There is always a freshman each college basketball season that is excellent, turns into a social media star, and becomes an NBA draft pick. These past two college basketball seasons we have seen two big examples of that: in 2017-18, Oklahoma Guard Trae Young, and in 2018-19 Duke Forward Zion Williamson. Now, let’s take a look at possibilities for next year’s freshman star.
(These aren’t in any order)
Despite five-star talent around him (Forward Precious Achiwua and potentially Combo Guard RJ Hampton) Wiseman is the top player in the 2019 class. Wiseman could be the catalyst of Penny Hardaway’s successful first season at his alma mater with great rebounding, defense, and ability to hang in the post.
2.Cole Anthony,Point Guard,North Carolina
Anthony may be the most eletric player in this class with comparisons to Russell Westbrook. UNC is losing most of their talent to the draft so Anthony can walk into Chapel Hill and be the leader of this offense on day one for Roy Williams. Expect Anthony to have a high usage rate and lead the Tar Heels to sucess in 2019-2020.
3.Anthony Edwards,Shooting Guard,Georgia
Edwards is a long and tall two-guard who has the ability to ball handle and be a leader to this fairly new Georgia coaching staff. Without much talent around him, Edwards can lead Georgia to great heights and potentially get the good play he needs to be considered the next Zion.
4.RJ Hampton,Combo Guard,Uncommitted
This does depend on where Hampton ends up, but the reclassified combo guard knows how to score and defend. If he ends up at Kansas, Hampton should have the reigns to the offense if freshman guards Quentin Grimes and Devin Dotson stay in the draft instead of heading back to Lawrence. Texas Tech, another of his final three schools, is also losing talent and Hampton could be the catalyst of Chris Beard’s offense in Lubbock. Memphis is the tough one though, because if Little Rock transfer Rayjon Tucker enters the NBA Draft, Hampton will likely go to Memphis but will still be beside two five stars (Wiseman and Achiwua). If Tucker takes his name out of the draft and goes to Memphis, Hampton should enroll at Kansas or Texas Tech and be successful.
5.Josh Green,Shooting Guard,Arizona
It was between him and his future teammate Nico Mannion but the way Josh Green plays is electrifying. He can get to the rim at ease and is very productive on the offensive end. Green, an Australian native, knows how to defend and could very well be in the running to be the next Zion.
Other names to know:Nico Mannion,PG,Arizona;Vernon Carey,Center,Duke;Isaiah Stewart,Center,Washington;Jaden McDaniels,PF,Washington;Isaiah Mobley,PF,USC;Tyrese Maxey,SG,Kentucky;Kahlil Whitney,SF,Kentucky