Mookie Blaylock (Oklahoma, 1987-1989): The crux of those amazing late 1980s Oklahoma squads, Mookie was a better-than-average shooter, a defensive Chupacabra, Jeff Ament’s idol, and a gratuitous opportunity to write about his coach and mentor, Billy Tubbs. People don’t recall how funny Coach Tubbs was, usually without even trying. One time, Tubb’s wife accused him of loving basketball more than he loved her. “But honey,” he replied, “I love you more than track.”
Glen Rice (Michigan, 1985-1989): I have no idea if Rice hooked up with Sarah Palin in 1987. But if he did, more power to them. Let’s say the rumor is true: Why is this information remotely controversial? They were both adults. They probably had a lot in common. They were in Alaska. They were not in the town where Footloose happened. What, exactly, was the espoused atrocity here? At least she was interested in a great player. It was honestly the smart thing she ever did.
Khalid El-Amin (UConn, 1997-2000): Did you ever play intramural basketball against a fat, confident, short kid who kept driving the paint and effortlessly scoring over every dummy who tried to stop him? And regardless of how hard you played him, he never seemed intimidated, excited or even quite interested? Then, when the game was over, and everyone else was tired, he casually decided to jump into some other random intramural game and scored another 28 points in the precise same way? El-Amin was the NCAA poster child of that unstoppable fat kid.
Xavier McDaniel (Wichita State, 1981-1985): Certainly a solid pro and an okay grunge-era actor, but his ’85 season for Wichita State, 27.2 points, 14.8 rebounds, established him as the first-ever college player to lead the nation in those two categories.
Jerome Lane (Pittsburgh, 1985-1988): Send it in, Jerome.