Wednesday, March 30, 2016

All-Overlooked Team

With the Tar Heels in the Final Four again, we're getting a lot of looks at past UNC greats, from 'Sheed sitting in the stands and Kenny Smith in the TNT studio to lots of talk about Michael Jordan and James Worthy and Lenny Rosenbluth and Antawn Jamison and on and on (and it's one hell of a list).

This afternoon I started thinking about the guys that don't get mentioned that often anymore that would be all-time greats with most other programs - guys that I thoroughly enjoyed watching but who don't get much mention anymore.  If I were to build an All-Overlooked team of UNC greats, it would probably look something like this:

PG - Easy Ed Cota - 3 Final Fours in 4 years, all time leading assist man for UNC and still #3 in NCAA history.  When we talk about UNC point guards, Phil Ford, Kenny Smith, Ray Felton, Ty Lawson - all those guys typically come to mind before Ed which I think is a bit unfair.

SG - Al Wood - team leading scorer for 3 years, 1st team All-American in '81 and scorer of 39 points against Virginia in the '81 Final Four in one of the greatest games I've ever seen a Tar Heel play.

F - Mike O'Koren - my favorite player while I was actually in school until Mr. Worthy hit campus.  3 time 1st team All-American (despite only making All-ACC 1st team twice - one of the national vs. local press oddities).  Led the injury-depleted Heels to the final game against Marquette as a freshman in '77.  He really was the team in the interim between the Phil Ford era and the Jordan era.

F - Sam Perkins - I guess playing in the shadow of James Worthy and Michael Jordan will do it to you, but it astounds me that the guy who is still the #2 rebounder and #3 scorer in UNC history doesn't get more love.

C - Brad Daugherty - top 10 in field goal %, rebounds, scoring and blocks in UNC history and part of the Best UNC Team Ever To Not Win The NCAA (tm) - the 1984 edition Heels with Perkins, Doherty, Jordan and Kenny "The Jet" Smith that was undefeated in conference play but managed to NOT win the ACC Tournament and NOT make it to the Final Four. Despite that, all kinds of love for Brad who remains a true North Carolina treasure.

I'm probably guilty myself of overlooking some folks but I'd put these guys up against just about anybody.