Michigan Men: Could these guys win a national championship?

Posted: February 19, 2010 by Gavin Raath in College, High School

I’ve often wondered if State or Michigan just recruited the state of Michigan, would there be enough talent to win a national title.  Here are the top 13 Michiganders currently playing college basektball…

STARTERS:

Keith Benson  6’11”  C  Detroit Country Day — Oakland

I’m not alone when I say I thought Oakland was crazy for offering this guy, but now he’s one of the top posts in the country and considered a good commodity for the next level.  Averaging 17 and 10. 

DeShawn Sims  6’8″  PF  Detroit Pershing — Michigan

DeShawn would be my starting power forward.  He’s having quite a year statistically, but I’ve always questioned his heart.  Averaging 18 and 8. 

Jordan Crawford  6’4″  W  Detroit CMA — Xavier

Sat out his senior year with a leg injury so no one really recruited him until he killed it at prep school.  Jordan is quietly one of the top wings in the country, despite this.  Good for 20 a game.

David Kool  6’3″  SG  Grand Rapids South Christian — Western Michigan

Say what you want about Kool here, but he’s one of the best scorers the MAC has had in some time.  Averaging around 22 a game.

Tory Jackson  5’11”  PG  Saginaw Buena Vista — Notre Dame

I just love this guy at the point. He’s had a very good career at Notre Dame.  Good for 9 points and 6 dimes a game. 

Bench:

Brandon Bowdry  6’6″  Taylor Truman — Eastern Michigan

Double-double guy in the MAC that would be valuable at any level of the college game.  Averaging 17 and 10 per game. 

Draymond Green  6’6″  Saginaw — MSU

Draymond has been a pleasant surprise in college and is a fine back-up to Sims.  Good for 10 and 8 per game. 

Manny Harris  6’5″  Detroit Redford — Michigan

Manny kills it statistically, but he wouldn’t crack my starting line-up until he bulks up and plays defense.  Good for about 19 a game. 

Jonathon Jones  6’0″  Okemos — Oakland

He’s my back-up point guard for this team.  Good for 12 points and 6 assists per game. 

Kalin Lucas  6’1″  Orchard Lake St. Marys — MSU

Never been a huge fan of this guy, but he is a difficult match-up with his speed and quickness.  Good for 16 a game, but doesn’t pass enough to be my starting point guard. 

Josh Southern  6’10”  Saginaw — Boston College

The second guy from the High on my team.  Josh is a steady big man and would make an okay back-up to Benson.  Good for 5 and 3, despite being used in an inconsistent way

Durrell Summers  6’4″  Redford Covenant Christian — MSU

Thoroughbred athlete, but still waiting for him to meet his potential.  Good for 10 a game.

Dar Tucker  6’4″  Saginaw Arthur Hill — DePaul/NBDL

Went pro, but would only be a junior this season.  Really talented, just really misguided.  Averaging 11 a game for the LA D-Fenders. 

What’s your take — could these guys win a national title?

– Gavin Raath

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Comments
  1. greg johnson says:

    Jackson over Lucas……what have you been drinking?

  2. Pulley says:

    “Jackson over Lucas……what have you been drinking?”

    Jackson over Lucas……what have you been drinking?

  3. Jared Field says:

    I would take Lucas, but I’m ok with it. He’s more of a pure PG than Lucas and I love his toughness.

  4. giles says:

    Lucas was the MVP of the Big Ten last year and arguably the MVP of the national tournament, he’s the best player from the state by far

    • greg johnson says:

      Nice article but there is still no comparison between the two PG. Lucas is the PG that does what it takes to WIN. Score, dish, hustle whatever. Jackson hasn’t led his team to any significant victories or championships in college. Lucas isn’t even close to finished with writing his own history in college basketball.

  5. Jared Field says:

    Giles: This is not about the best player, but the best team.

    Again, I would have taken Lucas, but I understand why he likes Jackson better as a PG. He has turned into a prototype college pg at ND.

    His assist-to-turnover ration is almost 3 to 1! Lucas isn’t close to that. I just couldn’t leave him out of the starting five because he’s so good offensively.

  6. Gavin Raath says:

    Under four assists per game just isn’t enough to be my point guard. He’s probably more of a shooting guard in a point gaurd’s body. Besides, I have always felt like the tell-tale sign of a point guard is, as Jared mentioned, the assist-turnover ratio. Tory has that over Kalin, big time, and in the Big East.

    Lucas is still on my team — he could be my sixth man.

    • flintbball9 says:

      No, the tell-tale sign of a point guard is winning! That is what Lucas does, he wins. Is he a winner to the level of Mateen, no. But more of a winner than Tory and I like Tory’s game. So he is a shoot first point guard, that is what is asked of him and what his team needs for them to win.

  7. Gavin Raath says:

    I was also conflicted about having Javale McGee on my team. Does he count as a Michigan man?

  8. baller213 says:

    I’ve never been impressed with Crawford…..not much of a team player. Also, odd that no players from the best team in the state were able to crack the starting lineup. (Although Lucas is a topic of great debate right now.)

  9. Ryan says:

    Can’t see how you could question someone’s heart.

    With DeShawn I think it’s focus, but how can you really ever know for sure?

    Great list though.

    Basically two deep at every position except pg.

    • Jared Field says:

      Ah. I question his heart. Did you see that feature on B10 network when MSU played at Crisler earlier this season? Sheesh.

      Any players that doesn’t play hard very often probably has an issue with this.

  10. Marcellus Miller says:

    You know me…Manny absolutely has to be in the starting five along with Lucas. Jackson and Kool must go. Kool averaging just 3 points more against inferior competition. Further what about rebounds and assists from that spot? Gav, you my boy but it aint a chance he would beat out Manny. Lucas has been discussed enough already. I know we tend to favor the underdog, but let’s not get crazy

  11. Sorry guys, but your two best players are on the bench. That would be foolish. Effort is great, but at some level, talent trumps effort.

    • Gavin Raath says:

      My best player is Keith Benson. He puts up big numbers regardless of the competition.

      • If we’re arguing intangibles, Draymond Green should be starting over Sims. Green is a better rebounder, better passer and won’t wander out to the three-point line. He’s undersized, but better than Sims.

  12. Gavin Raath says:

    I’ve never been in love with Manny or Kalin, but I knew most people would pick those two for their backcourt. Watch Kool play this year; no one on this list has his touch with the ball. Defense could be an issue, but it’s an issue with everyone mentioned. If I need offense, I take Kool.

  13. Kevin Jackson says:

    The answer to the question no way in years past but NO WAY,…Indiana would like to have a word with u…. Oden, Conley, Singler, E gordon and the sr fort wayne in HS now Desean thomas…. this 4 year block is 1 of the worst in the history of the state…David kool are u serious there atleast 200 guards in the country of equal or greater value he is solid don’t get me wrong we talking bout national championship here representing the state he don’t even make the team honestly

  14. MoneyMan22 says:

    Lucas shows up every other game…wouldnt win a championship with him starting and you seen it last season

    • PJR says:

      Lucas is more of a short SG. Similar to an Allen Iverson type mentality really, but with far more limits offensively. The question I’d have for an all start team’s starting PG is DEFENSE not PPG. That’s just so key. Frankly there’s other PGs better than both listed, who if they got the chance to play with an all star lineup would be all world.

  15. Dave says:

    MANNY HARRIS WAS MR. BASKETBALL ALSO.

  16. actraiser says:

    Come on now, Jackson over Lucas is one thing, but Jones over Lucas too? Maybe you think Lucas is pretty overrated, but we’ve already seen him and Jones go head to head a few times now and it was clear who the better PG was. It’s safe to assume MSU and Lucas wouldn’t have much of a problem with ND and Jackson either.

    Crawford above Harris is also rather odd, just to be honest. Crawford definitely isn’t a better defender than Harris, can’t quite rebound or pass as well as Harris, and even forces more bad shots..

    Anyways, assuming a decent coach would be in place, meaning Lucas and Harris wouldn’t be riding the bench ;), then that team would have way too much talent not to compete for a national title. I mean look at UM right now and imagine how much better they’d be just from adding Green alone. He’d be the perfect facilitator for Sims and Harris. Then imagine if Lucas and Jackson were running things at PG, hey that team is looking pretty damn good. I mean hell, MSU is already a somewhat legit contender this year, so picture their team when you replace their frosh bigs with Benson and Sims. How about Jackson and Jones stepping in for PG instead of Lucious and Kebler. Throw in Harris and Kool for Allen and Thornton? Yeah, that would be ridiculous..

    • Gavin Raath says:

      Crawford’s %s are way better than Manny’s so you can’t argue that his shot selection is worse. And Manny’s rebounding is high because with Michigan’s goofy line-up, he plays power forward a lot of the time. Sims and Gibson are their only posts.

      Lucas, Dar and Harris would fight over being my sixth man, but none would run my point. I like Jones as strictly a back-up point for his passing and defense.

  17. PJR says:

    Really like the premise of this article. Just makes you scratch your head when you see who Beilein has vs who Beilein could get. And with a little thought you could really improve on this list of current college players, because many better ones play in lesser leagues. Anyway’s makes a solid point! Michigan’s a great hoops state and too many players are overlooked merely because they are playing in the backyard.

  18. G Mill says:

    Mr. Basketball doesnt give validation… I mean Jerod Ward was national player of year comin into michigan so…… But i see the continued debate and no way a PRO prospect like Manny should be on bench…. The team in itself would be good and even if Manny didnt start we know him and Kalin would be the ones finishing….

  19. B. Uff says:

    The big question is which Michigan guy is going to coach. I’ll take my chances with Dan Fife from Clarkston High. At least I know they will play some D…

    • You have got to be kidding…we are talking about winning a championship in college with a guy that has not won one in high school?

      • PJR says:

        Fife couldn’t coach his way out of a paper bag! The guy is the suburban PSL coach, as he illegally recruits shamelessly, and then wins a typically weak OAA with the stacked roster, then has the easiest path of anyone in the state to Breslin, and each and every year loses to the first good team he plays, book it, every year. Forgitaboutit! He’s part of the problem in high school sports!

  20. Marcellus Miller says:

    Derrick Nix won Mr. Basketball as well and we know how we feel about that…he is not even on the list. I take Manny any day of the week and twice on Sunday. Benson is good but needs help getting the ball. What if Manny played on a good team? Just a thought…

  21. Kevin Jackson says:

    My team starters
    Kalin Lucas
    Manny Harris
    Dar Tucker
    Tracy Smith
    Keith Benson
    Bench
    Deshawn sims
    Draymond green
    Durrell Summers
    Tory Jackson
    Jordan Crawford
    David Kool
    Josh southern
    Walk ons
    Tyjuan Porter
    Devin Searcy

    • Gavin Raath says:

      Good call with Tracy Smith. I remember there was a really good player from Detroit that went to prep school a few years back, but couldn’t remember who it was. Glenn Bryant did the same thing, but he’s obviously not Smith, at least right now.

  22. mainevent0043 says:

    Tory Jackson should’ve won it that year, not David Kool. Yes, I have seen David Kool play. Tory Jackson should’ve won.

  23. truth says:

    so 3 of Michigan state starters wouldn’t make your list?

  24. Williford says:

    I’m going to have to wait and see who the coach would be of these players first. The coach determines the team and the starters.

  25. […] wrote an article discussing the topic of whether it would be possible to just recruit Michigan and win a national title. That question wasn’t thoroughly answered, but what materialized was a debate over my starting […]

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