Singler, Pullen Top AP Preseason All-America Team

NFL PreseasonElectionsBasketballSportsNational Collegiate Athletic AssociationDuke Blue Devils

Fierce rivals, Duke and North Carolina are all tied up to startthe preseason.

Duke's Kyle Singler was the leading vote-getter and only repeatselection for The Associated Press preseason men's basketballAll-America team, while North Carolina's Harrison Barnes became thefirst freshman to make the list since voting began before the1986-87 season.

The team, chosen by the 65-member national media panel thatselects the AP Top 25 men's basketball poll, was announced Monday.

Singler, the leader of the Blue Devils' run to a fourth nationalchampionship last season, was listed on 62 of 65 ballots. Barnesreceived the lowest vote total of the starters with 17.

Joining Singler and Barnes on the team were Jacob Pullen ofKansas State with 53 votes, Jimmer Fredette of BYU, who received 49votes, and JaJuan Johnson of Purdue, who got 46.

"This is indicative of the great respect that Harrison hasnationally, and it's an unbelievable accomplishment for afreshman," said Tar Heels coach Roy Williams, who is coming offhis first non- NCAA tournament season at North Carolina. "I knowHarrison would agree, however, that it would be even more excitingto make the All-America team that's picked after the season.

"So far in practice, he has shown the ability to grasp thingsthat we are teaching very quickly, he has tremendous concentrationand I fully expect that is he going to be a very important playerfor us from day one."

Singler, a 6-8 senior forward, averaged 16.5 points and 7.7rebounds last season, which he started on the preseason All-Americateam and finished with an honorable mention postseason selection.

"Someone asked me if we don't win a national championship, willit ruin the year? You just never know what to expect in the yearand toward the end of the year. We're not worried about that rightnow," Singler said of the 2010-11 Blue Devils, who were the No. 1choice in the preseason Top 25. "There's so much we canaccomplish, especially at the beginning of the year and the middleof the year. There's so much to learn and experience."

The 6-0 Pullen, whose beard took on a profile of its own lastseason, averaged 19.3 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.8 steals forKansas State, which was knocked out of the NCAA tournament byButler one game before the Final Four. The Wildcats reached as highas No. 5 in the polls last season and start this season rankedthird in the Top 25.

Pullen, a defensive stalwart, might have given his virtuosoperformance covering Fredette in the NCAA tournament's secondround. Pullen had a career-high 34 points that game while Fredettefinished with 21 points on 4-of-13 shooting, two days after getting37 points against Florida.

Fredette, a 6-2 guard known for his ability to score fromanywhere on the court, averaged 22.1 points last season whileshooting 45.8 percent from 3-point range, one of the best marks inthe country.

The 6-10 Johnson averaged 15.5 points, 7.1 rebounds and 2.1blocks last season as the Boilermakers spent all but one week inthe top ten. Despite losing forward Robbie Hummel to an injury latein the season, Purdue reached the third round of the NCAAtournament. Hummel, who many expected to be a preseasonAll-America, injured the same knee just after practice began lastmonth and will miss the season.

No member of last season's All-America team returned. FreshmenJohn Wall and DeMarcus Cousins of Kentucky, and juniors Evan Turnerof Ohio State and Wes Johnson of Syracuse all went to the NBA,while Scottie Reynolds of Villanova was a senior.

None of those players were on the preseason team that featuredSingler, Kansas' Cole Aldrich and Sherron Collins, Kentucky'sPatrick Patterson and Luke Harangody of Notre Dame. Collins was asecond-team pick after the season, while Aldrich and Harangody wereon the third team. Patterson, like Singler, was among the honorablementions.

Pullen and Fredette were also among the postseason honorablementions.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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