Could this team of homegrown Maryland basketball players win Olympic gold?
Could a Maryland-only basketball team win gold at the 2016 Olympics?
Excluding the disastrous 2004 Olympics, the United States has been an overwhelmingly dominant force in international basketball since pro players began being used in 1992. So what if the US could only use players from the state of Maryland? That's the hypothesis CSN is testing. Rules: Only active players are eligible ... The Maryland team will compete on behalf of Team USA in the 2016 Olympics in Rio ... Players are considered "homegrown" if they spent the majority of their formative years in the state.
Coach: Mike Brey (Bethesda, Md.)
After serving as an assistant at Duke, Brey has won 2/3 of his games as a head coach at Notre Dame and Delaware. He is a DeMatha (Md.) graduate. Three-time Big East Coach of the Year. Has made the Elite 8 two of the last three years in South Bend.
PG: Ty Lawson (Clinton, Md.)
Lawson's personal issues have overshadowed what he is capable of on the court over the past year and he struggled mightily in Houston, then Indiana last season. But he's only one year removed from averaging 15.2 points and 9.6 assists per game.
SG: Victor Oladipo (Silver Spring, Md.)
The DeMatha Catholic (Md.) graduate is continuing to find his way in the NBA and could fuction -- at the very least -- as an elite perimeter defender on a team like this. Offensively, he's still not efficient, but he'll be a pest on the perimeter and he would thrive where this team is built to excel -- in transition.
SF: Carmelo Anthony (Baltimore, Md.)
Anthony was born in Brooklyn, but his family moved to Baltimore at the age of 8. He starred at Towson Catholic (Md.) before transferring to Oak Hill (Va.) and playing one year of college ball at Syracuse. In the international game, Anthony is a versatile asset who can play either the small forward spot or a small-ball power forward. On this Maryland team, he'd be one of the two featured scorers.
PF: Kevin Durant (Seat Pleasant, Md.)
As he is on Team USA, Durant would be the centerpiece of Team Maryland. He is a nightmare as a small-ball power forward in the international game, an unstoppable scorer who can single-handedly take over a game.
C: Roy Hibbert (Bethesda, Md.)
Hibbert was born in New York City, but his family moved to Maryland when he was two. With a roster like this, maybe a true big like Hibbert isn't necessary. But there will be a need for bulk against certain teams in the tournament and Hibbert could be of service.
Reserve PG: Jarrett Jack (Fort Washington, Md.)
At 32 years old, don't forget about Jarrett Jack. He was on a bad Brooklyn Nets team last year, but posted 12.8 points and 7.4 assists per game. The biggest key is having a reliable ball handler and distributor off the bench. Jack is that.
Reserve PG: Markelle Fultz (Upper Marlboro, Md.)
The lone collegiate player on this roster, Fultz is entering his freshman season at Washington in 2016-17. DraftExpress.com, though, has him as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 draft. He 6-5 and can play the off-ball spot as well. With all of this NBA talent, maybe he wouldn't get much run on the team like this. He deserves to be there, though.
Reserve SG: Will Barton (Baltimore, Md.)
Barton spent the early part of his NBA career trying to find the right fit. He seems to have found it in Denver. The high-energy wing averaged 14.4 points and 5.8 points per game for the Nuggets last season. As a player off the bench, he would fit well.
Reserve SG: Gary Neal (Baltimore, Md.)
Every team needs a pure floor spacer. With scorers like Durant and Anthony plus slashers like Oladipo and Barton, there's going to be a need for someone to stand outside the three-point line and knock down open shots. He shot 41 percent on nearly three threes a game for the Wizards in 2015-16.
Reserve SF: Rudy Gay, (Baltimore, Md.)
Sure, there are criticisms of Rudy Gay. But there isn't a whole bunch of scoring off the Team Maryland bench and Gay provides it. He might even be a quality starter if Durant plays a small-ball center, Anthony play power forward, and Gay plays small forward. If not, he's a dynamic sixth man on this team.
Reserve SF: Michael Beasley (Cheverly, Md.)
Beasley has bounced around throughout his career because of his off-the-court troubles, but as a bench player here he provides extra bench scoring and another capable forward.
Reserve SF: Jeff Green (Cheverly, Md.)
Green's production over the past few years has slipped, but as a bench scorer he's valuable. Georgetown product.
Reserve PF: Jerami Grant (Hyattsville, Md.)
Grant is part of the young core in Philadelphia that the Sixers hope will be a major part of their future. Long, athletic bigs off the bench are valuable. He averaged 9.7 points and 4.7 rebounds in 26.8 minutes per game last season.