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Hoopville Second Team All-Americans

October 16, 2003 Columns No Comments

Hoopville Second-Team All-Americans

by Phil Kasiecki

Ike Diogu, Arizona State

(6’8″, 250, So. F, 19.0 ppg, 7.8 rpg) A quiet kid hidden away on one of the Pac Ten’s middle teams, Diogu had one of the best seasons of any freshman last year. He could be a 20-10 player this season, and if he gets some support, we’ll get to see more of him in the month of March. Expect him to carry this team with his inside play and occasionally stepping outside at the offensive end. Ike Diogu showed last season what everyone in the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex already knew from his high school days – he’s a dominant inside force.

Ben Gordon, Connecticut

(6’2″, 195, Jr. G, 19.5 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 4.7 apg) Gordon is a prime reason the Huskies are the preseason favorite to win the national title. He led the Huskies in scoring last season and will lead the high-octane offense again this season, especially with his excellent shooting. As if that’s not enough, the sharpshooter will snipe away from behind the arc, but will also help out with ball-handling and solid defense.

Arthur Johnson, Missouri

(6’9″, 268, Sr. C, 16.1 ppg, 9.6 rpg, 1.8 bpg) Johnson just keeps getting better. He scores and rebounds with the best of the nation’s post players in the tough Big 12, and is no slouch at the defensive end. As if his post scoring isn’t enough, he’s becoming a dangerous threat if he moves away from the basket – but he will stick to his bread and butter with the outside threats the Tigers have. Guys who are big and skilled like Arthur Johnson are shoo-ins to succeed at the college level. He’s bullish but also has a soft touch, and will be a threat to post a double-double each and every night.

Ricky Paulding, Missouri

(6’5″, 218, Sr. G, 17.4 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 2.2 apg) Ricky Paulding could have gone pro and have been a first round pick.Each of the last two seasons, Paulding has shown his mettle in the NCAA Tournament. This year, the exceptionally athletic wing could reach 20 points per game as the go-to guy on a loaded Tigers squad.

Wayne Simien, Kansas

(6’9″, 255, Jr. F, 14.8 ppg, 8.2 rpg) It could be argued that if Wayne Simien hadn’t gotten injured, Kansas would have been a shoo-in for the title. After offseason surgery, Simien will be ready for a big season as one of the top players in the Big 12 and the focal point of the attack for new coach Bill Self, stepping right into Nick Collison’s role in the paint. Simien will also anchor one of the nation’s best frontcourts at both ends of the floor, as he will be one of the best rebounders in the Big 12.

Hoopville Senior Writer Jed Tai contributed to this report.


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