All-Firecracker Team

Jason King


John Wall says he's achieved the SAT score needed to play at Kentucky, Elliott Williams has transferred from Duke to Memphis, Lance Stephenson has committed to Cincinnati – finally – and Xavier Henry will enroll at Kansas next month.

Or at least that's the story he's giving this week.

Tim Floyd and Billy Gillispie are out of coaching, John Calipari has relocated to Lexington and Arizona has its fourth head coach in four years.


After one of the most eventful college basketball offseasons in recent history, things are beginning to slow down just in time for the Fourth of July.

Instead of dwelling on all of the controversies and events of the past few months, take some time this weekend – perhaps as you're grilling or lounging by the pool – to look ahead to what should be an exciting season 2009-10 season.

Almost every media outlet has released its preseason Top 25 (Kansas, Kentucky Michigan State, Texas and North Carolina are my top picks). Enough about the top teams, though. What about the top players?

In honor of one of the greatest holidays of the year, The Fourth of July, here's my preseason All-American team. Actually, let's call it The All-Firecracker Team, since all of these guys are sure to make a bang in 2009-10.


Sherron Collins averaged 18.9 points per game in 2008-09.

(Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Sherron Collins, Kansas, senior guard:
Unquestioned leader of the best team in America has a chance to end his career as the winningest player in school history.

John Wall, Kentucky, freshman guard:
Projected as the No. 1 pick in next summer's NBA draft. Wall will be one of the fastest players in the country.

Cole Aldrich, Kansas, junior center:
Averaged a double-double in his first season as a starter last season; already an NBA-caliber player defensively.

Evan Turner, Ohio State, junior forward:
One of the country's most versatile players can solidify himself as a top-10 NBA draft pick with a strong season.

Willie Warren, Oklahoma, sophomore guard:
Had a banner freshman season but should excel even more in the absence of national player of the year Blake Griffin.


Craig Brackins, Iowa State, junior forward (above)
Scottie Reynolds, Villanova,
senior guard
Ed Davis, North Carolina,
sophomore forward
Manny Harris, Michigan,
junior guard
Patrick Patterson, Kentucky,
sophomore forward


Talor Battle, Penn State, junior guard (above)
Kalin Lucas, Michigan State,
junior guard
Jerome Randle, Cal,
senior guard
Jarvis Varnado, Mississippi State,
senior center
Damion James, Texas,
senior forward