We here at CBS Sports have once again teamed up with the United States Basketball Writers Association and its Integris Wayman Tisdale Freshman of the Year Award, meaning our weekly feature on the best freshman in the country will work hand in hand with the Tisdale committee and the USBWA. The winner of the award will be announced in March, while a ceremony for all USBWA honors will take place in early April. Each week we will provide a look at the best freshman for the previous week, followed by our top 10 overall Frosh Watch as we see them at this point in the season.

Freshman of Week: T.J. Leaf, UCLA

A very close call this week, as Leaf beats out Kansas' Josh Jackson by a small margin. In two UCLA road wins last week, Leaf averaged a double-double (26.0 points, 12.0 rebounds), in addition to to 3.0 assists and 23-of-31 shooting (a terrific 74.2 percent).

The Bruins swept the Washington schools, getting to 21-3 in the process. Leaf, once again, showed flashes of being a top-five freshman in America. And it's not as if he's entirely a byproduct of Lonzo Ball's playmaking. While he certainly benefits from time to time, a lot of what this kid can do is self-made stuff.

Still, sometimes, the Ball-Leaf connection creates beautiful stuff. Look at Leaf's extension on this alley-oop from last week's Washington State game.

Leaf had been struggling some in Pac-12 play, but his performances last week served as a reminder that when he and Ball are at their best, UCLA's offense is better than anyone's in the country.

In winning Freshman of the Week, Leaf is holding steady at No. 6 in the Frosh Watch rankings. Let's look at the full list.

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Big week last week for Leaf and Ball, and now Oregon comes up next, Thursday. USATSI

Here are the top 10 freshman performers in college basketball from the start of the season until now.

10. Miles Bridges, Michigan State

Last week: No. 10

16.3 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 1.7 blocks, 55.1 2-pt%, 41.3 3-pt %, 101.7 ORtg

Bridges edges out Shamorie Ponds of St. John's, Jayson Tatum of Duke and Jarrett Allen of Texas for the 10 spot. Most importantly for Sparty, the team got a much-needed road win last week, dodging trouble by beating Nebraska 72-61. Bridges had 16 points and six boards in that game. Upcoming: at Michigan, then home to Iowa. In Jerry Palm's latest bracket evaluation, the Spartans (14-9) land as a 10 seed. If MSU loses at Michigan, you can easily make the argument the Spartans are more deserving of NIT than NCAAs.

9. Justin Patton, Creighton

Last week: No. 9

13.7 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 1.8 blocks, 72.1 2-pt%, 121.5 ORtg

Patton has been holding firm in the 9 spot for more than half the season, and if you've been watching Creighton, you know it's warranted. He has been a top-10 freshman in both value, statistical impact and efficiency. And now he's continuing to play to his averages even though his point guard is done for the season. That's something most big men wouldn't do. Plus, Patton's developing a terrific but difficult habit: blocks-as-transition. To wit:

OK, if you're gonna be swatting fools and then helping your team turn that into two points less than four seconds later, then things get really dangerous. Patton's going to have a very interesting decision to make after this season. I love both his ability to become an amazing college player next season but also think he'll wind up as a very nice pro.

8. Lauri Markkanen, Arizona

Last week: No. 7

15.9 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 53.2 2-pt%, 48.7 3-pt%, 85.4 FT%, 134.3 ORtg

Markkanen is coming off, far and away, his worst week of the season. Arizona got blitzed at Oregon over the weekend, falling 85-58, and Markkanen did almost nothing. In 27 minutes he had a season-low four points on five shots, was 0-of-3 from 3-point range, had three fouls and three rebounds. This came after he had eight points and nine rebounds on 1-of-6 shooting and two turnovers in a 71-54 win at putrid Oregon State. I'd expect a bounce-back week for the Finnish sharpshooter. Arizona (21-3) hosts Stanford and California upcoming. The key will be dodging foul trouble; in his two prior games against those teams, he totaled eight fouls.

7. Josh Jackson, Kansas

Last week: No. 8

16.0 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 3.0 APG, 1.7 steals, 53.9 2-pt%, 107.0 ORtg

Jackson was good but, once again, had foul trouble hurt his stat line. In Kansas' impressive 74-71 road win over K-State on Monday night, Jackson was hit with his third foul at the 18:53 mark of the second half. The foul was unfortunate, as he was sliding on the floor for a loose ball and connected with another player. In KU's three games since last week's Frosh Watch update, Jackson averaged 18.6 points, 7.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 2.0 steals. Until he picked up that third foul -- and then a fourth -- he was on his way to taking FOTW. But no matter, because he moves up a spot this week and is looking more and more like a top-five pick. Also, did you see maybe the greatest steal of the season? Frank Mason III, everybody.

One more note on Jackson. ESPN's Fran Fraschilla said on Monday night's telecast, "If this guy could make his free throws, he'd be averaging 18 or 19." He's absolutely right. Jackson's shooting just 54 percent from the stripe, and he's getting to the line 5.3 times per game. If he can get that percentage up to 70 in his next 10 games, it will definitely make a difference for KU.

6. T.J. Leaf, UCLA

Last week: No. 6

17.1 PPG, 8.9 RPG, 2.7 APG, 67.4 2-pt%, 46.7 3-pt%, 132.2 ORtg

Oregon comes to town on Thursday night, and what a huge game that will be. Leaf in particular will need to play differently from how he fared against the Ducks back on Dec. 28, the team's Pac-12 opener. In that game he had 13 points, five rebounds and four fouls. It was one of his two or three worst games of the season.

Now he gets another chance, but remember, Oregon's frontline duo of Chris Boucher and Jordan Bell are terrific. Ball vs. Dillon Brooks will be the matchup a lot of people home in on, but I want to see what Leaf does. He's had really good games against good competition (Kentucky, Cal) and stumbled against other legitimate teams (Oregon, Arizona).

5. Malik Monk, Kentucky

Last week: No. 5

21.9 PPG, 2.4 RPG, 2.3 APG, 56.1 2-pt% 41.2 3-pt%, 120.8 ORtg

Take the time to read Sam Vecenie's evaluation on Monk's translation to the next level. In short: Monk can be amazing at the college level, but he's probably going to be a defensive liability in the NBA, and the fact he doesn't drive to the hoop more against college competition is rightfully worrisome. He's also small, weight-wise and frame-wise, and he's in no way molded to be a lead guard, let alone a point guard. A lot of the reasons Vecenie lists are similar to why Monk -- to the chagrin of Kentucky fans -- hasn't been higher than fifth on the Frosh Watch this season. He's an amazing shooter/scorer ... and that's really it. His statistics elsewhere, and lack of efficiency elsewhere, hinder him. So when he gets on a cold streak, or if he's shut down by a defender, then what do you have?

4. De'Aaron Fox, Kentucky

Last week: No. 4

16.0 PPG, 5.5 APG, 4.4 RPG, 1.5 steals, 53.8 2-pt%, 112.4 ORtg

Fox did not play in Kentucky's home game against Georgia, an overtime win that only came to be because of Monk's heroics. Against Florida on Saturday, Fox played 25 minutes, had 19 points on 11 shots but struggled due to foul trouble. For those who watched the game, Kentucky -- much like it looked in the first half of the Georgia game, when Fox wasn't there -- was crooked in execution without Fox. Expect No. 0 to have a big week. Kentucky hosts LSU (9-13) on Tuesday, then plays at Alabama (13-9) on Saturday. Inferior competition plus Fox's speed and some UK urgency should make for a happy week for Kentucky fans.

3. Dennis Smith Jr., NC State

Last week: No. 3

19.2 PPG, 7.0 APG, 4.6 RPG, 2.2 steals, 50.2 2-pt%, 38.5 3-pt%, 114.3 ORtg

This kind of skill has to make NBA scouts drool. I know some of them have to be seriously considering putting Smith as the top guy on their board. His ability to handle the ball in the face of pressure and then to pull up with confidence and coolly sink Js is just awesome.

Smith won ACC freshman of the week, even though State lost back-to-back home games against bubble teams Miami and Syracuse. In those two games, Smith averaged 22.0 points, 12.0 assists, 6.5 rebounds and 2.0 steals, and this included a triple double (13/11/15) in the Miami game. Smith has two triple-doubles in ACC play this season. Astonishingly, he is the first player in the history of the league to get two trip-dubs in conference play in the same season. That is unbelievable. And the last time ACC player had two triple-doubles in the same season was 24 years ago (Clemson's Sharone Wright).

2. Markelle Fultz, Washington

Last week: No. 1.

23.2 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 6.0 APG, 1.6 steals, 50.2 2-pt%, 42.1 3-pt%, 114.7 ORtg

It's finally happened. Fultz is no longer in the top spot. This is the first time this season the Frosh Watch has seen a changing of the guard, and it's warranted. While Fultz's points and assists averages are higher than Lonzo Ball's, when taking into account the entire season's body of work, I now -- just barely -- am giving Ball the edge.

The two went head-to-head on Saturday night in Seattle. Unfortunately, and predictably, UCLA ran Washington out of its home gym. By his standards alone, Fultz was just OK. He had 25 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals, but he also had five turnovers and forced a few shots.

I was running some numbers on Synergy, and one distinct reason why Fultz is a lock to be a top-three pick: he's so good in pick-and-roll. The college game has adopted the pick-and-roll style so much, but it's so nuanced at the next level, and Fultz is such a natural. He's averaging 1.148 points per possession as the primary ballhandler in PnR sets, and he's faced 135 such possessions, so we're now drawing from a wide pool. He is proven in this regard.

1. Lonzo Ball, UCLA

Last week: No. 2

15.1 PPG, 7.8 APG, 5.8 RPG, 1.9 steals, 69.4 2-pt%, 43.0 3-pt%, 129.9 ORtg

Ball went for 22 points, six rebounds, five assists, four steals and had three turnovers in 31 minutes of work against Washington. UCLA has the No. 1 offense in America, yet hardly uses its bench. What does that mean? Ball is being tasked with leading a team that has more 100-plus-point games than any team from a multi-bid conference. (Six.) The Bruins could be ruined with bad defense, but the offense will not let this team down. Ball is smart with his shots (he doesn't take any long 2s) and is so efficient because he's usually capable of hitting deeps 3s or beating teams on alley-oops. In terms of stats but also what he's asked to do, and how often he makes possession-defining plays for Steve Alford, Ball has earned No. 1 on the Watch. But that could easily change next week.

Previous FOTW winners:

Dec. 6: T.J. Leaf
Dec. 13: Jayson Tatum

Dec. 20: Malik Monk
Dec. 27: Shamorie Ponds
Jan. 3: Markelle Fultz
Jan. 10: Dennis Smith, Jr.

Jan. 17: Josh Jackson
Jan. 24: Dennis Smith, Jr.
Jan. 31: Miles Bridges