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October 5, 2009
Our preseason college basketball magazine hits newsstands Oct. 6. In it, we picked three All-America teams (see the players below).
We asked writers Mike Huguenin and Jason King which player not on our lists was most deserving of a spot.
(These guys made the teams, listed alphabetically: Cole Aldrich, Craig Brackins, Sherron Collins, Ed Davis, Luke Harangody, Manny Harris, Damion James, Kalin Lucas, Greg Monroe, Patrick Patterson, Jerome Randle, Evan Turner, Jarvis Varnado, John Wall and Willie Warren.)
Here are their thoughts.
MIKE HUGUENIN SAYS ...
I would've put Villanova guard Scottie Reynolds on the third team. He's the leading returning scorer on a team that went to the Final Four - and I think a Reynolds-led Wildcats team can make it back to the Final Four this season.
Reynolds does a lot of things well for coach Jay Wright. He's a solid ballhandler and passer with 3-point range. He's dangerous as a shooter and dangerous when he's driving to the basket. He's excellent from the free-throw line. He's a good defender. He also has leadership qualities.
Villanova is going to be good this season and Reynolds is going to play a major role. He'll be the best player on a top-10 team, and those are the kinds of guys who make All-America teams.
JASON KING SAYS ...
Even though Butler is in a mid-major conference, it wouldn't surprise me at all to see Bulldogs star Gordon Hayward contend for All-America honors.
There really aren't many flaws in Hayward's game. The 6-foot-8 Indiana native averaged 13.1 points during his first year of college action last season and also snared 6.5 boards per contest. He also shot 44.8 percent from 3-point range - and outstanding feat for someone his size - and made 81.5 percent of his free throws.
Butler will open the 2009-10 campaign ranked among the nation's Top 15 in virtually every preseason poll. If he and the Bulldogs live up to expectations, the versatile Hayward could definitely end up being an All-American.
Mike Huguenin is the college sports editor for Rivals.com. He can be reached at email@example.com.