My Preseason AP Top 25, All-America Team
Anyway, here's the preseason Top 25 I submitted to the AP a few minutes ago (minus the occasionally witty blurbs). Although they are eligible to be voted for despite their postseason ban, UConn doesn't make the cut:
Rick Pitino may be, in Jim Boeheim's words, "full of (bleep)," but the defending Big East champ Cardinals certainly aren't.
Most figured Tom Crean would get Hoosiers back to national prominence quickly. Led by Cody Zeller, it's happening now.
The beat goes on: farewell, Anthony Davis; hello, Nerlens Noel. (By the way, didn't Yankees notice that 'Cats won national title this season?).
I've always loved John Beilein as a coach. Give him a team brimming with talent and watch out.
5. N.C. State
On Dec. 4 at MSG, UConn will see first-hand if Wolfpack deserve preseason tabs as ACC's best team.
6. Ohio State
I'm a little leery of Buckeyes without a dominant big man in middle, but Aaron Craft is a top guard.
OK, let's get our Plumlees straight: Miles is gone, Mason's back and Marshall's ready to go. Right? Right.
Jayhawks slipped from first to second in Big 12 for first time in eight seasons last year. Not likely to repeat that this season.
9. North Carolina
If UConn players could have taken phony courses UNC players have been taking, they might be eligible for NCAA tourney this year.
Gators will be playing Yale in New Haven on Jan. 6 so that Rhode Island's Erik Murphy gets a chance to play game closer to home. Should be fun.
Orange play UConn for final time as members of the Big East on Feb. 13 in Hartford. Sad.
12. Michigan State
The Kevin Ollie Era (and '12-13 college hoops season) kicks off with bang when Huskies face talented Spartans Nov. 9 in Germany.
If Shabazz Muhammed, Kyle Anderson are deemed eligible, Bruins could be Final Four-bound.
After starring at Xavier last year, Mark Lyons gets to play for Wildcats this season as a grad student. Odd.
Blue Jays have one of best players in nation in coach's son Doug McDermott, who could average over 25 per game this season.
Will Joe Jackson be "Steppin' Out" as one of nation's elite players this season?
Surprised Scott Drew hasn't found a way to get Brittany Griner to play for his team.
18. San Diego State
Fab Five father Steve Fisher has top four scorers returning from last year's Mountain West regular season champs.
Those predicting that Mizzou is Final Four good apparently feel Alex Oriakhi will be 2010-11 Oriakhi, not '11-12 Oriakhi.
20. St. Louis
It's too bad Rick Majerus (heart issues) will be sidelined for what could be Billiken's most exciting season in years.
21. Notre Dame
With Farmington's Tim Abromaitis unable to secure a waiver to play, who'll be Big East's scholar-athlete of the year this season?
Roscoe Smith won't be able to play this season for this "organization" (as he likes to call teams), but Rebels are very strong.
With a healthy Tray Woodall and frosh Steven Adams in two, no way Jamie Dixon has second disappointing season in a row.
24. Virginia Commonwealth
Another NCAA tourney run will make Shaka Smart even more attractive to big programs (including Warde Manuel?).
After watching Jarnell Stokes dominate UConn first-hand last year, I'm pretty high on the Vols this season.
Labels: Alex Oriakhi, C.J. Leslie, Cody Zeller, Doug McDermott, Jim Boeheim, Kevin Ollie, Nerlens Noel, Rick Pitino, Roscoe Smith, Shaka Smart, Steven Adams, Tim Abromaitis, Tray Woodall, Warde Manuel