2014-2015 Season Preview: CBT’s College Basketball Draft

0 Comments
source:
Jahlil Okafor (AP Photo)

Over the weekend, the four writers for this website held our very own college basketball draft. The rules were simple: draft a 12-man college basketball team and pick the coach that you would want to lead that team through an entire season.

Before we get into each team, here is how the draft broke down:

1. Jahlil Okafor: He’ll be the focal point offensively for Duke, and given his size and skill set he’ll be productive. (Raphielle Johnson)
2. Marcus Paige: The best floor leader in the country can make big shots or find open teammates. (Scott Phillips)
3. Frank Kaminsky: A matchup nightmare for opposing big men with his ability to score inside and out. (Terrence Payne)
4. Georges Niang: the best offensive weapon in the country, the newly slimmed down Niang will nullify any size advantage on the other end. (Rob Dauster)
5. Sam Dekker: pairing Dekker and Niang at the forward spot basically makes my team unstoppable. (RD)
6. Delon Wright: One of the most productive perimeter players in the country (15.5 points, 6.8 boards, 5.3 assists, 2.5 steals per game) is expected to have another big season for the Utes. (TP)
7. Stanley Johnson: The Arizona wing fell this far? You guys are stupid. (SP)
8. Montrezl Harrell: He’s working to expand his game offensively, and his intensity makes him an incredibly tough matchup at the four. (RJ)
9. Fred Van Vleet: Impressive leader, and he’s also good when it comes to making plays for himself or his teammates. (RJ)
10. Karl Towns: Tremendous talent, can step out and make plays and has great natural size. With Johnson, Paige and Johnson, you guys are screwed. (SP)
11. Kelly Oubre: I’ll add some more depth to my perimeter, with a 6-foot-8 freshman who can get to the basket and is a capable 3-point shooter. (TP)
12. Marcus Foster: Foster is a straight-up beast. I’m not sure there is a more underrated player in the country right now. (RD)
13. Ron Baker: I know I’m loading up on wings right now, but I just love Baker’s ability to play and defend three different positions. He’ll take over for Aaron Craft as the guy that earns all the sportswriting cliches this season. His poise. He’s a winner. Plays the right way. (RD)
14. T.J. McConnell: Terrence, of course, is battling email issues. (TP)
15. Caris LeVert: Good luck defending Paige, LeVert and Johnson on the wing. My roster looks like an All-American team. (SP)
16. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson: His perimeter shot has improved, and good luck getting between him and the basket. (RJ)
17. Wayne Selden: Absolute steal in this spot. Game over. (RJ)
18. Cliff Alexander: My fifth pick is a deluxe rebounder, energy guy and an immensely entertaining power dunker. (SP)
19. Perry Ellis: This pick will give me an experienced, skilled front court. (TP)
20. Juwan Staten: Staten is so underrated. While you guys all load up on ‘brand name’ Big 12 player, I’ll snag a potential first-team all-american this late. To quote Raph, “an absolute steal”. (RD)
21. Buddy Hield: Fits the mold of my team to perfection. Tough perimeter defender, big time scorer on the wing. (RD)
22. Malcolm Brogdon: For everything he does on the floor, I think Brogdon is a steal here. (TP)
23. Chasson Randle, Stanford: To get the potential Pac-12 Player of the Year, who can play both guard spots, as my 6th man bodes well for my team. (SP)
24. Myles Turner: Sure, I’ll take a high-level freshman big. (RJ)
25. Joseph Young: Quick points off the bench, and he shoots good percentages too. (RJ)
26. Terran Petteway: Scoring wing is experienced and leads the scoring on my bench. (SP)
27. Willie Cauley-Stein: Always room for a 7-footer, who averaged almost 3.0 blocks per game, on my team. (TP)
28. Brandon Ashley: Another versatile forward to add to my arsenal. I’d love to know how a team with two seven-footers covers Georges Niang and Ashley. (RD)
29. Tyus Jones: A perfect compliment to Staten at the point. Jones is the ideal point guard for the uptempo style my team will play. Oh, and he’s a stud, too. (RD)
30. Treveon Graham: Matchup problem, will be productive scoring the ball and on the glass. (TP)
31. Tyler Haws: My bench scoring between Randle, Haws and Petteway is unreal. (SP)
32. Kaleb Tarczewski: Another big man never hurts, “Zeus” can defend and rebound, and his offensive skill set is coming along as well. (RJ)
33. Ryan Boatright: I think he’s underrated on the defensive end of the floor, especially considering how well he defended during the NCAA tournament. (RJ)
34. Trey Lyles: Somehow, the talented McDonald’s All-American is still here for me to take? My team is going to own this. (SP)
35. R.J. Hunter: One of the best shooters in the country at just under 40 percent from three last season. (TP)
36. Branden Dawson: With Ashley, Niang and Dekker on my front line right now, I need some toughness. No one’s tougher than Mr. Dawson. (RD)
37. Bobby Portis: He boards, he blocks shots, he can hit a mid-range jumper, he can play uptempo. The ideal big man for Team Dauster. (RD)
38. Jordan Mickey: Will add depth to the frontline after a solid freshman season. (TP)
39. Jonathan Holmes: My second unit would make a Sweet 16 my team is so good. (SP)
40. A.J. English: Going off the radar with this one for a guy who can play both on and off the basketball. Underrated nationally. (RJ)
41. Jordan Loveridge: He’s back playing his natural position after spending two years as an undersized four. Look out. (RJ)
42. Terry Rozier: Seriously, he made it to 42? My team is beyond stacked in the backcourt. (SP)
43. Monte Morris: Looking for another ball handler, so I’m going with a guy who rarely turned it over when he was out on the floor. (TP)
44. Shawn Long: Big enough to hold his own against the likes of Okafor and Towns. A rim protector. A three-point shooter. Perfect big to spread the floor for my 5-out, none-in offense. (RD)
45. D’Angelo Russell: He’s being slept on this preseason. Russell is a dynamic playmaker with range that will be Ohio State’s best player by December. (RD)
46. Alan Williams: Double-double machine. (TP)
47. Sam Thompson: Tremendous defender on the wing and can be a good role guy. (SP)
48. Jerian Grant: CHAMPIONSHIP. (RJ)

This is what each roster looks like, with a quick explanation from each GM as to why his team is the best.

RAPHIELLE’S TEAM:

G Fred Van Vleet (Wichita State)
G Jerian Grant (Notre Dame)
G Wayne Selden (Kansas)
PF Montrezl Harrell (Louisville)
C Jahlil Okafor (Duke)

Bench: Ryan Boatright (UConn), Joseph Young (Oregon), A.J. English (Iona), Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (Arizona), Jordan Loveridge (Utah), Myles Turner (Texas), Kaleb Tarczewski (Arizona)

Head coach: Mike Krzyzewski

There are multiple reasons why my team is the best. First off, they’re being led by a Hall of Famer who has four national titles to his credit not to mention his success running the United States men’s national team. Those experiences, and just being a great coach period, will certainly help Coach K in getting this roster to mesh. As for the players themselves, I think we’ve accounted for all possible issues here. Okafor can attract the attention of opposing teams on the low block, which will open things up for guys such as Grant, Selden and English as perimeter shooters. And we have multiple playmakers on the perimeter, beginning with Van Vleet and Boatright at the point. And the front four depth, with Tarczewski, Myles Turner and Montrezl Harrell on board, is in very good shape.

ROB’S TEAM:

G Tyus Jones (Duke)
G Marcus Foster (Kansas State)
F Sam Dekker (Wisconsin)
F Georges Niang (Iowa State)
F Brandon Ashley (Arizona)

Bench: Juwan Staten (West Virginia), D’angelo Russell (Ohio State), Ron Baker (Wichita State), Buddy Hield (Oklahoma), Branden Dawson (Michigan State), Bobby Portis (Arkansas), Shawn Long (Louisiana)

Head Coach: Fred Hoiberg

When you’re drafting teams like these, you have to keep the coach and the system that they run in mind. Fred Hoiberg like to play uptempo basketball, playing four or five players on the perimeters in half court offense. That creates space and mismatches, particularly for the big men on the roster. That’s what my roster takes into account, and it’s why my back court is loaded with talented play makers with three-point range and why everyone in my front court can do at least two of the following three things: hit jumpers, beat slower big men up and down the floor and protect the rim defensively. We might not get a ton of stops, but good luck trying to play at our pace.

SCOTT’S TEAM:

G Marcus Paige (North Carolina)
G Caris LeVert (Michigan)
F Stanley Johnson (Arizona)
F Cliff Alexander (Kansas)
C Karl Towns (Kentucky)

Bench: Chasson Randle (Stanford), Terry Rozier (Louisville), Tyler Haws (BYU), Terran Petteway (Nebraska), Sam Thompson (Ohio State), Johnathan Holmes (Texas), Trey Lyles (Kentucky)

Head Coach: Tom Izzo

My team is easily the most talented team in the draft and you can just look at all of the scoring options and lineup variables my team has and they’re unstoppable. Marcus Paige is the best floor leader in the country, backed up by a NBA prospect in Terry Rozier and Caris LeVert, Chasson Randle and Tyler Haws all do different things well while scoring at a high level. Stanley Johnson Terran Petteway and Sam Thompson are three competitive wings that can get stops or create from the perimeter. Cliff Alexander and Trey Lyles are both active on the glass and talented enough to score in double figures on their own and Karl Towns is a monster down low and Jonathan Holmes provides additional depth.

This team is stacked and can score with the best of them. They compliment each other skill wise. They’re deep and can shoot. With Tom Izzo coaching, it’s over.

TERRENCE’S TEAM:

G T.J. McConnell (Arizona)
G Malcolm Brogdon (Virginia)
F Delon Wright (Utah)
F Frank Kaminsky (Wisconsin)
C Willie Cauley-Stein (Kentucky)

Bench: Monte’ Morris (Iowa State), R.J. Hunter (Georgia State), Treveon Graham (VCU), Kelly Oubre (Kansas), Alan Williams (UCSB), Jordan Mickey (LSU), Perry Ellis (Kansas)

Head Coach: Billy Donovan

Coaching my fictional all-star team is Billy Donovan, a future Hall of Famer who, given his track record, is more than capable of coaching a team as deep and as talented as this one. As far as the roster, I went with a lot upperclassmen (five seniors, three juniors). Frank Kaminsky will continue to be an offensive mismatch, but to make up for his defensive limitations I paired him with another 7-footer, Willie Cauley-Stein. In the back court, I have the steady veteran T.J. McConnell handling the rock, matched him playmaking Delon Wright and the all-around game of Malcolm Brogdon. I’ll plenty of key reserves to with R.J. Hunter, Treveon Graham and Kelly Oubre among others.