A lot has been made of the 2015 Kentucky team. On paper, they are the most talented team that college basketball has ever seen – and may be the best it will ever see. On the court, the story doesn’t change. These dudes are big, scary, talented, and most importantly… confident.
Will they go undefeated? What does a team need to do to top them? Could any team in history have beaten them?
These questions all have great validity. But instead of questioning which team in history could top these guys, I want to explore which set of 5 players from the last 10 years that I would take over ANY team, including this year’s UK squad, come March.
Imagine you’re at Rucker Park with every single player that has come through the NCAA tournament in the last 10 years. Think about all of the NBA All-Stars in attendance, the future Hall of Famers you could choose from, and the March Legends from no-name schools that have paved a way into your memory forever.
Now pick your 5 that you have to win the next six games with. What does your team look like?
I chose guys that are a part of a “different breed”. Forget talent, my squad knows what it takes to get it done in March and they aren’t scared of anybody. Give me this starting five over ANYONE…
PG – Kemba Walker
Kemba is a stone-cold killer come March. We all remember the incredible run of 2011, the crossover that won the Big East championship, and the willpower to lead a low-seeded UCONN team to the top spot. While Kemba is not the most talented PG available at the park, he’s a March Legend. It doesn’t matter when, where, or how, he wins.
SG – Steph Curry
SF – Draymond Green
Growing up a die-hard Sparty fan, I had to throw at least one Izzo guy into the mix. Day Day took the Spartans to two Final Fours and single-handedly lead the 2011-2012 MSU team to the Sweet Sixteen. In March, the teams that win always have a glue guy. Draymond embodies what it means to be a team player and an essential locker room influence.
PF – Anthony Davis
Of course, I couldn’t just fill my team with heart, hustle, and muscle. In order to knock off the field, my team had to feature a straight up stud. With all the hype focused on the 2015 Wildcats, people are quick to forget about the 2012 Kentucky team that suffered its only loss of the year on a ridiculous buzzer-beater. In just one year of college, the Brow had the ability to dominate anybody that challenged him. With Davis in the middle, there is almost no stopping this 5.
C – Joakim Noah
I HATED Jo back in 06/07. Like all non-Florida fans, I hated Joakim for his style of play and his loud mouth. But, there is no denying how successful that demeanor made those Florida teams. One ring is hard to come by in March, but TWO rings are almost impossible. Every championship team has an identity. With Jo, personality is the last thing you need to worry about. He not only is a part of the “Different breed”, he defines it. Give me Jo every day of the week, twice on Sundays.
When it comes to basketball in March, talent is trumped by heart. All five of these guys simply don’t give a s**t who they play, they know they are going to win.
Whose in your 5?
Reblogged this on Jim Watts.
Loved this piece and agree with all picks. The only other person I might add is Shabazz Napier, who was UConn’s “refuse to lose” player last year.