1992 Olympic Dream Team: College Players Only
The 1992 Dream Team was the best basketball team ever. We finally got to send pro's and we sent some of our best ever, including possibly the 3 best ever in Jordan, Magic, and Bird. The team was loaded with 11 awesome pro's (many in their prime) and a lone collegian.
I was thinking, what if the 1992 Olympic basketball team fielded a roster made up solely of college players? How good could we have been? Well, I figured it out and I think we still would have had one of our greatest Olympic teams ever. ESPECIALLY INSIDE.
PG Bobby Hurley -- a prototype, pass-first point guard. Great leader and winner.
SG Penny Hardaway -- one of the best college players and could play either guard spot. Great passer and athlete.
SF Jamal Mashburn -- a one man wrecking machine at Kentucky. Could score, shoot, and rebound at the small forward spot but could also play some power forward. Completes an ideal starting perimeter rotation.
PF Christian Laettner -- versatile, multi-talented big man would have a size advantage at the 4. A 6'11 big man who could also play some center. Also the college teammate of starting lead guard Bobby Hurley.
C Shaquille O'Neal -- I am convinced they left him off the Dream Team since he would have overshadowed David Robinson and Patrick Ewing. Heck, he might have been better than Sir Charles and Magic. Would have destroyed everything in his path on the way to the gold.
PG Nick Van Exel -- a really quick player who can score in bunches. Streaky, but a guy with a ton of range.
SG Alan Houston -- another really good scorer who can also shoot well from outside. Decent size too.
SF Grant Hill -- a great all-around swing man and the perfect backup to Jamal Mashburn.
PF Chris Webber -- strong, multi-dimensional power forward who can score, dunk, rebound, run the floor, and block shots. He can handle the ball like a guard and also play some center.
C Alonzo Mourning -- Great big man with even more skills as a shot blocker, intimidator, and low post defender than Shaq.
SG Calbert Cheaney -- good player with solid fundamentals gives the Dream Team an ideal utility guy off the bench.
PF Tom Gugliotta -- 6'10 power forward from NC State who can score and rebound. A perfect fifth big man for this roster.
That team right there is loaded. One of the best teams inside that the USA has fielded, with college guys or pros. Great, inventive point guard play too with even more passers/ball handlers at the forward spots in Grant Hill and Chris Webber. Players left off this team include high scoring Jimmy Jackson from Ohio State, LaPhonso Ellis out of Notre Dame, the Alabama duo of Latrell Sprewell and Robert Horry, along with Fab Five members Juwan Howard and Jalen Rose.
Those players at their time in college aren't on the same level as the best professionals in the world that have been playing in the Olympics for the past 20 years... Not one of the best teams fielded for that reason
i don't think they would have done nearly what the dream team did, however i think they would have probably still won gold.
They would have won gold easily.
I feel like if this team had actually been created in 1992 it would have been very difficult to leave off Walt Williams coming off a season with Maryland where he averaged 26.8 PPG and I know you mention Jim Jackson as a snub but there is little reason to leave off a two time consensus first team All-American in favor of some of those underclassmen.
Croatia, Russia and Lithuania had pretty good teams back then. On name value alone that team wins easily but you have to remember they were like 20/21 year old kids at this stage and nowhere near their respective primes and all were used to being the man on their college teams so it would have been interesting to see how they would have played together. They may very well have won but to say it would be a cakewalk is stupid.