Freshman rankings: Duke's Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett hold lead; Kansas' Devon Dotson is Freshman of the Week

CBS Sports has once again teamed up with the United States Basketball Writers Association and its Wayman Tisdale Freshman of the Year Award. Every Tuesday we announce a national Freshman of the Week winner in addition to our Frosh Watch, which is a ranking of the top 10 most statistically impressive freshmen in men's Division I college basketball.

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Kansas guard Devon Dotson is the CBS Sports/USBWA Freshman of the Week USATSI

Freshman of the Week: Devon Dotson, Kansas

Kansas point guard Devon Dotson is the CBS Sports/USBWA Freshman of the Week, coming out in what was tightest chase this season. Dotson's clutch performance on Monday night in a road win at TCU put him over the top against the likes of Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett (Duke), Naz Reid (LSU), Coby White (UNC) and Giorgi Bezhanishvili (Illinois). 

Kansas won 82-77 on the road, keyed in no small part by Dotson's career-high 25 points and 10 rebounds. In three games since last week's Frosh Watch update, Dotson averaged 18.7 points, 6.7 rebounds, 5.7 assists and 2.3 steals. Dotson was efficient across the trio of games, shooting 18-of-35 in total vs. Kansas State, Oklahoma State and TCU.

Two of the three games came on the road. KU frosh Ochai Agbaji, we should also note, played effectively and has proven to be a vital inclusion to KU in light of Udoka Azubuike's season-ending wrist injury. 

But it's Dotson who is ever-important, as he's being tasked with running KU's offense and doing so without an experienced veteran in the backcourt who can guide him in terms of having real point guard experience. Dotson's showing vs. TCU also kept Kansas within arms' reach of K-State; the Wildcats have a two-game lead in the Big 12 standings. Dotson went 6 for 6 from the line in the final 40 seconds of overtime to seal the win. He did this after taking a tough fall and remaining on the ground for a moment as well.

Overall, really tough and impressive stuff from Dotson in a spot when Kansas needed him.  

Dotson's not yet on our Frosh Watch, but a week like this has him gaining strong consideration for our top 10. If he plays similarly down the stretch of the regular season and keeps Kansas from losing on the road, he'll have a great shot at breaking through.

FROSH WATCH 

These are the top 10 freshman performers in college basketball.

1. ZION WILLIAMSON, Duke

Key stats: 21.8 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 42.5 PER

We can't officially wrap the CBS Sports Freshman of the Year voting or anything, but it's going to take the most unthinkable and unpredictable collapse ever for Williamson not to wind up, minimally, with FOY in addition to pushing for national player of the year and leading comfortably at this stage. The block on De'Andre Hunter in the Virginia game was his biggest and best highlight yet of the season, which is saying something. But we've never seen something like this on a college basketball court before. 

2. RJ BARRETT, Duke

Key stats: 23.1 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 3.7 apg

Barrett spoke with CBS Sports HQ following Duke's huge road win at Virginia on Saturday and commented on the team's ever-rising ceiling. Specifically, he told Matt Norlander that Duke's ability to shoot well from deep can become a consistent thing, but we'll see if that comes to be. For Barrett, the Virginia game was huge in that he set a career-high with six made 3-pointers, including hitting his first five from deep in the first half. He's become slightly overshadowed with Williamson doing absurd things every game, but make no mistake: Duke would have many more than two losses if it didn't have Barrett.

3. ANTOINE DAVIS, Detroit

Key stats: 26.7 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 39.7 3p%

With a 36.9 percent usage rate that puts him inside the top-5 among men's college players this season, Davis is taking advantage. He leads all freshmen in scoring at 26.7 points per game this season, and has done so efficiently, hitting 41.3 percent of his shots from the floor and 39.7 percent from 3-point range. With 108 made 3-pointers in 23 games played, Davis is challenging Stephen Curry's Division I record for made 3-pointers in a season, which he set in 2007-2008 with 162.

4. ROMEO LANGFORD, Indiana

Key stats: 17.5 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 2.4 apg

Romeo was superb in his two showings this past week with IU, going 13 of 25 from the floor and 6 of 14 from 3 to average 18.5 points and 3-pointers boards per game. IU, however, was not; it dropped two straight after a nice OT win on the road against Sparty to make it nine losses in 10 games dating back to Jan. 6. Langford has been one of the lone bright spots for the Hoosiers, though. Against Ohio State on Sunday he was efficient and flashed brilliance defensively by snatching two steals, one right from OSU guard C.J. Jackson's grip, and another for a scoop and score.

5. LAMINE DIANE, Cal State Northridge  

Key stats: 24.3 ppg, 10.7 rpg, 2.2 bpg, 38.1 usage rate

Lamine Diane leads all men's college players -- not just freshmen -- with a 38.1 percent usage rate. Ahead of fellow frosh star Antoine Davis, ahead of POY candidates Markus Howard and Ethan Happ, and ahead (by a smidge) of the nation's leading scorer, Campbell Fighting Camel star Chris Clemons.

Diane is turning that high usage rate into points, to no surprise; he's taking upwards of 20 shot attempts per night. But this week, he may have made the best pass of the week by any freshmen at the NCAA level.

6. COBY WHITE, North Carolina 

Key stats: 16.0 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 4.2 apg

White was erratic down the stretch vs. Virginia on Monday night -- having De'Andre Hunter and Mamadi Diakite chase you into seeing baby dragons will have its affects -- but he's certainly moving up the Frosh Watch. White had 33 points and six assists vs. Miami on Saturday, marking the first time a UNC player had 33/6 in a game since Joseph Forte almost 20 years ago. Even more surprising: White is the only freshman in program history to score at least 33 points twice in a season. If his desperation 3-pointer had counted vs. UNC with less than four minutes remaining, the Tar Heels very well might have won. 

7. KELDON JOHNSON, Kentucky

Key stats: 13.9 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 117.6 KenPom ORtg

Keldon Johnson is as steady as they come. This week in two wins he logged 11 points and 6.5 boards per game, and has been critical in UK's concurrent 10 game winning streak. UK's power structure has shifted a bit to second-year star PJ Washington over the past few weeks, but Johnson is making a tangible impact each night on defense with his hustle, and on offense with his floor-spacing and ability to knock down open 3-pointers.

8. JAYDEN GARDNER, East Carolina

Key stats: 17.7 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 1.3 apg

Gardner's prouction has tailed off just a hair against AAC competition, as he's averaging 16.1 points and 8.8 rebounds per game in AAC play. But he's still among the top performers in the league; his 17.7 points per game ranks fourth in the AAC, and his 8.8 rebounds per game ranks second.

9. JAXSON HAYES, Texas

Key stats: 10.5 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 2.4 bpg

He might only be playing 23 minutes per game, but Jaxson Hayes has played himself into NBA lottery discussion with his pogo-sticking, shot-blocking ways, uber-efficient ways. His block rate of 12.1 percent ranks 13th nationally, his offensive rating of 136.6 ranks fourth nationally, and his true shooting percentage of 75.4 ranks first nationally.

10. IGNAS BRAZDEIKIS, Michigan

Key stats: 15.0 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 1.0 apg

Brazdeikis was rendered ineffective against Wisconsin on Saturday, as he scored just two points and went 1 of 9 from the floor. But he and his Wolverines got the W -- and better for him, his dud came four days removed from a huge 23-point, five-rebound game against Rutgers.

Previous Freshman of the Week winners:

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Matt Norlander is a national award-winning senior writer who has been with CBS Sports since 2010. He's in his ninth season reporting on college basketball for CBS, and also covers the NBA Draft, the Olympics... Full Bio

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