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Four Incoming College Freshman You Should Keep An Eye On

This year’s group of incoming college freshman is without-a-doubt jam-packed with potential exciting superstars! There is the highly coveted Andrew Wiggins, the explosive Julius Randle, the exciting duo that is the Harrison Twins, and the flexible and quick Jabari Parker.  With all of the popularity and hype surrounding these young athletes, it’s easy to overlook the rest of the pool of freshman and not be able to point out anybody else you might have heard of. There are players coming in that I believe should receive some attention, not exactly the type of attention that Wiggins and Parker are receiving, but just enough for their game to get noticed, for these players will contribute nicely on their new squads as they develop and adjust into the speed of the college game. In no specific order, I would like to present the four freshman you should be keeping an eye on for the 2013-14 season:

 

1. Kuran Iverson

Player Information:

Position: SF

Height: 6ft 9in

Weight: 215

School: Memphis

 

 

 

 

If you guessed Kuran is a relative of Allen Iverson based solely on his last name, well then, you’re correct. Kuran Iverson is the cousin of “The Answer”, and frankly, it’s no surprise where he gets some of his game from. For a 6-9 guy, Kuran can handle the ball extremely well for a kid his size. His passing ability is also very sharp and accurate, and it only gets better when he practically towered over everybody in high school, giving him tremendous court vision to spot the open man. These skills earned him a Point-Forward role during his time at Fishburne Military School in Waynesboro, Virginia.

With Kuran handling the ball most of the time, he was practically a 6-9 PG in high school. That is pretty scary to think about. Kuran is an average perimeter shooter, most successful from catch-and-shoots and spot-ups from either mid-range or three-point territory. He can occasionally make a pull-up off the dribble every now and then, which is something he needs to work on. Kuran is an excellent finisher through contact and has an array of moves to blow past defenders and to finish at the rim.

 

How will he translate in college?

Kuran will definitely not play a Point Forward role immediately, but that could change depending on how he carries himself through his freshman year and later years if he can show a mental toughness and resilience to the new environment of the college game. With great ball handling and passing skills, Kuran should be less prone to turning over the ball compared to the average SF. But, again, that depends on his mental toughness and focus during the course of the season. If he really wants to make an impact on offense, he needs to develop that jumpshot to form a consistency. Getting bigger and stronger will help Kuran to bang bodies with taller and heavier college players when driving to the rim. It’ll be fun to see how Kuran develops with the Tigers this season and see if he can turn into a talked-about prospect.

 

2. Conner Frankamp

    Player Information:

Position: PG/SG

Height: 6ft 1in

Weight: 165

School: Kansas

 

 

 

 

“Kansas’s secret weapon” was the nickname given to Frankamp when news of his commitment to Kansas was reported. He is ranked 46th in the ESPN Top 100 for the class of 2013, ranked 10th in the nation for his position, but he is definitely one of the top shooting recruits in his class. His ability to shoot from anywhere on the floor is arguably Conner’s greatest asset to his game. The fluidity and near-perfection of his form accounts largely to his shooting success, even at times when he is shooting off-balanced shots to shoot over contesting defenders or out of double teams. His ball-handling skills are the standard for guards everywhere, giving him the ability to blow past defenders, whether by a press at halfcourt or being guarded one-on-one. His wide court vision gives him a sixth sense as to where his teammates are so he can dish it to the cutter, open man, or whoever just happens to be around when he needs to pass out of a drive. That sixth sense is just a branch of his overall high basketball IQ, another critical asset to his game.

 

How will he translate in college?

With Junior guard Naadir Tharpe returning, and most likely starting at PG this season, Conner will be a backup PG who can provide instant-offense for the second unit. His court vision and IQ, paired with his passing ability, is sure to allow Conner to get his teammates involved more often then not. What Conner needs to improve on in order to survive is improving his defense against bigger and stronger players that could abuse him down the stretch. Other than his defensive struggles, he is fundamentally ready and prepared to take on the college game.

 

3.  Deonte Burton

Player Information:

Position: SF

Height: 6ft 4in

Weight: 215

School: Marquette

 

Deonte Burton is the perfect example of how to use your body to just bully defenders and power your way through the rim. At 6ft 4in and 215 pounds, Burton just seamlessly drills his way past the blockade of defenders to take it in for the inside score. An interesting aspect of his face-up game is his jab step moves. His spins and fakes from jab steps can be really convincing and take you off your feet if you’re not a disciplined defender. Even as a disciplined defender, you will be kept on your heels and you will be tempted to bite for one of his fakes. His explosiveness off of the jab-step is incredible, part of the success to his drives to the hole. His perimeter shooting is above average, but improvements to his form would help significantly.

As a defender, he is smart and instinctive when it comes to playing the passing lanes.  His shot blocking ability is astounding, but consideration has to be taken that there are huge contrasts between the high school level and college level.  The intangibles are definitely noticeable when you see the heart and focus he plays with, great qualities that will help him gain confidence in the college level.

 

How will he translate in college?

Burton’s explosiveness and ability to use his body will help him maintain balance when driving to the rim and receiving contact from defenders. He is also athletic enough to squeeze out a shot if he gets absolutely nailed by a defender on a drive to the basket.  His shot blocking will be far less effective against the bigger and stronger players of the college hoops world, but his hustle to contest a jumpshot will still be there and will be very effective against shooters in college. If Burton brings that same passion and determination he had in high school, he can only get better and better, and he surely will get better under the famous Marquette basketball program that has bred stars for many years now.

 

4.  Isaac Hamilton

Player Information:

Position: SG

Height: 6ft 5in

Weight: 185

School: UTEP

 

 

 

 

Isaac Hamilton is your run-of-the-mill scorer who loves to put the ball into the basket at most opportunities he can get. But Isaac has something that lets him stand out from the pack: his basketball IQ. Isaac Hamilton has arguably the highest basketball IQ in this freshman class. Isaac knows exactly the right move to perform whether it be a split-second decision or 3-4 seconds before it happens (sometimes, before the entire play is commenced). In conjunction with his athletic ability and craftiness around the rim, Isaac can find his way around the hoop and will use the best move that best fits the situation to score with ease.

His IQ allows him to quickly move off the ball and keep the defense on their toes wherever he goes. His movement off the ball not only gets him open around the perimeter, but also allows for him to make hard cuts to the basket at the perfect time to receive a pass from his teammates, which is followed by a finish at the rim. His shooting ability is excellent, able to knock it down from 3pt range at a fairly consistent rate and make the mid-range shot at a high percentage.

Fun Fact: Isaac is the younger brother of current Denver Nugget Jordan Hamilton, who just had an amazing outing at the 2013 NBA Las Vegas Summer League.

 

How will he translate in college?

Sometimes, it really pays to not have this humongous spotlight on you going into college. Players unfamiliar with him will soon remember him when they are chasing Isaac around screens only to have him wet a jumper. Isaac could put that IQ into great use if he was more willing to pass the ball more often to find his open teammates. If he could improve on his ball handling, Isaac could be possibly converted into a point guard, since he already has the offensive fundamentals of a smart, crafty point guard. Gaining strength in muscle and body weight are Isaac’s only needed adjustments for college basketball, other than that, he should fit right in to the system.

 

 

Tags: Basketball Kansas Jayhawks Marquette Golden Eagles Memphis Tigers

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