Recently I had put together a North & South team consisting of current Big 12 players heading into the 2010-2011 season and asked the question which would win in a fictional 7 game series. The overwhelming answer was the North division, which leads me to believe that there is more talent in the northern half of the conference this upcoming season. You can visit that story here http://www.big12hoops.com/2010/8/6/1608296/north-vs-south-who-wins
So I decided to use the exact same concept of picking teams but using Big 12 players from the decade starting with the 1999-2000 season through the end of the 2009-2010 season.
Check out my teams after the jump and let me know your thoughts.
Lets set the parameters again for this exercise:
Only using players in the Big 12 that played from 1999-2000 through 2009-2010 season.
Trying to put together a traditional lineup.
Does not matter if player was in conference for 1 season or 4 seasons.
PG - Kirk Hinrich - Kansas Jayhawks
SG - Kareem Rush - Missouri Tigers
SF - Michael Beasley - Kansas State Wildcats
PF - Nick Collison - Kansas Jayhawks
C - David Harrison - Colorado Buffaloes
BENCH: Sherron Collins - Kansas Jayhawks
Marcus Fizer - Iowa State Cyclones
Drew Gooden - Kansas Jayhawks
Brandon Rush - Kansas Jayhawks
Wayne Simien - Kansas Jayhawks
COACH - Bill Self - Kansas Jayhawks
PG - T.J. Ford - Texas Longhorns
SG - Andre Emmett - Texas Tech Red Raiders
SF - Kevin Durant - Texas Longhorns
C - Chris Mihm - Texas Longhorns
BENCH: James Anderson - Oklahoma State Cowboys
Acie Law - Texas A&M Aggies
Bernard King - Texas A&M
P.J. Tucker - Texas Longhorns
COACH - Rick Barnes - Texas Longhorns
The North division team definitely has a Kansas Jayhawk feel to it, as one could imagine with KU's dominance in the conference this past decade. The starting five for the North provides a nice balance of scoring, rebounding and outside shooting in my opinion. Beasley & Collison are outstanding rebounders and scorers and Kareem Rush plays the role of sharp shooter on this team, while Harrison provides bulk and low post scoring at the center position. Hinrich provides nice leadership running the team while providing a good outside shot as well. The bench provides a mix of options, you have a low post scorer in Fizer as well as another outstanding rebounder in Drew Gooden. Collins would be a nice change of pace at the PG position while Simien provides another option in how the coach can use his big men. Rush provides a big guard off the bench who plays good defense and can score. Overall with this team you have good size with most every player and the ability to stretch the floor on the offensive end, not only with guard play but with big men like Beasley. The rebounding ability of this team is outstanding and toughness shouldn't be a problem with Harrison down low and Collins being a bull at the point guard position.
The South division team has a burnt orange feel to its starting lineup with three former Longhorns listed. To say the starting lineup is stacked with talent would be an understatement as T.J. Ford, Kevin Durant & Blake Griffin all won National Player of the Year awards while in school. Mihm & Emmett weren't slouches either as Emmett was the first player to be selected as a 3 Time All Big 12 selection and Mihm was an All-American. In Ford, you have a do everything super fast PG who can break a defense down by himself. Surrounding him is Durant who can not only shoot from anywhere but can make it, along with Griffin down low who is an excellent rebounder. This team could post up all day long with Griffin, Mihm and Durant if it decided to do so. The bench provides an interesting group, you have 09-10 Big 12 Player of the Year in James Anderson who can score in bunches combined with the smooth and clutch play of Acie Law. In Tucker you have an undersized forward who played bigger and would definitely provide solid minutes and Udoh could provide size and excellent defense. King is another torrid scorer available to come in off the bench. Overall this team shouldn't have a problem scoring with Durant leading the way and any misses could be gobbled up by Griffin. Good balance of outside shooting as well with Anderson and King coming in off the bench.
First off I definitely think this series would go 7 games and I would pay good money to witness it. My prediction is the South takes this 4-3 in a slugfest with Durant & Griffin providing the 1-2 punch that eventually wins out.