Our first Freshman of the Week was Duke star Paolo Banchero, a former five-star prospect and a name most college basketball fans already know quite well. This week, the honor goes to someone most probably haven't heard of, as College of Charleston guard Reyne Smith takes home the honor following a prolific week of shooting.
The 6-foot-2 guard from the Australian island of Tasmania was already proving to be a quality addition for first-year Charleston coach Pat Kelsey. But this past week, Smith took his game to another level as he hit 12 of 19 attempts from 3-point range in a win over Tulane and a loss at Furman. In total, Smith averaged 23 points in those two contests and hit six 3-pointer in each while cementing his spot as the top freshman shooter in the country.
For the season, Smith is now making 48.4% of his 3-pointers on eight attempts per game. No other freshman is making more long-range shots per game than Smith, who represented Australia in the 2021 FIBA U19 World Cup before arriving on the American scene.
CBS Sports has once again teamed up with the United States Basketball Writers Association and its Wayman Tisdale Freshman of the Year Award to present this every-Tuesday feature. Each week we'll start by announcing the national Freshman of the Week honoree. The cycle for FOTW runs Tuesday-Monday.
These are the top 10 freshman performers in college basketball for this season.
1. Paolo Banchero | Duke
Stats: 17.8 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 50% FG
Banchero struggled in the second half again in Duke's loss to Ohio State on Nov. 30, but the five-star forward's overall body of work still stands out as the best among the freshmen in the sport. He has reached double figures in each of Duke's eight games, and once he gets his resolved, he'll get even better. Last week: No. 1
2. Jabari Smith | Auburn
Stats: 16.9 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 1.8 SPG, 43.9% 3PT
Smith leads Auburn in scoring and rebounding and has proven to be all that the Tigers could have hoped for in a top-10 prospect. The 6-10 forward is leading the team in 3-point shooting percentage, he's hitting his free throws, playing solid defense and showing a willingness to pass. He is a genuine star. Last week: No. 2
3. Chet Holmgren | Gonzaga
Stats: 13.3 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 3.7 BPG
Holmgren is second nationally in blocks per game and is bringing an element of rim protection to the Bulldogs' lineup that was massing last season. Offensively, he's not dominating opponents and is 0 for 7 from 3-point range in Gonzaga's two losses. But on a team that also features Drew Timme, Holmgren isn't supposed to be the leading scorer. Overall, the 7-footer has been great and will only improve as the season goes. Last week: No. 3
Stats: 16.1 PPG, 4.7 APG, 2.4 SPG, 42.3% 3PT
Chandler put the Volunteers on his back Saturday in a 69-54 Tennessee victory at Colorado. The 6-foot point guard scored 27 points on an astounding 12 of 14 shooting from inside the arc to help his squad notch a nice non conference road win. Chandler is proving nearly impossible to keep out of the paint, and his solid outside shooting forces opponents to play him honest. Last week: No. 5
5. Kendall Brown | Baylor
Stats: 13.4 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 71.9% FG
Considering what Brown is doing for the defending national champions in just 23.6 minutes per game, it's tantalizing to think about the types of numbers he might be putting up for a lesser squad. As it stands, Brown is playing his role to perfection and shooting up NBA Draft boards as a result. The versatile 6-8 wing is a big reason why the Bears actually look better defensively than they did last season. Last week: No. 4
6. Ryan Nembhard | Creighton
Stats: 12.7 PPG, 4.9 APG, 3.7 RPG, 50% 3PT
The 6-foot guard is running the show for Creighton as a true freshman while proving to be a selective shooter and steal collector on defense. He needs to cut back on his turnovers but is absolutely fulfilling his four-star billing to this point. Last week: No. 7
7. Aminu Mohammed | Georgetown
Stats: 14.3 PPG, 7.9 RPG, 1.6 SPG
Mohammed has been one of the few bright spots of Georgetown's season thus far amid a 3-4 start for the Hoyas. The program's third-highest ranked commitment of the 247Sports era has been equally or more effective against Mountain West and SEC opponents than against teams from lesser leagues. Last week: NR
8. Bryce McGowens | Nebraska
Stats: 17.3 PPG, 6.9 RPG, 84.2% FT
McGowens is a relentless scorer who is doing a great job of drawing fouls and converting at the free-throw line. His 24.4% 3-point shooting mark on 4.6 attempts per game will need to increase if the Cornhuskers are going to make any noise in the Big Ten. But he's been solid overall. Last week: NR
9. TyTy Washington | Kentucky
Stats: 14.9 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 2.9 APG
Since a 3-for-14 shooting night in the season-opener against Duke, Washington has quietly been really good. The 6-3 Washington is leading Kentucky in scoring and will get a chance to prove he can handle quality competition soon. Last week: No. 9
10. J.D. Davison | Alabama
Stats: 9.8 PPG, 4.6 APG, 55.3% FG
There is nothing jumping off the page about Davison's freshman season statistically, but the 6-3 guard had his biggest game yet in Alabama'son Saturday night. He scored nine points in the final four minutes to help cement the outcome. Last week: NR
Previous FOTW winners:
- Nov. 30: Paolo Banchero