It’s almost that time of year. Yep, you guessed it: College basketball season is almost here, and it goes without saying this will be the year of the frosh. This year is filled with first-year talents looking to make an impact on their schools. From the likes of Andrew Wiggins to Jabari Parker to the Harrison twins, these studs are looking to make an immediate impact.
Although, there are a bunch of kids looking for a chance to take their team to the next level, there are a few players flying under the radar that deserve attention and will be looked to come in and contribute immediately. Let’s take a look at five of my favorites.
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PG: TYLER ENNIS, Syracuse
With 25 point guards in the ESPN 100 this year, it’s easy to be overlooked with the likes of Andrew Harrison and Kasey Hill in the conversation. But it goes without saying that Tyler Ennis is a stud. The 6-2 Brampton, Ont. native is going to be a vital piece to the Orange this upcoming season.
Ennis has a complete game with a high IQ and will be looked at as an extension of the coaching staff on the floor. Everything from his ability to facilitate using either hand to his composure on the court, Tyler understands how to run a team and will be the type of player his teammates will love to play with.
After Michael Carter-Williams left for the NBA, Tyler will be able to step right in and pick up where MCW left off. It will be interesting to see how well Syracuse will do this year but one thing is for sure: They have a solid point guard that is going to make an impact.
SG: KAMERON WILLIAMS, Ohio State
The incoming Ohio State Buckeye will continue the long tradition of superstar talent out of the Baltimore, Md. area. The 6-3 guard — weighing in at 170 pounds — will have to bulk up a bit to compete day in and day out in the Big 10 but Williams will be a freshman that the fans will appreciate.
Thad Matta is getting a player that has the athletic ability to score whenever he gets the ball in his hands. As one of the top scorers in the Nike Elite Youth Basketball League (EYBL), averaging 22.2 ppg,he was one of the top scorers in this 2013 class. The B-more bred stud will be able to step right in as a freshman and help an Ohio State Buckeyes team that struggled from behind the arc. OSU ranked 241st in the nation in three-point percentage at under 33 percent, so it is evident a scorer like Williams needs to heat it up.
Kameron Williams is not just a three-point shooter, however, but a top-notch scorer that can beat you a number of ways. He can beat you off the dribble with a quick step-back or use his flawless floater. One thing is for sure — he is going to be able to put the ball in the hoop. He’ll also dazzle the Buckeye fans will his leaping ability. Williams can flat-out jump out the gym, and with his scoring ability and three-point efficiency, he’ll be a defender’s worst nightmare this upcoming season.
SF: ISHMAIL WAINRIGHT, Baylor
Man-child. The only word to describe Ishmail Wainright, I’m pretty sure we will hear those words from ESPN anchors all season. With Scott Drew reputation as a player’s coach and letting his players play with freedom while keeping them within the style of Baylor Basketball, it goes without saying Ishmail Wainright will fit right in. This Montrose Christian product by the way of Missouri is Mr. Versatility. The kid can do it all, standing at 6-6 and 220 pounds, he has the size to be one of the most dominant players in the Big 12 at his position.
Wainright can not only dominate on the offensive end with his size, but his willingness to flat out defend will be a terror for opposing scorers. Wainright prides himself on defense and will set out to guard the best player on the opposite team, and with the physique he embodies it means one thing: Trouble.
Mr. Versatility to Baylor will make the fans in Waco rejoice, but most of all he’ll help Baylor continue the program’s recent success.
PG: JAREN SINA, Seton Hall
Another point guard among the class 2013 that is a hidden gem is the Seton Hall commit Jaren Sina. The All-State guard is going to be playing in front of a home crowd this coming season, and will be able to step in and help a struggling Pirates squad.
Sina originally committed to Northwestern University, but after Aquille Carr decided to take his talents overseas, it was as good a chance as any for Jaren to choose to stay home and play for Seton Hall.
You ask what exactly is Seton Hall getting with Sina? Well for starters, he brings knowledge of the game from a point guard’s perspective. Sina will be able to be a facilitator and get his team involved with his accurate passes while being a threat on offense. He also has a knack for getting into the lane and can finish. He will be able to run the show while also getting his buckets. You can bet this freshman is going to give fans something to talk about and opposing coaches headaches.
C: JIMMIE TAYLOR, Alabama
Taylor will be as impactful as any other top-ranked big man in the country. This Crimson Tide signee will help an Alabama team that was ranked 253 in defensive rebounding. Although he is a raw talent, he will be able to add size and help the team on the glass.
Taylor has the ability to be a high-energy big man, and possess the athletic ability and motor on both ends on the floor. The unique left-hander can be a force on the defensive end with his wingspan, as long as he listens to head coach Anthony Grant‘s teachings.
Which freshmen are being overlooked?
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