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May 23, 2011

Rivals.com All-Senior Team

We finish up our "all-classes" teams today with our Preseason All-Senior team.

We pick 12 players for our teams, and we look for a nice mix of frontcourt and backcourt players. We also pick a starting five that actually could be on the floor together. The All-Senior team has a three-guard lineup, and it's an imposing trio. The backup guards aren't too bad, either.

The seven-player frontcourt has a lot of big men noted for their defense, but there's some firepower there, too, especially if Syracuse's Kris Joseph continues his offensive development. The one constant for our big guys: Each can get out and run, which would be a requirement with guards like these.

Saturday, we unveiled our All-Sophomore team, while the All-Junior team was announced Sunday.

PARTICULARS: 7-0/250; Washington (Ind.) High
STATS: 15.7 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 1.2 bpg, 54.9 FG%, 28.1 mpg
BUZZ: Zeller emerged as a force for the Heels last season, leading them in scoring and finishing second in rebounds. He's more athletic than he looks and is a nice fit in the Tar Heels' up-tempo attack. He is a key part of what should be the nation's best frontcourt. Despite his size, he played three years of high school tennis.
PARTICULARS: 6-7/210; Washington (D.C.) Archbishop Carroll
STATS: 14.3 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 2.3 apg, 1.5 spg, 32.3 mpg
BUZZ: Joseph, a native of Montreal, has become markedly more productive each season, and if he makes the same type of jump as a senior, he'll be an All-American. He's long and athletic, and puts those traits to good use on both ends of the court. He has worked to increase his range each season and now is a legit 3-point threat.
PARTICULARS: 6-2/190; West Orange (N.J.) Seton Hall Prep
STATS: 16.8 ppg, 2.8 apg, 2.4 rpg, 49.0 3-pt FG%, 88.9 FT%, 32.8 mpg
BUZZ: Gibbs is the Panthers' best player, and his offensive arsenal is an underrated one. He has worked to improve his 3-point shot and he also can get to the rim and finish. He is automatic from the line. As with most Panthers, you can't question his mental and physical toughness, either.
PARTICULARS: 6-0/185; Cincinnati Harmony Community School
STATS: 19.7 ppg, 5.4 apg, 4.9 rpg, 1.4 spg, 87.0 FT%, 38.4 mpg
BUZZ: He had a huge workload at Xavier but it didn't seem to bother him, as Holloway filled the stat sheet every game; he had two triple-doubles last season. His decision to remain in school makes the Musketeers the favorite to win the A-10 title. His 3-point shooting could stand to improve (33.4 percent in his career), but coach Chris Mack can actually can live with that because of all the other things Holloway does so well.
PARTICULARS: 6-1/195; St. Louis Park (Minn.) Benilde-St. Margaret's School
STATS: 18.1 ppg, 4.7 apg, 4.1 rpg, 42.9 3-pt FG%, 83.2 FT, 36.5 mpg
BUZZ: Taylor went from complementary player to star last season, and he'll be expected to do even more as a senior because F Jon Leuer is gone. Taylor's 3-point shooting has undergone a huge improvement – he shot an other-worldly bad 19.2 percent from long range as a freshman – and that facet of his game means he should be a legit preseason All-America candidate.
PARTICULARS: 6-11/255; Benin City (Nigeria) Igbinedion Education Center
STATS: 13.0 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 2.6 bpg, 58.8 FG%, 23.5 mpg
BUZZ: Ezeli went from a big body off the bench to a legit inside force and may have improved as much as any player in the nation last season. While he remains raw on the offensive end, he's athletic and can run all day. If he develops a few more low-post moves, he'll truly be scary. Ezeli, a biology major, didn't play organized basketball until the summer of 2007, a month or so before signing with Vandy.
PARTICULARS: 6-6/230; Saginaw (Mich.) High
STATS: 12.6 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 4.1 apg, 1.8 spg, 1.1 bpg, 30.0 mpg
BUZZ: Green does all the little things – and he does them all well. He's a stat-sheet stuffer, and he will be the most important player on a Michigan State team looking for some redemption after last season's disappointment. He needs to shoot better – his percentage dropped an alarming 10 percent from the field, to 42.6 percent – but his high basketball IQ and his sheer presence on the floor are huge plusses for the Spartans.
PARTICULARS: 6-8/228; Montgomery (Ala.) St. Jude
STATS: 15.5 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 2.1 bpg, 1.4 spg, 50.8 FG%, 27.9 mpg
BUZZ: As with seemingly everyone on the Tide's roster, Green is a big-time athlete who seems to relish playing defense. He has good timing as a shot-blocker and isn't afraid to get nasty in the low post. He generally doesn't stray far from the paint on offense, and though he isn't necessarily bulky, he is strong and finds ways to score around the basket.
PARTICULARS: 6-8/260; Mount Vernon (N.Y.) High
STATS: 13.1 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 34.9 mpg
BUZZ: He had a slightly disappointing junior season but has the talent go end his career on a high note. His outside shooting dropped precipitously (40.4 percent from 3-point range as a sophomore to 30.1 percent last season), and he might be better-served to focus his offense from 15 feet in. Still, his offensive versatility and size make him a matchup problem, and he's a willing and physical defender.
PARTICULARS: 6-8/240; Miami-Dade CC, preceded by Marquette, preceded by St. Paul (Minn.) St. Bernard's
STATS: 13.9 ppg, 10.5 rpg, 1.5 bpg, 58.2 FG%, 30.9 mpg
BUZZ: Mbakwe doesn't get much national acclaim, but he averaged a double-double last season. He does all of his work in the paint and can be an intimidating presence. He had four games with 16 rebounds.
PARTICULARS: 6-3/185; Kansas City Hogan Prep
STATS: 16.9 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 1.8 spg, 50.0 FG%, 44.8 3-pt FG%, 30.4 mpg
BUZZ: Denmon went from solid complementary player to go-to guy last season. He was a good fit in former coach Mike Anderson's frenetic style but should adapt nicely to new coach Frank Haith, who allows his guards a lot of freedom.
PARTICULARS: 6-2/215; Hutchinson (Kan.) CC, preceded by Raleigh (N.C.) Wakefield
STATS: 15.8 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 2.4 apg, 29.9 mpg
BUZZ: Johnson-Odom was the Golden Eagles' leading scorer last season and should take on an even bigger offensive role this season with the graduation of Jimmy Butler. He struggled some with his 3-point shot – he shot 47.4 percent from long range as a sophomore, then saw that figure drop to 36.4 percent last season – but he has good range and also the strength to get into the lane.

Mike Huguenin is the college sports editor for Rivals.com. He can be reached at mhuguenin@rivals.com.

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