Friday, November 11, 2011

2011-2012 Season Preview: All-B.I.A.H Team

Let's get this out of the way early. This is not a republishing of our 2011-2012 B.I.A.H All-Name Team, nor is it our 2011-2012 Preseason All-American selections.

Instead we are providing a selection of players who we deem "our guys". The following players may not be the best in the country, but they do something special. Maybe it's their background story, maybe it's their attitude, level of hustle, personality or dunking abillity. Whatever it is, these guys are fun to watch and make it easy to root for them:

Consensus 2011-2012 All-B.I.A.H Team

Jared Cunningham - Forward, Jr., Oregon State
He kissed the sky. How many guys do you know who can do that. Doesn't get enough love playing out in Corvallis. This guy is a stud.

Kim English - Forward, Sr., Missouri
We love him for his twitter persona. In a day and age where student so rarely overlaps with athlete, English is a bright and intelligent kid that works as hard as anyone in the country on his game. How many players have you heard of sleeping in the gym?

Jorge Gutierrez - Guard, Sr., California
Who doesn't love a kid that is willing to put it all on the line, every single game? Gutierrez has always been a terrific defender, but he blossomed into a star offensively as a junior. He may be the best player and the hardest worker in the Pac-12 this season. Oh, and life story is nothing short of incredible.

Darius Johnson-Odom - Guard, Sr., Marquette
There's something about DJO that just makes him a thrill to watch. Maybe its the fact that he's a lefty. Maybe its the fact that he's an aggressive scorer, unafraid of taking a tough shot and capable of hitting them. Maybe its the fact that he flies to the rim with reckless abandon, forcing you to hide yo' kids, hide yo' mamas and hide yo' husbands.

Thomas Robinson - Forward, Jr., Kansas
Read this. There's really nothing else to add to it.

Coach: Mike Rice - Rutgers
What's not to love about this guy? He's fiery and passionate, yet polite, civil and fun to watch.

Troy Machir's All-B.I.A.H First Team

Olu Ashaolu - Forward, Jr., Oregon
I love this kid. The Louisiana Tech-transfer nicknamed "Air Canada" can get vertical in an instance. I'm not sure what it is about him, but man, I love watching this kid play. I might not love Oregon's psychedelic court, but I'll sacrifice my corneas in order to watch him play.

Gilvydas Biruta - Center, Soph., Rutgers
Gil is a throw-back style center who plays hard for 40 minutes. Unfortunately, he's constantnly in foul trouble, which limits his ability to play hard for the entire 40 minutes. Having spent much of my basketball career in foul trouble, I see a lot of myself in Biruta.

Michael Glover - Forward, Sr., Iona
The dude is nicknamed "Optimus Prime". How can I not love a guy with that nickname? He even shaved his nickname into his head during the MAAC Tournament last year. The senior scoring machine has loads of swagger that I could watch for days.

Kendall Marshall - Guard, Soph., North Carolina
The DC-native plays the game like he's a 10-year NBA vet. He sees the floor better than almost anyone in the country and his ability to run the offense with confidence is fun to watch. If I had to chose just one guy in the entire country to run the point for my fantasy team, it would be Marshall.

Mike Wilder - Guard, Jr., UC-Irvine
Seriously? Do I really need to explain myself on this one? Come on... SWAG....GER

Rob Dauster's All-B.I.A.H First Team

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist - Forward, Fr., Kentucky
There's just something about this kid that makes him imminently likeable. He's a supreme talent, but he's humble. He was a consensus top five player in the country his entire high school career, but he's unselfish enough to play a role for this Kentucky team, possibly coming off the bench.

Anthony Marshall - Guard, Jr., UNLV
Marshall is simply a grinder. He's a tough defender and a blue-collar workhorse, the kind of player you know is going to dive on the floor for a loose ball or step in to take a charge when Drew Gordon is barreling down the lane. And this year, he's going to be counted on to break out offensively. You'll hear his name a lot come March.

Ashton Gibbs – Guard, Sr., Pittsburgh
I was a shooter my entire life, so I'm naturally drawn to the players with the pretty strokes. I've said it before and I'll say it again, there is not player in the country that is more fundamentally sound coming off of an off-ball screen, and is no player more dangerous as a shooter when he is given a couple of inches to get a look at the rim.

Draymond Green – forward, Sr., Michigan State
How can you not love Draymond Green? He's an undersized power forward whose build makes him look like a prime candidate to be groomed to play the offensive line. But he's a terrific defender, one of the best in the country when it comes to boxing out and a guy that may end up leading the Big Ten in assists this season.

Ryan Pearson – Forward, Sr., George Mason
Everything about Ryan Pearson screams old man. His beard, his unkempt fro and, most importantly, his game. I don't mean that disrespectfully either. We all know the 40 year old guy at the Y that has that crafty, fundamental game that always seems to score even when you play lockdown defense. That's Pearson. And that's why I love watching him play. Never shave that beard, big fella.

All-B.I.A.H Second Team

Kent Bazemore - Forward, Sr., Old Dominion (Rob)
Mike Breusewitz - Forward, Jr., Wisconsin (Troy)
Brad Burgess - Forward, Sr., Virginia Commonwealth (Rob)
DJ Cooper - Guard, Sr., Ohio (Rob)
Zane Johnson - Guard, Sr., Hawaii (Troy)
Rob Jones - Forward, Sr., Saint Mary's (Troy)
Damien Lillard - Guard, Jr., Weber State (Rob)
Shabazz Napier - Guard, Soph., UConn (Rob)
Reeves Nelson - Forward, Jr., UCLA (Troy)
Alex Oriakhi - Forward, Jr., UConn (Troy)

Who would you put on this list? We'd love to hear from you, either in the comments or on twitter @ballinisahabit and @biahtroymachir.

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