Building the Perfect 2026 Club Team
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PHD is having some fun with this one. This is a hypothetical article where we are pretending to make up the “Perfect Team” with players from North Dakota and South Dakota. PHD picked 10 players and we are making comments…
PHD is having some fun with this one. This is a hypothetical article where we are pretending to make up the “Perfect Team” with players from North Dakota and South Dakota. PHD picked 10 players and we are making comments on why they would make the Perfect 2026 Club Team.
The Perfect 2026 Team
Larson will provide toughness, stout D, an interior presence, and he will be an enforcer. Bennett will be a garbage man around the basket and he will do the little things to help the team. Larson has the flexibility to switch on ball screens when needed but also wall-up around the rim. Bennett can score in the paint but he is unselfish and is the opposite of a black hole.
He will be a do-it-all type of player. With this starting lineup, Blake will be the “3”, that will not be a problem with his skill set. Ellwein is a knockdown shooter, is skilled with the rock, and he makes others better. Blake has a ton of versatility. He can pass people open, he executes to a T, and he scores from all levels. Ellwein can also play the 4 and 5 spots on the floor. He is scary in the pick-n-pop game. If this team went “Small Ball” he would get the job done as a 5. His length will cause problems on D and help clean up the boards. I see Ellwein as a utility player but also as a numbers horse on this squad.
Yes, he is a 2027 kid but he played up this season and he shined! Bakko also proved that he is physical and athletically advanced for his age. He had numerous 2-handed dunks in the spring/summer and he held his own on defense. On this team, Bakko would do his share of scoring with his near-perfect jump shot, he would also get to the rim for scores. I think Bakko would be great in the PNR game with Larson, Ellwein, Smith, and Miganoudji. Brooks would also have excellent shooters spotting up for him on the wing looking for kickouts. Bakko would be a tough matchup as a 6’3 PG. I think Brooks would have no trouble leading this team as the PG because of his IQ and maturity.
Easy Money will be the SNIPER in the starting lineup. Opposing defenses will have to account for Evanson or they will pay 3 points at a time. Carter is also skilled with the ball, if teams press or get aggressive, Evanson will have no trouble alleviating pressure. If teams overplay Evanson in the half court, he can score inside the arc and/or find the open man for good looks. Easy Money is a gym rat, a fire shooter, and baller with natural instincts.
Smith will be a complete beast and with the talent on this squad, he will see single coverage, that will be scary! I see Smith as the 4 with this star-studded squad. The stud from Mitchell will be a double-double dude. Colton is a powerful athlete that will crush you around the rim. He dominates on the glass and I see Colton as a headache for opposing teams. With this length in the starting 5, Smith is almost guaranteed a mismatch. There is no question, that Smith would produce in impressive fashion. He would fit in nicely on defense as versatile defender.
He will be the best athlete on the team and his length will provide a ton of versatility. Abakar will make a ton of splashy plays slashing and cutting to the rim. I could see him being a playmaker on the wing as a 3 and the combination of Ellwein, Smith, and Larson inside would be a nightmare. This group would control the boards and Abakar could be a playmaker in transition.
The southpaw SNIPER would spread out the D and give instant offense. Nickles has a lovely shooting stroke but he can also make plays off the bounce. I like his IQ and hoops acumen. Carson has the length to provide problems on D and his smarts/instincts put him in the correct spot on the floor. Nickles is a shooter and scorer but he can also handle the ball and make all the passes.
He is the ultimate combo-guard. Marvin has all the tools and skills to get the job done at PG and on the wing. Richard can score heavy points from all levels but also create and facilitate. His size and IQ would allow Marvin to be a creative and disruptive defender. I could see Richard as the X-factor for this scary team.
You can not teach height or length and this TGU kid has it all. Sage has a buttery-smooth 3-point shot and I wish he shot more from outside. In all honesty, he is 6’7 but with his group, Sage would not have to play inside to be effective. Hanson could be the 5 but also play the 3 and be lethal. This group of players is a mismatch headache and Hanson would be a big part of it. His rim protecting and shot blocking would also be a welcomed contribution when matching up with interior players. Sage is a star on the rise and he would thrive on a team like this.
His playmaking ability and versatility get him on the team. Tate is as strong as an ox and is tough as nails. Gerdes is a better athlete than I realized, he can dunk in impressive fashion. He is a physical playmaker that will not backdown from anyone. I see Tate as a 2-4 type of baller that can hurt you from every angle. Gerdes can defend almost any position, will hit the glass, and he scores from all levels.