Ranking the 10 Most Impressive College Basketball Debuts in the Past Decade

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Ranking the 10 Most Impressive College Basketball Debuts in the Past Decade
O.J. Mayo of USC and Michael Beasley of Kansas State

The performances of Kansas' Andrew Wiggins, Kentucky's Julius Randle and Duke's Jabari Parker in their first college games suggest they will be the stars many expected. Their debuts measure up rather favorably to some of the most impressive college basketball debuts over the past decade.

No players in that span can match the 52-point performance by Kansas' Wilt Chamberlain in 1956 or the 56-point game by UCLA's Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (then Lew Alcindor) in 1966 or the 48 points scored by LSU's Pete Maravich in their first varsity college games as sophomores when freshmen were ineligible.

But there were some impressive debuts between the 2003-2004 season and the 2012-2013 season. The 27-point showing by Syracuse freshman Carmelo Anthony and the 26-point effort by Florida freshman Matt Walsh, both in 2002, fall just outside our self-imposed 10-year time frame.

In considering the most impressive debuts in the past decade, production was the primary criterion, although the circumstances and quality of the opponent were also factors.

We start our countdown of the 10 most impressive debuts of the past decade with eight performances that rate honorable mention. That's followed by one joint-performance that deserves to be noted.


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