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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Duke and UNC each boast two preseason Wooden candidates

Posted by on Thu, Aug 20, 2009 at 6:00 AM

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Four Triangle players -- Duke's Jon Scheyer and Kyle Singler and North Carolina's Deon Thompson and Ed Davis -- are among the 50 preseason candidates for the Wooden Award All-American Team and National Player of the Year trophy, the Wooden Award chairman announced Wednesday.

Duke and North Carolina are in in elite company, joining Kansas, Michigan State, Michigan, Purdue, UConn, Villanova and West Virginia as the only nine schools with two candidates on the preseason list.

Of the four, Singler (pictured) has the best shot at the National Player of the Year trophy, barring an explosion in offense development from any of the remaining three.

Expectations for sophomore Davis are sky high after an outstanding Final Four but a raw offensive game will limit his point production, and Thompson's offensive flow tends to be hit or miss for 20-minute stretches.

Scheyer averaged 14.9 points  and 3.6 rebounds per game last season, with his point total inflated by his late season switch to point guard -- a position he will carry the entire 2009-10 campaign.

Singler should outshine Scheyer, especially with the addition of extra bodies in the paint and a thin backcourt that will force Singler to play on the wing, allowing his versatility -- and his jump shot -- to flourish.

Singler, Duke's top returning scorer, netted 16.5 points per game and grabbed 7.7 rebounds per game en route to a second team All-ACC selection.

Transfers, freshman and medical redshirts are not eligible for the preseason list; otherwise Kentucky would likely tout two candidates, including phenom point guard John Wall.

The ACC has 10 players on the list, which is second only to the Big East's 11 players.

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