Michigan Basketball: All-Time 10 Best Dynamic Duos

In this edition of The Best of Michigan Basketball, I will break down the 10 Best Dynamic Duos in school history.

10 suprunowiczHarrison Mack Suprunowicz/Bob Harrison: This dynamic duo played together for 3 seasons (1946-49). During that time Michigan was 43-20 and they won a Western Conference title (1947-48). During that Western Conference championship season they also led Michigan to their first ever NCAA Tournament appearance.
Suprunowicz was voted team MVP twice and led the team in scoring each of his 4 seasons. The pair was recognized for their outstanding play after the 1948-49 season, as Harrison was selected first-team all-conference and Suprunowicz was selected second-team all conference.
Harrison also earned first team all-conference honors in 1948 and went on to a successful career in the NBA.
9 simsharris_fs Manny Harris/DeShawn Sims: This duo played together for three seasons (2007-10).  During the 2008-09 campagin, they helped orchestrate the biggest single season turnaround in school history. Harris and Sims helped take Michigan from an 11 win afterthought to a 21 win team. They also helped snap Michigan’s 11 year NCAA Tournament drought that same season.
Harris and Sims combined to score 1,130 points in that breakthrough season, which ranks as the 12th best single season scoring tandem in school history. The following season (2009-10) they combined for 1,098 points which ranks 13th on the school’s All-Time list.
They are the only pair on this list to have both topped 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, and 100 steals in their career.
They each won a team MVP Award outright and they shared the award in 2008-09. They combined to make 6 All-Big Ten teams during their Michigan careers.
8 riceGrant_fs Glen Rice/Gary Grant: Teammates from 1986-88, Rice and Grant combined to earn 2 All-American selections (one each), 2 Big Ten Player of the Year awards (one each) and 7 All-Big Ten selections.
In their first season as teammates (1986-87) the duo combined to score 1,256 points, 6th most by a tandem in school history. The following season, they combined to score 1,445 points, good for second on the school’s all-time scoring tandem list. The only duo to post two better seasons, ranks first on this list.
In 1988 they led Michigan to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament.
7 tarpleyGrant_fs Gary Grant/Roy Tarpley: In the two seasons this dynamic duo played together Michigan posted an outstanding 54-9 record. Grant is Michigan’s all-time assists and steals leader. Tarpley is Michigan’s all-time blocks leader.
They combined to earn 7 All-Big Ten honors, including 4 first-team selections (2 each). Grant and Tarpley were both named Big Ten Player of the Year once during their career.
Grant was one of the best two-way guards in College Basketball. In a 1985 Sports Illustrated article Roy Tarpley said, “He has so much heart. We see G.G. [Gary Grant] out on top pressing like crazy, and we naturally dig in on defense.”
They both recorded three career 400 point seasons.
6 oosterbaanMcCoy_fs Bennie Oosterbaan/Ernie McCoy: The first dynamic duo in school history. Oosterbaan and McCoy played together for two seasons on the hardwood. Oosterbaan earned All-American honors both of those seasons (1927, ’28). McCoy was an All-American selection in 1929. Michigan was Western Conference Champs all 3 seasons that Oosterbaan played. McCoy was the captain of the 1928-29 team. Oosterbaan led the conference in scoring in 1928. McCoy and Oosterbaan both were awarded the Western Conference Medal of Honor for proficiency in scholarship and athletics. Oosterbaan was a three-time All-American football player at Michigan. McCoy was a standout baseball player at Michigan.
5 Jalen Rose/Juwan Howard: These Fab Five teammates played together for 3 seasons at Michigan. Rose led Michigan in scoring twice and assists three times. Howard is one 6 Wolverines to top 1500 points and 700 rebounds in their career.
During their junior year (1993-94) Rose and Howard combined to score 1,261 points, which ranks as the 4th best single season scoring tandem in school history.
Rose and Howard both earned All-American honors that season. Both turned pro after that season and were selected in the first round of the NBA Draft.
During their three seasons together, Rose and Howard led Michigan to an 80-22 record, including 39-15 in the Big Ten.
Howard and Rose rank second and third respectively in school history for most career points scored in the NCAA Tournament.
4 roseWebber_fs Chris Webber/Jalen Rose: The Fab Fivers were a dynamic duo for two incredible seasons (1991-92 and 1992-93). They led Michigan to back-to-back appearances in the National Championship game. The iconic tandem had a swagger and confidence that was captivating.
As sophomore’s they combined to score 1,245 points, the 7th most by a duo in school history.
The duo combined for 5 All-Big Ten selections.
During their two seasons together, Webber and Rose led Michigan to a 56-14 record, including 26-10 in the Big Ten.
Rose set Michigan’s freshman scoring record with 597 points. Webber set Michigan’s sophomore scoring record with 690 points.
3 0410_large_fs Glen Rice/Rumeal Robinson: This duo played together for two seasons and they were the driving force in Michigan’s 1989 National Championship campaign. In 1988 Rice and Robinson helped guide Michigan to the Sweet 16.
During the National Championship season Rice and Robinson combined to score 1,524 points, which ranks them as the best single season scoring tandem in school history.
They each earned All-American honors during their career (Rice 1989, Robinson 1990). The duo also combined for 5 All-Big Ten selections, including 3 first-team All-Big Ten selections.
2 greenHubbard_fs Phil Hubbard/Rickey Green: Hubbard and Green were teammates for two seasons 1975-77). In those two sensational seasons they led Michigan to a birth in the National Championship game in 1976, losing to Indiana. In 1977 they led Michigan to a Big Ten Championship and a Great 8 appearance.
In 1977 Hubbard and Green both earned All-American honors. They became the second duo in school history to accomplish that feat. In that season they combined to score 1,134 points.
Between the two of them they earned All-Big Ten honors 5 times.
Michigan was 51-11, including 30-6 in the Big Ten during the two seasons Green and Hubbard played together.
1 buntinCazzie_fs Cazzie Russell/Bill Buntin: The duo of Russell and Buntin led Michigan to back-to-back Final Fours (1964, 65). Russell and Buntin earned All-American honors in both Final Four seasons. In the 1963-64 season Russell and Buntin combined to score 1,297 points, third most by a duo in school history. In 1965 they racked up 1,238 points good for fifth most by a Wolverine tandem. No other pair of Wolverines has ever posted two better seasons than Russell and Buntin.
Michigan posted a 47-9 record, including 24-4 in the Big Ten during the two seasons these legends played together.
Russell and Buntin have 5 All-American honors and 6 All-Big Ten selections between the two of them.
Russell and Buntin are 2 of 5 players in school history to have three career 400 point and 200 rebound seasons.
Russell and Buntin rank 6th and 9th respectively on Michigan’s all-time scoring list. They also rank 1st and 4th on the school’s all-time scoring average list. Russell and Buntin are the only Wolverines to be named All-American’s in the same season twice.
Michigan has retired both players’ jersey numbers.

Be sure to check out the rest of the Best of Michigan Basketball series

10 Best Point Guards
10 Best Shooting Guards
10 Best Small Forwards
10 Best Power Forwards
10 Best Centers
10 Best Coaches
16 Best Games

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