While glancing at the list of preseason All-Americans in college basketball, nothing jumped out at me. And that is exactly my point.
This year's five-man group, though very talented and accomplished, simply lacks the pizazz or electricity of previous teams.
There is no Steph Curry, Hasheem Thabeet, Tyler Hansbrough, or Blake Griffin.
I don't even see a Darren Collison or Ty Lawson.
One can make the argument that the schools' names are more impressive than the players themselves.
Kansas has two members (Sherron Collins, Cole Aldrich). Duke has one (Kyle Singler). Kentucky is also represented (Patrick Patterson). Those three schools have more collective Final Fours than Jon and Kate Gosselin and the Octo-Mom have children.
Notre Dame is the only non-traditional basketball power, though Harangody has sure made them more relevant in the sport.
Let's examine each member.
In Aldrich, I see a meat-and-potatoes type of player. He'll score in double figures and grab double-digit rebounds, but I'm not sure if he's the type of player that can change a game like a Thabeet or Griffin could.
His teammate, Collins, is the most athletic member of the squad, but only became a full-time starter last season. While I can't deny his ability on the basketball court, I find it somewhat perplexing that he found so much time on the bench early in his career.
Harangody has proven time and time again that he can take over games at the drop of a hat, but his team has not followed him to success. His Fighting Irish failed to reach the NCAA tournament last season, despite a preseason ranking among the top 10 in the nation.
With much of that supporting cast gone, what kind of season will Luke have this year for the Irish?
In Singler, I see a solid, do-a-little-bit-of-everything guy, but I don't see a J.J. Redick, Shelden Williams, or Shane Battier type of Duke player we've come to expect of Blue Devil All-Americans.
Patrick Patterson appears to be flying under the radar for Kentucky. Maybe it's because his new coach, John Calipari, has dominated the headlines in Lexington, or maybe it's because Patterson is not the type of All-American that can garner such fame.
While this All-American team is big on size (all except Collins are at least 6'8"), I don't see them big on the national scene, at least compared to what other All-American teams have looked like in the past.
Maybe I'm wrong, and maybe several of these players reach the Final Four this year.
But I just don't see it right now.