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College Basketball’s Dream Team

Jul 25, 2012, 1:00 PM EDT

Final Four - Ohio State v Kansas Getty Images

With the Olympics right around the corner, we got to thinking about what a college Dream Team would look like. So, through a thorough and strenuous email conversation that took way too long to complete, Raphielle Johnson and myself put together a 12 man roster that we believe would be the best that college hoops can produce. Agreements? Disagreements? Why are we morons? We love the feedback.

Point Guard: Aaron Craft, Ohio State: Going with the best defensive point guard as the starter, given the fact that this group has enough offensive ability to flourish with Craft running the show. He’s a pest defensively, which can prove to be problematic for many teams. Craft averaged 4.6 assists and 2.5 steals per game for Ohio State last season, and while he may not be a great perimeter shooter the rising junior did shoot 50% from the field overall. – RJ

Shooting Guard: Isaiah Canaan, Murray State: Canaan gets the start at off-guard thanks to his ability to shoot the basketball. The 6-foot-0 combo-guard averaged 19.2 points during an all-american campaign as a junior, knocking down 45.6% of his threes — while taking 6.5 per game — despite being the focal point of every defensive game plan the Racers faced. His size is a bit of a concern defensively, but it is nullified a bit by the number of quality defenders in the starting lineup. – RD

Small Forward: Mike Moser, UNLV: Moser gets the start thanks to his versatility. A 6-foot-9 forward, Moser can rebound the ball, he can make plays defensively and he can help keep the floor spread with his ability to shoot. It also helps that he will be able to play multiple positions, giving more versatility to the lineup. – RD
Power Forward: Cody Zeller, Indiana: Zeller is the best low-post scorer in the country. It’s that simple. He also runs the floor extremely well for a player his size. Zeller’s presence will be the most effective when he slides over to the center spot and a guy like Doug McDermott is at the four. Imagine a lineup of Craft, Canaan, Moser and McDermott playing around Zeller. Who do you help off of? Do you allow Zeller to go one-on-one on the block? That’s scary. – RD
Center: Nerlens Noel, Kentucky: Noel may not have played a collegiate game yet but it’s impossible to deny his talent. Noel’s a mobile shot-blocker who should be fine defensively when involved in pick and roll situations, which has become more commonplace in the international game in recent years. Offensively he’s not at the stage where you make him the focal point of the offense, but Noel is plenty talented enough to cause some issues. And with the likes of Canaan and Moser, not being a dominant offensive big man isn’t a problem. – RJ
Bench:
  • CJ McCollum, Lehigh: McCollum provides depth at both guard positions, given his ability to operate either with or without the ball in his hands. His ability to apply pressure to defenses off the dribble (McCollum ranked 9th nationally in free throw attempts) will definitely help off the bench, and he’s a very good rebounder for his position as well. – RJ
  • Doug McDermott, Creighton: McDermott has a skill set that should fit well with the international game. Versatility tends to serve teams well on the international level, and when you can use a player of McDermott’s caliber in a variety of roles (it can be argued that he should be starting) that’s a positive. – RJ
  • Solomon Hill, Arizona: Hill may be underrated nationally due to the Wildcats’ inconsistent 2011-12 campaign, but his versatility makes the rising senior a good fit for the international game. Hill averaged 12.9 points and 7.7 rebounds per game last season, shooting 50% from the field and nearly 39% from three. – RJ
  • Tony Mitchell, North Texas: We went with Mitchell over Mason Plumlee as a last minute decision for three reasons: 1) his ability to step out and hit a three; 2) he’s a better shot blocker; and 3) he’s not a Plumlee. – RD
  • Patric Young, Florida: Young is a freak athlete, the kind of guy that will be always be the best leaper and strongest player on the floor during an international tournament. Combine that with the effort he gives on a possession-by-possession basis, and his inclusion was a no-brainer. – RD
  • Allen Crabbe, Cal: Crabbe made the roster because we were looking for someone with size and the ability to shoot that can play the two. One thing that became painfully obvious is that there are not a lot of big guards in college hoops this season.
  • Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA: Muhammad may not have played a college basketball game yet, but he’s simply too talented to leave off of this team. His ability to slash and attack the rim will be valuable on a roster that has a number of jump-shooters. A back court pairing of Muhammad and McCollum will be fun to watch. – RD

Coach: Rick Pitino, Louisville: I just think that this roster looks like a Rick Pitino roster. A lot of shooters. A lot of small guards. A lot of athletes and shot blockers up front. I can see this team giving people fits with a 2-2-1 full court press. – RD

Final Cuts: Trey Burke, Michigan; Adonis Thomas, Memphis; Mason Plumlee, Duke; Jamal Franklin, SDSU; DeShaun Thomas, Ohio State; James Michael McAdoo, North Carolina; Wayne Blackshear, Louisville.

  1. imforbigblue - Jul 25, 2012 at 1:50 PM

    Wow I was with you till you said slick Rick as the head coach…wow you have no clue. Coach Cal is twice as good I’d take Roy at unc or Bill self at KU also or Thad Matta from OSU or crapy slick rick

  2. jthammerstix - Jul 25, 2012 at 3:06 PM

    Glad you picked pitino. Cal couldn’t coach the dominican team against Lithuania.

  3. imforbigblue - Jul 26, 2012 at 8:42 AM

    Wow just another cal hater that’s has no clue what there talking a about. Cal took the DR team and win more games and taken them further than they have been in years but your right he can’t coach. Your boy slick Rick hasn’t beaten cal yet since he’s been at UK and knocked his ass out last year in the FF on his way to a title. How many titles does slick Rick have at loserville?

  4. vikes69 - Jul 26, 2012 at 1:29 PM

    shaka smart has done wonders with VCU imagine what he could do with this roster

  5. hondo30 - Jul 26, 2012 at 11:26 PM

    HAHA big blue is mad. quit hatin dude…Rick pitno brung uk from the gutters. he put together the best team of ALL TIME, 96…he is a great coach…because cal pimps out college basketball with world wide wes don’t put him down as better than pitino. i was starting to wonder about him not winning the big one with the best players year in and year out. he won’t even make the hall of fame with 2 vacated seasons…Pitino is a genius when it comes to college basketball

  6. jwill26601 - Aug 1, 2012 at 9:37 AM

    I can’t say I would change a thing. You have the right players at every position and Pitino is definitely the best game time coach in college basketball.

  7. mic4miz - Aug 3, 2012 at 8:58 PM

    Phil Pressey is the best point guard in the country

  8. jcnava15 - Aug 5, 2012 at 1:10 PM

    Really though, Peyton Siva is the best point guard in college basketball.

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