TBT Dream Teams - Houston vs. LSU

 

By: Josh Brown | @josh_brown31


This Lone Star-Bayou matchup is epic! 

They may be known for their college football teams, but no shortage of basketball stars have passed through Texas and Louisiana. In fact, we'll see several on display tonight when No. 24 Houston (8-0) hosts LSU (7-2) at Hofheinz Pavillion. Considering everyone from NBA Hall of Famers to overseas stars have passed through these two institutions, it got us thinking, what would this matchup look like in TBT 2019? We attempt to answer that burning question below.

Houston Alumni

Don’t look now, but Houston basketball is BACK. Less than a year removed from their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2010, the Cougars are nationally ranked and sporting a perfect 8-0 record. What better way to capitalize on this momentum than enter a team in TBT 2019? It goes without saying, but the no-brainer choice to lead the team into battle is Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwon. We could go through all his accolades, but when you’re talking about Hakeem, that’s probably unnecessary. A backcourt of Aubrey Coleman and Rob Gray would immediately make this Houston squad a contender. You might remember Coleman from his 2009-2010 campaign when he scored an insane 896 points and finished the year as the NCAA Division 1 scoring leader. He’s currently in his ninth season overseas. His backcourt mate, Rob Gray, knows a thing or two about the scoring the basketball as well. In just three seasons, the 6-foot-1 guard became the AAC’s all-time scoring leader. In last season’s NCAA Tournament win over San Diego State, Gray scored a career-high 39 points and hit the game-winning layup with 1.1 seconds left. He’s currently balling with the G-League’s Fort Wayne Mad Ants.

Unfortunately for opponents, it doesn’t get much easier in the frontcourt. Although he only played two seasons for Houston after starting his college career at Alabama and Eastern Mississippi Community College, Devonta Pollard quickly became a fan favorite. In his senior season, Pollard was second on the team in both points per game (14) and rebounds per game (5.7). Joining him at the other forward is Devin Davis, a critical member of last year’s NCAA Tournament team. In fact, he was the only Cougar to start all 35 games and led the team with 6.3 rebounds per contest.  If you haven’t heard his story, do yourself a favor and check out this article. Davis is currently with the G-League’s Lakeland Magic. Rounding out the starting five for Coach Olajuwon is big Kyle Meyer. Although he missed out on the NCAA Tournament by one season, Meyer helped lay the foundation for the program’s recent success. After starting his college career at Iowa and Eastern Florida State College, Meyer played 64 consecutive games for the Cougars and helped lead the team to two NIT appearances.

Houston vs LSU Insta Piece 1

 

LSU Alumni

From a historical perspective, could LSU put together the best TBT team of all-time? From Shaq, to the late Pete Maravich, to Ben Simmons, to Glen “Big Baby” Davis, the LSU basketball tradition runs deep. While we obviously will not be seeing that quartet lace ‘em up together, the Tigers can still put together one of the scariest teams TBT has ever seen. Considering he knows a thing or two (or four) about winning championships, The Big Aristotle would be the obvious choice to take the reins. If that were to happen, it would only be right that his good friend Chuck starts a rival Auburn squad. Running the backcourt for the LSU Alumni are two guys who bleed purple and gold despite only playing a combined four years at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. One of those guys is Marcus Thornton. The Baton Rouge native finished his LSU career with 1,347 points (21stin program history), a 20.4 scoring average, and 2009 SEC Player of the Year honors. Thornton is in his first year in China after spending eight of the last nine years in the NBA. His hypothetical backcourt mate, Keith Hornsby, teamed up with Ben Simmons to form one of the best backcourts in college basketball in 2015-2016. Although his season got cut short due to an abdominal injury, Hornsby averaged 13.1 points and was a member of the SEC Community Service Team.

Boston Celtics fans will love this team’s frontcourt. At one forward is Jordan Mickey, who is currently balling in Russia but spent 2015-2017 on Causeway Street. As a freshman at LSU, Mickey became just the second Tiger in program history to block at least 100 shots in a season. Any guesses who the other one is *cough Shaq*? The following season, Mickey led the nation in blocked shots per game (3.6) and was named First-team All-SEC. He could also score the ball, averaging 15.4 points and pulling down 9.9 rebounds per game. Brandon Bass, who spent 2011-2015 with the Celtics, gets the nod at the other forward. A Baton Rouge native, Bass was named the 2005 SEC Player of the Year after averaging 17.3 ppg, 9.1 rpg, and 1.6 bpg. He went on to play 12 years in the NBA before heading over to China in 2017. As if this team needed any more firepower, Johnny O’Bryant III would be a great choice to man the middle. In his three years at LSU, O’Bryant became just one of 14 players in program history to record 1,000 career points and 700 rebounds. He was subsequently drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks in 2014 and has also spent time with the Nuggets and Hornets. He’s currently balling for Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel.

Houston vs LSU Insta Piece 2

 

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