Originally posted on Taking Bad Schotz  |  Last updated 8/3/12

Recently a lot of people (including our own Appel) have been comparing the 1992 Dream Team to the current USA team, which is a dream team in itself. This article won’t continue to hammer at that now worn out topic, but rather pose a new question about Olympic basketball. If last year’s University of Kentucky basketball team replaced Team USA, where would they place?

Via sportsmisstress.com

With Olympic basketball shifting toward an era where players might have to be 23 or younger, this scenario is not too far-fetched. Obviously other schools would have a representation on the squad, but if Kentucky keeps having their entire starting five in the lottery, who knows.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand, where would Kentucky place in this year’s Olympics? I think the only team that is a guaranteed loss for Kentucky is Spain, as they have too much experience and enough talent and athleticism to compete with anyone in the world, let alone Kentucky. However, since the teams would be in different pools, Kentucky would not have to deal with Spain until later on if at all. In Pool A, I imagine Kentucky would lose to both Argentina and France, as they would have never played anyone with the skill of Tony Parker or Manu Ginobili, not too mention that both teams are fairly deep with NBA talent. Due to their experience, strength, and depth, Argentina and France should be able to handle UK, but it would not surprise me if there was an upset. Keep in mind that at least four of the starting five from Kentucky last year could easily average at least ten points per game, which is something neither France nor Argentina can claim.

Credit David Becker/Getty Images

As for Nigeria, Tunisia, and Lithuania, I think Kentucky would handle them all rather easily. We all saw the thumping that Team USA put on Tunisia, and when Anthony Davis played it was clear that he would have been the best player on their team too. The only NBA players on Nigeria are Al-Farouq Aminu (promising bench warmer for the Hornets) and formerly Ike Diogu. Quite frankly, Kentucky is far too talented for Nigeria to compete with, even though they have somewhat of a talent in Aminu. As for Lithuania, although this team has experience with each other and is familiar with the European game, their only NBA players is Linas Kleiza and soon to be Jonas Valanciunas, which once again means Kentucky has more talent than this team.

So heading into elimination games, I imagine the standing looking something like this: Group A: 1) France 2) Argentina 3) Kentucky 4) Lithuania Group B: 1) Spain 2) Russia 3) Brazil 4) Australia.

This would leave Kentucky in a showdown against Russia, as the three seed from Group A plays the two seed from Group B. At first site, Russia looks like an impossible matchup for Kentucky, but wait just one second. Anthony Davis would still probably be the best player on the floor (you may be thinking AK47, but would he make Team USA? Probably not). Russia’s next best players are Alexey Shved, who was just signed by the Timberwolves and Timofey Mozgov, who is most famous for being dunked on by Blake Griffin. No other player on the team has played in the NBA for more than 5 years. Keep in mind that Kentucky had more size than most teams, with a front line of Anthony Davis, Terrance Jones, and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who stand in respectively at 6’10, 6’9, and 6’7. Now in no way is this game a lock, but for fun, I’m saying Kentucky wins this game, putting them in the final four with Spain, Argentina, France, and Spain.

This would set up a matchup between Kentucky and Spain; a game in which Spain would teach the young Wildcats a few lessons about professional basketball. This would set up a rematch with either France or Argentina for the Bronze medal, and due to the implications of the big game, I see the Kentucky falling short, which would place them fourth in the Olympics. Placing as the fourth best team in the world is definitely an impressive mark, especially for a bunch of young college kids. Don’t get me wrong, if my pool play predictions were correct Russia could take down Kentucky, which would place them at 5th/6th, but that is still an impressive mark since everyone valuable on Kentucky is born after 1990.

In case you completely disagree with me keep in mind the following things: 1) Kentucky already has great team chemistry. 2) They have enough size to compete. 3) Fatigue would not be a factor as games are only once every three days, far less consistent than the NCAA Tournament. 3) Anthony Davis would be the best player on the court in all but three games. 4) The “European Game” is suitable to Kentucky, as their bigs are mobile and the three-point line is no further than in college.

Let me know your thoughts, and congrats Kentucky Nation, you almost won a hypothetical medal.

-Langer

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Doc Rivers: Clippers have plan to let Paul Pierce retire as a Celtic

Another young 49er, Kaleb Ramsey, retires from NFL

Saints GM: Drew Brees’ contract situation is not a ‘distraction’

Tim Tebow: ‘I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in’

Olympic athletes warned about Rio's 'human crap' waters

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

T.J. Ward: Broncos defense doesn’t care who’s playing QB

Tokyo already dealing with rising costs for 2020 Olympics

Bears first-round pick Leonard Floyd carted off practice field

Report: Bills and Tyrod Taylor continue to talk extension

Report: Title contender planning to poach Curry from Warriors

Fitzpatrick on negotiations: I wouldn’t wish it on anybody

Diamondbacks nearing Daniel Hudson trade

Gabby Douglas can make USA Gymnastics history at Olympics

Week 3 will determine the Big Ten's reputation this season

Cam Talbot thinks the Oilers are close to making the playoffs

The new era of WWE SmackDown has liftoff

Vlade Divac: Cousins ‘most dominant player in the world’

Wild offer to make Prince's 'Let's Go Crazy' new goal song

Canucks don't dismiss acquiring player with past issues

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar ordered to pay $900K to auction house

Six potential landing spots for Nick Foles

Jack Nicklaus puzzled by Tiger Woods' woes, golf absence

Brown responds to Marshall's high-stakes challenge

College Basketball News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker