Burlison's Pre-Season All-Americans

Why leave freshmen off of preseason All-American teams, just because they've haven't played a college game, when you know they're good enough to be considered "among the best basketball players in the country" right now? My sentiments exactly.

The college basketball is already up and running (although the University of Kentucky coaches, players and fans would rather it wasn't, after what happened in Lexington Wednesday night).

 

But here, just in the nick of time, are the Frankhoops.com preseason All-American teams – all three of them.

 

And there were no qualms at all about incorporating freshmen into the mix, either, as you're about to discover.

 

Dive in!

 

Frankhoops.com Preseason All-American

FIRST TEAM

Point guard: Darren Collison (6-1, Jr., UCLA)

Frank Says: A strained knee ligament might delay the start of his season by one to three games. But he'll make up for lost time about as quickly as he goes free-throw line to free-throw line while dribbling.

Shooting guard: O.J. Mayo (6-4, Fr., USC)

Frank Says: His numbers in his only college season aren't going to be quite Kevin Durant-like. Well, come to think of it, his scoring average might.

Wing: Brandon Rush (6-6, Jr., Kansas)

Frank Says: He'll be in the hunt for John R. Wooden Award honors but only if he's recovered from a torn ACL well enough to be the kind of dynamic performer he was pre-injury.

Post: Tyler Hansbrough (6-9, Jr., North Carolina)

Frank Says: He's the best back-to-his basket offensive player in college basketball, although we might be giving those kudos to UCLA freshman Kevin Love before long.

Post: Roy Hibbert (7-1, Sr., Georgetown)

Frank Says: He said "No!" to the NBA dough for one more year so the Hoyas might join UCLA as a Final Four returnee.

 

 

SECOND TEAM

PG: Derrick Rose (6-3, Fr., Memphis)

Frank Says: Depending on what you want to refer to Mayo as (point guard? Shooting guard? Combo guard?), Rose could be the first point guard chosen in the next NBA Draft.

SG: Chris Lofton (6-2, Sr., Tennessee)

Frank Says: I'm not sure what kind of NBA future he has but that's not the point of this selection – he's one hell of a college player.

Wing: Kyle Weaver (6-7, Sr., Washington State)

Frank Says: I came oh-so-close to tabbing him over Collison as the Pac-10's Preseason Player of the Year and, by March, maybe I'll regret not doing so.

Post: Kevin Love (6-9, Fr., UCLA)

Frank Says: Even some writers who never watched Bill Walton or Wes Unseld play (in college or the NBA) have caught on in calling him "the best outlet passer since Walton and Unseld".

Post: D.J. White (6-8, Jr., Indiana)

Frank Says: Having Eric Gordon on the floor with him will enhance his effectiveness more than just a tad, I'd say

 

 

THIRD TEAM

PG: D.J. Augustin (6-1, So., Texas)

Frank Says: He'll get a pop at the first-team choice (Collison) in Pauley Pavilion on Dec. 2.

SG: Jaycee Carroll (6-3, Sr., Utah State)

Frank Says: My guess is that you'll see him battling Lofton in one of those 3-point shooting contests during Final Four week in San Antonio – assuming Tennessee doesn't have a game to play on April 5, that is.

Wing: Jamont Gordon (6-4, Jr., Mississippi State)

Frank Says: Lofton is the consensus choice for preseason Southeastern Conference Player of the Year but this guy might prove to be the correct choice in March.

Post: Richard Hendrix (6-8, Jr., Alabama)

Frank Says: If his guards get him the ball enough down low, he could lead the SEC in scoring and rebounding. The latter he can take care of by himself.

Post: Josh Heytvelt (6-10, Jr., Gonzaga)

Frank Says: Opposing crowds can toss all the "mushroom" digs they want to at him – he's going to have a dominating senior season, dominant enough, just maybe, to get the Bulldogs  to San Antonio.



 

Inducted into the USBWA Hall of Fame in April, 2005, Frank Burlison is Scout.com's national basketball expert and is also a columnist for the Long Beach (Calif.) Press-Telegram. He can be reached at frank.burlison@presstelegram.com. Read more of Burlison's pieces at www.frankhoops.com


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