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SB Nation's college hoops writers cast their preseason All-American votes this week and wound up with a first team heavy on mid-major (and Cody Zeller) love.
Cody Zeller, SO, F, Indiana
The only unanimous first team selection, Zeller was the co-Big Ten Freshman of the Year last season after averaging 15.6 points and 6.6 rebounds during his first season in Bloomington. He showed his pro potential by going toe-to-toe with Anthony Davis in IU's Sweet 16 loss to eventual national champion Kentucky. Zeller finished that game with 20 points while holding the consensus national Player of the Year to just nine. He would seem to be the player in America most capable of doing what Davis did last season: winning a national title and then being the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft.2.
Doug McDermott, JR, F, Creighton
The lone first team All-American from last season who's back in college for another year, McDermott averaged 22.9 points while playing for his father, Greg, as a sophomore in 2011-12. He was the only player outside of Zeller to receive multiple votes for Preseason Player of the Year.
Isaiah Canaan, SR, G, Murray State
The second team AP All-American was tremendous as a junior, averaging better than 19 points per game and nearly leading Murray State to an unbeaten regular season. Many saw Canaan's as a "strike while the iron is hot" situation, but he chose to make the slightly risky play to wait around for a 2013 draft, which figures to be less guard-heavy. His return, coupled with head coach Steve Prohm choosing to stick around, should garner the Racers at least a little bit of preseason top 25 love.
DeShaun Thomas, JR, F, Ohio State
Though frontcourt mate Jared Sullinger earned the majority of the headlines, it was probably Thomas who was the Buckeyes' best player during their run to the Final Four. In five NCAA Tournament games, the sophomore averaged a team-best 19.2 points per game, including a 31-point, 12-rebound performance against Loyola (Md.) in the round of 64. With Sullinger off to the league, Thomas has a tremendous opportunity to both emerge as OSU's unquestioned star and solidify a spot in the 2013 lottery.
C.J. McCollum, SR, G, Lehigh
The two-time Patriot League Player of the Year introduced himself to the non-college basketball junkie world when he dropped 30 points on Duke in Lehigh's historic upset of the Blue Devils last March. McCollum explained his decision to return to college for his senior season in a letter to The Sporting News last April.
Trey Burke, SO, G, Michigan
Most pundits expected Burke's first season as a Wolverine to be his only one, but he stunned those people by announcing he was coming back to Ann Arbor last April. He led team in scoring, steals and blocks last season and also set a Michigan freshman record for assists.
James McAdoo, SO, F, North Carolina
A giant leap in production is expected from the ultra-talented McAdoo, who looked lost for most of his freshman campaign before injuries forced him into the Tar Heel starting lineup late in the season. As a part-time starter in March, McAdoo showed flashes of brilliance while averaging 10.6 points and 4.8 rebounds over UNC's final seven games.
Nerlens Noel, FR, C, Kentucky
All the last Kentucky freshman center who was the No. 1 player in the previous year's recruiting class did was become the consensus national Player of the Year, lead the Wildcats to a national title and wind up being the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft. You have to admire Noel for welcoming the challenge and signing with UK.
Michael Snaer, SR, G, Florida State
Snaer proved last year that he's one of the most clutch performers in college basketball, now he wants the world to know that he's best shooting guard in the country.
Phil Pressey, JR, G, Missouri
The diminutive Pressey is the guy who makes Frank Haith's style of play work. On a team with a few holdovers from last season's Big 12 tournament champions as well as some extremely talented newcomers, he'll be asked to spearhead the unification process.
C.J. Leslie, JR, F, NC State
Leslie was the last major name to announce that he was returning to school, a piece of news that led more than a few folks to declare NC State a legitimate national title contender in just Mark Gottfried's second season in Raleigh. He led the Wolfpack in scoring last season at 14.7 ppg and also hauled in 7.3 rebounds per night.
Otto Porter, SO, F, Georgetown
The freshman All-American's remarkable progress during the second half of last season is the reason why just about everyone is expecting him to have a breakthrough sophomore campaign for the Hoyas. Porter is that rare breed of current college player who played AAU ball growing up, which resulted in him not being heavily recruited.
Mike Moser, JR, F, UNLV
One of college basketball's biggest double-double threats, Moser's combination of size and athleticism is the biggest reason the Runnin' Rebels are a darkhorse national title contender.
Tony Mitchell, SO, F, North Texas
The decision by Mitchell, who originally committed to Missouri but never made it to Columbia because of academic issues, to return to school was probably the most surprising of the offseason. His level of talent is rarely seen in the Sun Belt, and he figures to single-handedly turn the Mean Green into one of America's favorite mid-majors this season.
Jeff Withey, SR, C, Kansas
Withey set an NCAA Tournament record by blocking 31 shots during Kansas' run to the 2012 national championship game. He led the Big 12 in blocks last season while also averaging 9.0 points and 6.3 rebounds. He'll be asked to shoulder more of the load inside for the Jayhawks with Thomas Robinson off to the NBA.
SB NATION PRESEASON PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Cody Zeller, Indiana
SB NATION PRESEASON FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR: Nerlens Noel, Kentucky
Also receiving All-American votes:
Jamaal Franklin, San Diego State
Trevor Mbakwe, Minnesota
Pierre Jackson, Baylor
Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA
Aaron Craft, Ohio State
Peyton Siva, Louisville
Alex Poythress, Kentucky
B.J. Young, Arkansas
Myck Kabongo, Texas
Jarnell Stokes, Tennessee
Matthew Dellavedova, Saint Mary's
Mason Plumlee, Duke
Yogi Ferrell, Indiana
Reggie Johnson, Miami
Lorenzo Brown, NC State
Kenny Boynton, Florida
Chane Behanan, Louisville
Adonis Thomas, Memphis
Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State
Tim Frazier, Penn State
Jackie Carmichael, Illinois State