dribbles the basketball

Leading the ACC in steals, Paul was a great two-way player in college. He averaged 6.6 assists per game and 15.3 ppg.

He is currently on the best team in the NBA, the Phoenix Suns...who are a blast to watch.

Doug Pensinger / Getty Images

21.Obi Toppin, Dayton

Obi Toppin dribbles a basketball

With 20 ppg and an undefeated season, Toppin earned the Wooden Award. The pandemic destroyed any chances of seeing him go off in the Tourney, but he failed to lead the NCAA in some major categories. I wish I could put him a lot higher because he was a blast to watch.

Toppin was drafted by the the New York Knicks...bless his soul.

Michael Hickey / Getty Images

20.Evan Turner, Ohio State

Evan Turner smiles

Turner won the Wooden Award. He led the Big Ten in almost every stat (good and bad). He averaged 20.4-9.2-6.

The Philadelphia 76ers drafted Turner second overall in 2010.

Andy Lyons / Getty Images

19.Michael Beasley, Kansas State

Michael Beasley in Kansas State jersey

In 2008, there were few players better than Michael Beasley. A scoring machine, he led college basketball in total rebounds per game and third in points per game. Sounds good, until you see it was 26.2 ppg and 12.4 rpg, then it sounds GREAT.

He was drafted second overall by the Miami Heat.

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18.Shane Battier, Duke

Shane Battier with a microphone

NCAA Champion, Player of the Year, and always a top-20 player. He's a tough nut to crack because a lot of his stats are linked to wins, so he is really a man out of time. With so many one-and-done players, Battier was one of the hardest to judge.

Battier shocked no one by doing what he does best in the NBA...win. He added two NBA rings to his championship collection as a key role player.

Lance King / Getty Images

17.Trae Young, Oklahoma

Trae Young in an Oklahoma jersey

This town needs an enemy! Young is so good at playing antagonist on the court, and he backs it up with tremendous offense. Young averaged 27.4 ppg and 8.7 assists for the Sooners, leading the NCAA in both categories.

Young is currently on the Atlanta Hawks, still shooting from all over the court.

Brett Deering / Getty Images

16.Kevin Love, UCLA

Kevin Love dribbles a basketball

In Love's lone season at UCLA, he was a passing fiend. A big man with a little range, plus elite passing ability made UCLA one of the most dangerous teams in 2008. With 17.5 ppg, 10.6 rpg, he led the NCAA in total rebounds (415).

He won an NBA title with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Victor Decolongon / Getty Images

15.Andrew Bogut, Utah

Andrew Bogut in a Utah jersey

Bogut was THE big man in college basketball in 2005, recording 427 boards in his last season, leading the NCAA. 20.4 ppg is not too shabby, either. Wooden Award winner and consensus All-American.

Bogut brought his height to the NBA and went on to win a ring with the Golden State Warriors.

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14.Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin

Frank Kaminsky cheers

Frank the Tank was part of one of the greatest basketball games I have ever watched (undefeated Kentucky vs. Wisconsin in the Final Four). He earned consensus Player of the Year, but fell short in the Finals. He still had a phenomenal senior year averaging 18.8 ppg.

He has bounced around the NBA and still contributes to the white-hot Phoenix Suns.

Streeter Lecka / Getty Images

13.Zion Williamson, Duke

Zion Williamson flexes

What a strange prospect Zion was, right? Led the NCAA in Player Efficiency Rating, all while missing some games due to a blown sneaker. He did enough to win the consensus Player of the Year and was one of the most "must-watch" college basketball players ever.

He's still trying to find his feet in the NBA...but health needs to be on his side.

Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images

12.Kemba Walker, UConn

Kemba Walker cuts down the net after Big East Championship

One of the best tourney performances of the 21st century, Walker was a proven winner in college. In his last year, he recorded 23.5 ppg, 4.5 assists per game, and most importantly...the CHIP.

Walker has had a solid NBA career and is currently on the New York Knicks.

Chris Trotman / Getty Images

11.Anthony Davis, Kentucky

Anthony Davis in Kentucky jersey

The Brow! Anthony Davis was one of the most impressive centers I've seen in my lifetime. The game has really veered away from that position, but he was a different kind of athlete. He won Player of the Year and the National Title in his lone season in college basketball.

He is an eight-time All-Star and finally captured a ring in 2020.

Andy Lyons / Getty Images

10.Jimmer Fredette, BYU

Jimmer Fredette smiles while carried off

On top of being the consensus Player of the Year in 2011, he was also the scoring leader. He averaged 28.9 ppg in his final year, winning the Wooden Award. Jimmer had his own (almost a little too obsessed) fanbase that took on a life of its own.

It never panned out in the NBA, but he currently plays in Shanghai and has had an amazing international basketball career.

Doug Pensinger / Getty Images

9.Jameer Nelson, Saint Joseph's

Jameer Nelson dribbles a basketball

Another player that, because he went to a "non-major school," his accomplishments are not given his due. He scored 20.6 points per game and 5.3 assists in his final Wooden Award-winning season. A terrific ball-handler that was the best offensive weapon whenever he stepped on a court. But his defense was tremendous, too, earning his A-10 conference second-team All-Defense twice.

He had a nice career with the Orlando Magic in the pros, even earning an All-Star nod in 2009.

Doug Pensinger / Getty Images

8.Carmelo Anthony, Syracuse

Carmelo Anthony in a Syracuse jersey

Anthony is one of the better players this century to win an NCAA title. He averaged 22.2 ppg, 10 rpg, and 2.2 assists. He didn't lead the NCAA in any particular stat, but his performance in the NCAA tournament is enough to have him high on this list.

He is still chasing a ring, but if he retired right now, his career was still superb ending up in the Top-10 in NBA scoring.

Mitchell Layton / Getty Images

7.JJ Redick, Duke

JJ Redick signifies three fingers for a three-pointer made

One of the first shooters I remember seeing in college basketball that made me think he could never miss. He averaged 19.9 ppg in his career and shot 40.6-percent from deep. Player of the Year in 2006.

He JUST retired from the NBA in 2021 and had a long career as an ideal off-the-bench shooter.

Streeter Lecka / Getty Images

6.Blake Griffin, Oklahoma

Blake Griffin handles basketball

People forget how good Griffin was at Oklahoma. The dunk highlights were his forte, but his ability to rebound and create plays for his teammates by just being on the floor was often overlooked. This Sooner's stat sheet really raised eyebrows with an impressive 18.8 ppg, 11.8 rebounds, and 2.1 assists.

He has gone on to have a solid NBA career and is somewhat of a dunk contest legend!

Jamie Squire / Getty Images

5.Doug McDermott, Creighton

Doug McDermott cheers in Creighton unifrom

McDermott was a very impressive, well-rounded offensive player at Creighton. In his Wooden Award-winning season, he averaged 21.7 ppg. 7.5 rebounds, and shot 45.8% from three.

McDermott has gone on to be a journeyman in the NBA, offering scoring and solid passing off the bench.

Ronald Martinez / Getty Images

4.Jason Williams, Duke

Jay Williams in Duke uniform

I feel like from here onward, any of these players could be No. 1...in fact, let me call the rest of these guys my "One Seeds" of this list. Williams had an extradentary career at Duke, averaging 19.3 ppg, 3.7 total rebounds per game, 6 assists per game over his collegiate career.

A motorcycle accident cut Williams' pro career short, but he still had a Hall of Fame-worthy collegiate career thanks to his time at Duke.

Craig Jones / Getty Images

3.Steph Curry, Davidson

Steph Curry in Davidson jersey

All that you need to know about Curry is that a team tried to triple-team him one time, and still lost. He averaged 25.3 ppg, 4.5 rebounds per game, and 3.7 assists per game. I had no clue Davidson was even a school until Curry, but he was one of the best offensive shooters I've ever seen watching March Madness.

Curry has gone on to change the game in the NBA, becoming one of the greatest three-point shooters of all time.

Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images

2.Tyler Hansbrough, North Carolina

Tyler Hansbrough handles basketball in North Carolina uniform

"Psycho T" could easily top this list for his overall career at North Carolina. Scoring 20.2 ppg, 8.6 total rebounds per game, he was almost always the best player on the court. He won the National Championship in the 08-09 season, and the Wooden Award the year before.

He went on to become an NBA journeyman and have a nice little pro career off the bench.

Streeter Lecka / Getty Images

1.Kevin Durant, Texas

Kevin Durant in Texas Longhorns uniform

This long, lanky forward is probably the greatest basketball prospect I have ever seen.

He averaged 25.8 points per game, eight rebounds, and 2.8 three-pointers a game. In his one collegiate year, he won the Wooden Award, led almost every statistical category in the Big 12, and was AP Player of the Year. Bounced in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, he didn't have the team around him, but this is a list of individuals, and Durant was a game-changer on the basketball court in college.

He's gone on to have an extraordinary NBA career with two championships and an MVP.

Jonathan Ferrey / Getty Images

This is just my opinion, so who do you think #1 should be? Who got snubbed? Comment below!