4 Fab Freshmen
Anthony Hicky, PG, LSU â€“ The Tigers are still trying to find their identity, and this weekend realized they might find it by looking down. Standing 5-11, Hickey had a breakout weekend at the Charleston (S.C.) Classic, finishing with 17 points, seven boards, four assists and three steals against Western Kentucky, and 20 points and four dimes against Georgia Tech.
Jabari Brown, SG, Oregon â€“ Unfortunately for the Ducks, odds are Brown will be unleashing his fab-ness at another school. The most hyped recruit of head coach Dana Altman‘s tenure was supposed to help lead an Oregon resurgence in the Pac-12, but yesterday it was announced that Brown had quit the team two games into the season. Altman says he wants Brown back, but even if he does change his mind, how will his teammates take to allowing a quitter back into the fold?
Kevin Pangos & Gary Bell, Gonzaga â€“ After Coach K‘s historic 903rd victory, Pangos and his 903 three-pointers (maybe it was more like nine) against Washington State was arguably the second-biggest storyline from ESPN’s 24-hour college hoops tip-off. Pangos came back closer to Earth this weekend with a 12-point, three-steal effort against Hawaii, while Bell added 14 points on four triples. They weren’t the most hyped freshman backcourt in the country, but by the end of the year, Pangos and Bell may be the best.
Tahj Tate, SG, Delaware State â€“ One day back in my early years at the Dime office, a DVD showed up in the mail. It was a homemade highlight reel of a middle-school ballplayer â€”not something uncommon to find its way to Dime HQ â€” that became famous among the crew more for its production value than its content. The kid was nicknamed “Freeze-Pop,” and his people had gone all-out with promotion and bells and whistles; there was even a clothing line centered on the kid, who seemed on the fast track to becoming the next Hot Sauce. But I kept track of Freeze-Pop, and years later he’s resurfaced as plain ol’ Tahj Tate, getting BUCKETS at Delaware State. The 6-4 freshman dropped 29 points on Notre Dame over the weekend and is averaging 22.0 points this season.