Even given the flexibility in the rules of assembling any team that could reasonably take the court at one time, we realize we're stretching it a bit here. (Who guards the two, really?) But for every mismatch this lineup faced defensively, it would create an even greater mismatch at the other end (which college two is going to guard Casey Jacobsen, really?), and perhaps force opposing coaches to go big themselves, playing right into this lineup's strength.
Chris Hernandez, Brook Lopez and Casey Jacobsen were unanimous or near-unanimous selections, and Josh Childress was a clear-cut choice as well. That leaves picking between the Collins brothers for position number five, with the loser the clear-cut captain of the Second Team. Jarron averaged 28 minutes per game over his junior ('99-'00) and senior ('00-'01) seasons, in which he scored 11 and 13 points per game, respectively, averaged 6.5 boards, shot 52 percent and had 0.6 blocks and 0.6 steals per game. Jason, meanwhile, scored eight and 14 points per game each season, a virtual tie with Jarron, but did have slightly more blocks, at 1.4 per game. The biggest tiebreaker, though, is that Jason shot an insane 62 percent his junior and senior seasons (and having an inch on his brother doesn't hurt either). Sorry Jarron, but you're MVP of the Second Team.
Again we're staying big -- for whatever reason, both men's basketball and football have seen more successful big guys than smaller, speedy guys through the years. (Though interestingly, our MVPs in men's basketball, women's basketball and football are of the shorter and speedier variety.) Leaving Law Hill and Nick Robinson off this team is hard. Hill never quite replicated his All Pac-10 sophomore season (though he did come close his senior year), while Robinson was a stout defender but, one shot against Arizona notwithstanding, was limited offensively. Those two get to be co-captains on the third team though.
Interesting how a Collins and a Lopez are on the Second Team, as they were on the first. Their brothers might have overshadowed them a bit during their careers on the Farm, so Robin Lopez and Jarron Collins: congratulations, you guys deserve it.
Hard to leave Dan Grunfeld and Landry Fields off the All-Decade teams, but Fields basically played a season (2008-‘09) and a quarter (the non-conference part of the '09-'10 season) in the past decade, as he averaged all of four points in his freshman and sophomore years coming off the bench. He's in the running to be Pac-10 Player of the Year this year, but averaged only 12.6 points per game last year, which while good, is not the 21.5 he's averaging this year. Similarly, Dan Grunfeld was a liability defensively, especially after his knee injury, and only had one great season, his junior year of 2004-'05. His senior season, Grunfeld did average 12 points per game, but shot just 25 percent deep and 39 percent overall, no doubt still bothered by that knee.
Coaches say defense wins championships, and with Anthony Goods and Lawrence Hill providing the scoring and Michael McDonald shooting over 50 percent deep (and 49 percent overall) his senior year, Stanford can afford to go with two players with quieter stats up front. Quietly or not, Little did average nine points per game his sophomore, junior and senior seasons, showing remarkable consistency on both ends of the court. Robinson, meanwhile, never topped the eight points per game he averaged his senior year, yet played over 20 minutes per game his sophomore and junior years and 33 minutes per game his senior year, which speaks volumes about what Mike Montgomery thought of his defense. Speaking of Monty, our MVP and Coach of the Decade were also near-unanimous selections…
MVP: Chris Hernandez
Coach: Mike Montgomery
Stay tuned for the football and women's basketball teams, to be unveiled in the upcoming days!
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