The one-and-done rule. Some love it, some hate it, others want it slightly modified. Some call for a two or three year commitment to college. What if players were required to stay in college all four years? What would this past season have looked like?
Our college basketball experts here at Otto’s Grove took a look at projected lineups and determined a top eight – assuming no transfers, injuries, or early NBA entries. These lineups are a mixture of starting the five best players and piecing the five positions together. Was your team snubbed? Is someone starting who shouldn’t be? Is your team ranked too low? Let us know in the comments below and join our discussion in the forum!
I’m not sure how these five would play together, but I know they would score a lot of points. The only potential issue I see is a lot of ball-dominant players. Would there be enough shots to go around? Who knows, but it would sure be fun to see this group play together:
PG DeAndre Kane, 6-4, Sr.; F Dustin Hogue, 6-6, So.; F Melvin Ejim, 6-6, Sr.; F Royce White, 6-8, Sr.; PF Georges Niang, 6-7, So.
2013 national champion Louisville could have returned the entire team minus Peyton Siva. A recovery setback for Kevin Ware, transfer by Chane Behanan, and NBA entry by Gorgui Dieng greatly reduced the Cardinals back-to-back title hopes. Nothing very exciting here, just another very good Rick Pitino team:
PG Russ Smith, 6-0, Sr.; SG Luke Hancock, 6-6, Sr.; SF Wayne Blackshear, 6-5, Jr.; PF Montrezl Harrell, 6-8, So.; C Gorgui Dieng, 6-11, Sr.
Very similar to the 2012 Final Four team. Mature Sullinger two years in college and there’s not many players capable of stopping him at this level.
PG Aaron Craft, 6-2, Sr.; SG Lenzelle Smith, Jr., 6-4, Sr.; SF LaQuinton Ross, 6-8, Jr.; PF Deshaun Thomas, 6-7, Sr.; C Jared Sullinger, 6-9, Sr.
The Top 8
8. North Carolina
It’s hard to feel bad for UNC with all the McDonald’s all-Americans they get. One, two, or three out the door and one, two, or three in the door, year after year. After a down year by UNC standards, get a look at this potential lineup:
PG Kendall Marshall, 6-4, Sr.; SG P.J. Hairston, 6-6, Jr.; SG Reggie Bullock, 6-7, Jr.; SF Harrison Barnes, 6-8, Sr.; PF James Michael McAdoo, 6-8, Jr.
Although they won the national title, it’s not a sure thing that adding two lottery picks would keep them in the top 5. The one weakness from this championship team was size and toughness up front, and that would definitely be addressed with this lineup:
G Ryan Boatright, 6-0, Jr.; G Shabazz Napier, 6-1, Sr.; SF Jeremy Lamb, 6-5, Sr.; PF DeAndre Daniels, 6-9, Jr.; C Andre Drummond, 6-10, Jr.
The best team in the country from start to finish this past season had a nice storyline: four seniors who faced adversity for four years and stuck together to grab the #1 overall seed. What if I told you that their would-be best player left two seasons ago? Add a great shooter and scorer in Bradley Beal to this already complete team and maybe those two regular season losses don’t happen.
PG Scottie Wilbekin, 6-2, Sr.; SG Bradley Beal, 6-5, Jr.; SF Casey Prather, 6-6, Sr.; PF Dorian Finney-Smith, 6-8, So.; C Patric Young, 6-9, Sr.
This potential Kansas lineup looks complete. It has athletes on the wings, size up front in Embiid, a shooter in McLemore, and a playmaker in Selby.
PG Josh Selby, 6-2, Sr.; SG Ben McLemore, 6-6, So.; SF Andrew Wiggins, 6-8, Fr.; PF Perry Ellis, 6-8, So.; C Joel Embiid, 7-0, Fr.
National runner up just a year ago, Michigan had an opportunity to return their entire team. Two early departures and an injury to Mitch McGary crushed big hopes in Ann Arbor, but let’s let Wolverine fans imagine this lineup for a minute:
PG Trey Burke, 6-1, Jr.; SG Tim Hardaway, Jr., 6-6, Sr.; SF Nik Stauskas, 6-6, So.; PF Glen Robinson III, 6-6, So.; C Mitch McGary, 6-10, So.
After losing a #1 pick and another lottery pick after their freshman seasons, Coach K and Duke have barely skipped a beat. Duke’s “Bombs away” offense seems to reload with long range specialists year after year, so when Coach K gets his hands on a big, tough forward like Jabari Parker, their offense is that much more intimidating.
PG Kyrie Irving, 6-3, Sr.; SG Austin Rivers, 6-4, Jr.; SG Rasheed Sulaimon, 6-4, So.; SF Rodney Hood, 6-8, So.; PF Jabari Parker, 6-8, Fr.
Quinn Cook and Andre Dawkins come off the bench as shooters, Amile Jefferson comes off as the third forward. This is a scary offensive lineup capable of scoring 90 points-per-game.
Syracuse ran out to a 25-0 record and #1 national ranking before they ran out of gas. Boeheim’s classic 6.5 man rotation finally caught up to the few players capable of making a play on offense because, the only two guys capable of making a play for them were busy competing for NBA Rookie of the Year and NBA Sixth Man of the Year. Add them and the 2012 Big East Defensive Player of the Year to this 25-0 squad and you wonder how far they might have gone undefeated.
PG Michael Carter-Williams, 6-6, Jr.; SG Dion Waiters, 6-4, Sr.; SF C.J. Fair, 6-8, Sr.; PF Jerami Grant, 6-8, So.; C Fab Melo, 7-0, Sr.
Tyler Ennis comes off the bench to spell MCW and Waiters for 10 minutes a game. Rakeem Christmas gives Melo a 5-minute breather also. Boehiem sticks to a 7 man rotation with playmakers up top and an imposing shot blocking in the back line of the 2-3 zone. Finally, when Syracuse needs a basket, Waiters is “The Guy” that Syracuse has been missing since his departure. This is by far Boeheim’s best defensive team, and the offense is good enough to get 75 points-per-game.
In successive years, Kentucky has made the Final Four, won the NCAA title, lost in the first round of the NIT, and lost in the NCAA title game. If Calipari could have kept the best players from the last four seasons, one-and-dones sprinkled with veterans, a #1 pick, numerous other lottery picks, and a top 5 pick coming off the bench, that 40-0 very well might have happened. How many blocked shots would this team have?
PG Brandon Knight, 6-4, Sr.; SF Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, 6-6, Jr.; SF Terrence Jones, 6-8, Sr.; PF Anthony Davis, 6-10, Jr; C Nerlens Noel, 6-10, So.
Marquis Teague spells Knight, Doron Lamb comes off the bench as a shooter, and Julius Randle, yes that Julius Randle, comes off the bench.