Austin Rivers and the Top 11 College Hoops Freshmen Highlight Reels on YouTube
There really is nothing better than watching the best high school basketball players in the country play against inferior competition.
When the likes of Austin Rivers or Anthony Davis are unleashed on mere mortal high school opponents, the results are spectacular. Luckily, their high school exploits have been forever recorded by various websites and uploaded to YouTube.
Watching these highlight films leads the viewer to wonder if these players ever do anything besides dunk or knock down fadeaway three pointers. The high school stars of 2011 are about to become the college freshmen of 2012.
It is likely that their highlights will not be quite so spectacular when they are matched against five legitimate Division 1 starters on a regular basis, but for now, enjoy watching these future NBA players wreak havoc as they play against high school players one last time.
Bradley Beal, Florida
What's impressive about Florida recruit Bradley Beal's highlight reel is his ability to consistently get to the basket and finish around bigger players. While his highlights are not as spectacular as some of the high flyers who will be featured later, Beal's blend of speed and agility is impressive.
Beal's jumper, which is not featured in his highlight reel, may be his best attribute. The guard has a silky jumper, and it will force defenses to treat him as more than just a slasher.
Bradley Beal will have an immediate impact for the Florida Gators, a team looking to recapture the magic of their back to back championships. They have not had a highlight-worthy player since the likes of Al Horford and Joakim Noah, but Bradley Beal could finally change that.
Khem Birch, Pittsburgh
If this highlight reel is any indication, Khem Birch is ready for the rough and tumble style of basketball played in the Big East. Unlike a lot of high school basketball players, Birch's highlight reel features a number of impressive blocks.
He has good speed on the defensive end, which allows him to get in place quickly to block a shot. In high school, the 6'9" Birch was quick enough to run the court and throw down some nasty dunks in transition.
In the Big East, it may be a little harder for him to run the court like he did in high school and Birch will need to develop post moves. Offense is not always the most important part of the game in the Big East.
Having an eraser like Khem Birch makes the Pitt Panthers a very threatening team in the super conference. Birch sent a lot of shots into the seats in high school, and he will be looking to do the same this fall in Pittsburgh.
BJ Young, Arkansas
BJ Young almost seems to be toying with his opponents in this highlight video. It is quite obvious that he knows he is the fastest player on the court.
With his speed and agility, Young takes the ball to the basket at will. His speed is also on display on the defensive end as he picks up a few chase down blocks.
With a great crossover dribble, Young is also able to create separation to free himself for step-back jumpers. After seeing this highlight, it is clear why BJ Young was one of the top recruits in the class of 2011.
PJ Hairston, North Carolina
In the world of high school basketball, there are no better highlight players than the 6'5"-6'6" swingmen. These are the players who are able to shoot the ball like guards and dunk like forwards.
PJ Hairston is no exception. He throws down a stunning array of dunks in his highlight reel, but also mixes in a wide variety of smooth jumpers.
His talents are not only reserved for the offensive end of the court. Hairston shows off the ability to send shots away, as well. The Tar Heels are lucky to have one of the most exciting players in the incoming freshman class. With Harrison Barnes returning, the future looks bright on Chapel Hill.
LeBryan Nash, Oklahoma State
LeBryan Nash has been compared to Derrick Williams, the second overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft. Williams is a powerful player in the post who can also knock down the outside jumper.
After watching Nash's highlight reel, it is hard not to agree with the comparisons to D-Will. He powers through countless defenders on his way to the basket, but also shoots the ball with touch. On defense, he is a force--watch him pin an opponent's shot to the backboard.
At Arizona, Derrick Williams could not be stopped. LeBryan Nash could not be stopped in high school, but he will need to rely on more than his athleticism to realize his NBA dreams.
Marshall Plumlee, Duke
Marshall is the third Plumlee brother to suit up for the Blue Devils. He may also be the best.
In his highlight reel, he shows a rare combination of height and size. There are not many players close to 7' who can run and dunk like Plumlee can.
At Duke, Marshall's brothers struggled to have an immediate impact. He will benefit from being on a veteran team. The Blue Devils will not need him to be an impact player during his freshman season and that will give him time to refine his post moves.
Adonis Thomas, Memphis
Memphis has been going through a down period since John Calipari bolted two years ago amid the Derrick Rose scandal. Coincidentally, Rose was the last star player to play for the Tigers.
In Adonis Thomas, the Memphis Tigers may finally have the player to lead them back to hoops prominence. Thomas is one of the top rated forwards in the class of 2011.
With his combination of speed and power, he is able to create some awesome fast break opportunities for himself. His is a highlight reel packed with fast break alley-oops and breakaway dunks.
The Tigers will need Thomas to develop a consistent jump shot, as it's not all layups and dunks at the NCAA level. He does not show off his jump shot much in the clip, but when he does, Adonis has a smooth stroke.
James McAdoo, North Carolina
James McAdoo followed his uncle, Bob McAdoo, to the University of North Carolina. After watching him terrorize high school opponents, it is clear that uncle Bob did more than just help his nephew choose a college.
Bob McAdoo was a great scorer in the NBA. James is just as ferocious, as he throws down dunks, knocks down jumpers, and swats shots in his highlight video.
Roy Williams has a very exciting recruiting class with PJ Hairston and James McAdoo. Look for both of them to have a big impact right away this season.
Quincy Miller, Baylor
Quincy Miller does not handle the rock like the 6'9" big man that he is. His open court dribbling in this video is one of the things that stands out right away. It is not often that you see a player this big break his man down from the point.
Miller simply does it all. He threads the needle with passes, hits jumpers and elevates easily for dunks. There really is no way to stop him with high school players.
Baylor's stock has slowly been rising in the world of NCAA basketball. With a player like Quincy Miller, they could get over the hump from a very good team to a championship contender.
Anthony Davis, Kentucky
Anthony Davis and Austin Rivers battled all year for the number one recruit rating. It is only fitting that they have the two best highlight reels in this slideshow.
The Kentucky recruit was simply a monster in high school. In this video, he is clearly the best player on the court. He seems to be doing whatever he wants. None of these high school opponents are worthy of being on the same court as Davis, and it shows.
The one thing that stands out the most about Anthony Davis is his ability to knock down the jump shot. There are plenty of videos out there of 6'10" kids dunking all over high schoolers, but not many of those same players have three point shooting range.
Kentucky again has a stacked recruiting class with guards Marquis Teague and Michael Gilchrist but Anthony Davis stands out as the best of the group by far.
Austin Rivers, Duke
Not much needs to be written here. College basketball fans have known how talented Doc Rivers' youngest son Austin is for years.
Just watch and enjoy the most athletic guard in the nation destroy his opponents. We will probably be treated to only one college season by this athletic specimen. Hopefully Rivers can provide more highlights like these in what is likely to be his only season at Duke.