A new year of NCAA hoops will be here soon and that means another group of freshmen will be ushered into the madness. For some, this could be their only year in the college ranks.
But before we show them the door to the NBA, let’s first take a look at the Top 5 Big Ten freshmen to watch (in no particular order):
Yogi Ferrell, Indiana: After struggling to find their way under new skipper Tom Crean, the Hoosiers finally returned last season and so has their recruiting, landing them in a Top 10 class for this year. On their help wanted sign was a point guard and with 5’11” Yogi Farrell they may have found their man. The in-state recruit from Greenfield could change the team’s offense this season.
Adam Woodbury, Iowa: Yes, the Hawkeyes do have a basketball team and its making a comeback thanks to coach Fran McCaffrey and his recruiting skills. The hot-headed Irishman was able to recruit the highly coveted 6’11” center, Woodbury, away from North Carolina and some Big Ten foes but he still rough around the edges. The southpaw has great potential and was an MVP at the 2011 NBPA Top 100 camp.
Glenn Robinson III, Michigan: Robinson comes from a good gene pool: His father, Glen “Big Dog” is a former Purdue star who was the nation’s leading scorer (30.5 ppg). At 6’6″, his son, a wing, can score and is very athletic. He spurned his home state school, Indiana, to go to Michigan and has the potential to receive the freshman of the year nod from the conference.
Gary Harris, Michigan State: Coach Tom Izzo is never at a loss for recruiting and again this year was no different with a Top 10 class. Harris is a shooting guard who will come to Lansing and try to fill the big shoes of Draymond Green. Harris comes with high expectations as a McDonald’s All-American. He should see a lot of playing time in his first season but will have to compete against the team’s seasoned scorers.
Sam Dekker Wisconsin: The 6’7″, 195-pound small forward hails from the in-state brat capital, Sheboygan. Coach Bo Ryan has previously found success with small forwards and Dekker should be able to meet this challenge through his athleticism, toughness and shooting ability. After being snubbed for the McDonald’s All-American game, Dekker has said he’ll use this disappointment to work even harder. He has been compared to the team’s former star forward Jon Leuer.
Here’s a few additional Big Ten freshmen to keep your eye on this season: Mike Gessell (Iowa), Amedeo Della Valle (Ohio State), Denzel Valentine (Michigan State) and Mitch McGrady (Michigan).