Top 10 impact freshmen for '12-13
Which newcomers have the talent and opportunity to shine right away?
College basketball is a young man's game. You have to pay close attention to the freshmen because you often have only a few months to know them. David Stern has a longer relationship with these kids than their college fan bases, but that's the way of the world in high-major college hoops.
This season's group of instant-impact freshmen has a mix of star power and blue collar. Shabazz Muhammad is the new prince of L.A., but to make his mark at UCLA, he's going to need to be cleared by the NCAA to get on the court. (Teammate Kyle Anderson, also on this list, was cleared Wednesday.)
Although Muhammad's status is uncertain, his talent dictates we profile him along with these nine other freshmen destined to make their presence felt this season.
(Note: While only freshmen from the "big six" power conferences made the top 10 here, colleague Paul Biancardi ranked his top 10 frosh outside the BCS leagues.)
To best describe "Smartacus" -- the nickname Smart earned in high school -- we'll borrow a golf analogy: This kid would never concede anyone a "gimme" putt. One of the fiercest and most competitive players to enter college basketball in quite some time, Smart is singularly focused on winning. He truly believes the only measure of success comes in the win column. Oklahoma State doesn't have a point guard; it has Smart, and that's better.
Insider CBB content
• Greenberg/Telep: Kansas Jayhawks
• Greenberg/Finkelstein: Marquette
• Gasaway/Rankin: Indiana Hoosiers
• Gasaway/Rankin: Michigan Wolverines
• Gasaway/Rankin: Ohio State Buckeyes
• Greenberg/Finkelstein: Memphis Tigers
• Gasaway/Rankin: Florida Gators
• Greenberg/Telep: Kentucky Wildcats
• Gasaway/Finkelstein: Louisville Cardinals
• Gasaway/Finkelstein: Syracuse Orange
• Greenberg/Biancardi: NC State Wolfpack
• Biancardi/Gasaway: Duke Blue Devils
• Biancardi/Gasaway: North Carolina Tar Heels
• Biancardi/Gasaway: Arizona Wildcats
• Greenberg/Telep: UCLA Bruins
• Gasaway: Breakout second-year coaches
• Lunardi: Could Louisville repeat as champs?
• Greenberg: UVA tops list of surprise teams
• Fraschilla: How returning stars can improve
• Gasaway: Top title challengers to Kentucky
• Lunardi: Who will earn No. 1 seeds in 2014?
• Telep: Latest on No. 13 junior Theo Pinson
• Rankin: What Wiggins means for Kansas
• Biancardi: KU to prep Wiggins for NBA success
• Telep: Updated look at top recruits
• Roundtable: Most impressive on AAU circuit?
• Ford: NBA draft lottery preview
• Ford: Winners from the NBA draft combine
• Fraschilla: Burke the draft's top point guard?
• Ford: Measurements concern some GMs
• Ford: Why Wiggins would go No. 1 in 2013
Jay Bilas Blog
Jay's take on latest from around the nation
Analysis from Fraschilla, Greenberg and Lunardi
Get news and rumblings before anyone
Hollinger's College PER
College basketball's top players
Get wagering advice for every game