Class of 2007 vs. Preseason All-Americans: The ITH game of the century

  • 11/08/2007 12:02 pm in

drose011.jpgSettle an argument, ITH-ers.

Your loyal correspondent PostmanE, ever fascinated with the joy of potential, has a half-cracked theory floating around in his brain. Big A has already politely disagreed with me, but it’s a good sports debate, so let’s hash it out.

See, I think — thanks to the confluence of a weak All-American class and an incredibly deep crop of freshmen — that, perhaps for the first time in history, a team composed entirely of freshmen would beat the preseason All-American team. In fact, I don’t even think it would be close.

Let’s go to the tape:

First Team Preseason All-Americans:
C Roy Hibbert
F Tyler Hansbrough
G Chris Lofton
G Drew Neitzel
G Darren Collison

Honorary, generous sixth man addition: F Brandon Rush

PostmanE’s Mighty Fightin’ Freshmen:
C Kevin Love
F Michael Beasley
G/F O.J. Mayo
G Eric Gordon
G Derrick Rose

Honorary spirit-based sixth man addition: G Adam Ahlfeld

I included Rush simply because the preaseason All-American team doesn’t really do a good enough job, in my opinion, of accounting for position, and if you had those six players and needed to field a starting five, you’d put Rush at forward with nary a blink. (I included Ahlfeld because you can’t put a price on overexuberance.)

But there you have it. Assuming all things are equal — that both teams are organized and coached well* — I take that group of freshmen in a heartbeat. The one mismatch would be Hansbrough on Beasley/Love; I would make Love bang with Hansbrough and have Beasley try subvert Hibbert’s size with athleticism, but that’s still a tough go. The big mismatch, the one that goes in the freshmen’s favor, is the guard play. I love Collison and Neitzel and especially Lofton … but any Rose/Gordon backcourt is not one I’ll pick against any day. Too athletic, too strong, too naturally talented and refined.

So, like I asked, settle a fun argument, ITH-ers. Who do you think wins this one, and why?

*Please, no arguments saying the freshmen would play like the McDonald’s game. Assume that they care, and that they’re coached by some strict taskmaster. Coach K, or something.

Filed to:

  • This is a tough one … but I’m going to have to go with the freshman. Maybe it’s because all the names are that much sexier and they have so much athleticism top to bottom.

    As E just said, can you really pick against a Gordon/Rose backcourt? I think not. Maybe we should make this a best of five series because I’m thinking this might be oh so close.

  • This is a tough one … but I’m going to have to go with the freshman. Maybe it’s because all the names are that much sexier and they have so much athleticism top to bottom.

    As E just said, can you really pick against a Gordon/Rose backcourt? I think not. Maybe we should make this a best of five series because I’m thinking this might be oh so close.

  • kelin

    This one is not tough for me, cause I think there are more mismatch problems for the All American team. They would struggle with the speed, athleticism, and firepower of the frosh. I will say again ….neitzel can be neutralized one on one, and would struggle guarding either guard. Love and Hansbourough would neutralize each other…Hibbert would do well offensively and have problems defensively….I would go a step further…..

    the final score…Frosh 79 All Americans 71

  • kelin

    This one is not tough for me, cause I think there are more mismatch problems for the All American team. They would struggle with the speed, athleticism, and firepower of the frosh. I will say again ….neitzel can be neutralized one on one, and would struggle guarding either guard. Love and Hansbourough would neutralize each other…Hibbert would do well offensively and have problems defensively….I would go a step further…..

    the final score…Frosh 79 All Americans 71

  • I’m as big of a Gordon/Rose apologist as there is, but I still give the edge to the more experienced players. And from what I’ve seen, O.J. Mayo can shoot you out of the game. Then again, the addition of Ahlfeld would really help the freshmen.

  • I’m as big of a Gordon/Rose apologist as there is, but I still give the edge to the more experienced players. And from what I’ve seen, O.J. Mayo can shoot you out of the game. Then again, the addition of Ahlfeld would really help the freshmen.

  • kelin

    I am going to miss AA, we need to get a final four trophy for that kid, he has done a lot for the program and especially midnight madness.

  • kelin

    I am going to miss AA, we need to get a final four trophy for that kid, he has done a lot for the program and especially midnight madness.

  • David

    I’d have to go with the AA’s on this one. I just think the height and physicality of Hansbrough and Hibbert would be too much. I’m not convinced enough with regards to Love/Beasley.

    I will say the PG matchup is interesting. I like the firepower from the freshman but can they stop the likes of Neitzel and Collison? I think those two, while probably lacking the offensive power of Rose/Gordon, could cause problems for the freshman with their defense and we know they can carry teams offensively.

    Bottom line: I just don’t see the freshman stopping Hansbrough and Hibbert.

  • David

    I’d have to go with the AA’s on this one. I just think the height and physicality of Hansbrough and Hibbert would be too much. I’m not convinced enough with regards to Love/Beasley.

    I will say the PG matchup is interesting. I like the firepower from the freshman but can they stop the likes of Neitzel and Collison? I think those two, while probably lacking the offensive power of Rose/Gordon, could cause problems for the freshman with their defense and we know they can carry teams offensively.

    Bottom line: I just don’t see the freshman stopping Hansbrough and Hibbert.

  • nealE

    i read this when i woke up and have been thinking about it all day. and for me, here is what it comes down to: love is not as good as hibbert (right now, and possibly never will be), beasley doesn’t have the savy hansbrough does, and oj mayo is just not that good. he peaked sophomore year in high school. like Big A said, he can just implode and destroy any chance you have of winning. maturity will be a real issue for him. i think gordon and rose together would be near unstoppable, and the AA’s wouldn’t have a chance there. neitzel is too streaky and all 3 of them don’t have the shear athleticism or talent to keep up with either rose or gordon. but what it comes down to is this: i really don’t believe anyone can coach mayo into being a team first player. if they could, i might give the edge to the freshman. but i won’t – AA’s by 10. now if adam could erupt for 10-15 points like we all know he is capable of…

  • nealE

    i read this when i woke up and have been thinking about it all day. and for me, here is what it comes down to: love is not as good as hibbert (right now, and possibly never will be), beasley doesn’t have the savy hansbrough does, and oj mayo is just not that good. he peaked sophomore year in high school. like Big A said, he can just implode and destroy any chance you have of winning. maturity will be a real issue for him. i think gordon and rose together would be near unstoppable, and the AA’s wouldn’t have a chance there. neitzel is too streaky and all 3 of them don’t have the shear athleticism or talent to keep up with either rose or gordon. but what it comes down to is this: i really don’t believe anyone can coach mayo into being a team first player. if they could, i might give the edge to the freshman. but i won’t – AA’s by 10. now if adam could erupt for 10-15 points like we all know he is capable of…

  • Witt

    The Frosh team COULD beat the All-Americans, but I don’t believe they would. This is a classic example of pure talent versus experience. A few years ago, before the NBA changed its rules regarding entry into the NBA, how many on the The Frosh team would have bypassed college? On the other hand, how many of the AAs are likely to have a legitimate pro career.

    All of those Freshmen potentially could have forgone college and attempted the NBA. I’m not sure you have five for five on the AA team. To keep it short, I think there’s more talent on the freshman team, but experience wins the tights ones. I pick the All-Americans in a battle. But that’s why they play the game…

  • Witt

    The Frosh team COULD beat the All-Americans, but I don’t believe they would. This is a classic example of pure talent versus experience. A few years ago, before the NBA changed its rules regarding entry into the NBA, how many on the The Frosh team would have bypassed college? On the other hand, how many of the AAs are likely to have a legitimate pro career.

    All of those Freshmen potentially could have forgone college and attempted the NBA. I’m not sure you have five for five on the AA team. To keep it short, I think there’s more talent on the freshman team, but experience wins the tights ones. I pick the All-Americans in a battle. But that’s why they play the game…

  • Tim

    I’m going to have to change the teams up before I answer this.

    The upperclass team for me would be:
    F D.J. White
    F Tyler Hansborough
    W Brandon Rush
    G Chris Lofton
    G Darren Collison

    The frosh team would stay the same though.

    This is just filled with awesome matchups. Especially, the Collison/Rose faceoff, hopefully we get to see that for real in the Final Four. Honestly a toss-up between the two. In the two-guard spot, I give Gordon the advantage because he can shoot from anywhere Lofton can but has better quickness and athleticism. On the wing, Rush proves to be the much better player after Mayo commits three costly turnovers by repeatedly chucking the ball into the stands. At one forward spot, it is just unfair. Psycho T would dominate Beasley to the point he will be glad he’s a diaper dandy because he will want to piss himself. At the last spot, the matchup between DJ and Love is close, both great rebounders, I give DJ a slight edge on defense because of experience, but Love has a little more polish on his offense.

    Overall, I would take the upperclassmen, largely because of Hansborough. Plus, I really don’t trust the passion and commitment of Mayo or Beasley despite their ability. You never know what either Rose or Gordon could do to swing this game towards the frosh though.

  • Tim

    I’m going to have to change the teams up before I answer this.

    The upperclass team for me would be:
    F D.J. White
    F Tyler Hansborough
    W Brandon Rush
    G Chris Lofton
    G Darren Collison

    The frosh team would stay the same though.

    This is just filled with awesome matchups. Especially, the Collison/Rose faceoff, hopefully we get to see that for real in the Final Four. Honestly a toss-up between the two. In the two-guard spot, I give Gordon the advantage because he can shoot from anywhere Lofton can but has better quickness and athleticism. On the wing, Rush proves to be the much better player after Mayo commits three costly turnovers by repeatedly chucking the ball into the stands. At one forward spot, it is just unfair. Psycho T would dominate Beasley to the point he will be glad he’s a diaper dandy because he will want to piss himself. At the last spot, the matchup between DJ and Love is close, both great rebounders, I give DJ a slight edge on defense because of experience, but Love has a little more polish on his offense.

    Overall, I would take the upperclassmen, largely because of Hansborough. Plus, I really don’t trust the passion and commitment of Mayo or Beasley despite their ability. You never know what either Rose or Gordon could do to swing this game towards the frosh though.

  • L. rubes

    I think the frosh would dominate

  • L. rubes

    I think the frosh would dominate

  • Craig

    I’ve got the young group in a blowout.

  • Craig

    I’ve got the young group in a blowout.

  • Kevin

    Nobody on the all-american team can guard Beasley.

  • Kevin

    Nobody on the all-american team can guard Beasley.

  • Joe

    Ugh, I hate anything to do with Kansas – get rid of the name Brandon Rush.

  • Joe

    Ugh, I hate anything to do with Kansas – get rid of the name Brandon Rush.