TarHeelIllustrated - No. 15: Walter Davis
basketball Edit

No. 15: Walter Davis

Walter Davis is one of the most consistent and reliable players in North Carolina basketball history.
Walter Davis is one of the most consistent and reliable players in North Carolina basketball history. (UNC Athletics)

*Publisher's note: THI is ranking the top 25 basketball players in UNC history, gauging each player solely on their careers as Tar Heels. NBA accomplishments do not factor into these rankings.


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No. 15

Name: Walter Davis

Position: Forward

Jersey #: 24

Years: 1973-77

Honors: First-team All-ACC in 1977; All-ACC in 1976; NCAA All-Tournament team 1977; Patterson Medal 1977; Named to ACC’s 50th Anniversary team; UNC jersey is honored at the Smith Center.

Notable Stats: Davis is the 10th all-time leading scorer at UNC with 1,863 points; Career scoring average of 15.7 points per game is the 23rd highest in UNC history; Averaged between 14.3 and 16.6 points per game in each of his four seasons at UNC; Grabbed 670 career rebounds and handed out 409 career assists; Averaged 5.6 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game over his career; Shot 53.1 percent from the field for his career; 9th most field goals made in a UNC career with 754; Started 115 games.

In Closing: Davis might be one of the most underrated players in ACC history now and when he played. He is also one of the most consistent players in UNC history. His NBA career was filled with accolades and honors, but he was an afterthought too often at UNC. But Carolina fans will forever remember the 25-footer he hit at the buzzer versus Duke in 1974, sending the game in overtime the Heels eventually won. They will also remember how smooth his game was, how he could hit jumpers from all over the floor, and how if not for an injury in 1977, Dean Smith and UNC might have another national championship.

In the Tar Heels’ run to the national title game, Davis scored 21 points versus Kentucky in the East Region finals, 19 in a win over UNLV in the Final Four, and 20 in the national title game loss to Marquette despite playing with a broken finger. “Sweet D” was a well-rounded player who came up big often when the Tar Heels needed it most. If not for playing with other stars, such as Phil Ford, Davis would be more decorated.\

Davis is also new UNC Coach Hubert Davis' uncle.