Top 10 Freshmen in College Basketball — Week 8 Edition
Top 10 Freshmen in College Basketball
The first freshmen rankings of 2014 is also the last ranking before conference play starts going 100 percent. Jabari Parker and Julius Randle continue to light the college basketball word on fire. I'm starting to think that these two might be having the bust dueling freshman season ever. It is almost on the level of Adam Morrison and J.J. Redick in 2006. Parker and Randle have played so well that I don't think it is now a given that Andrew Wiggins will be the No. 1 overall pick.
As good as Parker and Randle have been, there are still plenty of other freshmen who are having great seasons. Tyler Ennis has seemed to get better with each passing week, and has been the best player this season that isn't guaranteed to be a one-and-done player. He has been a steady and calming player for Syracuse, and is the main reason why the Orange are the second best team in the country.
Joel Embiid continues to get better with each passing week, Jordan Mickey keeps on proving that his early season success was not a fluke and that he is a legitimate talent that should be in the discussion as a future lottery pick, Eric Mika might be the most consistent player in the country and Noah Vonleh and Aaron Gordon keep showing why they have both been considered as two of the best players in this year's class.
This year's crop of freshmen is hands down one of the best ever. There is a lot more to get to, so here are the top 10 freshmen in Week 8.
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10. Bobby Portis
Portis is a player that has been on the cusp of the top 10 for the past few weeks, and after his 16 points on 7-9 shooting and nine boards, he could not be left on the outside again. For the season, he is averaging 12.3 points per game and 5.9 rebounds per game, but over his last seven games he is averaging 14.7 points per game, 7.3 rebounds per game and his shooting 63.1 percent. (Last week: NR)
9. Eric Mika
Mika is starting to be the most consistent player in the country. He isn't blowing you away, but he's good for 13 points and seven rebounds almost every night. In two games last week, he averaged 13.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game. (Last week: 9)
8. Aaron Gordon
Gordon did not have a game this past week, but his averages of 12.5 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game are plenty good enough to keep him in the rankings. He slid last week due to a bad game, so I would like to see him put together a good week next week. (Last week: 7)
7. Noah Vonleh
Vonleh didn't have his best shooting night this week (2-6), but still managed to score 16 points because he knows how to get to the free throw line. He averages 6.6 free throw attempts per game in only 22.7 minutes of action. Vonleh also pulled down nine rebounds and had four blocks in his only game this week. (Last week: 5)
6. Andrew Wiggins
Wiggins had another game this week that make you realize why he is the consensus No. 1 pick. In Kansas' lone game this week, Wiggins scored 20 points and shot 50 percent after three straight games below 50 percent shooting. This is what we expect from Wiggins, but we need to see it more consistently before he moves up any higher. (Last week: 8)
5. Jordan Mickey
Mickey had a slow week this week. In LSU's only game, he had 11 points and seven rebounds. That is not the type of state line we have grown accustomed to seeing from Mickey, but it was only one game. He is still one of the best freshman in college basketball this season (Last week: 3)
4. Joel Embiid
Embiid continues to get better with each passing week. Some scouts think he has the highest potential of any player in college basketball, and as he keeps improving, it's not hard to see why. This week Embiid registered another double-double, scoring 14 points and grabbing 10 boards, and he also threw in three blocks. (Last week: 6)
3. Tyler Ennis
Ennis is turning into one of the best floor generals in the league. He doesn't put up quite as many points as other freshmen and he isn't a one-and-done player, but he only has 15 turnovers in 13 games. He is a steady leader and makes everyone on the floor better. This week he led Syracuse over Villanova with a 20-point outing. Then against Eastern Michigan, he took a break on scoring and dished out nine assists. (Last week: 4)
2. Julius Randle
Randle had a big test this week when he played against the NBA-caliber big men of Louisville, and he rose to the occasion. Randle had 17 points on 7-8 shooting, and grabbed three boards. He wasn't as dominant as he has been this season, but he did not disappoint against stiff competition. (Last week: 2)
1. Jabari Parker
With the non-conference schedule winding down, players like Parker don't see too much action. Parker is averaging 30.8 minutes per game, but played 23 and 27 minutes in two games this week. Even with limited duty he still managed to average 17.5 points and 9.0 rebounds on the week. (Last week: 1)