|Xavier's Semaj Christon is coming off a 25-point performance in a road win at Purdue over the weekend. (US Presswire)|
It's only one month into the season, but we're already starting to see some separation when it comes to the top freshmen in the country. Several players are starting to fade after hot starts, as competition gets stiffer and roles are figured out. Meanwhile, a host of players are heating up after relatively slow starts -- namely Michigan's Nik Stauskas and Xavier's Semaj Christon. Stauskas just missed the cut this week, while Christon made his debut at the No. 5 slot. If Ben McLemore takes over the go-to-guy role for Kansas, expect him to make an apperance soon.
Marcus Smart stays at No. 1, despite Oklahoma State losing its first game of the season. Smart still played very well, and he's among the Player of the Year candidates nationally. Kentucky, after losing two games, only has one player this week -- Nerlens Noel was knocked out by Christon. Obviously, as the Kentucky freshmen go, the entire Kentucky team goes.
As always, the Freshman of the Year rankings will be released on Tuesdays, along with the Player of the Year rankings.
|1. Marcus Smart -- Oklahoma State|
|2. Anthony Bennett -- UNLV|
|3. Archie Goodwin -- Kentucky|
|4. Jahii Carson -- Arizona State|
|5. Semaj Christon -- Xavier|
Others to Note:
- There was a strong fight for the fifth spot. We already gave the case for Christon -- and he barely beat out Kentucky's Noel . Noel shot just 7-fot-24 from the field in two losses last week and needs to be more of a factor on the offensive end.
- The next three in line were Duke's Rasheed Sulaimon, Michigan's Stauskas and Kansas' McLemore.
- If Boston College were any good, Olivier Hanlan would be getting more attention. In his last three games, Hanlan is putting up 20 points and 4.3 rebounds.
- Pittsburgh's James Robinson continues to put up solid numbers -- without much flash. He had 14 assists in wins over Howard and Detroit, turning it over just four times and also scoring 11 points per game. Kid is a winner.
- Jordan Reed of Binghamton is putting up some serious numbers in his first year. He's averaging 18.7 points and 10.1 rebounds, and is coming off a 26-point, 10-rebound performance against Monmouth.
- JaKarr Sampson and Chris Obekpa are going to be a duo to watch all season for St. John's. Sampson had 15 points and 17 rebounds in his last game out, while Obekpa is among the nation's leaders in blocked shots.
- Freshmen leaders -- Points: Bennett, UNLV (18.8); Rebounds: Michael Kessens, Longwood (11.4); Sekou Harris, Fairleigh Dickinson (7.3).