If Aneesh and I were to have fantasy draft with only Purdue players this is what would happen.
Being the dedicated fantasy sports nerds we are, Aneesh and I always bring up fictional drafts for basically anything (be sure to ask him how great his FF team is. I'll go ahead and tell you, dead last out of 16 teams. SUCK IT!)
This email exchange over drafting Purdue was our best one yet, so we decided to share.
Note: These selections were based upon ability and man-crush-level. Carry on.
Aneesh Ramaswamy: First, we both called Ray Davis our favorite freshman coming in to last season, so I think it's fair that we split custody. Ultimate glue guy, doesn't mind coming off the bench, and every aspect of his game is fairly solid. He could improve as a shooter, but his energy and willingness to be "Painter on the floor" is what attracted us to his game.
You get the first pick honors. Proceed.
Steve Landrey: Deal, but keep in mind that I loved RayD before he got here. So if he has a breakout year be prepared to hear from my lawyer.
With the first pick in the draft, I choose 6'10" RS freshmen Jay Simpson
Absolutely LOVE what I've seen from Simpson so far. Amazing footwork in the post, good instincs, great motor, good athlete for his size, and has shown he can hit the open j. I think he'll be a quality 4-year player and definitely could make some All B1G teams during his career. Soft hands too, and damn, he's has had some beautiful passes from the post when guys cut hard to the basket. Painter always raved about him, and I'm totally on board. Excuse while I go wipe the drool off my face while you make your selection.
AR: Don't you dare take Ray Davis away from me. You monster.
Good investment pick. He'll be a 4-year player and our frontcourt foundation. I'll take....Kendall Stephens. Maybe a stretch pick here, but I love gunners and he has the green light from Coach Painter to sling it whenever he wants. I can't describe how much I love his off-the-ball movement, and I want him shooting like 7 threes a game. He's that good.
SL: I think you're an idiot for taking Stephens this high. Too small of a sample size to take him this early in my opinion, and I've not been impressed with his defense. But homie can shoot.
With my next pick I gotta go with my boy, Errick Peck. Peck is a do-it-all, versatile forward. He can shoot, both long and mid-range, he can pass, rebounds hard, plays great defense, and has solid handled. Loving what Peck is bringing to the table. He's averaging 9 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 2 assists, a block and a 3pt a game as well as 7 teaching moments per game and 18 wisdom points. His leadership and flow for the game is just what this team needs. I'm psyched to see what he brings this season.
Alright, Jobin, lets see who's next.
AR: I have an addiction to gunners. I can't help it.
STEVE. I wanted Peck here. Ugh...then...I'll go with...Ronnie Johnson
. I fully expect RJ to be in the "Best B1G Point Guard" conversation sooner than later. His first step is so quick, and his decision making on the fly is so fun. He's improved as a defender and a shooter, and is a leader. I'm happy with my backcourt.
SL: Excellent pick! I love what I've seen from RJ this season! His scoring has been so much better than last year - loving his shot selection. I think the addition of Bryson Scott is going to help him a lot as well. One thing I've noticed in our first few games is how great RJ is at moving without the ball. Him and Scott together are a mean back-court.
I've been sitting here for a bit thinking about this one, and it's not easy. But, I need a play maker - so I'm going with Terone Johnson. I know what I'm getting with Terone: heart, intensity, and someone who will learn from his mistakes throughout the season and progressively get better and better. Terone has gotten off to a very slow start, but I think he's going to pick it up and take over as the leading scorer for this team. I'm really banking on him being a better 3pt shooter, though. Obviously my team is shaping out to be a blue-collar, grind it out sort of team thus-far.
There are two players who I know you really, really want, and I really really want them too. So let's see who you got with this next pick.
AR: A.J. HAMMONS, I CHOOSE YOU.
You know my defense of AJ: he has an NBA body, great touch around the rim, and is a defensive force when he is engaged. But what caused him to slip in this draft (and what could hold him back in the eyes of NBA scouts) is his frustrating tendency to mentally check out when he's untested. Last year he went hard against Cody Zeller
, but for the majority of the season was on cruise control. Good offseason reports and a solid performance against CCSU are really all I have this year, but I'm banking on significant improvement as we get closer to Big Ten season. As an aside: I also am completely convinced that he's headed to the NBA next summer. He is already a year old for his class (he turned 21 this summer) and I think his perfect situation is on a contender that has great talent development and needs a cheap big (see: OKC Thunder or Miami Heat).
RJ/Stephens/Hammons...oh my squad is running and gunning for sure.
SL: Predictable. I've got my front court locked down, but my backcourt needs some work. Gotta go with the grit, spit, and grind of Bryson Scott. I love how he attacks the basket, but has also shown he's a capable passer. His aggressive defense is great, too. You may be gunning, but I'm going to be bruising and tough to get a rebound. And if your game slows down, these guys aren't giving you much in the half-court.
Every game increases my infatuation for Bryson Scott's
game. When he has a head full of steam in the open, nobody is stopping him. In the half court, he has uncommon patience in probing the defense and retreating when he is forced out of his comfort zone. Combine that decision making with solid FT shooting and the ability to work on- and off-ball, and you get our long term backup to Ronnie.
Give me all of Basil Smotherman's athleticism, please and thank you. I need a freewheeling wing who can bang in the post, and Smotherman gives it to me in the most potential-laden way. He has great halfcourt vision, loves making baseline cuts, has fantastic chemistry with RJ, and shows promise as a versatile defender. I honestly feel like he could be our most electric player next year, and I'm excited to see his interplay with RJ grow.
My team is running all day. I might hire Mike D'Antoni as an assistant and score 130 points per game.
SL: You can run and gun all you want, but I see a team that's going to have a lot of turnovers and be a risk on the defensive end.
I need high energy, athleticism, and to stretch the floor. Sterling Carter
, come on down!
I wasn't really sure what to expect when Carter came to Purdue, but this guy has easily become one of my favorites. He plays his heart out and will do whatever it takes to get the team a W. He can shoot, he can defend, and he doesn't give up on any plays. Your team will run, but I've got defense, high IQs, and balance. I think I've got a mini Memphis Grizzlies style of team right meow.
Bench building time. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say the next player you take is connected with a Mexican dish that begins with a "ta" and ends with "acos".
AR: DANGIT I WANTED ALL OF THE GUNNERS.
Hmm...hey, what to know what I had for dinner last night? TAAAAAACCCCCOOOOOOOOOSSSSSSSSS
SSSS. It's a sign. Travis Carroll
is my man here. If this squad has AJ Hammons, I'm gonna need Tacos to push him to greatness. I can't describe how happy I was reading offseason reports that Carroll was the hardest working big on the roster, and how Hammons, Simpson, and Peck glowed when they talked about his work ethic. He'll come off the bench without a complaint, do all the dirty non-box score things on the court, and grow a ferocious beard (http://www.jumboheroes.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Carroll-Beard.jpg
). He has legitimate pick-and-pop chemistry with RJ, and plays like he won't take his last year of basketball for granted. This is everything I want from my bench mob.
SL: Love what Carroll is going to do this year, and I definitely think he's going to be overlooked in his role (hustle, defense, lead by example)
I'm going to add another potential 3-pt threat with Neal Beshears. My only consistent 3-pt threat is Carter, and Beshears has the ability to be a stretch four off the bench when I need. Behind Carroll, I believe Beshears is our best deep bench player and can definitely help out if we get into deep deep foul trouble (knock-on-wood that never happens but probably will because these new hand rules are bull)
You wanna keep this party going?
AR: We're drafting every player on the roster.
My favorite non-Reggie Miller player in the 90's was Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway. So of course I'm going to pick the freshman guard from East Chicago named Anfernee Brown. No brainer pick here.
Welp, when I kick your ass in the fictional game we are going to play later today I'll need a victory stogie to celebrate. What better way to let a team know it's all over than to put Stephen Toyra
on the court. Toyra's nickname needs to be the Human Cigar just for that reason.
AR: Give me Jon McKeeman or give me death. Honestly, I have no idea who he is. But he's on my team, and now has my undying loyalty.
SL: I'm taking the rights to Vincent Edwards and Isaac Haas and ending this draft right now, so suck it.
I like the way my team turned out. Maybe we should send Painter our rosters and have an inter-squad scrimmage held. Next time we are drafting the "All Big Ten Douche Bag" team. That might have to wait until B1G season starts so we can see who is playing more consistently.
AR: Get your guys oxygen masks, because they can't run with my boys.
SL: Blow me