The U.S. Basketball Writers Association released its midseason list for its National Freshman of the Year award and, well, it's really good.
|Sampson is the lone questionable omission. (US Presswire)|
Here are the 12 players voted onto the list:
- Jordan Adams, UCLA
- Kyle Anderson, UCLA
- Isaiah Austin, Baylor
- Anthony Bennett, UNLV
- Jahii Carson, Arizona State
- Yogi Ferrell, Indiana
- Ben McLemore, Kansas
- Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA
- Nerlens Noel, Kentucky
- Glenn Robinson III, Michigan
- Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State
- Nik Stauskas, Michigan
The dandy dozen includes all five players in my weekly Freshman of the Year rankings, as well as the past few runners-up (Austin and Muhammad). Moreover, it's difficult to argue with the Michigan duo of Robinson III and Stauskas, as both have been consistent throughout the year. Adams and Anderson have been very solid for UCLA, with Anderson coming on especially strong lately.
The only player I could even possibly question is Ferrell, who has played well lately for Indiana but could be replaced by more deserving players. St. John's forward JaKarr Sampson has been fantastic for the red-hot Red Storm, staking his claim as clearly the best freshman in the Big East. Guys like Rasheed Sulaimon, Semaj Christon, T.J. Warren and Archie Goodwin (and others) have put up good numbers throughout the year, but Ferrell is just as deserving as that group. Sampson is pretty much the lone omission I could argue.
(Disclaimer: I'm a member of the USBWA, but did not vote for the midseason list.)
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