Rant Sports NCAAB Season Preview: Top 5 Freshmen Small Forwards
In preparation for the 2012-13 season, the college basketball staff here at Rant Sports will be running through a number of player and team breakdowns from now until the start of the season.
Another year is approaching and so too are the debuts of many highly-regarded freshmen.
Let’s take a look a look at the Top 5 Freshmen Small Forwards heading into the 2012-13 season:
No. 5- Glenn Robinson III (Michigan): Robinson is long and stands at 6-foot-6. His freakish athleticism allows him to play above the rim and for head coach John Beilein, he is one of three top-100 recruits coming to Ann Arbor this season. Back in the day, his father, Glenn “Big Dog” Robinson, was a star at Purdue, so the Robinson name is returning back to the Big Ten Conference in 2012-13.
No. 4- Sam Dekker (Wisconsin): Credit head coach Bo Ryan because Dekker will be an absolute gem for the Badgers. At 6-foot-7, Dekker has incredible size and ability on the perimeter. Wisconsin will get ample use out of the freshman forward due to his ability to score both inside and out. The in-state product should instantly help the Badgers this season.
No. 3- Alex Poythress (Kentucky): The Wildcats need a replacement for Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Poythress will be the guy. At 6-foot-7, Poythress continues to receive praise from head coach John Calipari, saying when he’s on, he’s on. UK fans will certainly get many looks at Poythress as he undoubtedly will start immediately, alongside another batch of newcomers who look to help raise banner No. 9 in Lexington.
No. 2- Kyle Anderson (UCLA): Interesting enough, Anderson is teammates with the only small forward that is ranked above him. UCLA head coach Ben Howland will certainly find a way to get both Anderson and Shabazz Muhammad on the court, as each are essential to the Bruins’ ability to live up to expectations. The key is Anderson’s versatility and ability to play multiple guard and forward positions. At 6-foot-7, Anderson is highly skilled and can be very well be an instant star in the Pac-12.
No. 1- Shabazz Muhammad (UCLA): Highly-touted, highly-skilled and highly necessary for UCLA’s success in 2012-13. However, Muhammad still needs to be cleared by the NCAA to play for the Bruins and as of earlier this week, the 6-foot-6 scoring machine was still being ruled ineligible. In fact, he even had to remain in California while the team traveled to China for a three-game exhibition tour. NCAA review aside, Muhammad is not only the most talented player at his position, but arguably the most talented freshmen in the nation. UCLA needs his services though if they hope to break out of the program’s recent slump.
Other Freshmen Small Forwards to Watch: Danuel House (Houston), Devonta Pollard (Alabama), T.J. Warren (North Carolina State), Jeremy Hollowell (Indiana), Andrew White (Kansas), Cameron Biedscheid (Wake Forest), Jordan Adams (UCLA), Justin Anderson (Virginia), Evan Nolte (Virginia), Winston Shepard (San Diego State), Rosco Allen (Stanford), Jake Layman (Maryland), Xavier Johnson (Colorado), Marcus Hunt (Georgia Tech), J.P. Tokoto (North Carolina), Nik Stauskus (Michigan), Stephen Domingo (Georgetown)
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