College Basketball: Midseason Evaluation for Top 10 Freshmen of 2011-12

Doug Brodess@DougbrodessCorrespondent IJanuary 25, 2012

College Basketball: Midseason Evaluation for Top 10 Freshmen of 2011-12

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    Half of the 2011-12 college basketball season is in the books.

    There have been plenty of upsets and surprises already...and the best is yet to come.

    This year's freshmen have played a variety of roles on their respective teams.

    Some have stood out and others have disappointed.

    Here is a quick look at how the top 10 freshmen are faring so far this year.

Andre Drummond Was Not in's Top Ten

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    Note: Because Andre Drummond was headed to prep school this year, and then changed his mind, he was not listed in the Class of 2011 Top Ten. He is included on this list because he would have been No. 1 or 2.

    Andre Drummond's arrival at UConn led a lot of people around the college basketball nation to predict that the Huskies could very easily repeat.

    Drummond's sheer size and athleticism was supposed to translate into Connecticut being able to own the paint.

    The 6'11" center's stats (9.7 ppg, 7.6 rpg and 2.5 bpg) have been much more common than anticipated.

    If Drummond and Alex Oriakhi can figure out how to play together, look out.

    Until then, UConn will continue to be off and on through the rest of the season.

    Midseason Grade: C- 

10. DeAndre Daniels (UConn)

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    DeAndre Daniels came to UConn with the reputation of being an elite scorer who could use his size and length to create matchup nightmares on the wing.

    So far, Huskies' head coach Jim Calhoun may be the one who is having trouble sleeping.

    Daniels has only scored in double-figures in two games (Wagner and Maine) this season.

    He is currently averaging a frustrating 4.0 ppg and and 2.6 rpg, while shooting a dismal 37.5 percent from the field.

    In Big East play, Daniels has only dropped in 19 points in seven games.

    Midseason Grade: D

9. Khem Birch (Pitt)

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    Khem Birch was supposed to step right into Jamie Dixon's team and elevate the play of the Panthers frontcourt.

    Coming out of high school, he had the reputation of being explosively athletic and an elite-level shot-blocker.

    Instead of dominating, Birch struggled from day one at Pitt. The 6'9" forward never got on track and ended up transferring to UNLV.

    While at Pitt, Birch played in 10 games, averaging 4.4 points, five rebounds and two blocked shots per game.

    Midseason Grade: D-

8. James Michael McAdoo (North Carolina)

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    Very few people predicted that James Michael McAdoo would do much more than provide some quality backup minutes for the Tar Heels this season.

    With John Henson and Tyler Zeller firmly established in UNC's frontcourt, McAdoo is averaging 5.4 points and 3.6 rebounds per game while playing around 12-15 minutes.

    In four ACC outings, the 6'9" forward has only scored seven points (shooting 3-for-10 from the field) and grabbed nine rebounds.

    Midseason Grade: C

7. Quincy Miller (Baylor)

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    Quincy Miller is having a very solid season for Baylor.

    The 6'9" forward averages 12.5 points and 4.9 rebounds per game while shooting 49 percent from the floor and 41 percent from beyond the arc.

    In Big 12 play, Miller put up 21 points against Oklahoma State and 29 against Missouri.

    While he is the Bears' fourth-leading scorer, Miller plays an important role in their postseason hopes.

    Midseason Grade: B

6. Le'Bryan Nash (Oklahoma State)

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    Le'Bryan Nash came to Stillwater with the reputation of being a hard-nosed, physically-gifted player.

    While the Cowboys are having a disappointing season (9-10, 2-4 Big 12), Nash is not, averaging 12.5 ppg and 4.9 rpg.

    The 6'7" wing has scored 21 points in three (Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Iowa State) of his six Big 12 games so far.

    Midseason Grade: B

5. Marquis Teague (Kentucky)

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    Marquis Teague has big shoes to fill in Lexington.

    Coming behind John Wall and Brandon Knight, Teague inherited the huge task of running the show for John Calipari's No. 1-ranked Kentucky Wildcats (20-1, 6-0 SEC) .

    Teague has had an uneven first half to his freshman year, averaging 10 points and 4.4 assists.

    At times, the 6'2" point guard has a tendency to try to do too much, which results in careless turnovers (three per game) and 30 percent shooting from beyond the arc.

    Down the stretch and in the NCAA Tournament, Teague's ability to stay under control and set up his teammates will be crucial.

    Midseason Grade: C+

4. Bradley Beal (Florida)

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    Bradley Beal has improved a Florida team that had plenty of backcourt talent before he arrived.

    The 6'3" guard is averaging 14.1 points and an impressive 6.1 rebounds per game.

    The only part of his game that has lacked a little has been his shooting touch from beyond the arc (34.3 percent).

    Midseason Grade: B+

3. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Kentucky)

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    MKG is one of the top SFs in the nation of any class.

    He is relentless when it comes to getting to the rim and has established himself as someone who can score when Kentucky needs a bucket.

    Kidd-Gilchrist averages 13.2 points, 7.6 rebounds, 1.2 blocks and 1.2 steals per game with four double-doubles on the season.

    Midseason Grade: A

2. Anthony Davis (Kentucky)

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    Anthony Davis has been superb from the very beginning of the season.

    Davis changes games on both ends of the court.

    The 6'10" forward is averaging a double-double (13.2 ppg and 10.3 rpg) and is the nation's leading shot-blocker with 98 blocks in 21 games.

    Davis is shooting 62.9 percent from the field and 71.3 percent from the line.

    Calipari better get all of the performance he can out of Davis this year. He is most likely going to be the first pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. 

    Midseason Grade: A

1. Austin Rivers (Duke)

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    Austin Rivers has had a decent but uneven first half to his freshman year at Duke.

    The 6'4" guard is scoring well (14.4 ppg), but he has more turnovers than assists (42 to 34) in the Blue Devils' first 19 games.

    While SGs don't always pull down a lot of boards, Rivers' 2.6 rpg indicates a lack of effort on his part to go after the missed shot on either end of the court.

    Rivers is the key to Coach K's crew making a deep run in this year's NCAA Tournament.

    Midseason Grade: B-