Sunday, December 27, 2009

All Decade Team - Kansas basketball

The Lawrence Journal-World recently voted on the All-Decade team for Kansas Mens Basketball. While I have little debate with their selections, I do, like any Jayhawk fan, have some comments on the number of quality players which donned crimson-and-blue during the first decade of this century.

1st team:

Sherron Collins, PG
Kirk Hinrich, SG
Brandon Rush, SF
Wayne Simien, PF
Nick Collison, C/F

The only potential argument I've heard with this first team is Hinrich over Mario Chalmers. And, while I understand the logic, Hinrich was far more valuable to his teams, over more games, than Chalmers. Hinrich was instrumental in leading Kansas, with lots of help from his buddy Collison, to two consecutive Final Fours. It was Hinrich's key shot which helped Kansas beat Missouri in the undefeated conference season of 2002. And, who can forget his block of Jason Gardner, in the regional final against Arizona, in 2003? Perhaps Chalmers does deserve the nod, but I'd place him on the first team in place of Collins before I'd put him ahead of Hinrich.

Bottom line, I agree with the LJW on this fivesome as the first team--Simien will have his jersey hung in the Allen Fieldhouse rafters, joining Hinrich and Collison, and Collins will leave Kansas as the winningest player ever. Rush started from his first game as a freshman and stayed for three years and a national championship.

2nd team:

Aaron Miles, PG
Mario Chalmers, SG
Keith Langford, SF
Drew Gooden, PF
Cole Aldrich, C

Again, no argument here--this is a solid second unit. One might argue that Julian Wright or Darrell Arthur deserves to be voted ahead of Langford, but the Fort Worth product played for four years and left as KU's sixth leading all-time scorer. He also was on the two Final Four teams of 2002 and 2003. This unit will also likely boast three players with retired jerseys--Chalmers, Gooden (already there) and Aldrich (provided #45 plays to the potential of this year's pre-season predictions.)

3rd team:

Russell Robinson, PG
Jeff Boschee, SG
Kenny Gregory, SF
Julian Wright, PF
Darrell Arthur, C/F

While this is the third team, it could be the most athletic fivesome of the three--Gregory could leap out of the building, Wright was an athletic freak, and Arthur ran like a deer. Robinson was a tremendous on-ball defender and Boschee, at one time, held the Big 12 record for three point shots.

The years 2000-2009 produced three Final Fours, a national championship, and some very, very good players who donned Kansas uniforms. Here's hoping 2010 kicks off the coming decade in fitting fashion--with win number 2,000 and another national championship.

No comments:

Post a Comment