Thursday, October 9, 2008

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.
(Note: Players aren’t in a ranking format—it’s just a listing.)

Point Guard

Jrue Holiday, UCLA:
Will likely play off the ball with Darren Collison returning to handle point guard duties for the Bruins.

Tyreke Evans, Memphis: Supremely talented scorer, Evans will immediately be the go-to scorer for Tigers.
Willie Warren, Oklahoma: He is very athletic and can get to the rim; will combine with Blake Griffin for great inside-outside duo.
Kemba Walker, Connecticut: He might be good enough to move A.J. Price to the wing; can really get to the rim.
Iman Shumpert, Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets need someone to take control of the ball; Shumpert could be that guy.
Jerime Anderson, UCLA: If Collison gets injured at any point this season, Anderson might be thrust into the starting lineup.
DeAndre Liggins, Kentucky: The Wildcats are in need of a point guard, and Liggins will be fighting for a starting spot.
Courtney Fortson, Arkansas: With the Razorbacks losing nearly everyone from last year, Fortson will get a chance to make plays.
Tyshawn Taylor, Kansas: Combo guard who originally signed with Marquette, Taylor will get a chance to start next to Sherron Collins.
Jordan Theodore, Seton Hall: Extremely quick point guard, Theodore might be able to push Eugene Harvey to the wing.

Shooting Guard

Demar DeRozan, USC: Will replace O.J. Mayo at the two-guard spot for the Trojans; might make as big of an impact of him.

Scotty Hopson, Tennessee: Big-time recruit for the Volunteers, he might become the go-to-guy on the perimeter for Bruce Pearl.
Elliot Williams, Duke: Just the kind of player the Blue Devils need in the backcourt, Williams will fight for a starting spot immediately.
William Buford, Ohio State: The Buckeyes need scorers on the perimeter, and Buford will get every chance to start right away.
Malcolm Lee, UCLA: One of three highly-rated Bruin perimeter recruits, Lee will be a valuable back-up on the wing.
Sylven Landesberg, Virginia: Really came on late in his high school career, Landesberg will be a go-to-guy for the Cavaliers.
Mike Rosario, Rutgers: A very good offensive player, Rosario will be counted on to provide perimeter scoring.
Klay Thompson, Washington State: An underrated recruit, Thompson needs to step in and replace the departed Kyle Weaver.
Devoe Joseph, Minnesota: A sought-after Canadian recruit, Joseph will have a chance to start in the backcourt right away.
Sean Mosley, Maryland: The Terrapins have absolutely no frontcourt production, so they will count on Mosley’s scoring at guard.

Small Forward

Al-Farouq Aminu, Wake Forest:
Might be the most talented freshmen in the ACC, and will get make an impact immediately.

Devin Ebanks, West Virginia: Late signee will replace Joe Alexander at forward; needs to become go-to scorer.
Delvon Roe, Michigan State: Combo forward creates match-up problems with his ability to score in a variety of ways.
Chris Singleton, Florida State: Could start right away for Seminoles. Singleton can handle both forward spots, and can really play.
DeQuan Jones, Miami (Fl.): The Hurricanes are looking to make noise come March, and Jones will be a major reason why.
Nate Miles, Connecticut: If Miles is not expelled from school, he will start immediately at the three for Jim Calhoun and co.
Anthony Jones, Baylor: The Bears rely heavily on their perimeter; Jones has the height and skill set to make an impact up front.
Wesley Witherspoon, Memphis: Another late signee, Witherspoon shot up the rankings late in the year. Will get minutes early.
Tony Mitchell, Alabama: Might get a chance to combine with Alonzo Gee on the wing; they would form a very solid perimeter tandem.
Darius Taylor, Kentucky: The Wildcats could always use scorers on the wing, and Taylor has the ability to play right away.

Power Forward

Samardo Samuels, Louisville:
Could make the biggest impact of any recruit in the country, as he will step in immediately down low.

Greg Monroe, Georgetown: His job is to replace Roy Hibbert up front; it’s no small task, but he will be up to it.
Jamychal Green, Alabama: With the loss of Richard Hendrix, it will be up to Green to handle the inside duties for the Tide.
Ed Davis/Tyler Zeller, North Carolina: Although neither will start right away, they will push Deon Thompson for time up front.
Luke Babbitt, Nevada: A former Ohio State signee, Babbitt is going to be one of the most productive freshman in the country.
Ater Majok, Connecticut: Whenever he becomes eligible, he will become a vital bench player for Jim Calhoun.
Yancy Gates, Cincinnati: The Bearcats have one of the more underrated frontcourts in the Big East; Gates is a part of it.
Eloy Vargas, Florida: The Gators need to replace Marreese Speights down low; Vargas could be an option.
Marcus Morris/Markieff Morris, Kansas: Two highly-touted twins. Marcus is more of a combo forward, while Markieff bangs down low.
Kevin Jones, West Virginia: An excellent inside-outside player, Jones can create match-up problems offensively.


B.J. Mullens, Ohio State:
Yet another top-notch center recruit for Thad Matta, Mullens will be one of the best in the country.

J'Mison Morgan, UCLA: One piece to arguably the best recruiting class in the country, Morgan could start immediately down low.
Tony Woods/Ty Walker, Wake Forest: Both of these players will battle for minutes immediately inside; one may start.
Terrence Jennings, Louisville: Samuels will get all of the attention, but Jennings will also make an impact in the frontcourt.
Howard Thompkins, Georgia: The Bulldogs have some options on the perimeter, but Thompkins could be a go-to player down low.
Kenny Kadji, Florida: The young Gators need consistency down low, and Kadji will get opportunities to perform inside.
Michael Dunigan, Oregon: The Ducks lost a lot of production from last season, and Dunigan might start from Day One in the paint.
Jeff Withey, Arizona: Withey could be the missing piece to the Arizona frontcourt next to Chase Budinger and Jordan Hill.
Greg Echenique, Rutgers: Originally a 2009 recruit, Echenique was able to get eligible for this season. He will get minutes off the bat.
Henry Sims, Georgetown: Although Monroe will get first crack at replacing Hibbert, Sims is no slouch around the rim.

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