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Preseason Hoops, Part 2
Part 1 | Part 2

In the first edition of preseason hoops, I mentioned the early dates to watch as well as some side notes on the best and worst off-season moves. I touched on the top 10 teams and their odds of winning the NCAA Tournament. In the second edition of preseason hoops, I’ll focus on the players to watch who will impact this season.

J.J.’s Preseason All-American Team

First team:

Glen Davis, Junior, Center, LSU – “Big Baby” has trimmed down and will now add mobility to his 9.7 RPG.

Joakim Noah, Junior, PF/C, Florida – The Final Four MVP has skipped the NBA draft to return to school and attempt to lead the Gators to a repeat title.

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Tyler Hansbrough, So, PF, North Carolina – My pick for National Player of the Year, Hansbrough scored 18.9 PPG and added 7.8 RPG as a freshman.

Brandon Rush, So, SG, Kansas – Energetic, Rush will lead the Jayhawks on the wing where his 13.5 PPG. Will surely increase in his second season of college ball.

Dominic James, So, PG, Marquette – Averaging 5.4 APG last season, James is quietly the nations best point guard.

Second team:

Aaron Gray, Senior, C, Pittsburgh – 10.5 RPG will go a long way in the Big East. Bigger things to come from the senior.

Nick Fazekas, Senior, PF, Nevada – The best player you never see on TV scored 21.8 PPG last year to go with his 10.4 RPG. He has NBA scouts salivating.

Alondo Tucker, Senior, SF, Wisconsin – Molded by head coach Bo Ryan, Tucker is my pick for Big-10 Player of the Year. 19 PPG last season will increase.

Jarrius Jackson, Senior, SG, Texas Tech – 20.5 PPG. Last season was just the beginning. As Jackson goes, so do the Red Raiders.

Ronald Steele, Junior, PG, Alabama – Steele can distribute the ball as well as anyone, evident by his 4.3 APG in the SEC; arguably the best NCAA basketball conference.

Freshman on the watch list:

Greg Oden, Center, OSU – Oden will be asked to step in immediately to lead this team. My top freshman has a lot of pressure on his shoulders to perform.

Kevin Durant, SF, Texas – The Longhorns have a major hole to fill and Durant is the key. His success of failure could be the difference between a Big 12 title and an NIT bid.

Spencer Hawes, Center, Washington – Centers are a premium in the Pac-10 and Hawes may have the ability to be one of the best.

Brandon Wright, PF, UNC – Wright is a major piece of a national championship contender. He’ll shine in big games.

Chase Budinger, SF, Arizona – Considered one of Lute Olsen’s best recruits, Ever! That’s saying something.

Comeback Player of the Year:

Curtis Sumpter, Senior, SF, Villanova – The Wildcats are young and thin and a lot will be expected from Sumpter who averaged 15.3 PPG and 7.2 RPG before his injury.

Most influential transfer:

CJ Anderson, Junior, SF, Xavier – Averaged 18.8 PPG and 9.4 RPG with Manhattan, Anderson is ready for some better competition.

  
HEADLINES
UCLA upsets top-ranked Kentucky 97-92
Hayes, Wisconsin rout Oklahoma
West Virginia upsets Virginia 66-57
Louisville survives Grand Canyon, 79-70
Trimble lifts Maryland over Okla. State
Baylor beats Xavier for another Top 10 win
Kansas cruises to 89-74 win over Stanford
Providence beats Rhode Island 63-60
Villanova cruises past St. Joseph's 88-57
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