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Big 12 Basketball's Fresh Meat: The Top 5 Freshmen in the Conference

Charlie WeinmanContributor IIIFebruary 10, 2011

Big 12 Basketball's Fresh Meat: The Top 5 Freshmen in the Conference

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    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Top high school recruits commit to colleges in hopes of producing and making an impact right when they get on the scene at their new school. Playing as a freshman in one of the toughest conferences in the nation is a difficult challenge. It is a challenge to see who has what it takes to play in the close games with only few seconds left. A challenge to see who will play in the spotlights against the best teams in the country and hard games against top rivals. Lets take a look at the top five freshmen in the Big 12 that has stepped up and succeeded this challenge.

5. Melvin Ejim

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    Melvin Ejim is the 5th best freshman in the Big 12. The 6-6 freshman hails from Brampton, Ontario. This forward has been huge for the Cyclones. Ejim averages 28.3 minutes a game, the fifth most on his team. The big man averages 10.8 points a game while picking up 6.9 rebounds a game.

    Best Game This Season: January 29th, a 82-76 loss to Oklahoma.

    Even though the Cyclones lost, Ejim still managed to play thirty-five minutes and score nineteen points and record twelve rebounds.

4. Phil Pressey

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    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Phil Pressey is the 4th best freshman in the Big 12. The 5-10 guard from Dallas, Texas has shined at Mizzou. Pressey plays on average 22 minutes a game. He averages 6.9 points a game and shoots .365% from down town. The most impressive stat for Pressey is that he averages 4.1 assists per contest. Pressey has shown his great point guard skills with his fancy no-look passes and his ability to knock down shots from anywhere on the court.

    Best Game This Season: February 8th, a 103-86 loss at Kansas.

    At his first game at the Phog, Pressey played 30 minutes. He scored 17 points (hitting four threes) and dished out six assists.

3. Josh Selby

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    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

     Josh Selby is the 3rd best freshman in the Big 12. The 6-2 guard from Baltimore, Maryland is one of the best three-point shooters in the nation. Selby shoots .435% from three-point range.  Selby plays on average 26.6 minutes a game while putting up 12 points a game. Josh also averages 3.2 assists per contest.

    Best Game This Season: December 18th, a 70-68 win over USC.

    This was Josh Selby's first game of the season. Selby hit five threes and scored 21 points. He also added five rebounds and an assist.

2. Perry Jones

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    Perry Jones is the second best freshman in the Big 12. The 6-10 forward from Duncanville, Texas has been a huge factor for Scott Drew's Baylor Bears. Jones plays on average 33.5 minutes a game. Playing alongside LaceDarius Dunn, Perry scores 14.7 points a game and picks up seven rebounds a contest.

    Best Game This Season: February 5th, a 76-74 win at Texas A&M.

    In a tough game at College Station, Perry Jones played 43 minutes and scored 27 points. He also had seven rebounds and went a perfect 7-7 from the charity stripe.

1. Tristan Thompson

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    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Texas' Tristan Thompson is the best freshman in the Big 12 this season. The 6-8 forward from Brampton, Ontario helps lead the #3 team in the nation Longhorns by dominating the paint. Thompson averages 30 minutes a game and scores 12.7 points per game. He gets the edge of Perry Jones because of his 7.4 boards a game and his 2.3 blocks per contest. Tristan Thompson looks to be one of the few big men in the country that should be able to stop Jared Sullinger and the Buckeyes in the big dance.

    Best Game This Season: December 22nd, a 67-55 win at Michigan State.

    Tristan Thompson and the Longhorns upset the #12 Spartans in a non-conference game in Lansing. Thompson scored 17 points and recorded 15 rebounds (a season and career high).

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