Early last week, multiple videos surfaced on the internet of Louisville head coach and noted old guy Rick Pitino playing pickup basketball. His skills have probably diminished some since his days playing for UMass, but he’s not terrible!
Look at him unleash this cash jumper. Hand down, man down number 8. Grab a seat on the pine.
He facilitates too! My man 23 STILL doesn’t know where the ball is.
Rick Pitino with the no-look dime! ( : vinnygoodtimes/IG) pic.twitter.com/2bFD8BHCx4— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) May 13, 2017
So, these videos got us thinking. What if we were to put together a pickup team for 5-on-5 with only mid-major coaches. Well, we think we might have a squad that can run with the best of them.
Jason Gardner - IUPUI
During his time at Arizona, Gardner was a member of some Wildcat teams that found sustained NCAA Tournament success that included a loss in the 2001 National Title game. He averaged double figures in scoring every year of his career, and led the Wildcats in scoring in 2001-02 with a mark 20.4 points per game. Simply put, he gets buckets, and every good pickup team needs a bucket getter.
Damon Stoudamire - Pacific
Keeping it in the family of former Arizona guards, Stoudamire is another guard that could fill it up in his days as a Wildcat. In his senior season, he averaged 22.8 points per game and was named PAC-10 player of the year. Stoudamire experienced a lengthy NBA career, the best years of which came early in his career with the Toronto Raptors. Do you want to guard somebody rocking this fire of a jersey? Didn’t think so. Better tape your ankles because he will be looking to put you on skates.
Dan Majerle - Grand Canyon
If you don’t think Thunder Dan can still step out and make it rain from outside, I have bad news for you. The Commander in Chief of college basketball’s most exciting young program brings a sweet shooting stroke that landed him three NBA All-Star appearances. Every pickup team needs a guy that can stretch the floor out to halfcourt and take at least one unnecessary heat check per game. Thunder Dan is that guy.
Donyell Marshall - Central Connecticut
Not enough spacing on this team? How about a guy that once hit 12 threes in a single NBA game. Marshall is the prototypical stretch 4, and would absolutely be the guy that only plays three point line to three point line. Life’s too short to take twos, and Marshall knows where his bread is buttered. A former Big East Player of the Year and NBA journeyman, Marshall is capable of being a microwave scorer that ends a game in a heartbeat.
Dan Hurley - Rhode Island
Every pickup team needs at least one guy that actually puts in some sort of effort on defense, and Hurley can be that glue guy for a team. Need a guy to check the other team’s best player? Need a guy to make the extra pass to open shooter five feet beyond the line? Need somebody to stand in a corner while another guard calls “ISO” and yell “EXPOSE HIM”? Hurley is your guy. Just let him do his thing.