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Insider Blog: March Madness

Posted Mar 18, 2010

The Chiefs have some former hoopers on the roster

It has truly been a March of Madness for the Chiefs organization. Player contracts have flown off front office desks left and right since the days leading up to the NFL’s unrestricted free agency period. In fact, when it comes to acquiring players the Chiefs are right at the top of the ever-changing NFL medal board.

Think of the free agent tally much like an Olympic medal board. Instead of tallying up Gold, Silver and Bronze medals by country, we’re keeping track of free agent signings, restricted free agents tenders and trade acquisitions made by each of the league’s 32 teams.

Certainly, quality is much more important than quantity when it comes to acquiring available talent, but the Chiefs seem to be effectively walking the tightrope of upgrading positions of need despite an extremely thin free agent pool. Thus far, the 2010 offseason has been more exciting than any in recent memory. Between the coaching hires and the slew of signings, there has been some sort of relevant Chiefs news almost daily this offseason.

But today is a break from free agency and the common football talk that goes along with this time of year. Although the lives of NFL general managers and player agents won’t pause for the beginning of the NCAA Tournament, the rest of the country will. Here’s to the opening of NCAA basketball…with a Chiefs twist!

It’s time to stray off the beaten path of free agency for a day (or less if the Chiefs sign another player this afternoon), but remain relevant to both current events and our Kansas City Chiefs. Ladies and Gentlemen (and I use that label loosely), I present to you the Kansas City Chiefs NCAA bracket buster fantasy basketball team.

Let’s have a little fun on the opening day of March Madness, shall we?

Chiefs Starting Five

Point Guard: Lance Long

Basketball Equivalent: John Stockton (Gonzaga, 1981-84/85)

Analysis: Long’s a fearless competitor, hard worker and team-first player. He’s exactly the type of player a coach would want running the point. “Headsy,” yet with an attitude; mentally strong, unselfish and a man who understands the game. He’s quick enough to break the press and has enough stamina to get back on defense. Long also isn’t afraid of floor burns, diving after loose balls.

Shooting Guard: Brandon Flowers

Basketball Equivalent: Scottie Reynolds (Villanova, 2006-present)

Analysis: Flowers may not be the biggest man on the court, but he’s a player whose athleticism can be matched by few opponents. He’s both consistent and clutch, always draining the open three-ball (some say it’s from his days living on an island in the defensive backfield). He’s constantly leaned on in big-play situations.

Swing Man: Matt Cassel

Basketball Equivalent: Jon Scheyer (Duke, 2006-present)

Analysis: First off, Cassel and Scheyer look somewhat similar to one other. Cassel’s bigger guard, but possesses the maturity and knowledge to bring the ball up court if need be. When things are hectic, this guy is a calming influence. He’s both coordinated and crafty. A solid mid-range jumper pairs with an ability to take less athletic players in the paint.

Post: Branden Albert

Basketball Equivalent: Patrick Ewing (Georgetown, 1981-84/85)

Analysis: How would you like this guy backing you down on the block? But wait…Albert can pop the trey as well?

Check out this video and find out…

Yep, feed Albert the rock down low and watch him go to town. Albert’s a guy who can turn in a double-double that features multiple dunks, a handful of blocked shots and even a three against non-disciplined defenders. Look out for that unstoppable baseline jump shot.

Side note: Albert actually has legitimate basketball experience, averaging a double-double (15.5 ppg/10.6 rpg) in high school for Glen Burnie High.

Post: Leonard Pope

Basketball Equivalent: Charles Barkley (Auburn, 1981-83/84)

Analysis: He’s the largest man on the Chiefs roster, standing at 6’8 (and we’re not talking about basketball heights, Pope is a legitimate six-feet, eight-inches tall). If there is anyone on this Chiefs roster capable of cleaning up the boards, Pope is the prime candidate. His size and long wingspan will help when the decide Chiefs play zone (or enter the red zone).

Reserves

Brandon Carr (pictured in upper right) – Even though the former Carman-Ainsworth High School hooper has started every game of his NFL career (32 straight), he’s the perfect sixth man for the Chiefs fantasy hoops team. Carr’s ego is never an issue and he is always willing and able to do anything in order to help his team win.

Brad Cottam – It’s imperative to have a capable big man to come off the bench, specifically if Albert gets into foul trouble. Plus, Cottam averaged double-digits as a high school basketball player.

Chris Chambers – If it’s time to up the tempo, bring Chambers off the bench for a little run-and-gun. He proved in 2009 that he has the speed to get open vertical.

Jarrad Page – The guy is a natural athlete. He’s been a starter in the NFL despite entering the league as a seventh-round draft pick and he’s been drafted into Major League Baseball not once (Brewers, 5th round in 2002)…not twice (Rockies, 32nd round in 2005)…but three times (Angels, 7th round in 2006). Surely he can hoop too.

Jerheme Urban – A transfer player who we all hope makes a convincing case for more playing time.

Andy Studebaker – Andy makes the team due solely to the fact that he’s constantly wearing a basketball jersey off the field.

Boomer Grigsby – Okay, this guy isn’t on the team anymore, but he was a fan favorite when he was and he could definitely be brought off the bench in situations when the team needs to pick up a foul. Once a linebacker, then a fullback…Boomer loved to hit.

So, what kind of seed would the Chiefs basketball team receive if qualified this year’s NCAA Tournament? I’m thinking somewhere along the lines of an 11 seed, ready to knock off a Xavier, Marquette, Tennessee or Notre Dame. No?

Enjoy the games today.

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