The ACC Basketball Book of Fame
John F. Blair, Publisher
6 x 9
No Chris Paul? No Walter Davis?
What is this guy, blind? Brain-addled?
Actually, he’s neither. Dan Collins was already immersed in ACC basketball the day in 1971 he and the Carmichael Auditorium faithful lustily booed the visiting South Carolina Gamecocks, the conference villains of his student days. Since then, in his tenure at the Chapel Hill Newspaper and his 20-plus years as Wake Forest beat reporter for the Winston-Salem Journal, he has watched countless ACC games and interviewed and written about greats from Juan Dixon to Christian Laettner to Ralph Sampson to Michael Jordan.
Collins devoted two years to devising a system to fairly select an ACC Basketball Hall of Fame. Most of his inductees have universal appeal—from latter-day greats including Tyler Hansbrough and J. J. Redick to old-timers including Len Chappell and Ronnie Shavlik. But others are nearly forgotten gems, like Lou Pucillo, the five-nine high-school benchwarmer discovered playing against the Philadelphia School for the Blind and Deaf.
The 78 illustrated player profiles in this book will prove an anecdote- and trivia-filled delight even to fans who think they know ACC basketball. Remember Tim Duncan’s comment after Randolph Childress beaned a Duke fan with a postgame full-court heave?* Or David Thompson’s legendary kindnesses to reporters, fans, and critics? Readers will especially enjoy the “Portico of Prominence” chapter, which recognizes players—among them Paul and Davis—who were undoubtedly great but didn’t accumulate the credentials for admission to the Hall of Fame.
Longtime ACC scribe Dan Collins’s cards are on the table. Let the argument begin.
* “Decent arm. Nice follow-through.”
“In The ACC Basketball Book of Fame, Dan Collins gives his perspective on the many greats that have made the ACC one of the top conferences. Dan’s experience in covering ACC games over the years allows him to go in-depth about the greats that have worn an ACC uniform, such as Michael Jordan, Christian Laettner, and Ralph Sampson. Dan’s work is awesome, baby, with a capital A!”—Dick Vitale
"The what-ifs of history are daunting to consider. What if Albert Einstein had been obsessed with ACC basketball rather than the space-time continuum? Might he have come up with a genius equation for ranking the greatest ACC basketball players in the league's 60-year history? Instead, that honor has fallen to Country Dan Collins of Spudtowne, North Carolina. Though he kept a proper distance from a physics lab during his college days, he has nonetheless invented a brilliant formula for basketball fame, suitable to a physicist who has spent his years studying the trajectories of three-pointers. As the readers of this stimulating book will soon discover, Dan Collins should be as legendary as the players about whom he writes.”
—Will Blythe, author of To Hate Like This Is to Be Happy Forever
"There aren’t many of us left—those writers and broadcasters who still remember and enjoyed the early days of ACC basketball. Country Dan Collins, the veteran sportswriter for the Winston-Salem Journal for the last 35 years, is one of the few still at it. Every avid conference fan will want to read and discuss The ACC Basketball Book of Fame. Dan believes players should be judged against who they played, and he developed an Awards Points system to indicate just how good players were and what they meant to their teams and the conference at large. He also includes those players who were good but didn’t garner enough points to merit his Hall of Fame.”
—Woody Durham, “the Voice of the Tar Heels,” 1971–2011