5 Freshman who will be watched

Several freshman were key on last year's major contenders. John Wall and Xavier Henry both were on teams that snagged #1 seeds. Lance Stephenson kept his team in the Big Dance race right up until the last meeting. Several other freshman were also key. What freshman can the fans expect to notice this year? Take a look.


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1. Harrison Barnes, North Carolina
Barnes was considered the top recruit in America throughout the season by both rivals150 and Espn recruiting rankings. He's a 6'7 SF who can score in the paint but also score points outside the perimeter. He’s definitely going to get tons of recognition this season, mainly because of where North Carolina finished last season. After starting the season in the top 5, the Tarheels finished it by losing the NIT championship game to Dayton. Although the Tarheels did lose Ed Davis, they are going to be somewhat better this season. Which makes Barnes looks even better. If he can get this team a top 10 seed in March, he could be looked at as player of the year.

2. Brandon Knight, Kentucky
John Wall is ancient news in Lexington these days. The Big Blue faithful are preparing for the new freshies to come in and make their mark. Among them, Point guard Brandon Knight and big man Enes Kanter are two major standouts. Both are top ten recruits. But only one has to take over the floor which was run last year by the #1 NBA draft pick. Which is why Knight is on this list here. He has to take over for a team that lost a total of three games but five first round draft picks. If Calipari can keep him in line, he’ll be loved just as much as John Wall was.

3. Fabricio de Melo, Syracuse
I'm just gonna put it out there right now that I love this kid's name as well as his game. Melo is a beast on the interior. Although Jim Boeheim is known for his raising of guards, he did put forwards Carmelo Anthony, Hakim Warrick and Wesley Johnson in the NBA. Melo is a guy who will likely be a starter and will be able to fall right into place with veteran point guard Scoop Jardine. He’s also one of the few freshman big men who will be gaining attention this season with all the guards running around. With Johnson having departed to the NBA, Melo will get tons of attention this year.

4. Jared Sullinger, Ohio State
Thad Matta got B.J. Mullens into the NBA. Thad Matta got Kosta Koufos into the NBA. Thad Matta got Greg Oden into..... well, he got him to come to Ohio State. Oden got himself into the Association where he’s on the injured list these days. But still, two out of three isn’t bad. So why wouldn’t one of the top big men in a wonderful recruiting class not want to come to a school where he can contribute and also get a shot at the NBA? With Evan Turner having gone pro, this year’s Ohio State team will be a lot more distributed talent than we’ve seen since Oden/Conley/Cook were running the show. Sullinger should be able to fit in to the system and if he plays ball right, should be a lottery pick in next year’s draft.

5. Josh Selby, Kansas
In a recruiting class with only him and Royce Woolridge, Selby could be the most important recruit in the country. After Kansas, who was #1 in the country for most of last season, lost Sherron Collins due to graduation, they had to get Selby to commit so they could have a player who could be the new floor general in Phog Allen Fieldhouse. Selby is that kind of player. He has the tenacity needed to take over this game and keep this team from falling too far in the Big 12. All he has to do is stay focused and he should be the next John Wall.

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