Sensational freshmen steal the show in college basketball

Jason Jarvis

The last time there was this much hype over an NBA draft class was back in 2003 when the likes of LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Carmelo Anthony came into the league.

This year’s college freshman class is loaded with talent and even has NBA general managers using the dubious term “tanking,” or playing poorly this year in hopes of getting one of these bright young stars in next summer’s draft.

Duke’s Jabari Parker, Kentucky’s Julius Randle, and Kansas’ Andrew Wiggins are all considered can’t-miss prospects, but who should go No. 1?

Leading up to this college basketball season, almost all NBA scouts were in agreement that Wiggins is the lock for the No. 1 pick. But after almost a month into the season, a different player has emerged as the clear favorite. Parker has come out and dominated in his first eight college games to the tune of 23 points and eight rebounds a game, while failing to not score 20 points only once.

To go along with his talent, Parker also has an NBA-ready body at 6-foot-8 and 230 pounds.

Looking at Wiggins, you can see the upside. With his freakish athleticism, Wiggins appears to only be moving at half speed while on the court, gliding effortlessly up and down the floor for transition dunks and steals.

While Wiggins has put up solid num­bers, 14 points and five rebounds a game in seven starts, he hasn’t quite made the big splash that some of the other pros­pects such as Parker and Randle have. Not to mention his offensive game is nowhere near Randle’s and Parkers’.

The last of the “Big Three” is Julius Randle, who could probably start for an NBA team tomorrow if allowed.

Randle is a little undersized for the power forward position at 6-foot-9, but he makes up for it with his physical play and an NBA-ready frame. Randle also has a very nice low-post game and can get his shot off anytime he wants. To complement his post-game, Randle also has a soft touch from mid-range

We won’t know how well all these players are going to turn out until they get drafted. It’s not often that you see multiple NBA teams talking about tank­ing with a strong draft class like this.

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