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What makes a national champion?


Carmelo: the exception, not the rule.

Starting lineups of the past 10 NCAA Champions, with class of each guy in that season, and how many years that guy ended up playing in college:

2000 (Michigan State)
Morris Peterson (Senior, 4-year player)
AJ Granger (Senior, 4-year player)
Charlie Bell (Junior, 4-year player)
Jason Richardson (Freshman, 2-year player)
Mateen Cleaves (Senior, 4-year player)

2001 (Duke)
Chris Duhon (Freshman, 4-year player)
Jay Williams (Sophomore, 3-year player)
Mike Dunleavy (Sophomore, 3-year player)
Shane Battier (Senior, 4-year player)
Carlos Boozer (Sophomore, 3-year player)

2002 (Maryland)
Steve Blake (Junior, 4-year player)
Juan Dixon (Senior, 4-year player)
Byron Mouton (Senior, 4-year player)
Chris Wilcox (Sophomore, 2-year player)
Lonny Baxter (Senior, 4-year player)

2003 (Syracuse)
Kueth Duany (Senior, 4-year player)
Hakim Warrick (Sophomore, 4-year player)
Carmelo Anthony (Freshman, 1-year player)
Craig Forth (Sophomore, 4-year player)
Gerry McNamara (Freshman, 4-year player)

2004 (UCONN)
Ben Gordon (Junior, 3-year player)
Emeka Okafor (Junior, 3-year player)
Rashad Anderson (Sophomore, 4-year player)
Josh Boone (Freshman, 3-year player)
Taliek Brown (Senior, 4-year player)

2005 (North Carolina)
Sean May (Junior, 3-year player)
Jawaad Williams (Senior, 4-year player)
Raymond Felton (Junior, 3-year player)
Rashad McCants (Junior, 3-year player)
Jackie Manual (Senior, 4-year player)

2006 and 2007 (Florida)
Corey Brewer (Soph/Junior, 3-year player)
Taurean Green (Soph/Junior, 3-year player)
Lee Humphrey (Junior/Senior, 4-year player)
Joakim Noah (Soph/Junior, 3-year player)
Al Horford (Soph/Junior, 3-year player)

2008 (Kansas)
Russell Robinson (Senior, 4-year player)
Mario Chalmers (Junior, 3-year player)
Brandon Rush (Junior, 3-year player)
Darrell Arthur (Sophomore, 2-year player)
Darnell Jackson (Senior, 4-year player)

2009 (North Carolina)
Wayne Ellington (Junior, 3-year player)
Tyler Hanbrough (Senior, 4-year player)
Ty Lawson (Junior, 3-year player)
Danny Green (Senior, 4-year player)
Deon Thompson (Junior, 4-year player)

Now, I don’t mean to start anything, but do you notice what is missing from all the starting lineups of the NCAA champions of the past 10 years?  One and done players.  There has been all of ONE: Carmelo Anthony. 

How many of these 10 NCAA champs did not have at least one senior in the starting lineup: ONE.  2006 Florida.  And all of those guys came back for another season.

How many 2-and done players out of these 45 guys were on the national champion starting lineups?  THREE

Point being, if the trend of this past year continues at UK, and freshman dominate the starting lineup, there is no evidence that kind of lineup, no matter the talent, can win a national title.  And don’t tell me the Fab Five at Michigan, because last time I checked those guys didn’t WIN a national title.  And if we are to continue this “all or nothing” attitude at UK, national runners-up finishes don’t cut it.   

So, are you worried?

(In Cal we Trust, In Cal we Trust)

Article written by Bryan the Intern