No. 7: Larry Miller
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Name: Larry Miller
Jersey #: 44
Honors: Two-time, first-team All-America 1967 & 1968; Two-time, first-team All-ACC 1967 & 1968; Two-time ACC Player of the Year 1967 & 1968; Two-time ACC Tournament MVP 1967 & 1968; ACC Male Athlete of the Year 1968; Patterson Medal 1968; Named to ACC’s 50th Anniversary team; Jersey is honored in the Smith Center.
Notable Stats: Seventh all-time in scoring at UNC with 1,982 career points; Fifth highest career scoring average with 21.8 points per game; Owns UNC mark for scoring in double figures in 64 consecutive games; Averaged a double-double (20.9 points, 10.3 rebounds) as a sophomore; 18th all-time with 834 career rebounds.
In Closing: Miller should go down historically as one of the most important players ever at UNC, not just because he was a great player, but the importance of him choosing Carolina at the time he did and the eventual impact he had on the program and what Dean Smith built. Smith had recruited a couple of really good players in his early years, but landing Miller, who was sought after by everyone, is what really got the ball rolling leading to UNC basketball developing into one of the six fabled programs in the nation. He is the only UNC player to ever win two ACC Player of the Year and two ACC Tournament MVP awards.
Miller’s achievements, of course, are worthy enough of this ranking on their own. Prolific? Absolutely. How about 27 points and 16 rebounds in a 1968 Sweet 16 win over then-undefeated St. Bonaventure (starring Bob Lanier) or his 32-point (13-for-14 shooting) outing to bet Duke in the 1967 ACC championship game? Two straight ACC championships and Final Fours – MVP of each – and a foundation for the future are Miller’s legacies.