Projected First Team
Marcus Smart, PG, Oklahoma State
When a consensus top-five draft pick turns down the NBA to play another season in the nowhere-near-as-good-as-it-used-to-be Big 12, it's kind of a given that he'll make first team.
Andrew Wiggins, SF, Kansas
It's not every year that a freshman makes first team in the preseason All-American voting—in fact, it's only happened once, and Harrison Barnes ended up being a bit of a disappointment that year as a result of those expectations—but Wiggins isn't your average freshman. If he lives up to even half of his potential, he might be the AP Player of the Year.
Doug McDermott, PF, Creighton
McDermott is once, twice and, now, three times a member of the first team. McDermott was a first team All-American in each of the last two seasons, and moving from the Missouri Valley to the new Big East shouldn't have any negative impact on his ability to make it a third time.
Russ Smith, SG, Louisville
Smith is one of the best scorers and perimeter defenders in the country. There's no reason to assume that he won't finish in the top 50 in both points per game and steals per game for a second straight year.
Jahii Carson, PG, Arizona State
If you disagree with this pick, then you didn't stay up late to watch grainy online feeds of Arizona State games anywhere near as often as I did last year. By the end of the season, Carson was being double-teamed every time he crossed midcourt, yet he still found a way to routinely score 20 points per game. If his mid-range game has improved at all—and if Jordan Bachynski can become a more reliable low post threat in his senior year—Carson could very well lead the nation in scoring.
Projected Second Team
Gary Harris, SG, Michigan State
After playing most of last season with a shoulder injury and still becoming one of the best shooting guards in the country, I can't wait to see what Harris can do at full health.
Julius Randle, PF, Kentucky
Projected-best player on the projected-best team in the country? I'd say that's worth at least a second team nomination. Due to the absurd amount of talent on Kentucky's roster, I'm concerned enough about ball distribution and Randle's raw totals at the end of the season that I'm not quite willing to put him on the first team, though.
C.J. Fair, SF, Syracuse
If nothing else, Fair is a lock to make first team on the "There's no way that guy still has another year of college eligibility" All-Stars. It feels like Fair has been playing for Jim Boeheim since 2004, but the senior forward is poised for his best year yet.
Jabari Parker, SF/PF, Duke
6'8" forwards who can stretch the floor by playing the wing have been Mike Krzyzewski's bread and butter for the past 20 years. Duke is going to send one of those types of players to an All-American team. The only question is whether it's Parker or Rodney Hood.
Semaj Christon, PG, Xavier
I suspect I'll be the only person with Christon on any of his three teams, but I loved what I saw last year. There were certainly some growing pains—he had at least five turnovers in 10 different games, including 10 in Xavier's lone game against VCU—but most of those struggles were early in the year.
Over his final five games, Christon averaged 16.0 points, 5.4 assists, 3.6 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 2.2 turnovers. If he can carry that late-season success over to the Big East—and improve upon his 67 percent free-throw shooting in the process—he could be headed for a monster season.
Projected Third Team
James Michael McAdoo, PF, North Carolina
McAdoo has the skills to put up 20 points and 10 rebounds per game, but his refusal to do so has made him one of the more frustrating players for Tar Heel fans to watch. If Marcus Paige can evolve into something of a Kendall Marshall 2.0 in his sophomore season, McAdoo should become the benefactor in the form of a ton of easy buckets.
Shabazz Napier, SG, Connecticut
Napier and Ryan Boatright might be the best backcourt duo in the nation. Forced to choose just one, however, I'll take Napier for his 40 percent clip behind the arc last season and his willingness and ability to play tough defense and fight for loose balls.
Sam Dekker, SF, Wisconsin
Dekker played limited minutes for much of his freshman season, but he came out of his shell over the final third of the year. In Wisconsin's last 12 games, Dekker averaged 19.5 points per 40 minutes, despite having to share three-point attempts with Jared Berggren and Mike Bruesewitz.
I'm not quite expecting a Marshall Henderson-amount of nightly three-point shots, but the additional playing time should pay huge dividends.
Kendall Williams, PG, New Mexico
Williams enters his senior season having increased his points, assists and rebounds in each of his previous collegiate campaigns. Besides, there's bound to be at least one All-American from a non-major conference. It might as well be the guy who once scored 46 points in a game last year.
T.J. Warren, PF, North Carolina State
Total gut call, but Warren averaged 12.1 points per game last year as a freshman and is the only returning member of the team who averaged more than five points or 13 minutes per game. Deshaun Thomas took nearly 30 percent of Ohio State's field goal attempts last season and made third team in the process. I'm expecting similar results from Warren.
Mitch McGary, PF/C, Michigan
A great run through the NCAA Tournament last season, but I simply can't ignore a back injury that will likely impede him in the early parts of the season and the fact that he only had two double-doubles during the regular season last year.