Portland's four-pack of rookies has helped raise the team's expectations for the season. Fernandez, a Spanish combo guard, eyes an American breakthrough after scoring 22 points against Team USA in the Olympic gold medal game. Bayless is an explosive scorer who is learning the point guard position. Batum, a preseason surprise at small forward, is competing for a starting job. But the biggest buzz is reserved for Oden (pictured), the No. 1 pick in the 2007 draft, who should contend for Rookie of the Year honors after sitting out last season while recovering from microfracture knee surgery.
Photo: John W. McDonough/SI