Busting Brackets

NCAA Basketball: 5 impact high-major freshmen players so far in 2023-24 season

The college basketball season is two months in and one thing's for certain: freshman are still valuable assets in the landscape. Take a look at 5 freshmen names to get to know.

Clemson v Pittsburgh
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Reed Sheppard - 6'3 Guard - Kentucky

Reed Sheppard is off to quite the start in the Kentucky Wildcats backcourt. They've been one team that's yet to abandon recruiting top recruits each year on the recruiting trail and it's continued to pay off for them. Sheppard is one of a few you could name with this year's group, which is headlined by DJ Wagner and Rob Dillingham.

He's done most of his damage off the bench for the Wildcats as he's producing 12.8 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 2.9 steals per contest on 57.1 percent shooting from deep through their first 10 games. He's just as lethal shooting the ball on the perimeter as he is distributing to his teammates. He currently ranks ninth in the SEC in total assists (36) and fifth in 3-pointers made (24).

His ability to make an impact on the defensive end of the floor is even more impressive. He's currently got a defensive rating of 89.7 when he's on the hardwood, which ranks fourth in the SEC. His ability to make an impact on both ends of the floor has made it difficult for Coach Cal to keep him off the floor, which has already boded well for this Kentucky squad. They're currently 8-2 on the season and fresh off a victory against the UNC Tar Heels this past weekend.