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The Top Michigan Players of All Time

Mike HendersonCorrespondent IIMay 13, 2011

The Top Michigan Players of All Time

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    28 Dec 1995: Center Robert Traylor of the Michigan Wolverines looks to pass the ball during a game against the UNLV Rebels in Las Vegas, Nevada. UNLV won the game, 66-64.
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    In honor of the late Robert "Tractor" Traylor, here is a list of the top Michigan basketball players.

    Sadly, the list "features" several players whose careers have essentially been erased because of various scandals that haunted the program for almost a decade.

    I don't know if including them in this list is fair to all of those who supposedly "played by the rules," but I included them anyway, not because I believe the discoveries of impropriety were unfair, but because I won't judge what an 18 or 19-year-old does when they're tempted with something they've never had.

    So, enjoy or don't enjoy. These players are on the list for what they did on the court.

15. Roy Tarpley

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    LOS ANGELES - 1989:  Roy Tarpley #42 of the Dallas Mavericks stretches during warm-ups prior to the NBA game against the Los Angeles Lakers at the Great Western Forum in Los Angeles, California in 1989.  (Photo by Mike Powell/Getty Images)
    Mike Powell/Getty Images

    Tarpley was the inaugural Big Ten Player of the Year in 1985 after averaging 19 points and 10 rebounds per game for the Wolverines.

    His career averages of 13 ppg and eight rbg were lowered significantly by his appearance in 26 games as a freshman, in which he played sparingly.

14. Maurice Taylor

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    28 Dec 1995:  Head coach Steve Fisher and forward Maurice Taylor of the Michigan Wolverines confer during a game against the UNLV Runnin'' Rebels.  UNLV won the game, 66-64. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Dunn  /Allsport
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Another player whose stats have been vacated due to his involvement with Ed Martin, Taylor was a talented player, yet was perceived as an underachiever despite solid overall numbers.

    Taylor was Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 1994-95 and second team All-Big Ten in 1995-96.

13. Loy Vaught

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    6 Dec 1991: Forward Loy Vaught of the Los Angeles Clippers stands on the court during a game against the Denver Nuggets at the McNichols Arena in Denver, Colorado.
    Tim DeFrisco/Getty Images

    Vaught was a late bloomer for Michigan, as his career averages of 11 points and seven rebounds per game belie his actual contributions later in his career, which included personal bests of 15.5 points and 11.2 rebounds per game in his senior season.

    Vaught also shot 62 percent from the field for his career and was a key part of the Wolverines' championship team in 1989.

12. Rumeal Robinson

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    8 Apr 1997: Guard Rumeal Robinson of the Portland Trailblazers stands on the court during a game against the Dallas Mavericks at Reunion Arena in Dallas, Texas. The Mavericks won the game 87-82.
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Robinson has the distinction of hitting the two most important free throws in Wolverines’ basketball history. His crucial makes propelled Michigan to a national championship win over Seton Hall.

    For his career, Robinson averaged 14 points and 5.7 assists per game.

    Sadly, following an all-too-familiar theme, Robinson’s fortunes have changed drastically.

11. Juwan Howard

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    20 Feb 1993:  Juwan Howard of the Michigan Wolverines shoots the ball during a game against the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Mandatory Credit: Duane Burleson  /Allsport
    Duane Burleson/Getty Images

    Part of the Fab Five, Howard played three seasons at Michigan, becoming a dominant forward by the end of his career.

    He averaged 15.3 points and 7.5 rebounds for his career and earned third-team All-America honors in 1994.

10. Bennie Oosterbaan

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    Okay, he played in the 1920s, but check out the bio on this dude.

    At various points of his Big Ten career, Oosterbaan was, in no particular order, a Big Ten batting champ in baseball, a Big Ten touchdown leader in football and a Big Ten scoring leader in basketball.

    He was selected as a basketball All-American twice and in 2003 was named the fourth greatest athlete in the history of the state of Michigan by Sports Illustrated.

    Post-graduation, Oosterbaan coached at Michigan. Yep, the football, baseball and basketball teams.

9. Gary Grant

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    26 Nov 1996:  Guard Gary Grant of the Miami Heat stands on the court during a game against the Golden State Warriors at the San Jose Arena in San Jose, California.  The Heat won the game 107-88. Mandatory Credit: Otto Greule  /Allsport
    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    “The General” holds more Michigan records than a jukebox, most of which will be his for a long while.

    Included in those are career assists, career steals, career starts and career minutes.

    Grant was a consensus first-team All-American in 1988.

8. Louis Bullock

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    13 Dec 1997:  Guard Louis Bullock of the Michigan Wolverines looks on during a game against the Duke Blue Devils at Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Michigan won the game 81-73. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Stockman  /Allsport
    Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

    Bullock was another of the players involved in the Ed Martin scandal, meaning his and his team’s accomplishments were essentially voided.

    For argument’s sake, though, his numbers don’t lie. His 339 made three-pointers was the Big Ten record prior to this past season. Jon Diebler broke that mark during the year.

    His 505 made free throws (at an 87 percent clip) would still be the team record. And, finally, his 2,224 points would be third overall in Wolverine history.

7. Jalen Rose

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    2 MAR 1994:  A CANDID PORTRAIT OF MICHIGAN GUARD JALEN ROSE ON THE COURT DURING A 71-58 LOSS TO WISCONSIN.   Mandatory Credit: Todd Rosenberg/ALLSPORT
    Todd Rosenberg/Getty Images

    Rose was one of the best all-around players the Wolverines have seen.

    His career averages of 17.5 points, 4.7 rebounds and just under four assists per game punctuated his ability to both score and distribute, while holding his own as a guard (albeit a big one) on the boards.

    As one of the members of the now infamous Fab Five, Rose’s accomplishments have been obscured to some degree. But the man could play.

6. Phil Hubbard

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    A second-team All-American pick in 1977, Hubbard had previously played for the gold medal-winning United States team in the 1976 Olympics, as well as the Wolverine team that lost to Indiana in the title game in 1976.

    Hubbard averaged 16.5 points and 11.1 rebounds per game for his career, while shooting 54 percent from the field.

5. Chris Webber

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    1992:  MICHIGAN FORWARD CHRIS WEBBER ATTEMPTS TO BLOCK THE SHOT OF A GEORGIA TECH PLAYER IN AN NCAA BASKETBALL GAME. Mandatory Credit: Allsport/ALLSPORT
    Getty Images/Getty Images

    A career 59 percent shooter, Webber was a stats-stuffer in his two seasons at Michigan, averaging 17.4 points, 10 rebounds, 2.5 blocks and 1.5 steals per game.

    He, too, however, was involved in the Ed Martin scandal, meaning his statistics aren’t recognized.

    His first-team All-American selection in 1993 was stripped when his affiliation (that is, his acceptance of somewhere in the neighborhood of $200,000 from Martin) was discovered.

    Webber is also well-known for calling “The Timeout” in the national championship game against North Carolina, which may or may not have altered the outcome of the game.

4. Bill Buntin

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    An All-American in both 1964 and 1965, Buntin ranks second all time in rebounds for the Wolverines. His 58 double-doubles is still the school record.

    Buntin helped the Wolverines reach consecutive Final Fours, including the title game of 1965 in which Michigan was defeated by UCLA.

    Tragically, Buntin died of a heart attack at the age of 26 while playing in a pick-up game.

3. Rudy Tomjanovich

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    27 May 1997:  Coach Rudy Tomjanovich of the Houston Rockets watches his players during a playoff game against the Utah Jazz at the Delta Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.  The Jazz won the game 96-91.   Mandatory Credit: Brian Bahr  /Allsport
    Brian Bahr/Getty Images

    Still the career leader in rebounds at Michigan with 1,039 in three seasons, Tomjanovich holds some outrageous stat lines for his career.

    After a senior season where he averaged 30.1 points and 15.7 rebounds per game, Rudy T was selected as a second-team All-American. No, not a typo, the second team.

    For his career, he averaged 25.1 points and 14.4 rebounds and was a first or second team All-Big Ten pick in each of his three full seasons.

2. Glen Rice

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    Glen Rice #4 of the University of Michigan Wolverines walks on the court.
    Getty Images/Getty Images

    Michigan’s top all-time scorer with 2,442 points, Rice led the Wolverines to the national championship in 1989 by scoring 184 in the NCAA tournament, a record that still stands.

    For that season, Rice averaged over 25 points per game, shot 58 percent from the field and made over half of his three-point attempts, numbers that earned him a second-team All-American selection.

    For his career, Rice averaged 18.2 points and six rebounds per game, while shooting 57 percent from the field.

1. Cazzie Russell

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    Russell led Michigan to three consecutive Big Ten titles from 1964 to 1966 and consecutive Final Four appearances in 1964 and 1965.

    He was named the National Player of the Year in 1966 after averaging just under 31 points per game and was a two-time first-team All-American (1965-66).

    For his career, Russell averaged 27.1 points per game and 8.4 rebounds and was selected first overall in the 1966 NBA draft.

Robert "Tractor" Traylor

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    21 Dec 1996:  Center Robert Traylor of the Michigan Wolverines looks on during a game against the Arizona Wildcats at The Palace in Auburn Hills, Michigan.  Michigan won the game in overtime, 73-71. Mandatory Credit: Julian Gonzalez  /Allsport
    Julian H. Gonzalez/Getty Images

    Don't know where the big man stands in terms of all-time greats, but Traylor's impact went far beyond the game of basketball.

    We can all hope that Robert Traylor has moved on in peace.

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