Cody Zeller tops preseason AP All-America team

Andy Lyons

The No. 1 team's No. 1 star was a single vote away from being a unanimous selection to the Associated Press preseason All-American team.

Indiana center Cody Zeller earned 64 out of 65 votes to headline the Associated Press' preseason All-America team.

Zeller, the early favorite to bring home national Player of the Year honors, is the biggest reason Tom Crean's Hoosiers will enter the season ranked No. 1 for the first time in 33 years. The 7-footer averaged 15.6 points and 6.6 rebounds while shooting 62.3 percent from the field on his way to named co-Big Ten Freshman of the Year a season ago.

There is a decisive mid-major flare on the rest of the AP's All-America team, with Murray State's Isaiah Canaan, Creighton's Doug McDermott and Lehigh's C.J. McCollum all gracing the squad. Ohio State's DeShaun Thomas and Michigan's Trey Burke round out the team, which includes six players because of a tie for the fifth spot.

McDermott, who averaged 22.9 points (third in the nation) and 8.2 rebounds in 2011-12, is the only first team All-American from last season who returned to college basketball. He appeared on 62 of the media panel's ballots, trailing only Zeller.

Earning 43 votes was Canaan, who averaged 19.0 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game while guiding Murray State to a 23-game winning streak to begin last season. Many saw Canaan's offseason decision 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, has the Racers ranked just outside the top 25 to begin the season.

Ohio State's Thomas snagged 26 votes to earn his spot on the team. With frontcourt classmate Jared Sullinger now being paid to play the game, many expect Thomas to emerge as one of college basketball's dominant post players. He showed glimpses of superstardom last season when he averaged a team-best 19.2 points per game during the Buckeyes' run to the Final Four.

Sharing Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors with Zeller last season was Burke, who was another player most figured was off to the NBA. He led the Wolverines in scoring (14.8 ppg), steals and blocks last season, and also set a Michigan freshman record for assists.

Tying with Burke for the final spot on the team was Lehigh's McCollum, who made himself known to casual college basketball fans when he dropped the 30 points in the Mountain Hawks' NCAA Tournament upset of Duke. The two-time Patriot League Player of the Year finished last season with averages of21.9 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists, leading Lehigh in all three categories.

Other receiving All-American votes were: Kenny Boynton, Florida; Lorenzo Brown, North Carolina State; Aaron Craft, Ohio State; Jamaal Franklin, San Diego State; Solomon Hill, Arizona; Pierre Jackson, Baylor; C.J. Leslie, North Carolina State; James Michael McAdoo, North Carolina; Tony Mitchell, North Texas; Mike Moser, UNLV; Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA; Nerlens Noel, Kentucky; Otto Porter, Georgetown; Phil Pressey, Missouri; Peyton Siva, Louisville; Michael Snaer, Florida State; Jeff Withey, Kansas.

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