Each Olympic cycle always brings out some of the same from Twitter bros: “I could compete in these Olympic events!” While there’s no chance that the everyday American could make the team without training, how many would have a shot even with four years of training?
If nothing else, we can agree that a Division I college athlete is in much better shape and has more athletic ability than average Americans — but even still are they good enough to make Olympic squads or even medal?
That may be a bit far-fetched. But imagining Baker Mayfield curling or any of Alabama’s linebackers on ice for hockey is just too good to pass up. Here’s how Tennessee’s basketball team might fit in at the Winter Olympics.
Grant Williams – Skeleton
You either have to be a complete idiot or fearless to want to slide down an icy track headfirst. Oh, don’t forget that you’d be going around 80 mph. No, thank you but kudos to the athletes that do!
Grant Williams is the natural choice here, right? He is fearless when going to the basket and is willing to take on anyone at anytime. I’ll be the first to admit I’m not a skeleton expert but Williams having a stable center of gravity and a tad bulkier might help him gain momentum down the track. He’s got a smooth baseline spin move, that has to help him smoothly slide down an icy track.
Admiral Schofield/Derrick Walker – Ice Hockey
Remember the Bash Brothers from the Mighty Ducks? They were great, and all, but Dean Portman and Fulton Reed have nothing on Tennessee’s Bash Brothers.
The average defenseman in the NHL is 6-foot-1 and weighs 205 pounds. How do Schofield and Walker compare? Schofield is 6-foot-5, 238 pounds and Walker is 6-foot-8, 238 pounds. How scary would Schofield and Walker be on defense first line? No one would be able to triple deke on them — not even Charlie Conway or Gordan Bombay.
Lamonte Turner – Biathlon
Have you watched the Biathlon? Not only do you have to be fast on your feet, but you then have to control your breathing and shoot at a target 50 yards away. You know what that takes? The clutch gene — and Turner has it! The redshirt freshman has been the go-to player on the road this year for the Vols, and he has made the most of his opportunity. He is shooting an outstanding 60 percent from the 3-point line in his last five games.
If Turner can ski, I genuinely like his chances in the event.
Jordan Bowden – Figure Skating
Jordan Bowden is one of the highest jumpers Tennessee has. He gets high off the court in his jump shot and on rebounds, and I think that translates well to the jumps that figure skaters have to make. He also is quick, so he has the flexibility to nail the skating twists and turns. Bowden has the best chance on the team to land the tough triple axel, hands down.
Jordan Bone – Short Track Speed Skating
Bone has one of the quickest first steps in all of college basketball. He’s quick with the basketball and even quicker without it. Not many people can stay in front of him, and that’s how it would be on the ice, too. His 6-foot-3 length will help him create longer strides and have an excellent opportunity to be the fastest on the ice.
James Daniel III – Curling
James Daniel is averaging 3.3 assists per game and has a 2:1 assist-to-turnover ratio, meaning he knows where to go with the basketball. The same mental ability applies when sliding stones. Daniel would be the “skip” of the team because he always plays two plays ahead of the opponent, deciding the strategy of where the next stones need to go.
Kyle Alexander – Ski Jumping
This one might make the most sense. First, he is Canadian, so he already has a natural-born advantage. Second, he is long. Standing at 6 feet 11 inches tall, I’m confident Alexander could run down the tracks without skis and jump further than Olympic athletes do now. Probably.
Yves Pons – Snowboarding Slopestyle
If there’s one thing we know about Pons, it’s that the kid can fly. So it only makes sense to put a snowboard underneath him and see how high he could get. Could Pons get high enough to do a Quad Cork 1800? Pons is most certainly the player on the team to try it. The day is coming where he goes straight Vince Carter between the legs on someone.
Chris Darrington/John Fulkerson/Jalen Johnson/Zach Kent – Bobsleigh Four-Man Men
So I really wanted the Incredible Fulk to be on the Olympic team, and I thought about him being a goalie for hockey, but then I remember he has a hard time gripping a basketball much less stopping a 100 mph puck. So for now, he is the leader of this entertaining yet impressive four-man Bobsleigh team. Do they even make sleighs long enough?