Guys like Charlie Villanueva, Leon Powe, Chris Paul, Brandon Bass, Trevor Ariza and Sean Banks have lived up to their Top 30 rankings from a year ago while Olu Famutimi, Mike Jones and the Syracuse tandem of Demetris Nichols and Darryl Watkins have been struggling to find minutes.
With that being said, let's hand out a few mid-season awards for college basketball's freshman:
Top Scorer: Kris Humphries, Minnesota – 23.2 per game
Mr. Automatic: P.J. Tucker, Texas – Fourth in nation, shooting 66.3% from the field
Bombs Away: Ken Tutt, Oral Roberts – Averaging 3.1 trifectas per game
Mr. Charity: Blake Ahearn, SW Missouri St. – Hit 49 of 50 free throws (98 percent)
Quickest Hands: Chris Paul, Wake Forest – Second in nation with 4.3 steals per game
Sultan of Swat: C.J. Walker, UNC-Asheville – Seventh in nation at 3.7 blocks per contest
Top Playmaker: Marcus Williams, UConn – Averaging 4.7 assists in 15.6 mpg
Mr. Underrated: P.J. Tucker, Texas – 14.9 points and 7.5 boards per game. We had him too low at No. 66
Mr. Overrated: Olu Famutimi, Arkansas – Putting up just 5.8 ppg and shooting 30% FG
Other major-conference freshman getting it done (some were 5th year preps who previously ranked in our Top 100):
Vern Hamilton, Clemson; Donte Minter, Virginia; Alexander Johnson, Florida State; Levi Stukes, Georgia; Quincy Douby, Rutgers; Josh Boone, UConn; Jared Dudley, Boston College; Sean Marshall, Boston College; Ivan Radenovic, Arizona; Marquise Kately, Cal; Marlon Smith, Penn State; Mike Cook, East Carolina; Japhet McNeil, East Carolina; Acie Law, Texas A&M; Curtis Stinson, Iowa State; Will Blalock, Iowa State; Daon Merritt, Richmond; Dustin Salisbery, Temple; Maurice Maxwell, UMass; Carl Elliott, George Washington
Now let's take a look at 10 players who didn't head to big-time schools who are thriving:
Paul Millsap, 6-7, 225, Louisiana Tech – Former Grambling High (La.) big man leads the nation in rebounds (12.4) and is also shooting 64% from the field. Also putting up 14.6 points per game, ninth in the WAC.
Caleb Green, 6-8, 230, Oral Roberts – Among the nation's leaders in field goal percentage (59%) and in rebounding at 9.6 per game. Also putting up 16.4 points per game. Went to Tulsa Memorial (Okla.)
Ken Tutt, 6-1, 175, G, Oral Roberts – Averaging 18.1 points and 3.1 trifectas per contest. Shooting 43% from long range and 86% from the line. Went to South Garland High (Texas).
Blake Ahearn, 6-2, 175, G, Southwest Missouri State – Second in the country in free throw percentage at 98 percent. Has hit 49 of 50 from the line. Also putting up 11.3 points per game, 15th in the Missouri Valley Conference. Hails from DeSmet Jesuit (St. Louis, Mo.)
C.J. Walker, 7-1, 220, C, UNC-Asheville – Seventh in the nation in blocks per game at 3.7. Played at Raleigh Sanderson (N.C.) last season.
Bruce Price, 6-3, 205, G, Tennessee State – Averaging 17.8 points, 3.7 assists and 2.6 steals per game. Shooting 75% from the line and 34% from three-point land. One-time St. John's commit hails from Minneapolis, where he was home-schooled for much of his high school years.
Bobby Brown, 6-1, 170, Cal-State Fullerton – Averaging 14.3 points, 4 assists and shooting 44% from long range. Teammate of Heath's at Westchester High (Calif.).
Haminn Quaintance, 6-6, 220, Jacksonville – Averaging 13.7 points and 8.8 rebounds per game. Played at Sarasota Riverview (Fla.).
Jon Iati, Albany – Averaging 14.5 points per game and 34% from long distance.