My 2012-13 hoops All-Price-of-Admission Team

For the last couple of months, we’ve seen basketball experts offer their preseason All-American Teams. I offered my super-early Big Ten picks – emphasis on the “super-early” – in December. With tip-off only a couple weeks away, I decided to put a twist on those teams. See my team of Big Ten players worth the price of admission in this post. Let’s call it my All-Price-of-Admission Team.

To avoid confusion, this team isn’t about the most talented player(s) at every position. You can find that in the second link above, where Trey Burke, Tim Frazier, Deshaun Thomas, Trevor Mbakwe and Cody Zeller comprise my first team. Instead, this feature is about the guys who I find the most exciting, whether it be for athleticism or a rare skill set.

G: Aaron Craft, Ohio State – Not the flashiest of point guards, Craft picks his spots for the fancy play. And he’s always a treat to watch on the defensive end.

G: Victor Oladipo, Indiana – One of the Big Ten’s quicker and most athletic talents, Oladipo is a highlight machine in the making.

F: Rodney Williams, Minnesota – Speaking of highlight machines, Williams has to be in the discussion for the most exciting player in college basketball.

F: Branden Dawson, Michigan State – Let’s hope last year’s season-ending knee injury doesn’t rob Dawson of any athleticism, because he’s a treat to watch.

F/C: Derrick Nix, Michigan State – There’s something fun about watching an overweight big man who’s willing and able to lead the break and show off his footwork.

Sixth man: Sam Thompson, Ohio State – Memo to the Big Ten: Don’t let Thompson get to the lane on an inbound pass. Heck, it probably doesn’t matter with his ups and length.

Who did I miss? Leave your honoree in the comment section at the bottom of this post or tweet it to me (@BTNBrentYarina). web editor Brent Yarina covers football and men’s basketball for He writes the popular uniform feature “Clothes Call,” which also focuses on the latest cosmetic changes across Big Ten arenas and stadiums. Read all of his work here. You can subscribe to Yarina’s RSS feed and follow him on Twitter @BTNBrentYarina.


Your Opinion?
Show Comments (27 Comments)
aroznowski on 10/16/2012 @ 5:43pm EDT Said:

I’d love to have that team!

Scott wiedeback on 10/16/2012 @ 6:03pm EDT Said:

I guess being preseason player of the year doesn’t mean it make your list. Ever heard of a guy named Cody Zeller?

I’m pretty sure you omitted him on purpose to rile up the Hoosier fan base.

    Brent Yarina, on 10/16/2012 @ 6:06pm EDT Said:

    Scott, I have heard of him and I’m a big fan. As for trying to rile up the Hoosier fan base, you may want to look at the No. 2 guard on this list.

Shane on 10/16/2012 @ 6:12pm EDT Said:

Nix in stead of Zeller?! WOW! Zeller would destroy Nix any day and time! Go HOOSIERS!

    Brent Yarina, on 10/16/2012 @ 6:18pm EDT Said:

    No one is saying Nix is a better player than Zeller. Zeller is MUCH better, in fact. But that’s not what this post is about.

Riley Green on 10/16/2012 @ 6:18pm EDT Said:

Cody Zeller?

B on 10/16/2012 @ 6:46pm EDT Said:

If watching a 7 footer sprint the length of the floor to throw one down doesn’t get you excited then you must be a Purdue fan.

Zane Taylor on 10/16/2012 @ 6:52pm EDT Said:

Jacob Lawson- Purdue

Scott Clearford (@hoosierbooey) on 10/16/2012 @ 6:55pm EDT Said:

Nix and Dawson over Zeller? Let me assure you that Zeller will be more fun to watch, and will outplay both these guys all day long.

Did you graduate from MSU or just didn’t get into IU?

Scott Clearford (@hoosierbooey) on 10/16/2012 @ 6:59pm EDT Said:

Just realized you’re a Boilermaker. Keep posting your hack comments.

Joel White on 10/16/2012 @ 7:00pm EDT Said:

Trey Burke????

Billy G Tanner on 10/16/2012 @ 7:03pm EDT Said:

You’re right !! This post is not about basketball,it is all sbout hype and BS hype at that.

Brent Yarina, on 10/16/2012 @ 7:03pm EDT Said:

Indiana fans – I love watching Zeller play as much as any of you. He’s exciting, and he runs the floor FAR better than the average 7-footer. There’s only one center available on these kind of teams, and as I said in the post, I get a kick out of an oversized guy who thinks he has point guard skills. You don’t see a player of Nix’s size with his skill set every day.

david clark on 10/16/2012 @ 7:13pm EDT Said:

Fat people are so funny! I would soooo pay to see a fat guy dunk!
Seriously ?!?
No Zeller?!?
How about a gorilla dunking over all the animal mascots!!!!
With Oompa loompas singing their theme songs!!!!!
Is that what this post is about?

John on 10/16/2012 @ 7:21pm EDT Said:

If your gonna put a golden gopher on that team it should be mbakwe

Jeff on 10/16/2012 @ 7:46pm EDT Said:

It’s very entertaining to read the number of IU fans who don’t understand the criteria. Yet more evidence that very few have ever set foot on the Bloomington campus. BTW, shouldn’t you be focused on Notre Dame football right now?

Scott wiedeback on 10/16/2012 @ 8:56pm EDT Said:

Mr. Yarina-
You chose Aaron Craft over Trey Burke. Or Yogi Ferrel. Your first pick on the team doesn’t jive with what you claim you are trying to accomplish.

Nix is way less exciting than Zeller. Zeller runs like a deer and is more athletic than you think.

Leaving off Mbakwe is a joke also.

If you’re gonna put out a piece, at least think about it first. This one is comical. I almost mistook if for the bleacher report.

    Brent Yarina, on 10/16/2012 @ 9:58pm EDT Said:

    Scott – Yes, I like Craft more than Burke. Just my personal opinion. As for Yogi, I wasn’t even considering freshmen because they haven’t played a second of college basketball. And yes, I know I included him on my super-early All-Big Ten teams, linked to in this story. That’s a whole different conversation, though. I’m well aware Zeller is very athletic, and I’m in no way saying Nix is anything close to the player Zeller is. I like watching Nix play, that’s it.

FL33 on 10/16/2012 @ 9:27pm EDT Said:

@ Jeff, who we can only presume is another brain-dead Boiler fan…

Here’s the criteria: whether it be for athleticism or a rare skill set.

Cody Zeller is the definition of a rare skill set for his position. Of course, you would have to actually know something about basketball to get it though.

Nix, Dawson, Thompson, and yes even IU’s own Olidipo do not possess a rare skill set. They have fantastic athleticism, which is about as rare in basketball as finding tall people. You could find an exceptional athlete on almost any decent team in the country.

Zeller on the other hand is a Center who can score with his back to the basket, face-up, score inside or out, run the floor, and plays solid defense. I’m not going to get into his intangible’s but you can go back and watch the Watford UK shot. IU’s seven foot freshman is who set the screen before half court to spring the primary ball handler who was then able to drive towards the lane before kicking it back out to a wide open Watford for the game winner.

Craft is the only other guy on the list I might go out of my way to pay to watch. Draymond Green and Robbie Hummel from last year are two other good examples of guys who possess rare attributes worth watching in person.

I can flip from the Big Ten network to ESPN if I want to watch dunks. Now…go get your shinebox, Jeff.

    Brent Yarina, on 10/16/2012 @ 10:01pm EDT Said:

    “Nix, Dawson, Thompson, and yes even IU’s own Olidipo do not possess a rare skill set. They have fantastic athleticism, which is about as rare in basketball as finding tall people. You could find an exceptional athlete on almost any decent team in the country.” Agreed. But wouldn’t you say Dawson, Thompson and Oladipo are some of the best athletes in the Big Ten? That was the point of this post. To me, exciting players are the ones who are athletic and make plays the average Joe can’t even think of doing.

Wheels on 10/16/2012 @ 9:43pm EDT Said:

Yeah, I’d definitely rather watch an overweight guy run the floor than watch the consensus top player in the nation- a 7 footer who runs the floor like a gazelle, has unrivaled footwork, post moves, vision, passing, etc. WTF??? Are you serious? NBA execs and sports writers are predicting Zeller going first in the NBA draft and you’d rather watch a chubby guy “lead the break and show off his footwork”. Right. Mark my words: Nix won’t have more than 1 of those break away dunks all year long. How is that worth the price of admission when it will happen once? And I’m a Northwestern fan, so save the IU homer stuff. They’re going to be extremely tough to beat this year.

Mickey Moose on 10/16/2012 @ 10:30pm EDT Said:


RichardL.Robertson on 10/16/2012 @ 11:03pm EDT Said:

Listen, I’m the biggest IU homer here – but leave this poor guy alone. He likes to watch Nix play, big deal. I personally can’t stand the guy, and consequently I may build a shrine to Cody Zeller in my basement. That being said, I do remember when we Hoosier fans used to be a classier bunch that didn’t rail on people every time they had an opinion different than ours. Should Zeller be considered more “worth the price of admission” over NIx, yes – Is this writer entitled to his position without being treated like an idiot, again yes. I think the Mike Davis’ and Kelvin Sampson years have raised a generation of fans that have forgotten what it’s like to be elite. Fans of Elite teams and elite players don’t have to throw temper tantrums when their player/team isn’t given the kudos they deserve. This guy clearly knows Zeller is better, he just has an athletic fat guy fetish, big deal.

P.S. leaving Zeller off this list is just silly!!

Scott on 10/17/2012 @ 3:41am EDT Said:

Another IU-obsessed fan here, but let’s give the guy a break for leaving Zeller off. He clearly states in the intro that the point of this list is to put a twist on the typical “all-XXX” lists. Do we really need to see yet another list of Burke, Mbakwe, D Thomas, Appling, Zeller, etc. etc. again? He’s trying to have a little fun for Jiminy’s sake!

Jared Camp on 10/17/2012 @ 8:31am EDT Said:

Deshaun Thomas??

Logan on 10/17/2012 @ 8:47am EDT Said:

Derrick Nix?? What happened to Trey Burke, who just happens to be a preseason All- American. besides, Nix was almost off the team 2 years ago. Also how about Glen Robinson Jr.? Dont underestimate the freshman class.

Kody on 10/17/2012 @ 1:44pm EDT Said:

Great read and great videos. I’m an IU fan myself and don’t let the other IU fans who obviously didn’t read the description get under your skin. Couldn’t argue the list you have here. No doubt Hanner Perea will be on this list next year though.