I'd borrow a line from Walter Brennan's '60s TV character Will Sonnett and say I'm not the sort of man who likes to brag, but since I'm not the sort of man who likes to lie, I'm not going to claim I'm not the sort of man who likes to brag.
Come on, who doesn't enjoy bragging? I mean, other than the people listening to someone bragging.
Anyway, a panel of 72 voters form the Associated Press men's college basketball poll, and I'm the lone representative from the state of Kansas. Not only that, I aced a hole once and shot a 111 that day.
OK, that's enough bragging for one day. Well, almost enough. I remain a baseball Hall of Fame voter, and in the past have voted for MVP, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year, and Manager of the Year. I three times voted for the Heisman Trophy and would love to have the opportunity to one day vote for a third-party ticket of John McCain and Joe Lieberman.
The first ballot, which I e-mailed to the AP, required not only a top 25, but three preseason All-America teams with the only stipulation being that each team can take the floor. In other words, don't load up a team with all bigs or all guards.
Poll results were released Monday, and KU didn't make the Top 25. Did I include KU on my ballot? I'll tell you in minute.
First, my three All-America teams.
First team: Keydren Clark (St. Peter's), J.J. Redick (Duke), Adam Morrison (Gonzaga), Craig Smith (Boston College), Shelden Williams (Duke). Second team: Dee Brown (Illinois), Hassan Adams (Arizona), Rudy Gay (UConn), Josh Boone (UConn), Taj Gray (Oklahoma). Third team: Curtis Stinson (Iowa St.), Ronnie Brewer (Arkansas), Steven Smith (LaSalle), Nick Fazekas (Nevada), Paul Davis (Michigan St.).
Who's Keydren Clark? If the 5-foot-9 Clark leads the nation in scoring, he'll join Oscar Robertson and Pete Maravich as the only players to do so three times. And he's no ball hog. Another in a long line of Harlem playground legends, Clark ranked second in the nation in three-pointers and third in steals.
Adams, Gray, Stinson and Fazekas all are on KU's schedule. Gay and Boone are possibilities in Hawaii.
My Top 25 ballot: 1. Duke; 2. Villanova; 3. Michigan St.; 4. UConn; 5. Texas; 6. Oklahoma; 7. Arizona; 8. Kentucky; 9. Gonzaga; 10. Memphis; 11. Louisville; 12. Boston College; 13. Stanford; 14. Alabama; 15. West Virginia; 16. Wake Forest; 17. Syracuse; 18. Maryland; 19. UCLA; 20. Illinois; 21. Nevada; 22. Kansas; 23. Indiana; 24. Iowa; 25. LSU.
Translation: Don't blame me.
And don't blame the panel. Christian Moody is the leading returning scorer and rebounder. Once word spreads about 6-foot-1 Mario Chalmers' dunk over 6-foot-8 Micah Downs at Saturday's coaches' clinic, and once C.J. Giles shows the world what he's shown in practice, the Jayhawks will crack the back end of the Top 25 and should keep climbing. Chalmers, according to an eyewitness, started dribbling right, crossed over, dribbled down the lane with his left hand, and switched the ball to his right for a tomahawk slam over the outstretched arms of Downs. There won't be any shortage of crowd-pleasing moments in Wednesday's exhibition opener at Allen Fieldhouse. The starting five? Bill's keeping that to himSelf. A guess: Chalmers, Russell Robinson, Brandon Rush, Moody, Giles.