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College Basketball preview: Top 5 incoming freshmen

Its officially that time. College basketball is back, and practice is well underway for the 2017-18 season.

There has been a lot of hype around a handful of incoming freshmen or “diaper-dandies” as Dickie V. would say. With the games only a few weeks away, here are my top 5 freshmen that should be an absolute “must-watch” this season.

#5. Jaren Jackson – Michigan State
The lanky forward will be a great compliment to the talents of returning guard Miles Bridges. Jackson is your typical Coach Izzo guy. His skill set won’t blow you away, but he will do all the intangibles to help win big games (shot-blocking, rebounding, hustle points, etc). I think the addition of Jackson added to a returning strong Michigan State core, makes the Spartans arguably the pre-season favorite to win it all.

#4. Trevon Duval – Duke
The swift point guard will be a perfect compliment to Duke’s number one recruit, Marvin Bagley. Duval has John Wall-type speed, in which he can go coast-to-coast in three to four dribbles. Partner this with his athleticism and ability to finish as well as anyone in the nation. The Blue Devils have a floor general that will not only find Bagley and Allen for open looks, but be able to put up 20-plus points on any given night.

#3. Kevin Knox – Kentucky
I believe this is Calipari’s best incoming freshmen this year. Knox has freaky athletic ability on the wing. His lift and finishing reminds me very much of Jaylan Brown when he was at Cal. The difference is Knox seems like a more polished basketball player right now. His game is very well-rounded, with the ability to defend, as well as score inside and out.

#2. Mohammed Bamba – Texas
This was such a huge land for head coach Shaka Smart. Bamba in the type of player that will change your entire defensive mentality overnight. With his length being so astronomical, the Texas guards can basically lead drivers straight to him, which will make it challenging for any team in the Big 12 to finish at the rim. Look for Texas to frequently switch up its defenses this season, while mixing in different zone looks to maximize Bamba’s defensive presence.

#1. Marvin Bagley – Duke
He was the headline-grabber in college basketball for most the summer. Duke pulled off a masterful plan of getting Bagley accepted to school and eligible to play in the matter of a few weeks. This was of course right after Bagley made himself eligible to graduate high-school a year early. Bagley is simply and all around prospect. Standing at 6-foot-10 with hops and length, he’s able to finish with his head at the rim on any given play. He can shoot the three as well as the mid-range, and his ability to find guys on back-screens and cuts to the basket is scary good.

Honorable Mentions-
Other must-watch freshmen this season are DeAndre Ayton from Arizona and Michael Porter from Missouri. Both guys will be able to get on SportsCenter’s top 10 plays, as these swingmen will dramatically help their respective team’s offensive firepower. Be sure to stay up late some nights to watch Oregon’s point guard Troy Brown as well. Brown is a 6 foot 7 point, who will be one of the main contributors to the Ducks point and assist totals.

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Sam is a College Basketball Analyst here at A former Division II collegiate basketball player himself, Sam is the broadcast personality of Queens College Sports Network "QCSN"
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