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January 17, 2010

Roundtable: Early All-America squad picks

At the College Basketball Roundtable each week, we ask each member of the coverage staff for his opinion about a topic in the sport.

Today's question: Which five players would you choose for your All-America team if the voting were held today?

David Fox's answer:
In the backcourt, I'd go with John Wall and Jon Scheyer; in the frontcourt, it would be Evan Turner, Damion James and Luke Harangody. As a freshman, Wall is as much an All-America lock as Kevin Durant and Michael Beasley were -- and he could make the deepest NCAA tournament run of all of them. At the other guard spot, Scheyer has been outstanding at point guard in just about every way. His 4.8-1 assist-turnover ratio leads the country, and he scores 19.6 points per game. At first, I hesitated to put Turner on my team since he missed six games. But the numbers don't lie: He averages a double-double and 5.6 assists. He could be the player of the year. James is averaging a double-double, too, for the No. 1 team in the country. Rounding out the frontcourt is Harangody, a two-time All-American who is on pace to set a career high in scoring.

Mike Huguenin's answer:
In the frontcourt, I would pick Al-Farouq Aminu and Luke Harangody, and I would have Jon Scheyer, Evan Turner and John Wall in the backcourt. Aminu is averaging a double-double and is playing at a high level for a Wake Forest team that needs a big game from Aminu every time out. Harangody is the nation's second-leading scorer and is 0.5 rebounds per game away from averaging a double-double for Notre Dame. As with Aminu, Notre Dame has to get big production from Harangody each game. Turner missed six games with an injury, but the guy has played unbelievable basketball for Ohio State when healthy. He's a big-time scorer, rebounder and passer -- and might just be the best all-around player in the nation. The other guard spots also were easy to pick. Kentucky's Wall is the most talented player in the nation and is living up to the immense hype he received coming into the season. He's jet-quick and can shoot, pass and defend. Scheyer seemed ill-suited to play the point when he was moved there last season by Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, but he has thrived in his role. He might not be as quick as most of the other top point guards, but he's a heady player who simply does not make mistakes. He also can score and has good range.

Jason King's answer:
Here's my midseason All-American team: John Wall, Kentucky (The nation's best player is the best point guard college basketball has seen in at least 20 years). Damion James, Texas (He's the best player on the nation's best team and won't let the Longhorns lose. Just ask Texas A&M). Luke Harangody, Notre Dame (He's on pace to become the Big East's all-time leading scorer). Sherron Collins, Kansas (His statistics would be better if the Jayhawks weren't so balanced, but you can't undervalue his leadership for the national title favorites). Evan Turner, Ohio State (Hands down, he's the most versatile player in the country).

Steve Megargee's answer:
It might be cheating a bit to put two point guards in my backcourt, but Kentucky's John Wall and Duke's Jon Scheyer are playing better than any shooting guards across the nation this season. My rule of thumb with All-America teams always has been to make sure you come up with five guys who could actually play together. Having Wall and Scheyer in the backcourt would work under this scenario because Scheyer played shooting guard for most of his career, so he naturally could move to the two-guard spot with Wall handling the point. If I was forced to come up with a strict lineup that features one point guard and one shooting guard, I'd pick a backcourt of Wall and Ohio State's Evan Turner. Even though Turner missed a substantial portion of the season with broken bones in his back, when he has been healthy, he has played the best of any shooting guard in the nation. Syracuse's Wesley Johnson is the easy choice at small forward, and I'll give Notre Dame's Luke Harangody the edge over Texas' Damion James at power forward. Radford's Artsiom Parakhouski statistically is having the best year of any center, but Kansas' Cole Aldrich has faced much tougher competition thus far. I'll make Aldrich my center.

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