I hesitate to call this our first team All-Americans, since this post is a solo effort and I don’t want to speak for my co-authors Tomas Verde and SouvenirCity. But, that’s pretty much what I’m going to do. If they have any objections you’ll hear from them I’m sure.
For the record, the AP All-American team was Sherron Collins (Kansas), Kyle Singler (Duke), Luke Harangody (Notre Dame), Patrick Patterson (Kentucky) and Cole Aldrich (Kansas).
1. Cole Aldrich, Kansas
Cole is the easiest player on the list to peg. I’ve already gone through Cole’s candidacy in my Preseason Player of the Year post.
2. Kyle Singler, Duke
I love Singler. He is a good but not great shooter (54.9 TS%), and rebounds pretty well considering he is a guard (10.4% off., 17% def.) and he draws 4.9 fouls per 40 minutes, again good for a perimeter player. Add in the fact that he is a tall guy who can play inside and outside, and doesn’t wear down throughout the year, and you have an All-American.
3. Evan Turner, Ohio State
Basketball Prospectus writer Kevin Pelton calls him the best prospect in the country. He had a triple double in his first game this year. Turner played in 90% of the Buckeyes’ minutes last year, had a 58.4 TS%, and made 50% of his twos. It would be nice to see him take more threes, as he was just 11-25 in 2008-09. Ohio State is planning on using Turner at the point guard position this year, so get ready Big 10
4. Willie Warren, Oklahoma
I’m going to quote directly from Basketball Prospectus’s Oklahoma preview (seriously, buy the book).
As a freshman Warren was virtually the Platonic ideal of a true dual-threat shooting guard, making 37 percent of his threes and 57 percent of his twos while attempting equal numbers of both. Yes, he compiled those glittering numbers against defenses that had to account for a certain Blake Griffin, but that’s the only context in which we can judge Warren right now and his performance was magnificent. He needs to become smarter with his shot selection about like John Calipari needs to become a better recruiter. The sophomore that Bill Self has called the best offensive player he’s ever recruited (alas, Self didn’t get him) is projected as a high-lottery pick next summer. In this instance the NBA and I are in perfect perceptual accord.
5. Sherron Collins, Kansas
Percentage wise, there are better guards out there. This is true. But, Collins was the Kansas offense last year. He played in 90% of their minutes, took 316 twos, and took 205 threes. He often had to bail out the Jayhawks as the shot clock expired. He also saved his best games for the biggest games. He had 26 points in the showdown vs. Oklahoma, 32 in their 1st round NCAA Tournament game, 25 in their 2nd round game, and 20 in their sweet 16 loss. He also stymied North Carolina’s guards in the 2008 title game, and it was his defense (along with Russ Robinson’s) on Derrick Rose that helped Kansas win the championship.
So, there are my picks. There are several other players that can go here, and I’m sure there are good reasons for all.
Who are your All-Americans?