Kentucky freshman teammates lead All-America team
Having a couple of freshmen on The Associated Press’ All-America team is nothing new. This year, however, they are from the same school.
Kentucky’s John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins were on the All-America team announced Monday. Joining them were Ohio State junior Evan Turner, who received all but one first-team vote, Syracuse junior Wes Johnson and Villanova senior Scottie Reynolds.
In the age of one-and-done players, the All-America team has become a home for freshmen.
Kevin Durant of Texas and Greg Oden of Ohio State were on the 2007 team, while Michael Beasley of Kansas State and Kevin Love of UCLA were on it the next year.
After a year without any freshmen being honored, Wall and Cousins moved in as the ninth set of teammates to be selected and the first since Duke’s J.J. Redick and Shelden Williams in 2006.
“This means a lot to both of us. I’m surprised and glad we both made it,” said the 6-foot-4 Wall, who averaged 16.9 points, 4.2 rebounds and 6.4 assists after arriving as one of the most highly touted high school recruits. “We had to learn a lot as freshmen and we were able to help our teammates along the way. This means a lot to both of us.”
The 6-11 Cousins became one of the country’s top big men and was the only player selected to the team who averaged a double-double with 15.3 points and 10.1 rebounds.
Turner, the 6-7 point guard considered one of the best all-around players in recent years, received all but one first-team vote from the 65-member national media panel that selects the weekly Top 25.
Wall received 62 votes, while Johnson had 45, Reynolds 32 and Cousins 26 in voting conducted before the NCAA tournament.
Johnson, a 6-7 forward who transferred from Iowa State. averaged 16.0 points and 8.4 rebounds in leading Syracuse to its first No. 1 ranking since 1990.
The 6-2 Reynolds averaged 18.5 points and shot 40 percent from 3-point range in becoming the Wildcats’ go-to player with several spectacular second-half efforts.