One of the most exciting things of a new season is a new round of freshmen. Teams spend countless hours filled with text messages, pitches, promises and visits trying to woo the nation’s best prospects to their college campus.
Some teams have big wins by landing freshman that are instant game changers. Some come in with great expectation and take longer to develop than expected. Some come in with a lot of hype and never even become a role player.
What can we expect from this years class?
There is a lot to consider, and obviously the top ten are the most likely to succeed. They are deemed the best talent and are on the best teams. They will all most likely succeed, but the impact is hard to measure. For instance, it’s hard to imagine that Nerlens Noel will have anywhere near the impact that Anthony Davis did. Although Noel will probably be good, his impact will likely be limited. That being said, he will have an impact.
Here are our five impact freshman for the 2012-13 season.
1) Anthony Bennett, UNLV – Bennett is in a great position to make an impact. Some questioned his choice of UNLV since it is a smaller school in the Mountain West Conference. Bennett has a strong supporting cast of players and is likely to be the freshmen everyone is talking about. At 6′ 7″ and 230 pounds, Bennett can go inside or outside, shooting the three or going to the hoop. A good rebounder, the Canadian brings one of the most complete games to the table for a freshmen this season.
2) Danuel House, Houston – Houston managed to corral a local prospect, luring House just 30 minutes from his house to the Cougars’ campus. House’s impact will come at the offensive end. Bennett can do it all, as can House but House would be qualified as a prolific scorer. He would be considered on par with all of the other prospects had he gone to a major program, but like Bennett he chose a smaller conference school and should have an impact advantage not playing in one of the big conferences.
3) Alex Poythress, Kentucky – As John Calapari welcomes another AAU All Star team to Lexington, Poythress is likely to be the impact player from this class. He is a do-it-all offensive player who can get to the hoop but also hit from downtown. Kentucky is going to need a leader, and the UK leader usually makes an impact, landing Poythress third on our list.
4) Shabazz Muhammed, UCLA – UCLA needs some help and it’s on the way with our number four and five selections. Muhammed sepcializes in attacking the basket and with a strong midrange game. A superb athlete, Muhammed can be the player the Bruins have been looking for. Despite a couple of injuries in training camp, Muhammed should be back to full strength and on the attack early in the season.
5) Kyle Anderson, UCLA – Anderson and Muhammed will make each other better as they compliment each other well. Anderson is a smart player with a strong mid-range game but possess a strong passing ability. His basketball IQ shines through and he will provide half of one of the strongest 1-2 punches that Ben Howland has had since he left Pitt to head to Wooden-land.
NEXT FIVE – 6) Davonta Pollard (Alabama), 7) Marcus Smart (Oklahoma State), 8) Sam Dekker (Wisconsin), 9) Rodney Purvis (NC State), 10) Semaj Christon (Xavier).