NCAA Basketball 2011-12: Preseason All-Mid-Major Teams
Although mid-majors get more and more coverage every year, there are still plenty of players not getting all the attention they deserve.
These are the guys that will be busting your brackets when March comes around.
Included in this slideshow are an All-Mid-Major First Team, Second Team, Third Team and Freshman Team.
Note—I consider a mid-major team to be any which does not play in the ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, SEC, Pac-12, Atlantic 10, C-USA or Mountain West conferences.
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All-Mid-Major 1st Team
Nate Wolters—South Dakota State
2010-11 Stats: 19.5 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 6.1 APG
Wolters is coming off a great sophomore season, in which he finished No. 1 in the conference in assists, No. 2 in scoring, No. 4 in steals and No. 5 among Summit League guards in rebounding.
With Keith Benson gone to the NBA, Wolters is probably the best player in the Summit League.
Orlando Johnson—UC Santa Barbara
2010-11 Stats: 21.1 PPG, 6.3 RPG
Johnson led the Big West in scoring last year and finished in the top 10 in rebounding in the conference.
Last season, he scored in double digits in all but one game. On 16 occasions, he scored at least 20 points.
The 2009-10 Big West Player of the Year is certainly in the mix to win that award once again in 2011-12.
2010-11 Stats: 14.9 PPG, 7.6 RPG
Last year, McDermott was No. 1 in scoring among freshmen in the MVC. He also set a handful of new records, becoming the No. 1 freshman scorer in MVC history and the first freshman to be named to the All-MVC first team since 1952.
McDermott is the key to Creighton being a top 25 team this season.
2010-11 Stats: 18.4 PPG, 10.2 RPG, 61.0 FG percentage
Glover was one of two players to average a double-double in the MAAC last year.
He consistently dominated in the conference and is the preseason choice for MAAC Player of the Year.
2010-11 Stats: 12.5 PPG, 6.3 RPG
This seven-foot center took a backseat to Steven Gray last season.
But with Gray gone for the 2011-12 season, Sacre will have the opportunity to make his mark in the WCC. Last year, he was No. 5 in the conference in rebounding and led the conference in blocks.
In addition, he is a strong offensive post player.
All-Mid-Major 2nd Team
Casper Ware—Long Beach State
2010-11 Stats: 17.2 PPG, 4.4 APG
Ware returns to Long Beach State after being the recipient of the Big West Player of the Year award. He was No. 2 in the conference in both scoring and assists.
Matthew Dellavedova—St. Mary's
2010-11 Stats: 13.4 PPG, 5.3 APG, 88.1 FT percentage
With Mickey McConnell no longer at his side, Dellavedova will have to step up as the main man for St. Mary's. His 13.4 PPG last year put him in the top 10 in the WCC, while his 5.3 APG put him at No. 2 in the conference.
Kevin Foster—Santa Clara
2010-11 Stats: 20.2 PPG, 3.7 APG
Foster was consistently impressive for the CIT champion Broncos last season.
His 20.2 PPG led the team, and he made his mark on national television with 36 points against Gonzaga.
2010-11 Stats: 12.4 PPG, 6.0 RPG
After a great freshman season, Harris disappointed last year. Despite Harris's decline last year, he has the talent to break out of his slump in 2011-12.
2010-11 Stats: 16.3 PPG, 10.0 RPG, 3.0 BPG
Last year, Mangano was the only Ivy League player to average a double-double.
In addition, his three blocks per game led the Ivy League and were No. 10 in the nation.
All-Mid-Major 3rd Team
2010-11 Stats: 16.2 PPG, 7.5 APG, 5.0 RPG
After helping Ohio to an NCAA tournament victory in his freshman season, Cooper put together a very strong sophomore season.
The 5'11" point guard averaged 16.2 PPG for the Bobcats while leading the MAC in assists with 7.5 per game.
2010-11 Stats: 13.6 PPG, 7.6 APG
Machado is the top point guard in the MAAC. He led the conference in assists last year and was one of the league leaders in the nation.
According to Iona coach Tim Cluess, Machado improved his offensive game during the offseason, making him a potent threat among mid-majors.
2010-11 Stats: 21.8 PPG, 7.8 RPG
McCollum broke on to the scene with 19.1 PPG and 5.0 RPG as a freshman.
Last year, he bumped his per game totals to 21.8 PPG and 7.8 RPG. He was arguably the best player in the conference, finishing No. 1 in PPG and SPG, and No. 3 in RPG.
2009-10 Stats (with Boston College): 11.3 PPG, 3.7 RPG
Afer three years of averaging more than 11 PPG at Boston College, Sanders transferred to Fairfield for his final year of eligibility.
The 6'5" forward should have a large impact at the mid-major level after three years of success and experience in the ACC.
T.J. Robinson—Long Beach State
2010-11 Stats: 13.6 PPG, 10.1 RPG
Robinson is the only returning player in the Big West that averaged a double-double last season.
He showed his prowess by scoring 31 points and 7 rebounds in a near-upset over North Carolina.
All-Mid-Major Freshman Team
Gary Bell Jr.—Gonzaga
Out of Kentridge High School (WA), Bell joins the Bulldogs as a freshman for the 2011-12 season.
As a member of the ESPN Top 100 recruits, he chose Gonzaga over a slew of Pac-12 schools. With the departure of Demetri Goodson, Bell will play a big role in his first year at the collegiate level.
Tony Kimbro Jr.—Georgia State
Kimbro chose Georgia State after receiving interest from national powerhouses like Oklahoma State, Kansas, and Tennessee.
The shooting guard from Louisville is the son of former Louisville stud Tony Kimbro Sr.
He averaged 17 PPG and 4.7 RPG during his senior year of high school.
Baru was ranked No. 59 by ESPN in the 2011 recruiting class. There were questions about whether or not he would play for Charleston this season, but the NCAA ruled him eligible last week.
Erik Copes—George Mason
Copes was ranked No. 56 in the 2011 recruiting class. He is known for his rebounding and shot-blocking and has the potential to be one of the better big men in the CAA this season.
Sim Bhullar—New Mexico State
Bhullar is a 7'5", 330-pound center from Canada. He was ranked No. 82 in the 2011 recruiting class and averaged 12.3 PPG and 6.3 RPG for the Canadian U-19 team.
All-Mid-Major Honorable Mentions
Larry Anderson—Long Beach State
James Nunnally—UC Santa Barbara
Chris De La Rosa—UMBC
Trey Zeigler—Central Michigan
Justin Greene—Kent State
Kyle O'Quinn—Norfolk State
Kyle Weems—Missouri State
Ken Horton—Central Connecticut State
TyShwan Edmondson—Austin Peay
Augustine Rubit—South Alabama
Dominique Morrison—Oral Roberts