Frosh Watch: Georgetown dunking and scoring sensation Mac McClung earns Freshman of the Week honors
McClung is the Freshman of the Week after scoring a career-high 38 points; Zion still tops best frosh
Merry Christmas! If you're taking the time on the holiday to check in here at CBS Sports, we appreciate it. And yes, we're still keeping up with our schedule. 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 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.
Mac McClung, Georgetown
The second-biggest dunking sensation to come out of the high school class of 2018, behind Zion Williamson of course, is McClung.
What a great name, by the way. College hoops fans are blessed to have the top two frosh dunkers also sport terrific names. It all helps with the sell. McClung, who's 6-2 and comes by way of Gate City, Virginia, had a career-best 38 points on Saturday. Georgetown won 102-94 in overtime against Little Rock, and McClung's showing was the best for a Hoyas freshman since 1962-63.
McClung had a four-point play in overtime that clinched Georgetown's W against Little Rock. It was a big moment for a program in need of more consistency in order to enter back into national relevancy -- and even Big East relevancy.
Across two games last week, McClung averaged 26.0 points, 2.0 assists, 1.0 steals and went 20 for 23 from the foul line. The Hoyas took care of App. State (83-73) on Dec. 18. McClung is starting to step into a bigger role. He had 18 in a loss to Syracuse on Dec. 8. The Hoyas have other nice players -- fellow frosh James Akinjo will grow into a good one, I assure you -- but McClung and Jessie Govan (17.9) need to be every-night guys right there with Akinjo if Patrick Ewing's team is going to compete for the top half of the Big East.
These are the top 10 freshman performers in college basketball through the season so far.
1. ZION WILLIAMSON, Duke
Key stats: 19.8 ppg, 9.4 rpg, 2.1 spg, 40.8 PER
With nonconference play about 98 percent wrapped up across college basketball, how about an obvious note here: Zion Williamson's been so good to this point, that -- though this is obviously not going to happen -- he could average five points, three rebounds, shoot 25 percent the remainder of the season and still probably finish in the Frosh Watch. He's been that good, that consistent, that valuable, through Duke's first 12 games, which amounts to 39 percent of its regular-season schedule. We're certainly intrigued by what the ACC schedule will bring. Duke's next game doesn't come until Jan. 5 at home vs. Clemson.
2. RJ BARRETT, Duke
Key stats: 23.8 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 3.8 apg
With Duke on a long layoff, that means we won't be seeing RJ Barrett for more than a two-week span, either. With roles still in flux at Duke, Barrett's managed to maintain a very impressive scoring average. It's hard to see him dipping below 20 per game by season's end or shortly before it. Most importantly, if you've seen Duke play, Barrett's been a wanting distributor a lot. He still hunts shots with some frequency, but that's due to Mike Krzyzewski urging his most important offensive player to be an alpha in that regard.
3. ROMEO LANGFORD, Indiana
Key stats: 17.5 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 2.6 apg
This is the highest Romeo Langford's been on the Watch this season, even in pre-publication evaluations that went on all through November. What's ironic is that Langford's been consistent, and yet his teammate, Juwan Morgan, has been even better. Morgan had a bare-minimum triple-double (10 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists) in IU's 94-64 win over Jacksonville on Saturday. Langford had 15 points in that game and has scored in double figures every game this season.
4. IGNAS BRAZDEIKIS, Michigan
Key stats: 16.1 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 25.9 PER
For as close as Zion vs. RJ is for No. 1 in the Watch, it's probably even closer this week between Romeo and Iggy Brazdeikis for the No. 3 spot. Brazdeikis is coming off a 19-and-5 game against Air Force, but in the Western Michigan tilt Dec. 15, he had just four points. Sometimes a game like that can make a small but meaningful difference when you're trying to slice up who lands where. Next up is a home game Sunday against pitiable Binghamton. Michigan is borderline guaranteed to wrap its nonconference schedule without a loss.
5. LUGUENTZ DORT, Arizona State
Key stats: 19.2 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 2.5 apg
After claiming the No. 3 ranking, we've got to drop Luguentz Dort, who's regressing just a bit. In Arizona State's win over Kansas on Saturday -- which was the second victory in as many seasons for ASU against the Jayhawks -- Dort had 13 points on 14 shots. Against Vanderbilt the game before, he needed just as many shots to get 10 points. Against Georgia before that, he had 12. In all three games he had three turnovers. Hey, we're not here to chop at the kid; it's a part of freshmen play for almost everyone. But given the recent slump, we had to slide him. Let's see if a home game against Princeton this Saturday can boost him the way it did the Duke dudes earlier in December.
6. BOL BOL, Oregon
Key stats: 21.0 ppg, 9.6 rpg, 2.7 bpg, 35.3 PER
An Achilles injury has relegated Oregon's 7-foot-2 sensation to the bench, but Bol Bol's holding steady at No. 6 in our rankings this week. He hasn't played in Oregon's last three games, and may start to slide if he doesn't get back soon. But when he's on the court this season, he's been great (on offense). He's averaging team-highs in points, rebounds and blocks per game this season.
7. KELDON JOHNSON, Kentucky
Key stats: 16.5 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 63.0 eFG%
Kentucky almost certainly didn't envision losing to Duke and Seton Hall in its nonconference slate, but it snatched a big win Saturday over a higher-ranked North Carolina to earn back some of its lost cache. And Keldon Johnson was awesome. He had 21 points, three rebounds, three assists and three steals in UK's 80-72 winning effort and has enjoyed six games in which he's scored more than 15 points. He's been among the Wildcats' most consistent contributors.
8. ANTOINE DAVIS, Detroit
Key stats: 26.0 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 3.3 apg
Antoine Davis continues to lead all freshmen in scoring, and for that accomplishment, his spot inside the top-10 of the Frosh Watch should be reserved until further notice. It helps that Davis is getting major volume, too. He ranks third in the country among percentage of shots taken according to KenPom, which calculates the percentage of a team's shots are taken by a player when said player is on the court. He's averaging upwards of 23 field goal attempts per game and more than 12 3-point attempts, and making 39.2 percent from the floor and 41.1 percent from distance.
9. TALEN HORTON-TUCKER, Iowa State
Key stats: 14.8 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 3.1 apg
Talen Horton-Tucker had a very Talen Horton-Tucker-esque stat line in Iowa State's lone game this past week: eight points, eight assists, five rebounds, three blocks. He remains a multi-faceted weapon for the Cyclones. Time will tell if the return of Lindell Wigginton eats into Horton-Tucker's production, but in his first game back from injury, Wigginton took 12 shots and scored 15 points -- leading to Horton-Tucker's least amount of shots taken in a game all season. Something to monitor as ISU shakes out its rotation.
10. LAMINE DIANE, Cal State Northridge
Key stats: 24.3 ppg, 10.3 rpg, 2.4 bpg, 1.7 spg, 36.8% usage
There is but one player in all of college hoops with a higher usage percentage than Lamine Diane (a stat that indicates how many of his team's possessions a player is personally responsible for ending while on the court). Cal State Northridge runs its entire offense through him. Diane has been great, too, and surprisingly consistent for a freshman. In three games this week he logged averages of 23.3 points, 10.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists. He's scored 20 or more points in all but two games he's played in this season and five times scored 25 or more points.
Previous Freshman of the Week winners:
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