The Los Angeles Athletic Club has announced its Preseason Top 50 today on ESPN.com. Chosen by a preseason poll of national college basketball experts, the list is comprised of 50 student-athletes who are the early front-runners for the sport’s most prestigious honor.
Creighton senior forward Doug McDermott, a Wooden Award All American in 2012 and 2013, looks to become the first three-time selection on the men’s side since North Carolina’s Tyler Hansbrough (2007-09). McDermott set Creighton single-season records for points, field goals and three-point percentage a year ago, and spent this summer leading Team USA in scoring (14.9 ppg) at the World University Games. He averaged 23.2 points and 7.7 rebounds last season to lead Creighton to a 28-8 record. After leading the country with 284 field goals and 834 points in 2012-13, McDermott will play as a walk-on for the Bluejays in their first year in the Big East this season.
Other players of note aside from McDermott include several stars who each had a huge impact on his team’s NCAA Final Four run in 2013, including Michigan’s Mitch McGary and Glenn Robinson III; Wichita State’s Cleanthony Early; and C.J. Fair of Syracuse.
It is no surprise that AP preseason No. 1 Kentucky Wildcats had the most players chosen to the list, four (sophomore Willie Cauley-Stein, and three freshmen: Julius Randle, Andrew Harrison, and James Young). Duke, Kansas, and Michigan State, all top 5 teams in the preseason, boast three Top 50 players apiece. Schools with two players selected include defending NCAA Champion Louisville, Baylor, Michigan, New Mexico, Ohio State, Tennessee and UCLA