Posted March 21st, 2007 by Brian
Filed under: Basketball

LaMarcus AldridgeTexas’ NCAA Tourney run may have ended Sunday with a loss to USC, but the Horns are running away with their first round game in SI.com’s What If Tourney. It’s the third year they’re running the tournament that tries to decide who would win the national championship if high school players had never been allowed to enter the NBA early and everyone had to spend four years in college.

The Longhorns add [tag]LaMarcus Aldridge[/tag], P.J. Tucker, [tag]Daniel Gibson[/tag], and C.J. Miles back to the team. Those four guys along with [tag]Kevin Durant[/tag] and D.J. Augustin would make for an incredibly good and incredibly athletic team:

Kevin Durant is nearly impossible to stop. Add Aldridge, Tucker, and Gibson and you can subtract the word nearly from that last statement. Aldridge, who averaged 15 points and nine rebounds last season has shown great strides in his rookie year, including a 30-point performance against the Bobcats this month. Who knows how good he’d be as a junior in college?

Keep D.J. Augustin at point guard, and move Gibson, who goes from playing with LeBron to Durant, to his natural two-guard spot. Along with A.J. Abrams and Jazz guard C.J. Miles off the bench, Texas’ athleticism and depth are mind-blowing. If anything, the additions add some experience to a team whose top eight scorers are freshmen or sophomores.

Having Aldridge back in the middle of the Texas defense would have made a huge difference for this team. He’s easily the guy I’d most want back. He can run the floor well with all these young guys, play tough defense, and give the Horns a scoring threat down low. Of course having Gibson playing the two would be pretty nice as well. He’d have gotten a ton of open looks with Aldridge and Durant, and size at the guards was a real problem for Texas at both ends of the court this season.

A starting five of Augustin, Gibson, Durant, Tucker, and Aldridge sure would’ve been fun to watch. The three guys who left early probably aren’t regretting it one bit (especially when they look at their bank accounts), but it’s hard to believe at least one of them didn’t decide to stick around for a chance to play with Durant. Any one of those guys could have made a real impact on this year’s young group of stars.

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3 Comments

  1. reply to  #1

    rick

    wheres the texas usc article at.ha ha

  2. reply to  #2

    Brian

    How’d you enjoy UH’s mediocre season Rick?

  3. reply to  #3

    chris

    I am not a huge basketball fan but I have 2 quick observations and I will leave you guys alone: 1) Rick Barnes is a great coach/recruiter, and needs to be in the NBA
    2) Kevin Durant had no business playing in the NCAA.

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