The ACC School Mount Rushmores: Wake Forest
The Confidential has been having some fun with league-wide coaches Mount Rushmores. Football and Basketball, plus polls for each of football and basketball to share your thoughts. In fact, it was so sufficiently fun and controversial that we are going to do school-wide Mount Rushmores now. And we will only put three people on the list, leaving you–our readers–to comment as to who should be the fourth. We will not do polls anymore. For today, let’s go with the school that has fallen on hard times lately: Wake Forest.
As we discussed previously, these school-wide Mount Rushmores are limited to sports only–players and coaches. That being said, athletes that have gone on to have careers that have furthered their legend are rewarded also. And negative publicity will also be factored in. We do not believe that USC would put OJ Simpson on its Mount Rushmore. It is what it is. Admittedly, there will be a recency bias too. While historical accomplishments are typically quite impressive, coaching college football (as an example) in 1955 was a lot different than coaching today, where coaches rarely get 5 years to make their mark anymore. Similarly, in an era of up to 14 college football games or 40 college basketball games, as well as daunting pressure from the fans and media, today’s game is more challenging. That’s our opinion and we are sticking to it.
The Confidential gives the first spot to Tim Duncan. Let’s see… the #1 overall pick out of Wake Forest. And we all know his NBA career was and is simply outstanding. But that just scratches the surface. The Wikipedia summary of his accomplishments is absurd for its quality and quantity:
- 4× NBA champion (1999, 2003, 2005, 2007)
- 3× NBA Finals MVP (1999, 2003, 2005)
- 2× NBA Most Valuable Player (2002–2003)
- 14× NBA All-Star (1998, 2000–2011, 2013)
- NBA All-Star Game MVP (2000)
- NBA Rookie of the Year (1998)
- 10× All-NBA First Team (1998–2005, 2007, 2013)
- 3× All-NBA Second Team (2006, 2008–2009)
- All-NBA Third Team (2010)
- 8× All-Defensive First Team (1999–2003, 2005, 2007–2008)
- 6× All-Defensive Second Team (1998, 2004, 2006, 2009–2010, 2013)
- NBA All-Rookie First Team (1998)
- NBA Shooting Stars champion (2008)
- USBWA College Player of the Year (1997)
- Naismith College Player of the Year (1997)
- John Wooden Award (1997)
- Adolph Rupp Trophy (1997)
- Sporting News Player of the Year (1997)
- NABC Player of the Year (1997)
- 2× ACC Player of the Year (1996–1997)
- 3× NABC Defensive Player of the Year (1995–1997)
- 2× Consensus NCAA All-American First Team (1996–1997)
- #21 Retired by Wake Forest
And he has been fairly quiet off the court–an ambassador for the game. So, while the #2 man on this list is quite impressive in his own regard, we are going to go with Duncan here.
The #2 spot for Wake Forest is also a no-brainer: Arnold Palmer. The sole member of the 1971 Wake Forest Hall of Fame class is in a class by himself when it comes to golf. His golf accomplishments speak for themselves. Actually, Wake Forest has produced many golfers of note, including Curtis Strange and Lanny Wadkins. Palmer helped make golf a mainstream sport, which only Tiger Woods would later take to another level.
As is often the case, the #3 spot is exceedingly difficult. Some from this era would probably say Chris Paul. Someone from long ago might say Norm Snead. But the Confidential will go with Billy Packer. Packer was an outstanding guard for the Demon Deacons in the early 1960’s, leading them to two ACC Championships and a Final Four appearance. But he became famous as a basketball analyst–covering an impressive 30+ year string of Final Fours.
And that leads us to the number four spot. We mentioned Chris Paul and Norm Snead above. We also mentioned Curtis Strange and Lanny Wadkins. Dave Odom and Jim Grobe deserve some consideration. We are certainly missing some of the old-old-timers too. But that is where you come in–let us know who should be #4.
Who will be the Confidential’s fourth Wake Forest Demon Deacon in its Mount Rushmore?
Other Mount Rushmores: