Top 10 Impact Freshmen

Every year a handful of freshmen leave their imprint on the college basketball scene and this year will be much of the same. Sure guys like Marcus Smart, Doug McDermott and Russ Smith will be in this conversation, but there are at least three freshmen that will make a strong case for the First Team All-American list.

Who are the best incoming freshman in the country? Well here's the list of Top 100 Prospects that 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.

#1 Jabari Parker

2013 Recruiting ProfileSF | 6'7 | 215
Rank: #3 (SF #2)

Simeon Vocational HS (Chicago, Ill.)

Considering Parker finished No. 3 overall in'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.

#2 Julius Randle

2013 Recruiting ProfilePF | 6'8 | 225
Rank: #2 (PF #1)

Prestonwood Christian (Plano, Texas)

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.

#3 Andrew Wiggins

2013 Recruiting ProfileSF | 6'8 | 205
Rank: #1 (SF #1)

Huntington Prep (Huntington, W.Va.)

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.

#4 James Young

2013 Recruiting ProfileSF | 6'6 | 190
Rank: #11 (SF #4)

Rochester HS (Rochester Hills, Mich.)

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.

#5 Kasey Hill

2013 Recruiting ProfilePG | 6'0 | 160
Rank: #9 (PG #2)

Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.)

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.

#6 Aaron Gordon

2013 Recruiting ProfilePF | 6'8 | 215
Rank: #4 (PF #2)

Archbishop Mitty HS (San Jose, Calif.)

One of the more vibrant athletes in the 2013 class, Gordon, a 6-foot-7 combination forward, will likely get plenty of minutes, despite playing in a front court that has quite a bit of depth. Gordon has combo forward qualities, so look for him to show off and inside/outside game. He's a very good rebounder, tough to stop in transition and will be one of the best pure athletes to play in college basketball this year.

#7 Wayne Selden

2013 Recruiting ProfileSF | 6'5 | 230
Rank: #12 (SF #5)

Tilton School (Tilton, N.H.)

Coming out of high school Selden was ranked just outside the top 10. His skill, ability to pass and his scoring arsenal were among the things that stood out about him. By all accounts, Selden has been dynamic in the preseason. He's built buzz among the NBA contingent and he's primed for a major year. His jump shot, especially from mid-range is effective. He's not going to get the same shot attempts that Wiggins or even Perry Ellis will, but he's going to get plenty of opportunities and will be one of the more dangerous perimeter threats in the country.

#8 Andrew Harrison

2013 Recruiting ProfilePG | 6'5 | 205
Rank: #5 (PG #1)

Travis HS (Richmond, Texas)

John Calipari will ask a lot of Harrison, but it's nothing he can't handle. The 6-foot-5 freshman is a tough, physical guard that always plays with a chip on his shoulder. Harrison knows how to run a team, but can flip the switch and go into scoring mode when he needs to. With that amount of talent on Kentucky's roster, I don't expect his numbers to be consistently huge, but he will certainly have his fair share of big games.

#9 Joel Embiid

2013 Recruiting ProfileC | 7'0 | 220
Rank: #23 (C #2)

The Rock School (Gainesville, Fla.)

Unfortunately I never got to see Embiid live in high school. But his outing in the Jordan All-American game impressed enough to move him into five-star territory and into the top 25. Looking back, I wasn't aggressive enough. I watched Embiid practice recently and his upside is tremendous. At 7-feet, 250-pounds, Embiid is built like a Greek God. Defensively he'll be a factor swatting shots, but he also has touch and a hook shot that makes him a threat on the offensive end.

#10 Noah Vonleh

2013 Recruiting ProfilePF | 6'8 | 210
Rank: #7 (PF #3)

The New Hampton School (New Hampton, N.H.)

Vonleh is going to be provided with plenty of opportunity to make an impact for Indiana this season. Vonleh is a terrific rebounder and that is a quality that will translate with ease to the college game. Offensively he's skilled and can score inside and out. He's not going to score 15 or 20 points a game, but 10 to 12 and around eight rebounds a game seem like reasonable expectations for the elite talent.

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