The International Olympic Committee announced Friday that 3-on-3 basketball will be an official Olympic sport in 2020. It’ll be a half court game, rather than full court. It got me thinking about which three NC State players I’d pick to compete in this sort of competition. Which three guys, across all eras, and assuming they are all in their Wolfpack primes, give me the best chance to win in a format like this?
(David Thompson, noted human cheat code, is ineligible on account of he has a previous commitment with being awesome.)
So, you have a half court game to 21, let’s say. The three-point line is in play. You can pick any three players ever to wear the NC State jersey, except for DT. You only get three. Other than that, there are no rules here. Take three bigs if you want, take three guards. Who do you choose, and why?
Here’s the basic structure I’d use to build my team, and my picks:
PG/Breakdown Guy: Dennis Smith — The 3-on-3 game is going to be wide open, and while that should benefit shooters, I also need a guy that can break down guys off the bounce, and nobody fits that description better than Dennis, who is already more explosive than half the guards in the NBA. Con: not the best passer. Pro: don’t matter broke ankles. DSJ is my closer; I expect him to make big shots where necessary, like the court at the Olympics is Cameron Indoor.
(Also considered: Lorenzo Brown, Sidney Lowe, Cliff Crawford)
SG/Deadeye Guy: Scott Wood — There are going to be tons of real estate available in this format, so I need a dude who is going to spot up in the corner and feed off of Dennis for three after three after three, and I don’t think anyone’s better suited for that than Scott Wood, who will earn countless of open looks whether or not he has help from his point guard.
Also considered: Rodney Monroe, Dereck Whittenburg, Ilian Evitmov)
SF/PF/Stretch/Little-Bit-Of-Everything Guy: T.J. Warren — Get. Buckets. I don’t need to explain to you guys how T.J. Warren is almost always in the right place at the right time to get buckets. We saw that for two years. Warren will score in every which way and he’ll also clean up the boards in a format like this, because, again, he is always in the right place. That means plenty of easy put-back scores. I mean seriously, think about DSJ and T.J. playing together. Dennis breaking guys down, T.J. always cutting to the right open spot.
(Also considered: Marcus Melvin, Tom Gugliotta, Juilius Hodge, Richard Howell)
That’s what I have; please submit your picks and arguments in the comments. I also asked folks on Twitter who they would choose and got some excellent submissions.
I'd probably go with (in my time) Rich, Lacey, TJ— Matt (@UMwolfpack87) June 9, 2017
Doubt it is the best team but Hodge, Evtimov, McCauley https://t.co/ZzwlIiiCP6— AndyBrinkBrinker (@WulfPack91) June 9, 2017
Howell, Corch and Monroe— Will Thompson (@thrillis4) June 9, 2017
Howell, Monroe, TJ— Drew Johnson (@d_johnson13) June 9, 2017
Dennis Smith, Jules of Harlem, Shackleford— Will (@W_HendersonJr) June 9, 2017
TJ, Googs, and Monroe— Madison Currin (@MadisonCurrin) June 9, 2017
Dennis Smith, Rodney Monroe, Tom Burleson. Unstoppable.— JS (@spencer_josh) June 9, 2017
Monroe, Gugliotta, Warren.— Jeff Roda (@JeffRoda1) June 9, 2017