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November 4 - Trevor's Dominant Dozen

After revealing numbers 13-25 last week, Trevor Freeman unveils the top half of his NCAA hoops Top
25.

Here they are. The Top 12 teams in the land:

1. Duke
Outside of Daniel Ewing, the Blue Devils return every significant player from last
year’s team. The leader of the Cobra Kai dojo is of course their sensei, Coach K.
His cupboard is bursting at the seams, as J.J. Redick and Shelden Williams will
both contend for the Wooden Award. DeMarcus Nelson along with the
sweet-shooting Lee Melchionni also return. If Josh McRoberts isn’t a stiff like
Shavlik Randolph was and if Greg Paulus can be the 2005 version of Bobby Hurley then the Blue
Devils have an extremely good chance of cutting down the nets in March.

2. Connecticut
Jim Calhoun’s bunch is flat out loaded. This is despite Charlie Villanueva taking his underachieving
self to the NBA. With Marcus Williams, Rudy Gay, Rashad Anderson, Josh Boone, Hilton Armstrong,
and Denham Brown all returning the Huskies stand a great chance to be cutting down the nets in
March. Rudy Gay is the star as he is probably the most athletic player in college basketball. He needs
to step up his game and be the go-to guy. Josh Boone has to take another step forward and establish
himself as an NBA lottery big man.  

3. Michigan State
Another team that has the whole farm coming back. Paul Davis will once again anchor the interior.
Davis is a senior who is one dominating year away from convincing some NBA GM to take him in top
ten (btw, I’m giggling as I predict this). Maurice Ager and Shannon Brown give the Spartans an
absolutely electric set of wings. Drew Neitzel should handle the point guard position better in his
sophomore season. Tom Izzo has his best team since the “Flintstones.”  

4. Gonzaga
Basketball is a sport where if you have the best player on the floor, then you have a chance to win
every single night. While I said up above Redick and Williams will contend for the Wooden, they will
not win it. Adam Morrison will. Ammo is the best player not currently playing in the NBA. If people want
to toss Greg Oden or Rudy Gay at me then bring it. Adam Morrison’s decision to return for his junior
year makes Gonzaga a Final Four threat. Morrison is basically unguardable as he can drill it from
outside, put it on the floor and post-up. His height and floppy hair draw constant comparisons to Larry
Legend. I think when his playing days are over people will know of him for who he is. Returning with
Morrison are frontcourt beast J.P. Batista and Derek “Opie” Raivio.

5. Kentucky
Nobody is sure as to when Randolph Morris will be able to play this year. He stupidly declared for the
NBA Draft and needs to find out if he can pay back his expenses and be eligible to play college
basketball this year. Even without him, I think Kentucky has a great chance to get to the Final Four. In
my opinion, Rajon Rondo is the premier all-around point guard in the nation. With his long arms and
quick foot speed he is a matchup nightmare on both ends of the court. Patrick Sparks will join him in
the backcourt and he is their “cajones” guy. Sparks is one of those players who wants to take big
shots down the stretch of games. Watch out for JUCO transfer Rekalin Sims. Originally from De La
Salle HS in Northern California, Sims is a big-time talent who has had to overcome a troubled past to
get to this point. I have personally watched him play on several occasions (one of those was against
Leon Powe and Sims more than held his own) and I think he can step in and be better than Chuck
Hayes was.  

6. Nevada
See what I wrote about Gonzaga’s Adam Morrison. The same reasoning for
placing Gonzaga that high applies to Nevada and Nick Fazekas. If Fazekas was
from Lithuania and his name was Nick Fazekovicius he would have been a lottery
pick two years ago (sadly….probably by my beloved Golden State Warriors).
Nevada may have the most underrated frontcourt in the country, as Juco transfer DeMarshay Johnson
was a big-time talent coming out McClymonds High School in Oakland, CA. Johnson was originally
committed to Louisville. Him and Fazekas will be scary together.

7. Oklahoma
The frontcourt will be scary as both Taj Gray and Kevin Bookout return to anchor it. Terrell Everett is
back as well and he gives the Sooners another versatile threat at the forward spot. However this team’
s success will be determined by Juco transfer Chris Walker and how he handles the point guard
position. Drew Lavender transferred to Xavier and left a gaping hole at the 1. There could be a little
more fan pressure on the Sooners basketball team this year since this is the first time in awhile that
the football team has sucked.

8. Arizona
Lute Olson’s team is stacked with Hassan Adams, Mustafa Shakur, Jawann McClellan, Isaiah Fox,
and Chris Rodgers all returning. There’s no question as to the talent level of this team, it is the focus
and grit that is in question…………and when I say that I am looking directly at Mustafa Shakur.

9. Louisville
Taquan Dean is just nasty. I guarantee you as good as he looks on TV, Dean looks even more
ridiculous if you drop him on a playground. Just great quicks, handle, and jump shot. Could be
another version of Ben Gordon. Juan Palacios also returns after a stellar freshman year and David
Padgett is now eligible after transferring from Kansas. Once again, Rick Pitino has a team that could
find its way into the Final Four.

10. Charlotte
The cream of the A-10 crop will be the newcomer in Charlotte. The 49ers (no better team nickname in
sports than that one) boast a legitimate Wooden Award candidate in Curtis Withers. He’s going to
form a potent inside-outside duo with Oklahoma transfer De’Angelo Alexander. The key to this team
is Mitchell Baldwin returning to full health after offseason shoulder surgery.

11. Texas
Remember when I said that Rajon Rondo is probably the best all-around point
guard earlier in this article. Well, Daniel Gibson is probably offended by that.
Gibson is a tremendous penetrator and scorer. P.J. Tucker, Brad Buckman and
LaMarcus Aldridge give the Longhorns a very experienced and strong frontcourt.
That being said, the Longhorns will need somebody to step up as a shooter if
they want to find their way into the Final Four.

12. Villanova
I had them ranked fifth until Curtis Sumpter went down. How the Wildcats respond with him being out
will be key. Randy Foye and Allan Ray are a dynamic set of guards and Jason Fraser is a big boy
down low. Villanova has a ton of depth on the perimeter, however they will need somebody other than
Fraser to get some “dirty” points.