The 2012 NCAA Tournament’s Top 5 Freshmen

By: 03.15.12

BRADLEY BEALguard, Florida
A solidly built, 6-4 freshman guard who wears no. 23, Beal’s calling card is the hops his jersey tries to emulate. He averaged 14.6 points per game this season, trailing only Arkansas’ B.J. Young as the best-scoring freshman in the conference. That stands out in a crowded SEC thanks to Kentucky’s freshmen and his own backcourt mates, Erving Walker and Kenny Boynton. He’s raved about for his spot-up shooting and ability to create his own shot, but he also led Florida with 6.5 rebounds. A concern is his safety with the ball, with a nearly 1-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio, but he didn’t have any in the SEC tourney semifinal loss to Kentucky. What else did he do in that game? 20 points, eight rebounds, five assists, a block and a steal. Let’s see if he keeps it up.

Who he reminds me of: Eric Gordon

Who will be the best freshman in this year’s tournament?

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