Top 10 Freshmen in College Basketball — Week 5 Edition
Top 10 Freshmen in College Basketball -- Week 5
This is the third installment of the college basketball freshman rankings, and this week brings us a big shakeup in the bottom half of the rankings. 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 outperforming his peers. These rankings will reflect the season as a whole, as well as the old adage of "what of 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 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 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 week, we have two new youngsters making their debut in the rankings.
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 that come up big in a clutch spot will also be shown a more favorable ranking.
With all that being said, please jump on and ride with me as we dissect the top 10 freshmen through Week 5 of the college season.
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10. Nigel Williams-Goss
Willilams-Goss is barely hanging on to his spot in the top 10. Last week only saw one game for Williams-Goss and he played well (15 points, five assist and five boards), but the turnovers are starting to mount for the young man. He has had three or more turnovers in three of the his last five games. He is holding on because of his overall season, but he is on probation going into next week. (Last week: 9)
9. Tyler Ennis
Ennis has very similar numbers to Williams-Goss on the season: 11.3 points per game, 4.9 assists per game and 3.2 rebounds per game. The big difference is Ennis is playing for the No. 2 ranked team in the country. This is the first week for Ennis on this list after narrowly missing last week, and it is deserved. Dismissing the 19-minute effort against Binghamton in a blowout, he had a very good week. Against Indiana he posted 17 points, eight assists and seven rebounds for Syracuse in a big win. (Last week: NR)
8. Eric Mika
Mika is making his first appearance on the freshman rankings. It's kind of hard to ignore a guy after he puts up 35 points and 19 rebounds in two games. He is having a good freshman season to this point, averaging 14.2 points and 6.1 rebounds per game, but what really jumps out is his 54.4 percent shooting. Mika has failed to shoot 50 percent in a game twice this season, and he was one make short of being at 50 percent both times. This guy is a scorer. (Last week: NR)
7. Zach LaVine
LaVine did not have a very strong week. He only played in one game, which was a loss to Missouri. In the loss LaVine did throw in 13 points, but he remains on the list because of his sensational start. LaVine is still averaging 14.2 points per game and hitting 60.5 percent of his shots so he won't fall much because of one bad game. (Last week: 6)
6. Jordan Mickey
Mickey did not play this week, but we cannot discount him too much. He is still having one of the best freshman seasons so far. Mickey is a big that can do it all, especially defend. He leads all freshmen in blocks at 3.7 per game and ranks 10th nationally (Last week: 5)
5. Aaron Gordon
Arizona did vault to the top of the rankings this week, but it wasn't a good week for Gordon. He posted four points in the only game of the week and shot an abysmal 2-of-10 from the field. Gordon did grab eight boards and is still having one of the better freshman campaigns this season, but he had a bad week. (Last week: 3)
4. Noah Vonleh
Vonleh has struggled so far this season with his shot, but this kid can get to the free throw line. He has the third-most free throw attempts in the Big Ten, and he hits 70 percent of them. Vonleh leads the Big Ten rebounds, and he grabbed 11 boards in his lone game last week while also chipping in 13 points on only five shots. He is going to be a very good player, and he improves with each passing week. (Last week: 7)
3. Andrew Wiggins
Kansas suffered through two losses this week, but none of that can be blamed on Wiggins. He posted a career-high in points in back-to-back games, ending with 26 points against Florida. Wiggins has struggled at times this season, but he is starting to focus more on being an aggressive player and it's working for him. (Last week: 4)
2. Julius Randle
While Kentucky is still trying to figure everything out, one thing is for sure: Julius Randle is not the problem. He is still having a monster freshman campaign and still averaging a double-double. Randle's streak of seven consecutive double-doubles did come to an end and he now has two consecutive games without a double-double, but he has posted a season-high of four assists in back-to-back games. Kentucky will get it all figured out, and when they do Randle will keep chugging along. (Last week: 2)
1. Jabari Parker
Parker not only continues to be the best freshman this season but one of the best in recent memory. He is one of only five freshmen to play more than 25 minutes per game and have a player efficiency rating over 30 since the 2009-10 season -- and one of four if you take out Kyrie Irving since he only played 11 games that season. He only played one game this week. In a win over Michigan he registered 15 points and six rebounds while shooting 50 percent. However, his hold on No. 1 has more to do with the body of work. (Last week: 1)