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Xavier's TBT dream team: the bench

Five guys may make a burger joint successful, but you need more than that to win a million bucks hooping.

Stanley continues to play a particularly physical style of defense.
Stanley continues to play a particularly physical style of defense.
Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Brad laid out earlier today which five recent Musketeers he would take to The Basketball Tournament if little things like prior commitments and logistical nightmares didn't exist. He did a pretty good job identifying five excellent candidates, but - as the early Coach Mack teams demonstrated - five guys does not a roster make. TBT hasn't been around long enough for us to know whether or not you need a deep bench to win it, but for the sake of argument I'm going to assume you do. I'm augmenting Brad's starting five with a second unit of guys who will nicely fill in the gaps.

Matt Stainbrook

Teams that are thrown together for events like this generally don't have a lot of time to work on their set plays and pattern offenses. To combat that, you can go one route and fill your team up with guys who can get buckets on their own. The other option is to find players who have an intuitive sense for team offense - manipulating the defense with ball and body movement to open up good shots. Matt Stainbrook is kind of the former but primarily the latter; he can get you buckets by working to his left hand on the post or finding teammates whose defenders are already daydreaming about their next offensive possession.

Stan Burrell

The flip side to that is that you're going to need someone to guard the other team's guys who can go get buckets, and you can go a long way before you find someone as mean on the ball as Stan Burrell. His shot selection and general offensive IQ vexed Xavier fans from time to time, but he carved himself a niche as a top-notch defender and has gone on to a successful career hither and yon in Europe. Nobody is coming to TBT hoping to face a guy like Stanley; he'll frustrate a lot of opposing scorers.

Derrick Brown

Despite the fact that his shot mechanics look like he learned them from a flip book that somebody shuffled the pages of, there's no denying that Brown was and remains an effective scorer. He can score with the jumper and indeed as a jumper; his dunking prowess was the stuff of legend at Xavier. As a bench scorer from the wing, he's hard to beat.

Drew Lavender

This is a team full of dudes who can get buckets, so you're going to want someone who can effectively distribute the ball. Lavender filled that role on one of my favorite Xavier teams of all time, but he could also put the biscuit in the basket when the occasion called for it. His recent TBT heroics may have influenced my pick here a bit, but I still defend it as a sound one.

Josh Duncan

The strongest player in the program's history, at least according to reps on the bench. Duncan rebounded well and was a serviceable shot blocker, but his real value was in being an efficient scorer. He has since made a name for himself in Europe, particularly Israel, as a reliable 16 and 9 guy. When he's your 10th man, you've got a good squad.


There's what I have, but there were some painful cuts along the way. If you were building a TBT team for Xavier, who would you select? Who would you drop from our squad?