UNC Vs. Duke: A Match-up of the Greatest Players in Each School’s History

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PG      Jeff Mullins                                       PPG 16.2       APG 3.8         RPG 4.3        

Jeff Mullins is another player that made a name for himself during the 1960’s and 1970’s. While he did not play the role of a traditional point guard, in order for Duke to have its best possible line-up, I am placing him in this spot. During his NBA career, Mullins was a three time All-Star selection and was a member for the 1975 NBA Champion Golden State Warriors.

SG      Corey Maggette                              PPG 16.2       APG 2.1         RPG 5.0

One of several Duke players on this list who have yet to throw in the towel on their respective careers, Corey Maggette has been a force in the basketball world since the mid 1900’s. He has become known for his fearless mentality when attacking the basket, and has made a name for himself as an above average scoring threat throughout the course of his career. He currently has almost 13,000 career points to his name and looks as though he has no immediate plans to retire. Maggette is one in a long line of Duke players to quietly have outstanding professional careers.

SF       Grant Hill                                           PPG 17.2       APG 4.3         RPG 6.2

Even as an unfailing Tar Heel fan, Grant Hill has always been a player that I have held in extremely high regard. In all honesty, he is one of the only former Blue Devils that I am not afraid to admit to being a fan of. Throughout his illustrious career, he has defined what a professional athlete should be. While Hill is another player that often makes me wonder what could have been, it is not due to anything within his control. After his tenure at Duke came to an end and he had come into his own at the NBA level, Hill was widely considered to be one of the best basketball players in the world. His all-around game was so good, that he simply did not have a weakness. However, after several career threatening injuries, many feared that he would be unable to continue his once promising career. While he has been burdened by serious injuries all throughout his career, Grant Hill has still work his way into the top 50 players of all-time.

PF       Elton Brand                                     PPG 18.6       BPG 1.9         RPG 9.5

Much like Corey Maggette, Elton Brand has quietly had a very impressive basketball career. While he has never been thought of as an absolutely dominating talent, he has had enough impressive seasons to rank among the all-time best at the power forward position. After a phenomenal collegiate career, Brand was selected with the number one overall pick in the 1999 NBA draft. Since then he has gone on to score over 15,000 career points and has made two All-Star appearances. While he is certainly in the latter portion of his career, he has not done anything to imply that he is considering retirement. He may very well have a few more seasons to add to his already impressive resume.

C         Christian Laettner                          PPG 12.8       BPG 0.8         RPG 6.7

While Christian Laettner was known more for his outstanding college career than his tenure in the NBA, when you take both stints into considerations, he is one of the best big men that the Blue Devils have ever had. He is known most for his infamous, game winning, back-to-the-basket, jump shot against Kentucky. However, along with a plethora of collegiate awards, he also won two NBA Championships and was an All-Star during the 1997 season.

BN      J.J. Reddick (SG)                            PPG 8.0        APG 1.4         RPG 1.7

While he is still too young for his career NBA statistics to carry a great deal of stock, Reddick had what may have been the best college career in Duke history. He is known for his outstanding shooting abilities.

BN      Carlos Boozer (PF)                        PPG 17.2       APG 2.4         RPG 10.0

Carlos Boozer is yet another solid basketball talent. The two time NBA All-Star is known for his vast array of moves in the post, and his rebounding abilities. He was also a member of the 2008 Gold Medal winning Olympic team.  


While the Duke Blue Devils have a very talented roster that could compete with any school in the country, the Tar Heels have the advantage in this matchup. While Duke brings a team of underrated players who have quietly established themselves as stars throughout the course of their careers, the Heels have a roster full of Superstar, Hall of Fame caliber talents that would be able to overcome the challenge if these two legendary teams were to meet on the court. While this hypothetical matchup is fun to think about, it also serves as a reminder of the amazing history that both Duke and UNC bring to the table every time they face off against one another. Sometimes it gets lost in all the analysis and predictions surrounded by the surrounding this great rivalry, but each and every one of these games are literally history in the making.