By Dan Shanoff
Page 2

Quality over quantity: That's a good mantra for the new season in college hoops, with Duke the overwhelming favorite, and only a handful of teams considered legit contenders.

It's also the theme of this year's edition of the "What's Hot, What's Not" list for the college hoops season. Translation: No more mysterious one-word answers.

Despite the cosmetic changes, one thing remains the same: To maintain your place on the cool side of all that is trendy (and passť) in college hoops, study up on these hot-button issues:

WHAT'S HOT, WHAT'S NOT: COLLEGE HOOPS '05-'06
Category Hot Not Hot
Super Fan
Ashley Judd

UNC alums
Why Judd? Really, there isn't a season that goes by when this Kentucky Wildcat supporter isn't the hottest fan.
Why NOT UNC alums? Hope MJ, Vince, Antawn and the rest enjoyed last spring. The Heels are the first unranked defending champ in more than a decade.
Anniversary 1966 1976
Why 1966? Texas Western's NCAA title win over Kentucky is the subject of an upcoming feature film, "Glory Road."
Why NOT 1976? Do we need to hear any more about how Indiana's perfect championship team will never be matched? (Hey, maybe Duke can do it this year.)
Conference Big East ACC
Why the Big East? Make that the BIGGER East. The already-loaded league expands to 16 teams, including Final Four contender Louisville.
Why NOT the ACC? Sure, Duke is No. 1. But where's the depth after that? Newcomer BC, Wake Forest and Maryland dot the Top 25, but inspire low Final Four confidence.
Bandwagon Villanova Kansas
Why Villanova? Even though they're missing star forward Curtis Sumpter, expectations couldn't be higher for the team that almost KO'd UNC last March.
Why NOT Kansas? The Jayhawks, last year's preseason No. 1, flamed out in March with a shocking loss to Bucknell. And this year, the Jayhawks aren't even ranked.
Top NBA prospect
Rudy Gay

J.J. Redick
Why Gay? UConn's 6-9 sophomore swingman tops Chad Ford's 2006 Draft "Big Board." Modest 2004-05 totals (11.8 ppg, 5.4 rpg), but huge potential.
Why NOT Redick? The "Most Hated Player in College Hoops" doesn't even crack Ford's Top 5 2-guard prospects. (The kid can shoot. But, then again, so could Trajan Langdon.)
Cinderella Georgetown West Virginia
Why GTown? With forwards Jeff Green and Brandon Bowman, John Thompson III is poised for a Hoya revival.
Why NOT W. Virginia? John Beilein's bunch won't sneak up on anyone this season. March stars Pittsnogle and Gansey return.
Needs more pub New Orleans Adam Morrison
Why New Orleans? Monty Towe's Privateers have one of the nation's top scorers (Bo McCalebb) and a hard-luck story after being displaced by Katrina.
Why NOT Morrison? The Gonzaga star draws comparisons to Larry Bird. (But Bird didn't let his team flame out in March.)
Freshman Josh McRoberts Josh McRoberts
Why McRoberts? Duke's frosh small forward reminds some of Carmelo Anthony.
Why NOT McRoberts? But will he get enough touches playing with senior All-Americans Sheldon Williams and J.J. Redick?
College hoops' best player
Seimone Augustus

Randolph Morris
Why Augustus? Haven't heard of him? That's because it's a HER. The LSU star was a consensus all-EVERYTHING last season, and she's back.
Why NOT Morris? Kentucky's oafish center tried to test the NBA draft waters, but failed. Can't teach size? Hmm, can't teach heart either.
West Coast powerhouse UCLA Washington
Why UCLA? The Baby Bruins are growing up fast, led by PG Jordan Farmar (13.2 ppg, 5.3 apg).
Why NOT Washington? Despite returning key starters Brandon Roy and Bobby Jones, UW will really miss all-Pac-10 sparkplug Nate Robinson.
Retro look T-shirts from old title years Jerseys from any year
Why the shirts? The T-shirts look like you bought them, say, back in 1991 when Duke won their first title, even though you were in junior high and didn't even know you LIKED Duke back then.
Why NOT the jerseys? They're simply played out -- that trend had its last hurrah with last season's release of the "Fennis Dembo."
On-court style statement Kobe-style leggings Headbands
Why leggings? Because college players inevitably adapt any look that NBA players are using (even if they look ridiculous).
Why NOT headbands? Don't they seem a little trite at this point? (Unless you're going to wear two at once; that would be kind of cool.)
Best men's player Dee Brown Paul Davis
Why Brown? The reigning Big Ten MVP really has no position. He's simply a "player."
Why NOT Davis? Staying in the Big Ten, Davis simply hasn't lived up to the hype he had coming out of high school. (Leading the Spartans to a title could change all that.)
Sleeper Northwestern Providence
Why Northwestern? Bill Carmody led NU to a 15-16 record last season (and that was considered a letdown). Watch out for senior F Vedran Vukusic (16.8 ppg).
Why NOT Providence? Well, I was humiliated after picking them as my 2004-05 preseason Final Four sleeper, only to see them go 4-12 in the Big East.)
Charlotte's most popular
Renee Thomas

Curtis Withers
Why Thomas? The Carolina Panthers ex-cheerleader (and Charlotte student) is the most popular co-ed in the state.
Why NOT Withers? Withers simply can't compete with that. (Even though the Atlantic 10 stud may be the most talented college forward in the state.)
Key to deep March run Jump shooting Depth
Why jump shooting? The perimeter game carried Illinois to the title game last season; think Coach K and J.J. Redick weren't paying attention?
Why NOT depth? Depth is overrated. Of course, if your team has five NBA players, like UNC's did, you don't really need to go too deep.
Sleeper State Utah State NC State
Why Utah State? Utah State's Jaycee Carroll is the best 3-point shooter west of Durham (47 percent); Nate Harris (13 ppg, 6 rpg) anchors the frontcourt.
Why NOT NC State? In losing star Julius Hodge to graduation, the Wolfpack lost the versatile glue of their Sweet 16 team that upset UConn last March.
Coach
Mark Fox

Tim Floyd
Why Fox? Hey, Fox tops Jay Bilas' list of coaches to watch, and that's good enough for me.
Why NOT Floyd? It's very hard to lose the taste of Floyd's NBA failures. As for his previous NCAA success, L.A. is a long way from Ames.
Non-obvious Final Four-worthy picks GW, Syracuse, Nevada, Charlotte Kentucky, Indiana, Texas Tech, Memphis

Dan Shanoff is a columnist for Page 2. His "Daily Quickie" commentary appears every weekday morning.




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