In TJ's absence there's been far too little sports in this space. I mean, I like lists, talk of the economy and Rob's ramblings as much as the next guy (provided that the "next guy" is a strung out meth addict who talks to a sock puppet named Cornelius) but UNC-Duke is tonight and, dammit, that demands some attention.
So, in honor of RhymO's suggestion, I'm compiling lineups (including 6th men) from both Duke and UNC comprised entirely of players who nobody, other than their parents, ever thought had even a 1% chance of playing in the NBA. And just so we're clear, by "playing" I mean actually playing and contributing to a real, live NBA team (so no Timberwolves allowed. Hi-O!).
Feel free to add your suggestions in the comments. Also, feel free to go fuck yourself if you disagree with me. K-Thx.
PG: King Rice - Not that quick, just an average handle and no jumpshot to speak of whatsoever. Rice just beats out Derrick Phelps based on both his fresh high top fade and the story that he once missed a game because his girlfriend gave him a black eye.
SG: Donald Williams - He was not even as good a college player as most like to remember based on his exemplary performance as a sophomore in the Final Four. I'd liken him to a poor man's Trajan Langdon. Not very tall (6'1"), not much of a ballhandler and a pretty average athlete. Once won a championship in the Dominican Republic professional league, so he's got that going for him.
SF: Ademola Okulaja - Most people forget that he was a starter as a freshman over the much more ballyhooed (and talented) Vince Carter. (Maybe this should've been our first clue that Wince was (a) not that smart and (b) not that tough.) Unfortunately, for Okulaja, he never seemed to get better after his freshman year and has spent most of post-college career in Germany playing professionally and re-enacting scenes from Beerfest each summer with Dirk Nowitzki.
PF: Pat Sullivan - Bumbumbum. Carolina apologists will tell you that Sullivan was a "glue guy" who did the "little things" that allow ultra-talented teams to succeed. I'll tell you he was a big, goofy white dude who did nothing exceptionally well.
C: Kevin Salvadori - If it wasn't for Serge Zwikker, Salvadori would define the word "stiff" in most Tarheel fans minds. Unfortunately for Kevin, Serge was 7'3" (thus his brief run in the NBA) and poor Salvadori was only 6'10". Salvadori continued to play in the numerous minor league once he left Chapel Hill and once gave up 20 points to the 6'6" center of my city league team while playing for some ABA (or USBL) team in Jacksonville.
6th man: Henrik Rodl - Greg's favorite Tarheel of all-time. Like a homeless man's version of Detlef Schrempf right down to the god-awful haircut (different but equally terrible). One of the earlier euro-imports to major college basketball. I'm not sure how highly touted Rodl was entering UNC but I feel like he was Christian Drejer before Christian Drejer. God, I fucking hate Christian Drejer.
PG: Steve Wojciechowski - Probably the least likely NBA player on this entire list. Not especially good at anything, other than slapping the floor and looking intense. His time at the the point featured the worst Duke season of the modern era as well as one of the longer losing streaks to Carolina in the school's history. I'm sure he was a great leader and he worked his tail off on defense (even his D was only average as it was limited by his size and lack of athleticism) but the guy just didn't bring much to the table.
SG: Chris Collins - Another player from the worst Duke team in modern history. Collins was actually a 3 year starter at Duke. However, he was nothing but a spot up shooter until his senior year (2nd team All-ACC as a Sr.) and he also freaked out late in the national championship game versus Arkansas and threw up a horrible shot that effectively ended the game. Collins would've been hard pressed to make the league as a point guard, as a 2 though...absolutely no chance.
SF: Nate James - James was a McDonald's All-American coming out of high school. Unfortunately for him, he played center in high school. 6'6" centers with average athleticism don't usually find success in the ACC, so James set out to remake himself as a perimeter player. He actually did a pretty good job of accomplishing this over time. However, his lack of quickness and inability to create his shot were too much for James to overcome, and he eventually lost his starting job to freshman Chris Duhon as Duke went on to win a National Title.
PF: Greg Newton - One of the more pathetic Duke big men of the last 20 years or so. Quite simply, the guy was a spectacular failure in nearly every conceivable way during his tenure at Duke. Lets just go through some of the highlights, shall we? Once called Tim Duncan "soft" while Duncan was in the middle of destroying the ACC (Duncan completely clowned Newton to the press when he heard about Newton's comments). Suspended from Duke for cheating on a Computer Sciences exam. Lambasted by Coach K in John Feinstein's March to the Madness for being a headcase and, ironically, soft. Claim to fame: Left Duke one blocked shot away from cracking the school's all-time top ten.
C: Casey Sanders - Big, athletic and without a hint of offensive ability. Sanders was a McDonald's All-American who never started a full season at Duke and (I'm guessing) didn't have more than 10 double digit scoring games in his entire ACC career. Because he was so big and athletic it always seemed that the light was just about to flicker on for Sanders. Of course, if it did Sanders probably would've double clutched the light bulb and fumbled it out of bounds.
6th Man: Brian Davis - Davis was like many of his wing counterparts during the late 80s to early 90s at Duke (Antonio Lang, Thomas Hill, Robert Brickey) in that he was a spectacular athlete without a very complete offensive skill set. Davis was probably the least skilled of them all, though he made up for it with "leadership" (Read: found ways to make Christian Laettner happy). I almost went with Lang here but decided that Davis's "alleged" homesexual trysts with Laettner pushed him over the top.
So there it is, your official G:TB list of the most underwhelming rotation players in the Duke-UNC rivalry. If that doesn't get you pumped for tonight, you might want to check your pulse.