Michigan's guard Trey Burke drives around Indiana's Victor Oladipo during the second half of their NCAA college basketball game in Ann Arbor

2012-2013 NBCSports.com All-American Team

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FIRST TEAM ALL-AMERICA

Trey Burke, So. (Michigan) 19.1 ppg, 6.9 apg: Burke has been the engine that drives the nation’s second-most efficient offense, and he’s done so while playing on a team of spot-up shooters and big men without a post game. He was named the NBCSports.com National Player of the Year for good reason. Here’s the most impressive part about his season: Burke has been forced to shoulder an incredibly large load on the offensive end, and he’s been able to do so while being as efficient as anyone. He’s the most efficient player in the country while using more than 28% of Michigan’s possessions.

Victor Oladipo, Jr. (Indiana) 13.7 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 2.3 spg: Oladipo is the nation’s best role player. One of the best on-ball defenders in the country, Oladipo turned himself into a Player of the Year candidate through sheer hustle; he seemed to be at the center of every big play of Indiana’s season, and he played his best basketball in the biggest moments. That’s what the most impressive part about Oladipo’s season has been. He doesn’t get many plays called for him, but that didn’t keep him from making as many big plays as anyone this season. Oh, and he did this.

source:  Otto Porter, So. (Georgetown) 16.4 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 2.0 spg, 2.7 apg: Porter went from a promising talent to a dominating presence during Big East play. He averaged 18.1 points in league play to lead the Hoyas to a share of the league title. His 33 points at Syracuse and his game-winning layup at UConn were the defining moments of the Georgetown season. But to truly understand what Porter provides Georgetown, you need to look at the win over Syracuse at home. He finished with seven assists and no turnovers, single-handedly dissecting Syracuse’s 2-3 zone with his passing. Oh, and just for good measure, he’s also one of the most versatile defenders in the country.

source:  Doug McDermott, Jr. (Creighton) 23.4 ppg, 7.6 rpg: Creighton went through a rough stretch in February, but they eventually won both the regular season and tournament titles in the Missouri Valley. And Dougie McBuckets was the biggest reason why, turning into one of the most entertaining players in the country to watch. It’s obvious he’s a coach’s son, as he ability to move without the ball and perimeter stroke made him a nightmare to guard. He could post up smaller players, but power forwards can’t chase him around screens or match up with him on the perimeter.

source:  Kelly Olynyk, Jr. (Gonzaga) 17.3 ppg, 7.0 rpg: Olynyk went from a seldom-used sophomore to the best player on the No. 1 team in the country as a redshirt junior. He’s brutally efficient, teaming with Elias Harris to make Gonzaga’s front line completely overshadowed their nasty back court of Kevin Pangos and Gary Bell. Perhaps what sets Olynyk apart the most this season is the way he redefined himself as a player, embracing the fact he’s a seven-footer instead of trying to limit himself into being a three-point shooter.

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SECOND TEAM ALL-AMERICA

Shane Larkin, So. (Miami)
Russ Smith, Jr. (Louisville)
Marcus Smart, Fr. (Oklahoma State)
Mason Plumlee, Sr. (Duke)
Cody Zeller, So. (Indiana)

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THIRD TEAM ALL-AMERICA

Matthew Dellavedova, Sr. (Saint Mary’s)
Erick Green, Sr. (Virginia Tech)
Ben McLemore, Fr. (Kansas)
Deshaun Thomas, Jr. (Ohio State)
Jeff Withey, Sr. (Kansas)

Seton Hall’s Derrick Gordon won’t pursue pro basketball to become a firefighter

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 12:  Derrick Gordon #32 of the Seton Hall Pirates celebrates after hitting a basket against the Villanova Wildcats during the Big East Basketball Tournament Championship at Madison Square Garden on March 12, 2016 in New York City. Seton Hall Pirates defeated Villanova Wildcats 69-67.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
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After a successful career that included stops at Western Kentucky, UMass and Seton Hall, Derrick Gordon, Division I college basketball’s first openly gay player, will not pursue professional opportunities and will instead become a firefighter.

The 6-foot-3 Gordon averaged 8.0 points and 3.3 rebounds per game as a senior for the Pirates, helping the team reach the NCAA tournament during his graduate transfer year. By making the NCAA tournament with Seton Hall this past season, Gordon became the first college basketball player to reach the event with three different teams.

A tenacious perimeter defender who could have earned a pro contract if he stuck with basketball, Gordon will instead pursue a career as a firefighter in San Francisco.

“I’ve had an amazing basketball career and want to thank everybody who has always been there supporting me every step on the way,” Gordon said via his Instagram. “But I’m making a change in my career…I will now be working towards becoming a San Francisco Firefighter!! I’m excited about this and looking forward to having a long career!!”

While Gordon likely would have never made the NBA on talent alone, his defensive prowess would have likely given him a shot overseas or in the D League. It’s hard to say why Gordon is making this decision, but given what we saw with all of the attention surrounding Michael Sam when he tried to play in the NFL, Gordon was probably going to face a lot of scrutiny wherever he decided to play.

Hopefully Gordon finds his calling as a firefighter and brings the same energy and leadership that he brought on the floor to helping other people outside of basketball.

Washington guard Markelle Fultz pulls off sick spin and dunk at FIBA U18 Americas

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Kelly Kline/Under Armour
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Washington incoming freshman guard Markelle Fultz is going to be one of the premier players in the country next season as his unique game is going to be fascinating to watch.

The 6-foot-5 Fultz is currently playing with the USA U18 team in Chile for the FIBA U18 Americas as he’s second on the team in scoring and first in assists as the Americans play Canada for the title on Saturday.

Against the host country, Fultz had an electric spin move in the paint and finished with an easy dunk. If you’re not willing to stay up late to watch this dude play this year, then set your DVRs, because Fultz is going to have some fun moments during the season.

(H/t: Jonathan Wasserman, Bleacher Report)

POSTERIZED: Class of 2016 forward Chris Seeley has a massive dunk on defender

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The Las Vegas AAU events are all going on this week and it’s the final event for rising seniors.

At the Las Vegas Fab 48, forward Chris Seeley of the Splash City 17U team put down one of the best poster dunks of the summer as he skied over a defender for an emphatic finish.

The Class of 2016 forward attends Central High School in Fresno, California as he’s receiving plenty of buzz for his recent play.

 

 

 

Five-star forward Jarred Vanderbilt cuts list to nine

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LAS VEGAS, NV — Five-star Class of 2017 forward Jarred Vanderbilt has been one of the most sought-after recruits in the country since he was a freshman in high school.

The 6-foot-8 native of Houston is beginning to wind things down in the recruiting process as he cut his list to nine schools on Friday. Vanderbilt’s list includes some of the most storied programs in college basketball and plenty of schools from his home state of Texas.

“I just followed my heart. Went with the schools I liked the most and who I have the best relationships with. Thear were the schools I could see myself playing for,” Vanderbilt told NBCSports.com.

Regarded as the No. 13 overall prospect in the Rivals.com national rankings, Vanderbilt is currently recovering from a broken fifth metatarsal in his left foot.

Vanderbilt will see a doctor in three-to-four weeks as he’s currently in a boot to help his foot heal.

Report: Michigan State and Penn State will play at the Palestra

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 10: Head coach Patrick Chambers of the Penn State Nittany Lions looks on against the Ohio State Buckeyes in the second round of the Big Ten Basketball Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on March 10, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
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Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo has previously expressed a desire to coach a game at the legendary Palestra in Philadelphia and it appears he’ll get his chance in a Big Ten game this season.

According to a report from Brendan F. Quinn of MLive, Penn State will use the Palestra as its home gym for the Jan. 7, 2017 Big Ten game against Michigan State. It is the only time the two teams are scheduled to play during Big Ten season and Penn’s home gym will offer a unique setting for the game.

Since the capacity of the Palestra is 8,722, it should make for a fun atmosphere for both programs since this will be a game both fan bases will likely want to attend.

With Nittany Lions head coach Pat Chambers making Philadelphia a major recruiting priority for his program, a game like this in Philadelphia makes sense while Michigan State has always been open to playing games in unique settings such as aircraft carriers.

The Palestra has been a college basketball mainstay since it was built in 1927 as it hosts all Penn home games and, in the past, hosted a lot of Big 5 Philadelphia college games between La Salle, Penn, Saint Joseph’s, Temple and Villanova.

Overall, a fun idea that should make for an interesting experience for both programs. It’s not often that a team will change its home venue for a conference game, but it could be the start of something we see other schools look to do.