Jan 31, 2013, 5:35 PM EDT
The United States Basketball Writers of America (USBWA) released its midseason watch list for the Wayman Tisdale Award, which is given annually to the nation’s best freshman as voted upon by members of the association.
Of the twelve freshmen on the list three play at UCLA: Jordan Adams, Kyle Anderson and Shabazz Muhammad. The Pac-12 leads the way with four players on the list as Arizona State point guard Jahii Carson joined the three Bruins.
UCLA is one of two schools with multiple candidates on the list as Michigan’s Glenn Robinson III and Nik Stauskas are also under consideration.
Three Big 12 players are on the list, including Kansas’ Ben McLemore, and of the 12 players 11 hail from “BCS AQ” conferences, with UNLV’s Anthony Bennett representing the Mountain West.
The full list is as follows:
G Jordan Adams, UCLA (6-5, 220, Fr., Atlanta, Ga.)
G Kyle Anderson, UCLA (6-9, 235, Fr., Fairview, N.J.)
C Isaiah Austin, Baylor (7-1, 220, Fr., Arlington, Texas)
F Anthony Bennett, UNLV (6-8, 240, Fr., Brampton, Ont.)
G Jahii Carson, Arizona State (5-10, 175, Fr., Mesa, Ariz.)
G Kevin (Yogi) Ferrell, Indiana (6-0, 178, Fr., Indianapolis, Ind.)
G Ben McLemore, Kansas (6-5, 195, Fr., St. Louis, Mo.)
G/F Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA (6-6, 225, Fr., Las Vegas, Nev.)
F Nerlens Noel, Kentucky (6-10, 228, Fr., Everett, Mass.)
F Glenn Robinson III, Michigan (6-6, 210, Fr., St. John, Ind.)
G Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State (6-4, 225, Fr., Flower Mound, Texas)
G Nik Stauskas, Michigan (6-6, 190, Fr., Mississauga, Ont.)
Overall this is a good list, but as Jeff Borzello of CBSSports.com points out St. John’s freshman forward JaKarr Sampson has a very good argument for inclusion. A five-time Big East Rookie of the Week selection, Sampson is averaging 14.2 points and 6.6 rebounds per game for the surprising Red Storm.
So if Sampson were to be added which player comes off the list? Ferrell would be the most likely option in that regard, but the freshman point guard has been solid in leading one of the nation’s best teams.
Duke guard Rasheed Sulaimon and Xavier guard Semaj Christon are two other freshmen who have played well this season, but here’s a third who hasn’t received much attention nationally: High Point forward John Brown.
The Panthers may be 10-10 (5-3 Big South) on the season but the redshirt freshman has been a bright spot for Scott Cherry’s team, averaging a team-best 17.4 points per game and also grabbing 6.5 rebounds per contest. Brown is shooting 51.9% from the field and combines with Allan Cheney to form arguably the best front court tandem in the Big South.
However, even with the arguments that can be made for a Sampson or Brown it’s tough to find any fault with this list (note: while a member of the USBWA, I did not have a vote for the midseason list).
- 2014-15 Season Preview: Kentucky’s loaded rotation leads nation’s best front courts 0
- Cameron Payne didn’t expect to fill Isaiah Canaan’s void at Murray State, but he did 0
- 2014-15 Season Preview: The Top 20 Perimeter Attacks 1
- Top 25 Countdown: No. 12 Wichita State 1
- South Dakota State’s Cody Larson thrives despite return home amidst unmet expectations 2
- 2014-15 Season Preview: 20 Impact Freshmen 0
- UNC investigation states bogus classes pushed by academic counselors to athletes 7
- UNC investigation states bogus classes pushed by academic counselors to athletes (7)
- Report: Texas plans to start paying their athletes $10,000 stipend (4)
- 2014-2015 Season Preview: College Basketball’s Top 13 Dunkers (VIDEOS) (3)
- Maryland senior forward suffers sprained ankle (2)
- Texas A&M lands another five-star center, has loaded 2015 recruiting class (2)