In honor of Michigan's re-entrance into the NCAA basketball tournament, I have chosen my all-time Michigan Wolverine basketball team. Based on extensive research that took minutes and minutes to compile, I've selected a first team of five players and a bench made up of eight players. I welcome your comments on these selections.
Cazzie Russell ('64-'66) - Russell is arguably the greatest player to ever don the maize and blue. He was the Big Ten Player of the Year three times; an All-American three times and was the National Player of the Year his senior year. In addition, he led the Wolverines to three Big Ten titles before becoming the #1 pick in the NBA draft and was part of the 1970 New York Knicks title team.
Glen Rice ('86-'89) - This Flint native had the greatest individual season in the history of Michigan basketball. During the '88-'89 season he was named the Big Ten Player of the Year, was a first-team All-American and selected the Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA tourney when he led Michigan to the title by averaging over 30 points/game. Rice is the all-time leading scorer in Michigan basketball history and was an NBA All-Star game MVP ('97) and NBA champion in 2000 with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Rudy Tomjanovich ('68-'70) - Possibly known more as a coach who led the Houston Rockets to two NBA titles in the mid-'90s, Tomjanovich is the all-time leader in rebounds and possesses the second highest scoring average/game ever for the Wolverines. He was selected to the All-Big Team three times and was an All-American in 1970. He was named to five All-Star Games during his NBA playing days and is the third leading scorer in Rockets history.
Gary Grant ('85-'88) - One of the most versatile guards to ever play for Michigan, Grant was the point guard during one of the Wolverines most successful eras during the mid-'80's. Grant was the Big Ten Freshman of the Year during his first season and the Big Ten Player of the Year and an All-American his final year. He is the all-time Michigan leader in assists and steals.
Chris Webber ('91-93) - The most talented player on the most infamous Michigan squad ever, Webber was a formidable presence with the "Fab Five." He led the maize and blue to the NCAA championship game in both seasons he played with Michigan and was a Big Ten Player of the Year and an All-American his sophomore year. He sits atop the Michigan record books as the all-time leader in blocks/game. Webber became the #1 pick in the draft and went on to an All-Star career in the NBA. Unfortunately, his (and others of his era) involvement in scandal have tarnished the proud Michigan tradition.
Reserves (in alphabetical order):