One of the few things we college hoops fans can almost universally agree on about the 2012-13 season is how wide-open and unpredictable it stands to be. This is true of all college hoops seasons, more or less, but 2011-12 felt loaded at the top, far less prone to the wild Butler/VCU/Kemba Walker-type fun of the two seasons that preceded it.
Another feather in this argument’s cap: The Associated Press' Preseason All-Americans, which, thanks to a tie, actually includes six players overall. Here’s the list, with a list of votes from the 65-member panel:
Cody Zeller, Indiana (64)
Doug McDermott, Creighton (62)
Isaiah Canaan, Murray State (43)
Deshaun Thomas, Ohio State (26)
C.J. McCollum, Lehigh (16)
Trey Burke, Michigan (16)
The poll is bereft of freshmen, which is probably a mistake, because you can go ahead and pencil at least one standout into the year-end team. Then again, I’m not sure which freshman stands out above the others so much so as to warrant the inclusion. Besides, the AP voters may still be recovering from that whole Harrison Barnes thing. Understandably so.
There are three truly noteworthy things about this list:
1. What it says about the diffuse nature of talent in college hoops these days. Three of its six inclusions hail from schools whose conferences live below the mid-major financial cutoff line. There are still haves and have-nots in college hoops, make no mistake. But the healthy spread of talent continues.
2. What it says about the Big Ten in comparison to its power-conference brethren. All three non-mid-major stars on the list hail from the Big Ten. There is plenty of talent in leagues around the country, but it’s hard to argue with the Big Ten’s at least temporary top-tier status.
3. One voter out of the 65 polled didn’t vote for Cody Zeller. Unlike my buddy Rob, I have no interest in outing this person. But I am not pleased. Why? For the next two weeks, every time we mention Zeller's preseason awards credentials, I am going to have to qualify "unanimous" with "near." That's four extra letters! Ugh!