A Look at the Best Freshmen in College Basketball Through Week 1

The college basketball season is almost a week old and every team besides Canisius, Colorado and Niagara has played at least one regular season game, as of Sunday night. That means fan bases across the country have had the chance to see freshmen suit up for the first time in their school’s colors after months, if not years, of anticipation following their college commitments.

Here’s a look at how some of the best freshmen in the country have performed through the first weekend of the college basketball season.

 

Duke F Zion Williamson: 27.5 ppg, 11.5 rpg, 3 apg, 3.5 bpg, 81.4 FG%

The man, the myth, the legend that is Zion Williamson is finally in a college uniform and he hasn’t disappointed. He scored 28 points in 23 minutes in Duke’s 118-84 win against Kentucky, then followed up that impressive debut with a 27-point, 16-rebound double-double (with six blocks!) against Army.

 

Duke F RJ Barrett: 28 ppg, 5 rpg, 4 apg, 48.8 FG%

Barrett, the No. 1 recruit in the 2018 class, has been a silky-smooth scorer, netting 33 points in his first college game. He’s shooting almost 50 percent from the field on 45 attempts and he has made three 3-pointers in both of Duke’s games.

 

Arizona State G Luguentz Dort: 26.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 3.0 spg, 47.5 FG%

Arizona State coach Bobby Hurley may have found a gem in Canadian guard Luguentz Dort, who scored 28 and 25 points in the Sun Devils’ wins last week.

 

UCLA C Moses Brown: 18.0 ppg, 13.5 rpg, 2.0 bpg, 1.5 spg, 87.5 FG%

UCLA’s 7-1 center is averaging a double-double for the high-scoring Bruins. He scored 19 points on 9-of-10 shooting and grabbed 17 rebounds in UCLA’s season-opening win over Fort Wayne.

 

Oregon C Bol Bol: 17.5 ppg, 12.0 rpg, 1.0 apg, 3.5 bpg, 46.4 FG%

Good luck trying to find a way to guard Bol Bol, who’s leading Oregon in scoring and rebounding through two games. He’s 7-foot-2 and shoots threes, although he’s just 1-of-3 behind the arc so far this season.

 

LSU F Naz Reid: 23 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 1.5 apg, 1.0 spg, 1.0 bpg, 63.0 FG%

Reid should complement sophomore point guard Tremon Waters as a dangerous inside presence. The 6-10 forward scored 29 points against UNC Greensboro on 7-of-8 shooting inside the arc and 4-of-6 shooting beyond it.

 

Duke F Cam Reddish: 23.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 3 apg, 3 spg, 42.8 FG%

Reddish might get less attention than his teammates Williamson and Barrett, but he might be the best outside shooter of the group. He’s 10-of-21 from behind the arc in two games.

 

Kansas G Quentin Grimes: 21 ppg, 4 apg, 50.0 FG%

In his first college game, Grimes led Kansas in scoring in the Jayhawks’ 92-87 win over No. 10 Michigan State in the Champions Classic. He was 6-of-10 from 3.

 

Providence G A.J. Reeves: 24 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 73.9 FG%

Reeves has great size at 6-foot-6, and his 3-point shooting touch (9-of-14 through two games) could make him one of the more difficult players to guard in the Big East.

 

Vanderbilt G Darius Garland: 21.5 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 2.5 apg, 51.7 FG%

Garland scored 19 points in Vanderbilt’s 82-78 road win at USC on Sunday night. The former top-15 recruit projects to be a potential lottery pick in next year’s draft.

 

Wake Forest F Jaylen Hoard: 19 ppg, 13 rpg, 3 apg, 50.0 FG%

One of the top freshmen in the ACC plays in the same state as Duke, North Carolina and NC State, and it’s Wake Forest’s Jaylen Hoard. He had a 19-point, 13-rebound double-double in his debut.

 

Kentucky G Keldon Johnson: 19.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 2.0 apg, 50.0 FG%

In an ugly loss to Duke, Kentucky’s Keldon Johnson was one of the few – if not only – bright spots. He had 23 points on 8-of-16 shooting. Johnson might be the Wildcats’ leading scorer this season.

 

Vanderbilt F Simi Shittu: 16.0 ppg, 12.5 rpg, 2.0 apg, 2.5 spg, 45.8 FG%

Shittu is averaging a double-double and leads Vanderbilt in rebounding, including a 14-point, 15-rebound double-double at USC.

 

Maryland C Jalen Smith: 15 ppg, 9 rpg, 1.5 bpg, 52.4 FG%

Smith leads Maryland in rebounding through two games after a 19-point, 13-rebound performance in the Terrapins’ win against Delaware in their season opener.

 

Illinois G Ayo Dosunmu: 18 ppg, 6 rpg, 4 apg, 3 spg, 57.1 FG%

Illinois was able to keep 6-foot-5 Chicago guard Ayo Dosunmu in the state, and he could help lead a resurgence for the Fighting Illini if he can replicate his 18-point, six-rebound, four-assist, three-steal stat line from their first win of the season against Evansville.

 

Kansas G Devon Dotson: 16 ppg, 3 apg, 2 rpg, 3 spg, 54.5 FG%

Dotson, Grimes’ running mate in Kansas’ backcourt, also had a big game against the Spartans with 16 points, including 3-of-5 shooting from outside.

 

Michigan F Ignas Brazdeikis: 15.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 2.0 apg, 42.1 FG%

Michigan lost a lot of scoring from its national runner-up team after the departures of Mo Wagner, Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman and Duncan Robinson, but freshman forward Ignas Brazdeikis is in Ann Arbor to pick up the slack. He scored 19 points on an efficient 5-of-9 shooting against Holy Cross on Saturday.

 

Indiana G Romeo Langford: 15.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2.5 apg, 60.0 FG%

An Indiana high school basketball legend, Langford’s commitment to the Hoosiers was one of the biggest in the last recruiting cycle. It has paid off; he’s Indiana’s leading scorer through two games.

 

Western Kentucky C Charles Bassey: 13.0 ppg, 10.5 rpg, 3.0 bpg, 62.5 FG%

Bassey didn’t take the traditional route of a top-10 recruit to a blueblood like Duke or Kentucky, and it could allow the 6-foot-11, 245-pound center to put up some monster numbers against Conference USA competition.

 

North Carolina F Nassir Little: 14.0 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 1.5 apg, 1.5 spg, 1.5 bpg, 66.7 FG%

North Carolina fans will look to Nassir Little to counter Duke’s three-headed freshman monster that is Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett and Cam Reddish in ACC play this season. The Tar Heels’ top-rated freshman is the team’s third-leading scorer through two games.