1. #1
    Chance Harper
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    One and done: The new college hoops freshmen

    One and done: The new college hoops freshmen

    The Big Men on Campus are no longer upperclassmen. Now with two seasons behind us following the change in the NBA's draft rules, it's the freshman who are changing the college basketball landscape. Last summer it was Kevin Durant and Greg Oden who led the 'one-&-done' Class of '07, with Michael Beasley, Derrick Rose and O.J. Mayo the cream of the 2008 group. Is Arizona's Brandon Jennings this year's top fish?

    They’ve created a monster.

    College basketball was dominated by freshmen last year. Players who normally would have been drafted by the NBA straight out of high school were denied that opportunity by the league’s new eligibility rules.

    Now that they’ve served their time, the “one and done” contingent includes the consensus top two picks, point guard Derrick Rose of the Memphis Tigers and forward Michael Beasley of the Kansas State Wildcats. You’ll also find names like O.J. Mayo, Jerryd Bayless, Kevin Love and Eric Gordon projected to go in the Top 10.

    Rose was one Mario Chalmers 3-pointer away from winning a national championship in his lone college season. Who are this year’s impact freshmen?

    Brandon Jennings, Arizona
    The Wildcats are in even better position to rebound from last year’s soap opera now that Chase Budinger has pulled out of the NBA Draft. Jennings will take over at point guard from Bayless; he’s the top player in the Class of 2008 according to Scouts Inc., and was easily the best player at the Pangos All-American Camp. The question will be whether Lute Olson can get him to play with discipline.

    Tyreke Evans, Memphis
    The Tigers don’t have much room for improvement, but Evans is arguably the best of the potential one-and-done crew. He’s a 6-foot-5 shooting guard with speed and strength, but like Jennings, his heart is in question. Evans was the MVP of the 2008 McDonald's All-American game with 21 points, 10 rebounds and four assists in just under 24 minutes on the floor.

    B.J. Mullens, Ohio State
    Mullens has the height to succeed at the NBA level as a 7-foot center, and he also has soft hands and a nice mid-range jump shot. The comparisons to Greg Oden are easy, but Oden is a more determined player. Mullens will take over for Kosta Koufos on a young team that finished No. 29 in efficiency despite the early departures of Oden and Mike Conley. The betting odds have the Buckeyes at 22-1 to win the championship this year.

    Samardo Samuels, Louisville
    The 6-foot-8 center isn’t in the same class as Jennings and Evans, but he’s a dominant player with his back to the basket and has worked very hard on his conditioning. He’s the No. 2-ranked freshman by Scouts Inc. and the USA Today high school player of the year. Samuels will have every opportunity to play with David Padgett graduating and Derrick Caracter transferring. The Cards will be a strong Final Four candidate this season, which should propel Samuels into lottery position at the draft.

    Demar DeRozan, USC
    The Paul Pierce comparisons will get even more ink in the wake of the NBA Finals. But Vince Carter might be the more accurate model. DeRozan is the top-rated small forward according to Scouts Inc., with an impressive arsenal of dunks and a beautiful 3-point shot to go along with questionable defense and rebounding. DeRozan’s learning curve has been impressive, though, and there are certainly worse players out there than Carter.

    Jrue Holiday, UCLA
    The Bruins keep knocking on the championship door, but it’s eluded them despite three straight trips to the Final Four. Holiday is the best prospect in a strong recruiting class that could put UCLA over the top. He’s ranked behind only Evans among shooting guards and has everything you could ask for in a player – except height. At 6-foot-3, Holiday will probably have to play the point in the NBA, which might be enough to convince the North Hollywood native to spend another year developing his skills.

  2. #2
    Duffy
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    Watch out for Notre Dame next season with Harangody back and McAlarney. If they stay one more year that will be a kickass team in 2009 when Ben Hansbrough and Scott Martin can start playing.

  3. #3
    SBR Lou
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duffy View Post
    Watch out for Notre Dame next season with Harangody back and McAlarney. If they stay one more year that will be a kickass team in 2009 when Ben Hansbrough and Scott Martin can start playing.
    Good point.

  4. #4
    Clone Joint
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    Tend to agree with the list. Noticed Greg Monroe is omitted. He was ranked #1 on Rivals just two months ago. Don't really follow him but wondering why he wouldn't be considered a one-and done. Anyone have a informed opinion?

  5. #5
    Hollywood
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    DeRozan will be the top pick in next years draft. This kid is INSANELY athletic. Vince Carter is a good comparison, but I don't think he has the bad attitude. I'm not sure if he is someone that will dominate college like Beasley, or be more like Mayo who will thrive more in the NBA. Mullins will also be a top pick just because the guy is 7 feet.

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