As the dawn of a new season nears, my anticipation for college basketball is reaching insatiable levels. I’ve read more team blogs the last month than I have the last five years. The Big East can’t get here soon enough.
In the midst of quenching my basketball thirst on basketball-reference, the bible for hoops junkies, I noticed Marquette almost has enough NBA players to form its own team. It would be the smallest team in the history of the NBA, but whatever.
No, not whatever. I started to imagine what players are closely related to Marquette enough, whether through conference affiliation or Wisconsin residency, to fill out the roster.
That’s when it hit me. Instead of making it Marquette-centric, why not expand a bit and open it up to the Big East. And no, not the Big East of last year, but the current conference with Butler, Xavier and Creighton. Hence, this blog post.
Let’s preface it with a giant disclaimer and some rules before it becomes the Wil Wild West with dissent.
Disclaimer: Paint Touches is in no way liable for making “dumb” choices. If David Kahn could be employed as a real GM for more than 35 minutes, then we can be arbiters of a hypothetical NBA team comprised of Big East players. In other words, don’t take it personally that we left off your favorite player, we don’t have it out against you.
1) Players must currently have an NBA contract. In other words, having played in the NBA last season isn’t enough to be eligible. That means no Darius Johnson-Odom or Lazar Hayward from Marquette as they are not currently under contract with any team. That does mean Otto Porter (Georgetown) and Dwight Buycks (Marquette) are eligible even though they have yet to play one minute.
2) Players are chosen at their current level. In other words, if you are to pick Dwyane Wade, you are getting 2013 sidekick Wade, not 2006 Finals MVP DWade.
3) There are 15 players per roster, with only 13 eligible to dress, not that they are actually playing for anything.
4) The player in question is not required to have played in the Big East himself. Obviously none of the new members would be eligible then, and that would kind of ruin this whole diddy.
5) While strict position requirements aren’t enforced, we do try to assemble a complete roster so that we don’t end up with 12 SG 1 PG and 2 C. Again, no David Kahning it up.
6) There are a few players who are currently not under contract that might get one in the next month or so. Those players weren’t included. To check the current status of a player, be sure to visit this phenomenal database of destinations of over 4,000 players.
Before we reveal our list, we do want to encourage audience participation. If you think we’re idiots for putting player x over player y, drop us a comment or tweet us @PaintTouches. If you think you have a better roster, in its entirety, don’t hesitate to say so and back up your talk. If we get enough responses we can create a separate post with other entries.
Here are the nominees.
Seton Hall: Samuel Dalembert C
Here are the picks:
PG- Kyle Lowry
SG- Dwyane Wade
SF- Gordon Hayward
PF- David West
C- Roy Hibbert
PG- Shelvin Mack
SG- Kyle Korver
SF/SG- Jeff Green
PF- Dante Cunningham
C- Greg Monroe
SF/PF- Metta World Peace
C- Samuel Dalembert
-Three of the five starting spots were no brainers. Roy Hibbert is a top-3 center in the league and Dwayne Wade is still a top-3 shooting guard, injuries and all. Kyle Lowry isn’t a top-5 point guard, taking a step back last season in Toronto, but there is a severe lack of depth at the position in our hypothetical team. He wins by a mile.
-Power forward wasn’t quite as cut and dry as Dante Cunningham has been overlooked in Minnesota, but David West brings a toughness that isn’t matched by anyone else. He can hit from a myriad of places and is a great rebounder. Coming from a Bulls fan, that Indiana frontcourt is something fierce.
-The small forward position is almost impossible to fill for this team. There are simply too many quality choices between Jeff Green, Jimmy Butler and Gordon Hayward. Hayward won out simply because he’s statistically the best shooter of the three, particularly from 3-point range, an attribute lacking with the starters.
-As for the bench, ideally you’d want to have three point guards on the roster, but there wasn’t enough quality to justify putting a third one on. Even Shelvin Mack, he of the 3.9 point, 2.1 assist career average is pushing it.
-Kyle Korver made the roster as the designated bomber over someone like Steve Novak because he has shown more on the defensive end and can somewhat create his own shot. Novak is deadly when he’s left open, but doesn’t do much else, not that being the best shooter on the planet is a bad thing.
-Butler and Green give you so much flexibility on the floor, reliably playing anywhere from the 2 to 4 spot. They preformed admirably in the playoffs as well and have yet to hit their peak. Sign me up.
-Greg Monroe nearly averaged 16 and 10 last season. Case closed.
-As for the two extra roster spots, I felt this team could use a few more decorated veterans with some size. World Peace is way past his prime but he could be a great defensive resource. Samuel Dalembert, well, you can never have enough big bodies.