We are closing in on college basketball's 2013-14 season, if you can believe it. For a lot of reasons, this stands to be a pretty good year in the sport.
Chief among those reasons are the crop of players in the running to make the All-American teams. The 2014 draft, as of now, is thought to be the deepest in a decade.
College basketball will provide us with a lot of entertainment and talent this season.
Let's get to looking at who we think will be the best of the best, the household names come the middle of the winter and well into March. The best news is, we've got a good mix of veteran guys and much-hyped freshmen.
G | 6-4 | SOPH | Oklahoma State
Smart's return to OSU for his sophomore season was a big surprise considering he was projected as a consensus top-five pick in last June's NBA Draft. The Texas native is a leader and terrific talent who could lead the Cowboys to a Big 12 title.
G | 6-0 | SR | Louisville
Smith nearly turned pro after helping the Cardinals win last season's national title. But where would he have gone? The sometimes erratic scorer would've probably ended up as a second-round pick. So he wisely decided to return to Louisville, stack honors and take a shot at winning back-to-back championships.
G-F | 6-8 | FR | Kansas
Wiggins became the consensus top prospect in the Class of 2013 after reclassifying. He possesses a unique combination of skill and athleticism, which is why the Canadian is projected to go first in next June's NBA Draft - but not until after he leads the Jayhawks to at least a share of the Big 12 title for the 10th straight year.
F | 6-8 | SR | Creighton
McDermott is a two-time Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year who should have no problem adjusting to the stiffer combination that the Big East will present. He's too skilled for bigs to cover and too big for guards to cover, and his ability to shoot from the perimeter makes him nearly impossible to guard at the college level.
F | 6-9 | FR | Kentucky
Randle projects as the best player on what projects as the nation's best team. He's big, strong and super-aggressive -- a matchup nightmare in the frontcourt who just might lead Kentucky in points and rebounds while leading the Wildcats to a second national title in three years.
Aaron Craft: G | 6-2 | SR | Ohio State
Gary Harris: G | 6-4 | SOPH | Michigan State
Jabari Parker: F | 6-8 | FR | Duke
Aaron Gordon: F | 6-8 | FR | Arizona
Mitch McGary: F | 6-10 | SOPH | Michigan
Andrew Harrison: G | 6-6 | FR | Kentucky
Jahii Carson: G | 5-10 | SOPH | Arizona State
Rodney Hood: F | 6-8 | SOPH | Duke
Adreian Payne: C | 6-10 | SR | Michigan State
Willie Cauley-Stein: F | 7-0 | SOPH | Kentucky