College basketball’s 10 most-impactful freshmen: Alabama’s Brandon Miller, Kansas’ Gradey Dick packing a punch

Five-star prospects like Nick Smith Jr. and Darik Whitehead were set to be among the brightest stars in college basketball in 2022-23. Unfortunately, injuries pushed Smith and Whitehead into the background. Add to that the boom in the transfer portal and freshmen across the country are not being asked to take on such a big role this season.

Only one freshman is in the top 100 in scoring in the country. At the top level, only three freshmen are in the top 50. That’s not to say there haven’t been a lot of diaper-wearing mods (thank you, Dickie Vee) who haven’t been instrumental in winning teams.

“I know (Alabama freshman) Brandon (Miller) is having a great, great year, as is Kevin Durant, Tennessee coach Rick Barnes said.Kevin Duran won every national player of the year award you could win. I think he was the first freshman to sweep them all. But Brandon Miller has a high level of play in every level. I think Brandon Miller is Brandon Miller and I think Kevin Duran is Kevin Duran and of course Brandon Miller has had an incredible impact on college basketball this year by doing what he’s good at.”

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Here are 10 of the most influential freshmen and a few others who just didn’t make it into the frame.


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