Our second matchup of the summer pits fourth seeded Andy Wooldridge (Building the Dam) up against the five seed, two-headed monster in Mark Sandritter and Jeff Nusser (CougCenter). The winner of this matchup will meet David Piper, who won our first game, in the semifinals. Below are the rosters, followed by commentary from the respective owner:
- Head Coach – Sean Miller, Arizona
- Guard – Byron Scott, Arizona State
- Guard – Kevin Johnson, California
- Guard – Lionel Hollins, Arizona State
- Guard – Lester Conner, Oregon State
- Forward – A.C. Green, Oregon State
- Forward – Detlef Schrempf, Washington
- Forward – David Meyers, UCLA
- Forward – Jim Barnett, Oregon
- Center – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, UCLA
- Center – Lonnie Shelton, Oregon State
I had the opportunity to put not only the best post player in the history of the Pac, and quite possibly also the NBA on the floor, so it made sense to surround Kareem Abdul-Jabbar with a cast of players designed to support him, and also to do so night in and night out, and regardless of the strategy employed against them. In Kevin Johnson, we have fill it up scoring ability that will discourage anyone from just packing it in, to deny the entry. Byron Scott brings proven ability to score or distribute. A.C. Green can run the floor, but can also play the opposite side of the floor from wherever we choose to post Abdul-Jabbar up. Detlef Schrempf can rebound as well as score, either as a primary option or working off the boards, and both David Meyers and Jim Barnett can shoot over any defensive back line that doesn’t step out to them.
In the backcourt, Lionel Hollins can also play a variety of styles, capitalizing on whatever the opponent’s weakness is. Lester Conner was best known for his defense (hence the nickname “The Molester”), but also led a Pac-10 conference winning team in scoring and rebounding from the guard position, as well as in steals. And if an opponent wants to try to out-physical this team inside, big Lonnie Shelton can take care of that idea. The team can challenge anyone defensively as well as offensively, and as the numerous long and productive NBA careers many of these players had demonstrate, they know how to play the game over the long haul.
A team that is versatile and also loaded with a variety of personality types needs a flexible coach, and in Sean Miller, we have a leader who has demonstrated his ability to adapt to the talent at hand (and there’s certainly plenty of it on the roster). Miller has a tremendous number of options about how to match up with a variety of quality opponents, and won’t hesitate to change things up as needed.