Frank: Scout.com All-American Team

The Utes' Andrew Bogut leads the Scout.com All-American Team as the network's Player of the Year. Frank Burlison reveals all his selections, as well as this week's Top 25.

* All-Americans * Top 25 *

In an era during which basketball has become truly an international phenomenon, how appropriate is it that the 2004-05 Player of the Year on the Scout.com All-America team hails from Melbourne, Australia?

Sophomore Andrew Bogut, the leading rebounder during the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, proved to be an easy choice for Player of the Year while leading the University of Utah Utes to a 25-4 regular season record and a possible No. 4 or 5 seed in the NCAA tournament.

It's doubtful that one player has had as much impact on a team's success this season – at least one that will be as prominent a tourney seed as the Utes are expected to be Sunday.

As for those who wonder about his dominant play coming in a Mountain West Conference that no one will confuse with the so-called "power" conferences, check out these numbers:

In non-conference games with tourney-bound Washington, Arizona and LSU, Bogut – the strongest candidate right now to be the No. 1 selection in the June NBA draft – hit 26 of 33 shots from the field (.783) while averaging 13.0 rebounds and 22.3 points per game.


Bruce Weber
Our choice for Coach of the Year wasn't quite so clear cut and comes only after also giving strong consideration to Al Skinner (Boston College), Kelvin Sampson (Oklahoma), Phil Martelli (Saint Joseph's), Billy Gillispie (Texas A&M) and Seth Greenberg (Virginia Tech).

All of those gentlemen did marvelous jobs, but the nod goes to Bruce Weber, whose Illinois team lost its first game of the season (65-64 on a late 3-pointer by Matt Sylvester) Sunday at Ohio State.

In winning their first 29 games, though (including non-conference contests with Wake Forest, Gonzaga and Cincinnati and victories on the home courts of Wisconsin and Michigan State in the Big Ten Conference), the Illini clearly were the best team in the country during the regular season. Their unselfishness, offensive execution and team defense, game-in and game-out, were impeccable and Weber can't be shorted in the credit department.

The Scout.com All-America Team
Note: On each team, the first two players are posts, the third a small forward/wing, the fourth a shooting guard/wing and the fifth a point guard.

First Team

Andrew Bogut (Utah, 7-0, So.)
The Numbers:
20.6 points, 12.0 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.9 blocks per game; .637 FG.
Frank Says: "He might be the most polished college center since
Tim Duncan played at Wake Forest."


Sean May
Sean May (North Carolina, 6-8, So.)
The Numbers:
16.7 points, 10.9 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.0 blocks per game; .548 FG.
Frank Says: "His battle with Shelden Williams Sunday was about as tough as it gets down low on the college level."

Luther Head (Illinois, 6-3, Jr.)
The Numbers:
16.1 points, 3.9 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.8 steals per game; .494 FG (.425 3's).
Frank Says: "We'll call him a small forward but he plays anywhere on the perimeter Bruce Weber needs him."

Salim Stoudamire (Arizona, 6-1, Sr.)
The Numbers:
18.2 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game; .515 FG (.530 3's).
Frank Says: "He's the best long-range shooter in the Pac 10 since Reggie Miller was at UCLA All-America and as clutch a scorer as Lute Olson has coached."

Chris Paul (Wake Forest, 6-0, So.)
The Numbers:
14.9 points, 4.4 rebounds, 6.6 assists and 2.4 steals per game; .456 FG (.494 3's).
Frank Says: "When the day is done, it's difficult to envision his wearing a Demon Deacons' uniform a year from now."

Second Team

Wayne Simien (Kansas, 6-8, Sr.)
The Numbers:
19.4 points, 11.1 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game; .537 FG.
Frank Says: "His team stumbled some (four losses in its final six regular-season games) down the stretch but he was still the Big 12's most dependable and productive player."


Shelden Williams
Shelden Williams (Duke, 6-8, Jr.)
The Numbers:
15.8 points, 11.1 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 3.8 blocks per game; .596 FG.
Frank Says: "His performance in Chapel Hill Sunday (22 points, four rebounds, six blocked shots and four steals) elevated him to second-team status. A nice definition of ‘Warrior'."

Eddie Basden (Charlotte, 6-5, Sr.)
The Numbers:
15.3 points, 8.4 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 3.3 steals per game; .500 FG (.396 3's).
Frank Says: "Although his team lost its final two regular-season games (at Louisville and South Florida), he was the best all-around player over the entirety of the Conference USA campaign."

J.J. Redick (Duke, 6-4, Jr.)
The Numbers:
22.6 points, 3.1 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.2 steals per game; .416 FG (.417 3's).
Frank Says: "Salim Stoudamire's game-winning (and outright Pac 10 title-clinching) shot at Arizona State Saturday was just enough to edge Redick for the first-team shooting guard shot in a very tough call."

Deron Williams (Illinois, 6-3, Jr.)
The Numbers:
12.4 points, 3.7 rebounds, 6.6 assists and 1.0 steals per game; .430 FG (.366 3's).
Frank Says: "His numbers alone don't do justice to illustrate why he came so close to being the first-team point guard choice."

Third Team

Hakim Warrick (Syracuse, 6-8, Sr.)
The Numbers:
21.2 points, 8.2 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.0 steals per game; .553 FG.
Frank Says: "Beat out – but oh-so-barely – Craig Smith of Boston College for this slot; still giving him his props for that game-saving blocking against Kansas in the 2003 title game."


Ike Diogu
Ike Diogu (Arizona State, 6-7, Jr.)
The Numbers: 22.5 points, 9.6 rebounds, 1.4 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game; .574 FG.
Frank Says: "Barring a surprise Pac 10 tourney championship for the Sun Devils, he'll almost certainly be the best player not playing in the NCAA tournament."

Kennedy Winston (Alabama, 6-7, Jr.)
The Numbers:
18.1 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game; .468 FG (.473 3's).
Frank Says: "If he repeats his NCAA tourney performance of a year ago, the Crimson Tide will be playing for a while."

Dee Brown (Illinois, 5-11, Jr.)
The Numbers:
14.2 points, 2.5 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.8 steals per game; .538 FG (.482 3's).
Frank Says: "Only Nate Robinson (Washington) and Chris Paul are as fast and as exciting open-court players as he is."

Raymond Felton (North Carolina, 6-0, Jr.)
The Numbers:
12.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 7.3 assists and 2.3 steals per game; .465 FG (.438 3's).
Frank Says: "He could get a pop at the first-team point guard (Chris Paul) Sunday in Washington, D.C."

Honorable Mention (regardless of position): Brandon Bass (LSU, 6-7, So.), Josh Boone (Connecticut, 6-10, So.), Darren Brooks (Southern Illinois, 6-3, Sr.), Taylor Coppenrath (Vermont, 6-9, Sr.), Jared Dudley (Boston College, 6-6, So.), Nick Fazekas (Nevada, 6-10, So.), Ryan Gomes (Providence, 6-7, Sr.), Danny Granger (New Mexico, 6-8, Sr.), Chuck Hayes (Kentucky, 6-6, Sr.), John Lucas (Oklahoma State, 5-11, Sr.), Rashad McCants (North Carolina, 6-3, Jr.), Adam Morrison (Gonzaga, 6-8, So.), Lawrence O'Bannon (Louisville, 6-5, Sr.), Lawrence Roberts (Mississippi State, 6-8, Sr.), Anthony Roberson (Florida, 6-1, Jr.), Nate Robinson (Washington, 5-9, Jr.), Tre Simmons (Washington, 6-5, Sr.), Craig Smith (Boston College, 6-7, Jr.), Ronny Turiaf (Gonzaga, 6-9, Jr.), and Marcus Williams (Connecticut, 6-3, So.).



Frank Burlison's College Basketball Top 25
The most topsy-turvy day of the season Sunday left the Scout.com national ratings shaken, not stirred.

But, despite dropping their first game since losing to Duke in a Sweet 16 NCAA tournament game nearly a year ago, Coach Bruce Weber's Illinois team hangs onto the top spot in the Top 25.

The Illini were among seven of last week's Top 10 that dropped games Monday-Sunday, as five other clubs in the hunt for No. 1 seeds – Boston College, Kentucky, Kansas, Duke and Oklahoma State – also fell once.

The scope of the Illinois accomplishments while winning the team won its first 29 games, though, means that the Illini could stumble in the Big Ten Conference tournament quarterfinal Friday in Chicago (against Northwestern or Michigan) – yes, even as unlikely as that is – and still snag one of the four No. 1 seeds Sunday.

No. 2-ranked North Carolina, which rallied from nine points down late to beat visiting Duke Sunday in as fierce a game as has been played this season, is also near-lock status for a top seed, even if the Tar Heels are beaten in their first game of the ACC tournament in Washington, D.C., Friday by Clemson or Maryland.

Records include games of Feb. 27

1. Illinois 29-1
Next game: Big Ten Tournament quarterfinal, Friday.
Frank's Take: Loss at Ohio State not enough to unseat No. 1.
2. North Carolina 26-3
Next game: ACC Tournament quarterfinal, Friday.
Frank's Take: Late flurry kept Tar Heels from joining Sunday upset victims.
3. Wake Forest 26-4
Next game: ACC Tournament quarterfinal, Friday.
Frank's Take: Low blow – team will be minus Chris Paul Friday.
4. Kentucky 23-4
Next game: SEC Tournament quarterfinal, Friday.
Frank's Take: The Wildcats get No. 1 seed if still playing Sunday.
5. Connecticut 21-6
Next Game: Big East Tournament quarterfinal, Thursday.
Frank's Take: The Huskies will cut nets in Madison Square Garden.
6. Duke 22-5
Next Game: ACC Tournament quarterfinal, Friday.
Frank's Take: I haven't been more impressed with a team in defeat than I was with Duke in Blue Devils' loss in Chapel Hill Sunday.
7. Louisville 24-4
Next Game: Conference USA Tournament quarterfinal, Thursday.
Frank's Take: I'd be startled if this team doesn't get to the Sweet 16.
8. Boston College 24-3
Next Game: Big East Tournament quarterfinal, Thursday.
Frank's Take: Tourney title would put Eagles back in top seed mix.
9. Arizona 25-5
Next Game: Pac 10 Tournament, vs. Cal, Thursday.
Frank's Take: Salim Stoudamire bailed Cats out in Tempe.
10. Gonzaga 23-4
Next Game: WCC Tournament final, vs. Saint Mary's, Monday.
Frank's Take: Point guard Derek Raivio is underrated, nationally.
11. Oklahoma 23-6
Next Game: Big 12 Tournament quarterfinal, Thursday.
Frank's Take: The Sooners get 10-spot jolt after wins at Texas and Texas Tech.
12. Utah 25-4
Next Game: MWC Tournament quarterfinal, vs. Colorado State, Thursday.
Frank's Take: Utes seem destined for rubber match with New Mexico Saturday.
13. Kansas 22-5
Next Game: Big 12 Tournament quarterfinal, Friday.
Frank's Take: Team hurtin', for certain, if Keith Langford a no-go in Kansas City.
14. Oklahoma State 21-6
Next Game: Big 12 Tournament quarterfinal, Friday.
Frank's Take: Cowboys back-peddling into Kansas City (three losses in four games).
15. Syracuse 24-6
Next Game: Big East Tournament quarterfinal, Thursday.
Frank's Take: Could face Connecticut Friday night . . ugh.
16. Michigan State 22-5
Next Game: Big Ten Tournament quarterfinal, Friday.
Frank's Take: Too early to look to Illinois rematch.
17. Alabama 23-6
Next Game: SEC Tournament quarterfinal, Friday.
Frank's Take: Win at Mississippi State a tourney springboard?
18. Washington 24-5
Next Game: Pac 10 Tournament quarterfinal, vs. Arizona State, Thursday.
Frank's Take: Huskies will have to cope with Ike Diogu Thursday.
19. Wisconsin 20-7
Next Game: Big Ten Tournament quarterfinal, Friday.
Frank's Take: Badgers could face sky-high Buckeyes Friday.
20. Villanova 21-6
Next Game: Big East Tournament quarterfinal, vs. Pittsburgh, Thursday.
Frank's Take: Like Panthers, lots of New Yorkers on roster.
21. Pittsburgh 20-7
Next Game: Big East Tournament quarterfinal, vs. Villanova, Thursday.
Frank's Take: Wins at Boston College and Notre Dame get ‘em back in Top 25.
22. Florida 20-7
Next Game: SEC Tournament quarterfinal, Friday.
Frank's Take: They seemed to have a good time in Gainesville after beating Kentucky Sunday.
23. Pacific 25-2
Next Game: Big West Tournament semifinal, Friday.
Frank's Take: Tigers are the conference's best since heady days of UNLV.
24. LSU 20-7
Next Game: SEC Tournament quarterfinal, Friday.
Frank's Take: Don't be surprised if team wins three games in Atlanta.
25. Cincinnati 24-6
Next Game: Conference USA quarterfinal, Thursday.
Frank's Take: Bearcats take six-game winning streak to Memphis.



Recently elected to the USBWA Hall of Fame, Frank Burlison is Scout.com's National Basketball Expert and also covers college basketball for the Long Beach (Calif.) Press-Telegram. He can be reached at frank.burlison@presstelegram.com.

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