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Stealing Content Ideas: Build Your KU Dream Team for 15 Bucks

Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

Today Jesse Newell wrote a post based on that $15 NBA dream team thing that has been circulating around twitter (that I swear I've seen multiple times before) and picked his Bill Self KU era all star team. His picks:



PG: Tyshawn Taylor ($4)

SG: Mario Chalmers ($5)

SF: Xavier Henry ($1)

PF: Julian Wright ($1)

C: Jeff Withey ($4)

After looking at the table, I think this game has a fairly obvious answer if we assume that all 5 columns must be used (more on that later). Rather than column by column, let's work backwards and pick the most valuable guys first, and then the remaining players can be the "filler" so to speak (however, it's worth noting that you can assemble a large part of the 2008 title team by taking Russ Rob, Chalmers, Rush, Arthur, and Kaun).

C: Cole Aldrich ($3)

If the entire Bill Self at KU era were opened up to me, Aldrich would be no worse than 3rd on my board overall, and might even go first, so getting potentially the best player available with only $3 is an automatic. Aldrich wasn't quite as good as Withey defensively, but he was pretty damn close, and he added a lot more on offense and on the glass. In Cole's Junior year, when everyone said he "struggled" he only shot 56%, was a top 20 rebounder in the country, and 5th in the nation at blocking shots. Sign me up.

SG: Mario Chalmers ($5)

The gap between Chalmers and the rest of the SGs is the biggest gap among the 5 positions. McLemore was a good enough proxy on offense, but Chalmers is so much better than everyone else defensively. He really cleaned up his TO rate in his Junior year, was always a good three point shooter (47% as a Junior!) , and was efficient from two as well. An automatic for my lineup.

Now it gets tricky:

SF: Xavier Henry ($1)

Henry was an efficient scorer (and, funnily enough, his #1 KenPom comparable is Ben McLemore, who cost 3 dollars more). Offensively, he'd probably be just a spot up shooter in this lineup, but those are key cogs in a winning lineup, and he was underrated defensively. Plus he's just a dollar when he probably should be a $3 player in this lineup.

From here, there's two possible combos you can pick:

Combo 1: Tyshawn Taylor ($4) and Darrell Arthur ($2)

Tyshawn was great as a Senior, pretty good as a Junior, and the jury was out on him his other two years. He always defended well though, especially bigger guards, though that might not be as necessary with Chalmers as his backcourt mate. Like Chalmers and Henry, he could shoot the three well, at least late in his career, which would open up space for Aldrich and Arthur to operate down low. I think Kansas would give up a bit defensively with Arthur in there, though it's worth noting he took more shots than anyone on the 2008 team and shot 55% from two.

Combo 2: Russ Robinson ($2) and Thomas Robinson ($4)

Robinson is one of my favorite players ever, so it pains me to say he might not be as good as we remember. He had a higher TO rate than assist rate on the title team, and he didn't shoot well from the outside (it is worth noting, though, that he shot 56% from two and 78% from the line). Robinson was also, like Chalmers, a disruptive perimeter defender, and UConn showed how valuable that can be this year (as did Chalmers and Robinson in 2008). Robinson wasn't an efficient scorer at Kansas, but he was an elite rebounder, culminating in leading the nation in defensive rebounding as a Junior. He'd put a lot of pressure on Aldrich to clean up on the glass.

I think I would take Tyshawn and Arthur. With the Robinsons plus Henry, that puts a lot of pressure on just two guys to create all the scoring, and the drop off defensively isn't too much of  a hit to take.Plus with three good outside shooters, Aldrich and Arthur would have a lot of room inside. So, your final lineup:

PG: Tyshawn Taylor ($4)

SG: Mario Chalmers ($5)

SF: Xavier Henry ($1)

PF: Darrell Arthur ($2)

C: Cole Aldrich ($3)

I'll make this next part a bit more brief, but a couple other fun lineups:

Best Lineup Omitting One Column:

SG: Mario Chalmers ($5)

SF: Travis Releford ($2)

SF: Xavier Henry ($1)

PF: Thomas Robinson ($4)

C: Cole Aldrich ($3)

Best lineup with no $5 players:

PG: Tyshawn Taylor

SG: Ben McLemore

SF: Xavier Henry

PF: Marcus Morris

C: Cole Aldrich

Feel free to make your teams in the comments, and I will pick them apart (nicely!)