Thursday, October 15, 2009

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

John Wall, Kentucky:
 The best freshman in the country, the arrival of Wall is the reason Kentucky is a title contender.

Abdul Gaddy, Washington: Gaddy will team with Isaiah Thomas in one of the nation's best backcourt tandems.
Mfon Udofia, Georgia Tech: Not as well-known as the players in front of him, Udofia is a terrific passer and playmaker.
Tommy Mason-Griffin, Oklahoma: He will likely have to start immediately in the backcourt next to Willie Warren.
Eric Bledsoe, Kentucky: Overshadowed by Wall at the point, Bledsoe is capable of playing in a two-point guard backcourt.
Peyton Siva, Louisville: Edgar Sosa has never been able to lock down the starting spot, and Siva will push him more than ever.
Brandon Triche, Syracuse: I was never an enormous fan of Triche in high school, but the 'Cuse coaches are raving about him.
Maalik Wayns, Villanova: If the Wildcats weren't so loaded with guards, Wayns might be one of the best freshmen in the conference.
Dexter Strickland, North Carolina: If Larry Drew doesn't cut it at the point, Strickland will have to step in and run the show.
Chris Colvin, Iowa State: A physical guard who can get into the lane, Colvin will form an excellent inside-outside duo with Craig Brackins.

Shooting Guard

Avery Bradley, Texas: Will immediately become one of the best defenders in the country and an All-American candidate.

Kenny Boynton, Florida: One of my favorite players in high school, Boynton is a big-time scorer who can fill it up from all over.
Michael Snaer, Florida State: With the loss of Toney Douglas, Snaer needs to step in and be the go-to-guy immediately.
John Jenkins, Vanderbilt: Jenkins is undoubtedly the best pure shooter coming into college basketball; he will make an impact.
Andre Dawkins, Duke: The 2010 prospect reclassified to be able to play this season; he could be starting before we know it.
Dominic Cheek, Villanova: A versatile perimeter player, Cheek will find a way to get minutes despite the loaded 'Nova backcourt.
Maurice Creek, Indiana: When he gets hot, he is difficult to stop offensively. Creek could step in and start immediately. 
D.J. Richardson, Illinois: One of several solid Illini recruits, Richardson will fit in very well with Illinois' system at both ends.
Nolan Dennis, Baylor: Former Memphis recruit will fill the void left by the departures of Curtis Jerrells and Henry Dugat.
Roberto Nelson, Oregon State: The Beavers are a sleeper in the Pac-10 this season, and Nelson is a major reason why.

Small Forward

Jordan Hamilton, Texas:
 A big-time playmaker and scorer, Hamilton is going to be one of the best players in the Big 12.

Xavier Henry, Kansas: An offensive force, Henry will likely start immediately on the wing for national champion favorites.
Lance Stephenson, Cincinnati: Despite off-court and attitude problems, Stephenson will be an immediate scorer for the Bearcats.
Durand Scott, Miami (Fl.): He can play either wing spot and will be one of the better defenders in the ACC right away.
Tyler Honeycutt, UCLA: If he is fully recovered from injury, Honeycutt will have a chance to get playing time from day one.
Rodney Williams, Minnesota: The long and athletic forward can finish at the rim with the best of them. Highlight-reel player.
Solomon Hill, Arizona: Will all the losses the Wildcats endured, Hill will likely start on the wing for Sean Miller and co.
Jamil Wilson, Oregon: He is a very versatile perimeter player who is capable of scoring in a variety of ways offensively.
Noel Johnson, Clemson: The Tigers have some holes on the wings due to departures, and Johnson will make an impact.
Jamaal Combs-McDaniel: If Stanley Robinson plays the 4, Coombs-McDaniel has a chance to pick up minutes on the wing.

Power Forward

Derrick Favors, Georgia Tech:
 A top-five high school prospect, Favors has a chance to be an All-American as a frosh.

Renardo Sidney, Mississippi State: If he is ever cleared to play, Sidney is easily one of the most talented big men in the country.
Dante Taylor, Pittsburgh: The Panthers are in dire need of a go-to-guy up front, and Taylor is athletic enough to fill that spot.
John Henson, North Carolina: A match-up nightmare for opponents, the 6-10 Henson can swing to the small forward spot too.
Royce White, Minnesota: A prized recruit for Tubby Smith, White is very tough around the basket and can also shoot the three.
Milton Jennings, Clemson: Jennings will likely team with returnee Trevor Booker to form a dynamite interior duo.
Thomas Robinson, Kansas: Robinson is a fantastic rebounder inside who will see minutes behind the Morris twins at forward.
Ryan Kelly, Duke: The Blue Devils are going to be a frontcourt-heavy team this year, and Kelly is a talented face-up four.
Wally Judge, Kansas State: The Wildcats need someone to provide balance on the interior, and Judge is exactly that guy.
Hollis Thompson, Georgetown: Wtih DaJuan Summers entering the NBA Draft, Thompson has a chance to be a contributor.


DeMarcus Cousins, Kentucky: A big-time recruit, Cousins will start immediately down low next to Patrick Patterson.

Keith "Tiny" Gallon, Oklahoma: Gallon will be Blake Griffin's replacement down low, and is a tough match-up despite his size.
Alex Oriakhi, Connecticut: A very good interior scorer and rebounder, Oriakhi will compete for a starting spot in the paint.
Moupthau Yarou, Villanova: The Wildcats need someone to step up down low, and Yarou is active and athletic for a big man.
Aaric Murray, La Salle: Will immediately be one of the best big men in the Atlantic-10, and is a key to the Explorers' season.
Zeke Marshall, Akron: Fantastic defender and shot-blocker had several big-time offers and will be a star in the MAC for the Zips.
Kyryl Natyazhko, Arizona: A spring signee, Natayazhko is a versatile big man who will get a chance to showcase his entire game.
Daniel Orton, Kentucky: If not for the logjam of talent for the Wildcats inside, Orton would be getting much more pub right now.
James Padgett/Jordan Williams, Maryland: These two freshmen will need to contribute immediately down low for the Terps.
Rashanti Harris, Georgia State: A high-major prospect, Harris is an athletic and talented big man who will make an impact in the CAA.


  1. If you are going to select Fifty Impact Freshmen, you should at least make a SPECIAL LIST for FRESHMEN outside of the BIG 6 Conferences. Here's an impact prediction for you. The BIG 6 Conferences will no longer dominate the BASKETBALL LANDSCAPE in the next 5 to 10 years. ITS OVER! Too much PARITY all over the Country.

  2. Rashanti Harris is hoping to enroll at Georgia State in the 2nd semester (starting in December).

    Thanks for giving GState some pub. And check out to come chat about all things Georgia State.