For years college basketball fans used to say that kids just out of high school are not ready to play or contribute to a college basketball program in their first season. The prevailing attitude was even set in stone by the NCAA when freshmen were not allowed to join the varsity squad. It wasn’t until the 1972-73 season that this was overturned and schools were allowed to have freshmen play on the varsity squad.

How things have changed in college basketball. Now we find solid programs counting on the very talented freshmen to help win games. The crux of this success has to come from the amount of time, games and effort players, and their parents, put into AAU basketball and other programs like it. Now the players get 50-75 games on their schedule and travel all over the country and some to foreign lands. Often, the crowds are very large in arenas throughout the land and the kids are now thinking it is no big deal to suit up for a college game as s freshman.

College Basketball Top Freshmen in 2020-2021

15- Moses Moody – Arkansas

Moody was a four star recruit that chose the Razorbacks over Virginia and Michigan. He is consider one of he best shooting guards in his class. He was a star at Montverde High School in Florida and as a senior. During his teams undefeated year, he averaged 11.6 point per game with just over 3 rebounds and 1.8 assists per contest. He chose Arkansas chiefly because before he transferred to Montverde has was a standout freshman player at Parkview Arts and Science Magnet High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. His sophomore year he transferred to North Little Rock High School. His choice of college brings him closer to home.

College Basketball freshman14- Bryce Thompson – Kansas

At 6’5″ and 144 lbs, Thompson ended his college basketball recruitment by choosing the Kansas Jayhawks  over offers from Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and North Carolina. He was ranked as the 20th best recruit in the nation and came out of Booker T. Washington High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He led his team to a state runner-up in his freshman and sophomore seasons and led them to titles in his last two seasons which garnered him being named Gatorade Player of the Year in consecutive season. He averaged 25.1 points per game with 5.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists. Instead of staying in his home state, he stated that he liked a winning program in Kansas and coach Bill Self.

 

13- Nimari Burnett – Texas Tech

Burnett started his high school career in Chicago playing on the same team at Morgan Park High School with Ayo Dosunmu. Together they won the Class 3A state title in which he scored 20 points. He moved west for his sophomore season and enrolled at San Joaquin Memorial High School in Fresno. He broke his hand that season and was out for five weeks. He had a very successful summer season and the notices kept coming. During his senior year he played at Prolific High School and averaged 25.5 points, 6.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game. This 6’5″ shooting guard chose Texas Tech over several California schools.

12- Mousse Cisse – Memphis

He was born in Guinea and lived there playing soccer until he moved to New York. At 6’10” he began playing basketball at St Benedict’s Prep School in Newark, NJ. He transferred to Chris the King Regional High School in Queens and was a teammate of Kofi Cockburn who plays for the University of Illinois. As many top players, he again transferred to Memphis for his junior year where he led his team to a Division II state championship and was named MVP with 15 points and 10 boards in the title contest. He is a five star recruit and a possible top 10 in the nation. He graduated erly from high school and eventually announced he would play for Penny Hardaway at Memphis University with former teammate Precious Achiuwa.

11- Greg Brown – Texas

Brown spent his entire high school career at Vandegrift High School in Austin, Texas. at 6’9″ and a power forward and a five star recruit, he had many offers including a professional career. He recorded a triple-double in his freshman season when he had 15 points with 14 boards and 18 blocks in one game. He averaged 17 points during the freshman year. He bumped it up to 27.4 points, 12.3 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game in the sophomore year His junior he sported over 30 points per game and was Texas Player of the Year his senior season with 26 points per game. He chose the Texas Longhorns and coach Shaka Smart over top programs such as Kansas, Auburn, Kentucky, Memphis, and Michigan among others

 

College Basketball Top 10 Freshmen

10- Jaden Springer – Tennessee

He was a=offered a scholarship after his freshman sasonand eventually had his final three choices as Michigan, Memphis and the Volunteers. He went back to where he started in Tennessee. He started varsity hoops as an eighth grader at Lighthouse Christian School in Antioch, TN. He led the team with 19 points per game. He played for Rocky River in Mint Hill, NC his freshman and sophomore years when he put up nearly 25 per game. Then he landed at the prestigious IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida which was one of the best teams in the nation. He averages over 15 points, four rebounds and four assists and scored 26 points against powerhouse Montverde Academy his senior season. He was selected as  McDonald’s All-American.

9- Caleb Love – North Carolina

This 6’4″ guard will be playing in the ACC next year as he committed to North Carolina. He chose them over Missouri, Louisville and Kansas. He played his high school basketball at Christian Brothers High School in St Louis. In his junior year he put up over 18 point per game and twice scored over 40 points in a game. He was named a McDonald’s All American after averaging 26.3 points, 6.5 boards, 3.1 assists and 2.6 steals per game in his season. He was Gatorade Player of the Year in Missouri.

college basketball8- Zaire Williams – Stanford

He was the number one recruit from the small forward position at 6’8″ and 185 lbs. The first three years of high school he attended Notre Dam High School in Sherman Oaks, CA. He average 6.5 rebounds and 13.6 points as a freshman player. During his sophomore season he received an injury that sidelined him from high school basketball but thrived during his club season. He was named the Los Angeles Daily News athlete of the week after scoring more than 34 points twice in consecutive games. During that season he was responsible for 27 points along with three assists and 10 boards per contest. His senior year saw him transfer to a high profile basketball team where he was teammates of Bronny James and Zaire Wade ( their fathers are LeBron James and Dwayne Wade) and he joined fellow five star recruit BJ Boston.He put up 5 points per game and 7.9 assists per contest. In his recruitment he chose Stanford over UCLA, North Carolina, Arizona and USC.

7- Jalen Suggs – Gonzagu

He has been traveling around playing basketball since he was seven years old. He got a few games of junior varsity experience as a seventh grader and averaged 17.5 points per game as an eighth grader of the varsity team. He competed at Minnehaha Academy in St Paul, MN and as a freshman put up 21.5 points and eight boards along with five assists per game. His sophomore season he averaged 16 points and helped his team win their third consecutive state championship. Then in his shortened senior he averaged 23.3 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. He had offers form Florida, Florida State, Minnesota and Iowa among mny others but as a five star recruit he chose to play for coach Mark Few and Gonzaga.

6- Terrence Clarke – Kentucky

He is considered a five-star recruit and one of the best shooting guards in the Class of 2020. He completed his high basketball senior season at Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, NH. Among the many offers he got it was narrowed down to Boston College, Duke, Memphis, Texas Tech, and UCLA and his choice of the Kentucky Wildcats.

College Basketball Top 5 Freshmen

5- Jalen Johnson – Duke

Johnson spent the first two seasons at Sun Prairie High School  in Wisconsin where he averaged 15.2 points as a freshman along with 6.2 boards and 2.1 assists. The next year season he added his numbers by putting up 18.4 points per game with 9.6 rebounds and 4 assists per contest. His team won the state tournament that year. He transferred to Nicolet High School in Glendale, Wisconsin and led them to a state championship and was named Associated Press Player of the Year in the State of Wisconsin. From there, he headed to Florida and became a player at IMG Academy but returned home to Nicolet after being ruled ineligible. HE averaged 24.6 points and grabbed over 10 rebounds per game in nine games. HE had offers from all over the college landscape and narrowed it down to Kentucky, Wisconsin, Arizona and Duke. He will play for Coach K and the Blue Devils this year.

college basketball4- Scottie Barnes – Florida State

He began his high school career at Cardinal Newman High School in West Palm Beach, Florida and as a freshman was named MaxPreps Freshman All-American. His sophomore year he went to Fort Lauderdale at played at NSU University School  and helped lead his to to a 36-2 record and the 5A state title. During the summer season he averaged over 21 points per game. As a junior, he again led the team to a state title and a 27-5 record. For his final year at high school he moved on to national powerhouse Montverde Academy  where his team went 23-0 and he averaged 11.6 points per game in limited minutes. After mulling over his recruitment, he turned down Miami, Oregon and Kentucky and chose to attend Florida State.

3- BJ Boston – Kentucky

At 6’7″ and 181 lbs, Boston was a five-star recruit. He started his high school career in Georgia at Norcross High Schol where he averaged 18.4 points per game and 5.4 boards per contest. He transferred to Sierra Canyon School near Los Angeles to complete his high school basketball career (teammates of Bronny James and Zaire Wade). In his final year he gathered 5.4 rebounds per game and averaged 18.4 points per contest. He was selected to play in the 2020 McDonald’s All-American Game that eventually was cancelled due to COVID. He was offered from many of th top collegite schools in the country and chose to further his basketball fortunes playing for the Kentucky Wildcats.

2- Evan Mobley – USC

At 7’0″ he was one of the 3 best recruits in the nation. He grew up playing basketball with his brother Isaiah. Their father was a former basketball player and coach all of their lives. Evan was 6’4″ as an eighth grader and took a keen interest in the game as it rewarded him with plenty of success.  He played high school hoops at Rancho Christian School in Temecula, CA. He and his brother were teammates for three seasons and were very successful.

In his junior year he put up 19.2 points, 104 boards and 5.2 blocks per contest. He was selected and California Gatorade Player of the Year. The final year of high school he averaged 20.5 points, 10.2 rebounds, 5.2 blocks and 4.6 assists per game. Again he was named Gatorade Player of the Year. He received the National honor of being Morgan Wooten National Player of the Year. His recruitment was rathr easy for him due to his father was hired as an assistant coach at USC in 2018. Then his brother Isaiah, in 2019. chose the Trojans as his school. Now Evan plays again with his brother and has a father as an assistant.

1- Cade Cunningham – Oklahoma State

This young man is expected to possibly be the #1 pick in the 2021 NBA draft. But before that happens he has a freshman season to college basketball to play. He was born in Arlington Texas and was a quarterback on the football team for most of his life.  He attended Bowie High School and became a starter as a freshman on the varsity basketball team. In the initial year he averaged 15.1 points along with 6.4 boards and three assists per contest. He played limited time during his sophomore season as he broke a bone in his hand but still put up over 18 points per game. He was named to the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches All-Region honors team.

In his senior season he transferred to Montverde High School in Florida and led them to a 25-0 season. He was named Naismith {rep Player of the Year and MaxPreps National Player of th Year. He received offers from programs of stature such as North Carolina, Duke and Kentucky among the list of many. he chose Oklahoma State after the Cowboys hired his brother Cannen as an assistant. In June 2020, the NCAA imposed a postseason ban on Oklahoma State, however Cunningham announced on June 22 that he was still attending Oklahoma State rather than attend the NBA G League or another college. He is likely to play one season and commit for the NBA.

 

 

Just missed (no particular order)

  • RJ Steward – Duke
  • Cam Thomas – LSU
  • Marcus Bagley – Arizona State
  • Doug Askew – Duke
  • Adam Miller – Illinois
  • Khristian Lander – Indiana
  • Keon Johnson – Tennessee
  • Sharife Cooper – Auburn
  •  Jeremy Roach- Duke
  • Josh Christopher – Arizona State

 

 

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