There were plenty of superstar showing this weeks among true freshmen in college basketball -- Brandon Miller went nuclear for Alabama in a win over Michigan State, Anthony Black tied a career-high with 26 points for Arkansas in a close loss to Creighton and Kansas' Gradey Dick turned in 25 points in a nice win over NC State -- but no freshman had a more complete two-game stretch than did Purdue's Fletcher Loyer en route to earning Freshman of the Week honors.
Loyer set a career high with five assists and added 14 points Friday in a stunning 84-66 win for Purdue over Gonzaga in the Phil Knight Legacy, hitting three of his six 3-point attempts in the blowout. He then followed that up with a career-high 18 points Sunday over Duke in the event's championship, making four of his eight 3-pointers as the Boilermakers cooked the Blue Devils 75-66. The win helped them secure two victories vs. top 10 teams of 18 or more points in the same week, the first time a team has done that in regular season or postseason play since UCLA did so in the Final Four in 1968, per Jared Berson.
Loyer, though, is certainly not the only newbie making his mark this season in college hoops. In the SEC there are three in particular balling out led by Brandon Miller at Alabama, who again ranks No. 1 in our weekly Frosh Watch column for a second consecutive week. Meanwhile, the Big 12 and ACC get continued representation this week with Dick and Duke's Kyle Filipowski showing up in our top five.
Without further ado, let's jump into our seconds rankings and get to our first CBS Sports/USBWA Freshman of the Week.
Freshman of the Week: Fletcher Loyer, Purdue
Welcome back to the Frosh Watch, our weekly ranking of the five 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.
Purdue leapt all the way from No. 24 in the AP Poll to No. 5 this week in no small part because of Loyer's quick growth and star turn on a national stage this week in Oregon. After struggling against West Virginia with only five points in Purdue's first game in the Phil Knight Legacy event, he flipped a switch against the bluebloods, pouring in 14 points vs. Gonzaga and 18 points two days later vs. Duke.
"He's a good shooter," Purdue coach Matt Painter said of Loyer after the victory vs. Duke. "He's a good player. You can't have enough people that you trust. And sure, he's got a lot to learn, he's a young player, but he's also a good listener and knows the game. Knows angles, knows how to play. The word "trust" is so important. He's building trust with our staff and that's what you want from every player on your team."
Loyer was 10 of 22 shooting from the field against the Zags and Blue Devils and is now hitting 38.5% of his 3-pointers on the season.
Frosh Watch: Top five freshman rankings
1. Brandon Miller, Alabama
Stats: 19.6 PPG | 8.9 RPG | 2.0 APG | 48.0% 3PT
Miller had a rough showing in Alabama's four-overtime win against North Carolina but has been mostly spectacular seven games into his college career. The versatile 6-foot-9 forward is hitting a ton of 3-pointers on a high volume of attempts, showing playmaking chops and flashing promise as a defender. He's reached double figures in every game so far and is shooting up NBA Draft big boards.
2. Anthony Black, Arkansas
Stats: 14.1 PPG | 5.7 RPG | 3.4 APG | 36.4% 3PT
With No. 1 overall prospect Nick Smith making his way back from injury, it's been another of Arkansas' McDonald's All-Americans shining so far. Black broke out in the Maui Invitational with consecutive 26-point games and has been impressively efficient offensively for such a young player. Black's playmaking instincts make him arguably the most fun freshman to watch in this class.
3. Gradey Dick, Kansas
Stats: 15.4 PPG | 4.1RPG | 46.0% 3PT
Kansas coach Bill Self put impossibly high expectations on Dick lauding his elite outside shot before he'd played a game for the Jayhawks. Somehow, he's managed to deliver on the hype as an outside marksman while also proving to be a quality defender and good finisher at the rim. His play is going a long way toward helping the Jayhawks replace Ochai Agbaji and Christian Braun on the wing.
Stats: 11.8 PPG | 4.8 APG | 47.6% 3PT
Wallace may be the best perimeter defender in this freshman class, and he does many other things better than a normal freshman. His offensive efficiency stands out, as does his comfort in a distributing role. There are obvious similarities between his role and the role freshman guard TyTy Washington played last season before be became a first-round NBA Draft pick.
5. Kyle Filipowski, Duke
Stats: 15.4 PPG, 9.4 RPG, 36.4% 3PT
Filipowski is Duke's leading scorer and has been the Blue Devils' best player early this season. Physically, he's more ready for the college game than what you might expect from someone of his age and height. That shows up in how he rebounds and defends. At 7-foot, he's more comfortable handling the ball than nearly anyone else at his size, and he's demonstrated a nice outside shot while also bruising on the block.