Monday, November 21, 2011

The 2011-2012 All McDonalds-American Team

No, you didn't misread that.

"All McDonald's-American Team".

America is consistently rated as amongst the most obese nations in the world (#9 in 2011, 74.1% overweight or obese).

Listen, there isn't anything wrong with being big. Don't tell me you don't secretly yearn to eat a Five Guys burger at least once a week. But alas, most normal human beings are either too self-conscious or are into staying fit and healthy all the time.

For the "All McDonald's Americans", laying off an extra helping of pie is never an option. But for many of them, working out and getting in shape has always seem liked one. Offensive lineman can get away with being well-over 300lbs because, well, they don't have to run the floor and finish transition plays. Unfortunately for the hippos of the hardwood, endurance and stamina are an important part of the game, and hauling 300lbs of body mass up and down the court can take it's toll.

You probably know some of them, but not all of them, which is why we are here. To provide you the list of the fattest fatties and the biggest bigs in college basketball this season.

This list wouldn't have been possible without the creative idea-making of Eric Angevine from Storming the Floor, who once again, beat me to the idea-punch by about two years.

After the jump, you'll get a chance to get-to-know the elite class of 2011-2012 rotund roundballers.

Renardo Sidney - 280lbs, 6'10, Mississippi State

What is there to say about Renardo Sidney that hasn't already been said? He's the most troubled, ill-mannered, and unguided big-man in the history of big-men. Essentially, he is the Oliver Miller of our generation .

We all know Sidney's story, Never attended USC, sat out a year at MSU, got into a fight with a teammate a week after getting suspended from practice. He didn't even go to Europe with the team this off-season and stayed in Houston to train with John Lucas.

In Mississippi State's first four games he spent the majority of crunch time on the bench due to lack of stamina and effort. Sidney will continue to be handed second chances because his talent potential could be through the roof. But having showed little to no effort towards getting in shape, Sidney will continued to be looked at as a bust. A massive bust. He's such a big bust that he has his own de-motivational poster

Josh Smith - 305lbs - 6'10, Soph., UCLA

Josh Smith is the quintessential "Burger King". He's the "Renardo Sidney of the West Coast". The UCLA big-man is about as big as somebody his size can get while still being a functioning member of society. He is so large that whatever size uniform he wears still seems like it's two sizes too small.

But what makes him special is that he refuses to get in better shape or work on his endurance. His talent potential is so high, yet he has no desire whatsoever to go on a diet get better.

Smith averages just under 20-mpg, yet scores roughly 10-ppg. Imagine what he could do if he could play a full game.

Smith may have not been involved in the "food poisoning" incident involving Tyler Lamb, Anthony Stover and some late-night chili fries, but I'd be safe to assume that Josh is probably a regular at the Fat Sal's in Westwood.

Davante Gardner - 290lbs, 6'9, Soph., Marquette

Davante Gardner is a big boy. His vitals might not indicate it, but he's one of the biggest players in Division-I. Reports out of Milwaukee are that he has slimmed down since last year, and has put in some off-season work towards getting in shape.

Last year he showed that he can be a dominant force on the low block. He just has to be fit enough to play more minutes. Last season he played more than 15 minutes just four times. So far this season, he has registered at least 15 minutes in three of five games. By the end of the season, Gardner may be one of the most-improved wide-loads in the country.

Andre Almeida - 310lbs, 6'10, Sr., Nebraska

The Sao Paolo-native is the the most "under-the-radar" big-man in the country. It's not because he's got supreme talent, but rather because he's just so damn big.

If he played for any true basketball school, his size and stature on campus would be of legendary status. But at Nebraska, he looks like any other ordinary 315lb offensive lineman.

But make no mistake, this behemoth can ball. He scored ten key points in the Cornhusker's upset-win over Texas last season, and even drew the attention of ESPN's Scott Van Pelt.

You can call him "Size", "El Blanco Gigante" or even "Bobo Brazil", but just remember this: That dude is HUGE.

Joe Burton - 280lbs, 6'7, Jr., Oregon State

Joe Burton holds the distinction of being the largest college basketball player of Native American decent. In fact, he may be one of the biggest Native Americans ever.

At 280lbs, the big-man has slimmed down from the 290lb-frame he carried around while playing basketball and volleyball in high school.

Burton may be the smallest guy on the First Team, but he's also the shortest, which makes his center of gravity just as massive as Josh Smith's.

In fact, when UCLA and Oregon State go at it during Pac-12 conference play, everyone else should get out of the way. Nearly 600lbs of body mass is going to be battling on the low block.

Reggie Johnson - 305lbs, 6'10, Jr., Miami

If it had not been for a knee injury late in the summer that set him back 5-6 months, Big Slim right here would have been a sure-fire first teamer. He's just so damn big.

Seriously, I'm at a loss for words as to how big he is. He's huge. Wide. Tall, big, massive. All of that. Plus, he's got some serious skills. His level for potential is as high as Sidney's and Smith's.

This would have been a big year for Johnson (pun definitely intended). He was working hard in the off-season, even shed some weight. But a productive junior year could have definitely improved his draft status, which was already trending upwards.

It will be interesting to see if being on the shelf for five months impacted his physique. It probably did. That's a scary thought, because he's freakishly-large already.

Derrick Nix - 270lbs - 6'9, Soph., Michigan State

We've written about this big-man before. Two years ago he entered East Lansing closing in on 300lbs.

Since then he's put the work in and lost a ton of weight. At the beginning of the preseason he checked in at 267lbs and had added a significant amount of muscle.

The big-man still needs to work on his agility and lateral movement, but an athletic Derrick Nix will be a useful weapon for the Spartans this year.

We all should be fans of Nix. I know I could benefit from shedding some extra mass, and you probably could too.

Jared Sullinger - 280lbs, 6'9, Soph., Ohio State

Sully is the superstar of this group. He uses his size masterfully and is arguably the most dominant low-post player in the country.

His merciless rebounds skills were made possibly by his giant legs and massive backside. There are not many players in the country with better pure rebounding skills thatn Sullinger.

Sully could have been a lottery pick, but decided to stay and school. He spent much of the off-season losing weight and adding muscle.

He might not be the wide-load he was last season, but he's still a big dude.

Honorable Mention

Matt Stainbrook - 290lbs, 6'9, Soph, Western Michigan
Matt Balkema - 285lbs, 6'10, Jr., Eastern Michigan
Rayshawn Goins - 279lbs, 6'6, Jr., James Madison
Chad Lang - 275lbs, 6'11, Fr., Belmont
Barry Honore - 270lbs, 6'7, Sr., Oklahoma
Daryl McCoy - 270lbs, 6'9, Jr., Drexel
Marvin Williams - 270lbs, 6'8, Fr., Lipscomb
Derrick Williams - 270lbs, 6'6, Fr., Richmond
Steve Moore - 267lbs, 6'9, Sr., Missouri
Devon Long - 260lbs, 6'7, Fr., Cleveland State

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