This list will be comprised of 6 players. We have chosen 3 guards and 3 forwards, which will make up our pre-season All-American team. We will also choose our National Player of the Year. Here is our NCAA Pre-Season All-American Team for 2016-17.
GUARD: GRAYSON ALLEN (JUNIOR/DUKE) Allen will be the leader for an extremely talented, albeit young Duke squad. The 6’5″ junior shooting guard really impressed last season as he averaged 21.6pts, 4.6reb, and 3.5ast per game. He has very good athleticism and a sweet shooting touch. He took his name out of the 2016 NBA Draft to return to Durham for one more year.
If he can tone down some of his on-court antics, he might just lead Duke to another Final 4 appearance. Allen was the star of the national championship game as a freshmen when he came off the bench to lead Duke to the title over Wisconsin.
GUARD: MARKELLE FULTZ (FRESHMEN/WASHINGTON) No high school player in perhaps the last decade has shown as much improvement in 2 years than Fultz. Starting at the varsity level for only his junior and senior years of high school, he has gone from a mid-major prospect to a probable one and done candidate. The 6’4″ freshmen point guard shows poise beyond his years to go along with a remarkable array of talents. He can do everything on the basketball court.
Fultz, who only turned 18-years old in May will take over the PG duties for DeJounte Murray, who was a 2016 NBA first round pick by the San Antonio Spurs. Washington head Coach Lorenzo Romar will put the ball in the McDonald’s All-American hands from Day 1 in hopes of leading the Huskies back into the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2012. He has the ability to do just that.
GUARD: JOSH HART (SENIOR/VILLANOVA) The senior PG/SG thought long and hard about staying in the 2016 NBA Draft. At the last second he decided to return to the Wildcats. That is great news for head coach Jay Wright but bad news for the rest of the Big East conference. The reigning Big East conference Player of the Year will try and lead Villanova to another national championship.
Hart averaged 15.5pts, 6.8reb, and 2ast per game as a junior in 2015-16. However, his stats don’t tell the whole story. He impacts the game in every aspect. The 6’5″ Hart is an excellent defender, play-maker, and most importantly, is a great team leader. Perhaps no other player in the country means more to his team than Josh Hart. Combine that with his talent and he deserves to be on this list.
FORWARD: IVAN RABB (SOPHOMORE/CAL) Rabb surprised many by returning to CAL for his sophomore season. He was widely regarded to be a lottery pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. He formed a very talented 1-2 punch with Jaylen Brown, who was the 3rd overall selection by the Boston Celtics in the June draft. We feel Rabb is the most talented big-man in the country, with a game that resembles NBA All-Star Chris Bosh.
The 6’10” sophomore power forward sports a 7-1 wingspan. While he needs to gain weight, he is an excellent rebounder and a very good athlete for his size. He shows the ability to pass out of double teams very well, which he will see plenty of this season. He is improving his low-post game, as he has a nice little jump-hook. Ivan Rabb is one of the best players in college basketball with a wealth of potential. If he can put weight on his 220-230 pound frame, he should be able to have a phenomenal season for CAL. He will also hear his name called very early in the 2017 NBA Draft.
FORWARD: DILLON BROOKS (JUNIOR/OREGON) The 6’7″ Brooks was sensational as a sophomore for the Ducks. He averaged 16.7pts, 5.4reb, 3.1ast per game. He is one of college basketball’s most versatile players. However, he broke his foot early in the summer and will be out for at least the beginning of the 2016-17 season.
Brooks still makes our first team because he should be back by mid-season at the latest and that is good enough for us to keep him on our pre-season first team. He affects the game in so many ways and is such a mis-match because of his ability to play inside and outside. Oregon has major goals it wants to accomplish this season. The number 5 team in our pre-season rankings, we expect Brooks to be the player he was last year when he returns from injury. He is simply one of the top players in college basketball and is a joy to watch.
FORWARD: JARON BLOSSOMGAME (SENIOR/CLEMSON) Blossomgame might be a surprise for many people to be on this list. He isn’t to us. If he played on a better team, he would get the notoriety that he deserves. He put his name in the 2016 NBA Draft, however wisely pulled his name out.
At 6’7, the senior can play inside and outside. He averaged 18.7pts and 6.7reb per game for an average Clemson team. He is the leader of the Tigers and will try to get them into the top-tier of ACC teams. He will get everybody’s best performance this season and he should be up for the task. We expect his stats and overall game to improve even more this upcoming season. Fans should be prepared to hear the name Jaron Blossomgame get called in the first round of the 2017 NBA draft.
OUR NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE YEAR:
JOSH HART (SENIOR/VILLANOVA)
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