Naismith Preseason Top 50: Tobacco Road or BustPosted by KCarpenter on November 7th, 2011
While I suppose that the official list will go up sometime this afternoon, Jeff Goodman went ahead and released the Naismith Award Preseason List. It’s not too surprising for folks that have been looking at similar lists all summer long. The biggest and completely unsurprising news is that four North Carolina players are on the list: Harrison Barnes, John Henson, Tyler Zeller, and Kendall Marshall. Other than that? Only one other ACC player was tapped for the list, Duke‘s Austin Rivers, who was one of only seven freshmen included. So, considering that the Wooden Watch List excludes freshmen, the big two preseason national player lists are essentially the same as far as the ACC is concerned.
This is kind of annoying. Much like the Wooden list, the Naismith list reaffirms the fact that the national media doesn’t seem to think that there is much top tier talent in the ACC outside of Tobacco Road. I understand that it’s in all likelihood another down year for the conference, but overall, this must be frustrating to the league’s other great players like Mike Scott, Malcolm Grant, and Durand Scott. That’s all without even mentioning a player like Seth Curry too. It’s amazing that a potential breakout star guard at Duke who is the brother of Steph Curry and the son of Dell Curry is still apparently operating under the radar. I feel like there is very little doubt that by the end of the season, the national media will be talking about the Duke junior as one of the nation’s best, so I find it really odd that he didn’t crack either list.
The only rationale that I can think of for the lack of non-Tar Heel players is a strong national belief that there are very few tremendously talented individuals in the ACC this year. Maybe it’s the wide array of new faces in the conference or an overall lack of familiarity with the cast of characters in a conference that suddenly seems very young. In any case, the task is clear for the top-flight conference players who don’t live in Chapel Hill: You are going to have to work harder to make a name for yourself this year. Get to it, gentlemen.