ISN’s College Basketball Preseason All America Team
The NCAA Preseason All America Team consists of the five best college basketball players heading into the 2015-2016 season. Based on performances last year, whether on returning upper class-men or highly talented freshman these are the projected players to dominate this upcoming season. These do not reflect what will be the actual All America team voted on by an official committee.
Point Guard: Melo Trimble, Sophomore, Maryland
Trimble was one of the most talented yet underrated freshman in the country last year; averaging 16.2 points, 3.9 rebounds and 3 assists on 44% shooting and 41% from three in 35 games. Getting to almost perfect size for the point position, Melo put on about 20 pounds of muscle since he declared to Maryland; now checking in at about 6’3″ and 195 lbs. After declaring to return to Maryland for his sophomore season, Maryland is likely to start the season as the number one ranked team in the country and Trimble likely a Naismith Award Finalist. Trimble runs Maryland’s offense well and gets to the free throw line a lot, leading the Big 10 in free throws made and attempted as well as shooting 86% from there. Tremble scored at least 20 points in seven games his freshman year, including a season high of 31 points against Arizona State. Romelo “Melo” Trimble should live up to be the nations best point guard; with North Carolina’s Marcus Paige and Kentucky’s Tyler Ulis competing as well.
Shooting guard: James Blackman Jr, Sophomore, Indiana
Blackman Jr is a prolific scorer, and put that on full display in his freshman season with the Hoosiers. Blackman averaged 15.7 points per game (6th most amongst freshman) while breaking the current New Orleans Pelicans starting two guard Eric Gordon’s Indiana freshman record for three pointers made with 77 of them at 38% shooting from three. Blackman should be getting a lot more looks this season, with potential to put up really big numbers. Alongside Yogi Ferrell in Indiana’s backcourt for a second consecutive year, the Hoosiers will be with co-front runners right under Maryland to win the Big 10 conference. The only issue is the knee surgery for a torn meniscus that Blackman recently had, but James should be ready for the start of the season.
Small Forward: Ben Simmons, Freshman, LSU
Ben Simmons was the number one overall recruit of the 2015 recruiting class, with good reason. Simmons has outstanding defensive prowess and a great body frame (6’9″ 230 lbs) to absolutely dominate immediately. Defense, athleticism, size, scoring ability, this kid is the real deal. With Simmons and fellow top recruit Antonio Blakeney, LSU will be among the favorites right under Kentucky to take the SEC. Simmons will likely be the number one or two overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, depending on which team gets the pick. This is a really special player coming in this season, be sure to watch him as much as you possibly can.
Power Forward: Kyle Wiltjer, Senior, Gonzaga
Kentucky fans still remember screaming “WILTJERRRRRRR” when the lovable freshman would come off the bench and sink one or two threes a game during Kentucky’s 2012 National Championship run. Three years later, Kyle Wiltjer evolves into one of the best college basketball players in the country. Averaging 16.8 points on an incredible 48% from three point range, Wiltjer became a Second Team All American and lead Gonzaga to an Elite Eight appearance. Wiltjer’s senior year should be even better, as he improves on his game that includes and already ridiculously good three point shot. At Wiltjer’s size (6’10” 240lb) he should further prove himself as the nations best stretch four.
Center: Skal Labissiere, Freshman, Kentucky
What’s stopping Ben Simmons from being the clear cut best player in the country is this man right here. Skal Labissiere is the second overall recruit in the 2015 class behind Simmons. Skal is a guard in a seven footer’s body; now who else from Kentucky have we said that about? Labissiere has incredible scoring ability; a very soft touch around the rim that allows for makes on extremely contested shots, a jump shot that is automatic from mid range and stretches to the three point line, and ball handling like a point guard. Also adding in elite rim protection, Skal puts himself right in the prestigious line of talented big men to play for John Calipari and Kentucky. Labissiere will be up there in the Naismith award hunt as well.