Who are the best incoming freshman in the country? Well here's the list of Top 100 Prospects that Scout.com released in April. That ranking is of the best prospects and who we think will end up the best players. Now lets look at the players a little differently. Who will have the biggest impacts for their teams this season? The order of the top three may surprise you.
Top 10 Impact Freshmen
Considering Parker finished No. 3 overall in Scout.com's final 2014 player rankings, his placement at the top of the list may be a surprise. While I do still consider Andrew Wiggins and Julius Randle superior long-term prospects, I think Parker will have the most impact on his team this season. He's going to put up huge numbers for Duke and I think he could potentially average around 20 points a game. Mike Krzyzewski has every intention of getting Parker the ball early, often and whenever he needs a basket. Parker's skill set and scoring arsenal is advanced. Expect a monster year.
I must admit, it was tough to slot Randle at No. 2 because he's going to put up numbers and he's going to be the best player on a loaded Kentucky squad. With that said, between James Young, the Harrison twins and all the post players Kentucky has, the points will spread between quite a few players. He'll likely average at least 15 points a game and will have absurd rebounding numbers. Randle was the most physical player in 2014 and with the new foul rules, expect Randle to live at the free throw line. His rebounding numbers will impress, as he should reel in at a minimum eight a game.
Putting Wiggins at three seems crazy because I do think he's the best long-term prospect and he is who I would take No. 1 in the NBA Draft if I were a General Manager. The hype surrounding Wiggins, a 6-foot-8 athlete out of Huntington (W.V.) Prep, is real. But lets put some context to it. He's not going to average 25.8 points a game like Kevin Durant did. But he is going to be Kansas' best player and will contend for a spot on the First-Team All-American team. Wiggins is virtually unguardable in transition and is an elite level athlete. He was the best perimeter defender in the 2014 class and I expect his impressive defense to be a factor for Kansas this season. It's going to take some time, but by the end of the year Wiggins could be the best player in college basketball.
It may be startling to see Young above some of the other guys on this list, but it appears the 6-foot-7 wing has made quite a bit of progress since the end of his senior season. The Harrison twins left high school ranked higher, but a handful of NBA guys that watched Kentucky practice tell me he has a chance to be a top 10 pick this year. Athletically he's gifted, he has a knack for scoring and his jump shot continues to improve. Young will be a major perimeter threat for Kentucky this season and may be their second best player.
With last years starting point guard (Scottie Wilbekin), suspended for the first six games of the season, Hill is going to get thrown right into the fire. Even when Welbekin comes back, I expect the two to play together and Hill will likely get over 30 minutes a game. Billy Donovan has reputation for letting his guards go and Hill has the athletic gifts and the skill to become one of the nation's best point guards right away. Nine or ten points and five assists seem like reasonable expectations for Hill this year.