Enforcers make a difference when it comes to the hoop game. The enforcer has to be a force in the paint, a monster on the boards, and one of the most feared players on both ends of the court. No enforcer has made a mark on the game like Larry Johnson brought us from the Runnin’ Rebels of UNLV. Johnson was the cog in the Runnin’ Rebel machine. Johnson led the team with 22.7 points per game and 10.9 rebounds. He wasn’t only the best player on this team; he’s the greatest in program history. Johnson was the co-Player of the Year in 1991, and his legacy will forever be as the man who led a slew of college stars to back-to-back Final Fours at a school that’s not supposed to do that sort of thing. The 1990 Rebels remain the last team from outside a major conference to win a title.
Center – Christian Laettner
The big fella has to make you remember who they are. In college basketball, the big fella can be versatile. He can be explosive in the paint or possess a mid-range game that leaves you thirsty for more. He should also have the ability to use the glass from the elbow like a shooter, and then he back you down and throw it down on you with a vengeance. Christian Laettner is probably one of the best players to ever grace the college basketball court. Love him or hate him, in the end, you had to respect him. As the Rev put it, “I hate Christian Laettner. I’ve always hated Christian Laettner. And I will always hate Christian Laettner. Yet, I believe that to this day, Laettner is the best college basketball player I’ve ever seen, and if anyone leaves him off their all-NCAA Tournament team, their ballots should be null and void. He is one of only four players ever to play in four straight Final Fours, starting in all four of them for Duke, winning the 1991 MOP and winning two titles for the Blue Devils.”
|PG||Ed Cota (3)||UNC Tar Heels|
|SG||Anderson Hunt (2)
Miles Simon (2)
|UNLV Runnin’ Rebels
|SF||Carmelo Anthony (2)||Syracuse Orangemen|
|PF||Larry Johnson (2)||UNLV Runnin’ Rebels|
|C||Christian Laettner (3)||Duke Blue Devils|
How we picked them:
|Rev. Paul Revere
The House That Glanville Built
Bull City State of Mind
|PG||Ed Cota||Ed Cota||Juan Dixon||Ed Cota||Tony Delk|
|SG||Anderson Hunt||Miles Simon||No Choice||Anderson Hunt||Miles Simon|
|SF||Jamal Mashburn||Carmelo Anthony||Carmelo Anthony||Glen Rice||John Wallace|
|PF||Larry Johnson||Christian Laettner||Christian Laettner||Larry Johnson||Keith Van Horn|
|C||Chris Webber||Marcus Camby||Lew Alcindor (???)||Christian Laettner||Joakim Noah|
There were others that were worthy of consideration of the team and great arguments were made. The most compelling argument for a player that didn’t make the list was made by Ed for Joakim Noah.
Here are the real deal facts about Joakim Noah’s time at Florida. Two-time NCAA champion, 2006 NCAA Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player and the catalyst for Al Horford and Corey Brewer to return to Gainesville and have their team repeat as champions in 2007. Noah’s leadership, defense, headiness and all-out hustle as a member of the Bulls has now become commonplace, but watching Noah’s antics at Florida made him simultaneously loathed and loved. I root hard for Noah, because any basketball team would die to have him on their team, and that’s the ultimate sign of respect for a player.
Here’s our All-Tournament team, but what’s your favorite all-time tournament team? Let us know in the comments section!