Blog Entry

Freshman of the Year: Here comes Trey Burke

Posted on: December 22, 2011 5:38 pm

Jeff Borzello

We’re almost at the point of the season where freshmen are no longer catching opponents by surprise. We haven’t truly hit the point where even stud freshmen hit the wall and start lagging in production, but we’ve seen a few newcomers struggle to adjust to more experienced competition. Arkansas’ B.J. Young slowed down since making a big move last week, while Kansas State’s Thomas Gipson had trouble dealing with Alabama’s size over the weekend. How far did they drop?

Who will be the next to make a big move? If you didn’t know, the Freshman of the Year rankings are released on Thursdays, shortly after the Player of the Year rankings.

1. Anthony Davis, Kentucky (Last Week: 1): 11.5 ppg, 9.9 rpg, 4.5 bpg
Davis simply changes the game more than any other freshman. Had a monster 14-point, 18-rebounds, five-block game over the weekend.

2. Cody Zeller, Indiana (Last Week: 2): 15.3 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 65.6 FG%
Zeller keyed the Hoosiers’ win over Notre Dame with 21 points and eight boards, then had a solid all-around game against Howard.

3. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky (Last Week: 3): 12.9 ppg, 6.9 rpg
Kidd-Gilchrist is taking a back seat to Davis, but that hasn’t slowed him. Averaged 14.0 points, 5.7 rebounds, 4.0 assists in last three.

4. Brad Beal, Florida (Last Week: 5): 15.0 ppg, 6.3 rpg
Beal came up big against Texas A&M, finishing with 16 points, four rebounds, three assists, two blocks and three steals. Productive.

5. Austin Rivers, Duke (Last Week: 6): 15.6 ppg, 41.9 3PT%
If nothing else, Rivers is consistent. He continues to produce solid numbers, scoring 14 earlier in the week. Averaging 17.8 in last four.

6. B.J. Young, Arkansas (Last Week: 4): 15.0 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 47.4 3PT%
After lighting it up for weeks, Young came back to Earth. He shot 7-for-16 with 18 points and two assists in his last two games.

7. Moe Harkless, St. John’s (Last Week: 7): 14.2 ppg, 8.1 rpg
Harkless excelled in 40 minutes against Fordham, with 13 points and 16 boards. He struggled vs. UTPA, but came up big late.

8. Trey Burke, Michigan (Last Week: NR): 13.1 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 4.7 apg
We couldn’t keep him out of the rankings any longer. Burke is averaging 18.0 points and 6.7 assists in his last three games.

9. LaDontae Henton, Providence (Last Week: 9): 13.5 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 36.3 mpg
Even when he’s struggling from the field, Henton is getting it done. He had 11 points and 12 rebounds in a win over New Hampshire.

10. Stephan Hicks, Cal State Northridge (Last Week: NR): 17.6 ppg, 8.7 rpg
The 6-foot-5 swingman caught our eye last week and didn’t disappoint. He went for 18 points and 10 boards over the weekend.


  • Two players dropped out of the rankings: Kansas State’s Thomas Gipson and Niagara’s Juan’ya Green. Gipson was only 1-for-6 from the field against Alabama, finishing with three points and four rebounds. We did a feature this week on Green, who was idle.
  • Several of the players who were poised to move into the rankings had rough weeks. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was 3-for-10 from the field; Rodney Hood was in foul trouble; and Myck Kabongo had just one point and four turnovers vs. UNC.
  • Washington’s Tony Wroten continues to make his case – averaging 24.3 points in his last three games – but the Huskies are struggling mightily with him getting more minutes. That’s not a good thing.
  • If Georgetown’s Otto Porter plays well against Memphis, he will get further consideration next week.
  • D’Angelo Harrison of St. John’s is averaging 17.0 points in his last three games.
  • Keep an eye on North Texas’ Tony Mitchell, who just became eligible. He’s averaging 12.0 points and 9.0 rebounds in two games.
  • Freshman leaders – Points: Kyle Vinales, Central Connecticut State (20.6); Rebounds: Anthony Davis, Kentucky (9.9); Assists: Dylan Garrity, Sacramento State (6.4)

Photo: US Presswire

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