You’ve heard me say this before: I watch a lot of high school basketball in Indiana. I’m not going to crow about how many games I see or how many miles I drive because it doesn’t really matter. What does matter, though? This: I have watched a ton of basketball played by Indiana kids over the last five years. I only say this because I want you to understand that what I’m about to tell you is not some kind of wild theory; it’s simply my opinion based on what I have observed in person and on video for people. If we were to reverse engineer an ideal starting 5 for the Indiana Pacers, this is mine:

George Hill -I know that I haven’t seen a ton of him on film but what I have seen from him leads me to believe that he has the best chance of being an All-Star in Indiana. He’s tough-minded and athletic. 

Roy Hibbert – Our center may be hefty, but he’s got some of the quickest feet I’ve ever seen for a player his size. He is better on defense than offense as he needs to develop a tougher mentality and gain experience finding high-quality post position on offense. His quickness is the greatest advantage that he brings to an NBA team at this point; his physical profile is already NBA tier. He’s already an elite post defender, and he has a lot of upside as an offensive player. 

Eloy Vargas – Our power forward is long, athletic, and tough-minded. Even though some feel that Hibbert should start at the 4, I don’t see this position as his best spot in the NBA. Vargas may not have the height of Hibbert, but his wingspan is just as big. He needs to gain weight and strength, but he’s already cut from a similar cloth as Hibbert in that he brings great defensive presence and toughness. 

Tyler Hansbrough – This is my guy. I have been a fan ever since I saw him play at the Indiana All-Stars vs. Kentucky All-Stars game in high school. He has improved every year he’s played, and he looks like a guy that can take over games on both ends of the court. He needs to work on picking his spots offensively, but he’s a great finisher in the lane, and he pushes the ball up court after a rebound. He has quick feet on defense and is an ace at drawing charges. Hansbrough has a good attitude, personality, and work ethic. If he can add some weight to his frame and work on his outside shot, there should be no stopping him. I consider him a first-round talent.

Shelvin Mack – He’s another guy that I have been watching for a while, even before he started tearing it up at Butler. He’s an explosive athlete with great quickness and very good range on his jumper. He’s the polar opposite of Randy Foye. He made an All-American team after just one season at Butler, and there are big expectations on him for next season. 

There it is, my dream lineup for the Pacers. What do you think?

Ken Julian tweets about life, sports, and TV all day, every day. Check him out on Twitter to follow along.