All-Time UH Team: Detroit

Vaughan Gray (12)

Vaughan Gray (12)

We posted an article giving a few UH legends 2K ratings last Friday to celebrate the release of NBA 2K20. We’re going to keep the momentum going this week by releasing our own version of All-Time Teams, just like 2K has in this year’s game. I reached out to multiple UH staff members in multiple regions to get their picks for an all-time starting five in their respective region. The one caveat is a player has to have played 100 career games to be considered. Long-time UH player and Shelby League Coordinator Mckinsey Golfin provides his All-Time UH Detroit team to round out the week.

Mckinsey Golfin

When I reached out to Mckinsey to get his list, I made sure to tell him that he can (and should) put himself on the team. Like I mentioned in yesterday’s All-Time UH New York Team article, every region has an obvious choice. Golfin is the obvious choice for UH Detroit, as he’s the all-time leading scorer in Ultimate Hoops history by a wide margin (2,263 points ahead of Vaughan Gray, who will make an appearance later).

Gray (holding trophy) and Golfin

Gray (holding trophy) and Golfin

I don’t think much else needs to be said, but I’ll add that Golfin was an almost unanimous first-ballot Hall of Famer last year, and he’s also the only player in UH history to win 20 championships. Easy start for this team.

Vaughan Gray

A newly-minted Hall of Famer gets into the team in Gray. Gray actually has almost identical scoring numbers to Golfin, but Golfin has 99 more career games which has allowed him to build up more stats. Here’s a breakdown of their career stats:

Golfin: 20.8 points with shooting splits of 55/45/75

Gray: 20.5 points with shooting splits of 52/42/73

The most interesting part of both of their careers is that they both score at a high volume at multiple levels. The lowest scoring average for Golfin is 14.3 points in 24 National Tournament games, while his highest scoring average is 24.8 points in 219 Shelby Vet League games. Gray’s lowest scoring average is 14.7 points in 15 National Tournament games, while his highest scoring average is 24.8 in 116 Shelby Vet League games.

Both are elite offensive players, deserving Hall of Famers and easy choices for this team.

Johnnie Brown

The final layup selection for this team, as Detroit has 25% of the Ultimate Hoops Hall of Fame, and all three have to make this team. When our staff has selected their All-Time Teams, they’ve done some kind of combination of elite players and players with strong resumes built over close to a decade of playing in UH. Golfin, Gray and Brown are a combination of both.

They’ve all been playing since at least 2010, and they are all still playing at a high level. Brown is averaging 15.1/4.5/8 this season in Shelby with Y-Lie. His scoring and rebounding numbers are slightly down, but he’s more than doubled his assists per game numbers from 3.8 to 8. He’s also on the verge of another open league title with Y-Lie, who are the defending champions from last season.

Brown (11)

Brown (11)

These three Hall of Famers were three of the best players in Shelby a decade ago, and they’re still three of the best players in Shelby today.

Toriano Adams

Once you get the three obvious picks out of the way, it becomes tough to decide the final two considering the history the Detroit region has. Golfin went with two guys that have played in 141 games or fewer. These picks feel like they combine the strategy of taking two of the best players the region has ever seen while also trying to put together a team that would make sense on the floor together, much like Izzy Elkaffas did with the All-Time UH Minnesota Team.

If you’re going to put together a team that can play well together with Golfin, Gray and Brown, you’re going to need some size, as all three of those guys are guards that max out at 6’1” on a good day. Adams adds that with his 6’4”, 260-frame. He has an efficient career average of 19.1 points on 57% shooting, while also grabbing 9.9 rebounds per game, with 3.7 of them coming on the offensive end.

His numbers are impressive, and so is his championship success rate. Adams has five titles, far from matching the long-time players in Detroit, but he’s done that in 18 seasons, meaning he’s won a title in 28% of the seasons he’s played in…not bad.

Antonio Harden

Harden rounds out this team, much for the same reasons that Adams did. He completes the frontcourt at 6’5”, 210 and allows the guards to play in their natural positions.

Harden has similarly impressive numbers to Adams: 17.9 points on 58% shooting, while grabbing 8.6 rebounds per game, with 3.4 of them offensive.

Harden hasn’t laced em’ up since the Spring of 2014, but he had an impressive four-year, 111-game run. He won three championships in that time, one in the Detroit Open League, one in the Shelby Open League and one in the Shelby Vet League. He also ran in the inaugural National Tournament in 2011 and averaged 16 points and 8.3 rebounds on 62% shooting.

My verdict: Like I’ve been saying, there’s no arguing with the first three picks. This all comes down to the final two. The two names I was surprised got kept off the team are Jason Sawinski and Bill Treece. If your goal is to try and put together a team that can play on the floor together, then the decision makes sense (especially because Treece is another guard), but you can’t deny their numbers or their overall resumes; they blow Adams’ and Harden’s out of the water.

Sawinski has career averages of 17 points on 53% shooting with 6.6 rebounds per game. His 17 championships only trail Golfin and Joe Kassis in the region, and he ranks in the top 22 in all of UH in games played, points and rebounds.

Treece has amazing scoring numbers, putting up 20.7 a game with shooting splits of 55/47/80. He has 13 championships which span multiple leagues and he’s 29th all-time in scoring. You can justify leaving those guys off depending on how you choose to structure the team, but their long-term resumes are hard to argue with.