Fantasy Draft (Former Players from '92 to '17)

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Four friends & I recently conducted a Gopher Basketball fantasy draft with each of us building a starting lineup and a sixth man. The only rule was that each player had to have played a game for the Gophers during our lifetime (1992 to 2017) - excluding the current roster. We did the draft in snake order until each team had six players.

Draft Order
(1) Team #1: Voshon Lenard
(2) Team #2: Vince Grier
(3) Team #3: Kris Humphries
(4) Team #4: Bobby Jackson
(5) Team #5: Sam Jacobson
(6) Team #5: Quincy Lewis
(7) Team #4: Trevor Mbakwe
(8) Team #3: Blake Hoffarber
(9) Team #2: Joel Pzybilla
(10) Team #1: John Thomas
(11) Team #1: Rick Rickert
(12) Team #2: Damian Johnson
(13) Team #3: Al Nolen
(14) Team #4: Andre Hollins
(15) Team #5: Eric Harris
(16) Team #5: Dan Coleman
(17) Team #4: Austin Hollins
(18) Team #3: Rodney Williams
(19) Team #2: Michael Bauer
(20) Team #1: Lawrence Westbrook
(21) Team #1: Lawrence McKenzie
(22) Team #2: Mo Hargrow
(23) Team #3: Dusty Rychart
(24) Team #4: Jerry Holman
(25) Team #5: Devoe Joseph
(26) Team #5: Spencer Tollackson
(27) Team #4: Travarus Bennett
(28) Team #3: Kevin Clark
(29) Team #2: DeAndre Mathieu
(30) Team #1: Mo Walker

Notable players not selected:

Courtney James
Jeff Hagen
Brent Lawson
Aaron Robinson
Ralph Sampson
Ben Johnson
Terrance Simmons
Arriel McDonald
Randy Carter
Townsend Orr

We originally voted among our group of five for the best team, but the vote was split. We are hoping that GopherHole can settle things once and for all! Below you'll see the roster for each team. Please vote for the "best" team (i.e. would win the most games in a typical B1G season).

Team #1
Lawrence Westbrook
Lawrence McKenzie
Voshon Lenard
John Thomas
Mo Walker
Rick Rickert

Team #2
DeAndre Mathieu
Vince Grier
Michael Bauer
Damian Johnson
Joel Przybilla
Mo Hargrow

Team #3
Al Nolen
Blake Hoffarber
Rodney Williams
Dusty Rychart
Kris Humphries
Kevin Clark

Team #4
Bobby Jackson
Andre Hollins
Austin Hollins
Trevor Mbakwe
Jerry Holman
Travarus Bennett

Team #5
Eric Harris
Sam Jacobson
Quincy Lewis
Dan Coleman
Spencer Tollackson
Devoe Joseph
 

GopherHole Staff

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Fun topic. We'd pick Team 4 as the best team followed by Team 1.
 

KoolAid

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Fun for sure

I love team 3. Humphries resume speaks for itself. Al Nolen is maybe my favorite gopher of all-time (we got robbed of seeing him his senior year). You've got the best bball athlete of all-time (Rodney) and the best shooter not named Leonard (Blake Hoffarber). Oh, and you have Dusty Rychart doing all the dirty work.

That's where my money's going.
 

EG#9

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I would go with team 4. Courtney James and Arriel McDonald not being drafted is a travesty.
 

coolhandgopher

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Team 4 seems to stand head and shoulders above the rest for me. I really question how McDonald (and James) were not chosen; to me, McDonald's an immediate upgrade at PG for teams 1, 2, and 3, and arguably team 4. And team 5, I can't see taking a front court of Coleman and Tollackson over James as a replacement for either one of them.

If McDonald was chosen over McKenzie for team 1, that would be a hell of a matchup between Team 4 & Team 1.
 

Otis

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Team 2 is the worst, Put McDonald and James on there and then it would be better.

If team #4 had taken James and McDonald instead of Holman and Bennett it wouldn't even be close.

I guess nobody likes Ralph Sampson. Hard to believe he doesn't fit somewhere.

Teams 1, 3, and 4 are hard to chose between.

I think team 3 has the best starting 5, so I will go with Nolen and Hoffarber leading the uber talented Mr. Kardashian.
 

GopherPlaya

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Team 2 is the worst, Put McDonald and James on there and then it would be better.

If team #4 had taken James and McDonald instead of Holman and Bennett it wouldn't even be close.

I guess nobody likes Ralph Sampson. Hard to believe he doesn't fit somewhere.

Teams 1, 3, and 4 are hard to chose between.

I think team 3 has the best starting 5, so I will go with Nolen and Hoffarber leading the uber talented Mr. Kardashian.
Team 3 is basically 2010-2011 with Kris Humpries. I think they are just as bad as team 2 if not worse at least team 2 would be able to lockdown defensively. Ranking 1-5 team 4-1-2-3-5
 

RatherBeGolfing

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Well so just time wise, I'm assuming more of the 90's Gophers being brought up weren't drafted because they were born in '92, meaning they were little kids when they were playing and just don't really know much about them.
 

GopherWeatherGuy

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Team 3 is basically 2010-2011 with Kris Humpries. I think they are just as bad as team 2 if not worse at least team 2 would be able to lockdown defensively. Ranking 1-5 team 4-1-2-3-5
I tend to agree. How is Hoffarber ever going to shoot if Humphries never passes?

I actually like team 2 more than some on here. That team would grind out a bunch of 47-45 wins. My vote would be for team 4 though.
 

Otis

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Since life begins at conception, shouldn't Kevin Lynch be included?
 

Otis

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Team 3 is basically 2010-2011 with Kris Humpries. I think they are just as bad as team 2 if not worse at least team 2 would be able to lockdown defensively. Ranking 1-5 team 4-1-2-3-5
2010-11 would have gone much better if Nolen had not been limited to 14 games. He was a very good defender and the principal ball handler. After he went down we had to have Hoffarber bring the ball up and initiate the offense. In this exercise, imagine Nolen not hurt. Also, I believe the only PG better defensively than Nolen in this group is Bobby Jackson.
 

GopherPlaya

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2010-11 would have gone much better if Nolen had not been limited to 14 games. He was a very good defender and the principal ball handler. After he went down we had to have Hoffarber bring the ball up and initiate the offense. In this exercise, imagine Nolen not hurt. Also, I believe the only PG better defensively than Nolen in this group is Bobby Jackson.
That still wouldn't make that squad a good or even decent defensive time with only Nolen able to defend and only Kris as a scorer.
 

bemidjigopher

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I'm sorry but if Ariel McDonald and Courtney James played Spencer and Lil Dre in 2v2 they would double them up
 

mnsports1

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4 the best. 1,2,5 fairly even. 3 brings up the rear
 

jamalo

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team 2 taking a fun player but gimmick scorer over Bobby Jackson???? WTF. Bobby should be #1 overall pick; on a less talented team his stats would have increased by 30%
 

Ozzy&Ray

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Four friends & I recently conducted a Gopher Basketball fantasy draft with each of us building a starting lineup and a sixth man. The only rule was that each player had to have played a game for the Gophers during our lifetime (1992 to 2017) - excluding the current roster. We did the draft in snake order until each team had six players.

Draft Order
(1) Team #1: Voshon Lenard
(2) Team #2: Vince Grier
(3) Team #3: Kris Humphries
(4) Team #4: Bobby Jackson
(5) Team #5: Sam Jacobson
(6) Team #5: Quincy Lewis
(7) Team #4: Trevor Mbakwe
(8) Team #3: Blake Hoffarber
(9) Team #2: Joel Pzybilla
(10) Team #1: John Thomas
(11) Team #1: Rick Rickert
(12) Team #2: Damian Johnson
(13) Team #3: Al Nolen
(14) Team #4: Andre Hollins
(15) Team #5: Eric Harris
(16) Team #5: Dan Coleman
(17) Team #4: Austin Hollins
(18) Team #3: Rodney Williams
(19) Team #2: Michael Bauer
(20) Team #1: Lawrence Westbrook
(21) Team #1: Lawrence McKenzie
(22) Team #2: Mo Hargrow
(23) Team #3: Dusty Rychart
(24) Team #4: Jerry Holman
(25) Team #5: Devoe Joseph
(26) Team #5: Spencer Tollackson
(27) Team #4: Travarus Bennett
(28) Team #3: Kevin Clark
(29) Team #2: DeAndre Mathieu
(30) Team #1: Mo Walker

Notable players not selected:

Courtney James
Jeff Hagen
Brent Lawson
Aaron Robinson
Ralph Sampson
Ben Johnson
Terrance Simmons
Arriel McDonald
Randy Carter
Townsend Orr

We originally voted among our group of five for the best team, but the vote was split. We are hoping that GopherHole can settle things once and for all! Below you'll see the roster for each team. Please vote for the "best" team (i.e. would win the most games in a typical B1G season).

Team #1
Lawrence Westbrook
Lawrence McKenzie
Voshon Lenard
John Thomas
Mo Walker
Rick Rickert

Team #2
DeAndre Mathieu
Vince Grier
Michael Bauer
Damian Johnson
Joel Przybilla
Mo Hargrow

Team #3
Al Nolen
Blake Hoffarber
Rodney Williams
Dusty Rychart
Kris Humphries
Kevin Clark

Team #4
Bobby Jackson
Andre Hollins
Austin Hollins
Trevor Mbakwe
Jerry Holman
Travarus Bennett

Team #5
Eric Harris
Sam Jacobson
Quincy Lewis
Dan Coleman
Spencer Tollackson
Devoe Joseph
Fun topic, but can't believe some of the players left off the list, or how late some picked. No way Spencer, Dusty and others are ahead of Courtney James. And Devoe, Al, Deandre ahead of Arriel? No way. Must be some really young drafters.


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Madman

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Fun topic, but can't believe some of the players left off the list, or how late some picked. No way Spencer, Dusty and others are ahead of Courtney James. And Devoe, Al, Deandre ahead of Arriel? No way. Must be some really young drafters.


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I agree with the Courtney James comment, but I'd take Nolan over McDonald any day of the week. I also loved we the career that Dusty cobbled together. That kid maxed out his potential.

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coolhandgopher

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I agree with the Courtney James comment, but I'd take Nolan over McDonald any day of the week. I also loved we the career that Dusty cobbled together. That kid maxed out his potential.

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There's some definite recency bias going on regarding the career of Arriel McDonald as a Gopher. Statistics do not encompass everything, but McDonald is the all-time assist leader for the Gophers, with over 100 assists more than Kevin Burleson, #2 on the list (Nolen is #3, who McDonald surpasses by nearly 150 assists; should be noted that Eric Harris' records are wiped away, but doubtful that would effect the record books). McDonald averaged double figures in points 3 of his 4 season, with his freshman campaign the only exception, where he registered 9.3 ppg (Nolen's top season was 8.4 ppg, his senior year). His career effective field goal percentage was 48%, while Nolen's was 40.5%.

During their careers at the "U", McDonald lead the Gophers to a NIT championship during his junior year and a NCAA berth in his senior year, in which the Gophers bowed out in the second round against Louisville. Nolen was part of two NCAA tourney teams during his sophomore and junior year and the NIT during his freshman year; in these respective tournaments, the Gophers did not advance to the second round in any of the years. McDonald was a four year starter who was a threat to score and facilitate and bridged the gap between the first great wave of Clem's Gopher teams (playing alongside Kevin Lynch and Walter Bond in their senior years) and the solid squads that followed (running along side Voshon Lenard, Townsend Orr, Randy Carter and Jayson Walton). It should also be noted that McDonald played at a time when the Big 10 was particularly beastly-during his junior and senior seasons, the likes of Chris Webber, Calbert Cheaney, Glenn Robinson, Michael Finley, Shawn Respert, Alan Henderson, Juwan Howard, Jalen Rose, Greg Graham, Acie Earl, Deon Thomas, Cuonzo Martin, Lawrence Funderburke, John Amaechi, Damon Bailey, Tracy Webster, Jess Settles, Derek Anderson were among the competitors faced night after night.

Finally, I recall (maybe unrealistically) very high expectations coming into the 1994-95 season, once Lenard pulled his name from the NBA draft. While McDonald, Randy Carter, and Ernest N. had exhausted their eligiblity, we had a veteran team returning (Lenard, Orr, Walton, Chad Kolander, and David Grim) along with the most hyped Gopher recruit in some time (Sam Jacobson), Eric Harris, and an emerging bruising sophomore in John Thomas. Even though the Gophers made it to the NCAA tournament (first round loss vs. St. Louis), I recall a season that felt disappointing and unfulfilled. I would venture to say that McDonald was dearly missed that season.

Not only did this little exercise solidify my support for McDonald's time with the Gophers, but reminded me how solid Randy Carter was, particularly facing off against the post players listed above game after game. Carter certainly deserves a spot on a roster over the likes of Holman, Tollackson, and Mo Walker.
 

Madman

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There's some definite recency bias going on regarding the career of Arriel McDonald as a Gopher. Statistics do not encompass everything, but McDonald is the all-time assist leader for the Gophers, with over 100 assists more than Kevin Burleson, #2 on the list (Nolen is #3, who McDonald surpasses by nearly 150 assists; should be noted that Eric Harris' records are wiped away, but doubtful that would effect the record books). McDonald averaged double figures in points 3 of his 4 season, with his freshman campaign the only exception, where he registered 9.3 ppg (Nolen's top season was 8.4 ppg, his senior year). His career effective field goal percentage was 48%, while Nolen's was 40.5%.

During their careers at the "U", McDonald lead the Gophers to a NIT championship during his junior year and a NCAA berth in his senior year, in which the Gophers bowed out in the second round against Louisville. Nolen was part of two NCAA tourney teams during his sophomore and junior year and the NIT during his freshman year; in these respective tournaments, the Gophers did not advance to the second round in any of the years. McDonald was a four year starter who was a threat to score and facilitate and bridged the gap between the first great wave of Clem's Gopher teams (playing alongside Kevin Lynch and Walter Bond in their senior years) and the solid squads that followed (running along side Voshon Lenard, Townsend Orr, Randy Carter and Jayson Walton). It should also be noted that McDonald played at a time when the Big 10 was particularly beastly-during his junior and senior seasons, the likes of Chris Webber, Calbert Cheaney, Glenn Robinson, Michael Finley, Shawn Respert, Alan Henderson, Juwan Howard, Jalen Rose, Greg Graham, Acie Earl, Deon Thomas, Cuonzo Martin, Lawrence Funderburke, John Amaechi, Damon Bailey, Tracy Webster, Jess Settles, Derek Anderson were among the competitors faced night after night.

Finally, I recall (maybe unrealistically) very high expectations coming into the 1994-95 season, once Lenard pulled his name from the NBA draft. While McDonald, Randy Carter, and Ernest N. had exhausted their eligiblity, we had a veteran team returning (Lenard, Orr, Walton, Chad Kolander, and David Grim) along with the most hyped Gopher recruit in some time (Sam Jacobson), Eric Harris, and an emerging bruising sophomore in John Thomas. Even though the Gophers made it to the NCAA tournament (first round loss vs. St. Louis), I recall a season that felt disappointing and unfulfilled. I would venture to say that McDonald was dearly missed that season.

Not only did this little exercise solidify my support for McDonald's time with the Gophers, but reminded me how solid Randy Carter was, particularly facing off against the post players listed above game after game. Carter certainly deserves a spot on a roster over the likes of Holman, Tollackson, and Mo Walker.
Nice post. Hard to argue with your research. Again, in defense of my affinity for Nolan was his lock down defense which doesn't show up in your chosen statistics.

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