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Photo courtesy of William & Mary

Welcome back to the Frosh Watch, our weekly ranking of the 10 most impressive freshmen in college basketball. CBS Sports has once again teamed up with the United States Basketball Writers Association and its Wayman Tisdale Freshman of the Year Award to present this every-Tuesday feature. Each week we'll start by announcing the national Freshman of the Week honoree. The cycle for FOTW runs Tuesday-Monday.

Freshman of the Week: Connor Kochera, William & Mary

William & Mary freshman Connor Kochera didn't just have a big week on his own, his team did, too. The Tribe went 2-0 in two matchups with Towson, and that is in no small part because of what Kochera's performance. On Saturday, he scored 23 points on just 12 shots, then a day later, he posted a career-high 30 points with 12 rebounds. His 29th and 30th points came on a layup with 13.4 seconds left that proved to be the difference in William & Mary's come-from-behind 75-74 win.

It was Kochera's first career double-double, and a performance that thrust him into elite company. Only six other freshmen this season have scored 30 or more points in a game this season, but arguably none were as clutch as his. The Tribe trailed by as many as 11 points in the game before digging out of the deficit to win in dramatic fashion.

Frosh Watch

These are the top 10 freshman performers in college basketball for this season.

1. Cade Cunningham, Oklahoma State

Key stats: 18.1 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 3.8 APG, 1.3 SPG

After missing a couple of games due to COVID-19 protocols, Cunningham returned with a strong outing in the Cowboys' win over Arkansas on Saturday. He came off the bench in his first game in nearly three weeks but played 31 minutes, finishing with 21 points, seven rebounds, five assists and three steals. Oklahoma State has won four of its last five, and with Cunningham back in the lineup, look for the Cowboys to solidify their NCAA Tournament resume over the coming weeks. Then we'll just have to hope that the program's appeal of its postseason ban works out so that the country can see Cunningham in action during the Big Dance. Last week: No. 1

2. Evan Mobley, USC

Key stats: 16.4 PPG, 8.9 RPG, 2.9 BPG, 29.3 PER

USC is entering a new week alone in second place in the Pac-12 standings thanks to Mobley's steady dominance. The 7-footer is a double-double machine and an imposing rim protector who's joined forces with his brother Isaiah to turn the Trojans from a fringe NCAA Tournament team into one of the best squads on the west coast. Games against Stanford and UCLA this week may be Mobley's toughest league tests to date, but his track record is solid enough at this point to suggest he'll be the best player on the court in both games. Last week: No. 2

3. Sharife Cooper, Auburn

Key stats: 21.3 PPG, 8.1 APG, 5.3 RPG

No. 2 Baylor bottled Cooper up as well as anyone has this season in a win over Auburn on Saturday, but the Tigers' star point guard still finished with 15 points, seven rebounds and five assists. What Cooper has been able to do in less than a month since getting cleared is unbelievable, and not just from an individual statistical perspective. Though his production jumps off the page, his mere presence on the court raises Auburn's ceiling significantly and makes the Tigers a team to watch in the season's second half. Auburn is going through a self-imposed postseason ban this year, but the Tigers might spoil some other teams' NCAA Tournament hopes with Cooper at point guard. Last week: No. 4

4. Jalen Suggs, Gonzaga

Key stats: 13.5 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 4.5 APG

Suggs is neck and neck with Cooper for the title of top freshman point guard, but it's hard to compare the two due to their vastly different circumstances. Cooper is tasked with playing the starring role for a rebuilding team at Auburn while Suggs is cast as more of a key role player for the No. 1 team in the country. The former five-star prospect had a quiet game in Gonzaga's win over Pepperdine on Saturday, but he appeared to regain his 3-point shooting touch on Thursday with a 3-of-4 night from behind the arc in a win over San Diego. Suggs remains the most electric player on this list, and it will be a thrill watching a player with his knack for highlight-reel plays take the spotlight as the Bulldogs make a title run. Last week: No. 3

5. Hunter Dickinson, Michigan

Key stats: 15.1 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 1.4 BPG

Dickinson reached double figures in Michigan's first 11 games as the Wolverines started 11-0, but he appeared to be hitting a freshman wall before the program went on a COVID-19-related pause expected to last until at least Feb. 11. The 7-footer is averaging just 6.7 points and 4.7 rebounds over his last three games. Still, his contributions are a significant factor in why the Wolverines are ranked No. 4 nationally and sitting alone atop the Big Ten standings as they wait for their season to resume. Last week: No. 5

6. Cameron Thomas, LSU

Key stats: 22.3 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 28.3 3P%

A week in which he dropped 28 points on Texas A&M followed by 25 on No. 10 Texas Tech has Thomas, one of this season's biggest surprises among freshmen, back on top as the SEC scoring leader and the leader among all freshmen in scoring. He's been nothing short of sensational as the Tigers' go-to bucket-getter. His efficiency has waned a bit of late -- he went 3-of-13 from 3 against A&M and 3-of-9 from 3 against Texas Tech -- but his ability to create and take tough shots has kept LSU in the NCAA Tournament discussion despite three losses in its last four games. Last week: No. 6

7. Moses Moody, Arkansas

Key stats: 16.6 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 1.7 APG, 35.7 3P%

After playing a season-low 19 minutes against Ole Miss and tying a season-low with five points, Moody responded in a big spot with 17 points pitted against Oklahoma State and potential No. 1 pick Cade Cunningham. 11 of those 17 came in the second half after a sluggish start, as he finished the game 5-of-6 shooting in the final 20 minutes. It wasn't enough to get Arkansas the road win in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge, but it's a momentum boost for him as he launches with confidence back into the grind of the SEC schedule this week. Last week: No.7

8. Joshua Christopher, Arizona State

Key stats: 15.3 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 1.5 APG, 31.6 3P%

Elite company in the Pac-12 rookie race continues to be a two-man show between the aforementioned Mobley and Christopher, the top two frosh scorers in the league. Christopher this week tied for a season-high with three made 3s in a tight win over Stanford as the Sun Devils, one of the more disappointing teams in the Pac-12, quietly went 2-0 on the week. ASU's six-game skid prior to that means it has a ton of work left to be in the NCAA Tournament conversation, but Christopher's finding new confidence and the upcoming slate over the next two weeks lends itself to serious opportunities to get back into the groove ahead of postseason play. Last week: NR

9. Greg Brown, Texas

Key stats: 11.9 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 1.3 BPG

Texas has played just one game the last two weeks -- and it was shorthanded at home without Shaka Smart. But Brown showed no rust in that outing, contributing 14 points and eight rebounds before eventually fouling out. Big test for him and his team coming Tuesday against No. 2 Baylor. Last week: No. 9

10. Jalen Johnson, Duke

Key stats: 12.1 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 2.4 APG, 28.4 3P%

It appears the foot injury that forced Jalen Johnson to miss more than a month of action is in his rearview. He's been sensational in his return the last few weeks, and his confidence and contributions continue to rise. This week he went 16-of-30 shooting in three games while averaging seven rebounds and three assists. Duke needs the best version of Johnson to continue his ascension into stardom with it currently on the outside looking in for NCAA Tournament projections. Last week: NR

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