The Difference Makers- Freshmen BMOC

Posted on 06. Aug, 2009 by Eric Sklar in NCAA

In the modern world of NCAA hoops there are now a few different classifications of players. You’ve got the “One and done”, the kids who stay a couple seasons to polish their game, and the 4 year seniors. Although we have seen NBA all-stars come from all three categories, it’s always fun to project the incoming freshmen. The following list of players are the kids that will have an immediate impact at their schools and on their teams. These guys are going to make waves, not ripples throughout their respective conferences. They are the BMOC (Big Man on Campus) a.k.a. “The guys who get the love from Dickey V, and the girls at the party”.

John Wall
PG 6’4/175- Kentucky
(Word of God Christian Academy)

Arguably the top ranked player in the 2009 class, Wall is extremely difficult to guard. His quickness and his ability to breakdown defenders to get to the hoop will give coach’s nightmares all season long. His ball handling ability makes him practically un-guardable in one on one situations. While dropping dimes for his teammates is his forte, he is also an excellent finisher at the rim. His jumper is still a work in progress, but it is good enough to keep the defense honest. Wall finds himself in a unique situation compared to every other incoming freshman in that he is expected to be the leader of this young and talented Kentucky Wildcats team. Watch him while you can Wildcat fans, this is a one year viewing. He is going to be the #1 pick in the 2010 NBA Draft.

DeMarcus Cousins
C 6’9/245- Kentucky
(Le Flore HS)

Joining John Wall at Kentucky is the number 1 center in the 2009 class. Cousins is a
beast in the paint. With back to the basket post moves beyond his age and an emerging face up game, Cousins is a true matchup nightmare. He will likely start alongside Patrick Patterson to form the most talented starting frontcourt in the nation. Surprisingly for a guy his size, Cousins has pretty good handles and can also distribute the ball well to open teammates. While he has to continue to get better on the defensive end, noone questions his heart and desire to live up to his hype.

Avery Bradley
SG 6’3/175- Texas
(Findlay Prep)

Bradley should step right in and be one of Texas’s leading scorers. Bradley displays a number of impressive tools, but he really stands out from the mid-range. He shoots a nice pull-up jumper from anywhere on the floor, and has excellent elevation on his shot. He shows the uncanny ability to draw contact and still get the ball through the hoop. Bradley is extremely difficult to cover due to his excellent quickness, but also because of his ability to stop on a dime and elevate with a smooth shooting stroke. The McDonald’s All-American dunk champion likes to get out in transition and wow the crowd with a variety of highlight reel dunks. Where Bradley really impresses is with his defense. It is a safe bet that the two-guard will be a force from day one in the Big 12 from a defensive standpoint. His lateral quickness and quick hands allow him to come away with all sorts of swipes. The guy can flat out steal cookies from the cookie jar. The Findlay Prep star is going to be an instant impact player at the collegiate level. It may be too soon to determine how he’ll project in the NBA, but there is no doubt we’ll be seeing Bradley at the pro level sometime in the not too distant future.

Derrick Favors
PF 6’9/220- Georgia Tech
(South Atlanta HS)

Favors enters college as one of the most athletic big men in the country and his presence should immediately put Georgia Tech into contention for an NCAA Tournament berth. He has a frame and a build that is unlike any other player at the high school level. He’s tall, well defined with broad shoulders, and looks like a prototypical power forward with an excellent wingspan. Favors is an outstanding athlete – he plays above the rim and constantly makes highlight reel-worthy plays on both ends of the court. He will start a break with a defensive rebound or a blocked shot, which he does equally well on the ball or as a weak-side defender. Once in the open court, he will beat almost everyone down the court and catch alley-oops in traffic well above the rim. He is a glass eater. He goes after every rebound like it is his last meal. Favors would surely be a lottery prospect if it weren’t for the one and done rule, but it’s probably a good thing that he’s forced to go to college and develop his all-around game. He should put up monster numbers as a freshman and should challenge John Wall as Freshman of the Year in the NCAA.

Xavier Henry
SG 6’6/225- Kansas
(Putnam City HS)

Henry’s decision to de-commit from Memphis and take his game to Kansas has solidified the Jayhawks as this year’s National Title front runner. Henry is a big time slashing guard who already possesses NBA shooting guard size. Physically, Henry has everything you look for in basketball player, starting with great size and a very strong body as well. The lefty shows a nice shooting stroke from long range, and good creativity when finishing near the basket. He has the strength, length, and athleticism to one day become an excellent player on the defensive end of the floor. Henry will enter Kansas with a reputation as a scorer and that’s exactly what Kansas needs with only 2 players (Collins and Aldrich) averaging double figures in scoring. Henry is expected to be a 3rd double figure scorer and will provide more balance for Kansas’s offense as a scoring threat from the wing. He can be a nightmare for smaller perimeter players in the paint. Henry should work to improve his mid-range game; he is charge-prone the way he attacks the rim and at times he tends to over dribble and bog down the offense.

Abdul Gaddy
PG 6’3/174- Washington
(Bellarmine Prep)

Gaddy is the best point guard on the west coast and may have the best feel of any point guard in the country. He sees the floor with his excellent size, and gets everyone around him involved creatively, looking highly unselfish. His frame is still developing and once you learn that he’s just 17 years old, it’s very easy to figure out why Husky fans are salivating. The difference a single year makes between the age of 17 and 18 is absolutely huge from a physical and maturity standpoint. Although he doesn’t appear to be a freakish athlete on first glance, Gaddy is an exceptionally smooth player who already seems to show solid ability to utilize changes of speed and hesitation moves. His basketball IQ is off the charts for being just a freshman. His biggest drawbacks at the moment revolve around his defense and his very laid back demeanor. Like a lot of west coast players, Gaddy looks a bit too relaxed at times, not showing much of a killer instinct and being somewhat deferential. This could be a product of his youth, but there may be some that question whether he’s just a little too nice. He should start for Washington at point guard and it is expected he will lead them to a second straight Pac-10 Championship and a deep run in the NCAA Tournament.

John Henson
PF 6’10/195- North Carolina
(Sickles HS)

He is a small forward because his skill level is off the charts. His only weakness is the obvious strength factor. Think the body of a high school Kevin Durant, with a frame that will take significant time to add any type of bulk to. Don’t get it twisted though he is a stat sheet stuffer all day long. He can rebound and go coast to coast or lead the break where he makes good decisions and passes like a guard. Henson sprints the wing or middle in transition where he can finish above the rim or shoot the three. He is a true triple threat player (pass, dribble and shoot), with a smooth pull up jumper. He shoots the three off the catch without hesitation. Defensively he uses his length and timing to block and alter shots. Henson should get the minutes to prove himself next season for North Carolina, and has an excellent set of tools to work with as well. If he finds a way to add some strength and continues to round out his skills next season, it wouldn’t be out of the question to see him develop into a very high draft pick.

Jordan Hamilton
SF 6’7/215- Texas
(Dominguez HS)

The other half of the Longhorns 5 star class is wing, Jordan Hamilton. Combined with Avery Bradley, these two young studs are going to help Texas challenge for the Big 12 title this season. He is the most gifted scorer on the west coast and might have the most polished offensive game in the country. He is a menace in the open court and a very underrated passer as well. He has a picture perfect stroke and range out to 25 feet. He is equally effective in a catch-n-shoot situation as well as off the bounce. He has very good straight-line speed, but he doesn’t possess great lateral quickness, however. He has a variety of ways to score at his disposal and he also possesses that killer instinct, especially on the offensive end. With his average athleticism, poor body language and refusal to play any kind of defense still major red flags, he still has a long way to go before we hear David Stern call his name.

Lance Stephenson
SG 6’5/220- Cincinnati
(Lincoln HS)

“Born Ready” has emerged as one of the most aggressive and physical wing players in the nation. He is able to penetrate the paint at will and finish plays. While he won’t be able to use his strength as often in the Big East as he did in high school, his attacking mindset will continue to help him wear down opponents and draw fouls. He is one of the most productive scorers in the country. He scores off the bounce, off post ups or with range to 22 feet. Stephenson is also a terrific rebounder for a guard. He can control both the offensive and defensive backboard because of his exceptional strength compared to other guards. His talent level and physical attributes are hard to argue with, but his attitude, body language, and approach to the game leave a lot to be desired and continue to hold him back from reaching his true potential.

Kenny Boynton Jr.
SG 6’2/170-Florida
(American Heritage HS)

Boynton should be the starting Point Guard in a thin backcourt for Florida this season. Although he is a natural 2, he will have to learn and learn quickly in order for the Gators to get back in the Big Dance next season. Improving that aspect of his game would do a lot for his long term stock as well, given his size. Looking at his game, Boynton is a smooth, but not incredibly explosive athlete with just average length for his size. While he’s not an outstanding physical specimen, he makes up for it and then some in shot-making ability, being able to score the ball at will. He shows no hesitation to pull up from NBA three-point range either. He can shoot spotting up or on the move, and shows no problems adjusting to a hand in his face. He’s truly an excellent shot maker. The biggest problem with Boynton’s shooting though is his streaky nature, as he can be lights out for awhile, but then go just as cold, and he doesn’t make adjustments to his game when his shot isn’t falling. Boynton is clearly a tremendous offensive talent, and if he can learn to play in a real basketball system and become more versatile, he’ll likely develop into an NBA caliber player.

BEST OF THE REST

Keith Gallon
C 6’8 300- Oklahoma
(Oak Hill Academy)

Ryan Kelly
PF 6’10/205- Duke
(Ravenscroft School)

Michael Snaer
SG 6’4/170- Florida State
(Rancho Verde HS)

Mason Plumlee
PF 6’11/210- Duke
(Christ School)

Wally Judge
PF 6’8/215- Kansas State
(Arlington Country Day School)

Dominic Cheek
SG 6’5/175- Villanova
(St. Anthony HS)

Maalik Wayns
PG 6’1/175- Villanova
(Roman Catholic HS)

Renardo Sidney
PF 6’9/ 255- Mississippi State
(Fairfax HS)

Mouphtauo Yarou
C 6’6/235- Villanova
(Montrose Christian School)

Dante Taylor
PF 6’8/215- Pittsburgh
(National Christian Academy)

Daniel Orton

C 6’10/260- Kentucky
(Bishop Meguinness HS)

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2 Responses to “The Difference Makers- Freshmen BMOC”

  1. Blake Griffin's Guy

    07. Aug, 2009

    Jordan Hamilton doesn’t even call them haters anymore. LMAO.

    What a joke. The next Carmelo Anthony? Maybe if they’re talking about the stop snitching DVD collection.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Nolan

    06. Aug, 2009

    What about Brandon Triche? New York State Player of the year and starter from day 1? He’s going to be the Big East Freshman of the year. Great first article !!!

    Reply to this comment

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