A few weeks back, the writers and commenters here at RCT voted on the best players of the Bill Self era (2003- Present) in an NCAA Tournament-esque, 32 man tournament to determine, once and for all, who internet commenters and unpaid writers think is the best player Bill Self has ever recruited/produced.
In the comments thread of the final battle between Mario Chalmers and Brandon Rush, I quietly proposed doing a similar tournament for the players who played under the tutelage of Roy Williams. This idea was met with emotions from all angles with the most common sentiment being "this blog is dominated by young people who haven’t seen a lot of those guys in person and therefore the voting will skew to the more well known names and more recent players."
To that, I say fine. Maybe. But hearing that brought out my inner "get off my lawn!" bitter old man and being one of the elder statesmen (not by time worked at the site, but rather by time lived on Earth) I decided to throw caution to the wind and create my own bracket. To all those "whippersnappers" that weren’t around or were too young to appreciate the greatness of some players from as far back as, gasp!, the 1990’s, I’ve included some statistics so you can get to know the players, the old fashioned way- by reading about them (albeit on some fancy screen instead of on paper as God intended). And those stats are only points per game, rebounds per game, and assists per game because back then, that’s all we needed to know to be able to tell if a player was good or not.
I employed many of the same metrics as (David) did when he created the Bill Self bracket, but in true old man fashion, I went more with my gut and my memories of players rather than pure statistical derivatives, so if a player is a two seed and you really think he should be a three and switched with another guy, too bad, bucko. You probably never even saw these guys play. And I was there for that epic comeback win in 1995 against defending champion UCLA, so my seedings are final. I even have some links to photos, and even though almost half of these guys played before the age of the internet, their photographs are still available somehow and have been uploaded to that fancy computing device you’re looking at this very site on. Magic, I know. I don’t understand it either.
Matchups (with some stats!):
1 Paul Pierce (Three seasons, 108 games, 16.4 PPG, 6.3 RPG)
8 Eric Pauley (Two seasons, 67 games, 10.5 PPG, 4.4 RPG)
4 Rex Walters (Two seasons, 68 games, 15.5 PPG, 4.1 APG)
5 Kevin Pritchard (Four seasons, 139 games, 12.2 PPG, 3.6 APG)
3 Scot Pollard (Four seasons, 128 games, 9.4 PPG, 6.4 RPG)
6 Jerod Haase (Three seasons, 101 games, 12.6 PPG, 3.3 APG)
2 Aaron Miles (Four seasons, 138 games, 8.6 PPG, 6.9 APG)
7 Nick Bradford (Three seasons, 106 games, 6.9 PPG, 4.3 RPG)
1 Kirk Hinrich (Four seasons, 141 games, 12.4 PPG, 4.7 APG)
8 Lester Earl (Three Seasons, 63 games 5.1 PPG, 4.2 RPG)
4 Adonis Jordan (Four seasons, 137 games, 10.0 PPG, 4.1 APG)
5 Greg Ostertag (Four seasons, 137 games, 7.1 PPG, 5.6 RPG)
3 Mark Randall (Four seasons, 132 games, 12.3 PPG, 5.5 RPG)
6 Terry Brown (Two seasons, 70 games, 13.5 PPG, 3.0 RPG)
2 Wayne Simien (Four seasons, 106 games, 15.0 PPG, 8.3 RPG)
7 Alonzo Jamison (Three seasons, 84 games, 9.1 PPG, 4.8 RPG)
Here it is in bracket form.
As always, put your votes in the comments. We’ll give it until 10:00 PM KU time on Wednesday to get the votes in.