College Basketball Talk’s 2014-2015 Preseason All-American Teams

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Beginning on October 3rd and running up until November 14th, the first day of the season, College Basketball Talk will be unveiling the 2014-2015 NBCSports.com college hoops preview package.

MORE: 2014-2015 Season Preview Coverage | Conference Previews | Preview Schedule

NBCSPORTS.COM PRESEASON FIRST TEAM ALL-AMERICANS

G Marcus Paige, North Carolina: We came very close to naming Paige our Preseason Player of the Year. What impressed us the most about the Tar Heel floor general was his ability last season to run Roy Williams’ offense until he realized that his team needed him to take over. Paige had some monster second halves as a sophomore, and don’t be surprised to see that carry over into this season.

G Caris LeVert, Michigan: I think LeVert is going to thrive in John Beilein’s offense this season. While I don’t see him being the next Nik Stauskas — they are very different players — what LeVert does will is attack off of ball-screens actions. I see him playing a role similar to that of Tim Hardaway Jr. back in 2012-2013.

F Stanley Johnson, Arizona: The NBCSports.com staff simply adores the way that Johnson plays. He’s a winner, he can defend any position on the floor, he can handle the point if needed and he’s always going to play hard. Simply put, he’s a future top five pick that is a perfect fit in Sean Miller’s system.

F Sam Dekker, Wisconsin: We went with Dekker over his teammate Frank Kaminsky on the first team because Dekker is probably the more talented of the two players. He’s grown a couple of inches since he got to Madison, and with some added strength and the confidence of a strong showing at the LeBron James Skills Academy, expect Dekker to be the star of a top five Badgers team.

C Jahlil Okafor, Duke: The only consensus first-team all-american between our four voters, Okafor was the NBCSports.com Preseason Player of the Year. You can read all about that decision here.

NBCSports.com’s Preseason Player of the Year: Duke’s Jahlil Okafor

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Ron Baker and Fred Van Vleet (AP Photo)

SECOND TEAM ALL-AMERICANS

G Chasson Randle, Stanford: One of the nation’s most underrated stars, Randle should once again put up huge numbers for a team that may be the second-best in the Pac-12.

G Fred Van Vleet, Wichita State: Nothing that Van Vleet does on a basketball court will ‘wow’ you. But there may not be a better leader in the locker room, and it doesn’t hurt that he’s the prototype for a floor general.

F Montrezl Harrell, Louisville: No one in the country plays harder than Harrell. He’s a strong, physical overpowering athlete, and he’s added a perimeter game this summer.

F Georges Niang, Iowa State: Niang is the opposite of Harrell in that he’s a finesse player and a nightmare to try and defend. He also lost 25 pounds this offseason.

C Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin: All you need to do is go back and watch the clinic that Kaminsky put on against Arizona in the Elite 8 last season to understand his selection here.

POSITION RANKINGS: Lead Guards | Off Guards | Wing Forwards | Big Men

THIRD TEAM ALL-AMERICANS

G Ron Baker, Wichita State: He can defend three positions, he can play the point or off the ball and he will be the go-to guy offensively for the Shockers this season.

G Juwan Staten, West Virginia: Staten is one of the nation’s best-kept secrets and the sole reason that West Virginia is in the conversation for an NCAA tournament berth this year.

G Delon Wright, Utah: All Wright does is produce. He’s a fantasy basketball dream. But in order for him to get more national recognition, he needs to get the Utes into the win column more often this year.

G Tyler Haws, BYU: Haws may be the best scorer in the country this season. It’s that simple.

C Karl Towns, Kentucky: Towns is one of the best pro prospects in the country, but will he get enough minutes in Kentucky’s platoon to deserve postseason accolades?

HONORABLE MENTION: Terran Petteway (Nebraska), Aaron Harrison (Kentucky), Malcolm Brogdon (Virginia), Cliff Alexander (Kansas), Marcus Foster (Kansas State), Kelly Oubre (Kansas), Kevin Pangos (Gonzaga)

Four-star 2019 forward flips commitment from Big Ten to SEC program

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Four-star 2019 forward Tray Jackson flipped his verbal commitment from Minnesota to Missouri on Friday night.

The 6-foot-8 forward announced his decommitment from the Golden Gophers on Twitter and then announced a commitment to Missouri a little more than two hours later. Regarded as the No. 96 overall prospect in the Class of 2019, Jackson reclassified from the Class of 2018 and saw his recruitment blossom in the summer.

While decommitting happens in basketball recruiting semi-frequently, flipping a commitment to a new school within a matter of hours is a very uncommon practice. Typically associated with football recruiting, Jackson’s switch is a big deal for Missouri.

His pledge gives head coach Cuonzo Martin an athletic and versatile frontcourt player with upside as Jackson could play multiple positions. The Tigers missed on E.J. Liddell, but Jackson is a nice prize to land instead. Missouri now has two four-star prospects in the Class of 2019 as Jackson joins four-star guard Mario McKinney.

Minnesota needs to replenish its recruiting efforts as they are now without a commitment in the Class of 2019. With head coach Richard Pitino facing pressure to win this season, this isn’t good for the future of Golden Gopher basketball either.

West Virginia lands five-star 2019 center Oscar Tshiebwe

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West Virginia pulled in a major commitment on Saturday as five-star 2019 center Oscar Tshiebwe pledged to the Mountaineers.

A late-developing, high-motor big man who ascended into a national recruit this summer, the 6-foot-8, 230-pound Tshiebwe represents an important grab for West Virginia. Tshiebwe represents a potential replacement for Sagaba Konate in the middle as the Mountaineers beat some pretty impressive programs to land him. That includes Baylor and Kentucky.

Tshiebwe is quick off the floor and a good athlete, as he could be a very dangerous player in Bob Huggins’ system because of his brand of basketball. Regarded as the No. 21 overall prospect in the Rivals Class of 2019 national rankings, Tshiebwe also took official visits to Baylor, Illinois and Kentucky during the recruiting process.

Tshiebwe joins three-star guard Miles McBride in West Virginia’s 2019 recruiting haul.

VIDEO: Marshall’s Taevion Kinsey easily clears three teammates on ridiculous dunk

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Marshall freshman Taevion Kinsey put down one of the preseason’s best dunks on Friday night. With the Thundering Herd hosting Herd Madness, the 6-foot-5 Kinsey put down a ridiculous dunk that easily cleared three teammates.

Most dunkers use an arm on the shoulder during the dunk. Kinsey didn’t need any sort of help as he glided over his teammates.

Kinsey is going to be a dunker to keep an eye on in the future. His teammates certainly think highly of his dunking ability, as most of them projected Kinsey to win the dunk contest before the event even started.

VIDEO: Zion Williamson impresses Duke fans in Cameron Indoor debut, downplays link to trial

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Duke freshman Zion Williamson made some ridiculous dunks look effortless in his Cameron Indoor Stadium debut on Friday night. As part of Duke’s annual “Countdown to Craziness” event, Williamson took part in a scrimmage against his Blue Devil teammates.

That included Williamson going head-to-head with fellow freshman R.J. Barrett in a scrimmage. And more absurd dunks in the warm up line.

But besides for the on-court action, Williamson was also asked about his family’s link to the college basketball corruption trial. On Tuesday, a transcript of calls was read to the New York courtroom that allegedly included Williamson’s stepfather on FBI tapes asking for money and a job from Kansas men’s basketball coaches. The tapes were not admitted as evidence.

“Honestly, I’ve paid no attention to it,” Williamson said to reporters, including ESPN’s David M. Hale, about the trial. “I’m just a college kid, out here having fun with my classmates, looking forward to stuff like Countdown and our first game. You only get one chance at the college experience, and I want to enjoy it.”

Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski also downplayed Williamson’s link to the trial, pointing to the NCAA eligibility center’s “exhaustive” process to vette incoming recruits.

“They have an eligibility center now that these kids and their parents go through — and they go through everything,” Krzyzewski said. “We feel very comfortable with him and all our freshmen.”

We’ll likely hear more about Williamson, Kansas and this trial, as time goes on. Williamson also might legitimately not know much about this if it was his stepfather on the call. For now, Williamson is making a huge impression with Duke fans every time he steps foot on the floor.

(H/t: Lawrence Davis III and Duke men’s basketball)

Louisville lands commitment from Irish basketball star

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For the sixth time since Chris Mack took over the Louisville program, the new Cardinal head coach has landed a commitment from a member of the Class of 2019.

On Friday, it was Aidon Igiehon, a top 50 recruit, that announced he will be playing his college basketball for the Cardinals.

He followed in the footsteps of fellow four-stars Samuell Williamson, David Johnson, Jaelyn Withers and Josh nickelberry, not to mention three-star forward Quinn Slazinski.

And all this has happened over the course of the last five months.

Mack got the job in April, after he finished his final run with a Xavier program that he had been in charge of for the last nine years. That came just six months after Hall of Fame head coach Rick Pitino was fired for a series of scandals that had enveloped the university in the last few years, not the least of which was their involvement with the FBI investigation into corruption in college basketball.

That may be the most impressive part of all of this.

No one really knows what is going to happen with Louisville and the NCAA as a result of the way that they were able to entice Brian Bowen on campus. What we do know is that while Louisville was on probation due to the fact that a member of their coaching staff was paying for strippers and sex workers for players and recruits, an agreement was made for Adidas to pay the family of Brian Bowen $100,000 to get him to enroll at Louisville. Bowen’s father said under oath that, in addition to that money, he also accepted at least one $1,300 payment from former Louisville assistant Kenny Johnson.

Those are NCAA violations committed while the program was on probation.

And those are the kind of things that the NCAA does not take lightly.

Everyone involved with the reason that Louisville was on probation and that actually committed those violations has moved on, but that hasn’t stopped speculation that the Cardinals could be facing even more punishment from the NCAA, which is what has made this recruiting job by Mack so impressive.

He’s filled up an entire class of prospects before he’s even coached a game for the program all while this nonsense is swirling around his program.

Was there ever any doubt that the Cardinals hired the right guy?