And we have our first change at the top of our Freshman of the Year rankings. Kentucky’s Michael Kidd-Gilchrist overtook teammate Anthony Davis for the No. 1 spot this week, on the heels of his 24-point, 19-rebound performance against Louisville. Simply put, Kidd-Gilchrist is playing as well as anyone in the country, and is making his case for National Player of the Year. He contributes in so many ways for Kentucky, at both ends of the floor, and has also filled something of a leadership role for the young Wildcats. Davis is more talented, but he’s not No. 1 this week.
The Freshman of the Year rankings are released every Thursday afternoon, shortly after Jeff Goodman and Gary Parrish’s Player of the Year rankings.
1. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky (Last Week: 2): 13.9 ppg, 7.9 rpg
As mentioned above, Kidd-Gilchrist takes over the top spot. He might not have the same ceiling as Anthony Davis, but he’s Kentucky’s MVP and an All-American.
2. Anthony Davis, Kentucky (Last Week: 1): 12.7 ppg, 10.6 rpg, 4.5 bpg
Davis’ drop to No. 2 is way more about Kidd-Gilchrist’s play than a referendum on Davis. His performance in the second half against Louisville was impressive.
3. Cody Zeller, Indiana (Last Week: 3): 14.2 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 64.3 FG%
After struggling against Michigan State, Zeller bounced back with 14 points in just 21 minutes in the upset win over Ohio State. Key for Hoosiers going forward.
4. Trey Burke, Michigan (Last Week: 7): 14.0 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 5.0 apg
As some newcomers begin to falter, Burke is picking up his play. He had 27 points in a win over Minnesota after dishing out seven assists to beat Penn State.
5. Moe Harkless, St. John’s (Last Week: 5): 15.4 ppg, 8.1 rpg
He struggled offensively against Louisville and Connecticut in the past week, shooting just 9-for-24 from the field. Still put up good numbers.
6. D’Angelo Harrison, St. John’s (Last Week: 9): 15.9 ppg, 4.1 rpg
Harrison picked up some of the slack this week for the Johnnies. He is averaging 21.8 points in his last four games, becoming a go-to option on the perimeter.
7. Brad Beal, Florida (Last Week: 4): 14.5 ppg, 5.9 rpg
After getting hot the past few games, Beal really struggled this week. In his last three games, Beal is averaging just 10.3 points, going 10-for-35 from the field.
8. Austin Rivers, Duke (Last Week: 6): 15.1 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 42.3 3PT%
Rivers is not looking comfortable offensively lately. He went just 3-for-11 against Temple, never truly able to get his scoring going. Needs to be aggressive.
9. Tony Wroten, Washington (Last Week: NR): 16.8 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 3.4 apg
Wroten finally breaks into the rankings after leading Washington to two wins and winning Pac-12 Player of the Week honors. 21.5 points, 6.5 boards, 4.5 assists last week.
10. Kevin Pangos, Gonzaga: 14.8 ppg, 3.5 apg, 41.0 3PT%
After making a huge impact in his national television opener in November, Pangos has quietly continued to produce. He had 13 points and seven dimes vs. Xavier.
- As always, a couple of players were knocked out of this week’s rankings. Texas Tech’s Jordan Tolbert saw his hot streak end last week, but he was still solid and could earn his way back onto the list. Adam Smith of UNC-Wilmington is still inconsistent, going just 1-for-9 from 3-point range in his last two games.
- Rutgers’ Eli Carter was the last player out of this week’s rankings. He had 31 points, seven rebounds and seven assists against Florida, and is averaging 24.3 points in his last three games.
- LaDontae Henton of Providence had back-to-back double-doubles after getting knocked out of the rankings last week.
- Georgetown’s Otto Porter continues to find ways to help Georgetown win; he just needs one more big game to break into the top 10.
- Rodney Hood (Mississippi State) and Quincy Miller (Baylor) are finding their groove offensively. Hood had 16 and six against Utah State, while Miller is 18-for-36 in his last four games.
- Look out for Colorado’s Spencer Dinwiddie. He is averaging 15.5 points in his last four games – all wins.
- Delaware State’s Tahj Tate, who was suspended for four games, returned against North Carolina State to score 14 points on 5-for-20 shooting. He’s averaging 15.4 points per game.
- Saah Nimley, a 5-foot-8 point guard from Charleston Southern, is on our radar. He’s averaging 19.0 points and 5.8 assists in his last four games.
- Freshman leaders – Points: Juan’ya Green, Niagara (20.0); Rebounds: Anthony Davis, Kentucky (10.6); Assists: Dylan Garrity, Sacramento State (6.5)
Photo: US Presswire