Husky All-Time "Pace & Space" Team

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I admit I like modern “pace & space” ball. It got me thinking... if I was a coach and I could draft any UConn players for one year and one tournament who would they be? This isn’t my all-time team… it’s a very specific team building exercise.

Here are my initial requirements. At guard, I want two dribble drive players who can break down a defense and also hit threes. On the wings, I want versatile 3 point shooters. At center, I don’t need scoring. In fact, in this offense I want the best pick and roll player who will get defensive rebounds and block shots.

These are my picks. At guard, I’m choosing Kemba (Jr. Year) and Shabazz (Sr. Year) with Ben Gordon (Jr.) coming in a very close third. Why Shabazz over Ben? Ben was actually the better 3 point % shooter but Shabazz is one of the best in UConn history at getting to the line (6 per game) and hitting free throws (81%). In addition, Shabazz was a consistently better passer, rebounder, defensive player and clutch scorer.

At wing, my first reaction is I can’t believe I’d bring Rip Hamilton off the bench but here are my thoughts. Ray (Jr.) was actually a very good rebounder for a wing averaging 6.5 rebounds. Kemba and Shabazz were great rebounders for guards. That allows me to take the most versatile forward I can and by a hair it would be Caron (So) over Donyell (Jr.). Donyell in my mind was the better overall player but as I mentioned I want the best possible spacing and Caron can shoot from deep (40%), pass (3 apg) and still get to the line (6 per game).

At center, things get much muddier and while Donyell could probably play center in the modern game, I think I want Drummond over Okafur. That may sound crazy because Okafur was a better post player, defender, rebounder, shot blocker and free throw shooter. In fact, Okafur was a better basketball player period. So why Drummond? I want him for only two reasons. I want him to rebound and I want him to convert crazy from out-of-nowhere dunks either off the pick and roll or on offensive put-backs. I’m not worried about his FT shooting either because he is never going to touch the ball except when he isn’t flushing it. In other words, I see Andre as a Dwight Howard clone except Drummond will never be featured. In fact, he will be playing with so many alpha dogs, he will do exactly as he’s told.

As for a second team… while I don’t like the spacing nearly as much, I’d go with Marcus Williams (over AJ), Ben Gordon, Rip, Donyell and Emeka.
 
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As far as Drummond over Okafor I guess you have to be talking post-UConn right? No one in their right mind would take Andre's freshman year over Okafor's senior year and I would think we would want any all-time team to be in regards to their UConn career?
 
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