I pretty much pick the college basketball awards at CBSSports.com by myself.
It's one of the perks of the job.
I have total control.
But I still reach out to people around the sport and solicit opinions just to make sure I'm not completely overlooking somebody. My list of unofficial advisors includes coaches, scouts, various beat writers and my colleague Gregg Doyel.
I mention this today because I wanted to share a story from last March, when I was finalizing the 2007-08 CBSSports.com All-American teams.
I sent Doyel my preliminary thoughts.
His reply: "Looks good, but you might want to include Stephen Curry."
It seemed like a reasonable suggestion.
So I thought about it for a minute.
And then guess what I did?
I ignored Doyel, omitted Curry and spent the next three weeks looking like an idiot as Davidson's superstar sank one jumper after another and nearly led the Wildcats to the Final Four. Davidson fans responded by e-mailing roughly 1,700 times and calling me all sorts of creative names, and for once I really couldn't defend myself. I had made a glaring mistake.
The good news is that I rarely make the same mistake twice (at least in my professional life), which is why I would like to take this moment to congratulate Curry on becoming a CBSSports.com All-American ... albeit seven months too late.
Anyway, here are the CBSSports.com preseason All-American teams:
Why he's here: Despite Collison's stinker against Derrick Rose, he's still the guy I'd want running my college basketball team. The senior point guard can drive, pass and defend, and the fact that he shot 52.5 percent from 3-point range last season suggests he can shoot a little, too.
Why he's here: His run through the NCAA tournament was legendary and enough to make him the face of college basketball. He shoots it deep and often, and there isn't a more exciting player in the nation than this junior, who averaged 25.9 ppg last season and set an NCAA record with 162 3-pointers.
Why he's here: Griffin averaged 14.7 points and 9.1 rebounds as a freshman despite playing injured in spurts. He helped the Sooners reach the second round of the NCAA tournament and should have them in contention for a Big 12 title this season.
Why he's here: Harangody averaged 20.4 points and 10.6 rebounds for a team that won 25 games. He's a beast around the basket and capable of posting Hansbrough-like numbers even if he doesn't get Hansbrough-like acclaim.
Why he's here: Hansbrough is the best player on the nation's best team, just a consistent nightmare for opponents thanks to his ability to score and rebound in traffic. He's already set to go down as one of the best in ACC history, but it's important for him to add an NCAA title to secure his legacy.
|Second Team||Third Team|
|Guard: Ty Lawson (North Carolina)||Guard: Patrick Mills (Saint Mary's)|
|Guard: James Harden (Arizona State)||Guard: Jrue Holiday (UCLA)|
|Forward: Tyler Smith (Tennessee)||Forward: DeMar DeRozan (Southern California)|
|Forward: Patrick Patterson (Kentucky)||Forward: Jon Brockman (Washington)|
|Center: Hasheem Thabeet (Connecticut)||Center: B.J. Mullens (Ohio State)|
Twenty-five other guys under serious consideration
(Players listed in alphabetical order)
|• Jeff Adrien (Connecticut)||• Jonny Flynn (Syracuse)||• Raymar Morgan (Michigan State)|
|• DeJuan Blair (Pittsburgh)||• Damion James (Texas)||• A.J. Ogilvy (Vanderbilt)|
|• Chase Budinger (Arizona)||• Lester Hudson (UT-Martin)||• Jeremy Pargo (Gonzaga)|
|• Nick Calathes (Florida)||• Robbie Hummel (Purdue)||• A.J. Price (Connecticut)|
|• Earl Clark (Louisville)||• Kalin Lucas (Michigan State)||• Scottie Reynolds (Villanova)|
|• Sherron Collins (Kansas)||• Eric Maynor (Virginia Commonwealth)||• Tyrese Rice (Boston College)|
|• Austin Daye (Gonzaga)||• Jack McClinton (Miami)||• Kyle Singler (Duke)|
|• Wayne Ellington (North Carolina)||• Jerel McNeal (Marquette)||• Sam Young (Pittsburgh)|
|• Tyreke Evans (Memphis)|
|2008-09 Season Preview/Conference Countdown Schedule|
|Monday, Oct. 20||Preseason Top 25 (and one)||Thursday, Oct. 30||Ranking the best of the non-BCS|
|Tuesday, Oct. 21||Preseason All-America Team||Friday, Oct. 31||No. 6: Big Ten|
|Wednesday, Oct. 22||Player rankings: Points/combos||Monday, Nov. 3||No. 5: Pac-10|
|Thursday, Oct. 23||Player rankings: Wings||Tuesday, Nov. 4||No. 4: Big 12|
|Friday, Oct. 24||Player rankings: Big men||Wednesday, Nov. 5||No. 3: SEC|
|Monday, Oct. 27||Impact Freshmen||Thursday, Nov. 6||No. 2: ACC|
|Tuesday, Oct. 28||Coaches on the hot seat||Friday, Nov. 7||No. 1: Big East|
|Wednesday, Oct. 29||Games to watch||Monday, Nov. 10||Preseason tourney projections|