FCP's NCAA All-Americans

The college basketball season does not end with the conference tournaments -- and to reflect that reality, we wait until after the NCAA tournament to name our all-American teams.

We also split things up a little differently than other media outlets, and we handed out a couple more berths than many do, but in the end, it's about the same thing: Honoring those who performed the best over the course of the entire basketball season.

 

BCS conference All-Americans

First team

Ivory Latta (North Carolina): The fiery point guard was the trigger for the Tar Heels' high-octane offense. Underneath the histrionics is a damn fine basketball player with the sickest crossover this side of Rucker Park. Over the past three years, the more Ivory developed her passing skills off dribble penetration, the more successful North Carolina has been as a team.

Seimone Augustus (Louisiana State): Three straight Final Fours for the player with the silk-on-satin jumper and the best midrange game in women's college basketball. Augustus was also one of the nation's scoring leaders at 22.7 points per game (on 56 percent shooting from the floor).

Cappie Pondexter (Rutgers): While the Scarlet Knights are known more for their defense, Pondexter put up 21.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game, while shooting 48 percent from three. At times, Cappie was Rutgers' only offense, as she alone accounted for 29 percent of the team's points scored on the season.

Courtney Paris (Oklahoma): 788 points, 539 rebounds, 119 blocked shots … and 31 wins for Oklahoma. Any questions?

Candace Parker (Tennessee): What separates Candace Parker isn't her dunking. Look at her drives to the basket, with the elevation and her outstretched arm sweeping around defenders. Look at her use of the backboard on a midrange shot (similar to Tim Duncan). Look at the flair in her ballhandling, and her ability to draw double teams opened up scoring opportunities for Tennessee's three-point shooters, Shanna Zolman and Sidney Spencer. The scary thing is how much better she can become with a consistent three-point shot (and a point guard who is healthy).

Candice Wiggins (Stanford): Two years at Stanford, two berths in the Elite Eight. The numbers this year were staggering: 21.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game, while shooting 47 percent from the floor. Did I mention she made 90 three-point baskets while shooting over 43 percent from beyond the arc?

Second team

Crystal Langhorne (Maryland): There are many reasons to fear the Turtle, but Langhorne is at the top of the list. Crystal shot an eye-popping 67 percent from the floor in scoring 17 points per game, while pulling down more than eight rebounds per contest. She also was responsible for over 23 percent of Maryland's offensive rebounds on the season.

Erlana Larkins (North Carolina): While Latta gets the headlines, Larkins is the nation's most complete player, offensively and defensively. The numbers appear modest: 13.7 points, 7.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 2.2 steals, and one block per game. But the numbers do not tell the full story. Listed at 6-1 (though really about 6-3), Larkins can guard anyone at the three, four, or five positions. With her back to the basket, she can score over either shoulder. She can face up and hit turnaround jumpers or fake defenders and score with a step-through move. Against Duke, she demonstrated her three-point range when left open (she made four of nine attempts on the season). Larkins could be the national player of the year if she North Carolina's offense used her as its first option (something the Heels might want to think about after the loss to Maryland in the Final Four).

Monique Currie (Duke): Before this year, the knock on Currie was her three-point shot. At 6-0, she has demonstrated her ability to get to the line in previous years, but this season she showed off an improved jumper and hit 42 of her 100 attempts from three this season. Her numbers were more modest this year, but she played fewer minutes. She scored over 16 points per game, grabbed nearly six rebounds per contest, and had 99 assists on the year, while shooting 47.5 percent from the floor and 82 percent from the line. More importantly, she was a consummate teammate in helping to lead Duke to the national championship game.

Tasha Humphrey (Georgia): Some refer to Humphrey as the female Charles Barkley -- to me, she is the next evolution of Tina Thompson. The 6-3 forward averaged 20 points and nine rebounds per game, while shooting 51 percent from the floor and 48 percent from three. Injuries left Tasha as Georgia's only true low post option, and, in the face of continual doubleteams, Humphrey was among the top three players in the SEC in both scoring and rebounding.

Sophia Young (Baylor): The Big 12 Player of the Year had difficulty with more physical post players (Courtney Paris, Crystal Langhorne, etc.), but who didn't? Young averaged a double-double (22.3 points, 10.0 rebounds) and accounted for 30 percent of Baylor's offense. To top it off, she was led her team in steals and was second in assists (not to mention having more assists than turnovers).

Sherill Baker (Georgia): See ball, will steal. While Baker's 146 steals got her noticed by the national media and caused fear among opposing guards, it was her improved scoring that helped Georgia to the Sweet 16, nearly knocking off Connecticut in Bridgeport. Baker put up nearly 19 points per game (on 53 percent shooting), while passing for over 100 assists.

Third team

Khara Smith (DePaul): The undersized post player battled various injuries to averaged a double-double on the year and lead DePaul to the Sweet 16 for the first time in school history.

Jessica Davenport (Ohio State): In leading Ohio State to 29 wins, Davenport averaged 18.7 points, 8.9 rebounds, and over three blocks per game, while shooting 62 percent from the floor. What was impressive, however, was the way she was able to make in-game adjustments. Against Sylvia Fowles and LSU, Davenport could not score in the low block, so she took Fowles outside and nailed three three-point baskets in the second half.

Tamara James (Miami): The 5-9 senior has played shooting guard, small forward, and power forward throughout her career for the Hurricanes. A power forward in high school, James led the ACC in scoring, while shooting over 48 percent from the floor and 38 percent from three (with 53 made three-point baskets). She accounted for 28 percent of Miami's points, 22 percent of Miami's rebounds, led her team in made three-point baskets, and made more free throws than the next two Miami players combined. And how many 5-9 players average eight rebounds per game?

Barbara Turner (Connecticut): Ann Strother was UConn's leading scorer and Mel Thomas was one of the most improved offensive players in the country, but Turner was the team's best player since the Tennessee game in January. When the Huskies needed a basket, the team relied on its 5-10 power forward, who also reeled in 7.5 rebounds per game to go with her 12.5 points. More importantly, Turner thrived in the NCAA tournament. Did anyone see the UConn-Georgia game? And would UConn have defeated Duke if Turner wasn't injured at the end?

Noelle Quinn (UCLA): Eighteen points, eight rebounds, four assists, 47 percent from the floor, 37 percent from three. In the Pac-10 conference, Quinn was third in scoring, second in rebounding, fourth in assists, and second in assist-to-turnover ratio – while playing more than 36 minutes per game.

Sylvia Fowles (Louisiana State): The next Yolanda Griffith averaged 16 points and 11.5 rebounds per game. All that is standing in the way of Fowles' emergence as the next dominant center on the international stage is the ability to hit a midrange jumper.

 

Non-BCS all-Americans

Kim Smith, Utah
Shona Thorburn, Utah
Candice Dupree, Temple
Ambrosia Anderson, BYU
Crystal Kelly, Western Kentucky
Jillian Robbins, Tulsa
Melanie Boeglin, Indiana State
Tara Boothe, Xavier
Zane Teilane, Western Illinois
Fifi Camara, Marist

 

All-Freshman team

Courtney Paris, Oklahoma
Candace Parker, Tennessee
Marissa Coleman, Maryland
Kristi Toliver, Maryland
Renee Montgomery, Connecticut
Alexis Gray-Lawson, California
Devanei Hampton, California
Megan Skouby, Iowa

 

All-Coaches team

Sylvia Hatchell, North Carolina
Brenda Frese, Maryland
Gary Blair, Texas A&M
Sherri Coale, Oklahoma
Elaine Elliott, Utah
Kristy Curry, Purdue

 

Player of the Year

Ivory Latta, North Carolina

 

Coach of the Year

Brenda Frese, Maryland


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