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Midseason All-Rolls Royce


We are two months into the college basketball season and a number of players have come through. It is not easy to come up with a super six midseason All-Rolls Royce squad. I sat down and thought about it while sitting at the Broken Egg down in sunny Florida.

Here it is, time to unveil my super six, my midseason diaper dandy and my co-coaches for the first half of the season.

I really love Tyler Hansbrough of North Carolina. Yes, he had a couple of rough outings, but all in all he has been a solid performer for Roy Williams and his Tar Heels. He's a potential double-double guy each night.

Nevada's Nick Fazekas may not get as much television exposure, but the experts are well aware of his ability and talent. He can step outside and hit the jumper, or go in the paint and compete with the best of them. He has put up some big numbers, including 11 double-doubles in his team's first 14 games. He could join Keith Van Horn as the second player to win WAC Player of the Year three times.

I saw Glen "Big Baby" Davis in person last weekend and he is much quicker now that he has lost over 50 pounds. He also likes to step outside to take jumpers, and he gets good position inside. John Brady will count on his big man to dominate.

Taurean Green of Florida has been a steadying influence in the backcourt for the defending national champions. He did have a bad shooting performance against Georgia, hitting three-of-fourteen shots. He can distribute the rock and come through with key outside shots when needed.

Kevin Durant has stepped right into the Texas lineup and been a major factor. He is my midseason Diaper Dandy award winner and you can ask Colorado coach Ricardo Patton how tough Durant it. All the big man did was score 37 points against the Buffaloes last weekend. Texas has one of the youngest teams in the nation, but Rick Barnes has to be pleased with the play of Durant.

Finally, rounding out my super six is Wisconsin's Alando Tucker. He comes through in all the big games. Tucker scored 32 vs. Pittsburgh, 29 vs. Georgia, 28 against Marquette and 26 vs. Missouri State. He is also my midseason winner of Most Outstanding Player honors.

It was tough to pick a midseason coach honoree. So I went with co-winners. John Beilein of West Virginia has done another amazing job. He lost so much talent, including Kevin Pittsnogle and Mike Gansey, yet the Mountaineers are off to a great start in the Big East. Go ask Connecticut, Villanova and St. John's how tough things are playing in Morgantown. Beilein's kids are disciplined and well schooled. The Mountaineers were picked to finish in the second division of the Big East.

Butler's Todd Lickliter saw his team picked sixth in the Horizon League preseason poll. His Bulldogs have been impressive, with wins over Notre Dame, Indiana, Tennessee and Gonzaga to win the NIT preseason tip-off. Lickliter and Beilein share midseason honors.

There have been upsets galore and many great moments in the first half of the season. There will be plenty more as we head through conference play leading up to championship week and the big dance, the greatest three weeks in all of sports.

Dick Vitale coached the Pistons and the University of Detroit before broadcasting ESPN's first college basketball game in December 1979. Send him a question for possible use on ESPNEWS.

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