Roundtable: Picking 2015 squads

Last year, we asked our national scouts to choose their starting five players to compete in a one-game situation, regardless of class.

Well, now we're moving the goalposts. We asked the identical question for this week's roundtable, only this time the teams are confined to juniors.

Here's a look at each of their squads:

Josh Gershon: Starting at point guard, there's not a whole lot of top options nationally, but I'll go with our current top-ranked point guard, Justin Simon. Justin actually is a combo who is capable of playing and guarding the one, two and three. He's also very unselfish and will fit in well with the players around him, having no problem creating and deferring to others, while also defending multiple positions, rebounding and playing the right way.

At shooting guard, Malik Newman is a pretty easy choice. Newman is a big time scorer that can create his own shot whenever he wants. While he's only 6-foot-3, his strength and skill level should make him an extremely productive player in college. If you need a basket, he's the guy in 2015 most capable of getting it.

Simon and Newman give me two guys that can really defend, and my small forward will be of that same mold given his size and athleticism. Jaylen Brown is 6-foot-6 with a terrific frame and should be able to defend multiple guard positions. He's more scorer than shooter but with the athletes around him and his own defensive ability, he's going to have a lot of open looks and make my perimeter tough to penetrate.

At power forward I'm sticking with my theme of athleticism and versatility going with Ivan Rabb, who can easily play both the four or five at the next level. Rabb's size, length, athleticism, skill and motor make him the top prospect in 2015 and he's a guy who will always be able to get points in the paint, while also rebounding and defending.

Just because I want the most athletic team in the country and between Newman and Rabb I'm more than happy with my scoring, I'm choosing Cheick Diallo as my center over the significantly more skilled Diamond Stone. With Rabb I have a very good post scorer, so Diallo just needs to play hard, defend, rebound, score on putbacks and block shots, all things he does at a very high level.

I feel like this group of five prospects gives me the most versatile, athletic and defending 2015 lineup in the country, while I also have an elite scoring shooting guard and post if my team needs a bucket. I have an elite defensive team filled with athletes who can shut down opposing teams while also pushing tempo offensively. Simon, Brown and Diallo will all thrive in transition, while Newman and Rabb can score just as easily in the half court.

Brian Snow:

PG: Jalen Brunson

SG: Luke Kennard

SF: Jaylen Brown

PF: Ivan Rabb

C: Stephen Zimmerman

I chose this starting five because I think they would fit well together more than they are the most talented. Guys like Malik Newman demand the ball a lot, and that could get in the way when putting together an elite five. With this group Brunson is the top playmaker with a high basketball IQ in the class, Kennard provides big time outside shooting, Brown is the physical freak who attacks off the bounce, Rabb brings toughness down low, and Zimmerman provides skill being able to play in the high post giving Rabb room to work. Overall. I think this group complements each other perfectly and would be extremely difficult to defend while also having some good defensive players making it difficult on any other team.

Evan Daniels: I'm taking Ivan Rabb with my first selection. At 6-foot-10, Rabb continues to develop as a prospect. He's long, mobile and active. Offensively, he is improving at a quick rate and began to show he can score both facing the rim and with his back to it. On top of that, he's impressive on the defensive end and gets to his fair share of shots. Next to Rabb in the low post, I'm taking Diamond Stone. He's a big, strong presence who can really score around the basket. With Stone and Rabb, I would have two fairly skilled offensive players, as well as good interior rebounders. I like that combination.

The three perimeter players I'd go with are Justin Simon, Malik Newman and Luke Kennard. I like all three of these players because of their versatility. All three can play both on and off the ball and be effective in that role. I'd probably start with Simon on the ball and give him the primary ball handling duties because Newman and Kennard are two of the top scorers in the Class of 2015. Simon's biggest strength is his long-range shooting, so that's why I picked Newman and Kennard because that gives me two legitimate three-point threats, as well as high skill level players. Plus, all three are solid defenders.

Rob Harrington: This is a frontcourt class, so I'm building my team with those positions in mind. First things first, I'm taking the most talented overall big man with Ivan Rabb. He'll get primary touches in the offense and enable me to play inside/out.

I'm going to go a little bigger and slower defensively than ordinarily would be the case, because I think my opponents in this class will not mount great perimeter offense. Thus, Cheick Diallo is my enforcer inside who will take pressure off Rabb defensively, absorb any foul difficulties and finish well when given opportunities. At wing forward, I'm actually going to play face-up four Ben Simmons. Though not ideally suited to defend the wing, he's a magnificently versatile player and will blend very well on a mega-team. He isn't as scrappy as some of the other guys in this class, but he won't need to be a primary rebounder due to the presence of Rabb and Diallo.

My point guard is not a point guard, he's a wing. But I love Malik Newman's game, he can handle and defend the position, and frankly I don't have many one-on-one offensive players in the frontcourt. Simmons will make the cerebral plays, but Newman will be there to push the action and apply pressure. He's also the guy I want to draw up plays for when the game is on the line. Beside him, I want a catch-and-shoot specialist with some overall athleticism, and that's Luke Kennard. He'll play a role, knock in shots and find the open player from possession to possession.

Evan Daniels, Brian Snow, Josh Gershon and Rob Harrington contributed to this report


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