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Lefty Driesell On Great Maryland And ACC Players

And some surprising comments about Zion Williamson

Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall Of Fame 2018 Enshrinement Ceremony
SPRINGFIELD, MA - SEPTEMBER 7: Former NCAA coach Charles “Lefty” Driesell gives his induction speech during the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame 2018 Enshrinement Ceremony at the Springfield Symphony Hall in Springfield, MA on Sep. 7, 2018.
Photo by Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

It’s hard to believe but Lefty Driesell, who graduated from Duke in 1954, will be 89 on Christmas Day.

This is pretty amazing to consider: he was at Duke when Red Auerbach was a Blue Devils assistant.

He’s always been a singular presence. Even though he’s got the deepest southern drawl you can imagine, his father emigrated from Germany. It’s just something you would never have expected.

Anyway, he was interviewed recently and asked about his best players at Maryland whose numbers were not retired. He lists several. He also says this, which is kind of eye popping:

“At North Carolina, [Michael Jordan] was good. Didn’t we have close games with him? I still think the best player I’ve seen play in the ACC is Zion Williamson or David Thompson. I think David Thompson as a college player was better than Michael Jordan. To tell you the truth, Leonard Bias might’ve been better than him – as a college player. But as a pro player, [Jordan] is the best. You watch that film that they’ve been showing on Sunday nights and he was unbelievable.”