I’ve had this idea for a while now to pick 16 teams of current and former Wichita State basketball players — the best players in the history of the program (or at least since the mid-1950s) — and play off a tournament.
I’ve done the easy part, and it wasn’t that easy. I have gone through my brain and the Wichita State media guide to choose 80 players who make up the teams. I’ve split them into positions — each team has a center, power forward, small forward, shooting guard and point guard.
In some cases, I’ve fudged on the positions. But not a lot.
And with the help of Shocker basketball fans Derek Pruett and Jamin Anderson, we’ve come up with a way to play this tournament. We’ll do so in February on an XBox 360 gaming system.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve spent a significant amount of time with Pruett and Anderson inputting data into the system in an attempt to make this Shocker Invitational as realistic as possible. Understanding, too, that a game potentially involving Dave Stallworth matched up against Cleanthony Early pushes realism to its boundary.
I selected the 80 players by trying to come up with the best 16 at each position. There are good players who were left out. And some who got in mostly because of the position they play. It was not easy to find 16 worthy point guards, for instance. But for the sake of the tournament, it was important that the teams be as close to a traditional five-position team as possible.
Then I randomly put the teams together by drawing numbers out of a hat. In a few cases, I made a change for the sake of competition. Mostly, though, the numbers out of the hat thing worked really well. Surprisingly well.
I’m curious to get the feedback of Wichita State basketball fans, too. Some of you obviously don’t go back to the 1950s. Even I don’t go back that far. But there are folks out there who know a lot about the history of WSU hoops and I want your input on what you think of the teams. We’ll devise a bracket soon and set times and establish a location so that fans can watch these games being played out.
Should be fun.