Everyone loves fantasy sports these days. Well, what if you had a chance to create your own team built on current college basketball players.
Now, it sounds easier said than done. But, you have to find the right blend of talent that can come together and help you make a run to the Final Four. Do you want an offensive-minded team? Do you want to be solid on the defensive end? Do you want to go small or have a bunch of bigs?
Regardless of what you want, it’s going to be tough to top the team comprised by this writer. But, come up with your own team, a starting five, five bench players and what coach you want. Feel free to leave your team in the comments section or tweet them to me at @uklefty22.
Point Guard – D’Angelo Russell, Ohio State
Give me a guy who can do it all at the point guard position. Russell is currently averaging 19.4 points per game, 5.6 rebounds and 5.2 assists. He provides an outside shooting threat that makes defenders think about having to guard him, while being a strong finisher in the lane. He’s currently averaging over five assists per game despite playing with lesser talent than the team he’ll be playing with here. Russell will be a more traditional point guard, looking to get others involved.
Shooting Guard – Jerian Grant, Notre Dame
For the shooting guard position, give me the experienced Jerian Grant. The senior provides a solid secondary ball handler in the starting five while also being a dynamite scorer. He’s currently averaging 17.3 points and 6.3 assists per game. If the team needs a shot late in the game, look for Grant to be the one stepping up. It’s going to be tough to press a team with Russell and Grant in the backcourt.
Small Forward – Stanley Johnson, Arizona
The uber-athletic freshman can play multiple positions and grab a double-double at any point. He’s currently putting up 14.5 points and seven rebounds a game with a body that allows him to guard four positions on the floor. He’s going to be the team’s best perimeter defender, allowing a press or trap to happen with his length and athleticism. Johnson is also a better shooter than people realize, hitting 39 percent from deep. He could end up being the MVP of this team.
Power Forward – Willie Cauley-Stein, Kentucky
The offense is set with Russell, Grant and Okafor. But now, good luck scoring on the duo of Johnson and Cauley-Stein. The 7’0” junior is an elite shot blocker who might be an even better athlete. He’s shown the ability to stick with point guards when there’s a ball screen and also bang with players in the post. The addition of Cauley-Stein allows this team to run different types of defenses and hide the weakness of Okafor defensively.
Center – Jahlil Okafor, Duke
He’s the best offensive post player in the country and has to be included on this team. With the all-star team around him, it makes it tougher for defenses to double on him in the post and would have to play him one-on-one.
Bench: Delon Wright (Guard, Utah), Devin Booker (Guard, Kentucky), Kelly Oubre, Jr. (Forward, Kansas) Kyle Wiltjer (Forward, Gonzaga) and Frank Kaminsky (Center, Wisconsin)
Coach: John Calipari, Kentucky
There aren’t many options for coaches who can handle an all-star team like the one comprised here, so give me the best one in the country. Calipari is used to handling ridiculously talented teams and could use a platoon system if needed. He’s had obvious success in the regular season and NCAA Tournament, so I’ll feel more than comfortable with him at the helm.