Your 2010-11 RTC All American TeamsPosted by zhayes9 on November 4th, 2010
Zach Hayes is an RTC editor, contributor and bracketologist.
The AP has weighed in with their preseason All-American teams. Now it’s our turn at Rush the Court to identify the 15 players on three top teams that will dominate the headlines in college basketball in 2010-11. From seasoned seniors to impact freshmen, our teams are littered with names prepared to fill up the box scores, carry their teams to unforeseen heights and enter the annals of the sport’s history. Through a simple voting process among the powers-that-be here at RTC, these are the 15 players we identified as the class of college hoops this upcoming season:
G- Jacob Pullen, Kansas State, Sr. (19.3 PPG, 3.4 APG, 1.8 SPG, 42% FG, 82% FT, 40% 3pt) – Behind pinpoint shooting and a beard that took on cult status by the end of his breakout junior season, Pullen established himself as one of the best off-guards in the country scoring the basketball. With former backcourt mate Denis Clemente no longer in Manhattan, Pullen must pull double duty, continuing his scoring prowess while also balancing the responsibility of distributing to an array of talented big men. Pullen is a candidate to lead the Big 12 in scoring and propel his Wildcats to a Final Four berth.
G- Jimmer Fredette, BYU, Sr. (22.1 PPG, 4.7 APG, 3.1 RPG, 46% FG, 89% FT, 44% 3pt) – One of the more crafty scorers in college basketball, Fredette operates with such smoothness and efficiency, it’s almost impossible to prevent him from finding a spot on the floor to put points on the board. Fredette is one of the highest-usage players in the nation, ranking at the top in assist rate, fouls drawn per 40 minutes, offensive rating and percentage of shots taken. He’s the early favorite to lead the nation in scoring during a senior season that the Cougars hope takes them into the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament.
F- Kyle Singler, Duke, Sr. (17.7 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 2.4 APG, 42% FG, 80% FT, 40% 3pt) – The AP and RTC both agreed on this point — Kyle Singler is the preseason national player of the year. Fresh off of garnering MOP of the Final Four and leading Duke to their first title since 2001, Singler passed on a near-certain first round selection to experience all the goodness of a senior season on a #1-ranked team. Singler is a versatile and skilled forward that can operate around the perimeter or get dirty inside. He’s the MVP of the best team in the country.
F- Harrison Barnes, North Carolina, Fr. (ranked #1 overall in 2010 ESPNU100) – How good can Harrison Barnes be? Here’s two clues: 1) he is the first freshman EVER to earn AP All-American status in the preseason; and 2) he’s projected by nearly every NBA Draft prognosticator to be chosen #1 overall in June 2011. Barnes could be the best newcomer to college hoops since Kevin Durant. He excels in the mid-range, rebounds, possesses an otherworldly basketball IQ for an 18-year old and makes his teammates better. Simply, he’s the savior for Carolina.
F- JaJuan Johnson, Purdue, Sr. (15.5 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 2.1 BPG, 51% FG, 72% FT) – Johnson isn’t necessarily a dominating big man. In fact, he’s battled some inconsistencies during his time at Purdue. Still, he earned this spot based on what most project as a ceiling that keeps getting higher. He displayed that skill in the NCAA Tournament and is a defensive presence that can also score from the mid-range or paint. Johnson should pile up the double-doubles for a Purdue squad that needs him to be a constant force in 2010-11.
G- Malcolm Delaney, Virginia Tech, Sr. (20.2 PPG, 4.5 APG, 3.7 RPG, 39% FG, 84% FT, 31% 3pt) – Delaney carried the Hokies on many occasions last season, evident by his gaudy PPG total aligned with relatively medicore percentage numbers. With another year of development and the return of a solid supporting cast, Delaney should keep the 20 PPG and improve on his efficiency at the same time. Delaney ranked 32nd in free throws drawn per 40 minutes, another main reason for the scoring totals. Other than Fredette, Delaney may be the best scorer in the nation.
G- LaceDarius Dunn, Baylor, Sr. (19.6 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 45% FG, 86% FT, 42% 3pt) – Dunn’s status for 2010-11 is somewhat hazy following a domestic abuse charge and possible suspension, but if this talented wing finds the floor, he’ll run neck-and-beck with Pullen, Marcus Morris and Cory Higgins for Big 12 POY honors. Dunn is a phenomenal scorer with unlimited range as a two-guard, able to come off screens and drill outside jumpers even with a hand in his face. Dunn should score over 20 PPG this season and shoot 43-44% from three if he sees the floor.
F- Marcus Morris, Kansas, Jr. (12.8 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 57% FG, 66% FT) – Morris didn’t necessarily put up the raw numbers last year because of a talented supporting cast, but he may have been the Jayhawks’ most consistent contributor on a squad with two first round picks and another All-American. Morris had the highest effective FG% and offensive rating on those #1-ranked Jayhawks as an inside/outside threat with a deft jumper and equally capable post moves. He’s also a high volume rebounder.
F- Trey Thompkins, Georgia, Jr. (17.7 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 48% FG, 76% FT, 38% 3pt) – Not many casual fans know Thompkins because of his years spent on a bottom-feeder Georgia squad, but the expected improvement of the Bulldogs in 2010-11 means he may burst onto the scene. Thompkins can really score with his back to the basket and was one of the best defensive rebounders in the SEC last season. A perceived lack of athleticism is masked by a scoring repetoire that is still expanding.
F- Jared Sullinger, Ohio State, Fr. (ranked #2 overall in 2010 ESPNU100) – Sullinger, ranked only behind Barnes by most recruiting experts, is a potential difference maker for Thad Matta from day one. He’s polished, intelligent and extremely skilled, showing off an array of advanced moves in the post. Despite the loss of National POY Evan Turner, most fans believe the Buckeyes will be just as good as last year. A big reason is the addition of Sullinger in the paint complementing Ohio State’s perimeter threats.
G- Kalin Lucas, Michigan State, Sr. (14.8 PPG, 4.0 APG, 45% FG, 77% FT, 35% 3pt) – There’s some trepidation when it comes to anointing Lucas too high on the All-American lists because of what’s been a slow recovery from an Achilles injury sustained last March, but once this battle-tested senior creeps back to 100%, there’s little denying he’s one of the best players the sport has to offer. Lucas is a quick guard that loves to get to the rim and is an ever-improving distributor for a team with perennial Final Four aspirations.
G- Nolan Smith, Duke, Sr. (17.4 PPG, 3.0 APG, 44% FG, 77% FT, 39% 3pt) – Smith, like his teammate Singler, elected to return to Durham and push for back-to-back crowns. Smith has come a long way since being demoted on Duke’s depth chart as a sophomore and is now one of the best mid-range jump shooters in the nation. Smith excels in pressure situations and will be the focal point of a firepowered perimeter attack the Blue Devils can throw at opponents this year.
G- Austin Freeman, Georgetown, Sr. (16.5 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 53% FG, 86% FT, 44% 3pt) – Tabbed as Big East POY last month, Freeman leads a guard trio that could give even Duke a run for their money. Freeman ranks in the top 45 in both effective FG% and true shooting percentage while sinking an outstanding 53% of his shots and 44% of his threes as a two-guard. Many are saying Freeman was only preseason POY because of a down year in the Big East, but we’re of the camp that feels the honor is well deserved.
F- Elias Harris, Gonzaga, So. (14.9 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 55% FG, 68% FT, 45% 3pt) – Harris may be the most talented player that Mark Few has ever coached at Gonzaga. The German import is a future lottery pick with the versatility to operate in the post or on the perimeter, evident by his 7.1 RPG and stellar accuracy from deep on 51 attempts. With Matt Bouldin gone, Harris is the centerpiece of a Zags attack that could be getting sold short this preseason.
F- Kevin Jones, West Virginia, Jr. (13.5 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 52% FG, 66% FT, 40% 3pt) – Jones is widely expected to be one of the more improved players in the nation this year as the #1 option for Bob Huggins. Jones continues the versatility theme with the confidence to operate anywhere on the floor. He’s tough, efficient, never turns the ball over and bangs the boards. Jones played a quietly huge role in the Mountaineers’ successful 2009-10 season and run to the Final Four.
Also receiving votes: Shelvin Mack (Butler), Jon Leuer (Wisconsin), Kawhi Leonard (San Diego State), Perry Jones (Baylor), Kyrie Irving (Duke), E’Twaun Moore (Purdue), Kenneth Faried (Morehead State), Derrick Williams (Arizona), Kris Joseph (Syracuse).