Eight weeks into the college basketball season, true freshmen across the country are still popping up as surprises as this season wears on. The talent pool for youngsters is deep and wide with more than a dozen viable candidates weekly worthy of a mention in our Frosh Watch rankings.
This week is just another example of that with Ohio State freshman Brice Sensabaugh cracking our rankings for the first time all season even in a loaded class. Sensabaugh has quietly produced as one of the best freshmen in the sport and that continued this week with showings of 21 points and 18 points in two outings. He has now reached double figures in scoring in six consecutive outings.
Speaking of under-the-radar producers, South Carolina big man GG Jackson continued to just miss the cut of our top five weekly rankings but he once again had a stellar week to earn Freshman of the Week honors. Jackson in one game put up 24 points and nine boards in a win over Eastern Michigan, his career-high for total points in a game done in only 30 minutes of action on 19 total shot attempts.
Let's dive into the rankings this week with a quick pit stop on Jackson.
Freshman of the Week: GG Jackson, South Carolina
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.
Jackson ranks second among all freshmen in points scored per game this season and sixth in rebounds per game as he continues to produce like one of the best rookies in America. That continued this week in leading South Carolina to a 10-point win over former five-star recruit Emoni Bates and his Eastern Michigan team on Friday where he dropped a career-high 24 points and added nine rebounds.
18-year old GG Jackson is the real deal 😮💨— B/R Hoops (@brhoops) December 31, 2022
- 24 points (career-high)
- 9 rebounds
- 4 3PT pic.twitter.com/vmhgdFgDs3
Jackson has validated his credentials as a clear lottery talent and only seems to be getting more comfortable. He just turned 18 years old in December and has the scoring, handle and size to grow into a unique talent in the frontcourt. He ranks fourth among all SEC players in scoring per game and has already on four occasions scored 20 or more points while consistently operating as a force on the glass. He's the clear top frosh of the week and banging hard on the door to warrant inclusion in our weekly rankings moving forward if he keeps this up.
Without further ado, let's jump into this week's rankings. But first, here's a look back at the previous rankings thus far this season and the winner of each Freshman of the Week.
- Nov. 22: Anthony Black
- Nov. 29: Fletcher Loyer
- Dec. 6: GG Jackson
- Dec. 13: Nick Smith Jr.
- Dec. 20: Brandon Miller
- Dec. 27: Cason Wallace
Frosh Watch: Top five freshmen rankings
1. Brandon Miller, Alabama
Stats: 19.2 PPG | 8.8 RPG | 2.1 APG | 44.8% 3PT
Miller leads the SEC in scoring and is off to a great start in league play after posting 19 points and 11 rebounds in a win at Mississippi State last week. He drilled 5 of 10 attempts from 3-point range against the Bulldogs, who have been one of the nation's top defensive squads early this season. The performance was an encouraging sign that Miller will be able to maintain his proficient outside shooting even as the heart of conference play arrives.
2. Gradey Dick, Kansas
Stats: 14.8 PPG | 5.1 RPG | 1.8 APG | 48.6% 3PT
Dick scored just 8 points in Kansas' dramatic win over Oklahoma State on Saturday but pulled down 9 rebounds and dished out 4 assists. The 6-8 wing is an elite 3-point shooter and has made at least one 3-pointer in every game this season. But he's also versatile and contributes in other ways. Navigating the grind of Big 12 play will be a challenge for a true freshman logging 31.5 minutes per game, but he has the size and versatility to continue shining.
3. Kyle Filipowski, Duke
Stats: 13.8 PPG | 8.6 RPG | 1.4 APG
Filipowski is just 2 of 16 from 3-point range over his last five games but remains the leading scorer for an 11-3 Duke team that is relying heavily on freshmen. The 7-footer is a versatile weapon who can play power forward or center. He's posted six double-doubles this season, and there is little he cannot do, which is impressive for a player of his size. His productivity has fallen off a bit as of late, but Filipowski remains critical to the Blue Devils' success.
4. Keyonte George, Baylor
Stats: 15.6 PPG | 4.3 RPG | 3.7 APG | 33.7% 3PT
George encountered a late-December slump by shooting just 30% from the floor over Baylor's last three games. But the 6-4 guard has demonstrated his offensive explosiveness over the course of his freshman season. On four occasions, he's reached 20 points, and he's hit at least one 3-pointer in all but one game. George has also flashed nice playmaking skills with six games of four or more assists.
5. Brice Sensabaugh, Ohio State
Stats: 15.9 PPG | 4.5 RPG | 1.2 APG | 46.6% 3PT
Sensabaugh did not start the first eight games of the season and averaged just 17.8 minutes per game over that span. Since stepping into the starting lineup on Dec. 8, he's averaged 18.6 points and 6.2 rebounds on 55.9% shooting. The 6-6 wing is hitting 46.2% of his 3-point attempts as a starter while proving to be one of the Big Ten's most dynamic offensive threats.