Ranking College Basketball's Top 10 Freshman Duos in the Past Decade

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Ranking College Basketball's Top 10 Freshman Duos in the Past Decade
USA TODAY Sports

In college basketball, a great freshman class can't be considered a great class if there's only one star to come out of it. Even the best need some support, a sidekick who joins the program at the same time to form a feared freshman duo.

Over the past 10 years, most of which has coincided with the lifespan of the NBA's age restriction, the one-and-done style of recruiting has given us several pairs of talents that might have otherwise never even set foot on campus. Many classes that rank highly on Rivals.com or Scout.com turn out to be little more than one superstar and a bunch of spare parts, but those aren't the guys we come to honor here.

For this exercise, we turned to our friends over at ValueAddBasketball.com. The advanced metric site loosely defines "Value Add" as an individual player's impact on a game's point spread or how many points his team would lose on both ends if he were to miss a game. For a more detailed explanation, click here.

The basic criteria for including a pair of freshmen was that both men had to record a Value Add (VA) of at least 4.00 points during their debut seasons. This ensured that both were pulling their weight to ensure team success.

To give a little perspective, the following players recorded VAs at or around 4.00 during the 2013-14 season: Oklahoma's Cameron Clark, BYU's Tyler Haws, UMass' Chaz Williams, North Carolina's James Michael McAdoo and Baylor's Isaiah Austin. Only 218 of Division I's 4,500-plus players managed 4.00s last year.

Accomplishing a 4.00 VA, much like a similar grade-point average, is harder than it sounds. Over the past 10 seasons, only 21 pairs of freshmen managed to both break 4.00 VAs in their rookie years. Three came from the class of 2013, and four of those six players are now in the NBA.

We rank the duos here by the combined total of the two players' Value Adds. As one might expect, Kentucky is well-represented, but it's not the school with two pairs in the top five. Who is? Read on.

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