While our early season Freshmen All-American team focused primarily on the performances of players from high-major conferences and programs, there is certainly room for recognizing the accomplishments of those newcomers that are excelling under the radar at mid-major or lower programs. It’s perhaps too early to tell if these freshmen were missed as high school seniors, improved greatly in their respective college system, or have simply exceeded expectations. The next few months and the conference season will provide clarification, and there is certainly the possibility that one or more of these standouts will transfer up a level over the off-season.
Non-BCS/High Major early season Freshmen All-Americans
|Lester Wilson||East Tennessee State||6-4||SF||15.5||5.9||0.3||0.1||0.6|
|John Brown||High Point||6-7||PF||18.1||6.6||0.7||2.2||2.4|
|DeWayne Russell||Northern Arizona||5-10||PG||15.8||3.2||3.9||0.2||1.8|
|Shawn Long||Louisiana Lafayette||6-9||PF||16.7||9.5||0.9||1.9||0.9|
|Stefan Moody||Florida Atlantic||5-10||PG||15.0||2.1||3.4||0.1||0.4|
|Venky Jois||Eastern Washington||6-7||PF||13.6||9.3||1.2||1.7||1.2|
No one will confuse any of the listed schools with the traditional college basketball powers, and many have among the worst records in the country thus far this season. With that said, it’s not hard to find hope in prolific freshmen players. From a recruiting perspective, it’s also interesting to see how these players wound up in the position they are currently in. Here’s our breakdown of where the standouts on the list were, that caused them to end up at the schools they are at:
Two of the most productive players Lester Wilson and John Brown have benefited from a redshirt year at East Tennessee State and High Point, respectively. Both were high school standouts, who have develop nicely with a year in their college practicing and getting their skill level enhanced before officially hitting the hardwood.
Two of the ten are standouts from overseas, and both are centerpieces for abysmal teams. European big man Michael Kessens has been a double-double threat nightly for Longwood against even high-major competition. Meanwhile Venky Jois has starred at Eastern Washington after coming in from Australia.
Another two players had, at least, high major aspirations while a senior in high school. Northern Arizona point guard Dewayne Russell was committed to the USC Trojans for a time, and Shawn Long redshirted following a transfer from the Mississippi State Bulldogs, where he never played.
Heady point guard Timan Dunbar is averaging as many points per game as he did last year at Paul VI (VA), which was among the better teams in the country with a deep and talented roster. It’s possible he was passed by as his teammates got the shine at Paul VI.
Florida Atlantic’s Stefan Moody wasn’t a complete package as a high school senior, but his athleticism is unbelievable. There’s no doubt his bounce would fit in anywhere.
The success of Tim Williams of Samford and Jordan Reed of Binghamton have been bright spots for squads that have new coaches are in major rebuilding mode with a handful of wins each. Both came from metro areas, Chicago (Williams) and Philadelphia (Reed), and may have been overlooked as a result.--------------------------------------------
For those fans that wish college basketball was a year-round sport, the College Basketball Newcomers Guide paperback and Kindle book previews the incoming recruits for every team nationally. There’s no need to wait until Fall to learn about the new names in college basketball that will be starring on the hardwood.