Top 25 NCAA teams, and best prospects:


Hall of Famer
OK, here we go. I'm going to run down the current top 25 teams and list the important players on those teams along with height, weight, their numbers, and who might be a first or second round pick in the coming draft. Bear with me, because this is going to take a while.

1. Indiana:

40. Cody Zeller: Center, 7'0", 240 Lbs, Soph.
0. Will Sheehey: SF, 6'7", 200 Lbs, Jr.
1. Jordan Hulls: PG, 6'0", 182 Lbs, Sr.
4. Victor Oladipo: SG, 6'5", 214 Lbs, Jr.
11. Yogi Ferrell: PG, 6'0", 178 Lbs, Fr.
33. Jeremy Hollowell: SF, 6'7", 217 Lbs, Fr.
12. Hanner Mosquera-Perea: PF, 6'8", 225 Lbs, Fr.

Obviously the gem here is Cody Zeller, who is in the running for the number one pick in the draft. We'll see! There's a long way to go, but based on last season, and his first game this season there's no reason to dispute his ranking. Indiana has a nice balance of seniors, juniors and a good recruiting class including three top 100 players in the nation.

Yogi Ferrell is the 24th ranked highschool player in the country. Hollowell comes in at 42 and Mosquera-Perea at 71st. Jordan Hulls is an outstanding shooter and averages around 5 assists a game. Indiana was only one of two teams last season to beat Kentucky, the other being Vanderbilt. They have just about everyone coming back, so I'll be surprised if they don't make the final four.

Their worth watching just to see Zeller play. And Cody is not to be confused with either of his brothers. He's by far the better player. It would be like comparing Michael Jordan
with Eddie Jordan.

2. Louisville:

10. Gorgui Dieng: Center/PF, 6'10", 225 Lbs, Jr.
3. Peyton Silva: PG, 5'11", 180 Lbs, Sr.
21. Chane Behanan: PF/SF, 250 Lbs, Soph.
11. Luke Hancock: SG, 190 Lbs, Jr.
20. Wayne Blackshear: SG, 230 Lbs, Jr.

I personally wouldn't have Louisville ranked this high, but they have their core players returning, and based on last season they definitely deserve to be somewhere in the top 10. Both Peyton Silva and Gorgui Dieng are likely 2nd round picks. Dieng could move into the bottom of the 1st round if he brings his game up another notch. At the moment he's more of a shotblocking defensive player and a pretty good rebounder.

If Silva was 6'2" instead of 5'11", he'd likely be a 1st round pick. He's the heart and soul of this Louisville team. A great little defender, and one tough SOB. Hancock should be a nice addition to the team. He's a transfer from George Mason. He's a good shooter, and a very good passer, averaging 5 assists last season. Pitino stresses defense, and is constantly running fresh players into the game. Fun team to watch play.

3. Kentucky:

3. Nerlens Noel: C/PF, 6'10", 215 Lbs, Fr.
33. Kyle Wiltjer: PF, 6'9", 240 Lbs, Soph.
22. Alex Poythress: SF, 6'8", 215 Lbs, Fr.
10. Archie Goodwin: SG, 6'5", 195 Lbs, Fr.
15. Willie Cauley: Center, 6'10", 225 Lbs, Fr.
34. Julius Mays: PG/SG, 6'2", 192 Lbs, SR.
12. Ryan Harrow: PG, 5'11", 155 Lbs, Soph.

Kentucky made a run to the NCAA championship with 5 freshman on their roster, and starting 4 of them. Apparently they're going to try and repeat the same thing this year. Once again they have the top recruiting class in the nation with the number one guy, Nerlens Noel, a shotblocker surpreme. Wiltjer returns for his sophmore year, and brings outstanding shooting from the outside for a big man. He's almost automatic when left open.

Poythress is a top ten highschool recruit, and Goodwin top 20. The surprise player could Cauley, who has been more than Calipari thought he would be for a top 50 recruit. The PG duties will probably be split between Harrow and Mays, although Mays is known more for his shooting than his assists. Noel, Poythress, Goodwin, and Harrow should all be 1st round picks, with Harrow being the only one on the bubble. Noel should challenge Zeller for the first spot in the draft.

4. Ohio St:

4. Aaron Craft: PG, 6'2", 190 Lbs, Jr.
1. Deshaun Thomas: SF, 6'7", 225 Lbs, Jr.
33. Amedeo Della Valle: SG, 6'5", 175 Lbs, Fr.
23. Amir Williams: Center, 6'11", 220 Lbs, Soph.
32. Lenzelle Smith: SG, 6'4", 205 Lbs, Jr.
30. Evan Ravenel: PF, 6'8", 250 Lbs, Sr.

Ill be interested to see if Ohio St. can hang on to such a high ranking. They lost a couple of valuable peices, Sullinger in particular. I expect Ravenel to get more playing time this year to help make for Sullingers loss. Aaron Craft is the best defensive PG in college, and its worth watching Ohio St.'s games just to see him work.

This could be a break out year for Deshaun Thomas, a player I like a lot. Right now, Thomas is the only sure draft pick, and probably will go in the second round. But he's capable of ending up in the first round. I'm curious to see how the freshman from Italy, Della Valle plays. Ohio St. should be a good team, but I'm not sure they have the horses to make the final 8 in the tourney.

5. Michigan:

10. Tim Hardaway Jr.: SG, 6'6", 205 Lbs, Jr.
3. Trey Burke: PG, 6'0", 190 Lbs, Soph.
1. Glen Robinson: SF/SG, 6'6", 210 Lbs, Fr.
4. Mitch McGary: PF/C, 6'10", 250 Lbs, Fr.
52. Jordan Morgan: PF, 6'8", 250 Lbs, Jr.
13. Matt Vogrich: SG, 6'4", 200 Lbs, Sr.
11. Nik Stauskas: SG, 6'6", 190 Lbs, Fr.

Michigan has a good team, and they should be a contender in their conference, as well as making a splash in the NCAA tourney. Tim Hardaway Jr, who I like quite a bit, is off to a good start so far this season averaging 18.2 PPG, while shooting 61% overall and 46% from the three. He's also averaging 6.8 boards a game. Yes, he is the son of Tim Hardaway, and was fortunately blessed with more height. Burke, the sophmore PG is also off to a good start, averaging 16 PPG, and 6.8 assists a game.

Michigan is relying heavily on its freshman class to contribute. Glen Robinson III is playing 32 minutes a game, thats a lot for a freshman. But he's rewarded the team with 12.4 PPG, 7.6 RPG, while shooting 54.8% overall and 36.4% from the three. Robinson was the 18th ranked highschool player in the nation. McGary, another freshman and the 27th ranked highschool player in the nation isn't getting as much time, but he's still contributing, and I really like his potential.

The surpirse to me is the amount of minutes Nik Stauskas is playing. He was the 76th ranked highschool player in the nation, which is nice, but he's hardly someone you'd expect to be a big contributer at this stage. However he's averaging 25 MPG, and 11.6 PPG, all the while, shooting an outrageous 59.3% overall, and 58.8% from the three. Obviously no one expects him to continue at that hot pace, but he's been a very nice surprise so far.

I like Michigan quite a bit, and it wouldn't surprise me to see them in the final four. They're a very well coached team and a very well balanced team, both in position, and in age. If Mitch McGary starts to heat up, watch out!

6. North Carolina St:

5. C.J. Leslie: SF/PF, 6'8", 208 Lbs, Jr.
1. Richard Howell: PF, 6'8", 250 Lbs, Sr.
2. Lorenzo Brown: SG, 6'5", 186 Lbs, Jr.
14. Jordan Vanderberg: Center, 7'1", 264 Lbs, Jr.
0. Rodney Purvis: SG, 6'4", 190 Lbs, Fr.
24. T.J. Warren: SF, 6'7", 205 Lbs, Fr.
12. Tyler Lewis: PG, 5'11", 178 Lbs, Fr.
15. Scott Wood: SF/SG, 6'6", 178 Lbs, Jr.

Last season N. Carolina St. went from a totaly underaccheiving team the year before, to the final 8 in the tourney. What was the difference? A new head coach. Most of their cast is returning this year, and they've added three freshmen, two of which are top 30 highschool recruits. Purvis at #20, and Warren at #29. They also added Lewis who was the 44th best highschooler in the nation. So they should be better than last season.

NC St. features C.J. Leslie, who is a probably 1st round pick. He's not a personal favorite of mine. He's what I call a teaser. Great athlete, who just gets by on his athleticism. He still can't shoot the ball, and his post game is simply trying to out quick everyone. He tends to get lazy on defense at times. And despite being a good leaper with outstanding quickness, he's just an average rebounder at best. Howell adds toughness and size in the middle. His main attribute is rebounding. Offensively, he's mechanical in the post, but last season was developing a jumpshot. Vanderberg, their 7'1" center should see a lot more time this season. It wouldn't surprise me to see them in the final eight again.

7. Kansas:

15. Elijah Johnson: PG/SG, 6'3", 183 Lbs, Sr.
5. Jeff Withey: Center, 7'0", 235 Lbs, Sr.
40. Kevin Young: SF, 6'8", 185 Lbs, Sr.
24. Travis Releford: SG, 6'6", 210 Lbs, Sr.
34. Perry Ellis: PF, 6'8", 225 Lbs, Fr.
3. Andrew White: SF, 6'6", 195 Lbs, Fr.
23. Ben McLemore: SG, 6'5", 195 Lbs, Fr.

I'll be shocked if I don't see Kansas in the final eight. They're bringing back and experienced team team of seniors minus Thomas Robinson and Tyshawn Taylor. Elijah Johnson, a terrific athlete will finally get his chance at the PG position after playing in the shadow of Taylor. Withey is one of the best shotblockers in college, if not the best. He's still a work in progress offensively, but he's gotten stronger each year, and despite not being the greatest athlete in the world, its hard to get the ball past him at the rim. Releford is an excellent SG who can play some SF as well.

Kansas also had a nice recruiting class adding two top 50 highschoolers. Ellis who was ranked 35th, and White who was ranked 48th.. Kansas is one of the better coached teams in college, and they always seem to have someone waiting in the wings to come out and take over. They're also one of the best schools at developing big men.
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Hall of Famer
8. Duke:

5. Mason Plumlee: PF/C, 6'10", 235 Lbs, Sr.
30. Seth Curry: PG/SG, 6'2", 180 Lbs, Sr.
3. Tyler Thornton: PG, 6'1", 190 Lbs, Jr.
34. Ryan Kelly: PF, 6'11", 235 Lbs, Sr.
2. Quinn Cook: PG, 6'1", 175 Lbs, Soph
14. Rasheed Sulaimon: SG, 190 Lbs, Fr.
21. Amile Jefferson: SF, 6'8", 195 Lbs. Fr.

Duke should have a very good team this year. They have three starting seniors returning in Kelly, Plumlee, and Curry, Stephen's little brother. I expect to see Quinn Cook play more minutes, splitting time with Thornton at the PG position. The question with Curry is, just what is he. I personally think he has some PG skills, but he plays a lot of SG for Duke, a positon he's undersized for. Kelly has turned into a pretty good player. He's an average athlete, but he's developed a nice skill set, including shooting from the outside. This should be Plumlee's year to shine. He's a surprising athlete, whose quicker than he looks. He has a nice post game, and rebounds well.

Duke also had an outstanding recruiting class aquiring two top 25 players in the nation. Rasheed Sulaimon was ranked #12 in the nation while Amile Jefferson came in ranked number 25. Both players should be contributers this season. Personally, I would have Duke ranked higher than they are. They have a lot of talent, and arguably, the best coach in college today.

9. Syracuse:

12. Baye Keita: C/PF, 6'10", 215 Lbs, Jr.
25. Rakeem Christmas: PF, 6'9", 228 Lbs, Soph.
20. Brandon Triche: SG, 6'4", 205 Lbs, Sr.
5. C.J. Fair: SF, 6'8", 212 Lbs, Jr.
1. Michael Carter-Williams: SG/PG, 6'5", 184 Lbs, Soph.
32. DaJaun Coleman: PF/C, 6'9", 275 Lbs, Fr.
3. Jerami Grant: PF/SF, 190 Lbs, Fr.

Somehow Syracuse is always in the mix when tourney time arrives. Syracuse is one of those schools that what you see isn't always what you get. They're great at hiding the deficencies of players, as well as sometimes hiding their attributes. Its very hard to get a good read on the defensive capabilities of any player on Syracuse. They play a zone full time, and they're good at it. Their offense doesn't allow for much in the way of individual shot creation, so thats sometimes another grey area when it comes to judging a player. Plus, personally, I think Syracuse is boring to watch at times. But, they win, so its hard to argue with success.

This could be a year when Rakeem Christmas breaks out. He's played center up to now, but he's definitely a PF in the NBA, and at 6'9" with a 7'3" wingspan, he has the size for the position. His problem is that he's forced to play center, and he has developed very little game away from the basket. Hopefully they'll stick freshman, and the 14th ranked highschool player in the nation, DaJaun Coleman into the center spot and let Christmas move away from the basket. At 275 Lbs, Coleman is better suited for the center position. Michael Carter-Williams is a very talented player who should get a lot of minutes this season. He has the size of a SG, but with the skills of a PG. He's the one player I definitely see a future for in the NBA.

C. J. Fair is another player that should see more playing time. He didn't make much progress from his freshman year to his sophmore year other than playing more minutes. If he can increase his skill level, he might have a shot at the NBA some day.

10. Florida:

4. Patrick Young: PF, 6'9", 249 Lbs, Jr.
1. Kenny Boynton: SG/PG, 6'2", 190 Lbs, Sr.
33. Erik Murphy: PF, 6'10", 238 Lbs, Sr.
3. Mike Rosario: SG, 6'3", 183 Lbs, Sr.
15. Will Yeguete: PF, 6'7", 240 Lbs, Jr.
11. Braxton Ogbueze: PG, 6'0", 182 Lbs, Fr.

Florida is always good. They're a well coached team that always plays good team defense. Patrick Young is a physical specimen. A Dwight Howard look alike, but shorter. Great athlete who runs the floor extremely well, and makes some spectacular dunks. He was one of the top highschool recruits at one time, but he's never lived up to his initial hype. He's as strong as an ox, and can guard much larger players in the post. You can't push him around. Kenny Boynton is back for his senior year. He's a little too much of a ball hog, shot happy player to suit me, but we'll see if he can be more well rounded this season.

Erik Murphy is a player I like quite a bit, although I wish he would move back into the post a little bit more. He's a great shooter all the way out to the 3 pt line. He has a very good mid-range shot as well, and is a great pick and roll player. My problem with him is that as his shot has improved, he's moved further away from the basket, and his rebounding numbers have dropped. Especially his defensive rebounding numbers. Despite being just a average athlete, he's a pretty good defender, especially around the basket. He's improved every year, so I'm anxious to see what he brings this season.

11. North Carolina:

43. James McAdoo: PF, 6'9", 230 Lbs, Soph.
35. Reggie Bullock: SG/SF, 6'7", 205 Lbs, Jr.
1. Dexter Strickland: SG, , 6'3", 180 Lbs, Sr.
15. P.J. Hairston: SG, 6'5", 220 Lbs, Soph.
14. Desmons Hubert: PF, 6'9", 220 Lbs, Soph
5. Marcus Paige: PG, 6'1", 160 Lbs, Fr.
11. Brice Johnson: PF, 6'9", 210 Lbs, Fr.
0. Joel James: Center, 6'10", 260 Lbs, Fr.

Gone are the veteran big men, Zeller and Henson, along with Harrison Barnes. The man expected to carry the team now is James McAdoo, along with Reggie Bullock. McAdoo is a likely lottery pick, perhaps a very high one. He's a very good rebounder and defender. His offensive game started to come together toward the end of last season. Bullock is a versatile player who can play either SG or SF. He's likely a second round pick in the coming draft. Also returning is Dexter Strickland, a senior SG who can play some point as well. Dexter Hubert should get increased playing time. He's a long 6'9" player with shotblocking ability.

North Carolina had a good, but not a great recruiting class. They did add, arguably the best PG in the highschool class, ranked 22nd overall, in Marcus Paige. They also added more height with the 34th ranked player in Brice Johnson. Lastly, they added Joel James, the 6'10" center, and the only true center on the team. He was ranked 60th in the top 100.

I'd say North Carolina will be a good but not great team. They just don't have the talent they had last year. But then, I'm not sure there's a great team out there this year, so it could be enough.

12. Arizona:

44. Solomon Hill: SF, 6'6", 226 Lbs, Sr.
2. Mark Lyons: PG, 6'1", 188 Lbs, Sr.
13. Nick Johnson: PG, 6'2", 198 Lbs, Soph.
35. Kaleb Tarczewski: Center, 7'0", 240 Lbs, Fr.
33. Grant Jerrett: PF, 6'10", 220 Lbs, Fr.
21. Brandon Ashley: SF/PF, 6'8", 215 Lbs, Fr.
1. Gabe York: PG, 6'1", 170 Lbs, Fr.

Just how good Arizona can be, will be detrimined by how soon they can get their freshmen up to speed. Arizona had the third best recruiting class in the nation, with three players out of the top 16. Tarczewski is the 4th ranked player, with Jerrett being the 9th ranked player. Ashley came in at number 16. All three of thise guys could possiblely end up being first round picks, if not this year, in a future year. they also added York, a player ranked 60th in the nation. So Arizona has a lot of talent, and should be a force in the Pac 12, if not the nation.

They have Solomon Hill returning for his senior year. Hill has improved every year, and I expect him to take another step this season. One advantage Arizona has is experienced guard play, and in college, so go your guards, so goes the team. I'm really looking forward to the Pac 12 making a splash this season with improvement throughout. They have two teams ranked in the top 25, Arizona and UCLA. Washington should be good again, and I expect Cal and Stanford to put out very competitive teams. If I had to put money on wins the the Pac 12 title, right now I'd bet on Arizona. Now if UCLA gets Muhammad back, then all bets are off.

13. UCLA:

15. Shabazz Muhammad: SG, 6'6", 215 Lbs, Fr.
5. Kyle Anderson: PG/SG/SF, 6'7", 210 Lbs, Fr.
12. David Wear: PF/SF, 6'10", 225 Lbs, Jr.
24. Travis Wear: PF, 6'10", 220 Lbs, Jr.
10. Larry Drew II: PG, 6'2", 180 Lbs, Sr.
1. Tyler Lamb: SG, 6'5", 200 Lbs, Jr.
23. Tony Parker: PF/C, 6'9", 270 Lbs, Fr.
34. Josh Smith: Center, 6'10", 305 Lbs, Jr.

UCLA is loaded with talent. They had the first or second best recruiting class depending on which orginzation you listen to. The question is, will that be enough. They have the Wear twins, who transfered last season. They have Shabazz Muhammad who is considered by most to be the number one highschool player in the country. They also added Kyle Anderson, the 5th ranked highschool player in the country. And finally they added Tony Parker, the 26th ranked player in the nation. Parker is very skilled.

I assume that Larry Drew II will be the starting PG, which immediately presents a problem. Anderson has played PG his entire career up to now, and quite frankly, I think his potential far exceeds that of Drew's. So what do you do with Anderson? Play him at SF or SG? There has been a lot of unrest at UCLA in recent years because of players believing they were being misused. This could be a make or break year for Ben Howland, the head coach of UCLA. I'am not a fan of his!

They also have Josh Smith, a very talented big man with emphasis on the word big. His problem is his battle with his weight. He's good for about 3 or 4 trips up and down the floor, and then he needs to sit down again. If you could get 25 minutes a game out of him it would be bonus time. UCLA has the talent to win the Pac 12 title, and make a run in the NCAA tourney. But somehow, my gut tells me they'll find a way to screw things up. Already Andersons father is complaining about how his son is being used. He said he was promised by Howland his son would be the PG, and at the moment, he's playing SF. Arizona is very good this year, and Cal is up and coming. So its no shue in for the Bruins.
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Hall of Famer
14. Michigan St:

11. Keith Appling: PG, 6'1", 190 Lbs, Jr.
5. Adreian Payne: Center/PF, 6'10", 240 Lbs, Jr.
25. Derrick Nix: Center, 6'9", 270 Lbs, Sr.
22. Branden Dawson: SF/SG, 6'6", 230 Lbs, Soph
14. Gary Harris: SG, 6'4", 195 Lbs, Fr.
30. Kenny Kaminski: PF, 6'8", 240 Lbs, Fr.
10. Matt Costello: PF, 6'9", 245 Lbs, Fr.

Michigan St. should be pretty good this year. They have some of their key players returning, especially Appling who has improved every year. Unfortunately they play in one tough conference with the likes of Michigan, Ohio St., Wisconsin, etc. So their going to have to earn their way into the tourney. However, I think they have the horses to do it. But not enough horses to reach the final four. They have plenty of size starting with Payne, who is playing well so far this season. In only 19.5 MPG, he's averaging 7.8 points, and 6.7 rebounds to go along with 1.8 blocked shots.

Nix, another big man is averaging 8 PPG, and 7.7 rebounds a game in 26 MPG, while shooting 56.7% from the field. Their top recruit, ranked the 11th best highschool player in the nation, Gary Harris is playing 23 MPG, and averaging 12 points a game. His overall shooting percentage is good at 51.4%, but his 3 pt average needs some work at 28.6%. So far Branden Dawson is playing well, but I'm not quite sure what his position is in the future, if he has a future. He's playing 28.8 minutes a game and averaging 11.3 PPG to go along with 6.5 rebounds a game, while shooting 54.5% overall. At the moment, Dawson doens't seem to have much of a perimeter game. Of course all these are very short samplings this year.

15. Missouri:

1. Phil Pressey: PG, 6'0", 162 Lbs, Jr.
42. Alex Oriakhi: PF, 6'9", 255 Lbs, Sr.
21. Laurence Bowers: SF, 6'8", 227 Lbs, Sr.
3. Tony Criswell: SF/PF, 6'9", 226 Lbs, Jr.
5. Keion Bell: SG, 6'4", 200 Lbs, Sr.
11. Mike Dixon: PG, 6'1", 190 Lbs, Sr.
33. Earnest Ross: SG, 6'5", 222 Lbs, Sr.

Missouri is a veteran team loaded with juniors and seniors. And trust me, experience will take you a long way at the college level, especially if you have good guards, and Pressey is one of the top PG's in the nation at the college level. They have a nice backup in Dixon, who can also play some SG. They have two seniors at SG, who are adequate, and Bowers at SF who is a very good shooter, with a 45.5% average from the three so far this year.

They also have a very nice additon in transfer Alex Oriakhi, who, although will probably be a PF at the next level, will probably play center for the Tigers. Oriakhi played his first three years at UCONN, but when they were put on probation, he transfered to Missouri. He's a good post defender who can block shots, and rebound. Most of his offense comes at the basket, but he's someone that I think can play in the NBA, and will probably be a second round pick.

For the most part, so goes Pressey, so goes the Tigers. He's averaging around 6 assists a game, and shooting at a 48.1% clip from the three. I see Pressey as a first round pick.

16. Creighton:

3. Doug McDermott: SF/PF, 6'8", 225 Lbs, Jr.
00. Gregory Echeniqui: PF/C, 6'9", 260 Lbs, Sr.
10. Grant Gibbs: SG/PG, 6'5", 210 Lbs, Sr.
34. Ethan Wragge: SF, 6'7", 225 Lbs, Jr.
1. Austin Chatman: PG, 6'0", 185 Lbs, Soph

Creighton has a very good basketball team and anyone that takes them lightly will end up losing. You can't talk about Creighton without talking about Doug McDermott. The biggest question is, what is he? He's not the biggest guy on the court, nor the quickest, but I can guarantee you that he will play in the NBA, and probably be a first round pick. Yeah, he's a slow, can't jump white guy, that will take you to the cleaners. He's made a believer out of me. He can, and will score from everywhere. He shoots 47.2% from the three, but is a terrific post player that has absolutely no hesitation when he gets the ball. He's a basketball player in the true sense of the word. He's one of the most skilled big men, if you consider 6'8" big, in college. There's just not much he can't do with a basketball. He also has good anticipation on defense. Probably helps that his coach is also his father.

Gregory Echenique is a solid big man that plays center. I don't think he has a career in the NBA in his future, but he's played well after transfering from Rutgers in his sophmore year. Grant Gibbs, is a good shooter who is also a very good passer, averaging 6.4 assists. Ethan Wragge is a player you don't want to leave open on the perimeter. So far this season he's taken 51 shots, and 50 of them have been from beyond the 3pt line. And, he's hit 26 of them for a 51% 3pt percentage. Finally, Austin Chatman, a 6'0" PG is having a fine season so far averaging 8.7 PPG, and 4.4 APG, while averaging 53.3% from the three. I wouldn't be surprised to see Creighton make a big splash in the Tourney.
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