Duke's RJ Barrett, UNC's Luke Maye Headline 2018 AP Preseason All-America Team

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistOctober 24, 2018

DURHAM, NC - OCTOBER 19: RJ Barrett #5 of the Duke Blue Devils in action during Countdown to Craziness at Cameron Indoor Stadium on October 19, 2018 in Durham, North Carolina. (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
Lance King/Getty Images

Duke Blue Devils freshman forward RJ Barrett and North Carolina Tar Heels senior forward Luke Maye headline the preseason AP All-America Team announced Tuesday.

John Marshall of the Associated Press reported Barrett and Maye are joined by Purdue Boilermakers sophomore guard Carsen Edwards, Kansas Jayhawks junior forward Dedric Lawson, Wisconsin Badgers senior forward Ethan Happ and Nevada Wolf Pack senior forward Caleb Martin.

Barrett is the most hyped incoming freshman in college basketball. He was ranked as the No. 1 overall prospect in the 2018 recruiting class, according to 247Sports' composite rankings, and has all the tools to make a massive impact right away.

Legendary Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski praised the talented forward before the team embarked on an exhibition tour in the rising star's native Canada in August, per Michael Grange of Sportsnet:

"He has—besides ability—he really has the passion to compete. There's a passion to play, and there's a passion to compete, I think the passion to compete is higher, and this young man has it. I love him, I'm glad I'm going to have the opportunity to spend some time with him and help him develop those talents that have been developed up to a high level already. I think we can do any more. He wants to win. He throws himself into winning, which is a pretty cool thing."

Meanwhile, Maye will attempt to back up a breakout 2017-18 campaign that saw him average 16.9 points, 10.1 rebounds and 2.4 assists while shooting 48.6 percent from the field, including 43.1 percent from three-point range, across 37 appearances for UNC.

Ross Martin of 247Sports noted the 21-year-old North Carolina native is more focused on team success than individual accolades during his final season with the Tar Heels, though.

"It's about making sure we have a better year and a better finish for my last year. ... We have a lot more to finish," Maye said in June. "[I have] one goal in mind and that is making it to the last weekend, the last Monday night [of the NCAA tournament]."

The 2018-19 college basketball season kicks off Tuesday, Nov. 6, and will conclude with the National Championship Game on April 8 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  

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