FINAL FOUR | All-Stars | April 3
Wow, what a group of stars shining in New Orleans.
Each year, a number of standout players compete for the national championship at the Final Four. Think about last year ... Maryland's Juan Dixon, Oklahoma's Hollis Price, Indiana's Jared Jeffries and Collison and Hinrich of Kansas. That's a good group, but it doesn't compare to this year (Collison and Hinrich are back, plus there are three more fantastic talents).
If you want to see superstars, you'll see them in New Orleans at this Final Four. In fact, a potential All-America team is competing this weekend. You can make a legitimate All-Star case for five players who will strut their stuff Saturday and represent their schools for the honor of playing for the national championship. This five probably could compete as a team at the next level, baby!
Start with T.J. Ford of Texas at point guard. Imagine his penetration and creativity with this group! Lining up next to him is Kirk Hinrich of Kansas, the off guard who can flat-out shoot. On the wing is Marquette's Dwyane Wade. His high wire act and great versatility would be special for any team. In the Elite Eight, Wade posted a triple double (29 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists) vs. Kentucky.
In the middle, big man Nick Collison has had some memorable moments for the Jayhawks, including last week's 33-point, 19-rebound effort against Duke. Or what about the 24-point, 23-rebound effort against Texas earlier this season. He has the size and strength to compete on the interior, and he can step back and shoot the jumper.
Finally, there is Carmelo Anthony at big forward. Anthony is the best freshman ever at Syracuse, and the Orangemen have had several diaper dandies of note. Think about Pearl Washington, Billy Owens and Derrick Coleman -- all among the elite at Syracuse. Anthony is a man among boys, and he's playing more like a senior these days, with such great poise. He can score from the inside or outside and has great charisma.
How would you like to line up with Ford, Wade, Hinrich, Collison and Anthony? This group of five superstars is gathering in the Big Easy, each trying to get his team a gold trophy in New Orleans.