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Indiana's Zeller headlines preseason picks

Published October 29, 2012 9:39 pm

College basketball • Hoosiers center a near-unanimous pick.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The biggest man on The Associated Press' preseason All-America team got the most votes.

Seven-foot sophomore center Cody Zeller, the main reason Indiana is the preseason No. 1 for the first time in 33 years, was one vote shy of being a unanimous selection for the preseason All-America team.

Zeller, who averaged 15.6 points and 6.6 rebounds while shooting 62.3 percent from the field, received 64 votes from the national media panel which selects the weekly Top 25.

Also on the team announced Monday were junior forwards Doug McDermott of Creighton and Deshaun Thomas of Ohio State and three guards — seniors Isaiah Canaan of Murray State and C.J. McCollum of Lehigh and sophomore Trey Burke of Michigan.

McDermott was named on 62 ballots, while Canaan was on 43 and Thomas 26. McCollum and Burke tied for the fifth spot with 16 votes each.

Zeller is one of five starters back for the Hoosiers and when a top-flight recruiting class is added in there are a lot expectations for the No. 1 team.

"I don't know that we've really set any goals as a team, but obviously, we want to win a national championship," Zeller said. "We're not going to guarantee anything. We're just going to play and see where it takes us."

McDermott, who averaged 22.9 points (third in the nation) and 8.2 rebounds while shooting 60.1 percent from the field and 48.6 percent on 3s for the Bluejays last season in earning first-team All-America honors.

Canaan earned second-team All-America honors last season when he led Murray State to a 23-game winning streak to start the season, top-10 ranking, the third round of the NCAA Tournament and a 31-2 record.

Thomas averaged 16 points and 5.5 rebounds a game last season playing in the same frontcourt with first-team All-America Jared Sullinger.

McCollum grabbed headlines last season in earning Patriot League Player of the Year honors and plenty of attention from NBA scouts. The 6-3 McCollum averaged 21.9 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists last season, leading the Mountain Hawks in all three categories. He really opened eyes when he scored 30 points in Lehigh's NCAA tournament upset of Duke.

The 6-foot Burke averaged 14.8 points, 3.5 rebounds and 4.6 assists in a freshman season that saw the Wolverines crack the top 10 and share the Big Ten title. —

AP All-America preseason team

C • Cody Zeller, Indiana (64 votes)

F • Doug McDermott, Creighton (62)

F • Deshaun Thomas, Ohio State (26)

G • Isaiah Canaan, Murray State (43)

G • C.J. McCollum, Lehigh (16)

G • Trey Burke, Michigan (16)