College Basketball’s Freshman Superlatives
College basketball is less than two months away, but it’s not too early to start thinking about who’s going to run the show this year. Also, many of you know that I covered this class very deeply this past year and I’m very excited to see what they can contribute to the college game this year. So, here are some of my predictions:
Best Scorer: Markelle Fultz (Washington)
How successful the Washington Huskies are this season will solely depend on how productive Fultz is. Fultz has arguably the best pull up jumper in all of college basketball, and he is also very athletic in transition. Those two things combined with the fact that Washington will rely on him to get a bucket whenever they need one, make him the best scorer out of the freshman class.
Runner Up: Malik Monk (Kentucky)
Many believe that Monk is the future NBA star in this class. While, I think he is a great player, I don’t know if I would go that far. But, he can definitely score the ball with the best. His pullup jumper is deadly and Coach Cal and co. will rely on that for some big points this year.
Best Rebounder: Bam Adebayo (Kentucky)
If you don’t know Bam, it’s only a matter of time before he becomes a household name. I’m confident that Bam is the next star “big man” to come out of Lexington. He is 260 pounds of all muscle, which makes him a beast on the boards. His game and appearance reminds me of a young Dwight Howard. He still needs to add a little to his face up game, but on the boards, Bam will be unstoppable and relentless.
Runner Up: Jarrett Allen (Texas)
I’m just going to be straight up, Allen doesn’t look like a dominant big man at all, but he is the definition of “don’t judge a book by its cover.” Allen is your traditional big man, a great rebounder and he has a very effective mid range jumper, he should be a solid contributor for Shaka Smart.
Best Shooter: Frank Jackson (Duke)
What separates Jackson’s jumpshot from the rest of the class is his elevation. His jumpshot is so pure and he can always get it off, even with defenders in his face. Jackson doesn’t always get to show off his jumpshot
because he is relied on to be the point guard for whatever team he is playing for, but you definitely do not want to give Jackson an open look, because he will make you pay.
Runner Up: Andrew Jones (Texas)
In my opinion, Jones has the smoothest jump shot in the entire class. During my interview with him, I mentioned his “Unlimited range” and all he could do was laugh, because he knew it was true. Shaka and his staff will have a lot of fun running Jones off screens and giving him quick hitters over the course of his career in Austin.
Best All Around Player: Josh Jackson (Kansas)
Josh Jackson simply does it all–he rebounds, he scores, he passes and he is a leader on the court…there’s nothing he doesn’t do. I think he is going to fit really well in Bill Self’s system because he doesn’t need the ball to be effective. The same play style made Andrew Wiggins look good enough to be the number one pick, so I think Jackson should be really productive this year.
Runner Up: Jayson Tatum (Duke)
In my opinion, the only thing keeping Tatum from becoming the best player in this class is his jumpshot, he really improved his mid-range game but is still not a very good 3 point shooter. But, other than that, he has great speed and athleticism for his size and is very capable of creating his own mid range shot.
Many experts have said this is the best class in years. In fact, watch them in college now because most of these guys will be one and done, so in a blink these are your NBA stars. It will be a battle of talent for Kentucky and Duke this year (more on that another time)…but keep an eye on this freshman class because the talent is deep.
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