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Tony Delk named best college player ever to have #00

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TONY DELK KENTUCKY

College basketball has had some of the best players the game has ever seen come through its ranks and Kentucky has seen its fair share of stars represent the blue and white.

Jon Gasaway at ESPN has compiled a list of the best players to ever wear each jersey number throughout the history of college basketball, and one Kentucky player made the cut. Tony Delk, who played for UK from 1992-1996, was Gasaway’s selection as the best player to ever wear #00 in college.

Delk had an incredible career at Kentucky where he averaged 14.2 points per game on 47.4% shooting from the field and 39.7% shooting from three-point range. During his senior year, he averaged 17.8 points per game in a season where he led the Wildcats to the 1996 National Championship. He was the SEC Player of the Year that season as well as the 1996 NCAA Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player. Delk was then drafted with the 16th pick in the 1996 NBA Draft and played for 7 teams during a 10 year pro career. His jersey was retired in Rupp Arena back in February 2015 and Delk has spent the last few years as an analyst on the SEC Network.

“A First-Team All-American and the leading scorer on the 1996 UK squad known as The Untouchables, Delk won Most Outstanding Player honors at the NCAA Tournament and led his 34-2 team to a national title. Nevertheless, No. 00 remains, somewhat surprisingly, a rather underutilized jersey option,” said Gasaway.

Delk wasn’t the only Kentucky player to receive consideration on Gasaway’s list, though. 16 former Wildcats were listed as honorable mentions and a list of those players is included below, along with the player Gasaway selected as the best.

  • No. 0: De’Aaron Fox (Frank Mason III, Kansas)
  • No. 3: Tyler Ulis (Doug McDermott, Creighton)
  • No. 6: Cliff Hagan (Bill Russell, San Francisco)
  • No. 11: John Wall (Jerry Lucas, Ohio State)
  • No. 12: Karl Towns, Ralph Beard (Oscar Robertson, Cincinnati)
  • No. 14: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Johnny Neumann, Ole Miss)
  • No. 15: Alex Groza, Willie Cauley-Stein (Carmelo Anthony, Syracuse)
  • No. 21: Jack “Goose” Givens (Tim Duncan, Wake Forest)
  • No. 23: Anthony Davis (Michael Jordan, North Carolina)
  • No. 24: Jamal Mashburn, Antoine Walker (Buddy Hield, Oklahoma)
  • No. 34: Kenny Walker (Hakeem Olajuwon, Houston)
  • No. 42: Pat Riley (Bill Bradley, Princeton)
  • No. 44: Dan Issel (David Thompson, NC State)

Kentucky has enjoyed some truly incredible players that have come through the program over the years and it’s good to see some of them being recognized as some of the best the college game has ever seen. Delk may not even be the best Wildcat of all time with the players that have come through Lexington, but this is something he can hang his hat on.

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