Friday, October 21, 2016

My preseason AP Top 25 and All-Americans

Happy to announce that I'll be an AP Top 25 men's basketball voter again this year. The first preseason poll comes out on Oct. 31, but we have to send them in by Oct. 24.

So, here's the preseason poll I've sent in, along with the five-man All-America team they also request:

PRESEASON TOP 25

1. Duke: This seems too easy, but it's hard to deny Grayson Allen and one of Coach K's best recruiting classes. Almost had them No. 2 because of Harry Giles' health concerns, but it appears he'll be back soon.

2. Kansas: Gee, ya think they'll win the Big 12 again?

3. Oregon: UConn could meet Ducks in Maui next month.

4. Kentucky: You know the deal - great recruiting class, etc., etc.

5. Virginia: I liked Austin Nichols a lot at Memphis, and I love him with the Cavs. He and London Perrantes make a heck of a tandem.


6. Villanova: Why do I think the loss of Ryan Arcidiacono and Daniel Ochefu will hurt the defending champs more than others seem to believe?

7. Xavier: Until Billy Preston commits next year, Myles Davis will be the butt of most of my music-related college hoops jokes. Sorry in advance

8. North Carolina: UConn could meet Tar Heels in second game in Maui. Would be fun.

9. Wisconsin

10. Indiana: Are we sure Yogi Ferrell has graduated?

11. UCLA: Daniel Hamilton may have gone pro, but his brother Isaac could be poised for stardom.
Arizona.

12. Arizona

13. Saint Mary's: Not a misprint. I liked the Gaels last year, and I love veteran teams that bring back their entire starting five.

14. Michigan State: Gavin Schilling's knee surgery a huge concern for Spartans.

15. Gonzaga

16. Cincinnati: With Troy Caupain, Gary Clark, Jacob Evans and NC State big man transfer Kyle Washington in tow, I think Bearcats deserve to be favorites in the American. Watch out for Washington. He put up big numbers against UNC and Syracuse a couple of years ago.

17. UConn: There's no doubt the Huskies have the most talent in the AAC, but a lot of it is young and new, and it may take a while to mesh. That may mean some early-season struggles, but by February, I think Kevin Ollie & crew will have it figured out. Season finale vs. Cincy at Gampel could be for regular season title.

18. URI: It gives me no extra pleasure voting in my alma mater. (OK, maybe a little). But seriously, a healthy E.C. Matthews and Hassan Martin makes Dan Hurley's Rams legit.

19. Louisville: How many games for Rick Pitino? Gotta be at least nine, right?

20. Syracuse

21. West Virginia

22. Iowa State

23. Texas

24. Purdue

25. Florida State: New Haven native Tharon Mayes' stepson, Xavier Rathan-Mayes, is a star.

ALL-AMERICAN TEAM:

(FYI, I don't put freshmen on my preseason All-American team)

Grayson Allen, Duke


Jaron Blossomgam, Clemson

Josh Hart, Villanova

Ivan Rabb, California

Thomas Bryant, Indiana

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