Miami basketball legend Rick Barry has been left off of the ESPN bracket of the 64 greatest players in the history of college basketball.
With the NCAA Tournament canceled and the country going crazy creating brackets to take its place ESPN created a bracket of the 64 greatest Men’s and Women’s basketball players of all-time. Somehow Miami basketball legend Rick Barry was left off the list. Barry is the unquestioned greatest Hurricanes player ever.
A look at the top of the leader board for the Miami basketball program in career, season and game records will mention Barry frequently. The Basketball Hall of Famer holds the Hurricanes career records in points, rebounds, points per game in a career and the two highest-scoring seasons in Miami history.
The numbers Barry put up in his three-seasons in Coral Gables are not likely to be matched unless a player has a spectacular four seasons. The likelihood of that type of player completing his entire eligibility is unlikely in the modern era. From 1962-65 Barry averaged 29.8 PPG, 16.5 RPG and shot 52.2 percent from the floor.
Following his career at Miami, Barry went on to have one of the greatest NBA careers. He led the Golden State Warriors to the NBA Championship in 1976. Golden State would not claim another title for 40 years. Dozens of the players in the bracket are not, nor will they be in the Hall of Fame.
Barry never got to perform on the big stage of the NCAA Tournament. During the era Barry played in, the NCAA only invited 22-25 teams to the NCAA Tournament each season. In a 1964 NIT game against St. Joseph’s, Barry scored 35 points making only eight field goals and shooting 19-22 from the free-throw line.
Barry appears in the NCAA record book three times with games of 59, 55 and 54 points. The 973 points Barry scored in 1965 is 24th all-time in Division I history tied with Larry Bird in 1979. The 37.3 PPG Barry averaged in ’65 is 12th in Division I history and his 293 free throws made in ’65 is ninth all-time.
Barry’s 29.8 PPG career average is 19th all-time, 0.1 PPG behind Wilt Chamberlain. Barry is just one of 115 players in Division I history with 2,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds. Barry led the nation in scoring as a senior. He did not have the luxury of playing at a blue-blood basketball school like others in the bracket.