High School Hoops Dreaming
A look at a ‘dream team’ of current prep hoop stars.
by Kellon Hassenstab / @Hoopniks
The concept of a “dream team” is one that calls to mind many things, but for longtime basketball fans, the 1992 United State’s men’s Olympic basketball team is the most important. Following an Olympic team made up of college players who stumbled to a bronze medal in 1988, a squad of the hottest NBA stars (and one college player) of the time was assembled to run roughshod of International competition in 1992.
The United States does have youth teams that play in international competition, but occasionally has constraints that prohibit some talented players from being able to represent their country. With that said, this article takes a look at a boys’ high school basketball dream team, composed of the players who would start, as well as the reserves, from players currently in high school in America. In addition, the coaches who would be needed to mold this team toward success are also selected.
Point Guard – Andrew Harrison, 6-5, 2013, Fort Bend Travis (TX): A deadly combination of size, strength, court vision, and the desire to flat out annihilate opponents makes Harrison the pick to be the floor general for this team. He’ll have to focus his energy on opponents and keep himself in check, but when he’s on, there’s no one who can defend him.
Shooting Guard – Shabazz Muhammad, 6-6, 2012, Bishop Gorman (NV): Yes, critics will say that Muhammad does not possess an accurate enough stroke to be thought of as a prototypical shooting guard, but there’s very few defenders in his age group that can stay in front of him, and prevent him from getting to the rack. A fabulous athlete, Muhammad has elite gifts, and mixes them with a non-stop motor.
Wing Forward – Jabari Parker, 6-7, 2013, Simeon (IL): With a pair of guards that can get to the cup at will in the starting lineup, Parker will be able to showcase his mid-range-and-beyond shooting. Parker has a complete, all-around game and will defend three positions, for the most part. With off the charts intangibles and hoops IQ, Parker rarely makes the wrong play.
Power Forward – Julius Randle, 6-9, 2013, Prestonwood Christian (TX): The manchild of the inside, Randle is a prototypical prospect at the 4. His ability, skill level and strength make him a tough cover and an immediate mismatch against most opponents. Randle will dominate the paint, but also step out for jump shots.
Center – Mitch McGary, 6-10, 2012, Brewster Academy (NH): While not a true center, McGary’s energy and physicality overcome his size, which perhaps would not be ideal for a dream team. He’s tough, plays hard and most importantly never stops his motor from running, which is a true asset for any team. McGary will provide energy and enthusiasm to this team.
Guard – Marcus Smart, 6-4, 2012, Flower Mound Marcus (TX): The grown man of the high school ranks this year, Smart can play three positions, and perhaps will play point guard at the next level. He’s a team-first competitor who passes, rebounds and does dirty work. Smart is advanced physically, and is the beast of the backcourt.
Guard – Archie Goodwin, 6-5, 2012, Sylvan Hills (AR): You’re probably thinking to yourself that this team needs a zone buster, and Goodwin is that guy. He’ll stretch opposing defenses with his shooting range, and be capable of jump starting the offense instantly off the bench.
Forward – Kyle Anderson, 6-8, 2012, St. Anthony (NJ): A rare point guard mixed with a wing forward, Anderson is the best passer in the high school ranks, and seemingly fits into any system. Anderson will facilitate the offense at times, and in the half court, the basketball goes through him.
Forward – Isaiah Austin, 7-0, 2012, Grace Prep (TX): At only around 200 pounds, Austin is still a work in progress. But with so many physical specimens on this squad, Austin will be allowed to do what he does best, and showcase his unorthodox inside-outside offensive game.
Center – Nerlens Noel, 6-10, 2013, Tilton (NH): A feared defender, Noel will block shots and guard the interior like no other. His offensive game is emerging, but Noel will be allowed to erase the shots of any offensive player who dares to drive the lane against him.
Guard/Forward – Andrew Wiggins, 6-7, 2014, Huntington Prep (WV): The only native Canadian on this dream team, Wiggins makes the squad since he plays high school hoops in the United States, at power Huntington Prep. Wiggins is a gifted athlete that is so fluid all around. He’ll be allowed to develop, and also push the older players on this team, if they want to stay in the lineup.
The coaching staff would be headed by Hall of Fame head coach Bob Hurley Sr, the legendary head man at St. Anthony (NJ). He’s been depicted in books, movies and articles, and won virtually every award that a head coach can garner. With four high school national titles under his belt, Hurley knows how to win. He’s headed teams with tons of talent before, and his brash and forward style would prevent the egos on this team from getting out of control.
The able assistant to Hurley Sr, would be 27-year head coach at Oak Hill Academy (VA), Steve Smith. Though he has a winning track record like Hurley Sr has, Smith’s forte is molding the best players from across the country into a team. Each year at Oak Hill, the majority of the team is comprised of players who were used to being “the man” at the schools they came from. Smith gets them to buy into his system, and has finished undefeated numerous times after succeeding in his mission.
This team appears to mix the best talent in the high school hoop ranks with experienced and savvy coaches. But, there are many elite players from coast to coast. Who would you pick for your team?