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 to Watch-Non BCS:
No. 5: Winston Shepard (San Diego State)- The Aztecs are bringing back a number of weapons in 2012-13, including a few transfers who are finally eligible. In addition, this 6-foot-8 forward arrives also ready to contribute to a team that could threaten amongst the nation’s best next season. Shepard has great length and athleticism and can get to the rim with ease. SDSU landed Shepard by way of Findlay Prep (NV).
No. 4: Katin Reinhardt (UNLV)- Another top-50 recruit, another incoming freshman bound for the Mountain West Conference. UNLV head coach Dave Rice was able to land Reinhardt to the delight of many Rebels’ fans, but believe it or not he’s not even the crown jewel of this program’s class. However, Reinhardt can flat out play. By way of Mater Dei H.S. (CA), Reinhardt has a crafty ability to create on the offensive end. The 6-foot-5 guard should instantly be able to help the the Rebels in the back court this season.
No. 3: Shaq Goodwin (Memphis)- At 6-foot-8, 245 pounds, Goodwin has all the ability to be a force down low at Memphis. He was a two-sport star in high school, but is expected to focus solely on basketball for the Tigers and head coach Josh Pastner. Goodwin burst onto the scene during AAU in 2010 and continued his terrific play through 2011. With his stock skyrocketing, Goodwin should have Tigers’ fans fired up over his potential.
No. 2: Danuel House (Houston)- Believe it or not, Houston landed two top-100 recruits from the class of 2012. The school will transition to the Big East in 2013, but House and fellow freshman Danrad “Chicken” Knowles are ready to impact the program quickly in their final season in Conference USA. Like Goodwin, House used the AAU summer circuit to generate steam in his recruitment and despite interest from a number of high-major programs, House hopes to put his hometown Houston back on the map.
No. 1: Anthony Bennett (UNLV)- Bennett eliminated Florida from his recruitment, then he cut Kentucky from his list, and finally he chose UNLV over Oregon late this past spring. By way of Ontario, Canada, Bennett comes to UNLV by way of Findlay Prep (NV), and once again, coach [Dave] Rice’s ability to land this 6-foot-8 stud is huge. Bennett is a national, top-10 prospect who should provide an instant boost and impact for the Runnin’ Rebels’ front court. Bennett was also listed as the top freshmen power forward by Rant Sports.
Other Non-BCS Freshmen to Watch: Danrad “Chicken” Knowles (Houston), Robert Upshaw (Fresno State), Kellen Dunham (Butler), Fred Van Vleet (Wichita State), Melvin Johnson (VCU), Maurice Watson Jr. (Boston University), Jordan Burgess (VCU)
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