2008-09 College Basketball (Late) Preview
OK, so I realize it's Nov. 21 already, but I've been busy with school and writing for another website.
But I know a while back I promised a preview for this season, and since I have time tonight, I'll follow through with that promise now.
1. North Carolina - too much talent, despite the early injuries.
2. Louisville - three NBA forwards on this squad.
3. Connecticut - very experienced group ready to get it done in March.
4. Notre Dame - yet another Big East squad in the mix for a national title.
5. Duke - may not be pretty, but the Blue Devils get it done.
6. Gonzaga - this team should go undefeated in West Coast Conference play.
7. Michigan State - just don't bet against Tom Izzo, I beg you.
8. Purdue - kind of like Duke - experienced and not pretty, but gets it done.
9. Pittsburgh - Levance Fields must stay healthy.
10. Texas - top 10 without DJ Augustin. Nice.
11. UCLA - frontcourt needs help to reach another Final Four.
12. Oklahoma - Blake Griffin and Willie Warren together? Big 12 title.
13. Tennessee - Tyler Smith is SEC Player of the Year while Scotty Hopson is SEC Freshman of the Year.
14. Georgetown - young stars will have ups and downs, but will be there come March.
15. Marquette - one more chance for Dominic James to raise his draft stock.
16. Miami (Fla.) - dark horse to take the ACC.
17. Memphis - Tyreke Evans will undoubtedly lead the team in shots per game.
18. Villanova - tough Big East keeps Nova from being top 10, possibly.
19. Arizona State - not out of the question to win the Pac-10.
20. Davidson - Stephen Curry, you are ridiculous.
21. Florida - Calathes will make a run for conference player of the year.
22. Ohio State - BJ Mullens is a top-five draft pick, probably after this season.
23. Southern California - this team will be more successful than when it had OJ Mayo.
24. Baylor - could make a run at the Big 12 with its top five players back.
25. Syracuse - too much talent not to be ranked; may be on the bubble yet again.
JUST MISSED: LSU, UAB, Kansas, Kentucky, Wisconsin.
First Team All-America
G - James Harden, Arizona State - might be a tad high, but I think this kid can do it.
G - Stephen Curry, Davidson - come on, there was no doubting it.
F - Blake Griffin - already racking up huge double-doubles, so he's gotta be here.
F - Tyler Hansbrough - maybe he'll play soon and prove why.
F - Luke Harangody - Digger Phelps, we know about him, OK?
Second Team All-America
G - Darren Collison, UCLA - should bounce back from an abysmal NCAA tournament.
G - Scottie Reynolds, Villanova - I do think this much of Reynolds, even against all that Big East talent.
F - Tyler Smith, Tennessee - produces nicely in all statistical categories.
F - Jon Brockman, Washington - the Huskies may not be very good, but Brockman is a nightly double-double.
C - Hasheem Thabeet - coming back to school may pay off with a national title in reach.
Third Team All-America
G - Ty Lawson - one of the best point guards on the No. 1 team.
G - Nick Calathes - great size and athleticism for one of the best sophomores in college basketball.
F - Patrick Patterson, Kentucky - when he gets touches, he doesn't miss.
F - Damion James, Texas - what an active force in the middle.
C - BJ Mullens, Ohio State - more freshmen could be on these list, but Mullens for sure.
NEXT IN LINE: Chase Budinger (Arizona), DeJuan Blair (Pittsburgh), DeMar DeRozan (USC), Patrick Mills (Saint Mary's), Jrue Holiday (UCLA), Wayne Ellington (North Carolina), Tyreke Evans (Memphis), Tyrese Rice (Boston College), Robert Vaden (UAB), AJ Ogilvy (Vanderbilt).
National Coach of the Year
Mark Few, Gonzaga
National Player of the Year
Blake Griffin, Oklahoma
Freshman of the Year
BJ Mullens, Ohio State
This was done late and put together quickly, so take it all for what it's worth.
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