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The play of three freshman stars in the first week of the season suggests this may be the best freshman class in a long time, perhaps ever. Time will tell whether this group can match the freshman classes of 2007 or 1979.
Jabari Parker of Duke, Julius Randle of Kentucky and Andrew Wiggins of Kansas received instant confirmation of stardom based on performances against elite competition on Nov. 12.
Randle is averaging 24.0 points and 14.0 rebounds through three games, and his 27-point, 13-rebound effort against No. 2 Michigan State suggested he will dominate the paint against all opponents.
Parker is the most versatile of the three. The 6'8" Parker hit 7-of-10 three-point shots in the first two games, including 4-for-7 from beyond the arc while scoring 27 points with nine rebounds against Kansas. He looks ready to step into an NBA lineup at several positions.
Wiggins showed limitations in the half-court against Duke but made big plays down the stretch, especially in transition, while collecting 22 points and eight rebounds in just 25 foul-plagued minutes. He is the best athlete of the trio.
It is probably unfair to draw any conclusions after just a few games, but if we were to rank the three based on their opening week of games, it would go like this: 1. Randle, 2. Parker, 3. Wiggins.
The fourth freshman of note is Arizona's Aaron Gordon, who averaged 13.5 points and 10 rebounds through two games but has yet to show his talents on a national stage against a quality opponent.
These four, plus several others, figure to be around for just one year but look like they may be the top college players this season.
"Six or seven freshmen are going to be taken in the first eight or nine picks," ESPN analyst Fran Fraschilla said, according to USA Today.
Is this group better than the 2007 class featuring Derrick Rose, Kevin Love, Eric Gordon, O.J. Mayo, Michael Beasley and Jerryd Bayless, all of who dominated play as freshmen and were among the top 11 picks in the 2008 NBA draft?
Is it better than the 1979 class, which included Ralph Sampson, Isiah Thomas, Dominique Wilkins and James Worthy, all of whom became immediate college stars?