Each of our podcast personalities discussed an all-star starting five in our most recent podcast, and so now, we’re publishing each of their respective teams. With no clear best player and a wide range of talent available, picking one starting lineup is a tough task. However, here is Nathaniel Lapoint’s best shot.
Point Guard: Payton Pritchard – Oregon
- When it comes to the point guard position, there is nobody in the country better at running an offense than Pritchard. He has the clutch gene, seen in his recent 38-point performance against Arizona, he can both score and distribute the ball efficiently, averaging 5.5 assists and 20.1 points per game on 46% shooting, one of the highest shooting percentages by a guard in the country. No doubt that Pritchard is quarterbacking the offense here.
Guard: Devon Dotson – Kansas
- The Jayhawks are the best team in the country, and Dotson makes this squad go. All due respect to Udoka Azubuike in the paint, but the Kansas big man is not nearly as relevant without Dotson drawing so much defensive attention. And even with the attention, Dotson averages 18 points per game on 46.4% shooting, turning the ball over just 2.3 times per game. Pretty good guard to help Pritchard run the show.
Guard: Markus Howard – Marquette
- After securing two of the most efficient shooters in Pritchard and Dotson, the third guard slot belongs to Markus Howard, who leads the nation in three-point shooting. Although he shoots at a slightly more inconsistent clip, just over 41%, Howard launches up such a volume of 3-pointers that he is averaging over 27 points per game. His large quantity of shots and points, combined with the efficient play of Dotson and Pritchard create a dynamic scoring trio around the arc.
Forward: Vernon Carey – Duke
- One of several Duke stars, Carey puts up a solid 17.6 points per game and grabs just under nine rebounds. He shoots at a 58% clip, mostly from inside the paint, and he provides a powerful scoring option inside, if my trio of guards are struggling to get open looks.
Center: Luka Garza – Iowa
- Garza was a pretty easy pick to be my center. He’s one of the hottest players in the country right now, scoring 20+ points in all but two games of 2020. The Hawkeyes lean on their big man, who draws a ton of attention and still drops almost 24 points a game while cleaning the glass to the tune of 9.6 rebounds per game. Shooting at 55% and averaging 1.8 turnovers per game, the lowest on the team, Garza provides efficient and lethal inside scoring. Teams can’t guard Garza when he’s the best player on his team – try guarding him when he’s got three of the best guards in the country handling the ball.
Coach: Brian Dutcher – San Diego State
Dutcher deserves loads of credit for what he has done in San Diego. He’s taken the Aztecs from a middling Mountain West squad to potential #1 seed in the NCAA tournament, having just made the dance just once in the past four years. San Diego State wasn’t even projected to win the Mountain West Conference before the season, yet they’ve compiled a 27-1 record and a top-5 ranking. Lots of respect for the players out there, but without Dutcher at the helm, I don’t think this team is close to where it’s at.