The Associated Press has named Tiger guard/forward Rickey Paulding to its preseason All-American team. Paulding joins Connecticut's Emeka Okafor, Arizona State's Ike Diogu, North Carolina's Raymond Felton and St. Joseph's Jameer Nelson on the team.
Paulding led the Tigers last season with 17.4 points per game, and punctuated that with 36 points in Missouri's second-round NCAA Tournament loss to Marquette last season. However, Paulding's best asset might be his defense, which Quin Snyder uses on most opponent's best players.
Missouri had not had a preseason All-American since 2001, when Kareem Rush received the honor, but Rush only finished as an honorable mention All-American after the season. Missouri hasn't had an All-American since Melvin Booker in the 1993-94 season.
Paulding also made ESPN.com's second team All-American list, finishing behind teammate Arthur Johnson. Johnson, a senior center, made ESPN's first time along with Okafor, Nelson, Felton and Diogu.
ESPN.com's Joe Lunardi put Missouri as a No. 1 seed in his preseason "Bracketology," in which he predicts the NCAA Tournament field. According to Lunardi's early guess, Missouri would play in Kansas City and then St. Louis if it were to make it to the Final Four in San Antonio.