College basketball dream team: Our starting five of the 21st century
With U.S. Olympic basketball set to tip off on Saturday evening, it’s fun to try and put together dominant rosters capable of destroying any measly foes in their path. That’s what we’ll do here today -- but with a college twist.
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Starting in the year 2000 (because, well, if they were really the best ever, why wouldn’t the ’92 dream team simply take all five starting spots on an all-time college dream team?) we’ll fill out our college starting five of the 21st century.
Here we go.
MORE: NCAA in the Olympics
PG: Jimmer Fredette, BYU
Spoiler alert: I’ve assembled the greatest shooting team of all time. A long-range dynamo capable of wrecking defenses from the volleyball line, Fredette was one of the most entertaining offensive players we’ve ever seen at the college level.
As a senior, Fredette averaged 28.9 points per game and sunk a whopping 124 3-pointers. He attempted almost 10 3’s per game, and frankly, he probably should have taken more. Fredette shot 40 percent from distance in his senior year, but given the difficulty of some of his attempts, that figure sells him short.
Fredette was a four-year contributor for the Cougars, and he was a key player for BYU in his sophomore and junior years in addition to his epic senior season.
SG: Stephen Curry, Davidson
Curry has a splash brother playing with him in Oakland these days, but wow – imagine a backcourt of Curry and Fredette at the college level.
Curry’s college numbers resemble Fredette’s, but he was more well-rounded and more consistent. He averaged 25.3 points per game for his career, made 414 total 3’s and led an underdog Davidson squad to the Elite Eight in 2008. As magnificent as he is in the NBA, Curry was also a transcendent college player.
G: J.J. Redick, Duke
We’re rolling with the three-guard offense here, and this trio isn’t even fair. Redick led the NBA in 3-point percentage in 2015-16, and he first made a name for himself in his four years at Duke.
Redick never won a national championship in college, but he is the Blue Devils’ all-time leading scorer and won the Naismith Award in 2006. As a senior, he averaged 26.8 points per game and shot 42.1 percent from beyond the arc.
2005-06 was a banner year in college basketball, with Redick and Adam Morrison competing in one of the most tightly-contested Player of the Year battles we’ve ever seen. Speaking of Morrison…
PF: Adam Morrison, Gonzaga
Defense be darned. We’ll leave that to the center position, because there is no way you’re stopping this team on the other end.
As a junior in 2005-06, Morrison averaged 28.1 points and 5.5 rebounds per game for Mark Few’s Bulldogs. His efficiency, like his previous three fictional teammates, was off the charts; Morrison drained nearly half of his field goal attempts and shot 42.8 percent from deep. A three-year starter for Gonzaga, Morrison was outstanding as a sophomore, too, when he averaged 19.1 points per game on 49.8 percent shooting.
C: Emeka Okafor, Connecticut
We saved the defense for last. The Big East Player of the Year in 2004, Okafor averaged an absurd 4.3 blocks per game at Connecticut. He was no offensive dormant, either; Okafor averaged 17.6 points per game as a junior.
Okafor’s Huskies won the national championship in 2004, and he remains one of the most effective rim protectors we’ve ever seen in college basketball. On this fake college dream team, Okafor would have all the space in the world to work with on offense. On defense, let’s face it: he’d get a workout.
And that's just fine. He thrived in such a role at UConn. Okafor is the backbone of our 21st century college basketball dream team.