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Preseason awards: The Mid-Major Madness Player of the Year and All-American teams

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The results are in and our editorial staff thinks these guys will be good.

NCAA Basketball: Nevada at Utah State Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

The Other Top 25 is complete. The viewing schedule is set for opening day. The fusion of great literature and every Division I college basketball team has happened in glorious fashion. That just leaves one piece of unfinished business before the season tips off: the silverware.

Our editorial staff pooled their thoughts and came up with the following list of awards. Love them or hate them, engage nonetheless.

Mid-Major Madness Preseason Player of the Year:

Sam Merrill, Sr., Guard, Utah State

The reigning Mountain West Player of the Year and AP All-American honorable mention gets the nod as our preseason Player of the Year. Last year, Merrill finished second in the Mountain West in points (20.9 PPG), fifth in assists (4.2 APG) and third in effective field goal percentage (54.7 eFG%). He now returns as the center piece of a nationally-ranked team with big expectations after falling in the first round of last year’s NCAA Tournament.

“Those were definitely conversations that we all had as returners from last year’s team,” Merrill said. “As good as the year went, losing in the first round of the tournament left quite a sting for us. We’re hoping we can find a way to get back to get that opportunity again and hopefully make the most of it.”

With a scorer, three-point marksman and playmaker like Merrill leading the way, the Aggies should have every chance to rule the Mountain West, and return to the March spotlight again.

Preseason First Team Mid-Major Madness All-American

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round- Florida State vs Vermont David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Anthony Lamb, Sr., Forward, Vermont (unanimous)

Sam Merrill, Sr., Guard, Utah State

Yoeli Childs, Sr., Forward, BYU

Lamine Diane, Soph., Forward, Cal St. Northridge

Killian Tillie, Sr., Forward, Gonzaga

Lamb was the sole unanimous first team pick as he returns to lead the American East favorite yet again. Childs’ return was a boon for first-year Cougar coach Mark Pope, but the senior is suspended for the season’s first nine games due to alleged issues with the NCAA’s agent rules. Tillie makes the list assuming good health, and the talented Frenchman will unfortunately miss the Zags opener as he recovers from knee surgery. Diane returns as West Coast, late-night treat after posting mind-boggling numbers as a freshman (24.8 PPG, 11.2 RPG).

Preseason Second Team Mid-Major Madness All-American

NCAA Basketball: VCU at Virginia Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

Jon Axel Gudmundsson, Sr., Guard, Davidson

Jordan Ford, Sr., Guard, Saint Mary’s

Marcus Evans, Sr., Guard, VCU

Colbey Ross, Jr., Guard, Pepperdine

Jhivan Jackson, Jr., Guard, UTSA

The second team is loaded with guards, including three — Gudmundsson, Ford and Evans — with realistic designs on leading their respective teams into the at-large conversation. Elsewhere, Ross and Jackson will look to build on tremendous seasons to lead their respective dark horse teams up the conference standings.

Preseason Third Team Mid-Major Madness All-American

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round-Auburn vs Charleston Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Charles Bassey, Soph., Center, Western Kentucky

Bryce Aiken, Sr., Guard, Harvard

Obi Toppin, Soph., Forward, Dayton

Adnon Gilder, Sr., Guard, Gonzaga

Grant Riller, Sr., Guard, College of Charleston

Bassey passed up on the NBA draft to headline Rick Stansbury’s fourth team at Western Kentucky. Aiken will look to help lead Harvard to its first NCAA Tournament in four years, while Toppin may be a household name before the season is over. Gilder is the next in a long line of impact transfers for Mark Few at Gonzaga, and Riller has done nothing but thrill (17.8 career PPG) over his first three seasons.