Build Your College Basketball Dream Team
Posted on July 02 2019
This post started with the Bill Simmon's question from The Book of Basketball: "If aliens landed here and wanted to play a game for our planet who would historically comprise the World team?" or something to that effect.
Essentially, if there was game to be played for your life and you got to assemble any 10 players in the history of college basketball who would it be? As we started talking about it and sending each other pieces of our teams it became a "My team will kick your teams ass and here's why?"
This was an impossible task. We left off so many of our favorite players and probably more accomplished players for reasons we will try to explain. In reality, there is no explanation but we had a lot of fun going back and forth and coming up these teams and scenarios. We hope you all enjoy it as much as we did...
Jim Valvano lead his underdog team against the first fraternity of college hoops Phi Slama Jama. As and aside, Could we get a nickname guru for college and the NBA? I feel like nicknames are really slipping. Anyways with his charisma and proven ability to defeat a super-team he seems like a natural choice against a super team with one of his own.
For me it all starts with the coach. My selection for coach was a no brainer. The General. Robert Montgomery Knight. You might not agree with his methods and those methods probably don't gel with today's athlete but you can't argue with the results. I had to start there. Then I had to assemble a team who fits his system. Man to man defense. Motion offense.
C - Lew Alcindor (UCLA)
F - Bill Russell (USF)
F - Larry Bird (Indiana State)
G - Michael Jordan (North Carolina)
G - Magic Johnson (Michigan State)
When I looked that the photo of my team. I realized immediately that I chose the best basketball players that have ever lived. I mean this game is for my life so who else am I going to go with. There are so many things though that I love about this team. They would not only perform as a unit but would entertain the massive crowd that we would certainly draw. I think the biggest hurdle we'd have to overcome (I'm putting myself on the bench next to Valvano) is managing the egos of the players. With this much talent getting people to get out of the way of one another could be tough for a coach who thrived pushing underdogs to their limits. - AM
C- Akeem Olajuwon (Houston)
F- Christian Laettner (Duke)
F- Glenn Robinson (Purdue)
G- Grant Hill (Duke)
G- Penny Hardaway (Memphis State)
I'm just going to say it. Meyer took the easy way out here and picked 5 of the greatest players to ever play the game. He isn't wrong in doing so. Those starters are insane but don't sleep on mine. One thing that sticks out is that we both went with size. Big guards with Penny and Magic, and then his frontline has two of the greatest centers to ever play at any level. If Hill could do a decent job on Bird from outside I like my shooting a little better than his. I'm scared what they would do to my squad on the boards though with Alcindor/Russell/Bird. Big Dog/Laettner/Hill will need to be hitting 3s for my team to survive the opening 10-15 minutes. I'd have to hope that my first unit could keep it close enough to get into the bench and see what happens. As much as I love my starters I'm not comfortable betting against Aaron's team in this match-up. With that said, I'm never betting against "The General" either. -JB
F - Glenn Rice (Michigan)
G - Rick Mount (Purdue)
F - Scott May (Indiana)
F/C - Tim Duncan (Wake Forest)
G - Pete Maravich (LSU)
Did Josh concede defeat in summarizing his starting 5? Maybe not his bench unit I will admit has some of my favorite players from the past 30 years of college basketball and some real gamers. That said my bench compliments the starters in every way. I become almost apoplectic thinking about bringing Rick Mount or Pete Maravich off the bench in a shooting role. It'd be like the Warriors not knowing they had Steph Curry and bringing him off the bench one night and watching the other team meltdown like Chernobyl. With my inside players, I wanted to keep things steady while providing scoring options. I couldn't be happier with my squad when The Stranger Things kids figure out time travel in the new season first order of business is to save the planet. Next stop is gathering these two teams together for a champion of the universe title match.
G/F - Calbert Cheaney (Indiana)
G - Mike Bibby (Arizona)
F - Carmelo Anthony (Syracuse)
F/C - Anthony Davis (Kentucky)
F - Antwan Jamison (North Carolina)
As a single unit my bench is probably better in Coach Knight's system than my starters. Cheaney and Melo running off baseline screens. Jamison in the post screening, rebounding, and posting up with his quick feet and release on his scoop shot. Davis catching oops from Bibby and put backs from missed shots. Jamison on the boards and using his quickness to score inside.
I like what Aaron did with his bench as well. He compliments what his starters lacked...shooting. Glen Rice, Pistol Pete, and Rick Mount can all fill it up. Plus he gets the midrange game of May and Duncan with TD also helping on the boards and defensively. -JB
Cole Field House | Maryland
I'm a sucker for field houses and Cole Field House is at the top of my list as far as regretting not getting there for a game before it was renovated for football. I could check that off the bucket list in our fantasy world Dream Team game while getting the feel of an old, sweaty, hot, jam packed, rowdy gymnasium that would provide the home court advantage my team needs to win. It was tough picking against Hinkle Fieldhouse and Phog Allen but in the end for this type of game we needed a setting that no longer existed to add to the nostalgia. -JB
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