One storied college program represented in NBA 2K17 is Georgia Tech, and the Yellow Jackets definitely deserve to be included in the mix.
Sure, the Rambling Wreck might not have the championship pedigree of their higher-profile Atlantic Coast Conference brethren like Duke and North Carolina, but the Jackets still rank as one of the top programs in what is still rightfully regarded as the best college hoops conference in all the land.
And as for the list of all-time greats selected for NBA 2K17, let’s just say well, it’s a start. Of course, most of the expected legends, guys like Kenny Anderson, Chris Bosh, Marc Price, John Salley and Dennis Scott are included.
However, there are a few notable omissions, starting with the third member of “Lethal Weapon 3” in Brian Oliver, whose contributions to that Tech team which went to the 1990 Final Four only to lose to eventual national champions UNLV, can’t be overstated. Anderson, Oliver and Scott were a terrific trio and Oliver’s name should be included in this group of all-time GT greats.
Other notable omissions are Matt Harpring, Roger Kaiser and Stephon Marbury. Harpring, a three-time all-ACC performer, twice as a first-teamer, was a first-team All-America in 1998 who went on to have a solid NBA career.
Kaiser was the school’s first All-American who led Tech to its first-ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Kaiser was also a conference player of the year back when the Jackets played in the Southeastern Conference.
Harpring and Kaiser both also have their numbers retired by the school. As for Marbury, who was a one-and-done player in the program, but what a season it was for Starbury, who average 18.9 points per game to earn ACC Rookie of the Year honors and a spot on the league’s first team in 1996. Marbury then went on to play 15 years in the Association.
And there are some other strong supporting players from past Tech teams who also deserve to be included, guys like Bruce Dalrymple, Duane Ferrell, James Forrest, Matt Geiger and Rich Yunkus.
Dalrymple and Ferrell were both ACC Rookies of the Year while Forrest and Geiger both provided the Jackets with some strong inside play. As for Yunkus, whose number is also retired, he averaged an impressive 30.1 points as a junior and still ranks as the school’s all-time leading scorer. For his three-year college career, Yunkus averaged an impressive 26.4 points per game, also best in program history.
Rebounding machine Malcolm Mackey, Tech’s all-time leading rebounder with 1,205 caroms, also belongs in this group as does standout guard Craig Neal, who played alongside Price and helped make that GT backcourt one of the nation’s best in its era.
But even with these rather glaring omissions, this is still a pretty stacked roster, making the question of who to start and who to bring off the bench a big one.
Personally, for nostalgia sake, I’d put both Anderson and Price in the starting five of a group also featuring Bosh, Salley and Tom Hammonds. However, Marbury could also be the starting point guard as could Travis Best as they both did some fine work for Tech during their time as floor generals.
As for the rest of the bench, how does a group of forwards including Derrick Favors, Ferrell, Forrest, Harpring, Mackey, Anthony Morrow and Thaddeus Young with Geiger and Yunkus being able to man the middle sound?
Tech is equally loaded in the backcourt with the likes of Best, Dalrymple, Jarrett Jack, Kaiser, Marbury, Neal, Oliver and Iman Shumpert. And what about Jon Barry, a pretty solid point guard in his era, also being included?
Now, who to coach this talented group? Well, longtime Tech coach Bobby Cremins seems like the logical choice to lead this dream team, but Whack Ryder, who coached the Jackets in their early days and beat famed Kentucky coach Adolph Rupp nine times, also deserves some consideration.
So, like the other great college programs featured in NBA 2K17, the lineup of former Georgia Tech greats is a very talented and successful group. Sure, there are several notable absences, but for the most part, a school which has produced plenty of great NBA players, guys likes Kenny Anderson, Chris Bosh and Derrick Favors in recent history, is more than well represented.