Freshman of the year watch: Week 7

1. Anthony Bennett, UNLV (last week: 1 – 5th straight week)

The Freshman of the Year race is becoming decidedly lopsided. You can forget Frosh of the Year, and start thinking about Player of the Year. And now that Khem Birch is eligible, it just means Bennett will get more one-on-one looks. Five weeks ago I was getting ripped for having Bennett ahead of Marcus Smart. Now? Not so much. He had 20 points, 12 boards and 3 blocks vs Northern Iowa, and followed that up with 21 and 7 vs Canisius. And he scored those 41 points on just 24 shots. That's efficiency.

 

2. Ben McLemore, Kansas (lw: 2)

In KU's huge win over Ohio State, McLemore struggled a bit shooting 2s (5-11) and with turnovers (4), but he made 3-6 3s, all 3 of his free throws, grabbed six rebounds, and otherwise looked like an upperclassmen.

3. Jordan Adams, UCLA (lw: 4)

After struggling (it's all relative) for a few games, Adams has apparently decided to continue his monster season. In two games this week he made 13-17 2s (77%), 5-8 3s (63%), and 8-9 free throws (89%). He also averaged 6 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 3 steals. And he didn't turn the ball over a single time.

4. Nerlens Noel, Kentucky (lw: 3)

In the value-added category, Noel is beginning to separate himself from the other Kentucky freshmen. In UK's lone game this week (they crushed Marshall) Noel quiety strung together his 3rd double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. He had two steals and two blocks. Ho hum.

5. Shawn Long, Louisiana Lafayette (lw: 8)

It's a shame Long isn't getting more attention from the national press. In his first game this week the 6-9 Ragin' Cajun had 12 points, 13 boards, 2 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks. In the next game his line was 23, 14, 3, 2, 1. He needs to lay off the 3s, but otherwise has been absolutely dynamic.

6. T.J. Warren, NC State (lw: 6)

Warren continues to use only 19% of NC State's possessions, which is a bit of a concern for a guy who has the lowest turnover rate and the highest offensive efficiency on the team (coach, get him the ball). Against the Bonnies he had 13 points and 7 boards (five on the offensive glass).

7. Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA (lw: unranked)

Muhammad debuts in week seven as he's slowly working himself into game shape. For the 3rd straight game he made at least half his 2s and half his 3s. He also made 83% of his free throws. Against Fresno State he had 7 offensive rebounds and is now 5th in the Pac-12 at offensive rebounding.

8. Glenn Robinson III, Michigan (lw: 9)

Robinson doesn't have the offensive efficieny of fellow freshman Nik Stauskas, but he's a far more dynamic player. In Michigan's one game this week he had 13 points on just six shots, and continued to be a great balance to the Wolverines back court.

9. Alex Poythress, Kentucky (lw: 5)

Poythress isn't having the season the fans or his coaches expect him to have, but if you step back and remove the name from his jersey, he's still pretty impressive. He had a relatively quiet 9 points and 9 boards in his one game this week.

10. John Brown, High Point (lw: 10)

Another double-double. Seven more offensive boards. Three more steals. He uses the 8th most possessions in the nation and still manages to be efficient, and draws a ridiculous 7.1 fouls per 40 minutes.

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