2009 NCAA Tournament Player Pool
So Wednesday, at 9 p.m. ET, we all logged into an AIM chat room for another form of basketball competition. We were going to draft NCAA Tournament players based on who would score the most points in the Big Dance. The setup was eight teams of eight players each, with awards for most points for a team and most points for a player.
And just to spice it up, we split the combatants down the middle, four from NBADraft.net, four from HoopsDaily.com. The contestants were NBADraft.net's Borko Popic, Brian Cerone, Adam Ganeles and Adi Joseph against HoopsDaily.com's Jon Pastuszek, Joshua Motenko and Mark Priaulx, and Aran Smith, the founder of both sites, who sided with HoopsDaily (to promote the interactive NBA news site).
Here was how the draft went down:
2. JP: Blake Griffin, No. 2 Oklahoma
3. JM: Jeff Teague, No. 4 Wake Forest
4. BC: Sam Young, No. 1 Pittsburgh
5. AG: Willie Warren, Oklahoma
6. AJ: Gerald Henderson, No. 2 Duke
7. MP: Tyreke Evans, No. 2 Memphis
8. AS: DeJuan Blair, Pittsburgh
9. AS: Wayne Ellington, North Carolina
10. MP: Jonny Flynn, No. 3 Syracuse
11. AJ: Toney Douglas, No. 5 Florida State
12. AG: Terrence Williams, No. 1 Louisville
13. BC: Jeff Adrien, No. 1 Connecticut
14. JM: Hasheem Thabeet, Connecticut
15. JP: A.J. Price, Connecticut
16. BP: Earl Clark, Louisville
17. BP: Kyle Singler, Duke
18. JP: Danny Green, North Carolina
19. JM: Ty Lawson, North Carolina
20. BC: Samardo Samuels, Louisville
21. AG: DeMarre Carroll, No. 3 Missouri
22. AJ: Kalin Lucas, No. 2 Michigan State
23. MP: Dante Cunningham, No. 3 Villanova
24. AS: Levance Fields, Pittsburgh
25. AS: Kemba Walker, Connecticut
26. MP: Scottie Reynolds, Villanova
27. AJ: DaSean Butler, No. 6 West Virginia
28. AG: James Anderson, No. 8 Oklahoma State
29. BC: Jon Scheyer, Duke
30. JM: James Harden, No. 6 Arizona State
31. JP: Alex Ruoff, West Virginia
32. BP: Sherron Collins, No. 3 Kansas
33. BP: Deon Thompson, North Carolina
34. JP: James Johnson, Wake Forest
35. JM: Jordan Hill, No. 12 Arizona
36. BC: Robert Dozier, Memphis
37. AG: Isaiah Thomas, No. 4 Washington
38. AJ: Robbie Hummel, No. 5 Purdue
39. MP: Eric Devendorf, Syracuse
40. AS: Josh Heytvelt, No. 4 Gonzaga
41. AS: Taylor Griffin, Oklahoma
42. MP: Shawn Taggart, Memphis
43. AJ: Eric Maynor, No. 11 Virginia Commonwealth
44. AG: Dionte Christmas, No. 11 Temple
45. BC: Chase Budinger, Arizona
46. JM: Antonio Anderson, Memphis
47. JP: Leo Lyons, Missouri
48. BP: Cole Aldrich, Kansas
49. BP: Jeff Pendergraph, Arizona State
50. JP: Matt Bouldin, Gonzaga
51. JM: Jeremy Pargo, Gonzaga
52. BC: Jon Brockman, Washington
53. AG: Corey Fisher, Villanova
54. AJ: Darren Collison, No. 6 UCLA
55. MP: Jerel McNeal, No. 6 Marquette
56. AS: DeMar DeRozan, No. 10 Southern Cal
57. AS: Al-Farouq Aminu, Wake Forest
58. MP: A.J. Abrams, No. 7 Texas
59. AJ: Gary Wilkinson, No. 11 Utah State
60. AG: Jerry Smith, Louisville
61. BC: Stanley Robinson, Connecticut
62. JM: Austin Daye, Gonzaga
63. JP: Jerome Randle, No. 7 California
64. BP: Raymar Morgan, Michigan State
JM: Teague, Thabeet, Lawson, Harden, Hill, Anderson, Pargo, Daye
MP: Evans, Flynn, Cunningham, Reynolds, Devendorf, Taggart, McNeal, Abrams
JP: B. Griffin, Price, Green, Ruoff, Johnson, Lyons, Bouldin, Randle
AS: Blair, Ellington, Fields, Walker, Heytvelt, T. Griffin, DeRozan, Aminu
BC: Young, Adrien, Samuels, Scheyer, Dozier, Budinger, Brockman, Robinson
AG: Warren, Williams, Carroll, Anderson, Thomas, Christmas, Fisher, Smith
AJ: Henderson, Douglas, Lucas, Butler, Hummel, Maynor, Collison, Wilkinson
BP: Hansbrough, Clark, Singler, Collins, Thompson, Aldrich, Pendergraph, Morgan
The top few picks were pretty obvious. No one picked outside of a top-4 seed until I went with Douglas in the second round.
In looking at the rosters, Motenko probably took the most risks. It's worth noting that he initially had not heard Lawson was definitely going to miss the first game when he made that pick, but we allowed him to rethink and he stuck with the North Carolina point guard. Staking his first pick on Teague was perhaps Motenko's biggest risk, especially with a blue-chipper from a No. 1 seed still available in Young.
Smith took some of the oddest selections on the board. Fields and Walker in the third and fourth rounds both seem like stretches to me. I'm guessing he could have waited on them. Additionally, Smith has a published bracket saying he believes Virginia Commonwealth will find its way into the Elite Eight, yet he didn't snatch up Maynor early, a curious move.
Pastuszek made a list but wasn't around for the live draft. I think his team turned out strong though, he's a clear contender with Griffin and Price alone. Interesting note: Price, Connecticut's leading scorer, was actually the third Huskie off the board.
Only one team selected two players who will play against each other in the first round: mine. My thought on taking Collison and Maynor was whoever wins that matchup will play three or four games, in my opinion, with big results. I basically covered my own back with the pick.
The worst team, in my mind? That would have to go to Ganeles. Warren was a reach in the first round, and Fisher and Smith were oddball choices late. But the biggest risk comes in the fact that Christmas and Anderson may each only play one game and probably no more than three.
Best pick of each round, based on position to pick from and player chosen (I didn't pick any of my own choices): FIRST: Young, SECOND: Price, THIRD: Cunningham, FOURTH: Harden, FIFTH: Thomas, SIXTH: Aldrich, SEVENTH: McNeal, EIGHTH: Aminu.
It's interesting that all five starters from North Carolina AND Connecticut were drafted, yet only three from Pittsburgh, the team that seems to be the most popular pick to win it all. Even Gonzaga had four starters represented.
Funniest comment of the night: Popic joked that if anyone drafts UCLA's Nicola Dragovic, he'd kill them. Dragovic, as expected, went undrafted.
Best players still available: Paul Harris of Syracuse, Josh Shipp of UCLA, Luke Nevill of Utah, Tyler Smith of Tennessee, Marcus Thornton of LSU, Trevor Booker of Clemson, Manny Harris of Michigan, Wesley Matthews of Marquette, E'Twaun Moore of Purdue, Tyrese Rice of Boston College, Greivis Vasquez of Maryland.
We'll be back after the first round of action with standings.
My friends and I do stuff like this all the time.
I have to say, Joshua Motenko's got the best team by far.
Keep up the good work!
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