Sunday, March 10, 2013

Big Ten All-Star Team

Every year around this time, each league selects their all-conference teams.  Most of the time it consists of a 1st, 2nd and 3rd team.  I decided to construct one, but with a slightly different take.  I made a Big Ten all-star team with the idea in mind that they would actually have to play someone.

The following team doesn't necessarily reflect who I think should be on the traditional all-conference team.  Instead I placed importance on what players would play well together, thus, forming the best team.  Anyway, here is the squad:

Starting 5

PG - Trey Burke 6'0"Michigan: Easy choice here.  Burke is not only the best point guard in the country, but he might win the Wooden Award.  Outstanding facilitator (6.9 APG), scorer (19.1 PPG on 49.2% shooting) and defender. 

SG - Gary Harris 6'4" Michigan State: Harris has turned into one of the most reliable 3-point shooters in the B1G (47.1% in conference play), and he is also one of the better on-the-ball defenders.  He would help make Burke's job a lot easier.

SF - Victor Oladipo 6'5" Indiana: In my opinion, Oladipo is the best overall player in the country.  He is probably the most explosive athlete in college basketball, a great defender, a killer offensively (63.1% from the field!), and a reliable shooter (49.1% from 3).  Game-changer is the best adjective I can think of describe Oladipo.

PF - Deshaun Thomas 6'7" Ohio State: Thomas is arguably the best natural scorer in the conference.  He would get a ton of open looks in this lineup, and his shooting percentages would go way up.  Thomas has also improved his defense greatly, even though it isn't close to being a strength.

C - Trevor Mbakwe 6'8" Minnesota: Most would put Zeller here, but I don't think he is what this lineup needs.  The combination of Burke, Harris, Oladipo and Thomas wouldn't need any help scoring, but what every team can use is a dominate physical presence down low (8.7 RPG and 1.5 BPG).  Not to mention, he owned Zeller a week and a half ago. 

Bench

PG - Aaron Craft 6'2" Ohio State: Again, this team won't need a lot of scoring.  However, having the best defensive player in the country wouldn't hurt any team.

SG - Brandon Paul 6'4" Illinois: Paul has had a nice career with Illinois, even though they really haven't won anything while he's been there.  If the team needed a big shot, Paul could really help out nicely. 

SF - Tim Hardaway Jr. 6'5" Michigan: Michigan:Streaky shooter and player, but he can really fill it up when he gets hot.  Good player, and will be a pro very soon. 

PF - Adreian Payne 6'10" Michigan State: What's not to like about Payne?  He has length (7'4" wingspan), he can shoot (44.4% from 3 and 81.7% from the line), he can defend (1.2 BPG), and he can rebound (7.6 RPG).

C - Cody Zeller 6'11" Indiana: If you can't tell by the "2nd team," the Big Ten is pretty good.  Zeller might be the B1G's best pro prospect, and he is really a crafty scorer in the post.  He would provide a great lift as the team's 6th man. 

Mop-up guys

PG - Jordan Hulls 6'0" Indiana: Senior who is a great team-guy and a knock down shooter.  Might be nice to have a the end of the game when the opposing team is fouling.

PF - Christian Watford 6'9" Indiana: Too good of a player to be left off of the team.

C - Jared Berggren 6'10" Wisconsin: Can't hurt to have a another great defender (2 BPG) who happens to be a big body and a senior. 

Closing thoughts

If you happen to be a fan of another conference, this team would slaughter your all-star team.  A lot of NBA prospects on this team, and a ton of versatility.  If they were playing a team with a lot of length, Payne and Zeller would step in and play more minutes than Thomas and Mbakwe.  Conversely, this team would have the ability to go small, as well. 

Good day. 

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