5 Minute Guide

A fast-break index of the players, teams and trends to keep an eye on this season
November 21, 2005

ALL-AMERICAS

FIRST TEAM

PG DANIEL GIBSON, 6'2", Soph., TEXAS

SG J.J. REDICK, 6'4", Sr., DUKE

SF ADAM MORRISON, 6'8", Jr., GONZAGA

SF RUDY GAY, 6'9", Soph., UCONN

C SHELDEN WILLIAMS, 6'9", Sr., DUKE

SECOND TEAM

PG RAJON RONDO, 6'1", Soph., KENTUCKY

SG TAQUAN DEAN, 6'3", Sr., LOUISVILLE

SF RODNEY CARNEY, 6'7", Sr., MEMPHIS

PF CRAIG SMITH, 6'7", Sr., BOSTON COLLEGE

PF TAJ GRAY, 6'9", Sr., OKLAHOMA

FABULOUS

FRESHMEN

PF JOSH MCROBERTS, 6'10", DUKE

MVP of McDonald's All-American Game has Laettneresque size and versatility.

PF TYLER HANSBROUGH, 6'9", NORTH CAROLINA

Tenacious rebounder will start immediately for draft-ravaged Tar Heels.

PF JON BROCKMAN, 6'7", WASHINGTON

Gives Huskies inside strength they've lacked the last few years.

SF JULIAN WRIGHT, 6'8", KANSAS

Best of KU's three McDonald's All-Americans can also play everything from PG to PF.

SF TASMIN MITCHELL, 6'7", LSU

Louisiana's Mr. Basketball eases sting of losing Brandon Bass to the NBA.

SOFT SCHEDULES

LOUISVILLE Eight nonconference foes who ranked 148th or lower in last season's final Sagarin ratings.

MISSISSIPPI STATE Arkansas State? Northwestern State? Jacksonville State? Bulldogs leave their own state just once before their first SEC road game on Jan. 11.

PITT Nine of first 11 nonconference games are at home, including the only tough test (Dec. 31 against Wisconsin).

SYRACUSE As usual, there's no place like Dome: one road game (Dec. 27 at Towson) before Jan. 11.

WASHINGTON No nonconference road games, and Huskies' seven-game home stand to start season is longest since 1945.

FIVE THAT

COULD THRIVE

BAYLOR Defending champ lost two starters, but All-America senior forward Sophia Young, the Most Outstanding Player in the Final Four, will keep Lady Bears in every game.

UCLA Five starters return, including the dangerous perimeter trio of junior Noelle Quinn (16.9 points) and seniors Nikki Blue (above, 17.0) and Lisa Willis (16.3).

MICHIGAN STATE National runner-up has top two scorers back in senior forward Liz Shimek (14.8 points, 9.1 rebounds) and senior guard Lindsay Bowen (13.8 points).

TEXAS TECH All--Big 12 senior point guard Erin Grant (7.0 assists) leads the break. Forwards LaToya Davis (12.5 points) and Alesha Robertson (12.5) finish it.

TEXAS Foundation is set with 6'3" junior All-America forward Tiffany Jackson (18.3 points, 8.7 rebounds) and the nation's top-ranked recruiting class (led by 5'10" guard Erika Arriaran, the State Farm/WBCA national player of the year).

--Richard Deitsch

BACK TO SCHOOL

PG DEE BROWN, 6'0", Sr., ILLINOIS Big Ten player of the year broke his right foot at the NBA predraft camp; now one of two starters back from team that reached national title game.

PG CARL KRAUSER, 6'2", Sr., PITT Team leader in scoring (16.0) and assists (5.9) withdrew from draft, but supporting cast not as good as last season's.

C RANDOLPH MORRIS, 6'10", Soph., KENTUCKY Will sit out start of season while NCAA resolves nature of his relationship with sports agency SFX; Morris entered June's NBA draft but was not selected. SFX says Morris was not a client.

PF MARCUS SLAUGHTER, 6'9", Jr., SAN DIEGO STATE Dogged rebounder (9.0) tested draft waters but returns to improve his offensive game.

C ERIC WILLIAMS, 6'9", Sr., WAKE FOREST Big E, who pulled out of the draft, is slimmer--and better--than he was as a 330-pound freshman.

CINDERELLAS

BUCKNELL All five starters return, including 6'11" junior center Chris McNaughton, from team that shocked Kansas in NCAAs.

CREIGHTON Shoots for eighth straight 20-win season behind 6'3" senior sharpshooter Nate Funk.

NEVADA>> Rides 6'11" junior forward Nick Fazekas (20.7 points, 9.4 rebounds), who could be an NBA first-round pick.

ORAL ROBERTS Has Mid-Continent's top two players in forward Caleb Green and guard Ken Tutt (36.5 points per game combined).

WISCONSIN-MILWAUKEE Coach Bruce Pearl left for Tennessee, but 6'5" senior forward Joah Tucker is one of four starters back.

UNDER THE RADAR

PF ALEX LOUGHTON, 6'9", Sr., OLD DOMINION

Colonial player of the year (14.1 points, 8.2 rebounds) led Monarchs to first NCAA tournament appearance since 1997.

PF CHRISTIAN MARAKER, 6'9", Sr., PACIFIC

Versatile Swede (13.1 points, 6.1 rebounds) helped Tigers go 18--0 in Big West regular season (27--4 overall) and crack AP's Top 25.

PF PAUL MILLSAP, 6'8", Jr., LOUISIANA TECH

Bids to become first Division I player to lead the nation in rebounding three straight seasons: 12.5 two years ago, 12.4 last season.

C YEMI NICHOLSON, 6'11", Jr., DENVER

Sun Belt player of the year (18.1 points, 8.4 points, 3.0 blocks) led Pioneers to first Division I postseason appearance (NIT) since 1959.

SF STEVEN SMITH, 6'9", Sr., LA SALLE

Atlantic 10 co--player of the year (20.3 points, 8.4 rebounds) despite Explorers' 10--19 record.

PHOTOJOHN BIEVER PHOTOKEVIN C. COX/WIREIMAGE.COM PHOTOJOHN BIEVER PHOTOMATT SAYLES/AP PHOTODONALD MURRAY PHOTODAVID CALVERT

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
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HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
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Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)