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.
Wynston Tabbs, Boston College
Boston College's Wynston Tabbs had a week in which he averaged 19.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 4.5 assists. Tabbs, who was the ACC Rookie of the Week, shot 14 for 25 from the court (56 percent) and was 6-of-12 from 3-point range. He's been a standout for the Eagles, who are trying to improve after losing lottery pick Jerome Robinson in the offseason.
BC beat Columbia and Fairfield, which isn't elite competition, but we normally try to hand out FOTW to someone who's done well in at least two games as opposed to being good in just one. (With that in mind, Kentucky's Keldon Johnson was under consideration.)
Tabbs went for 19 points, three rebounds and three dimes in BC's win over Columbia on Dec. 12. He had 19 in the second half of that game. And against Fairfield over the weekend, Tabbs had 20 points, six assists, five rebounds, a steal and a block. It's obviously very early in Tabbs' career, but if he winds up being a four-year guy for the Eagles, he could well blossom into a top-10 player in the ACC by the end of his junior season.
Boston College notes that Tabbs is shooting 52.3 percent from the field (42.3 from 3) and 84.6 from the foul line in his last five games. What's more, he's the only freshman in America averaging at least 15.8 points and 4.6 rebounds and 3.2 assists and 1.1 steals per game. He's certainly hovering near the Frosh Watch. And with that in mind ....
Here are the top 10 freshman performers in college basketball through the first five weeks of the season ...
1. ZION WILLIAMSON, Duke
Key stats: 20.4 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 2.0 bpg, 41.9 PER
Duke and Zion Williamson are enjoying a 10-day long hiatus from the court, but he remains the best freshman in the sport nonetheless. That is, in large part, because of his stunning efficiency when he's been on the court. According to FiveThirtyEight, Williamson's 42.0 PER (player efficiency rating) is the best mark by any player who played in at least 10 games since 2009 -- the first year such data was tracked. His averages of 20.4 points, 9.0 rebounds, 2.0 blocks and 2.1 steals haven't been matched in the sport in at least 25 years.
2. RJ BARRETT, Duke
Key stats: 24.2 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 4.2 apg
Any other year, RJ Barrett would be the clear-cut top frosh. Incredibly, he's not even so on his own team. That's more a testament to Zion's greatness than anything. Barrett leads Duke in points scored and minutes played, and ranks second on the team in assists per game. His last three games he's scored 26, 27 and 30 points, respectively, and is shooting 52.7 percent from the 3 while leading the team in assists during that span. Had an up and down showing in the Maui Invitational overall but he's bounced back by taking fewer shots and taking on a larger role as a distributor.
3. LUGUENTZ DORT, Arizona State
Key stats: 19.8 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.9 spg
Luguentz Dort and the Sun Devils fell to Vanderbilt on Monday night 81-65. He finished with season lows in points (10), and rebounds (1), while knocking down only 3 of his 13 shot attempts on the night. He remains high on our Frosh Watch because of his stellar body of work -- a team-high 19.8 points per game, 5.5 rebounds and 1.9 steals in 10 contests -- but he's stumbled of late. On Saturday against Georgia, ASU mounted an unlikely comeback largely without him. He finished just 2 of 10 and notched 12 points, 4 rebounds and 1 assist, all below his season averages.
4. ROMEO LANGFORD, Indiana
Key stats: 17.7 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 2.5 apg
Romeo Langford leads IU in points per game and ranks top 3 on his team in assists, rebounds, steals and blocks per game. But the most telling stat to reveal his importance to the Hoosiers is his team-leading 33.1 minutes per game. The Hoosiers need him as a floor-spacer, a shot-creator and slasher to make their offense go. This week he logged 33 minutes in IU's lone game, against Butler, and finished with 13 points, 7 rebounds and 2 blocks in the 71-68 win decided at the buzzer. Langford got so much attention on the final play that it led to fellow freshmanto lift them to a W over Butler. Langford leads all Big Ten freshman in points scored per game this season.
5. IGNAS BRAZDEIKIS, Michigan
Key stats: 15.8 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 122 ORtg, 55.8 eFG%
Ignas Brazdeikis -- affectionately known by hoops heads as Iggy -- remains in the top 5 of our Watch list this season despite a clunk of a game Saturday against Western Michigan in which he scored 4 points and only grabbed 1 rebound and had 1 steal. He wasn't his usually-active self. And yet, his impact for the undefeated Wolverines remains undeniably brilliant: He leads Michigan in points per game and is fourth on the team in rebounds, steals and field goal percentage.
6. BOL BOL, Oregon
Key stats: 21.0 ppg, 9.6 rpg, 2.7 bpg, 35.3 PER
Bol Bol was out for Oregon's 66-54 win over Boise State on Saturday. He's got a left foot injury, details unspecified. Ducks coach Dana Altman said the team would "play it day by day" when he spoke with the media after that game. Alarming to Oregon fans was the sight of Bol in a boot on the bench during the Boise State game. We sit, and we wait. For the purposes of the Frosh Watch, if Bol is out for an extended period of time, his standing here will inevitably slip. Fortunately for the Ducks, they now have depth in the frontcourt, since freshman Louis King is now healthy.
7. ANTOINE DAVIS, Detroit
Key stats: 26.6 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 3.6 apg
Antoine Davis is holding firm here. We don't discriminate against players on mid-major teams. He leads the nation with the most made 3-pointers (57), and yes, that's all players. He's also chucking 40.3 percent of Detroit's shots when he's on the floor, which is one of the most abundant rates in the country. And unfortunately, Detroit's not any good. The Titans are 3-8 and staring at a road game vs. Xavier on Friday.
8. TALEN HORTON-TUCKER, Iowa State
Key stats: 15.4 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 2.6 apg
Who's to say where Talen Horton-Tucker will fluctuate to on or off this list over the next 4-6 weeks, but give Steve Prohm credit. In two straight seasons he's brought in players who've been able to be impact players immediately. Last season it was Lindell Wigginton and Cameron Lard. This season it's Horton-Tucker and Tyrese Haliburton, who's shooting 41.5 percent from deep and had 17 assists against Southern on Dec. 9.
9. KELDON JOHNSON, Kentucky
Key stats: 16.1 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 60.8 eFG%, 123.2 ORtg
Kentucky's 3-point issues were temporarily assuaged on Saturday when the Wildcats won easy at home over Utah, 88-61. The Utes aren't that good of a team this season, but putting up 88 on major-conference competition always feels good. Keldon Johnson went off from deep, hitting six of his seven 3-point attempts and finish with 24 points in 33 minutes. He's been considered UK's best freshman since he got to campus, and we're almost already at the point where no first-year player on that roster is going to catch him.
10. COBY WHITE, North Carolina
Key stats: 15.2 ppg, 3.9 apg, 42.0 3-pt%, 116.0 ORtg
Coby White flipped with Johnson in the 9/10 spots this week, but he's still holding strong to stay on the Watch. White's been carrying a big load for UNC, which of course got that humongous 103-90 win over Gonzaga on Saturday night. On the season, White's usage rate has been sizable (28.2, seventh in the nation), which makes his overall efficiency all the more impressive. Without him, UNC would look like a much different team.
Previous Freshman of the Week winners: