Freshman rankings: RJ Barrett is the national Freshman of the Week, closing in on Zion Williamson in Frosh Watch

CBS Sports is once again teaming up with the United States Basketball Writers Association and its Wayman Tisdale Freshman of the Year Award. Every Tuesday we'll announce a 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.

fresh-banner.jpg

RJ Barrett, Duke

Duke didn't face notably tough competition in the previous week, but Duke's RJ Barrett was too good to give out FOTW to anyone else. 

The shooting guard averaged 28.5 points, 11.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists in Duke's home wins over Hartford and Yale. In the Hartford game, Barrett had 15 boards, a career-high. According to Duke, Barrett's 30 points, seven rebounds and six assists vs. Yale marked the first time in program history that a Blue Devils freshman went for 30/5/5.

So you can see why he's the CBS Sports/USBWA Freshman of the Week. 

And why he's still very much in the mix for No. 1 overall status in next June's draft.

Barrett was streamlined, too, in Duke's victories last week. The Canadian was 19-of-34 from the field between both games, shooting 6-of-13 from beyond the arc. You'll see below that the race between he and Williamson is tightening at the top of the Frosh Watch, but last week showed by Barrett's still considered by plenty to be the overall best basketball player on Duke's roster.


Now, the Frosh Watch. Here are the top 10 freshman performers in college basketball through the first five weeks of the season.                                                  

frosh-banner.jpg

1. ZION WILLIAMSON, Duke

Key stats: 20.4 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 2.0 bpg, 41.9 PER

Zion Williamson is still just barely edging out RJ Barrett on the Frosh Watch. Duke is off this week for finals, so the Zion-ization of college hoops will take a breather for another week. The Blue Devils' next game won't come until Dec. 18 at home against Princeton. For Williamson, he ranks 111th or better (out of more than 2,200 players) in nine player-efficiency categories at KenPom.com. That 41.9 PER is just stupid, by the way. It has to regress into the mid-30s by end of December, I'd think. 

2. RJ BARRETT, Duke

Key stats: 24.2 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 4.2 apg

RJ Barrett is already starting to chase down school records. He's scored 242 points in 10 games, which is 22 more than Marvin Bagley III's record from a season ago. (Jabari Parker also had exactly 220 through his first 10 games in 2013-14.) Barrett's 24.2 points per game is tops in the ACC. He's also No. 8 in assists (4.2), which is a testament to his playmaking ability after he received criticism for taking too many shots at the Maui Invitational. 

3. LUGUENTZ DORT, Arizona State

Key stats: 22.0 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 2.3 apg, 50.0 eFG%

ASU's only game since the debut edition of last week's Frosh Watch was its 72-66 loss against Nevada in Los Angeles. Luguentz Dort showed well for himself in that tilt from the get-go, but it wasn't enough to get over against a national championship contender. The Sun Devil frosh wound up with 24 points on 9-of-19 shooting and held his own against a team stacked with talent and experience. This weekend ASU travels to Georgia to take on the Bulldogs.

4. IGNAS BRAZDEIKIS, Michigan

Key stats: 17.0 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 125.8 ORtg, 57.5 eFG%

It's fair to say that, at this point in the season, there's a top-four freshmen list and then you can draw a gray-shaded line before getting to the rest of the group. Ignas Brazdeikis rounds out the top shelf. If you've watched 10-0 Michigan make its way through a good schedule, you've seen Brazdeikis play an unexpectedly pivotal role in keeping the Wolverines near the top of college basketball's mountain. This week, he'll get a home game against Western Michigan on Saturday. 

iggy-brazdeikis.jpg
Michigan's Ignas Brazdeikis is a big reason the Wolverines are 10-0 this season. USATSI

5. ROMEO LANGFORD, Indiana

Key stats: 18.2 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 2.3 apg

Romeo Langford had 21 points and four assists in Indiana's key win on Saturday at home against Louisville. Most notably, he took 14 foul shots, indicating that he's tapping into an aggressiveness that Archie Miller wants to see out of his star newcomer. Langford's taken nine or more foul shots in five of Indiana's 12 games this season. IU gets Butler on Saturday in the Crossroads Classic (on CBS and CBSSports.com), and Langford's trips to the line could continue, as the Bulldogs commit 19 hacks per game. 

6. BOL BOL, Oregon

Key stats: 21.1 ppg, 9.6 rpg, 2.5 bpg, 34.4 PER

No newbie in America is as mesmerizing to watch as Oregon star Bol Bol, whose 7-foot-2 frame comes with the ability to swat shots, drill 3-pointers, protect the rim and pull down rebounds effortlessly. He leads the Ducks in scoring, rebounding and blocks per game, and also has the best 3-point accuracy among all his teammates who are logging more than 25 minutes per game this season. In scoring, rebounding and blocks per game in the Pac-12, he ranks third, t-4th and third, respectively.

7. ANTOINE DAVIS, Detroit

Key stats: 27.4 ppg, 3.6 apg, 52.4 eFG%

A little-known name out of Detroit Mercy no longer, Antoine Davis is leading the country in scoring among all freshmen and second nationally behind only Campbell star Chris Clemons. He's doing it with impressive efficiency, too, knocking down 44.3 percent of his 3-pointers and 40.8 percent of his field goals. What's more, Detroit has essentially decided to run most of its offense through him. According to KenPom.com data, Davis is responsible for 40 percent of Detroit's shots when he's on the court -- which ranks third in the country.

8. TALEN HORTON-TUCKER, Iowa State

Key stats: 15.4 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 2.5 apg

With Cyclones star Lindell Wigginton sidelined indefinitely with injury, freshman Talen Horton-Tucker has emerged as a rising star. He does it all for Iowa State, from scoring to rebounding to locking down opponents on defense. He's fifth in the Big 12 in steals per game (his teammate, Tyrese Haliburton, is first), and he's sixth in the conference to this point in points per game with 15.4. He's already working his way into first-round consideration for next year's draft.

NCAA Basketball: Iowa State at Arizona
Talen Horton-Tucker has been a star for the Cyclones in the early part of their season. USATSI

9. COBY WHITE, North Carolina 

Key stats: 15.3 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 3.1 apg, 41.9 3-pt%

Everybody knew Coby White would be a good scorer at the college level, and he's also making hay with his passing, too. He has a 24.2 percent assist rate, is knocking down 41.9 percent of his 3-pointers, and is second on UNC's team in scoring just barely behind Cameron Johnson. On a team that included a preseason All-American in Luke Maye and a projected first-rounder in Nassir Little, he's stood out as one of the biggest revelations for this Tar Heels team.

10. KELDON JOHNSON, Kentucky

Key stats: 15.2 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 54.5 eFG%

Keldon Johnson's production in Kentucky's lone game this past week was below his season averages, but he remains in the top 10 of the Frosh Watch because of his overall impact for the Wildcats all season. Heck, his halfcourt heave to send UK to overtime against Seton Hall should keep him on this list for the foreseeable future. He remains a versatile tool for John Calipari as a slasher/scorer, and one of the most valuable keys to UK's hopes of winning it all this season. Johnson leads UK in scoring with 15.2 points per game, is third on the team in rebounding, and, perhaps most illuminating about his impact, is playing a team-high 31.9 minutes per night -- 5.6 more per game than the team's second most utilized player.

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

Our Latest Stories