5th Edition (2016-17)
This week’s edition of “CWL” is going to consist of all of our recently published “Freshmen Focus” profiles. Every week we highlight a freshmen and see how they are faring in college.
Here are our “Freshmen Focus” profiles up until 12/28/16/.
During each edition of “CWL”, we will be profiling a freshmen who has stood out with his play. The current crop of freshmen are outstanding. This week we will be profiling Kentucky freshmen guard De’Aaron Fox.
The 6’3″ point guard is living up to the lofty praise that has been put on him ever since he committed to Kentucky. The former 5 star recruit has been compared to a former UK great in John Wall, currently an All-Star PG for the Washington Wizards. The name of Fox’s game is speed. We believe he is the fastest player in college basketball as well as one of the most athletic.
As UK has started off the year with a perfect 6-0 record, the Texas native is averaging 15.5pts, 7.2reb, and 4.8reb in 31 minutes per game. These numbers are simply outstanding, especially for a point guard.
When we wrote our high school player profile on the freshmen last season, we were blown away with his ability and potential. Although the lefty needs to improve his shooting and get stronger, he is one of the better players in the country already, in our opinion. Part of Kentucky’s amazing recruiting class last season, Fox has teamed with sophomore G Isaiah Briscoe, and fellow freshmen G Malik Monk to form the most talented back-court in america, in our opinion.
If you haven’t seen Kentucky play, we highly recommend that you do. They are very entertaining to watch and are loaded with talent. De’Aaron Fox is the player that makes the Wildcats go. We don’t expect Fox to be wearing a Kentucky jersey past this year. He is considered by many to be a very high draft pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. Our advice. Watch him while you can. That is, if you can see him on T.V. He is that fast.
While the Michigan State Spartans have had a rough start to this season due to a brutal opening non-conference schedule, 1 player from their top 10 2016 recruiting class has lived up to the enormous expectation that was bestowed upon him.
Miles Bridges, who was a 5-star recruit last year, has played brilliantly for the 7-4 Big 10 school so far in his freshmen year. The 6’7″, Flint, Michigan native has been the Spartans best player and one of the best overall players in college basketball through the first month and a half of the college season.
Bridges, who can play multiple positions, is listed as a SG/SF. However, we have seen him play PF as well this year. He is one of the most athletic players in the country. So far in the early going, the 230 pounder is averaging 16.6pts, 8.8reb, 2ast, and 1.5blk per game.
We saw the freshmen last year when he was at Huntington Prep High School in West Virginia. We were blown away watching him in person as his athleticism and overall game were on full display. While the left shooting Bridges needs to continue working on his shooting and some other attributes, all the skills are there for him to lead the Spartans right the ship leading into conference play.
We expect head coach Tom Izzo to get his team back into the NCAA tournament. He as a very young team with 4 freshmen being counted on to produce. The brutal non-conference schedule might have resulted in losses, however, it should pay off in the end as the Spartans will be battle tested.
Enjoy watching Miles Bridges when you have the opportunity to do so. He will probably not be wearing a Spartans jersey past this year as he is being projected as at least a top 20 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.
This years freshmen class in college basketball has lived up to its very high expectations. Going into the year, many analysts, including us, thought that this years group of freshmen point guards might be the best bunch to enter college basketball in decades. There stands a very good chance that 4-5 point guards will be among the first 10 selections in the 2017 NBA Draft.
Players such as Lonzo Ball (UCLA), Markelle Fultz (Washington), De’Aaron Fox (Kentucky), and Dennis Smith Jr. (NC State) have NBA star potential written all over them. Also projected as a top 10-13 pick is Frank Ntilikina (International), who is currently playing overseas. If an NBA team needs a PG, this is the year to select one.
While these players are certain to be in the NBA next season, there is a player on the east coast who has the looks of being a phenomenal 4 year college star. We firmly believe that if this player was 2-3 inches taller, he would be mentioned right alongside the before mentioned players.
Shamorie Ponds is having a fantastic start to his college career at St. John’s. Former NBA star and Hall of Famer Chris Mulllin took over the head coaching job at his Alma mater in 2015. Last season was a disaster as the Red storm went 8-24. Mullin knew he had to hit the recruiting trail hard and he did, landing Ponds, a Brooklyn native and a top 50 recruit in the class of 2016. While St. John’s has struggled out of the gate with a current record of 5-7, it isn’t because of the 6’0″ lefty shooting PG.
The lightning fast freshmen is already the teams leader and while the Red Storm are struggling, they have a player who they can build around for the future. Through the first 12 games, he is averaging 16.9pts, 5.9reb, 3.4ast, and 1.7stl per game during his 33 minutes of playing time per game. He has a very smooth shooting stroke and is a phenomenal ball-handler and passer.
We saw Shamorie Ponds play in high school multiple times and we always came away impressed. He has the tough New York City swagger who doesn’t back down from anybody. Mullin desperately needs to bring in some top talent in 2017. Until he does, the Red Storm will struggle. However, Ponds has already shown that he is the real deal.
While he might play for a losing team right now, the freshmen is living up to his lofty status. If he keeps up his play this season and keeps improving as a sophomore, our prediction earlier of him being a 4 year college player will be wrong. That is because Shamorie Ponds will be in the NBA.
Here are our previous editions of “College Weekly Live”. We publish “CWL” on every Wednesday.