Yes, it's that time of the year again.
All together now: Player rankings!
You love them, I love them and is there any way we won't end up arguing about them? Obviously, the answer is No. It's unavoidable (and kind of fun). But to try to minimize the senseless debates I have posted a somewhat thorough explanation of the player rankings in the blog, and I would encourage you -- or even beg you -- to read it before going any further. It could help cut down on the Parrish-is-an-idiot e-mails, and that's a goal worth having.
Anyway, here's the deal:
First I'll rank 40 point guards and combo guards.
Then 30 wings.
Then 30 big men.
So when we're all done what we'll have is a list of 100 college basketball players, i.e., the names of the guys who will dictate how this season unfolds. Again, to better understand how I ranked the players and why I grouped them a certain way, I would implore you to click this link and read the explanation in the blog. I think it pretty much covers everything. And after you do that and return, you'll find that Davidson's Stephen Curry headlines CBSSports.com's 2008-09 Preseason College Basketball Player Rankings because he is the best point or combo in the nation, best I can tell.
1. Stephen Curry (Davidson)
Why he's here: Curry averaged 25.9 points last season and became the smiling face of college basketball thanks to a run to the Elite Eight. Consequently, any doubts about whether he could dominate power programs were buried forever, and the rest of the nation must now accept that the sport's best guard resides in the Southern Conference.
2. Darren Collison (UCLA)
Why he's here: Collison is a playmaking, defensive-minded point guard who has been to three Final Fours. He averaged 14.5 points per game last season, and if he's good this season he could lead UCLA to the Final Four again.
3. Ty Lawson (North Carolina)
Why he's here: Lawson isn't a great shooter, but his speed and ability to get to the rim make that a non-issue. He's the sparkplug that makes the nation's best team run, and when they run they run really, really fast.
Why he's here: Mills helped his reputation this summer playing for the Australian national team. He scored 13 points against Team USA and should put at least twice that much on more than one WCC opponent this season.
5. Jrue Holiday (UCLA)
Why he's here: Holiday is the reason UCLA won't miss Russell Westbrook all that much. The former McDonald's All-American will be an impact player from Day 1 and help Darren Collison form one of the best backcourts in America.
6. Tyreke Evans (Memphis)
Why he's here: Evans' game is suited for John Calipari's dribble-drive motion offense, and he's likely to be the Tigers' leading scorer. After that, he'll enter the NBA Draft and presumably go in the lottery.
7. Jonny Flynn (Syracuse)
Why he's here: Far as pure point guards go, Flynn might be the best. He has most of the natural instincts needed for the position, and now he just needs to take the Orange back to the NCAA tournament and snap this two-year drought.
8. A.J. Price (Connecticut)
Why he's here: Price was full of problems early in his career; brain surgery cost him one year and the theft of laptops another. Still, he has recovered better than expected, evidence being how the UConn point guard averaged 14.5 points and 5.8 assists last season before tearing his ACL in the NCAA tournament.
9. Sherron Collins (Kansas)
Why he's here: The nation will get to see how good Collins really is now that Russell Robinson and Mario Chalmers are out of the way. The guess here is that he's pretty damn good, and more minutes will equal bigger numbers.
10. Jeremy Pargo (Gonzaga)
Why he's here: Pargo has established himself as a dominant, get-to-the-rim point guard and helped the Zags solidify their status among elite programs. He averaged 12.1 points and 6.0 assists last season to earn WCC Player of the Year honors.
The next 30
|11. Tyrese Rice (Boston College)||21. Devan Downey (South Carolina)||31. Deonta Vaughn (Cincinnati)|
|12. Nick Calathes (Florida)||22. A.J. Abrams (Texas)||32. Marcus Thornton (LSU)|
|13. Jack McClinton (Miami)||23. Kyle McAlarney (Notre Dame)||33. Kemba Walker (Connecticut)|
|14. Jerel McNeal (Marquette)||24. Levance Fields (Pittsburgh)||34. Dominic James (Marquette)|
|15. Lester Hudson (UT-Martin)||25. Kenny Hasbrouck (Siena)||35. Iman Shumpert (Georgia Tech)|
|16. Scottie Reynolds (Villanova)||26. Willie Warren (Oklahoma)||36. Ron Steele (Alabama)|
|17. Eric Maynor (Virginia Commonwealth)||27. Antonio Anderson (Memphis)||37. Eric Devendorf (Syracuse)|
|18. Kalin Lucas (Michigan State)||28. Manny Harris (Michigan)||38. Matt Bouldin (Gonzaga)|
|19. Stefon Jackson (UTEP)||29. Greivis Vasquez (Maryland)||39. Armon Johnson (Nevada)|
|20. Curtis Jerrells (Baylor)||30. Chris Warren (Ole Miss)||40. Trevon Hughes (Wisconsin)|
|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|