|Can Doc Rivers' kid Austin become the next|
freshman to lead his team to the top?
In recent years collegiate freshmen have made a huge impact on college basketball. This has come about because of the NBA's age restriction for draft eligible players. This has caused many changes to college ball and a new desperation to land the next top recruits. It is now essential to land these top recruits because, as we have seen, these top players have the ability to immediately put a team on their back and take them on a tournament run. There have been a few teams who have recently dominated this recruiting war. With the impending NBA lockout many of this years top freshmen could opt to stay in college and hone their skills one more year, so as we look ahead to next years crop of freshmen we see that the rich do indeed continue to get richer.
Duke-Duke will lose some of their leadership next year in their two top seniors Kyle Singler and Nolan Smith and Mason Plumlee could also make the leap to the NBA. These are big shoes to fill but coach K has a stocked freshman class coming in headlined by the top rated recruit Austin Rivers. Rivers is a complete player and scouts rave about his floater in the lane. They also add two more McDonalds All Americans in center Marshall Plumlee and point guard Quinn Cook. Finally, but not least they add Michael Gbinije the sharp shooting small forward. Kyrie Irving could possibly return next year after missing most of this year with a foot injury and they will bring back Seth Curry as well. Duke will remain a contender last year as Coach K transitions from a experienced team to young team full of potential.
Kentucky-Callipari adds four more 5 star McDonalds All Americans to his squad. Two of the top three recruits in power forward Anthony Davis and small forward Michael Gilchrist. They also get point guard Marquis Teague and a second power forward in Kyle Wiltjer. There have been rumors that Brandon Knight and Doron Lamb will hang around for a second year. Callipari seems to have his team geared up for another title run next year.
North Carolina- The Tar Heels are going to add power forward James McAdoo to replace John Henson who will most likely make the NBA leap. They will also add shooting guard P.J. Hairston. There have been consistent rumors all year that Harrison Barnes likes the collegiate atmosphere and wants to stay for at least another year. If he stays, along with freshman point guard Kendall Marshall this group of Tar Heels will continue to develop and become a power-house next year.
Baylor-Baylor is the least prestigious of these schools but lately they have been landing some of the tops recruits. They land two more big recruits in power forward Quincy Miller and small forward Deuce Bello. It is pretty unlikely that Perry Jones will return next year, but with the potential of the lock out anything is possible.
Ohio State-Thad Mata has been a great recruiter during the last 10 years landing a lot of big names, his streak continues in 2011. Ohio State is probably going to lose Sullinger to the NBA and David Lighty is going to graduate, but they add four 4-star recruits this year, two of which are McDonalds All Americans. Shannot Scott the point guard and Center Amir Williams Join the Buckeyes' roster along with the tandem of small forwards in Sam Thompson and Laquinton Ross.
Texas-Texas gets the McDonalds All American guard Myck Kabongo. He will be looked to be the floor general for the Long Horns. He will be accompanied by Sheldon McClellan the shooting guard, power forward Sheldon McClellan, and another shooting guard Julien Lewis. Jordan Hamilton will probably head to the next level, if he and Tristan Thompson return this team will remain on top during the 2011 season.