Daily Dribble: All-Freshman Thoughts

    
October 28th, 2008

CHN released its official Preseason Mid-Major All-America team yesterday.  As I've been doing for all the awards, here are my personal views on our selections. All CHN awards are voted on by staff writers.

 

CollegeHoops.net Preseason Co-Freshman of the Year: Jrue Holiday (UCLA) & BJ Mullens (Ohio State)

 

- No major complaints here. These guys both received an equal amount of votes, and were the only unanimous First Team selections. Mullens would be my personal pick, as he'll be the more dominant force whose asked to shoulder more of the burden. But Holiday has the luxury of a better supporting cast.

 

CollegeHoops.net First Team All-Freshman

 

Jrue Holiday

UCLA

G

Demar DeRozan

USC

G

Scotty Hopson

Tennessee

G

Greg Monroe

Georgetown

F

BJ Mullens

Ohio State

C

 

- DeRozan came in third in the voting, and is deserving of such respect. I just worry expectations are a bit too high for him, he's not a team-changing star like OJ Mayo. Monroe barely edged out Samardo Samuels for the final First Team spot.  As I discuss below, I'd have gone with Samuels instead. Nothing against Monroe, who will be rock-solid, I just thing Samuels will have a bigger opportunity to put up First Team type numbers.

 

CollegeHoops.net Second Team All-Freshman

 

Willie Warren

Oklahoma

G

Tyreke Evans

Memphis

G

Al-Farouq Aminu

Wake Forest

F

Delvon Roe

Michigan State

F

Samardo Samuels

Louisville

F/C

 

- As mentioned above, Samuels, who just missed out on the First Team, deserves better.. he'll be on the better team, with a more explosive offense that will give him more opportunities to score, and he'll be forced into major minutes without much big man competition. Evans is arguably a top 5 prospect, and he's good enough to knock DeRozan or Hopson out of the top team.  Word is that Evans has looked solid for Memphis already, and that his head is on straight. Like Samuels, he's the other who could easily have gone First Team.  Roe is lowest ranked player so far in the recruiting lists, as low as 24th in one publication, but anybody good enough to come in and start on a Potential Final Four team is alright with me.

 

CollegeHoops.net Third Team All-Freshman

 

Kemba Walker

UCONN

G

Iman Shumpert

Georgia Tech

G

Devin Ebanks

West Virginia

G/F

JaMychal Green

Alabama

F

Luke Babbitt

Nevada

F

 

- I expect a huge season from Ebanks.. just as good as Aminu, Warren, Hopson, or even DeRozan. He stands out as being the top dog on the Third Team.  Other than him though, there does seem to be a big drop in talent between the Second & Third team. Babbitt is the lone non-BCS player on the entire squad.. is this a case where being from a non-BCS league actually is giving a guy too much respect? Perhaps, but even moreso than a Green or Shumpert, or even Walker, Babbitt's coming into a depleted team that will have to force-feed him the ball. Numbers-wise, he could approach 15 ppg.

 

CollegeHoops.net Honorable Mention All-Freshman

 

Dee Bost

Mississippi State

G

William Buford

Ohio State

G

Ed Davis

North Carolina

F

Yancy Gates

Cincinnati

F

Drew Gordon

UCLA

F

Kenny Kadji

Florida

F

DeAndre Liggins

Kentucky

G

David Loubeau

Texas A&M

F

Darius Miller

Kentucky

G/F

J'Mison Morgan

UCLA

C

Markieff Morris

Kansas

F

Travis Releford

Kansas

G

Mike Rosario

Rutgers

G

Chris Singleton

Florida State

F

Tyshawn Taylor

Kansas

G

Jordan Theodore

Seton Hall

G

Elliot Williams

Duke

G

Jeff Withey

Arizona

C

 

- Davis is the highest ranked player not to make one of the featured teams. But without the playing time, he's relegated to Honorable Mention. Elliot Williams of Duke is in a similar situation.  William Buford is probably the guy with the biggest gripe for not making a better team.. over a Walker or Shumpert. He's just as highly-rated as those guys, and will play a big part in his team's success (or lack of).

 

If you're looking for a smaller name player from the HM list who might break out in a big way, I'd look at Dee Bost, David Loubeau, Chris Singleton, and the Kentucky pair of Liggins & Miller. Singleton is a serious NBA prospect who would be getting major hype if he went to Duke or UNC. Granted, Leonard Hamilton doesn't have the best track record turning his recruiting finds into gold, but I think Singleton is the real deal. The other few guys I mentioned are all ranked below the Top 40. Loubeau in fact is sub-100 in some rankings, but could be a major steal for A&M.  He's basically the anti DeAndre Jordan.

 

In terms of major snubs from CHN's All-American team.. the few that stand out are Georgia's Howard Thompkins, Miami's DeQuan Jones, and Oregon's Michael Dunigan. Of those, I think Thompkins was the biggest miss. Not only is he a Top 25 athlete, but he'll be forced into playing a big role for a bad team (though injury woes in the off-season might hold back his progress).

 

Other deeper (at least compared to most of the names mentioned above) freshman sleepers I personally like include: Washington State's Klay Thompson (He is the Cougars next big star. Look for him to come in and score 10+ ppg from day one), Terrico White of Ole Miss, and Vandy's Jeff Taylor.