2011-2012 Preseason NHR All-Freshmen Team

11 Oct


By Justin Young
National Hoops Report

There are fewer things in college basketball that get fans riled up as much as incoming freshmen. They can do no wrong, in the eyes of the rooters. There are, at times, impact rookies that can change the dynamic of a team and lead a program deep into the NCAA tournament.

There are some freshmen that take the nation by storm in their only year of collegiate hoops. There are others that use year one in college to spring board them into several other years of greatness as an amateur.

Picking five freshmen was not an easy task however the top three players on the list were no-brainers. There was a consensus thought between the National Hoops Report team on the top trio.

Austin Rivers, SG, Duke – If you are looking for the top scoring incoming five-star freshman of the high school class of 2011, he’s probably your guy. Rivers is wired to score and operates on a different level of competition, confidence and big-game experience. With Kyrie Irving gone and the Blue Devils looking for a star to take over for the graduated Kyle Singler, all eyes are focused on Rivers. He has the opportunity to shine from the outset.

Anthony Davis, PF, Kentucky– John Calipari is known for his big-time young guards and how quickly he can push them into the NBA. This year’s UK team has a different flair. Davis is the most unique incoming freshman in the country. He has a NBA wingspan, tremendous untapped potential and a rare blend of size, skill and raw potential. Davis was incredible at the Nike Hoop Summit against his fellow Americans and against first round pick Bismack Biyombo. Davis is just barely tipping the dominoe.

Andre Drummond, C, UConn
– If you pick up the pre-season magazines and you look for items about the top incoming freshmen, you aren’t going to find the near 7-footer’s name. He was a very late addition and he could be the best overall big man in the Big East this year, too. The athletic center is exactly what UConn needed this year. He’ll be a huge addition alongside Alex Oriakhi down low and the perfect helpmate to an emerging backcourt in Jeremy Lamb and Shabazz Napier.

After these three players, the rest of the team was difficult to round out. There were, and I’m not kidding, eight options for the final two spots. Narrowing the list down to just two players wasn’t easy. So it came down to a matter of impact, which is a good day-long argument on some of the omitted players. Nevertheless, the options came down to these two very good players that enter into the Big 12.

Quincy Miller, PF, Baylor – I saw the 6-foot-8 native of Chicago at a fall showcase exactly four years ago and I came away impressed with what kind of player he could become. In fact, I wrote some players have a ceiling for their potential while Miller has a retractable roof. That opinion remains true today.  Miller is entering into a fine situation at Baylor where he doesn’t have to be the star from day one with all of the frontcourt talent around him. Here’s the deal, though: he’s going to star and he’ll be able to do it all over the floor.

LeBryan Nash, SF, Oklahoma State
– There aren’t many freshmen that are physically ready for the college game quite like Nash is. He’s a slab of athletic granite and he’s ready to go. Nash has the natural ability to shine in Travis Ford’s up-tempo brand of basketball from day one. He could be a 16 point per game scorer and one of the premiere defenders in the nation on the wing.

The NHR team of Bobby Bancroft, Sam Duren, Brian Flinn, Matt Fultz and Justin Young voted on the All-Freshmen, All-Sophomore, All-Junior, All-Senior and All-American teams. We will release the teams on the NHR this week.

2 Responses to “2011-2012 Preseason NHR All-Freshmen Team”

  1. Danny October 11, 2011 at 9:15 am #

    Beal will end up being the best college player of the bunch in my opinion – perhaps not the best pro prospect, but I think Beal will be a monster this year and beyond. It will be interesting to see how Donovan uses his backcourt. Walker, Boynton, Rosario, Beal among others….

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