Tag:LeBryan Nash
Posted on: January 26, 2012 1:13 pm
Edited on: January 26, 2012 1:47 pm

Freshman of the Year: Nash makes his case

Le'Bryan Nash has been up and down, but 27 points in an upset of Missouri cemented his spot in the rankings. (US Presswire)

By Jeff Borzello

The top freshmen in the country have been pretty stagnant lately, with the top four staying the same for the most part the past few weeks. Even the back end of the rankings didn’t see much movement this week – and it’s because many newcomers are beginning to hit a bit of a wall in conference play. They’re becoming more inconsistent, as teams key on them and organize defenses to stop them. It seems every time we look to add a player to the rankings, he goes out and struggles immensely. Consistency will be the key going forward. 

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. Anthony Davis, Kentucky (Last Week: 1): 13.2 ppg, 10.3 rpg, 4.7 bpg, 62.9 FG%
Davis didn’t have his best offensive week the past two games, going just 3-for-12 from the field for 15 total points. He’s still a menace defensively and on the boards.

2. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky (Last Week: 2): 13.2 ppg, 7.6 rpg
Kidd-Gilchrist was up to his old tricks against Alabama and Georgia. He had a great first half against Alabama, before fouling out, and had a solid all-around effort against Georgia.

3. Trey Burke, Michigan (Last Week: 3): 14.1 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 5.0 apg
Burke’s shooting has fallen off the past two games, going just 9-for-29 from the field. However, his playmaking and passing has been better, averaging 6.0 assists in that span.

4. Cody Zeller, Indiana (Last Week: 4): 15.1 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 65.9 FG%
His performance against Penn State over the weekend was vintage Cody Zeller: 7-for-8 from the field, 18 points, four blocks – and four rebounds.

5. Moe Harkless, St. John’s (Last Week: 7): 15.6 ppg, 8.3 rpg
Harkless had one of the better freshman weeks in the country. He went for 23 points and 13 boards against West Virginia, following a great all-around game against Villanova.

6. Brad Beal, Florida (Last Week: 6): 14.1 ppg, 6.1 rpg
Beal has been a bit passive the past couple of games, but he’s been efficient. The 3-pointer has returned, too; he’s 7-for-13 in his last three games from behind the arc.

7. Le’Bryan Nash, Oklahoma State (Last Week: 8): 13.2 ppg, 4.9 rpg
Nash is still too inconsistent, but he bounced back from a four-shot performance against Kansas State with 27 points, four boards and four assists against Missouri. 

8. Tony Wroten, Washington (Last Week: 5): 16.8 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 3.3 apg
Wroten has been erratic shooting the ball lately and his turnovers are on the rise again. He’s much better when he’s creating off the dribble. 

9. Austin Rivers, Duke (Last Week: NR): 14.2 ppg
He started the game against Wake Forest on the bench; it clearly woke him up. He’s averaging 16.3 points in his last three games, shooting 5-for-12 from 3-point range. 

10. Tony Mitchell, North Texas (Last Week: NR): 15.2 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 63.1 FG%
The Mean Green lost on Wednesday night and Mitchell was in foul trouble, but he’s dominating the Sun Belt. Went for 30 points and 17 rebounds over the weekend.


  • Justin Edwards of Maine dropped out from his second turn in the mid-major slot. He’s had subpar offensive performances the mpast three games, shooting just 14-for-34 from the field, with 17 turnovers.
  • Rutgers’ Eli Carter has fallen off a bit, regressing back to his season averages. He’s putting up 10 points per game in his last four. He also dropped out.
  • Based on stats, Georgetown’s Otto Porter wouldn’t be anywhere close to the rankings. But he does the little things – like coming up big down the stretch vs. Rutgers – that make him a candidate every week.
  • Baylor’s Quincy Miller might have been the last one off the list. He averaged 22.3 points in a three-game stretch, but had just five against Oklahoma.
  • Notre Dame’s Jerian Grant averaged 13 points and five assists in wins over Syracuse and Seton Hall. For a guy who didn’t play the point in high school, his vision and playmaking have been exceptional.
  • Michigan State’s Branden Dawson has been extremely efficient the past two games, shooting 13-for-17 from the field and averaging 15.0 points.
  • D’Angelo Harrison of St. John’s is looking to work himself back into the discussion. He’s averaging 23.5 points in his last two, shooting 14-for-30 from the field.
  • Still waiting for Andre Drummond to step up and dominate. He was completely neutralized against Cincinnati and Tennessee.
  • Rough go for Xavier’s Dezmine Wells the past two games. He was shut out against Saint Louis, after managing just five points against Dayton.
  • Juan’ya Green is the Niagara frosh that gets the most attention, but what about Antoine Mason? He’s a redshirt freshman and is averaging 15.1 points this season.
  • Louisiana Tech’s Raheem Appleby has stepped up his game tremendously lately. He’s averaging 19.0 points in his last five games.
  • Freshman leaders – Points: Kyle Vinales  Central Connecticut State (18.6); Rebounds: Anthony Davis, Kentucky (10.3); Assists: Dylan Garrity, Sacramento State (6.1)
Posted on: January 19, 2012 3:14 pm
Edited on: January 19, 2012 3:18 pm

Freshman of the Year: Davis creates separation

With his recent stretch, Anthony Davis is leaving the rest of the freshmen -- and his teammates -- in the dust. (US Presswire)

By Jeff Borzello 

Anthony Davis is stepping up his game when some of the other freshmen are hitting the proverbial wall. He had a tremendous performance against Arkansas earlier this week, going for 27 points, 14 rebounds and seven blocks in the win. He also set the Kentucky single-season record for blocks – with 12 regular-season games remaining for the Wildcats. As a result, he’s still No. 1 – and the gap between him and teammate Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is growing.

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. Anthony Davis, Kentucky (Last Week: 1): 13.8 ppg, 10.4 rpg, 4.7 bpg, 65.8 FG%
Davis’ scoring has always been an afterthought this season, but he’s averaging 18.5 points in his last six games. If that continues, Kentucky will be even tougher.

2. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kentucky (Last Week: 2): 13.2 ppg, 7.5 rpg
Kidd-Gilchrist bounced back from a mini-slump with 17 points and 12 boards against Tennessee, before an uneven game vs. Arkansas. Continues to contribute in so many ways.

3. Trey Burke, Michigan (Last Week: 3): 14.6 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 4.8 apg
Burke is getting better and better. He’s limited his turnovers lately; shot 15-for-24 in last two games; and scored 20 points and had the game-winning assist vs. Michigan State.

4. Cody Zeller, Indiana (Last Week: 4): 14.9 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 64.8 FG%
Zeller has found his offensive touch lately, averaging 19 points in his last three games. He’s also grabbing seven boards per game in those three. But Indiana is 0-3.

5. Tony Wroten, Washington (Last Week: 5): 16.8 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 3.4 apg
Wroten leads all BCS-conference freshmen in scoring this season, but he struggled against Washington State. With Cal and Stanford this weekend, he needs to step up.

6. Brad Beal, Florida (Last Week: NR): 14.3 ppg, 6.0 rpg
After a one-week hiatus, Beal is back on the list. His offense is coming around, averaging 15.5 points in his last two games, with six 3-pointers and just one turnover.

7. Moe Harkless, St. John’s (Last Week: 8): 15.6 ppg, 8.4 rpg
St. John’s has now lost five of its last six, but it’s through no fault of Harkless. He’s trying to carry the team as much as he can, and he never seems to have a truly bad game.

8. Le’Bryan Nash, Oklahoma State (Last Week: NR): 12.9 ppg, 4.9 rpg
He struggled against Baylor over the weekend, but Nash is averaging 16.2 points and 4.8 rebounds in Big 12 play. He’s also become far more efficient recently.

9. Eli Carter, Rutgers (Last Week: 6): 13.7 ppg, 3.0 rpg
Since making the rankings last week, Carter shot just 6-for-19 and averaged 9.5 points. He was still able to knock down a clutch 3 against Notre Dame in Rutgers’ win, though.

10. Justin Edwards, Maine (Last Week: NR): 15.7 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 3.4 apg
The first repeat mid-major player, Edwards continues to expand his game. He is distributing and rebounding more lately, but still has the ability to score. Edwards also defends. 


  • Three players were knocked out of the rankings. Mississippi State’s Rodney Hood averaged just 7.0 points and 4.3 rebounds in the three games since last week, shooting 8-for-21 from the field. Notre Dame’s Jerian Grant notched 12 assists against Rutgers, but he struggled scoring the ball and went just 3-for-11 from 3-point range. Obi Emegano also dropped out as Western Illinois dropped two games.
  • Baylor’s Quincy Miller is making his case to be included, averaging 19.0 points in his last two games. Can he make clutch plays, though?
  • Andre Drummond had notched three straight double-doubles, and was headed for the rankings – then he went 2-for-9 with four points against Cincinnati.
  • Xavier’s Dezmine Wells is averaging 12.6 points and 7.4 rebounds in Atlantic-10 play.
  • Austin Rivers is averaging just 7.7 points in ACC play.
  • Chasson Randle of Stanford is scoring 17.7 points in his last three games; he’s been one of the most underrated frosh in the country.
  • Fresh off Ole Miss’ win over Mississippi State, it’s time for Jarvis Summers to get some recognition. He’s mputting up 15.0 points and 4.7 assists in his last three games.
  • San Diego’s Johnny Dee is one of the better frosh shooters out there. In a three-game stretch, he shot 14-for-27 from deep and averaged 24.0 points.
  • Freshman leaders – Points: Juan’ya Green, Niagara (18.6); Rebounds: Anthony Davis, Kentucky (10.4); Assists: Dylan Garrity, Sacramento State (6.5)
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Posted on: November 25, 2011 6:13 pm

OK St. needs a hard-working Nash in order to win

Jeff Borzello

NEW YORK – At times during Oklahoma State’s loss to Virginia Tech on Friday, it seemed like the Cowboys were missing something.

That something was LeBryan Nash, and he was sitting on the bench. The team’s second-leading scorer and rebounder played only 11 minutes in the 59-57 defeat, not starting for the first time all season. He went 0-for-3 from the field and not getting a point or rebound.

Nash also didn’t seem overly excited about sitting on the bench, often standing on the periphery of team huddles and not showing the same enthusiasm as his teammates.

“I don’t know,” head coach Travis Ford said when asked how he thought Nash dealt with the decreased playing time. “I haven’t even thought about it. I don’t know.”

In order for Oklahoma State to be a factor in the Big 12 standings, or even come close to competing for an NCAA tournament bid, Nash is going to have to be the Cowboys’ go-to player. He’s certainly the most talented guy on the roster, entering Stillwater as a five-star recruit and a top-10 prospect by everyone.

He’s shown flashes of his potential, going for 18 points and nine rebounds against UTSA in an overtime win earlier this season. Moreover, his numbers look pretty good overall – 13.0 points and 5.5 rebounds.

What Nash still needs to improve upon, though, is bringing complete effort on a consistent basis.

“LeBryan’s a very important part of our team,” Ford said. “For us to maximize our team, you need your best players, your most talented players, to play hard. Just because you’re talented, things aren’t going to come easy for you.”

Oklahoma State was competitive without him, making an impressive run in the second half – a half where Nash only played two minutes. J.P. Olukemi and Markel Brown stepped up on the wings, combining for 32 points and 16 rebounds.

Nash, though, takes the team to a new level. The Cowboys needed his size and athleticism at the forward position, as they were allowed Virginia Tech to nab 21 offensive rebounds, converting them into 22 second-chance points.

Offensively, Nash has the potential to be a matchup nightmare. He’s long, athletic and he knows how to score in different ways. There are other players on Oklahoma State who can create their own shot, but not to the same extent as Nash. He’s one of the most explosive offensive players in the Big 12.

“He’s a very talented individual,” Ford said. “He’s in the process of learning. He’s learning about playing with a competitive edge, playing every possession like it’s your last possession.”

After back-to-back losses, Oklahoma State needs to bounce back. Ford liked the effort and body language in this game much better than Wednesday’s loss to Stanford, but that alone might not be enough during a tough four-game stretch in mid-December. The Cowboys play Missouri State, Pittsburgh, New Mexico and Alabama in a two-week span, before facing SMU and this same Virginia Tech team before Big 12 play.

Ford is confident Nash will be a factor in the near future.

“LeBryan’s going to be fine,” Ford said. “He may play 30 minutes next game.

Oklahoma State better hope that’s true.

Photo: US Presswire

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