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Originally published November 2, 2010 at 02:00p.m., updated November 2, 2010 at 05:52p.m.

How Keegan voted: Sports editor explains AP All-American selections

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The following is Journal-World sports editor Tom Keegan's preseason Associated Press ballot for men's college basketball All-Americans.

  • Kyrie Irving, Duke
  • Jacob Pullen, Kansas State
  • Marcus Morris, Kansas
  • Kyle Singler, Duke
  • JaJuan Johnson, Purdue

Keegan's take:

The instruction given to Associated Press All-American voters: “The only qualification is that each must be a team that can take the floor.”

In other words, don’t stock the team with all perimeter or all post players.

Purdue’s JaJuan Johnson was the first name I chose because he’s the best pure post player in the country. Next, I wrote down Kansas State’s Jacob Pullen, the first guard who popped into my head. Then I picked the forwards, Duke’s Kyle Singler and KU’s Marcus Morris, a pair of players who sting from inside and out. Morris has big junior year written all over him. He’s developed into a very hard worker. He’s gained more valuable national experience over the summer and he has such a versatile game.

The toughest call came as to which guard to put next to Pullen: BYU’s Jimmer Fredette or Duke’s Kyrie Irving. A preseason All-American team is a guess and to leave off freshmen automatically is to deny the age we live in. I gave the nod to Irving, a true point guard surrounded by so much talent he has a great chance to play at his best in a hurry.

For me, the only surprise on the first team was North Carolina forward Harrison Barnes. Those who have seen a lot of both Barnes and Irving don’t express the same wow-factor when speaking about Barnes. Plus, with the ball in his hands far more often, it will be easier for Irving to stand out. I never considered voting for Barnes.

Comments

KuKain 3 years, 8 months ago

Glad to see you weren't one of the voters who voted Barnes in.

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Sam Constance 3 years, 8 months ago

Don't give him too much credit. He left off Barnes but just replaced him with a different freshman in Irving.

Personally, I think there are probably five guys who actually played college basketball last year who are more deserving of this list than Barnes, Irving or even Selby.

After all, none of them has played a single minute of college basketball. I know it's meaningless preseason and all that, but there's just something off-putting about giving pre-credit to a guy who hasn't even performed at this level yet. Give awards like this to returning players who were good last year or are expected to take a step forward this year.

I'm sure there are five of them out there...

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okjhok 3 years, 8 months ago

If you're going to call him out like that, I'd at least expect you to name the five players you think are better than Irving. Have you even seen Irving play? So, who are they?

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Sam Constance 3 years, 8 months ago

You're missing my point. It doesn't matter if I've seen him play or not--the problem is that whatever playing he's shown thus far has been at a level below collegiate basketball.

Maybe I'm "denying the age we live in" or whatever that means, but at the end of the day there are plenty of returning players who we KNOW can succeed at this level. No need to speculate, which is all you're doing if you put a freshman on an preseason All American list.

Corey Fisher? Talor Battle? LaceDarius Dunn? Kemba Walker? Ashton Gibbs? Scoop Jardine?

Irving may end up passing some or all of them. I just think preseason picks can be used better than stabs in the dark at who will be the AA team. Use it to give some credit to guys who've been successful to a degree at the college level and have shown better indicators of being a good player this year.

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Max Walker 3 years, 8 months ago

So in the past few years you wouldn't have voted for John Wall, Michael Beasley, or Kevin Durant, even though it was pretty obvious they were going to be special?

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phi4life940 3 years, 8 months ago

Preseason is preseason....

The world will witness KU greatness.

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DallasHawk 3 years, 8 months ago

Couldn't agree more. The Cream always rises to the Top. The farmers of all people should know that. Rock Chalk

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eway12 3 years, 8 months ago

To be fair, KSU ended the season on a strong note and they have a lot returning. Most of the other top teams lost a lot. Unless you're one of those people like Keegan and the rest of the AP voters who pre-award highly touted freshmen, then I don't see how you can't vote KSU into the top 10 at least. I think KU will be better and maybe KSU will not live up to the hype, but it's hard to find 5-10 other teams who have proved more and have experienced players returning.

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waywardJay 3 years, 8 months ago

Ummm HawknHutch.... Seriously ? He absoultely was the best player on K-state last year, and it wasn't even close.

He came and played game in and game out, while Clemente was more up and down that a yo-yo on rollercoaster. that team lived and died by pullen.

Now, THIS year. Pullen doesn't even HAVE to be the best player on their team to succeed. Sure., it would help. To me, Judge has to be the best player on that team. Judge has to dominate in games the way he sometimes showed up last year. 20 and 13 averages and 5 kick out assists. because we are so unsure of penetration from Macgruder, because There is no kick out wing with consistant trifecta. Pullen's gotta be a littl ebit of everything whcih mean shis scoring stats will drop, SOOOOO..... Kelley, Samuels and most specifically in my eyes, Judge have to PRODUCE like gangbusters when they are in there.

Kelley dropping aa spot and playing the 3 with a 38% trifecta would help. Magruder showing what he did when he was in high school and having a 3 to 1 apo ratio would be HUGE.

But to me, Without Judge becoming jury and Executioner K-state might be in a bit of trouble this year.

Even if Pullen is the best player in the league, this year. Which he may very well be.

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Ron Franklin 3 years, 8 months ago

There are too many homers out there.

Give KSU their credit.

They made it further in the Tourney that we all care about more than anything else in College Basketball.

I'm proud to be an alumn of both schools, and I'm not a Farmer either.

When you generalize, and stereotype an entire community of students by calling them Farmers your assumption is as inaccurate as Irving and Pullen being labeled all-americans.

Don't get your panties in a bunch because the media sees things one way, and you always see it the way it best fits 'your team.'

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DallasHawk 3 years, 8 months ago

I understand you may have a more neutral look at the two schools, but I’m sorry I don't share that same viewpoint and I'm sure a lot of posters are the in the same boat. I was in OKC at the game and I'm pretty sure kstate fans don't share your neutral opinion either. We are talking about college athletics again right?? Generalizations and stereotypes are par for the course.

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Ron Franklin 3 years, 8 months ago

You missed the point completely.

This isn't about being neutral. It's about being objective, and actually judging a teams quality based on their players, not based on the fact that you hate KSUckZ and Misery and whomever....

I would wager a lot of money that if KSU and Frank Martin had recruited MCMorris', Taylor, Reed, Selby et al and Self had recruited the team Frank Martin did, you'd still say KU was supposed to be better and had the better talent. Because there is no objectivity in your analysis. It's all based on the fact that you are KU fan.

KSU does not deserve to be ranked # 3, but they should be ranked higher than Kansas....at least for now.

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Max Walker 3 years, 8 months ago

Couldn't agree more.... While I would almost rather see KU a bit further down in the rankings (always seems to fire BS and the boys up), they are legitimately a few ranking spots behind KSU right now. As evidenced by the game last night... The boys let a patsy school shoot 50% and then couldn't even do it themselves. 4-19 from 3 is going to be hard to overcome when playing a team with as talented an interior as KSU.

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100 3 years, 8 months ago

Seems like reasonable list.

For those above talking about Pullen, on the list it's hard to not put him there.

But many of us know he was there last year primarily because of Clemente.

Clemente freed him up every play, which doesn't always show in the stat book, nor do his 40 foot jumpers, which, good for him they tended to go in last year.

We'll see how he shoots from 40 feet without Clemente pulling his defender away in a double team pass off.

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waywardJay 3 years, 8 months ago

I'm not so sure I agree whole heartedly..... Clemente was a good player, but I think that Pullen's success was not because of Clemente.... so much as they succeeded together.... Pullen being top dog, and Clemente being Scottie pippen.

Yes, Clemente was the distributor, yet he took more shots overall. Missed more, and went to the free throw line alot less....

Had Clemente been a pass first point guard, like a russell robinson... I would agree with your point whole heartedly.... but his A to T ratio was a measly 2 to1 for a 29-8 team... That stat is extremely ugly, especially considering He had pullen on the wing next to him draining 39.6 of his threes...41 percent of his overall shots..... and hitting 88 percent of his ft's.....

We'll see how good Pullen really is when he's faced with being the lone proven guy this year..... We'll see if Magruder's numbers don't compliment Pullen a bit more than Clemente's.... expect a higher A to T ratio and expect lower ppg totals from magruder, but I think shooting percentage and win totals could be higher .....

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waywardJay 3 years, 8 months ago

I take issue with having two dukies on this list. Especially one who hasn't earned anything yet.

There is a hush hush player out there, who wears green and yellow who deserves that slot alot more than Kyrie does, Controversy aside. but Pre-season doesn't mean anything.

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lee3022 3 years, 8 months ago

I think Sherron and Cole showed how fickle the pollsters can be in this voting. Pre-season simply does not mean much. I like that Pullen is being touted so widely and K-State is being elevated as the conference favorite. I might be wrong but I only remember KU being touted as the conference pre-season favorite a couple of years over the past six. When the dust settles we will see who prevails. In the meantime the pressure is on them and not us.

Marcus may be deserving of a birth. Should KU win the Big-XII again and gain a high seed in the tournament he might even be a post-season award winner. It is easy for me to say but I would gladly trade all the All-American selections KU has ever had for one more championship. Just saying.

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Chris Bruning 3 years, 8 months ago

waywardjay......um no pullen was not ABSOLUTELY the best player on kstate. clemente was up and down but not as bad as pullen. i would have taken clemente over pullen srictly for the speed. pullen was an inconsistent shooter, i was at the kstate game and was suprised at how often he missed for as hyped as he was supposed to be. wally judge is the best player on the wildcat roster this year. mark my word.

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waywardJay 3 years, 8 months ago

While we are in agreeing on the Judge....

Pullen was far more consistant shooting than Clemente.

39.6 percent of three's to 34.1 41.9 overall fg percentage to 40.5 82.2 ft shooting to 74.4 took less shots.... got to the line more...

Pullen was a far better player than Clemente last year, In one showing Clemente's abilities could be shown decent in comparison.... IE... his box score in the Lawrence kansas game.... 7-15 2-4 from 3pt. line 5-7 from ft line...... as comapred to Pullen's 5-11 3-8 from 3 and 7 of 8

they were equals in that game for the most part.....

HOWEVER, you look at the Kstate game in Manhattan

Clemente - 4 for 15, 1-5 from 3pt land, 4-5 free throws.... 13 points. Pullen - 8 -18 ( 4 more makes in 3 more shots ), 4-11 from 3pt. land and 2-3 from the line.

Looking closer, you will see.... clemente's misses were inside the three point line at a clip of 3 for 10..... compared to pullen's 4 for 7... Pullen's numbers from inside the three point line were better, pullen's numbers from outside the line were better..... and they match the season trends.....

IE, Pullen was flat out the best player on that team last year.

Here's K-state's results from last year.... if you want to try and refute my stats.

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/teams/schedule?teamId=2306&year=2010

here's their head to head stats....

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/teams/stats?teamId=2306

Have fun contriving a result that backs your single game analysis.

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Sam Constance 3 years, 8 months ago

You're kidding, right? waywardJay did an excellent job of putting some data to this, but a simple "eye test" would bear out the fact that Pullen was the more complete player.

Clemente was all Speed and Sneer. In other words, he could flash up and down the court in a blink, and he sure had plenty of attitude/cajones, but put take one guy away from the other, and I guarantee you that Pullen will be the one to succeed.

For example, I think Pullen has the ability, with some work, to play in the NBA. I don't think Clemente has a snowball's chance in hell of doing that.

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jaybate 3 years, 8 months ago

"Equal Signs: The Keegsian Picks:"

Kyrie Irving, Duke = Desperate for access to Coach Consonants.

Jacob Pullen, Kansas State = Desperate for access to Coach Martin

Marcus Morris, Kansas = Desperate for access to Coach Self

Kyle Singler, Duke = Doubly desperate for access to Coach Consonants. Maybe has a line on a job at the Durham, or Raleigh papers.

JaJuan Johnson, Purdue = Maybe has a line on a job at the Lafayette IN newspaper.

(Note: All fiction. No malice.)

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Kye Clark 3 years, 8 months ago

To Jaybate's point, I wonder how many of the people who voted for Harrison Barnes are desperate for access to Coach Roy. That, or Dickie V used the "vote early, vote often" strategy

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Max Walker 3 years, 8 months ago

If Dickie V had used the vote early, vote often then we would see Tyler Hansbrough on the first team again.

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