Top 10 University of Michigan Basketball Players of the Decade: 1990s

The 1990s is the most memorable period for Michigan basketball. This decade holds the beloved “Fab Five” team that is nationally remembered for being a team of 4 All-American recruits going to the same school. While never winning a single championship, they are still known as one of the greatest teams to ever play college basketball. While Michigan saw great success during this period, it is not the greatest period of Michigan basketball as it has been tainted with scandals. Due to players taking money during their career, Michigan has vacated the entire 1992-93 season as well as every game from 1995-96 through the 1998-99 season. During those times, Michigan had an NIT championship and a Big Ten tournament championship which have been erased as well as some deep runs into the NCAA tournament. While this has put a huge damper on the accomplishments of the period, you cannot say these players were not great on the floor. Here is my list of the top 10 Michigan basketball players of the 90s.

1. Chris Webber

Chris Webber is the clear-cut number one here. He was the shining star of the fab five. While he only stayed for two seasons Michigan, he was on pace to hold many records and does hold a few. He sits 7th in rebounds per game (10.03), 4th in steals per game (1.47), and 1st in blocks per game (2.5) at Michigan. Even though he has played only half the time as some other Michigan greats, he ranks 3rd on the all-time blocks list for Michigan (175). Webber’s records are tarnished by the fact that he was part of the scandal that removed Michigan’s wins, but that does not take away the fact that they were able to win them. He led the Wolverines to back-to-back National Championship games in his two years but failed to win one. They started his sophomore season as the #1 team in the nation according to the AP poll. He is most notably known for receiving a technical foul in the final seconds of the National Championship for calling a timeout when Michigan had none remaining which sealed the deal for North Carolina. Webber went on to have a fantastic NBA career as a #1 overall draft pick.

1992-93 Key Stats
PPG: 19.2
RPG: 10.1

-1991-92 Big Ten Rookie of the Year
-1991-92 USBWA Freshman of the Year
-1992 NCAA All-Tournament
-1992 NCAA Tournament All-Region
-1992-93 1st-Team All-Big Ten
-1992-93 1st-Team All-American
-1993 NCAA All-Tournament
-1993 NCAA Tournament All-Region
-1991-92 & 1992-93 Big Ten Rebounds Leader (340 & 362)
-1991-92 Big Ten Steals Leader (54)
-1992-93 Big Ten Blocks Leader (91)
-#1 Overall Draft Pick

2. Jalen Rose

Jalen Rose comes right behind Webber with his strong shooting ability. While Webber wiped with the floor with everything he was able to accomplish, he would not have been able to do it without Rose. My fond memory of Jalen is that the first Michigan basketball game that I remember going to was Jalen Rose night and I got a gigantic t-shirt that I eventually grew into about 10 years later. Now getting into what he did. He averaged 17.5 PPG over his three-year career with 3.9 APG. While the scandal took away the wins, Rose’s stats will stay put as he was not involved in any payment despite being called before the grand jury in the case. He ranks 9th on the all-time scoring list at Michigan despite leaving a year early. With another year, he could have been top-3. He went on to be drafted 13th overall and put together a solid NBA career.

1993-94 Key Stats
PPG: 19.9
RPG: 5.7

-1992 NCAA All-Tournament
-1992 NCAA Tournament All-Region
-1993 NCAA Tournament All-Region
-1993-94 1st-Team All-Big Ten
-1993-94 1st Team All-American
-13th Overall Draft Pick

3. Juwan Howard

The current head coach of Michigan basketball, Juwan Howard, locks in the #3 spot on the Fab Five lineup. After Webber left, Howard stepped up in the scoring department with 625 total points while also adding 266 rebounds that season. He also opted to forgo his senior year for the draft. To fulfill a promise to his grandmother that he would graduate, he took summer classes and became the first NBA athlete to leave for the draft early but still receive his diploma. He was drafted 5th overall and is the only Fab Five member to win an NBA championship. He also was never involved in the scandal and all his records remain intact. He now has returned to Michigan as the head coach after coaching in the NBA.

1993-94 Key Stats
PPG: 20.8
RPG: 8.9

-1993-94 3rd-Team All-American
-5th Overall Draft Pick

4. Louis Bullock

Louis Bullock joined Michigan right after the full departure of the Fab Five team. Bullock played four full seasons in the maize and blue and dominated in scoring. He led the team in scoring his final three seasons and surpassed the 20 PPG mark in his final season with 20.7. Michigan had three 20-win seasons with Bullock at the point with two NCAA tournament appearances. Throughout his collegiate career, he averaged a 3-point percentage of 42.3% which is 7th on Michigan’s all-time leaderboard. He holds the record for most 3-pointers made in Michigan history by far with 339. In second place is Dion Harris with 268. He also holds the most total free throws made and best free throw percentage for Michigan with 505 and 86.18% respectively. There is no getting around that he was a scorer as he is 3rd on the total scoring list in Michigan history to cap it all off. All of his records have been scrapped due to him being involved in the pay scandal that plagued Michigan during the 90s but like Webber, it is clear to see how dominant he was.

1997-98 Key Stats
FT%: 91.1
3PT%: 47.2

-1996-97 & 1997-98 Big Ten 3-Point Field Goals Leader (101 & 93)
-1996-97 Big Ten 3-Point Percentage Leader (47.2%)
-1997-98 & 1998-99 Big Ten Free Throw Percentage Leader (91.1% & 86.4%)
-42nd Overall Draft Pick

5. Robert Traylor

The 3rd of 4 players on this list to be involved in the cash scandal at Michigan is Robert Traylor. In every major statistic, Traylor improved from year to year, capping it all off in his junior year in which he averaged a double-double with 16.2 PPG and 10.1 RPG. One of the most capping moments of Traylor’s career was when he broke the backboard with a dunk. Although the wins have been taken away from Michigan, Traylor led Michigan to an NIT championship in 1997 in which he was named the NIT MVP. Michigan also vacated the Big Ten Tournament Championship in 1998 in which Traylor was named the MVP as well. Traylor was drafted by the Dallas Mavericks with the 6th overall pick and then traded to the Bucks which brought the legend, Dirk Nowitski, to Dallas.

1997-98 Key Stats
PPG: 16.2
RPG: 10.1

-1996-97 NIT MVP
-1997-98 1st-Team All-Big Ten
-1998 1st-Team All-Big Ten Tournament
-1998 Big Ten Tournament MVP

6. Jimmy King

One time when my family went to a Michigan basketball game, we happened to be sitting right behind Jimmy King. I knew barely anything about him, but my dad instantly recognized him and got to talk. King is the 4th Fab Five member on this list but, unlike the three stated above, stayed all four years. He continued to improve year after year. Michigan made it to the NCAA tournament each of the four years that King started with two championship appearances. King reached his peak in his senior year with 14.7 PPG and 5 RPG. He also racked up many steals in which he ranks 2nd all-time in total steals at Michigan with 187. King was drafted 35th overall but saw most of his time abroad in Europe where he was the 1998 CBA MVP.

1994-95 Key Stats
PPG: 14.7
SPG: 1.9

-35th Overall Draft Pick

7. Ray Jackson

Ray Jackson is the final member of the Fab Five and the only one to not go into the NBA. Jackson remained in the back role during the Fab Five’s championship runs but stepped up in a big way after the departure of Webber. He jumped above 10 PPG in his junior season and continued to show how dominant of a player he was in his senior year. He was Michigan’s leading scorer with 15.8 PPG in his final year, adding 3 APG. While he is the only member to not go into the NBA, he did have a successful CBA career where he won the 1996 CBA Rookie of the Year award.

1994-95 Key Stats
PPG: 15.8

8. Maurice Taylor

Maurice Taylor is the final player involved in the cash scandal at Michigan, but like the rest of these players involved, it does not take away the fact that they were great players. Taylor saw the very end of the final Fab Five players and dominated the moment he stepped on the court. He averaged 12.9 PPG and 6.1 RPG at the end of his collegiate career and was a major factor in the NIT title run of 1997 despite it being vacated. He stayed for only three seasons and went on to be drafted 14th overall in the NBA draft. After seeing time with four different teams all over the country, he decided to go abroad to Europe for a few years.

1995-96 Key Stats
PPG: 14.0
RPG: 7.0

-1994-95 Big Ten Rookie of the Year
-14th Overall Draft Pick

9. Maceo Baston

Maceo Baston was in the same recruiting class as Maurice Taylor listed above, so while Baston was not involved in any scandal, Michigan’s records during his time have been vacated. Baston helped drive Michigan to its NIT championship title in 1997 and the Big Ten tournament championship in 1998. He averaged 10.6 PPG over his career with Michigan and 6.6 RPG. Michigan saw three NCAA tournament appearances and three 20-win seasons with Baston. He went on to go 58th overall in the NBA draft. He did not play for that year and went to Europe where he saw success. He returned to the NBA for a while before going back overseas where he finished his career.

1997-98 Key Stats
PPG: 12.7
RPG: 7.4

-58th Overall Draft Pick

10. Robbie Reid

Robbie Reid began his collegiate career at BYU for two years then finished his final two years at Michigan. Reid started both seasons and saw an NCAA tournament appearance in his first year. In his senior year, he led the team in assist, mainly to Louis Bullock draining three-pointers. Reid also did his fair share of scoring in which he hit double figures in almost every game and averaged 13.5 PPG. He actually shot better for 3 points (42.3%) than he did for 2 points (33.3%). While he only had a short stint with Michigan, he instantly made his impact behind the arc, leading Michigan to several wins when he was on which were later vacated due to Bullock.

1998-99 Key Stats
PPG: 13.5
APG: 3.1

I am a student at the University of Michigan studying Sport Management. I have been involved in sports as long as I can remember, playing football, baseball, and basketball. I also love learning how to play songs on the piano and ukulele.

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