Feb. 5, 2004
Now that we are past the midseason point, let's look at my PTPers so far. Remember, when I select my All-Rolls Royce teams -- my version of the All-America teams -- I prefer to do it by position, with two guards, two forwards and a big man up front.
As I look across America, there's a lot of talent out there. Preseason All-Rolls Royce is a nice honor, as is midseason -- but the postseason honor is what it's all about!
Time for my midseason report card: Give A's to these five as my first team midseason All-Rolls Royce squad:
Guard: Jameer Nelson (St. Joseph's)
Nelson is the catalyst for the undefeated Hawks. He's a leader and a guy who has fun on the court. I love his passion and the energy he brings to the game.
Guard: Andre Emmett (Texas Tech)
His scoring and big-play abilities have made Texas Tech a team to watch in the Big 12.
Center: Emeka Okafor (Connecticut)
I saw him in person on Monday night against Syracuse, and he's so impressive in all areas. Okafor has improved his scoring ability, can rebound with the best of them and is a top-flight shot-blocker deluxe.
Forward: Ryan Gomes (Providence)
Gomes has been an unsung hero for coach Timmy Welsh's Friars. He runs well in transition on the break, and he's a glass-eater and a difference-maker.
Forward: Luke Jackson (Oregon)
While the Ducks have been up and down this season, Jackson has posted impressive numbers: 22 ppg, seven rpg and five apg. That, my friends, is a versatile player!
I'm also going to lay on you my second and third teams, giving you my choices for the top 15 college hoop players in America so far this season. I know there's room for debate because there are so many talented athletes out there ... so here it goes:
Guard: Devin Harris (Wisconsin)
Guard: Chris Duhon (Duke)
Center: Ike Diogu (Arizona State)
Forward: Francisco Garcia (Louisville)
Forward: Hakim Warrick (Syracuse)
Guard: Raymond Felton (North Carolina)
Guard: Romain Sato (Xavier)
Center: Lawrence Roberts (Mississippi State)
Forward: Matt Freije (Vanderbilt)
Forward: Ronny Turiaf (Gonzaga)
Dick Vitale coached the Detroit Pistons and the University of Detroit in the 1970s before providing color commentary for ESPN's first college basketball game in 1979 (he's been an analyst for ESPN ever since). Send a question for Vitale for possible use on ESPNEWS.