Next Men Up?

Next Men Up?

Rosenbluth. Ford. Worthy. Jordan. Hansbrough.

There are 51 players whose jerseys are retired or honored in the Smith Center rafters, with Justin Jackson and Joel Berry II set to join them. Players' jerseys are retired if they win one of six National Player of the Year awards, while they are honored if a player is the MVP of a national championship team (as voted on by his teammates), on a gold-medal winning team, First or second-team All-America (according to NCAA consensus sources), ACC Player of the Year or NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player.

That there are soon to be 53 jerseys in the rafters is a credit to those players and the North Carolina men's basketball program itself. One only need look upward to bring back memories of players and championships past.

But there have been a lot of very good players in Carolina basketball history, several of whom just missed the cut.

Rick Fox, for example, was third-team All-America according to The Sporting News in 1991, First team All-ACC and MVP of the ACC Tournament.

Ed Cota, who started on three Final Four teams and led the ACC in assists in all four of his seasons in Chapel Hill, is a popular choice. He is the only player in NCAA history with 1,000 points, 1.000 rebounds and 500 assists.

Kendall Marshall was first-team All-America in 2012 according to, which doesn't count for NCAA consensus purposes. Despite winning the Cousy Award, he was only third-team Associated Press All-America. And so he doesn't join teammates Tyler Zeller and Harrison Barnes.

John Henson was twice the ACC Defensive Player of the Year and was National Defensive Player of the Year and first-team All-ACC in 2012.

And Kennedy Meeks was outstanding in the Final Four. Justin Jackson was already in the rafters by virtue of his ACC Player of the Year selection, and Joel Berry for winning Most Outstanding Player. I campaigned for his teammates to vote Meeks MVP with the Twitter hashtag #Meeks4MVP, but the honor went to Jackson instead.

Those are just a few. Over the next two weeks leading up to Late Night with Roy, we're going to be highlighting some of these would-be 'next men up.'

Let us know your favorite honorable mentions in the comments below and on Twitter. Can you make an all-time starting five or a complete lineup of players not in the rafters? Let us know below.