Sunday, September 24, 2006

Fifty Impact Freshmen


Ever since Carmelo Anthony led Syracuse to a National Championship in 2003, every freshman has looked to "Carmelo-ize" a team or program. This season's crop of newcomers is loaded with players that are going to have step in immediately and have an impact. It is likely, however, that someone not on this list is going to have a huge effect on his new team. That's just how it is; you can't predict what freshmen are going to do.

Point Guard
Tywon Lawson, North Carolina: Quick, athletic PG will start immediately for national title contender.
Javaris Crittenton, Georgia Tech: Provides Yellow Jackets with scoring point guard.
D.J. Augustin, Texas: One of the reasons Daniel Gibson decided to go pro. Will start.
Willie Kemp, Memphis: Pass-first floor leader is a winner who could start right away.
Sherron Collins, Kansas: Athletic scorer will see plenty of minutes off the bench.
Ramar Smith, Tennessee: Combo guard will start next to Chris Lofton to help replace C.J. Watson.
Scottie Reynolds, Villanova: Can play both guard spots, and will help replace last year's group.
Mike Conley, Ohio State: Greg Oden's sidekick will come off the bench this season, but is the PG of the future.
Edgar Sosa, Louisville: Could start immediately in the backcourt with unexpected loss of Brandon Jenkins.
Eric Hayes, Maryland: Will provide Terrapins with the pure PG they have sorely missed lately.

Shooting Guard
Paul Harris, Syracuse: Versatile perimeter play may be best all-around freshman in country.
Daequan Cook, Ohio State: Big-time scorer could make more of an impact than Greg Oden.
Wayne Ellington, North Carolina: Excellent shooter could start for Tar Heels. Top-ranked SG recruit.
Gerald Henderson, Duke: Will swing to the frontcourt for Blue Devils. Does most of his work inside the arc.
Obi Muonelo, Oklahoma State: Good scorer when slashing to the basket. Will see lots of playing time for Cowboys.
Jerome Dyson, Connecticut: Big-time scorer and solid defender could lead the Huskies in scoring.
Jason Bohannon, Wisconsin: Excellent scorer and shooter gives Badgers perimeter depth.
Patrick Beverly, Arkansas: Late signee could start for Razorbacks, who need a guard to step up.
Jon Scheyer, Duke: Outstanding shooter is inevitably--or unfairly--going to be compared to J.J. Redick.
Jodie Meeks/Derrick Jasper, Kentucky: Tandem of guards will form backcourt of the future for the Wildcats.

Small Forward
Kevin Durant, Texas: My choice for National Freshman of the Year will make huge impact for Longhorns.
Thaddeus Young, Georgia Tech: Offensive standout can score inside and outside and will start immediately.
Chase Budinger, Arizona: Lute Olson called him the most talented recruit ever at Arizona. Who am I to disagree?
Earl Clark, Louisville: Versatile wing has well-rounded offensive game and will see plenty of minutes.
Stanley Robinson, Connecticut: Another UConn newcomer with a chance to start. Could be next Husky star.
Tyler Smith, Iowa: Good inside-outside player who is expected to combine with Adam Haluska for solid wing combo.
Quincy Pondexter, Washington: Athletic wing is excellent in open court and will fit in well with Huskies.
Raymar Morgan, Michigan State: Has a chance to come in and lead depleted Spartans in scoring.
Mike Jones, Syracuse: Overshadowed by Paul Harris, but will provide quality depth with his versatility.
David Lighty, Ohio State: Less-heralded than some of his classmates, but he's very athletic and will see time.

Power Forward
Brandan Wright, North Carolina: Yet another top-ranked recruit for the Tar Heels that could start immediately.
Duke Crews, Tennessee: Will provide inside help for Vols, who desperately need post production.
Lance Thomas, Duke: Late signee is an athletic inside-outside forward who will likely start for Coach K.
Damion James, Texas: Combo forward will start next to Kevin Durant, but will be a star in his own right.
Darrell Arthur, Kansas: Inside force who is extremely athletic and will see plenty of minutes.
DeShawn Sims, Michigan: Very good all-around offensive player is difficult to defend around the basket.
Derrick Caracter, Louisville: Extremely talented big man needs to focus on basketball to reach potential.
Vernon Macklin/DaJuan Summers, Georgetown: One of these two needs to step up up front for the Hoyas.
James Keefe, UCLA: Very good rebounder has non-stop motor and will be solid offensive player for Bruins.
Curtis Kelly, Connecticut: Very good inside player has variety of post moves and will push Jeff Adrien for starting spot.

Greg Oden, Ohio State: Best center prospect in decades won't be able to make impact until January.
Spencer Hawes, Washington: Immediately one of the best centers in the West. Has excellent offensive game.
Haseem Thabeet, Connecticut: Yes, another Husky signee. Great defensive prospect will start right away.
Brook Lopez/Robin Lopez, Stanford: Twins will both start inside for Cardinal. Will make immediate impact up front.
Brian Carlwell, Illinois: Solid player on both sides of the ball will see plenty of minutes off the bench.
Jason Bennett, Kansas State: 7-2 big man is an excellent shot-blocker and rebounder who will start.
Tom Herzog, Michigan State: Good shot-blocker will attempt to replace Paul Davis for the Spartans.
Brian Zoubek, Duke: Tough to stop on the interior due to his size and variety of post moves. Will see minutes.
Alex Stepheson/Deon Thompson, North Carolina: Solid big man duo will combine to back-up Tyler Hansbrough and Brandan Wright.
Pierre Niles, Memphis: Is a bull on the interior thanks to his varied offensive game and will see minutes.


  1. Why are they saying that Oden won't make an impact until January? Are there eligibility issues?