|Marcus Smart has led Oklahoma State to a 4-0 start and a spot in the top 25. (US Presswire)|
With two full weekends of the college basketball season under our belt, it's time to start looking at the top freshmen in the country. Anthony Davis held the top spot last year from start-to-finish, save for one week in December when teammate Michael Kidd-Gilchrist temporarily took over No. 1.
This season, I don't expect that we will have the same type of dominant consistency throughout the entire season. With that said, one player has separated himself a bit from the field after a couple of weeks. Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart is the No. 1 player in Jeff Goodman and Gary Parrish's Player of the Year watch -- and it's the same case with Freshman of the Year. Smart has put up great numbers early, while also leading the Cowboys into the Top 25.
After Smart, a number of players could have made convincing cases for being included in the top five -- but we had to make some tough calls. Most teams have only played two or three games, so it's difficult to truly assess which freshmen are the best so far. Last season, the top five guys separated themselves as the season progressed -- will we see the same thing this year? We'll wait and see.
|1. Marcus Smart – Oklahoma State|
|2. Nerlens Noel – Kentucky|
|3. Anthony Bennett – UNLV|
|4. Isaiah Austin – Baylor|
|5. Gary Harris – Michigan State|
Others to Note:
- There were several guys who just missed: Archie Goodwin (Kentucky), Alex Poythress (Kentucky), Ben McLemore (Kansas), T.J. Warren (NC State), Glenn Robinson III (Michigan), Rodney Purvis (NC State), Brandon Ashley (Arizona), Ryan Arcidiacono (Villanova ) and Rasheed Sulaimon (Duke).
- Jordan Adams could have made the top five based solely on his scoring exploits. He's reached 20 points in all four games, averaged 23.5 points so far. Ben Howland needs to find minutes for him.
- We expect UCLA's Shabazz Muhammad on this list in due time -- but not yet. He did score 15 points in his debut against Georgetown on Monday, though.
- Prezemek Karnowski has had two games of 20-plus points, shooting 19-for-26 in those contests. Against West Virginia, though, the Gonzaga big had six points and four fouls.
- Kyle Anderson has shown off his tremendous vision and mismatch ability, but the UCLA wing is just 1-for-16 in his last two games.
- Nik Stauskas won't get the most attention on Michigan, but he could be a major weapon as a shooter. He's already averaging double figures.
- After a long wait, Arizona State's Jahii Carson is averaging 17.5 points and 6.0 assists through two games.
- Javan Felix hasn't been great in place of Myck Kabongo at Texas, but he's getting acclimated. The loss on Monday to Chaminade was embarrassing, though.
- Excited to see what Iowa State's Georges Niang does when the Cyclones start playing legitimate competition. He's been productive so far -- 14.3 points, 7.3 rebounds -- and he'll find ways to make an impact.
- Some other guys to keep an eye on: Seth Allen (Maryland), Chris Washburn (UTEP), Marcus Hunt (