Its tournament time for collegiate basketball and that means only one thing: it’s time for another Idiot’s Guide to the 2009 NBA Draft Man-Crush Edition, or as Ric Bucher would say IBGTT09NBADMCR. Last year’s Man-Crush blog saw me seduced by the point guard smarts of Super Mario Chalmers, the cuddliness of Derrick Rose and the flashy yet fundamental flair of Mr Russell Westbrook. Who are the perfect matches this year?

It’s probably worth reminding our readers of the formal definition of a man-crush before we go any further.

Man-Crush (n)
An intense liking of a male sporting personality by another male which:
i) does not necessarily infer one is homosexual

ii) may cause disruption and/or termination of pre-existing female relationships
iii) may cause symptoms of high heart-rate, sweating, and/or blushing while watching live sporting broadcasts
iv) can never overcome the natural-born attraction in all men towards Megan Fox (this definition updated from last year)

A definitive example would be NBAMate’s Robd and Rodney Stucky [Robd Editor's note: Just so you know, me and Stuck are kind of giving each other a bit of space lately...]. Do you get the warm and fuzzies every time you watch a certain player? Do you feel the need to defend them in every situation or argument no matter how ridiculous? Do you find yourself having to answer to your friends or your mum as to why you have a shrine of Walter Herrmann photos in your closet? These, my friends, are regular symptoms of a man-crush.

I did a proper mock draft back in January and I’ll be spitting out at least one more before draft night. But now is not the time for mock drafts. Put aside all your preconceived notions about the draft, the rising stock, the fallen stars, the mayhem and madness that surrounds us through March. Put it all out of sight. Light up a few candles, put on that old Kenny G record and those satin shorts you never wear because they make you feel gay, and just sit back and indulge yourself in all those endless fantasies of athletic potential you were too afraid to share.

You’re now ready.

Stanley Robinson – 6’9 Junior PF, UConn.
Mr. Robinson made my first Man Crush edition last year, and he still holds a place within my heart. This may be due to the fact he plays for my favourite college team the Connecticut Huskies. Or it may be because instead of starting this season on the basketball court he was in fact working in a sheet metal factory. This only serves to enhance his image of rugged manliness. My big knock last time around – and the same this time – is that he is extremely inconsistent. Sure, playing behind surefire top five pick Hasheem Thabeet and probably early second round Jeff Adrian doesn’t help, but when you can come out with a 28 and 14 game in a 6OT loss to Syracuse, being by far the best player on the court before fouling out, it shows us what he’s capable of. He just has to do it more often.

Man-Crush rating: 6/10. We’ve been down this path before, but its one I could see myself going back down – figuratively speaking.
Robd says: “Jobba and Stanley are like that feisty college couple who always seem to break up, but year after year they come falling back in each other’s arms. It makes me sick”

Craig Brackins – 6’10 Sophomore Forward, Iowa State.
Brackins was a guy whom I hadn’t heard about before the season. A little known freshman from a little known University on the Collegiate scene makes for such a tragedy. But his physical traits mixed with his vast improvement over the course of the season put him on the radar of anyone who follows the NBA draft – especially after a 38 point-14 rebound game against Houston, and then a 42 point-14 rebound performance against Tourny-bound Kansas. But the real reason he makes this list it because it gives me a chance to add this video to my blog

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Man-Crush rating: 6/10. A definite date. Then maybe a second depending on the quality of conversation and any games of footsies.
Robd says: “Judging by that clip, I’d say Hitler has a slightly larger man-crush on Brackins than you do Jobba. Jealous? wait… I did NOT just ask someone if they’re jealous of Hitler…

Eric Maynor – 6’1 Senior PG, VCU.
A man who came into the fore in 2007 after he lead his Virginia Commonwealth University to a last second win over the Duke Blue Devils (there is something so wrong with British commentators talking us through any segment of a basketball game). He’s always been on the draft radar, but due to the fact he goes to a relatively small basketball school, he was always perceived to be a late second rounder to maybe, at best, a late first round. But his mix of height and physical attributes puts him up there with Jeff Teague as the best physical point guard in this year’s draft class. My deepest man crushes have always been defensively capable, fundamental point guards – they’re just my thing. Here’s a full video of the CAA tournament’s last 2 minutes in 2007 to get you in the mood.

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Man-Crush rating: 7/10. Love you long time.
Robd says: “I’ve seen that CAA clip before, but every time I watch it I start pitching a tent”

Jeff Teague – 6’2 Sophomore PG, Wake Forest.
You know what they say about ‘love at first sight’.  Well, this is the first sight I had of Jeff Teague when ESPN thankfully showed this in the non-conference portion of this season when Wake Forest played Cal-State Fullerton. If that doesn’t make your man-region swell then I don’t know what will. Jeff Teague is a point guard from Wake Forest. Get that? A point guard from Wake Forest who looks to be a lock in the NBA draft lottery from this year. The reason this is important: the last point guard from Wake Forest who was drafted in the lottery was Chris Paul. Surely matching up with him each off-season would only have been beneficial for a young developing point guard.

Man-Crush rating: 8/10. If Teague was a movie character, he’d be McLovin’
Robd says: “I think what Jobba meant to say is that if Teague was a movie character he’d be the hot cheerleader and Jobba would be McLovin… not an uncommon situation for Jobba to be in”.

Ricky Rubio – 6’3 PG, Spain.
I’ve read reports earlier in the year that due to injuries and a buyout, Rubio would not put his name forward for this year’s draft. But I’ve also heard recent rumors that teams are prepared to buy him out and thus he may actually enter the NBA draft in 2009, not in 2010 like most originally thought. Every time I look at Rubio, this happens. This kid could be better than Derrick Rose, that’s how good he is – and like Rose, he has sounds defensive ability and manages to mix flashy with fundamental. Here’s a mix to prove it.

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However, unlike Rose, Rubio has no fear of needles. He is thus in my eyes, superhuman and therefore worthy of the number #1 man-crush for 2009.

Plus, Spanish is a sexy language.

Man-Crush rating: 9.5/10 An eternal love which will never ever be fulfilled. Much like Spiderman and Mary Jane Watson.
Robd says: “Quiero tenerme y usted hace un forrest y hace algún amor bajo el cielo bonito del amor”

Hope you all found that as satisfying as we did. I’m off to have a cold shower. Next time you hear from me it will be business time in the draft. That’s right, business time.

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