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College Basketball

College Basketball Freshman Evaluations: Part 1

Caleb Love North Carolina

Love showed signs of promise in his freshman season and now will be looking to elevate his game towards his sophomore season. Furthermore, Love has a really good size that allows him to be effective going downhill and finishing is something he can become very good at. Also, his ability to use ball screens is pretty good and could elevate his game even with getting easy shots off-ball screens. Therefore, the shot selection of Love needs to improve to be able to shoot a higher percentage from the field as he was only at 31.6%. Additionally, his perimeter jumper needs to take a jump forward to open up everything else in his offensive game. Next, he could improve his passer to more than a one-read passer and seeing the whole floor with ease. Continued, Love can move in transition with the ability to get to the basket will be a staple moving forward with North Carolina. As for defensively, Love’s size and activity will lead to him growing into an even better defender. The consistency of effort and ability to contain the basketball will be key. Caleb Love should take a big jump in his sophomore season being one of the best guards in the ACC.

Josh Primo Alabama

Primo showed flashes of his potential to be very good among the loaded Alabama perimeter. Next, he has the size and athleticism which makes him a dynamic driver to the basket. Furthermore, he is really dangerous in transition with his speed on the open floor and ability to shoot from three at 38.1%. Continued, he does a good job without the basketball getting open on the perimeter ready to shoot and score the basketball. Additionally, his athleticism allows him to make difficult contested drives and being able to rebound very well as well. The potential for Primo is very high and if he can improve his ability with basketball he will be one of the best players in college basketball. Primo’s a perfect fit within the Alabama offense and tempo to be successful. As for defensively, he is really engaged on and off the basketball combined with his length makes him really effective. Also, he does a great job of communicating and applies really good ball pressure consistently. Josh Primo is going to be one of the best two-way players in college basketball.

Jeremy Roach Duke

Roach showed promise in his freshman season at Duke with the ability to lead a talented Duke team next season. Furthermore, he has a good feel in ball screen actions with the ability to get downhill and finish well around the rim. Continued, the growth of his perimeter jumper would go a long way to his offensive productive shooting 31.0% from three. When Roach gets to his shot in rhythm and with confidence he can be really good, he must improve his ability to make shots off perfect rhythm. Continued, Roach doesn’t do anything flashy or has great athleticism, but he plays with good control and poise leading to good decision making. The ability to get in the lane for himself and others is something that will be important for Duke’s offense success. Now defensively, he plays with good effort on the basketball and looks to make it difficult on opposing guard drives. The athleticism is a concern for him to be a really good defender and consistently guard high-level guards. Jeremy Roach should take a jump to his sophomore season being one of the better guards in the ACC next season.

Mark Williams Duke

Williams had a tremendous close to his freshman season becoming a player who could be a breakout star next season. Furthermore, Williams has all of the traits to be great with his size, athleticism, and finishing ability around the basket. Additionally, his overall efficiency is impressive at 66.4% and his effort on the offensive glass is very good. Next, he runs the floor great in transition potential as a trailer to the rim or getting ahead of the defense with his ability to get post positioning. His length allows him to grab all of the second chance opportunities along with his effort. The skill Williams has to finish around the basket with soft-touch is impressive and should only expand his game. Continued, the next step would be his use in ball screens and the mobility he can showcase. Also, the strength of Williams could improve to be an even more dominant post player. Now defensively, the improvement of his strength and mobility on the perimeter will help his defensive ability. Also, he has the length to be disruptive around the basket for opposing drives and post-ups. Mark Williams has great potential to be one of the best bigs in the country.

Marcus Bagley Arizona State

Bagley had a very good freshman season at Arizona State and has entered the NBA draft considering all options. Furthermore, he has really good size with the ability to play and guard multiple positions. Next, he has a solid perimeter jumper with the ability to take the next jump being a really consistent shooter. Additionally, he would grow into a role where he would be more ball-dominant which would showcase his driving and scoring ability. Continued, he does a really good job of contributing on the boards on both ends with consistent effort. Also, he moves really well off the basketball getting in good positions for shooting opportunities. Bagley’s only surfacing the potential he has on the offensive end. Now defensively, Bagley has the size and length to be a very disruptive perimeter defender. There needs to be more consistency with his positioning and activity to be elite defensively. Marcus Bagley will be one of the best players in college basketball if he comes back to Arizona State.

Andre Curbelo Illinois

Curbelo had a tremendous freshman season and is going to be one of the best players in college basketball moving forward. Now, Curbelo does a great job of getting into the lane with the ability to use footwork and manipulation to finish around the basket. Next, he is a maestro in ball screen action with the ability to distribute to others and get his shot in the mid-range area. Continued, he has the ability to make incredible plays, but he can also make massive mistakes it will imperative to find that balance and have a higher assist to turnover ratio. The pace of play by Curbelo is very good on the open floor, however, in the half-court, he must be more controlled to operate an offense efficiently. For Curbelo, he must improve his ability to make perimeter jumpers as he shot 16.1% from three which will make him way easier to defend. Therefore, the improvement would make him even more lethal as a passer with his ability to enter the ball into the post at an elite level and find perimeter players. As for the defensive end, he brings a really good edge and activity on the basketball. Also, he has a deceptive length which can disrupt the ball handler he is guarding as well. Andre Curbelo has All-American potential as long as he develops a jumper and becomes even more efficient as a playmaker.
Andre Curbelo Stats, News, Bio | ESPN

Franck Kepnang Oregon

Kepnang played mostly in specific spot minutes during the freshman season at Oregon and showed his potential. First off, his size and physical traits are really good which gives him a similar look to Kofi Cockburn. Next, his strength around the basket will serve well on offensive rebounding opportunities and mobs around the basket. Further, he uses his body well in the lane getting position to finish effectively. Also, his continued growth in ball screens will be key to him getting easy opportunities around the basket. Continued, he will need to further develop his skill set his post scoring to be really effective offensively. If he develops even more size in the off-season he will be a problem for opposing teams. As for the defensive end, he will need to continue to learn and adapt to his positioning. Also, the mobility of Kepnang will be imperative to be involved in ball screen coverage. Franck Kepnang will develop over the course of next season and by the end of the year becoming a major factor for Oregon.

Dawson Garcia Marquette

Garcia has very good skill matched with his size can be matchup problems for opposing forwards. Next, he has the ability to stretch the defense with his shooting range from three shooting 35.6%. As well as, being able to be put in ball screens popping out on the perimeter very effectively. Continued, he has the ability to attack from the perimeter being a capable finisher around the basket. Additionally, Garcia does a good job of facing up in the mid-post with a really good shot or the capability of driving from there. The overall efficiency and feel in Garcia’s game make him a very productive offensive player. Next, the improved driving ability of Garcia would allow him to take the next jump. As for defensively, he brings good activity and engagement with really good length to contest drives and shots. Additionally, he has the versatility to guard multiple positions and does really well out on the perimeter. Dawson Garcia is testing the NBA draft waters, if he returns he will be one of the best players in college basketball.

Mady Sissko Michigan State

Sissko has the potential to make a greater impact than he did in his freshman season at Michigan State. Furthermore, his growth in being a consistent threat offensively around the rim with good post positioning and improved touch will be key. Next, he has the physical traits to be capable of being really effective in transition as a rim runner. As well as, being able to be a factor on the boards on both ends of the floor. His overall development on the offensive end will be imperative for Sissoko to get on the floor consistently. As for the defensive end, he has the size and length to be productive in the post defensively. He will just need to work on the positioning and mobility to more ready defensively. Mady Sissoko came in with high expectations the off-season development will be needed to have success next season.

Hunter Dickinson Michigan

Dickinson had a tremendous freshman season with his ability to dominate the interior on the offensive and defensive end. Furthermore, Dickinson does a very good job of consistently getting good post positioning giving multiple efforts to be in a position to score. Next, he is really effective in handoff and ball screen action slipping or diving to the basket with the ability to finish easily around the rim. Continued, he does a really good job of facing up in the post with great footwork to attack and finish effectively. Also, his touch around the basket is exceptional with his left hand with the ability to post on either block. The growth of utilizing his right hand and being that much more difficult to defend would improve his offensive capabilities. Additionally, the consistent effort Dickson brings pays off offensively and contributes to his production on the boards. As for defensively, Dickinson does a very good job in ball screen defense and being able to switch out on the perimeter when necessary doing a very good job. Next, his post-defense is really good as well as being able to contain the best bigs in the country with his physicality and shot-blocking ability. Hunter Dickinson will be one of the best players in college basketball looking to lead Michigan to another Big Ten title.
Dickinson-led No. 10 Michigan routs No. 16 Minnesota 82-57

R.J. Davis North Carolina

Davis plays with great energy and edge with the potential to develop into a very good player at North Carolina. Now, he brings really good quickness with the basketball and the has ability to be effective in the mid-range with an improved jumper. Continued, his three-point shooting at 32.3% could improve where he becomes a reliable option from the perimeter. Next, David does a really good job of getting out in transition allowing him to spot up as a shooter and getting to the rim. Also, he plays with great confidence that will translate to success on both ends as long as the perimeter jumper improves. As for defensively, he applies great ball pressure with the ability to cause havoc to oppose guards. Additionally, he can turn defense into offense really well with the activity he plays with. R.J. Davis will be a part of a backcourt duo with Caleb Love that should have a strong impact next season.

Cliff Omoruyi Rutgers

Omoruyi had an up and down season battling injuries throughout the year. Now, he brings really good athleticism and mobility with the ability to be a great cutter and ball screen player. Additionally, he will be a major factor on the boards with his activity and develop into a threat in transition. Continued, his ability to play above the rim will be something Omoruyi has great success in 2nd chance opportunities and lobs around the rim. The area to improve for Omoruyi will be his ability to make mid-range jumpers and even expand his range to the three-point line. The physical traits are there for him to develop into a high-level offensive threat around the basket. Now defensively, he needs to polish his positioning and mobility on the defensive end. Also, his ability to guard out on the perimeter could improve to match his length and athleticism. Cliff Omoruyi should develop into a very good player at Rutgers with the physical traits he brings.

Andre Jackson UConn

Jackson has the talent and athleticism to take a massive jump forward in his sophomore year at UConn. First off, the perimeter shooting for Jackson must improve to be able to utilize his athleticism with shooting 11.8% from three. Next, he can be really effective as a cutter and on the offensive glass with his athleticism and effort. Also, his ability to improve his skill set with the basketball will allow him to elevate his game to be able to attack defenses more effectively. Continued, the growth of his offensive game is going to be vital for him to reach his potential. He will be very good in transition with his athleticism and motor to finish around the basket with explosiveness. As for defensively, his athleticism can lead to turnovers and easy offense. His growth defensively though needs to take place on the basketball being able to really contain drives and disrupt shots. The length he has will make a major factor off the ball especially. Andre Jackson has a lot of talent but needs to be in all together to reach his potential especially offensively.

JT Thor Auburn

Thor showed a lot of potential in his freshman season at Auburn with his ability to stretch defenses with his size and perimeter shooting. Next, his ability to attack off the dribble with his size makes him a matchup problem for opposing defenders. Additionally, his athleticism around the basket is really impressive being able to finish with authority around the basket. Continued, Thor will be a major factor in transition with his mobility matched with the shooting and finishing. The improvement for Thor would be centered around the consistency and strength to finish better around contested defense. If Thor returns to Auburn there is no limit to how much he could be a factor on the offensive end. Now defensively, his length can be disruptive at times, but he must improve his positioning to be more successful. As well as, improving his ability to contain the basketball and utilizing his size and athleticism effectively. JT Thor is testing NBA draft waters, if he returns Auburn will be having one of the best offenses in college basketball.

KK Robinson Arkansas

Robinson missed the majority of his freshman season due to fracturing a bone in his right foot. Now, he will have the potential to make a major impact for Arkansas with their being roster turnover. Next, he does a really good job of being active without the basketball and is a solid cutter. Also, he will have the ability to make plays on the open floor with his speed with the basketball. Continued, his perimeter shooting will be really important for Arkansas shooting at 41.7% from three. Additionally, he can definitely attack off the bounce to either get to the rim or the mid-range. Now defensively, he brings good effort on defense and will get after ball handlers applying good ball pressure. KK Robinson will have a breakout season for Arkansas being a factor in a deep perimeter looking to win the SEC.

Images Courtesy of, AP News, ESPN, University of North Carolina Athletics

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