College Basketball: Picking the 2012-13 Dream Team
Dream Team: A team built and described differently by every fan in the country. Some people want the best scorers on their team, others want the biggest and most athletic. Others think their team is a "Dream Team" in its own right.
For college basketball in 2012-13, selecting a dream team can be entertaining. There are so many options to choose from, from a team loaded with scorers to a team loaded with freshmen, every team has its perks and its downfalls.
My dream team consists of players that compliment each other. It isn't compiled with top scorers at each position, and it certainly doesn't consist of the biggest and most athletic players in college basketball.
They are players that can be argued to be the best at their position, but they are far from the undisputed best (...except one).
You'll see that these players are ones that have solidified themselves among college basketball's elite. Freshmen are volatile and haven't proven their worth just yet.
Here are my picks for a college basketball dream team.
Point Guard: Aaron Craft
This isn't the prettiest picture of Aaron Craft, but it shows why he's the starting point guard on my team: toughness and defense.
Sure, there are other great point guards in college basketball next season. But Craft is the best defender of the bunch, and his offense isn't shabby. A point guard that plays stellar defense and minimizes turnovers on offense is the one I want.
If you're looking for a "team first" point guard, look no further than Craft.
Shooting Guard: C.J. McCollum
Shooting guards shoot.
That's what made this pick so difficult—there are so many great options to choose from.
But C.J. McCollum is a safe pick. He's one of the best scorers in the country (21.9 points per game last year) and he has big-game experience. Just ask Duke.
McCollum and Aaron Craft in the backcourt would be terrors on offense and defense—McCollum averaged 2.6 steals per game last year, Craft averaged 2.4.
Don't forget McCollum's 6.5 rebounds per game. He's a do-it-all guard, and that's why he is on my dream team.
Small Forward: Doug McDermott
If C.J. McCollum is having an off night, expect this guy to step up.
Doug McDermott is another great scorer, but his three-point shooting is what places him on this list. McDermott shot 49.5 percent from beyond the arc last season—and he shot over three per game.
At Creighton, McDermott is asked to play the post quite often—evident in his 8.2 rebounds per game. But he's constantly active on offense. He has a great basketball IQ, and he's no slouch defensively.
McDermott is the long-range bomber for this team of college basketball superstars.
Power Forward: James Michael McAdoo
Power forward was far and away the toughest position to select for this team.
I was looking for a tough, athletic defender with a solid enough post game for teams to respect. Jack Cooley, Tony Mitchell, Mike Moser and Andre Roberson were all considered, and all are deserving.
James Michael McAdoo gets the nod because he's the best "hybrid" of the bunch. He can defend athletic small forwards and he has the strength to battle bigger players down low. Roberson also fits this description—but McAdoo is two inches taller.
McAdoo is the most unproven player in my starting five, but he showed signs of his incredible upside last year.
Center: Cody Zeller
Cody Zeller: the most coveted player in college basketball, according to coaches around the country (CBSSports.com).
And it wasn't even close.
Zeller was the easiest selection on this list. Jeff Withey would probably get the nod if this were an all-defense team, but alas, you've got to put the ball in the hoop.
Zeller is a perfect compliment to McAdoo down low. McAdoo doesn't have the most polished post game, but Zeller boasts one of the best. He averaged 15.6 points per game last season as a freshman, and he shot over 62 percent from the field.
If I had one bone to pick with Zeller, it would be his assertiveness. But that's a very small crack in Zeller's game. He could be the best all-around player in basketball next year.
Bench (Backcourt): Lorenzo Brown
Point guard, like power forward, is a very deep position in college basketball next season. Lorenzo Brown gets the nod over guys like Peyton Siva, Matthew Dellavedova and Phil Pressey because his all-around game is one of the best in the country.
Let's look at his stats from last season: 12.7 points per game, 4.5 rebounds per game and 6.3 assists per game. He's not a dominant scorer, but he's a gamer. The best way to describe what Brown does is simple: He gets the job done.
Brown's versatility to play either guard position (he's 6'5") makes him an excellent backcourt option off of the bench.
Bench (Wing): Shabazz Muhammad
Shabazz Muhammad isn't proven. No one knows whether or not he'll be a "team player," one of the ambiguous requirements of making this dream team.
But at the very least he's a spark off of the bench. His scoring can be electric. He's a highlight reel waiting to happen. At 6'6", 215 pounds, I'd like to think he can hold his own against other wings at the college level.
In the aforementioned CBSSports.com article, it was Muhammad who finished second to Cody Zeller as the most coveted player in college basketball. He hasn't played a single game.
Offense off of the bench would be dominated by Muhammad and his superior slashing ability.
Bench (Frontcourt): Andre Roberson
Andre Roberson gets the nod here. He's smaller than James Michael McAdoo, but he can play the post, and he's one of the best rebounders in the nation (he averaged 11.1 per game last season).
For this position, I also considered two big men coming off medical redshirt seasons from 2011-12: Trevor Mbakwe of Minnesota and Laurence Bowers of Missouri. Both were great two years ago, but their injuries have me skeptical.
Roberson is a safe pick. He's energetic, rebounds everything and has an emerging offensive game. He'd be a spark off of the bench, and his length allows him to guard almost any player at the collegiate level.