If not for the NCAA decision to require high school athletes to go to college for one year, this list wouldn’t be so special. Most of these kids would be riding pine for an NBA team, with a serious bank account and a new house for mom. I guess it’s a moot point now.
With one of the best freshman classes in recent memory, college basketball is going to be real strong this season. Let’s take a quick look at some of college basketball’s Finest Freshmen:
OJ Mayo, USC
The most heralded of the group, look for OJ to make a huge splash with the Trojans this season. He’s a superb scorer who can get hot in a hurry and absolutely dominate a game. OJ sees the court really well and has a very pure shooting stroke. You won’t get much emotion out of OJ on the court, but he apparently chose USC to display his personality off of it. If you haven’t read this story, it’s a must... OJ chooses USC.
One thing to note, OJ has been on the map for as long as I can remember, so if you’re expecting another LeBron, don’t. OJ doesn’t have the explosiveness to be a superstar at the pro level.
Eric Gordon, Indiana
Hoosier fans are going to be extremely happy to see Eric Gordon wearing cream and crimson this season. After originally verbally committing to Illinois, Gordon had a change of heart and decided to take his game to Bloomington, Indiana.
Plain and simple, Eric Gordon is a scorer. He plays an attacking style on offense, continuously taking the ball to the bucket, fending off contact with his muscular frame. He has great athletic ability and solid range on his jumper.
At 6’4 Gordon is still a tweener, so he might be forced to stick around IU for a few years to improve his point guard skills. Otherwise, this marriage will be short lived.
There is not a faster player in college basketball right now than Derrick Rose. When the ball is in his hands, he is gone and if you blink you might miss him.
Rose is a tremendous athlete that can throw it down with the best of them, but he’s also a natural point guard with great court vision. His jumper could use some consistency, but other than that Rose is the complete package.
With the NBA draft only 8 months away, I doubt Rose is even unpacking. Done, locked, he’s gone.
Kyle Singler, Duke
Kyle is a perfect fit for the Blue Devils. He is extremely competitive and plays with a no fear attitude that will quickly make him a fan favorite. He is also very versatile. At 6’8, Kyle can not only bang with the big guys inside, but he has the ability to step outside and stroke from deep.
I’m picturing him now smacking the court at Cameron Indoor. You can expect to see him at Duke for the next few years, by choice more than anything.
Kevin Love, UCLA
Love is going to be a force at UCLA. He has a great attitude, always shows up to compete, and he gets the job done.
Love does a great job using his body to shield off the opposition. He is extremely active down low and has the ability to step out and hit the mid range jumper. His footwork is better than most pros and he can probably teach a course on outlet passing... Complete Kevin Love scouting report.
Love’s lack of athletic ability will inhibit him as he attempts to make UCLA a quick pit stop before heading to the next level. Despite many analysts predicting Love to be one and done at UCLA, I wouldn’t count on it. In fact, it wouldn’t shock me if he stayed the full 4 years.
Corey Fisher, Villanova – Don’t be deceived by his pudgy frame, Fisher is a scoring machine. Fisher needs to learn how to play the point and get teammates involved, but expect major scoring numbers from Fisher right away.