College Basketball: Bleacher Report's Preseason 2010-11 All-Americans
The college basketball season kicked off last night, with ranked teams Texas and Pittsburgh facing Navy and Rhode Island respectively. This marked the kickoff of the 2K Sports classic, which will conclude in Madison Square Garden this week.
After Butler and Duke squared off in last year's NCAA Championship game, and Gordon Hayward's desperation half-court shot rimmed out, the anticipation for the season has been mounting.
Which teams will make it to the Final Four? Will Duke repeat as champions? Which mid-major will make it the farthest? Will Butler cope with the loss of Gordon Hayward? Will Kansas star Josh Selby be declared eligible? These are just some of the questions surrounding this upcoming season.
Who will be the star players? Bleacher Report gives you its predictions for the preseason All-American Team.
Do you agree or disagree with the selections?
Without any further ado, here we go.
Jimmer Fredette, BYU: G, 6'2
Jimmer Fredette, a guard for BYU, is entering his senior year. In the 2009-2010 season, Fredette averaged 22.1 PPG, 4.7 APG and shot 44 percent from beyond the arc. Fredette was not highly recruited coming out of high school, so he decided to attend BYU.
The Cougars have hit an absolute gold mine in Fredette. Fredette is a scrappy guard who is practically unguardable one-on-one and has drawn many comparisons to former Davidson star Stephen Curry. Jimmer burst on to the national scene last year with his ability to score the ball at will. He also has the ability to create shots for his teammates, making them better players.
Fredette is not well known on the national stage, as BYU does not play many televised games. In the NCAA tournament, however, the nation got a glimpse of Jimmer Fredette. He put on a show in the two rounds he played, putting up high scoring numbers.
Fredette will be more well known this season, but look for him to continue to put up the same type numbers.
Fredette's scoring is what gets him on the preseason All-American team.
LaceDarius Dunn, Baylor: G, 6'4
LaceDarius Dunn, who many at Baylor like to call "Lace," is entering his senior season at Baylor University. Dunn averaged 19.6 PPG a season ago for the Bears and led them to the Elite Eight.
Gone are Ekpe Udoh and Tweety Carter, who were key players in the Bears run last year. Perry Jones, the 6'11" freshman from Duncanville, Texas, will be expected to replace Udoh.
The brunt of the scoring load this season, however, will fall on Dunn, an unorthodox scorer who draws comparisons to former Memphis guard Chris Douglas-Roberts.
Dunn can always find a way to score, and will again lead the Bears in scoring.
Dunn is suspended indefinitely by the Bears though after turning himself in for allegedly punching his girlfriend in the face and breaking her jaw in two places.
Dunn has been allowed to return to practice, and most think it is only a matter of time before coach Scott Drew will allow his star player to return to the floor.
Once Dunn is allowed to return, he will once again show his dominance.
Shelvin Mack, Butler: G, 6'3
Shelvin Mack is entering his junior year at Butler University and was the team leader and point guard for the Bulldogs a season ago, leading the fifth seed to the NCAA tournament finals.
Star Gordon Hayward has gone to the NBA, leaving Mack to lead the team back to the Final Four.
Mack had a busy summer, playing for the Select college team, which was asked to travel with the U.S. National team and play them in practice. Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski only had positive things to say about Mack after this summer.
Mack spent his first two seasons at Butler in the shadows overshadowed by Hayward and Matt Howard, but this is Mack's team now. He now has the chance to show what he's got.
He will keep Butler on the national stage and earn his rightful place as a first team All-American.
Harrison Barnes, North Carolina: F, 6'8
Barnes is a freshman entering this season at North Carolina. Not much is known about Barnes or how he will handle the college game. He is going to be looked to as the go-to scorer for the Tar Heels, and many believe he can handle that role.
Barnes is the best freshmen in the country, following in the footsteps of John Wall, Blake Griffin and Kevin Durant. He has the tools to become the best player in the nation by the end of the season.
The Tar Heels had a disappointing season last year, and Barnes will be looked to for support. He hopes to put the Tar Heels back on the national stage.
If Barnes has a good year, he can lead the Tar Heels to a good year.
Look for Barnes to win the Freshman of the Year award.
Kyle Singler, Duke: SF, 6'8
Kyle Singler decided to return to Duke for his senior season after many believed he would have been a lottery pick last year. Singler is widely regarded as the consensus best player in college basketball. He led the Blue Devils to a national title a season ago, and looks to lead them to a repeat this year.
Singler averaged 17.7 PPG, 7.0 RPG and shot 40 percent from beyond the arc last season. Singler is the leader on a team that is loaded with star power. Duke has guards Kyle Irving and Nolan Smith, as well as transfer Seth Curry, brother of former Davidson star Stephen Curry and son of former NBA star Dell Curry.
There is not much to say about Singler. He plays the game the way it is supposed to be played. He is a force on the offensive and defensive ends. Singler is the leading candidate for the Wooden Award, and most expect him to get it.
Look for Singler to lead the Blue Devils back to the Final Four, and perhaps to another national title.
Second Team Preseason All-Americans
Jacob Pullen, Kansas State: G, 6'0", 200, Sr.
Marcus Morris, Kansas: F, 6'9", 235, Jr.
Kyrie Irving, Duke: G, 6'2", 180, Fr.
Nolan Smith, Duke: G, 6'2", 185, Sr.
Durrell Summers, Michigan State: F, 6'5", 205, Sr.
Kalin Lucas, Michigan State: G, 6'0", 195, Sr.
Kemba Walker, UConn: G, 6'1", 175, Jr.
Perry Jones III, Baylor: F, 6'11", 245, Fr.
Jared Sullinger, Ohio State: F, 6'9", 280, Fr.
Jordan Hamilton, Texas: G 6'7", 210, So.