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In Part Two of our midseason report we look at individual superlatives and pick every conference
One of the critiques of the 2012-13 college basketball season has been a lack of eye-popping players vying for player of the year awards. Think of Player of the Year performances and competitions in recent years by Anthony Davis, Jimmer Fredette, Kemba Walker, Blake Griffin, Kevin Durant, Greg Oden, Tyler Hansbrough and Michael Beasley.
Adding to the confusion, the top prospect for the NBA Draft is unsettled, too.
That’s made selecting the midseason All-America team that much tougher. Just take a look at the point guards: We have Trey Burke on the first team, Phil Pressey on the second and Michael Carter-Williams on the third. That order could be re-shuffled a week from now.
In Part Two of our midseason report, we picked our midseason All-Americans, our midseason All-Freshman team and midseason All-Breakout team. We’ve also revised our Final Four and conference championship picks for the season’s stretch run.
College Basketball Midseason Report: Part 1 - Surprises and disappointments
MIDSEASON ALL-AMERICA FIRST TEAM
G Trey Burke, Michigan (6-0/190, So.)
Sunday’s loss to Ohio State and Burke’s 4-of-13 performance from the field, the sophomore has been the nation’s top point guard this season, averaging 18 points and 7.1 assists per game. Burke has improved his shooting percentage from 43.3 percent to 52.
G Ben McLemore, Kansas (6-5/194, RFr.)
McLemore was worth the wait for Kansas. The Jayhawks knew he’d be a key player in 2012-13, but they may not have anticipated McLemore making a run at All-America and Big 12 Player of the Year honors. McLemore’s also making a bid to be Kansas’ best freshman since Danny Manning in 1988. Manning averaged 14.6 points that season. McLemore averages 16.4.
F Doug McDermott, Creighton (6-8/225, Jr.)
McDermott is tied with Lehigh’s C.J. McCollum, who is sidelined with a broken foot, for the national lead in points per minute (0.77). In his final season at Creighton, McDermott has improved his long-range shooting and free-throw shooting, all while taking more attempts of both.
F Anthony Bennett, UNLV (6-8/240, Fr.)
Bennett was a big-time recruit who raised the expectations for UNLV’s season with an announcement late in the recruiting process to join the Rebels. But few expected Bennett to be UNLV’s top player and a candidate for the top freshman in the nation. He’s averaging 19.6 points and 9.3 rebounds per game, and he’s had a double-double in seven of the last 10 games.
F Mason Plumlee, Duke (6-10/235, Sr.)
Yet another senior who has taken a major step in his final year, Plumlee has set career highs in almost all categories. He’s averaging 17.5 points and 11.4 rebounds. But what’s most impressive is a boost in shooting (from 57 percent to 62) and free throws (from 53 percent to 65).
Related: Key stats from the week include Michigan, Duke
MIDSEASON ALL-AMERICA SECOND TEAM
G Phil Pressey, Missouri (5-11/175, Jr.)
Dazzling passer had 19 assists against UCLA, 11 against Illinois and 13 against Alabama in his last five games.
G Russ Smith, Louisville (6-0/165, Jr.)
High-risk, high-reward guard has been rewarding the Cardinals on both ends of the floor this season.
G Brandon Paul, Illinois (6-4/200, Sr.)
He’s a shooting slump now, but he’s been the focal point of Illinois’ surprise season.
F Deshaun Thomas, Ohio State (6-7/215, Jr.)
Now in the spotlight for the Buckeyes, Thomas leads the Big Ten at 20.3 points per game.
C Cody Zeller, Indiana (7-0/240, So.)
A testament to the Hoosiers’ balance, Indiana doesn’t need him to be a national player of the year. He’s still averaging 16.6 points and 7.8 rebounds.
THIRD TEAM MIDSEASON ALL-AMERICANS
G Michael Carter-Williams, Syracuse (6-6/185, So.)
First-year full-timer fell off his 10 assists per game pace but still leads nation by wide margin at 9.4 assists per game.
G Victor Oladipo, Indiana (6-5/214, Jr.)
He could make the case he’s Indiana’s MVP. Oladipo leads the nation in effective field goal percentage (which gives weight to made three-pointers) and is second in true shooting percentage (which measures two- and three-point field goals and free throws).
G Jamaal Franklin, San Diego State (6-5/205, Jr.)
Still topping 17 points per game, Franklin has improved from 7.9 rebounds per game to 10.3 and from 1.5 assists per game to 3.5.
F Jack Cooley, Notre Dame (6-9/246, Sr.)
Only three players have had more than Cooley’s 10 double-doubles this season.
C Jeff Withey, Kansas (7-0/235, Sr.)
His 4.8 blocks per game are impressive, but how about four blocks for every personal foul. The second best in that category averages three blocks per foul.
MIDSEASON ALL-FRESHMAN TEAM
G Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State (6-4/225)
G Jahii Carson, Arizona State (5-10/175)
G Ben McLemore, Kansas (6-5/194)
F Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA (6-6/225)
F Anthony Bennett, UNLV (6-8/240)
MIDSEASON ALL-BREAKOUT TEAM
G Quinn Cook, Duke (6-1/175, So.)
G Andre Hollins, Minnesota (6-1/200, So.)
G Tyler Haws, BYU (6-5/200, So.)
F Otto Porter, Georgetown (6-8/205, So.)
C Kelly Olynyk, Gonzaga (7-0/238, Jr.)
ATHLON PRESEASON AND MIDSEASON PICKS
|Championship picks||Athlon Preseason||David Fox||Mitch Light|
|America East||Vermont||Vermont||Stony Brook|
|Big Sky||Montana||Weber State||Weber State|
|Big South||Charleston Southern||Charleston Southern||Charleston Southern|
|Big West||Long Beach State||Long Beach State||Long Beach State|
|MEAC||Savannah State||Norfolk State||NC Central|
|Mountain West||San Diego State||UNLV||UNLV|
|Ohio Valley||Murray State||Murray State||Belmont|
|Southland||Oral Roberts||Stephen F. Austin||Stephen F. Austin|
|Summit||South Dakota State||North Dakota State||South Dakota State|
|Sun Belt||Middle Tennessee||Middle Tennessee||Middle Tennessee|
|WAC||Utah State||Utah State||Utah State|