Friday, August 12, 2005


Alumni Teams

With nothing much to report, and little to comment on today (Pierce/Clippers rumor is like making out with that cock-teasing chick in college who ultimately wouldn’t give it up, hot and exciting but never done to completion), I thought I would mix things up a bit with a column dedicated to two of my loves, NCAA and NBA basketball.

As many of you know, I am a UConn grad/fan, and to an extent this posting is just showing off my school, so keep that in mind while you dismiss my rankings. While at school, my classmates and I often debated which group of assembled alumni in the NBA would have field the best team. Usually it was a discussion of the second best school, being the mid-nineties and North Carolina having easily the best team. Many schools have excellent players in the NBA, but few could field an entire roster (UNC comes the closest this year). Therefore, these rankings have almost as much to do with quantity as quality.

As such, for the purposes of these rankings, I am including only those teams that could field at least a starting team with a three-player bench. Players are judged in their current NBA condition (including this year’s draft picks, whose contributions will be lessened having not proven themselves yet), not their best years, college years, or future potential.

1. UConn
Starters: C-Okafor, PF- Marshall, SF- Allen, SG- Hamilton, PG- Gordon
Bench: F- Butler, F- Robinson, G- Ollie, F- Villanueva, C- Voskuhl

The NBA Huskies feature the best mid-range jumper in the NBA, the best fourth quarter scorer in the NBA, and the best pure jump shot in the NBA. Superior outside shooting vaults my beloved Huskies to the top of the alumni heap. Duke is bigger, UNC is deeper, Arizona is faster, Kansas has the best PG, but nobody can score like the ’05 NBA Huskies. Even the starting PF shoots 42% from three. Coached by Hall of Famer Jim Calhoun, who owns the venerable Coach K, and this team squeaks by a great Duke team.

2. Duke
Starters: C- Brand, PF- Boozer, SF- Deng, SG- Maggette, PG- Duhon
Bench: F- Hill, F- Battier, G- Ewing, F- Laettner, G- D. Jones, F- Randolph

Whereas the number one team is rather one dimensional, this team can do it all. Rebound, defense, score; the NBA Blue Devils is stacked with multi-dimensional players Brand, Deng, Hill and Maggette. A solid bench with most players in their natural positions, this team easily takes the second spot.

3. North Carolina
Starters: C- R. Wallace, PF- Jamison, SF- Carter, SG- Stackhouse, PG- McInnis
Bench: C- May, F- M. Williams, G- Felton, F- Lynch, C- Haywood, G- McCants

Lots of names on this team, just as many question marks. How can one school produce so many talented yet combustible players? The NBA Tarheels lose when Carter tells Maggette the last play of the game and he stuffs Stack as he comes off a screen.

4. Arizona
Starters: C- Woods, PF- Frye, SF- R. Jefferson, SG- Arenas, PG- Bibby
Bench: G- Iguodala, G- D. Stoudamire, G- S. Stoudamire, G- Terry

A thin frontcourt hurts the NBA Wildcats, but backcourt scoring makes up for lack of depth. This team beats the NBA Jayhawks when Iguodala comes off the bench and shuts down Pierce.

5. Kansas
Starters: C- LaFentz, PF- Collison, SF- Gooden, SG- Pierce, PG- Hinrich
Bench: C- Pollard, F- Simien, C- Ostertag, G- Vaughn

Solid lineup with good size and a very good point guard. A very thin bench and a lack of scoring hurt the NBA Jayhwaks.

Honorable Mention

Starters: C-Magloire, PF- Walker, SF- Prince, SG- Mercer, PG- Delk
Bench: F- Mashburn, C- Padgett, C- Mohammed, F- McCarty, G- Bogans, G- Daniels, C- Pope

Wake Forest
Starters: C- Duncan, PF- Songaila, SF- R. Rogers, SG- J. Howard, PG- Paul
No bench

Starters: C- Wilcox, PF- J. Smith, SF- Dixon, SG- Francis, PG- Blake
Bench: C- Massenburg, G- Profit

Starters: C- E. Thomas, PF- Warrick, SF- D. Brown, SG- Anthony, PG- Hart
No Bench

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