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All-decade draft: Pick the best of three KU teams using players from last 10 years

03/12/2014 6:27 PM

03/12/2014 6:27 PM

Kansas has put together some nice teams over the last 10 seasons, having won at least a share of the Big 12 title in each of those years.

But what if you and two friends drafted three eight-member teams using players from those 10 seasons as a pool? Those would be even better, and we bet there might be some discussion as to who drafted the best team.

So that’s what we’re going to do leading up to the start of the Big 12 and SEC tournaments on Wednesday.

With some help from fans, Rustin Dodd, our KU beat writer, Tod Palmer, our Mizzou writer, and Kellis Robinett, our K-State writer, have drafted three teams using only players from the last 10 years at the schools they cover.

Today, we present the three KU all-decade teams and are asking you, Jayhawks fans, to vote for the one you think would be the best. Feel free to have at it in the comments, but keep things civil. MU and K-State fans, you’ll get your chance Tuesday and Wednesday when we present three options of Tigers and Wildcats squads.

Mobile users, find the poll here.

Hat tip to Brian Bechard

, whose Twitter post gave us the idea to expand this out to other schools.

KU team one
Pos. Player (years) Ht. PPG
F Marcus Morris (2008-11) 6-9 12.6
F Joel Embiid (2013-) 7-0 11.2
G Keith Langford (2001-05) 6-4 13.3
G Mario Chalmers (2005-08) 6-1 12.2
G Aaron Miles (2001-05) 6-1 8.6
Bench Tyshawn Taylor (2008-12) 6-3 10.8
Bench Markieff Morris (2008-11) 6-10 8.5
Bench Brady Morningstar (2006-11) 6-4 5.6

If you’re looking for dominant big men and skilled low-post scorers, this team has both. Forward Marcus Morris recorded one of the best offensive seasons of the last 10 years during his junior year, and Joel Embiid is the most talented center Bill Self has coached in his career. Aaron Miles, KU’s all-time assists leader, is a steady distributor, while Mario Chalmers can shoot from deep and Keith Langford can slash. Tyshawn Taylor and Markieff Morris would both be tremendous options off the bench.

KU team two
Pos. Player (years) Ht. PPG
F Thomas Robinson (2009-12) 6-9 9.8
F Wayne Simien (2001-05) 6-9 15.0
G Brandon Rush (2005-08) 6-6 13.6
G Xavier Henry (2009-10) 6-6 13.4
G Russell Robinson (2004-08) 6-1 7.1
Bench Cole Aldrich (2007-10) 6-11 9.4
Bench Sasha Kaun (2004-08) 6-11 6.1
Bench Tyrel Reed (2007-11) 6-3 6.3

Wayne Simien was an All-American, the best low-post scorer Self has had, and Brandon Rush was a difference-maker on both ends of the floor. Do you start Cole Aldrich alongside Simien, or go with Thomas Robinson, who led KU to the NCAA title game in 2012. Xavier Henry’s production was underrated during his freshman season at KU, and he could slide into a complementary role with this group. Russell Robinson and Sasha Kaun were defensive stalwarts on the 2008 NCAA title team. And Tyrel Reed well every team needs a reliable three-point shooter off the bench.

KU team three
Pos. Player (years) Ht. PPG
F Darrell Arthur (2006-08) 6-9 11.3
F Jeff Withey (2009-13) 7-0 8.0
G Andrew Wiggins (2013-) 6-8 16.8
G Ben McLemore (2012-13) 6-5 15.9
G Sherron Collins (2006-10) 5-11 13.2
Bench Julian Wright (2005-07) 6-8 10.4
Bench Perry Ellis (2012-) 6-8 9.2
Bench Travis Releford (2008-13) 6-6 7.0

Look at those guards. This team may just be able to overwhelm you with ridiculous athleticism in the backcourt. Could Sherron Collins be enough of a facilitator playing alongside Andrew Wiggins and Ben McLemore? Who cares. This group doesn’t have the low-post options of the other teams, but Jeff Withey provides a quality rim protector while Ellis and Releford could be glue guys off the bench. Finally, here’s a sign of how good Kansas’ big men have been under Self: Julian Wright, a former top-10 recruit who left KU after his sophomore year, can’t even find a starting spot.

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