The Big 12 season should be full of action, with the pack closing the game from perennial power Kansas. There are some great impact freshmen coming into the conference that could make an immediate impact. Here is part of our Rant Sports NCAAB Season Preview: Top 5 Freshmen to Watch-Big 12.
1. Isaiah Austin – Baylor Bears – The 7’0 center out of Grace Prep Academy (TX) is looking to make an immediate impact for Scott Drew and his Bears. The big man had offers from Georgetown, Houston, Texas and Kentucky on the table, but chose to play his college career in Waco. Austin is a McDonald’s All American, and the top recruit from the state of Texas. His game at the high school ranks did not seem to lack any skills. It will be interesting what Austin looks like to start the season. This summer, he weighed 210lbs; look for the Bears staff to have added some muscle onto him by November.
2. Perry Ellis – Kansas Jayhawks – No surprise here. Bill Self got one of the top recruits in the country to come to Kansas. Ellis is a 6’8 power forward out of Wichita Hills in Kansas. Ellis is the top ranked recruit in the state, and 35th in the country. Ellis got a head start on his college career, as the Jayhawks took a trip to Switzerland and Paris to take on four international teams. Ellis also had offers from Kansas State, Wichita State and Kentucky. Look for Ellis to play a huge role in Kansas’ offense this season.
3. Marcus Smart – Oklahoma State Cowboys – Smart is the type of player that could carry a team to several wins in a row. The kid is the top ranked shooting guard in the country. Smart played his high school career at Marcus High School
in Texas. Standing at 6’3, and weighing 200lbs, Smart had options to go to North Carolina, Oklahoma or Texas, but chose the Cowboys. Smart should be an immediate impact player for the Cowboys in 2012-2013.
4. Cameron Ridley – Texas Longhorns – Rick Barnes got the second best center recruit in the state. Ridley is 6’10 and weighs 230lbs. He had offers from Arizona, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Texas A+M, but elected to go to Austin. The big man dominated high school play out of Bush High School in Fort Bend. Look for Ridley to get a chance to start for the Longhorns. Ridley is excited to bring the Longhorns back to the days where they were not only a football power, but had basketball dominance as well.
5. J- Mychal Reese – Texas A&M Aggies – The 6’2 point guard out of Bryan High School in Texas is lightning quick. He will make an immediate impact on the Aggies offense in 2012-2013. Reese was the 11th best point guard in the country, and ranked 72nd in the nation. Reese signed with the Aggies before his senior season of high school basketball.
Others to Watch:
Josh Gray – Texas Tech Red Raiders – Point Guard
Alex Caruso – Texas A&M Aggies – Shooting Guard
Prince Ibeh – Texas Longhorns – Center
Javan Felix – Texas Longhorns – Point Guard
Buddy Hield – Oklahoma Sooners – Shooting Guard
Andrew White – Kansas Jayhawks – Small Forward
Landen Lucas – Kansas Jayhawks – Power Forward
Ricardo Gathers – Baylor Bears – Power Forward