I don’t think we need someone else to tell us Terrence Jones, Brandon Knight, and Doron Lamb are some of the best freshmen in college basketball. But we’ll listen anyway when others are talking about it. Basketball Prospectus ranked the Top 25 Freshmen in the nation and Kentucky holds three of the top five spots. Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger was numero uno.
Check it out…
2. Terrence Jones, Kentucky
Jones said what needs to be said about his potential when he recorded a 27-17 double-double in a 72-58 UK win over Notre Dame on December 8. Any 6-8 freshman who can score with the efficiency Jones has displayed (not amazing, but suitable) while taking 31 percent of his team’s shots during his minutes and hauling down 23 percent of the other team’s misses is, almost by definition, ready for the NBA. Apparently the NBA agrees: Jones is currently projected as a top-five pick in next summer’s draft. Back in Seattle, Lorenzo Romar’s Washington team is pretty good as is, but does he ever wonder what might have been had he landed both Portland product Jones and Kent, Washington, native Joshua Smith (see No. 10)? Yes. Yes, he does.
3. Doron Lamb, Kentucky
See No. 5, above: I just finished saying Brandon Knight is Calipari’s first featured scorer in Lexington who poses an equal threat from either side of the arc. The weasel term there is “featured scorer,” because goodness knows Doron Lamb is effective from both sides of the three-point line in support of Knight and Terrence Jones. But so what if he’s a supporting player? Supporting players who make more than half their threes are handy to have around. Calipari would have liked to have had one of those last March in the Carrier Dome.
5. Brandon Knight, Kentucky
Knight’s shots simply go in, which is good for UK since the 6-3 freshman takes 26 percent of the team’s shots during his minutes. For all of the considerable success that John Calipari has had in bringing amazing freshmen to Lexington, Knight is arguably his first featured scorer that poses an equal threat to opposing defenses from both sides of the arc.
These rankings are very similar to KSR’s Top 25 Freshmen in the nation, except we flip-flopped Lamb and Knight and added one more to the list….
17. Jarrod Polson, Kentucky