Why should the NBA have all the All-Star fun?
This week, we’re hypothesizing what a current collegiate all-star team would look like, if created in the NBA’s classic (and former) East vs. West style.
To make the geography work for our hypothetical 2018-19 college all-star game, we split the Big 12, Big Ten, Big East and American Athletic Conference down the middle — Wisconsin and Illinois are part of the West, for instance — with the goal of creating equally stacked rosters.
Introducing our college all-stars:
Note: What’s Real, What’s Fake will return next Monday.
The top big man for the West squad is averaging 18.4 points, 10.5 rebounds, 1.2 blocks and 1.0 steals per game. But he has also become a fluid passer who is leading his team with 4.8 assists per game.
Don’t know the name? Well, you will soon. The 6-foot-8 San Jose State transfer is averaging 16.7 PPG, 8.2 RPG and 3.0 BPG for a Gonzaga squad that’s rear-naked-choked the entire West Coast Conference.
In Mountain West play, he’s been unstoppable for Nevada. He has connected on 44 percent of his 3-pointers, 53 percent of his shots inside the arc and 70 percent of his free throws.
The Texas Tech star will be a first-round pick this summer. The Red Raiders hold opponents to just 84 points per 100 possessions when he’s on the floor.
My goodness, this backcourt ain’t fair. Yeah, the West has Howard, the Marquette star who has scored 45 points or more three times this season.
Your all-star team is probably in good shape if Lawson (19.2 PPG, 10.3 RPG) is coming off your bench.
Rui Hachimura, Gonzaga Bulldogs
The West has this potential first-team All-American (20.3 PPG, 6.5 RPG) coming off its bench, too.
Houston’s star, who has made 40 percent of his 3-point attempts in AAC play (and has 71 triples overall), is the perfect reserve for this squad.
Caleb Martin, Nevada Wolf Pack
At 19.0 PPG for Nevada, he’s a great spark off the bench.
Iowa State’s stabilizer (19.0 PPG, 5.5 RPG) is a 38 percent shooter from the 3-point line.
Head coach: Mark Few, Gonzaga Bulldogs
He’s doing some of his best work at Gonzaga, which boasts the No. 1 offense, per KenPom. This all-star team would put up NBA Jam numbers with Few as its coach.
He’s the poster child for entering your name in the NBA draft and then making the smart decision to come back to school if it’s a good move for your career. The 6-8 Washington had 23 points, five rebounds, two steals and two blocks in Saturday’s win over then-No. 1 Tennessee.
Tennessee’s star is the reigning SEC Player of the Year. And with his numbers this year (19.3, 7.4 RPG), he could win the award again.
How will the West handle this frontcourt? Williamson, the projected No. 1 pick, playing the 3 on this team? Good luck.
Purdue is a Big Ten title contender because of Edwards, who has dropped 20 points or more in 19 games this year.
His high-flying plays with Williamson would break the internet. His numbers (24.3 PPG, 10.2 APG) could break records this season.
RJ Barrett, Duke Blue Devils
Barrett is a projected top-three pick in this summer’s NBA draft. You know who he is.
Virginia’s best NBA prospect is averaging 15.0 PPG and connecting on 46 percent of his 3-point attempts.
The Michigan State guard carries a heavy load for a Spartans team that averages 114 points per 100 possessions when he’s on the floor.
Louisville’s 6-8 forward is averaging 17.5 PPG and connecting on 38 percent of his 3-point attempts.
The Cincinnati star is averaging 19.0 PPG and is one of America’s most underrated players.
Head coach: Mike Krzyzewski, Duke Blue Devils
He’s coaching the favorite to win the national title, a team with three potential top-five picks in this summer’s NBA draft. He would mold this NBA prospect-stacked squad into a juggernaut as well.