As if the week in college hoops wasn’t crazy enough, Alabama and Minnesota took things to the next level this afternoon when the Crimson Tide were forced to finish the last 9-10 minutes of the game with just three players.
In case you missed it, the two teams got into a significant fight in the second half that resulted in Alabama’s entire bench getting ejected for leaving the bench area (Minnesota had one player ejected). With just five guys left, Alabama carried on but was soon reduced to four men when Dazon Ingram fouled out of the game with a little over 11 minutes still to play. A dire situation turned even more grim when the Bama Four were reduced to three because of an ankle injury suffered by John Petty.
Despite only having three guys left, Alabama actually made things interesting behind a 40-point effort from freshman phenom Colin Sexton. Ultimately, Minnesota was able to hang on for an 89-84 win, though the real winners are the people who saw the game play out.
Anyways, this got me thinking. If the Zags ever found themselves in a similar situation, what would be the most ideal trio to field? I posed the question on Twitter with an available selection pool of any Gonzaga player, former or current. Here are some of the responses I got:
With three players - defense doesn’t matter. Just need to rebound and be able to get their own shot.— Tom (@Except_for_Tom) November 26, 2017
Give me Morrison, Wiltjer and Sabonis.
Morrison, Santangelo, Perkins. Just want three dudes who can dribble through traffic and hoist up threes. https://t.co/A0gCvdCosG— Steven Karr (@SKarrG0) November 26, 2017
Gray, Pangos and Sabonis— Zag Basketball (@zagbball) November 26, 2017
Give me Morrison, Pargo, and Turiaf. I'm not sure there's any combo that isn't gonna be in big trouble.— Garth Woldseth (@GarthWoldseth) November 26, 2017
Adam, Pargo and sabonis ? I feel like i could come up with other good teams. https://t.co/PX6cFv7SRS— Ray (@rloyola) November 26, 2017
I go Morrison, Dickau and Olynyk https://t.co/vSvztdD6Qd— Adem Arac (@AdemAracWUSA9) November 26, 2017
We even had one of the more popular options himself chime in!
Morrison, Pargo, and Me lol— Kyle Wiltjer (@kwiltj) November 26, 2017
As you can see, there are some varied squads that can be best organized into three distinct philosophies: Talls, Smalls, and Balanced. Is it better to have size that can shoot? What about a smaller, more athletic lineup that can fly around the court and create their own shot? Or, maybe just throw out three bigs that can bludgeon the other team (Karnowski, Domas, and Turiaf would be hilarious).
My initial instinct was to go with a trio of Morrison, Pargo, and Sabonis as Ray did above. But that group of Morrison, Sabonis, and Wiltjer would be incredible and I almost talked myself into that squad winning a game. Killian Tillie and Zach Collins would also be fun pieces in a jumbo squad.
What do you all think? Name your three below and let the hypothetical sports scenario debates commence!