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March 25, 2008
Youngsters dominate Rivals.com AA Teams
The youth movement continues to grow stronger in college basketball.
Nine of the 15 selections on Rivals.com's All-America teams are either freshmen or sophomores. Six underclassmen earned the honor last season, which was the first year top high school seniors weren't allowed to make a direct jump to the NBA.
For the second consecutive season, a freshman – this time, Kansas State's Michael Beasley – was selected Rivals.com's National Player of the Year. Kevin Durant ran away with the honor last season. Beasley edged out North Carolina's Tyler Hansbrough this time.
Beasley is third in the nation in scoring and became just the third freshmen ever to lead the nation in rebounding while leading Kansas State to its first win in the NCAA Tournament in two decades.
Hansbrough and Mississippi State second-teamer Jamont Gordon are the only two returnees from Rivals.com's 2006-07 All-America teams.
The Pac-10 leads the way with four selections this season, followed by the Big 12 and SEC with three apiece. The ACC, Big East and Big Ten each had one selection.
Eight of the selections are playing for teams that have advanced to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament. All 15 were on teams that made the NCAA field.