From Michael Jordan to Antawn Jamison to Tyler Hansbrough and all the great Tar Heels in between. Ranking the top 30 UNC basketball players ever.
North Carolina’s men’s basketball team is one of the most storied programs in the history of college sports. Ranking first all-time in Final Fours (20), second in win percentage (.735), second in NCAA Tournament appearances (51), and third in total wins (2,294), the Tar Heels also have seven national championships spanning 93 years.
The Heels have won three total national titles since 2005, more than any other program. This is not a program whose record books have been dry in the modern era either—the consistency of UNC over the last 60 years, in particular, has gone nearly unmatched, even by Kentucky, UCLA, Duke, or Kansas.
Two of the seven winningest coaches in the history of Division I college basketball roamed the sidelines in Chapel Hill in Dean Smith and Roy Williams. Smith is largely credited with building this program into what it is today, which is certainly appropriate although Carolina did have success, although slightly less consistent, before his arrival. Williams proceeded to fill the gap, keeping UNC at the top of the college basketball food chain for the last 17 seasons.
30. Raymond Felton (2002-05)
Raymond Felton started 100 of 101 career games across his three seasons at UNC. Felton was an All-ACC player all three years as well as an All-American as a junior in 2005. He also won the Bob Cousy Award which honors the best point guard in college basketball during his final season.
With career averages of 12.5 PPG, 4.1 RPG, and 6.9 APG, Felton was one of the most consistent and well-rounded point guards in Carolina history. He ranks first in program history in career assists and steals among non-four-year players.
Most importantly, Felton was the starting point guard on North Carolina’s National Championship squad in 2005—Roy Williams’ second year in Chapel Hill. This was an incredibly important title as it helped firmly solidify the next generation of UNC basketball following Dean Smith’s retirement and some shaky years under Head Coach Matt Doherty.
Had Felton stayed for his senior season, he could have ended up as a top 10-20 player in program history. Regardless, his impact in just three seasons as an All-American and National Champion is worthy of a spot on this list.