The list of team’s will be ordered by those
with the most wins in college basketball history.
Kentucky: Dan Issel
I know it would be more fun to put Anthony Davis here and everything but the fact of the matter is this is a pretty simple answer for best Kentucky Wildcat basketball player ever: and that is Dan Issel. Issel averaged over 25 points per game for his career, which saw him score a massively impressive 2,138 points for Kentucky. When it comes to scoring records at Kentucky, Issel holds nearly every one, and no I am not exaggerating when I say that. His senior year scoring average of 33.9 points per game is the best in a season and he held the single-game scoring record of 53 until Meeks broke it in 2009. At 6’9″ Issel played the power forward and center position for Kentucky during his four years in Lexington. A dominating scorer, he was also an outstanding rebounder, leaving Kentucky as the all-time leading rebounder. Kentucky consistently gets the best talent to come to their school and play for them, but since no one ever seems to stay for longer than a year or two – expect Dan Issel to hold on to this title for decades to come. But hey, maybe we will be surprised sooner rather than later.
Kansas: Wilt Chamberlain
In 1955, Chamberlain joined KU. At Kansas, Chamberlain started his path very early as a freshman under head coach Phog Allen, whom he admired immensely. His debut was highly anticipated, and for good reason, the 7’2′ size and near 9’4” wingspan he highlighted, grew an undesirable following. During Chamerlain’s debut, he delivered head-on. Even though it was as a member for the freshman squad, the freshman Jayhawks were pitted against the varsity Jayhawks, who were favored to win their conference that year. Chamberlain dominated his older college mates by scoring 42 points (16–35 from the field, 10–12 on free throws), grabbing 29 rebounds and registering four blocks.
Chamberlain’s budding stardom early propelled him to greater heights as the season wore on. On December 3, 1956, Chamberlain made his varsity debut. In his first varsity game at center, he scored 52 points and grabbed 31 rebounds, breaking both all-time Kansas records in an 87–69 win against the Northwestern team of future NBA teammate Joe Ruklick. The abilities Wilt showcased at such a young age, proved to capture the eyes of not just his teammates, but visiting head coaches. Raw athleticism, unbelievable endurance and speed caused Wilt to never be tired. Acclaimed by many, when he dunked, he was so fast that a lot of players got their fingers jammed between Chamberlain’s hand and the rim. Reportedly, Chamberlain broke Johnny Kerr’s toe with a slam dunk in his first year.
By this time, Chamberlain had developed several offensive weapons that became his trademarks: his finger roll, his fadeaway jump shot, which he could also hit as a bank shot, his passing and his shot-blocking. It became indicative that no one could stop Chamberlain on the court. Chamberlain wasn’t alone as a star for Kansas, as he led a talented squad of starters; including Maurice King, Gene Elstun, John Parker, Ron Lonesky and Lew Johnson. Many reasons can be made, in why Chamberlain overwhelmingly deserves the #1 ranking. But the answer is clear, not only did Chamberlain break countless milestones, he transcended the image of a lanky, “un athletic” big man. His diverse athletic talent carried him as track star, where he won an individual Big Eight championship for his work in the 100-yd dash.
What might be the most perplexing notion was how even with the best player during the decade, Kansas couldn’t win a national title through the two years he was there. Chamberlain made both the First Team of the All-America squad in both his freshman and sophomore seasons. Though, the 3OT loss to North Carolina in the NCAA Finals is somewhat seen as detriment to his legacy. In many ways, that claim is preposterous when all you have to do is glance over his stats during his two seasons. Chamberlain averaged 29.9 points and 18.3 rebounds per game, more so during the 1957-58 season where Chamberlain nearly averaged 32. Craziness. And he somehow went on to have an even more dominant pro career!