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An intersection of hyped freshmen and actual performance


Mike Miller

We’ve reached that point of the season where hype has either faded from touted freshmen or they’ve lived up to their billing (or come close). Guys like Anthony Davis or Michael Kidd-Gilchrist of Kentucky or Indiana’s Cody Zeller are the former. Freshmen like Oklahoma State’s LeBryan Nash and Arizona’s Josiah Turner fit the latter description.

But how have all these freshmen stacked up against each other?

The guys over at have been tracking this for a while (worth your time), but I like this post from John Gasaway at Basketball Prospectus a little more. Why? It shines the spotlight on 25 guys, not just 10. That means there are sure to be some names on the list with which you’re not familiar.

An example? Maine’s Justin Edwards:

If you’re looking for a freshman who’s not only put up good individual stats but has also had a tangible impact on his team, Edwards is as good a guy to start with as any. The Black Bears weren’t supposed to pose any particular threat to the likes of Vermont and Stony Brook in this year’s America East, but that expectation may require revisiting. With Edwards acting like a grizzled veteran alongside grizzled veterans Gerald McLemore and Alasdair Fraser, head coach Ted Woodward has an excellent three-headed scoring monster at his disposal. Woodward gave the freshman shots right away, and the 6-3 Canadian responded with 20 or more points in five of his first six collegiate games.

There are plenty of familiar names as well – Davis, Zeller and Kidd-Gilchrist occupy the top three spots --but when you can read about Spencer Dinwiddie’s shooting influence for Colorado and Anthony Drmic doing the same for Boise State, you walk away a little smarter.

Kinda like Luke Winn’s power rankings.

You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.