Road to The Final Four: Luke Harangody Tops Preseason All-Americans

Jameson FlemingSenior Writer ISeptember 16, 2009

NEW YORK - MARCH 10:  Gregory Echenique #00 of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights defends against Luke Harangody #44 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish during the first round of the Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden on March 10, 2009 in New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

First Team

PG John Wall - If Derrick Rose can come into John Calipari's dribble-drive motion-offense and turn into an All-American, then John Wall, a player just as much, if not more talented than Rose can do the same. The similarities between Rose and Wall continue as they are both penetrate first point guards that struggle from the perimeter.

Wall has NBA size, and like Rose, should also be one-and-done off to the NBA. The Kentucky freshman will likely be the SEC Player of the Year as well.

PG Sherron Collins - In two years, Sherron Collins will go from the Big 12's Sixth Man of the Year to potentially the National Player of the Year.

Collins was the first man off the bench during Kansas's National Championship team two years ago and could be the team's top star on a National Title winning team this year as the Jayhawks are the preseason favorites.

Collins will fight with teammate Cole Aldrich for the Big 12 Player of the Year award and it won't be surprising if the two share the award.

PF Luke Harangody - The supporting pieces around Luke Harangody will change this season, but his dominance in the post won't waver. 'Gody has had another offseason to expand his ever growing offensive repertoire. Last season, the Notre Dame senior showed off a long list of post moves, some unstoppable, some not so much.

If Harangody's post game develops at the same rate it did last season, Harangody could see his scoring jump to over 25 points per game. He'll likely be the Big East Player of the Year.

C Cole Aldrich - The mammoth half of the Jayhawks' inside-outside combination, Cole Aldrich, not Sherron Collins, will be the reason Kansas will win the 2010 National Championship. Collins will have plenty of support in the backcourt from Tyshawn Taylor and freshman Xavier Henry.

Aldrich doesn't have that same luxury. If Kansas has a weakness, it is a lack of front court depth. The Kansas junior center has dealt pretty well with being the only real big man in the Jayhawks' front court, but with rival Texas sporting a gigantic front line, Aldrich will have his work cut out for him if Kansas is going to win a Big 12 title.

C Derrick Favors - The Yellow Jackets have had some professional level talent come through the program recently, but haven't produced a lot of winning teams. Favors will likely be playing professional ball next year and should also help turn Georgia Tech into a very successful club in 2010.

Favors could be the most dominant two way center in the country in his first year of college ball. He's a threat to score from all over the court, but can also change the opponent's offensive game-plan with his ability to control the paint.

Second Team

PG Kalin Lucas - Michigan State typically wins without All-Americans, but that will change in 2010 when Kalin Lucas excels in his junior season. The point guard is one of the best pure floor generals in the country. Lucas will be a front runner for the Big Ten Player of the Year and will be on the league's First Team

Lucas has one area that needs improvement. The junior shoots below 40 percent from inside the arc despite being an above average three-point shooter. Lucas needs to work on his shot selection when he gets into the paint.

SF Evan Turner - Ohio State has the conferences best all around player in Evan Turner. The junior wing player can do it all. He'll rebound, distribute the ball, score, and play defense for Thad Matta's squad.

Turner rarely left the court last season for the Buckeyes, but with more talent around him, his minutes may drop, but he should be fresher and his production likely won't drop much at all. Turner will be on the All Big Ten team and a preseason favorite to be the league's Player of the Year award.

SF/PF Da'Sean Butler - West Virginia's best player and star is Da'Sean Butler, but he should be looking over his shoulder as sophomore Devin Ebanks could overtake Butler in that role. But for now, Butler should be the club's best player and national super star.

Butler will pick up some of the scoring lost with the graduation of Alex Ruoff and also has two experienced point guards to feed him the ball in the post. Butler will challenge Luke Harangody for the Big East Player of the Year award and will land on the conference's all-league team.

SF/PF Kyle Singler - Mike Krzyzewski needs a player to turn into a superstar in 2010 after his top playmaker, Gerald Henderson, left for the NBA. Kyle Singler is that player.

A gifted scorer with good size, Singler is a tough player to guard and could turn into a 20 point per game scorer in his junior season. Singler's biggest competition for the ACC Player of the Year award will come from Georgia Tech's stud freshman Derrick Favors.

PF Patrick Patterson - One of Kentucky's biggest problems last season was the under-utilization of power forward Patrick Patterson. The junior big man didn't see enough touches in Billy Gillispie's offense last season. Patterson still dominated the post, averaging over 17 points per game.

Patterson's numbers will not jump much this season because of the increase of talent around him, but because of the efficiency at which he scores. Patterson will be an SEC performer and whoever has the better season, Patterson or John Wall, will likely be the league's player of the year.

Third Team

SG/SF Manny Harris - There is really only one knock against Manny Harris; his weakness is a major problem in coach John Beilein's system. Harris is an inconsistent three-point shooter, but plays in an offense that stresses the ability to knock down the long bomb consistently. 

If Harris can become a better three-point shooter, Beilein will be able to effectively use Harris and his entire offensive repertoire. If Harris takes that step forward, he'll likely be the Big Ten Player of the Year.

SG Greveis Vazquez - It seems like Greveis Vazquez has done something to annoy every ACC fan base at one point or another for things he's said, but Vazquez has reached the point in his career where he'll start annoying opponents with his dominance. Vazquez may finally please his home crowds, but also beat the Blue Devils he's longed to defeat.

PF Craig Brackins - There are few players in college basketball as dominant as Craig Brackins. He's got a few notable performances in his career including a 42 point outburst against the Jayhawks.

Brackins has flown under the radar because his Cyclones have been at the bottom of the conference. This season may be a bit different as Iowa State should be good enough to get Brackins some national exposure.

PG/SG Willie Warren - After Blake Griffin left for the NBA, another Oklahoma sophomore will take the role he abandoned. Willie Warren will be this year's Sooner super sophomore and squad's leader with stud freshman forward Keith Gallon poised to take Griffin's role in the front court.

C Jarvis Varnado - The NCAA supposedly stresses the STUDENT in student-athlete. During this offseason, Jarvis Varnado greatly exemplified that concept as he gave up his scholarship in order to give another deserving teammate the scholarship.

Mississippi State was one player over the number of maximum scholarships, so Varnado recognized he had a large pro contract waiting for him down the road and decided to become a walk-on.

Varnado will likely become one of the best walk-ons ever as the center is the country's best shot blocker and is slowly developing a potent post game to compliment his game-changing defense.

Fourth Team

PG Jerome Randle - California brings back all its core players, but none better than Jerome Randle. The point guard is the Pac-10's best returning player and favorite to win the league's Player of the Year award.

PG Kemba Walker - Connecticut has been known recently for their unstoppable trees beneath the basket, but this year point guard Kemba Walker should emerge as the conference's best guard.

SF/PF Al-Farouq Aminu - Wake Forest's Al-Farouq Aminu will have a starring role after not playing second fiddle, but third fiddle to James Johnson and Jeff Teague. Aminu's freaky athleticism has made him one of the most un-guardable players in the country.

SF/PF Lazar Hayward - Marquette has a number of strong freshmen to replace a trio of senior guards that graduated, but the one key player that coach Buzz Williams returns is going to be an All-American candidate.

Lazar Hayward has been forced to play big in an undersized lineup for three years, but finally Hayward will be allowed to play his more natural position of small forward this season. Hayward scored over 16 ppg last season, but as the first option this year, the senior could drop 20 ppg for the Golden Eagles.

PF Ed Davis - Ed Davis is going to feel like an old man next to most of his teammates in 2009. With five freshmen figuring to fit into the Tar Heels' rotation, sophomore Ed Davis will be one of the most experienced players in Roy Williams' lineup.

Davis has shown a bevy of beautiful offensive moves that few defenders have a remote chance of stopping. As Carolina's top option, Davis could score 20 points per game.

Fifth Team

PG Devan Downey - The nation's best tempo setter will likely get the Gamecocks back into the NCAA Tournament. Devan Downey finishes nearly 60 percent of his team's offensive possessions with either a shot or an assist. Downey will likely have more pressure on him to score with the departure of second leading scorer Zam Frederick.

PG Nic Wise - Arizona hasn't missed the NCAA Tournament in over two decades, but that streak will likely end despite having one of the best point guards in the country. Nic Wise lost his running mates, Jordan Hill and Chase Budinger, which means he'll be a sagura cactcus in a desert full of Blossfeldia liliputana cacti.

PF Trevor Booker - One the nation's most thunderous dunkers is a monstrous force in Littlejohn Coliseum for coach Oliver Purnell. Trevor Booker could end up being the ACC's most dominant post player and has an outside shot to be the ACC's Player of the Year.

SF/PF Tyler Smith - Last season, Tyler Smith was projected to be one of the nation's five or 10 best players. But Smith and his Volunteers struggled throughout the season and didn't live up to lofty preseason expectations.

This year is much of the same as Tennessee might be ranked in the top 10, but few pundits have Smith listed as a potential All-American.

SF/PF Damion James - The Longhorns have so many good players that it might be tough for one to stand out enough to make an All-American team. Damion James is the best Texas candidate to shine in the Long Star State as he'll be the most dominant player in Rick Barnes' stacked front court.

Sleepers: Florida State's Soloman Alabi, Oklahoma State's James Anderson, Nevada's Luke Babbitt, Gonzaga's Matt Bouldin, Florida's Kenny Boyton, Texas's Avery Bradley, Virginia Tech's Malcolm Delaney, Baylor's LaceDarius Dunn, Arkansas's Courtney Fortson, Butler's Gordon Hayward, Seton Hall's Jeremy Hazell, Tulsa's Jerome Jordan, Kansas State's Wallace Judge, Virginia's Slyven Landesberg, Georgetown's Greg Monroe, Villanova's Scottie Reynolds, Louisville's Samardo Samuels, Virginia Commonwealth's Larry Sanders, Washington's Isaiah Thomas, Cincinnati's Deonta Vaughn

For more updates on college basketball, follow Jameson on Twitter.


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