Tuesday, 6 February 2007

My Answer in the Bag/Bilastrator Challenge

If you don't know what the Bag/Bilastrator challenge is, it doesn't matter. Check one of Grant Wahl from SI.com's columns or one of Jay Bilas' from ESPN. Anyway, a couple of weeks ago there was an interesting question posed, and I thought it might be interesting to take a crack at it. The question was:

You have selected your coach for one game, and must now select your team for that one game. You may choose any active collegian, but must select one freshman, one sophomore, one junior, and one senior, plus one wild-card selection to round out your starting lineup. You must also select one player to come off of your bench. Provide the reasons for each selection.

I obviously didn't select a coach, but here's my team:

Point Guard - Acie Law (Sr, Texas A&M) - I just live pretty much everything about Acie Law's game at this point. He's a very good 3-point shooter (45% this year), very good with the ball (2.12 A/TO), and plays very good defense. Plus, he just takes over at the end of games, as he definitely showed in the Kansas game. I picked Texas A&M for the Final Four before the season began, and Law is making me feel comfortable with that pick at this point.

Shooting Guard - Alando Tucker (Sr, Wisconsin) - Technically Tucker is more of a small forward, but I don't think he would have too much trouble switching over to 2 guard. He can score from the outside or by powering inside, and despite having the ball a lot, does not turn it over very often.

Small Forward - Kevin Durant (Fr, Texas) - The numbers are mind-blowing for anyone, let alone a freshman. 25.4 PPG and 11.6 RPG, and he's averaging over 30 PPG in conference play. Oh yeah, and he has 14 double-doubles this year, which is already a Texas record. He is not a great defensive player yet, but he's not awful. And his offensive ability makes up for any possible defensive liability. He can score in almost every way possible with equal effectiveness, and it shows in the numbers. Just a phenomenal player.

Power Forward - Julian Wright (So, Kansas) - The thing I like about Wright is that with all of his talent, he doesn't need to have the ball to be effective, which would be perfect for a team like this. He is extremely skilled, and can help offensively either through his high-percentage shooting or passing ability. He's a very solid rebounder, and contributes on the defensive end as well. He'd be a great fit for a talented team like this.

Center - Joakim Noah (Jr, Florida) - Noah is not a highly skilled offensive player right now, but his athleticism and hustle make him very solid and high-percentage offensively. But the hustle and athleticism helps most with rebounding and defense. Noah averages over 8 rebounds per game in only about 25 minutes a game, which is good. He also averages a couple of blocks. He's not as athletically skilled as his fellow frontcourt mate Al Horford, but his energy makes him the choice.

6th Man - Corey Brewer (Jr, Florida) - Brewer is the pick for the 6th man because of his versatility. He can guard multiple positions, and might be the best defensive wing player in the country. He's not exactly an offensive liability either, as he shoots a reasonably good percentage from outside, and just everything pretty solidly. Just a good all-around player and a great 6th man.

What would your team look like?