View Full Version : 4 of 5 spots on All-American team seem determined already

12-01-2008, 05:48 AM
Waking up this morning and checking the sports pages, I see James Harden from Arizona State hit for 40 points last night in their win over UTEP to continue his stellar start to the season. It seems that we already have the following players locked into the first team All-American squad:

PG Stephen Curry, Davidson Leading the nation in scoring, despite the goofy efforts of Loyola Maryland's coach. Also handing out 7 assists per game, which puts him in the Top 10 in that category.

SG James Harden, Arizona State Currently 7th in the nation in scoring, he also offers a solid all around game (6.6 rpg, 4 apg) and has been the savior for Herb Sendek and the Sun Devils quick turnaround

SF ??????

PF Tyler Hansborough, North Carolina Although hobbled by early season injuries, Hansborough seems to be a lock as an All-American and deservedly so-he scored 34 points in UNC's decisive win over Notre Dame and Luke Harangody

C Blake Griffin, Oklahoma Griffin's channeling Xavier McDaniel, threatening to become the next D-1 player to lead the nation in scoring and rebounding in the same year (joining Hank Gathers and Kurt Thomas in that unique club). Griffin is 4th in scoring with 26 ppg and is blowing away the competition in rebounding, with over 19 rpg per game (the next closest competitor is 6 rebounds per game behind Griffin).

This quartet came into the season with a lot of hype and have shown thus far that every bit of that hype's been deserved (you could argue on Hansborough, but his track record gives him the benefit of the doubt). Who will join these four consensus All Americans on the team? Notre Dame's Harangody or Kyle McAlarney? Pitt's Sam Young? Arizona's Chase Budinger? UConn's Haseem Thabeet? Kentucky's Jodie Meeks? Point guards such as Johnny Flynn, Nick Calathes, or Ty Lawson?

There seems to be an abundance of special college players out there this season, and if you notice, I haven't mentioned any freshman. The college landscape and All-American teams has been dominated the past couple years by freshman like Kevin Durant, Greg Oden, Derrick Rose, Eric Gordon, O.J. Mayo, Michael Beasley, Kevin Love the last couple years, but so far that type of talent hasn't risen from the freshman class, but the college game seems quite alright without the freshman leading the way.

I'm particularly enjoying the blistering start to their seasons that Griffin and Harden are enjoying. Both were likely lottery picks had they declared after their freshman year and endured many questions after coming back to college. The reality is, neither player was very high profile on the national stage after their freshman season, but if they continue this pace, they will be household names and enter next year's draft with a very high profile and will not just be lottery picks, but likely top 5 picks.

Roy Christensen
12-01-2008, 09:03 AM
Great post but I have to disagree with your choice at sf.;)

12-01-2008, 09:28 AM
The X-man was terrific but he wasn't the last player to lead college in scoring and rebounding in the same season (1985), but he was the 1st. 2 others have done it since. Hank Gathers with Loyola Marymount (1989) and Kurt Thomas at TCU did it last in 1995.

12-01-2008, 10:20 AM
Thanks for your correction tchoopsczar, I've made the adjustment in the post. For some reason, I had it in my mind that XMan was the only guy who accomplished that, but your mention of Gathers reminded me I forgot about him (and overlooked Thomas entirely).

12-01-2008, 12:39 PM
If I could play around with that lineup I'd put Lawson at the point, Curry at the 2, Harden at the 3 (WINGSPAN) and the rest would be the same. That would be an incredible squad.

12-01-2008, 01:24 PM
I have a feeling another point will be joining this team, whether it's Lawson, Flynn, Collison, Calathes or someone else who hasn't emerged yet. It's a pretty formidable group of top players this year.

12-01-2008, 01:42 PM
At the risk of sounding cruel, it's a bit too early to be locking in guys for All-America. Way too much risk of injury and the like.

12-01-2008, 03:23 PM
How about Hasheem Thabeet from UConn at Center? This kid has a ton of potential.

12-01-2008, 04:37 PM
I meant to qualify my statement with "provided these players stay injury free and keep up their current pace". I still think it's astounding how the three players have thus far risen to their preseason hype and along with Hansborough established a strong baseline of elite play for all others. I think it sets up for an excellent regular season and postseason to have superstars established early in the year. Every time Davidson or Arizona State plays, people will pay attention because Curry and Harden will have a good shot at scoring thirty points; every time UNC and Oklahoma play, people will see if Hansborough can get a double double and if Griffin can snag 20 rebounds and at least that many points.

As for Thabeet, I haven't seen how his offensive game has developed, but I agree he has a ton of potential, in fact I wouldn't be surprised if he's the eventual #1 draft pick. He very well could be the fifth member of the All American team.

What Up Guy
12-02-2008, 12:17 AM
Harangody will be an all-american imo.