by Bill DiFilippo / @bflip33
The Associated Press announced its annual preseason All-American team earlier today, and Oklahoma State’s star guard Marcus Smart was the only player to be unanimously named to the First Team.
Smart is joined on the First Team squad by Creighton forward Doug McDermott, Michigan forward Mitch McGary, Louisville guard Russ Smith and Kansas guard Andrew Wiggins. Sixteen other players received First Team votes, with Ohio State guard Aaron Craft and Duke forward Jabari Parker among the honorable mentions.
As a freshman in 2012-13, Smart established himself as one of the premier combo guards in the country. The Texas native averaged 15.4 points, 5.8 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game and helped lead the Cowboys to the NCAA Tournament. Smart surprised many when he spurned the NBA to return to Stillwater for his sophomore year.
McDermott is the country’s leading returning scorer, averaging 23.2 points per game for the Blue Jays, who made it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament and won the Missouri Valley Conference last year. McDermott also averaged 7.7 rebounds last season, and is one of two seniors to be selected to the team.
McGary may be the biggest surprise on this team. Despite averaging 7.5 points and 6.3 rebounds for the defending national runners-up, McGary saw his stock fly through the roof with a strong showing in the NCAA Tournament, where he averaged 14.3 points and 10.7 rebounds per game.
Smith is the other senior on the team. The Bronx native helped lead Louisville to its third national championship in school history, averaging 18.7 points per game on the year and 22.3 points per game during the Tournament.
Finally, Wiggins is the second freshman selected to the team since 1986-87, and the first since Harrison Barnes in 2010-11. While he has yet to step on the court in a sanctioned game for the Jayhawks, he did put up 16 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 blocks in Kansas’ preseason exhibition against Pittsburg State last weekend.