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LittyHoops Pre-Season Sweet 16
The idea of an "All-American" team was cool in the middle of last century when Forrest Gump could be drinking Root Beers with JFK. Here at LittyHoops we distinguish who can play by coming up with the Sweetest 16 college basketball players in the game. Remember, as always LittyHoops is biased and a kid with a little spunk and a flair for the dramatic will trump your favorite NBA prospect any semester.
1Jameer NelsonSt. Joseph's
Nelson is the ultimate college player. He already is a Philly hoops legend. He shunned the NBA to rewrite the St. Joe’s record book and destroy amateurs across the land. Nelson, a four year starter, makes his teammates better, can take over a game, and loves the spotlight. This is his team, and it is his year to dominate the NCAA and tat it up a ways into March.
2002 stats: 19.7 ppg, 5.1 rpg, 4.5 apg
 
2Emeka OkaforUCONN
Okafor is one of those Shane Battier too good to be true Rhode's-Scholar-wannabe kind of guys . He’s doing the Jayson Williams thing and graduating in three years. This is Okafor's  time to dominate around the hoop and prove to his opponents that nobody should take the ball into Mecca's Mecca. With a supporting class equal to that of a Woody Allen flick, look for the Okafor to shine on the center stage.
2002 stats: 15.9 ppg, 7.8 rpg
 
3Ike DioguArizona St
Ike puts the ball in the hoop. Ike mans the middle. Ike cleans the glass like Cinderella is ordered to after her step sisters forget their daily prozac. Be like Ike! After showing signs of domination his freshman season, Diogu is primed to become a star for the Sun Devils. Defenses will collapse on Diogu, and then they will feel the wrath of Ike.
2002 stats: 19 ppg, 7.9 rpg
 
4Arthur JohnsonMissouri
King Arthur came to Missouri as a pudgie kid from 8 mile. Now, Johnson is the most skilled big man in the college game. He can get physical in the paint, yet has a touch as soft as Rick Majerus’s belly. Johnson was the best big man on the Pan Am team and should help Missouri contend for a national title.
2002-03 stats: 16.1 ppg, 9.6 rpg
 
5Raymond FeltonUNC
While his lesser talented teammates were bitchin about having to run wind sprints, Felton quietly developed into an elite point guard. Felton can control a game with his ability to drive thru the lane like Andretti down the stretch. Felton can hit the trey and get the ball to the right guy in the right place. Think a young, raw, and quiet Gary Payton.
2002-03 stats: 12.9 ppg, 6.7 apg, 4.1 rpg
 
6Chris ThomasNotre Dame
Thomas flirted with the NBA but decided to give it the old college try one more time. Thomas alone  has more talent than Tyrone Willingham’s entire crew. He can score at will and is not afraid to try and take a game over. Thomas loves to push the ball up court and if he uses his noggin a bit more with regards to shot selection and finding his teammates he will be unstoppable.
2002-03 stats: 18.7 ppg, 6.9 apg, 4 rpg
 
7Ricky PauldingMissouri
Paulding was supposed to blow up last year but he struggled to step up and fill the shoes of Kareem Rush. That all changed in March when Paulding was unstoppable. In the Dance he hit he game winning free throws to send SIU home and then went off for 36 in a second round loss to Marquette. Paulding has the ability and potential to be brilliant, all he needs is a solid dose of consistency.
2002-03 stats: 17.4 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 2.2 apg
 
8Julius HodgeNC State
Hodge is the NYC baller who goes down south to learn how to harness his ability (ala Stephon, Kenny). Well, its been a few years and Julius is finally ready to break out. He has the size and the length to play anything from the point, to small forward. Hodge is a slasher who can create his own points and make white, slow guards who try and guard him realize they are white and slow.
2002-03 stats: 17.7 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 3.5 apg
 
9Bracey WrightIndiana
Wright is a big guard with a sweet touch. He’s a scorer that can light it up from anywhere on the court. When he is on he can’t be stopped. With Newton and Coverdale part of Hoosier history, and a healthy vertebrate for the new season, look for Wright to be the go to guy. Move over Jimmy Chipwood, we got ourselves a new Hoosier who doesn’t miss.
2002-03 stats: 1628 ppg, 5 rpg, 37.5 3%
 
10Andre EmmettTexas Tech
Emmett can’t shoot but he can score (Remember that line the next time a girl buys you a shot of Jack on your birthday). Emmett creates his own opportunities and is dangerous anywhere inside the three point line. Bob Knight is going to give him an earful all season long, but if he is up to the challenge he will be the Big 12 POY.
2002-03 stats: 21.8 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 1.9 apg
 
11David LeeFlorida
A returning LittyHoops favorite - Buddy Lee got to be in the sweet 16. . Lee is quick, athletic and active around the basket. Although you might think we are just "Brent Barrying" him up because of his McDonalds Slam Dunk title, you just wait and see. With Brett (I get worse every year) Nelson exiled to the NBDL, and Matt Bonner gone,  Lee will actually get to hold the leather this year and slide into his natural power forward position
2002-03 stats: 11.2 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.8 apg
 
12Luis FloresManhatten
Flores is the best amateur guard in a basketball Mecca that is known for its amateurs and its guards. He put up 25 a night last year, led the Metro Atlantic in steals, and drained 90% of his foul shots. The Jaspers fell to the 'Cuse in the first round of the dance last season, but with Flores at the helm they might just knock off a potential national champion this time around.
2002-03 stats: 24.6 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 38.6 3%
 
13Luke JacksonOregon
With one half of the Lukester’s gone its time for the other one to step up. Rid was a bit of a hog anyways. Jackson will now be the focal point of the Mighty Ducks running game. A versatile wing forward who can finish the break, and even step out to nail the trifecta, Jackson will have to prove that he’s a playmaker.
2002-03 stats: 16 ppg, 6.9  rpg, 3.6 apg
 
14Dee Brown/Daniel HortonIllinois/Michigan
Brown and Michigan Guard Daniel Horton will own the Big 10 this year and for as long as they stay. Like Ruzzuto or Reese, the argument can go on forever. Horton will be the man who brings Michigan basketball back from hibernation. Dee Brown lit up the world this summer, going for 47 in one night someplace in Europe. They fate of their teams are in the hands of these two point guards and its time to ante up.
Brown: 12 ppg, 5 apg, 3.7 rpg  Horton:15.4 ppg, 4.5 apg, 2.7 rpg
 
15Loul DEngDuke
Papa Litty saw this guy scrimmage and says he got game. So do all those perverted high school scouting guys across the nation. Supposedly, he is the next Carmelo and might just take Coach K’s talented bunch to San Antonio..
2002-03 stats: High School Stats are made up anyways
 
16The Professor?????
Who the hell is this kid and why is he so damn ill? Shouldn’t he be gluing model airplanes together instead of breaking everyone’s ankles from gold paved streets of upper class suburbia to ghetto cement, chain-netted courts. I don’t know if the Prof is 12 or 25, goes to school or has any college eligibility left, but the kid is redic.
2002-03 stats: Ill, Iller, and Illist
 
Sweet 16
1. Jameer Nelson
2. Emeka Okafor
3. Ike Diogu
4. Arthur Johnson
5. Raymond Felton
6. Chris Thomas
7. Ricky Paulding
8. Julius Hodge
9. Bracey Wright
10. Andre Emmett
11. David Lee
12. Luis Flores
13. Luke Jackson
14. Brown/Horton
15. Luol Deng
16. The Professor

N.I.T
Darius Rice
Your not good or bad enough to be Antoine Walker, stop shooting so many treys.


Andre Barrett
A dark horse who may turn out to be the best point guard when all is said and done.


JJ Redick
You got pimples on your back and can’t do much more then hit those impossible shots at the carnival.


Rashad McCants
Stop crying and start playing some ball. Stop trying to be Jordon and focus on beating Bob Mckillop’s troops.


Blake Stepp
Frodo Baggins will lead the Zags to a magical journey to Nelly’s crib.


Christian Drejer
The next Toni Kukoc before he came to America.


Ben Gordon
Hatten and Showtime can bitch you any day.


Chris Duhon
Stop Watching the “Secrets to Improving” video hosted by Jeff Capel, Brett Nelson and Jason Kapono and try renting the Tom Emanski video.

 

For now LittyHoops is a not for profit, not for any productive purpose ( other then giving  college kids with too much time on their hands something to do, and college basketball fans something to read). If you would like to contribute to LittyHoops.com before it dominates the entire world give us a holla at Litty@LittyHoops.com


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