Coming Soon…

Throughout the course of a season I like to look ahead and figure out how things will play out for the remainder of the year, look at recruiting prospects, and the overall shape of the program as a whole. Without a head coach to take over the program the recruiting trail isn’t just cold, it is frozen, and because of the youth on the program it is currently impossible to gauge how the rest of the season will play out. Since there are more questions looking forward, I decided to look back over Olson’s tenure at Arizona and the program he had built. That line of thought is what brought me to this topic.

If I were called upon to make an All-Time Lute Olson Team (from Arizona only of course) who would I put on the team? Over the course of several days I thought about the players, their stats, accomplishments, and problems. There are so many great players who have sat under Olson’s tutelage, and it was hard to eliminate players. So here’s my criteria

Must have two years playing under Coach O (Sorry Bayless, Budinger, and Hill, you’re out)

Must have been a starter for a minimum of 2 years.

Can’t transfer away from the program or be kicked off the team (Sorry Joseph Blair, you wound up being too much of a head case for this team)

Only college performance is taken into consideration – post college career is irrelevant.

I set these standards out because I wanted guys that, for the most part, were representative of what Olson tried to instill in the program: a sense of class and hard work ethic. Also because I wanted to get the best talent possible that Olson has produced in an Arizona uniform.

The second part to it is that I wanted an “operational” team. I gave myself 12 roster spots, the same as any college program, and required that I have serviceable position players. You have to have a strong frontcourt, a great point guard, a 3-point specialist, and great wingmen.

To be honest, I found making a 12-man roster to taxing because I felt bad for leaving some great players off the All-Time list. To appease that I decided to create two separate teams and then produce an All-Time team from there. To split the teams up, I decided to go with an “Old School” team where players graduated or declared for the draft in 1996 or earlier and a “New School” team where players graduated or declared for the draft in 1997 or later. I decided on these years because if you take the graduating/draft declarations who had two years under Olson, this splits it almost down the middle.

Over the next few days (hopefully Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday) I will reveal these teams. Please feel free to respond with your “Old School” “New School” and All-Time teams. I’m sure that there will be some differences, but I think this is a neat way to remember the great things that this program has seen. (And after getting swept in the Bay Area road trip, it may be a needed boost!)



2 Responses to “Coming Soon…”

  1. 1 Todd January 5, 2009 at 6:14 pm

    My AZ basketball heritage extends only back to 1995, so I feel unqualified to assemble an Old School team. For the “New School” roster, I would have to choose in alphabetical order:

    Hassan Adams
    Gilbert Arenas
    Mike Bibby
    Michael Dickerson
    Channing Frye
    Jason Gardner
    Richard Jefferson
    Andre Iguodala
    Miles Simon
    Salim Stoudamire
    Luke Walton
    Loren Woods

    Aahhh…. the good old days (our new days?).

  1. 1 Old School All-Stars « Naterb’s Sports Capsule Trackback on January 5, 2009 at 10:05 pm

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January 2009
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