Who should go on college hoops' Mount Rushmore?

March 28, 2011

Honor the leaders

Shannon Ryan

Chicago Tribune

The Mount Rushmore of college basketball should be carved into a North Carolina hill and include the same types of leaders and forward-thinkers that reside on the one in South Dakota. Without James Naismith, Mount Hoopsmore would be like Mount Rushmore without George Washington. It must include the man who invented the game, wrote the original rules and founded the University of Kansas' program.

John Wooden, who won 10 national championships at UCLA, would be carved where Thomas Jefferson is placed.

North Carolina's Dean Smith was revolutionary, making him a legend worthy of the honor. He was known for running a clean program, graduating his students and promoting desegregation in the sport. Mount Hoopsmore also should include Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, who has won four national titles and is two victories away from the all-time record.

sryan@tribune.com

Include Summitt

Tom Yantz

Hartford Courant

John Wooden, Mike Krzyzewski, Pat Summitt and Lew Alcindor. Have to start with Wooden, the former UCLA coach. "The Wizard of Westwood" won 10 NCAA titles. He was an impeccable figure for the sport with his "Pyramid of Success" on and off the court.

Duke's Coach K has 900 victories and will surpass Bob Knight as the winningest coach in Division I history. Special K has four NCAA titles and 11 Final Fours. Tennessee women's coach Summitt gets the nod over UConn women's coach Geno Auriemma. She has eight NCAA titles and more than 1,000 wins.

In his three UCLA varsity seasons, Alcindor, now Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, had a 26.4-point scoring average and was a three-time NCAA tournament MVP on three title teams.

tyantz@tribune.com

Add Pistol Pete, Magic

Tom Housenick

The Morning Call

UCLA's John Wooden is the standard by which all coaches are judged. The greatest teacher of the sport, his methods have influenced every good coach since he guided the Bruins to 10 national titles in 12 years.

Lew Alcindor simply was the most dominant player of that fabulous Wooden era at UCLA.

Pete Maravich was the most skilled basketball player I've ever seen. In addition to averaging better than 40 points per game at LSU, he was a master of the no-look pass and slick dribbling skills.

Michigan State's Magic Johnson helped move the college and, eventually, the pro games into their most dynamic eras. He brought a huge smile and a pass-first attitude to a sport that needed an injection of energy. Johnson showed that Wooden's team concept was the best and most satisfying way to championship success.

thousenick@tribune.com

Start at the beginning

Chris Dufresne

Los Angeles Times

Chisel me this:

James Naismith. In the beginning, there was a YMCA and a peach basket, which would lead to "The Original Rules" of basketball. Naismith actually had a losing record at Kansas, but without him there is no Dick Vitale.

John Wooden: Mike Krzyzewski, the greatest coach of today, just got knocked out of the tournament four wins short of his fifth title. That would have put him halfway to Wooden's record 10 at UCLA.

Dean Smith: Smith, who played at Kansas for Phog Allen, who played for Naismith, didn't fall far from the peach tree. Smith was more than a coach, he was a teacher.

Lew Alcindor: There was actually a time in college basketball when players, not coaches, were the stars. Alcindor was the greatest of them all.

cdufresne@tribune.com

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