Freshman File: Top 10 Freshmen in College Basketball
Top 10 Freshmen in College Basketball
This is the second installment of the Freshman File, and we have a new No. 1 freshman. With this year's freshman crop being one of the best in recent memory, we need to have a weekly ranking to help us keep track on which frosh is out performing his peers. These rankings will reflect the season as a whole, as well as the old adage of "what have you done for me lately" with recent games having more weight. You will notice having a big game against a good team is more important than posting video-game stats against a Multi-Directional Community College.
Every week I will update which freshman is the best. These rankings are going to be fluid with each week being based mainly on what each player did the previous week but not solely on the previous week's games. If a guy has struggled for a few weeks and then has a huge week he will not automatically jump to the top, but if a player who has been lingering around the top of the list clearly blows out the others in a given week he would probably jump to the top.
This list isn't intended to tell you who is the best player or who will be drafted first. This list is strictly to give recognition to the freshman that are putting up big numbers. Either Andrew Wiggins, Julius Randle or Jabari Parker are 100 percent going to be the first player drafted next season, but that doesn't mean that they are having the best freshman season. As we progress in the season, freshmen that lead their teams to big winning streaks, wins over a superior team, or come up big in a clutch spot will also be shown a more favorable ranking.
With all of that being said, please, jump on and ride with me as we dissect the top 10 freshmen up to week five of the college season.
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10. Austin Nichols
Nichols is a new addition to the Freshmen File. He is a long, athletic big that can shoot out to 18 feet, and he had a very strong week for the Memphis Tigers. In helping the Tigers win the Old Spice Classic last week Nichols averaged 13.3 points per game, 7.3 rebounds per game, and 1.3 blocks per game. He also had a 20-point 12-rebound performance earlier in the season. (Last week: NR)
9. Nigel Williams-Goss
Williams-Goss had a bit of a setback last week. He is still one of the better freshmen in the country, but 10 points on 3-for-15 shooting vs. Long Beach State is not a good look. He is still averaging 12.9 points, 5.0 assists and 3.7 rebounds per game on the season. (Last week: 7)
8. Joel Embiid
Embiid is continuing to play well for Kansas. Last week he had 29 points, 17 rebounds and 10 blocks in only 48 minutes of action at the Battle 4 Atlantis. Embiid has improved with each passing week, and we are starting to see why some scouts believe he could be the first pick in the NBA Draft. (Last week: 10)
7. Noah Vonleh
The tenacity that Vonleh plays with is very impressive. He went to the free throw line 16 times in Indiana's loss to Syracuse, but he had 17 points, six rebounds, and three blocks. The Hoosiers are struggling this year compared to the last couple of seasons, but Vonleh is definitely one of the few bright spots for them. (Last week: 6)
6. Zach LaVine
LaVine is the second new addition of the week. He was on the cusp last week but makes the jump with a huge showing last week. LaVine put up 21 points, 18 points, and 15 points in UCLA's three wins. He is averaging 14.4 points per game for the season and has hit 55.9 percent of his threes. This kid is a scorer. (Last week: NR)
5. Jordan Mickey
Mickey continues to be a surprise for LSU, and he continues to produce big numbers. Last week he averaged 12.0 points per game, 7.3 rebounds per game, and 2.3 blocks per game. Mickey is filling the stat-sheet for the Tigers as he's yet to score in single digits, and he only has one game with fewer than three blocks. He has been tremendous. (Last week: 5)
4. Andrew Wiggins
Wiggins is still on track to be the No. 1 pick, but he has fallen in the rankings. He hasn't put up the numbers that the players ahead of him have up to this point. Last week he had a 10-point effort and a six-point game as well. He is still averaging 14.3 points and 5.6 rebounds per game, but others have been better. (Last week: 3)
3. Aaron Gordon
Gordon had another big week, highlighted by Arizona's win over Duke. Gordon only scored 10 points in that game, but he was 4-for-6 from the floor, had seven rebounds, dished out four assists, had two blocks and only one turnover. After that he posted 19 points and eight rebounds against Texas Tech. Gordon is starting to heat up. (Last week: 4)
2. Julius Randle
Randle is still playing great, but his numbers have come back down to Earth a little. While he is still at 18.1 points per game and 12.5 rebounds per game, he only averaged 13 points and nine rebounds per game last week. His scoring and rebounding acumen still blows me away for his age. (Last week: 1)
1. Jabari Parker
Parker continues to light the college basketball world on fire. Duke has now suffered two losses, but it's to no fault of Parker; he has been great. Parker averaged 20.3 points per game last week, and two games were against quality opponents in Arizona and Michigan. Parker is still at 22.1 points and 7.8 rebounds per game for the season. (Last week: 2)