How different will the NBCSports.com Preseason All-America Teams look at the end of the season?
Rob Dauster: There’s no way that anyone is going to correctly predict the postseason All-American team. Not this season. As much as any year that I can remember, the voting for preseason All-Americans was wide open. There were legitimately 20 guys that, it could be argued, deserved a spot on that team. How that shakes out during the year will be one of the best things to watch this season? Which player on Kansas and Kentucky steps into the starring role? Just how good will Tyus Jones be at Duke? In a loaded Big 12, who emerges at the league’s biggest star? At this point, the only two guys that I feel confident saying will be a postseason first team all-american are Jahlil Okafor and Montrezl Harrell, and that could change once they start facing better competition.
Raphielle Johnson: I can definitely see some changes on our first team, due in large part to the amount of perimeter talent in college basketball. Given the many ways in which he can impact a game, Utah’s Delon Wright is a player who could merit first team consideration should he do what’s expected and lead the Utes to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2009. Wisconsin’s Frank Kaminsky? We took teammate Sam Dekker on the first team, but they could very well be swapped or they could both merit first team honors. And speaking over versatility, Iowa State’s Georges Niang is another guy who could make a move up onto the first team, especially if the addition of Jameel McKay in mid-December results in the amount of offensive freedom (not having to spend as much time down low) one would expect. While we’ve certainly cast our lot with guys such as Stanley Johnson and Jahlil Okafor, you’ll be hard-pressed to find any surefire locks for first team All-America right now.
Scott Phillips: If I had to pick an All-American list I would go to high-usage guys who are relied on to put up numbers. So I’m sticking with Marcus Paige and Caris LeVert but I’m going to also select Frank Kaminsky, Montrezl Harrell and Ron Baker to round out my first team. Those guys are experienced and play well in big games and should be counted on to be pretty consistent players this season.
Terrence Payne: The way college football uses a weekly show to predict the four playoff teams is what college basketball should do with its All American teams. It’s so wide-open this season compared to last year when it seemed like names like Doug McDermott, Marcus Smart, Russ Smith and Andrew Wiggins were similar names on various preseason All American teams. I mean, look at CBT‘s first team — Jahlil Okafor, Marcus Paige, Caris LeVert, Stanley Johnson and Sam Dekker. All worthy candidates, but that leaves off guys like Frank Kaminsky, Montrezl Harrell, Delon Wright and Georges Niang. Any one of those four could easily be on the first team.
It’s completely unpredictable, especially one-week in, but it makes for great discussion/debate throughout the course of this season.