Busting Brackets

Big Ten Basketball: Top 10 biggest impact freshmen from the 2023-24 season

Iowa v Illinois
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6. Jamichael Davis, Rutgers

Stats: 23.1 MPG, 5.6 PPG, 3.1 RPG

Joining a Rutgers backcourt with serious turnover over the offseason, Jamichael Davis has been able to take advantage and carve out a nice role for this Scarlet Knights team. He hasn't had the scoring outbursts of fellow frosh Gavin Griffiths, but has been a consistent offensive piece, averaging 5.6 points per game on 38% shooting. He's also proven to be an exceptional rebounder, grabbing 3.1 per game despite standing at just 6'2".

Like others on this list, Davis must continue to develop his shot, particularly from three-point territory and at the free throw line. He very rarely shoots from three territory but will need to add that to his arsenal, and shooting 50% from the stripe isn't going to cut it in this league. Fortunately there's few better teachers than experience, and he should continue to see plenty of minutes during the final stretch of the regular season.

5. DeShawn Harris-Smith, Maryland

Stats: 29.5 MPG, 6.9 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 2.1 APG

Maryland has fallen near the bottom of the Big Ten standings after struggling to close out game after game, but DeShawn Harris-Smith has been a real bright spot. The youngster from the "DMV" area has started 26 games for the Terrapins and put up solid numbers across the board, averaging nearly seven points per contest. He's proven he can get downhill and score through contact and his shooting has improved, even if it remains a serious work in progress.

Don't be surprised if Harris-Smith is the type of player who has a monster sophomore season in 2024-25. Jahmir Young is set to move on, leaving a major void in the backcourt, and Harris-Smith has already proven he can run the show for Kevin Willard. If he can continue to progress, this is a player who has a chance to be a consistent contributor for Maryland for the long haul.