Big Ten Impact Freshmen

In 2010, the Big Ten will once again be a showcase for some of the best basketball talent in the country. Some of the most promising players in the conference are incoming freshmen. With the start of basketball only a couple of months away, it is time to take a look at the Big Ten's future freshmen stars.

1. Jared Sullinger, Ohio State, PF

Jared Sullinger is without a doubt one of the best freshmen in the country. The 6-foot-9, 265-pound Columbia, Ohio native is as solid as they come. Sullinger already has a body that is fit for the college game and beyond. He is a thick kid who will be just as strong, if not stronger than his future college opponents. Sullinger uses his size to establish himself in the paint as a scorer. Once he gets the ball near the hoop, there is almost no stopping him. He can finish with both hands and he can do so in traffic. One thing that helps Sullinger excel is his amazing nose for rebounding the basketball. He can scoop up misses from his teammates and put the ball away with ease. Look for Sullinger to be one of the best players on a team that won the Big Ten Tournament last year.

2. DeShaun Thomas, Ohio State, SF/PF

The next player on the list is Jared Sullinger's future teammate, DeShaun Thomas. Thomas is a big 6-foot-7, 215-pound forward who can play both forward positions. In college, Thomas should turn into a mismatch nightmare. He has amazing post moves and can punish small defenders when he gets the ball down low. If he is matched up against a larger defender, he can take the ball outside and either penetrate or pull up and shoot. Thomas, an Indiana native, is such a prolific scorer that he has a chance of breaking the Hoosier State's all-time record. Thomas is also a beast on the boards. He is a strong player with good athleticism which help in his attempts to snag rebounds. Expect Sullinger and Thomas to be one of the most dominant frontcourts in the conference.

3. Adreian Payne, Michigan State, PF/C

The first member of this list who will not be a Buckeye is ultra-talented forward/center, Adreian Payne. Payne, a 6-foot-10, 210-pounder, is a raw athlete who shows the athleticism and talent to be a great college player. He is a tall, lanky player who uses his leaping ability to block shots and throw down dunks. As stated before, Payne is a raw player with few polished post moves. He is a good shooter, even hitting the occasional deep ball. Payne had offers from schools like Kentucky, Kansas and West Virginia but made a good choice picking Tom Izzo and the Spartans. With Izzo's coaching, Payne should develop into a play who can dominate the Big Ten.

4. Jereme Richmond, Illinois, SF

The last member of this elite list is small forward, Jereme Richmond. Richmond, a 6-foot-6, Illinois native is a silky-smooth wing who flat-out score. Richmond has an absolutely gorgeous jumper. He gets good elevation over the defender and has a quick, high release. The kid has a great shot but also explosive athleticism. Richmond has a quick step and can play above-the rim if needed. Richmond is in the Wes Johnson mold of a long athletic forward who can shoot the ball. Richmond should have no problem finding his place within the Ilini offense this season.

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