The nation's top 25 players

Ranking college basketball's top 25 impact players so far this season

Updated: December 13, 2012, 12:20 PM ET
By Fran Fraschilla | ESPN Insider
Trey Burke, Russ Smith, Gonzaga's Elias HarrisUS PresswireTrey Burke, Russ Smith and Elias Harris have gotten off to fast starts this season.

We introduced this season's Impact 25 last month with the idea that these players wouldn't necessarily represent the best 25 players in the country -- or the best NBA prospects -- but rather players who most impact their teams, conferences and college basketball in general.

Obviously, the next edition of the Impact 25 could look completely different, just like the season. Very good players who dropped out likely will be back, and some players might come out of nowhere to earn their way onto the list. Also, while I've always been partial to under-the-radar, mid-major players, this is a very easy season to reward them, as those types of standout players -- such as Lehigh's C.J. McCollum and South Dakota State's Nate Wolters -- could star on any team in the country.

Only Indiana, Louisville and Kansas placed two players on the current list, although I could have made a great argument for the Hoosiers' Jordan Hulls making this list as a third member from his team.

Here are my top 25 impact players in college basketball as of Dec. 13.

1. Cody Zeller (Previous ranking: No. 1)

Center | Sophomore | Indiana Hoosiers

The Hoosiers have not been tested much, and Zeller has had to play more than 30 minutes in a game only once, so his numbers are not eye-popping. But it doesn't matter, as his offensive efficiency has been outstanding in the 24 percent of Hoosiers possessions he's utilizing. Big Ten play will provide the true measure of what he means to the nation's current No. 1 team. In the meantime, there's no better player to build an elite college basketball team around than Zeller.


To see Fran Fraschilla's ranking of the nation's top 25 impact players, you must be an ESPN Insider.

Fran Fraschilla is a college basketball analyst for ESPN. He formerly was the head coach at Manhattan, St. John's and New Mexico.