Hansbrough tops All-Decade Team

We’ll give this weekend a look, but first we’ll take

one last look at the last 10 years and our all-decade team:

F –

Tyler Hansbrough, North Carolina (2005-09) –

Psycho T was all about production. He was a National Player of the

Year winner who went to three Final Fours and won a national title

in his final game of his four-year career. Hansbrough averaged 20.2

points and 8.6 rebounds in his career.

F –

Carmelo Anthony, Syracuse (2002-03) – I know

it was only one season, but it was one that was as special as any

player has enjoyed this decade. ‘Melo averaged 22.1 points

and 10 boards for the ‘Cuse and led the Orange to the

national title in 2003. He exploded for 33 in a national semifinal

win against Texas and had 20 points, 10 boards and 7 assists

against Kansas to give Syracuse its first national title.

C –

Emeka Okafor, UConn (2001-04) – Was the most

dominant defensive player in the nation over his three seasons in

Storrs from 2001-04 and also helped the Huskies hang a banner in

2004. Okafor averaged 17.6 points, 11.6 boards and 4.1 blocks as a

junior while battling a stress fracture in his back and finished

with 24 points and 15 boards in the national title game win against

Georgia Tech.

G –

Jason Williams, Duke (1999-2002) – Won a

national title and also was a National Player of the Year in his

three seasons with the Blue Devils. Some forget how dominant he was

on the court after a motorcycle accident derailed his NBA career.

Williams averaged 19.3 points, 6 assists and 3.7 boards per game in

his career.

G –

Dwyane Wade, Marquette (2001-03) –

He’s become an NBA star, but wasn’t highly regarded

coming into college. Wade averaged 19.7 points, 6.5 rebounds and

3.9 assists in his two seasons in college and led the Golden Eagles

to the Final Four in 2003. Had one of the most memorable

performances in the decade with a triple-double against Kentucky to

put Marquette into the Final Four.

RESERVES

G –

Jameer Nelson, St. Joseph’s (2000-04)

– He led the Hawks to an undefeated regular season in 2004

and also took Phil Martelli’s team to an Elite Eight with the

help of Delonte West. Nelson scored more than 2,000 points in his

four-year career and also dished out in excess of 700 assists.

G –

J.J. Redick, Duke (2002-06) – Spent four

years in Durham and was a scoring machine, but didn’t make my

list of starters because he struggled in the NCAA tournament.

Redick was the National Player of the Year in 2006.

F –

Kevin Durant, Texas (2005-06) – Was the

first freshman to win National Player of the Year honors while

dominating from the day he stepped onto campus in Austin. Durant

only spent one season in college and averaged 25.8 points and 11.1

boards per game.

F –

Blake Griffin, Oklahoma (2007-09) – Was the

National Player of the Year in 2009 and dominated for the Sooners,

averaging 22.7 points and 14.4 rebounds per contest.

F –

Al Horford, Florida (2004-07) – Many will go

with the more vocal and flashy Joakim Noah, but I’m going

with the “other” frontcourt stud. Horford’s

production was nearly identical as the Gators won two national

titles in 2006 and 2007. Horford was also the leader of the Gators.

F –

Shane Battier, Duke (1997-2001)– Most of his

career was spent in the 1990s, but the versatile forward did win

National Player of the Year award honors in 2001 while leading the

Blue Devils to the national title.

F –

Adam Morrison, Gonzaga (2003-06)– He’s

been a flop in the NBA, but he was a big-time scorer in his three

seasons in Spokane. Led the country in scoring in 2006 when he led

Gonzaga to the Sweet 16.

Player of the Decade – Tyler Hansbrough

Coach of Decade – Roy Williams, North

Carolina- Williams edges out Tom Izzo and Billy Donovan with two

national titles and four Final Fours – including one while he

was at Kansas.

Now it’s time to take a quick look at this

weekend’s action.

CAN’T MISS: When Louisville coach Rick

Pitino – who was a hero at UK a decade or so ago –

returns to Lexington Saturday afternoon and is mercilessly taunted

by the Wildcats faithful. Pitino and Calipari don’t like one

another, but Kentucky and Louisville take it much further than

that.

UNDERCARD: This is one heck of an undercard with

two of the half-dozen unbeatens left in the D-1 ranks, West

Virginia and Purdue, going at it on New Year’s Day. The

Mountaineers, who have squeaked past Seton Hall and Marquette in

the last two games, travel to West Lafayette to take on Matt

Painter’s Boilermakers.

PRESSURE: UConn faces Notre Dame at home on

Saturday at noon. The Huskies are coming off a loss at Cincinnati

and haven’t really beaten anyone of note this season. UConn

can hardly afford to fall to 0-2 in Big East play since they still

have road contests at Villanova, Syracuse and Georgetown this

season.

REAL DEAL?: Dayton and New Mexico are both Top 25

teams. The two will play at The Pit on Friday night at 9 p.m. ET in

a game that will give the winner a quality resume victory for

March.

HOW THE MIGHTY HAVE FALLEN: Remember the days when

Arizona-UCLA was a big-time matchup. Now virtually no one cares

nationally. The Wildcats are in major rebuilding mode and Ben

Howland’s program is floundering with youth and a lack of

talent.

UPSET SPECIAL: My record is a sizzling 5-of-6 thus

far this season, so pay attention. I’m taking an 8-5 Penn

State team to knock off Wisconsin, which has wins this season

against Duke and is coming off a convincing victory over Ohio

State.

MID-MAJOR MATCHUP: Southern Illinois at Illinois

State on Sunday night. The Salukis struggled last season, but are

8-2 this season and have won five straight. Illinois State is 10-2

and is coming off a victory against Wichita State.

DANGEROUS: I’m not sure how Buzz Williams

has done it, but Marquette is 9-4 and nearly knocked off West

Virginia on the road. Now Marquette gets Villanova in Milwaukee on

Saturday afternoon.

STAYING PERFECT: There are six unbeatens left in

the country, but one will go down on Friday when West Virginia

plays Purdue. That leaves Kansas, Texas, Kentucky and Syracuse as

those without a blemish – for now.

STILL SEARCHING: Just a handful remain without a

victory: Penn, Marist, Bryant and a pair out of the SWAC:

Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Alcorn State.