ESPN released it’s top 25 newcomers list yesterday from Jeff Goodman, detailing the new players who will have the biggest impact on their new teams for the upcoming college basketball season.
The list was headlined, quite predictably, by Jahlil Okafor, the #1 recruit and likely starting center for Duke this fall. Goodman predicts Okafor to be the difference-maker in lieu of the Blue Devils losing both Jabari Parker and Rodney Hood.
The first non-freshman came in at #6 with sophomore shooting guard Katin Reinhardt, who will suit up for USC this season. Reinhardt transferred from UNLV to join Andy Enfield’s program in southern California. Goodman looks at Reinhardt as the likely go-to scorer for the Trojans.
Following Reinhardt at #6 was Trevor Lacey of North Carolina State, another transfer. Lacey transferred from Alabama and, after sitting out a season, is ready to go for the Wolfpack. Predicted by Goodman to be the leader of the offense, Lacey could be in store for a big year in the ACC, one of the country’s toughest conferences this season.
Aside from some of the likely candidates, – Duke, Kentucky and UNC – Miami features two players on the list. One is transferred point guard Angel Rodriguez, who came in at #9, and fellow transferred guard Sheldon McClellan, a shooting guard who was #15. Moving to Miami for various reasons, this duo of upperclassmen will provide Jim Larranaga with a trustworthy backcourt.
Some notable players at the bottom of the list worth keeping an eye on include Auburn’s Antoine Mason, the nation’s leading returning scorer, Indiana University freshman James Blackmon Jr., described as a “shooter, shooter, shooter,” and Zay Jackson of Southeastern Louisiana, who transferred closer to home after legal troubles at at Murray State.
Let us know down below what you think of this list and who you think was left off or ranked too low!