BOZICH | A look at my AP college basketball all-American team - WDRB 41 Louisville News

BOZICH | A look at my AP college basketball all-American team

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Aaron Harrison (left) and Montrezl Harrell are all-American candidates this season. Aaron Harrison (left) and Montrezl Harrell are all-American candidates this season.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Selecting a five-player, pre-season college basketball all-American team guarantees one thing:

You're certain to annoy fans of dozens of other players. Twenty minutes after I finalized my team, I was ready to change two of the players.

But the Associated Press asked voters to pick their pre-season team, which will be announced Monday. The only requirement? Make it a team that could take the floor.

Considering many coaches play three or four guards, that request is open to wild interpretation. John Wooden once won a national title at UCLA starting five guys 6 feet 5 or smaller. But I decided to do it the old-fashioned way – two guards, two forwards and a center.

I also decided not to include true freshmen. I'll predict that Duke center Jahlil Okafor will make the team without my assistance. But I didn't include Okafor or any guys I have not seen compete in a single college game. Sorry. I need to see more than AAU or McDonald's all-American play.

So here goes:

Marcus Paige, North Carolina guard – Fits in the tradition of Phil Ford, Kenny Smith, Raymond Felton, Ty Lawson and other great UNC point guards. Killer crossover. Solid three-point stroke. Poise of a safecracker. He's capable of getting you 35 and will usually get you 20. ACC pre-season player of the year.

Aaron Harrison, Kentucky guard – Ask Wichita State, Louisville, Michigan and Wisconsin how unflappable this guy was in March (and April). Improved throughout the season. Better ball-handler than you think.  Needs work on defense, but always competes. I expect him to be the alpha dog on John Calipari's top-ranked team.

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Arizona, forward – Worked relentlessly during the off-season to add the one missing piece to his game – a reliable outside shot. Everything else is there – athleticism, tenacity, length and a nose for the basketball. He's a terrific offensive rebounder – and led Arizona in blocked shots last season.

Montrezl Harrell, Louisville forward – Harrell proved how serious he is about becoming an elite player by deciding to return to U of L for his junior season. He said his goal isn't to make an all-American team, but to win a championship. His other goal isn't to make the NBA, it is to stay in the league for at least a decade. I don't have any doubt which guy will be the leader of this Louisville team will be this season – Harrell.

Frank Kaminsky, Wisconsin center – Nobody was mentioning this guy for first-team all-Big Ten a year ago. Then he came out firing for the Badgers, delivering a 43-point game early in the season and eventually lifting Bo Ryan to his first Final Four. Kaminsky shoots like a guard but has retained his passion for rebounding, which is why he's the best player in the Big Ten. And he's edgy. Kaminsky still isn't over the Badgers' season-ending loss to Kentucky in the NCAA Tournament. It bugs him.

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