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  1. #1

    Preseason All American predictions

    Sporting News offers its predictions.

    http://aol.sportingnews.com/ncaa-bas...es-michael-mac

    I'm more than a little skeptical about this statement: "The Sporting News 2012-13 preseason All-American teams were selected by SN writers and editors, in consultation with coaches and scouts."

    Am I to believe that any representative group of consulting coaches and scouts would have failed to insist that Aaron Craft merits inclusion somewhere on the first three teams? For that matter, wouldn't just a few of such consultants have nominated Craft as the best all-round player in college ball?

    Although a McAdoo booster, I don't know that first team makes sense. Poythress as second team; I sure was disappointed that Poythress chose not to attend Duke, but second team? Sure am relieved Cody Zeller chose not to major in Swahili in CH.

  2. #2
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    Sep 2012
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    High Point, NC
    mccollum on first team???

  3. #3
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    Dec 2009
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    Denver
    Never forget, this is the greatest college achievement in Harrison Barnes's trophy case. It means very little.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Naples, Florida

    Where are all the studs?

    They must all be in the NBA. Is it me, or do these seem like pretty weak teams compared to years past?

  5. #5

    expectations

    Hey,

    Lindy's preseason magazine projects McAdoo AND PJ Hairston (?!?!?) as first-team All-ACC picks.

    Let them enjoy their preseason accoplades.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Toledo
    Quote Originally Posted by gumbomoop
    Am I to believe that any representative group of consulting coaches and scouts would have failed to insist that Aaron Craft merits inclusion somewhere on the first three teams? For that matter, wouldn't just a few of such consultants have nominated Craft as the best all-round player in college ball?
    Aaron Craft is a really fine player and vaunted defender, but tagging him as the best all-around player in college basketball would kind of be like having labled John Stockton the best all-around player in the NBA at any point of his career. In several categories, Stockton was the best in the game at what he did, period. That chiefly being setting up teammates as a point general and using his falcon-quick hands on the defensive end to create turnovers.

    Craft is similarly talented in that he excels tremendously, almost to unparalleled levels, at certain areas of the game. He is the returning Big Ten defensive player of the year and is probably the most effective defender in the entire country. His presence as an on-the-ball defender is striking; he's a complete nightmare to play against. I might argue, however, that being a turnover-creating machine is much easier when your brand of defense is I'll-just-foul. Although I can't be certain, because Craft's body was so close to his defenders that in certain jurisdictions it might have been considered battery, there were several plays last year where it appeared that Craft engineered a steal by using a scalpel to remove his man's tendons. But that is pure speculation.

    Despite his excellence on defense, Craft is far from one of the best offensive point guards in the country. He is a solid mid-range shooter, shooting over 55% from 2-PT range last season, but wildly inconsistent from the outside and only an average penetrator at best due to his small stature and lagging first step leading to a high percentage of his drives ending in blocked shots. Craft was able to benefit from the presence of All-American caliber scorers such as Willie Buford and Jared Sullinger as a solid catch-and-shoot threat the previous two years, but he is much less of a threat when asked to put the ball on the floor to create his own shot, so it remains to be seen how the departures of Craft's NBA-bound teammates and the increased defensive attention he will most certainly receive will affect his offensive game.

    Moral of the story: I don't like Craft. Haha. But I do believe that while he's an elite defender, he is not an elite all-around player.

  7. #7
    Totally agree with the questions about Poythress (who I do think will be one of the two best freshmen, but still) and McAdoo. I also agree with the point that Craft is correctly not on the list. I'd add that Deshaun Thomas seems like a questionable selection as well. I'd have put Canaan on the first team over McCollum. And I'd have had Lorenzo Brown on the list. And I'd have considered Mike Moser, Phil Pressey, Pierre Jackson, Michael Snaer, Andre Roberson, and perhaps even Gorgui Dieng.

    That being said, there aren't a ton of returning players who are proven candidates, so I don't care all that much. And I especially don't care given that it is a meaningless honor. I suspect that the post-season All-American list will look dramatically different than this list.
    Last edited by CDu; 10-02-2012 at 01:12 PM.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Cameron View Post
    Aaron Craft is a really fine player and vaunted defender, but tagging him as the best all-around player in college basketball would kind of be like having labled John Stockton the best all-around player in the NBA at any point of his career. In several categories, Stockton was the best in the game at what he did, period. That chiefly being setting up teammates as a point general and using his falcon-quick hands on the defensive end to create turnovers.

    Craft is similarly talented in that he excels tremendously, almost to unparalleled levels, at certain areas of the game. He is the returning Big Ten defensive player of the year and is probably the most effective defender in the entire country. His presence as an on-the-ball defender is striking; he's a complete nightmare to play against. I might argue, however, that being a turnover-creating machine is much easier when your brand of defense is I'll-just-foul. Although I can't be certain, because Craft's body was so close to his defenders that in certain jurisdictions it might have been considered battery, there were several plays last year where it appeared that Craft engineered a steal by using a scalpel to remove his man's tendons. But that is pure speculation.

    Despite his excellence on defense, Craft is far from one of the best offensive point guards in the country. He is a solid mid-range shooter, shooting over 55% from 2-PT range last season, but wildly inconsistent from the outside and only an average penetrator at best due to his small stature and lagging first step leading to a high percentage of his drives ending in blocked shots. Craft was able to benefit from the presence of All-American caliber scorers such as Willie Buford and Jared Sullinger as a solid catch-and-shoot threat the previous two years, but he is much less of a threat when asked to put the ball on the floor to create his own shot, so it remains to be seen how the departures of Craft's NBA-bound teammates and the increased defensive attention he will most certainly receive will affect his offensive game.

    Moral of the story: I don't like Craft. Haha. But I do believe that while he's an elite defender, he is not an elite all-around player.
    Point(s) well taken. I won't count you among the coaches and scouts who think Craft is great all-round. And you definitely know a lot about Craft.

    Admittedly, the shock of seeing - well, not seeing - Craft even 3d team preseason pushed me to maybe-hyperbole. I understand that, to you, there's no maybe about it. Perhaps I give him so many points for defensive ultra-prowess that I overlook his O-deficiencies. Even there I think he's better than you (think he is), but you're right that his game cannot depend on his creating shots for himself.

    The short version - mine, and possibly yours - is that Craft is a much better D-player [effective, efficient, disruption] than is any player an O-player. Thus, I do not believe Craft is both top 5 on O and on D; but I can't think of anyone who is, so in this case "all-round" means, for me, someone who is spectacularly good on D [your words: "excels tremendously, almost to unparalleled levels," "striking," "complete nightmare"], and good enough on O.

    I will be surprised if Craft isn't 1st-2d team pre All-Am in other pubs, online and otherwise.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    Totally agree with the questions about Poythress (who I do think will be one of the two best freshmen, but still) and McAdoo. I also agree with the point that Kraft is correctly not on the list.
    Help. Translate, please.

    (a) Craft should not be preseason All-Am, not even 3d team.

    (b) Craft should be preseason All-Am, at least 3d team.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by gumbomoop View Post
    Help. Translate, please.

    (a) Craft should not be preseason All-Am, not even 3d team.

    (b) Craft should be preseason All-Am, at least 3d team.
    "Correctly not on the list." In other words, "not on the list" and "correctly positioned as such." So (a) would be my answer.

    I wouldn't put him among the top 15 players in the country. Defensively, he's easily top-5 (probably #1; hard to compare PG defense to post defense). Offensively, he's average-to-below-average in everything except wide open 3pt shots. So while he's on the VERY short list of elite defenders, I think the aggregate of both offense and defense puts him outside the top-15 for me.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Los Angeles

    Nerlens Noel?

    So there are other freshmen on these lists, including another Kentucky freshman, but the #1 big man recruit in the country, going to Kentucky, expected to step into the shoes and be a reasonable facsimile of Anthony Davis, is nowhere being mentioned? I know there have been some off-season concerns, but still: Where is Nerlens Noel?

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by tommy View Post
    So there are other freshmen on these lists, including another Kentucky freshman, but the #1 big man recruit in the country, going to Kentucky, expected to step into the shoes and be a reasonable facsimile of Anthony Davis, is nowhere being mentioned? I know there have been some off-season concerns, but still: Where is Nerlens Noel?
    Somewhere with Aaron Craft, maybe.

  13. #13
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    Toledo
    Quote Originally Posted by gumbomoop View Post
    Point(s) well taken. I won't count you among the coaches and scouts who think Craft is great all-round. And you definitely know a lot about Craft.

    Admittedly, the shock of seeing - well, not seeing - Craft even 3d team preseason pushed me to maybe-hyperbole. I understand that, to you, there's no maybe about it. Perhaps I give him so many points for defensive ultra-prowess that I overlook his O-deficiencies. Even there I think he's better than you (think he is), but you're right that his game cannot depend on his creating shots for himself.

    The short version - mine, and possibly yours - is that Craft is a much better D-player [effective, efficient, disruption] than is any player an O-player. Thus, I do not believe Craft is both top 5 on O and on D; but I can't think of anyone who is, so in this case "all-round" means, for me, someone who is spectacularly good on D [your words: "excels tremendously, almost to unparalleled levels," "striking," "complete nightmare"], and good enough on O.

    I will be surprised if Craft isn't 1st-2d team pre All-Am in other pubs, online and otherwise.
    Fair enough. And your points are well taken as well. My position is not that I think Craft deserves omission from all of the pre-season All-American lists altogether -- even though I, personally, would not have him on any of them -- just that I have a problem with referring to him as the best "all-around" player in the nation. He has too many areas that need improvement offensively, in my view, to be called such. As an example -- maybe not a good one, I don't know -- even though Chris Duhon was a lockdown defender, probably the best on the perimeter as a senior, and excellent set-up man for his teammates, as well as my favorite Duke player of all-time, he probably never would have been mistaken as the most complete player in college basketball as a result of his steep decline as a jump shooter his last two years at Duke. (Though, when it mattered, Chris was one of the most clutch scorers to ever play in Durham.)

    I will admit, though, that I am probably more critical of the kid than I should be due to a) being from Ohio and liking Ohio State as much as I do forgetting my hand was in the car door, b) all of the -- at least to me -- over-inflated worship he receives here, c) his under-your-skin cocky nature, and d) what happened to us while I was in attendance at the Duke-OSU game in the Schottenstein Center last November.

    But I agree with you in that I think Craft will again be so dominant defensively and "good enough" offensively to land himself on one of these teams when the year is over.

  14. #14
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    Columbus, Ohio
    The assessment of Craft above is rather excellent. Elite defender. Above average offensive talent. And this from an OSU homer (me, not the poster above).

    The same is true of his teammate, who did make the list. But that's because offensive prowess/potentail is more controlling in preseason missives like this. Thomas can score in bunches with a few bricks in between. He defends like a bunch of bricks.

    By the end of this season, I suspect Mason Plumlee will be on one of these teams. That's when it counts, anyway; these lists are more for online preseason fodder than anything else. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

  15. #15
    I think the only Duke player whose got a shot at post-season is Ryan Kelly. I also think he's going to end up being a top 3 choice for ACC POY.

    Just don't think Mase/the system is going to get to that level this year, hope he proves me wrong. Really, really hope he proves me wrong.

  16. #16
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    Feb 2007
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    San Francisco

    McCollum

    Quote Originally Posted by noworries View Post
    mccollum on first team???
    He certainly looked that good on March 16th.

  17. #17
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    Mar 2007
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    Toledo
    Quote Originally Posted by Bay Area Duke Fan View Post
    He certainly looked that good on March 16th.
    Which is the only reason he is on this list. But, looking back, it is probably a good one. We were thoroughly demeaned.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Dukehky View Post
    I think the only Duke player whose got a shot at post-season is Ryan Kelly. I also think he's going to end up being a top 3 choice for ACC POY.

    Just don't think Mase/the system is going to get to that level this year, hope he proves me wrong. Really, really hope he proves me wrong.
    Mason will be a beast this year

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cameron View Post
    Which is the only reason he is on this list. But, looking back, it is probably a good one. We were thoroughly demeaned.
    Well, he was the Patriot League Player of the Year.

  20. #20
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    Mar 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimsumner View Post
    Well, he was the Patriot League Player of the Year.
    Do you think without the 30 points he dropped on Duke in the tournament last year that the Patriot League Player of the Year would have been enough to vault him onto the preseason All-American first team? Honest question. I personally don't know. To be candid, that loss to Lehigh was the first time I had ever seen the kid play. There is no denying, as we all now know, the kid can play.

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