Re: First-Half All-Americans
G- Demetri McCamey, Illinois (16.3 ppg, 7.3 apg, 52.2 3pt%)
Illinois had a mid-December slump against UIC and Mizzou but don't blame McCamey, the best pure point guard in the nation. No guard is playing at a higher all-around level right now with DMac's combination of highly efficient scoring and prolific playmaking. He's off to a good start in Big Ten play after a fine preconference season: 41 points (on just 18 field goal attempts) and 17 assists in his first two conference games.
G- Jimmer Fredette, BYU (25.1 ppg, 4.4 apg, 3.1 3pt FG per game)
I kind of feel like I'm slighting him after his 39-point explosion at UNLV tonight, but Walker's scoring even more than him and Smith is far more well-rounded. Still, he's a scoring machine a mere few games shy of his 2,000th point.
F- Kyle Singler, Duke (17.4 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 1.4 apg)
His overall numbers are down as he's playing fewer minutes and being asked to do less on a much deeper team, and Nolan Smith has emerged as the leading man for the Dukies sans Irving. Not a shocker, as Smith, Singler and Scheyer shared the load equally in last year's title run. Still, he's the most versatile and most important player for the nation's best team and I suspect he'll be the go-to guy when it's crunch time again.
F- Kawhi Leonard, San Diego State (15.7 ppg, 9.6 rpg, 2.6 apg)
The best player on the nation's most suprising undefeated squad, No. 6 San Diego State, Leonard doesn't quite fit the prototype of either a small forward or a power forward at the next level. I think that makes him the next Shawn Marion, but that's also neither here nor there: he's highly versatile and a beast on the glass whose numbers would be even more eye-popping if not for SDSU's rather slow pace (64.4 possessions a game ranks 308th).
C- Keith Benson, Oakland (17.6 ppg, 10.4 rpg, 3.5 bpg)
Oakland has tailed off after beating Tennessee but Benson has proven he's among the nation's elite true centers with his performances against a tremendously tough schedule: he's averaging 15.6 points and 10.5 rebounds against power conference opponents, including Tennessee, Illinois, Michigan State and Ohio State.