Rant Sports NCAAB Season Preview: Top 5 Freshmen Power 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 Power Forwards heading into the 2012-13 season:
No. 5: Perry Ellis (Kansas)- Thomas Robinson will be nearly impossible to replace, but head coach Bill Self has young talent coming in down low to help the Jayhawks move forward. In addition to Ellis, incoming forward Andrew White will also help, but this 6-foot-8 freshman should instantly impact the team’s front court rotation. Ellis runs the floor very well and can finish in transition. His strength inside gives him great ability to finish around the rim and square up defenders.
No. 4: Amile Jefferson (Duke)- This 6-foot-7 forward was one of the last prospects from the class of 2012 to make a collegiate decision. Jefferson was patient during his recruiting process, but Duke eventually won his services and that’s great news for a program looking to replace Miles Plumlee down low. Jefferson has all the talent to impact the Blue Devils’ front court immediately and can certainly present some difficult match-ups alongside senior-to-be Mason Plumlee.
No. 3: Grant Jerrett (Arizona)- Head coach Sean Miller has one of the top recruiting classes in the nation coming to Arizona this season and Jerrett is one of the highlight pieces for the Wildcats. At 6-foot-10, Jerrett will likely play both down low positions, especially with fellow freshman Brandon Ashley also joining the program. Jerrett has an undeniable ceiling thanks to his continued improvement, and that’s bad news for the rest of the Pac-12.
No. 2: Brandon Ashley (Arizona)- Alongside Jerrett, the Wildcats will feature one of the best, young front courts in the Pac-12 this season. Ashley comes to Arizona by way of Findlay Prep (NV) and at 6-foot-8 his athleticism and quickness makes him a defensive nightmare. The Wildcats are also welcoming in freshman center Kaleb Tarczewski, so the talent level down low is undoubtedly dangerous. Miller’s rotations will be key in utilizing the top notch talent that is headed to UA this season.
No. 1: Anthony Bennett (UNLV)- Like Jefferson, Bennett also made his collegiate decision late and despite interest from a number of top-level programs, the 6-foot-8 forward chose UNLV. Bennett was high school teammates with Arizona’s Ashley at Findlay Prep, but originally he is a native of Ontario, Canada. Bennett’s decision to remain close to his high school in Nevada is a huge get for Rebels’ head coach Dave Rice. Bennett has all the tools and skills to instantly be among the top players in the Mountain West Conference.
Other Freshmen Power Forwards to Watch: Mitch McGary (Michigan), Shaq Goodwin (Memphis), Robert Carter (Georgia Tech), Brice Johnson (North Carolina), Ricardo Gathers (Baylor), Jerami Grant (Syracuse), Danrad “Chicken” Knowles (Houston), Andrew White (Kansas), Georges Niang (Iowa State), Hanner Mosquera-Perea (Indiana), Kenny Kaminski (Michigan State), Matt Costello (Michigan State), Montrezl Harris (Louisville), Connor Lammert (Texas)
Be sure to follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @TheArenaPulse
SEC Basketball: 5 Teams On the Rise This Offseason
The SEC had the most teams of any conference inside the top 100 RPI for a huge portion of the 2014-15 season. Next season, several of these teams are going to be even better. Read More