As the door closes on the 2012 portion of the men’s college basketball season, it’s a great time to recognize the early season results of the freshmen class, which has already made a big impact on the game, nationally. This All-American squad reflects the early efforts of freshmen players, largely through the first two months of the season. It’s a combination of players who have excelled overall, along with those that were put in a position of increased responsibility due to lack of upperclassmen ahead of them, and have made the most of their opportunity. All statistics are through December 28, 2012.
|Marcus Smart||Oklahoma State||6-4||PG||12.5||6.4||5.1||1.3||2.7|
|Jahii Carson||Arizona State||5-10||PG||17.9||2.7||5.3||0.2||1.1|
It is to the benefit of this team that Carson and McLemore, original members of the 2011 class, were ineligible to compete last year. Both have been highly impressive thus far. Smart has met the high expectations placed on him to step in and lead Oklahoma State from the outset. With Mike Moser and Khem Birch missing time in the early season, Bennett has been a rock inside for the Rebels, and has impressed like no other freshman. Meanwhile, Noel has been the top rebounder, shot-blocker and arguably even ball thief among freshmen nationally, with an offensive game that is coming along fine.
Muhammad missed a fourth of the season so far, which slots him on to the second team. It would be no surprise to see him elevate to freshman of the year contention if he continues his trajectory. Adams has been better than advertised as a scorer for a UCLA team struggling to find its identity. Goodwin has had to play out of position at times, and solidity at point guard would benefit his stats and overall play. Sulaimon has quietly been outstanding for the most impressive team in the country as a supporting player. Austin is coming right along, but others are knocking on the door for his slot on the second team, notably TJ Warren and Nik Stauskas.
- Alex Poythress, Kentucky
- TJ Warren, NC State
- Semaj Christon, Xavier
- JaKarr Sampson, St. John’s
- Nik Stauskas, Michigan
Note: 6-7 forward John Brown of High Point has excelled statistically, albeit against a low competition level. He could end up with one of the top freshmen seasons nationally, under the radar.