Morrison Named Preseason AP All-American
Nov. 8, 2005
Duke tops the preseason All-America team, too.
Senior teammates J.J. Redick and Shelden Williams of the No. 1 Blue Devils were the leading vote-getters Tuesday on The Associated Press' preseason All-America team.
It is the fifth time since the AP started the preseason team in 1986-87 that teammates were chosen by the national media panel that selects the weekly Top 25.
Seniors Dee Brown of Illinois and Craig Smith of Boston College also made the team, along with junior Adam Morrison of Gonzaga.
Redick, the only returning first-teamer from last season, received 67 of 72 votes, while Williams, a third-team choice last season, was on 63 ballots.
"Having seniors is great. ... Over the years, that has been a big thing for our program is our upperclassmen teaching the younger guys," said Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, whose team was picked No. 1 in the preseason Top 25 released Monday. "Hopefully that will prompt J.J. Redick and Shelden Williams to play at an even better level, and they've played at a real good level."
The 6-foot-4 Redick averaged 21.8 points last season, shooting 40.3 percent from 3-point range and 93.8 percent from the free throw line. His most impressive statistic was averaging 37.3 minutes per game, a number that should drop this season because of added depth.
"The was we played last year was strenuous and taxing," he said. "It is not like I will only play 20 minutes a game but I will definitely be able to get a couple of rests and breaks during the game which will be beneficial to me."
The 6-9 Williams debated about leaving for the NBA, but is back after averaging 15.5 points, 11.2 rebounds and 3.7 blocks last season while shooting 58.2 percent from the field.
"I had a lot of unfinished business here at Duke University," he said. "I want to win a national championship and that is one of the things that motivated me to come back. I wanted to do that before I left and moved on to the next level."
It is the second time Duke has had two players on the preseason All-America team. Bobby Hurley and Grant Hill were the first teammates to do it in 1992.
The other preseason teammates were Raef LaFrentz and Paul Pierce of Kansas and Mike Bibby and Miles Simon of Arizona, all chosen in 1997, and Luke Walton and Jason Gardner of Arizona in 2002.
Brown, a 6-0 guard, was also considering a jump to the NBA but broke his foot at a predraft camp and returned to the Illini, whom he helped to a No. 1 ranking for most of last season.
He was a second-team All-American last season after averaging 13.3 points, 4.5 assists and 1.8 steals. He and James Augustine are the only starters back from the team that lost to North Carolina in the national championship game.
"You're always going to be compared to last year's team whatever you do," said Brown, who received 51 votes. "You can't do that. It's going to be a different team and it's going to be fun to watch because everybody's so new."
Morrison, the only non-senior on the team, was picked on 45 ballots. The 6-8 forward has become a bit of a folk hero in the Northwest with his mop of brown hair and strong offensive game. He averaged 19 points last season on 49.8 percent shooting while grabbing 5.5 rebounds and handing out 2.8 assists.
"Adam simply knows how to score," Bulldogs coach Mark Few said. "It was obvious as the season went on last year that his presence was felt more and more."
Morrison becomes the first Bulldog to garner preseason AP All-America honors. Dan Dickau is the only first-team AP All-America selection in Gonzaga history, being named to the team following the 2002 season. Morrison was an honorable mention AP pick a year ago.
The 6-7 Smith and Boston College are making the move from the Big East to the Atlantic Coast Conference. He averaged 18 points and 8.5 rebounds last season and at 250 pounds is one of the tougher players inside.
"Craig Smith does a great job, and he's got a great work ethic," said Eagles point guard Louis Hinnant, Smith's roommate for all four years. "He sets the tone for the team."
Connecticut sophomore forward Rudy Gay was sixth in the balloting with 26 votes.
Last year's preseason team also had four seniors and an underclassman. Three players - sophomore Chris Paul of Wake Forest, Wayne Simien of Kansas and Hakim Warrick of Syracuse - were also on the postseason first team.
The other players selected to the preseason team last year were Lawrence Roberts of Mississippi State and Julius Hodge of North Carolina State.
The Associated Press' 2005-06 preseason All-America team, with school, height, weight, year and votes from a 72-member national media panel (key 2004-05 statistics in parentheses):
J.J. Redick, Duke, 6-4, 190, senior, 67 votes (21.8 ppg, 40.3 3-pt fg pct, 93.8 ft pct., 37.3 minutes)
Shelden Williams, Duke, 6-9, 250, senior, 63 (15.5 ppg, 58.2 fg pct., 11.2 rpg, 3.7 blocks)
Dee Brown, Illinois, 6-0, 185, senior, 51 (13.3 ppg, 49.9 fg pct, 43.4 3-pt fg pct, 4.5 apg, 1.8 steals)
Adam Morrison, Gonzaga, 6-8, 205, junior, 45 (19.0 ppg, 49.8 fg pct., 5.5 rpg, 2.8 apg)
Craig Smith, Boston College, 6-7, 250, senior, 31 (18.0 ppg, 50.4 fg pct., 8.5 rpg, 1.6 steals)
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