While Shabazz Muhammad is the top prospect in the class and maybe the most college ready as well, he isn't committing during the early signing period so it is impossible to know what kind of immediate impact he will have at the school he chooses. Because of that, UCLA signee Kyle Anderson might be the biggest instant impact guy signing during the early period.
Anderson doesn't necessarily have a position, but he just knows how to play. The biggest thing that keeps a lot of freshmen from playing early and having a big impact is basketball IQ, with Anderson that isn't even remotely in question. In fact, no player in the last decade might have a better feel for how to play than Anderson.
UCLA loses point guard Lazeric Jones, and offensively that is where Anderson is likely to play. UCLA has no other player even remotely resembling a floor general on the roster, so Anderson will have the ball in his hands from day one, and that should be a good thing for Bruins fans.
Anderson is one of the most gifted passers in the class, and just knows what to do when diagnosing the defense and how to attack it. Nicknamed "Slomo", Anderson isn't known for his explosiveness and quickness getting into the lane, but he just knows how to do it, and plays slow and deliberate while setting up defenders and making plays.
UCLA has needed to bring in an elite level immediate impact guy, and Anderson should do that. His size allows him to rebound well, his intelligence makes up for his lack of quickness on defense, and offensively he is a matchup nightmare. Overall Anderson should have a huge impact as a freshman for the Bruins.
Another high-level prospect who should make an immediate impact is Kansas commitment Perry Ellis. Ellis is a 6-foot-8 power forward who should step right in and take a starting sport in Lawrence for the Jayhawks.
The Wichita, Kansas native has been hyped since middle school and the Jayhakws knew they had to land him. A solid athlete with excellent skill, Ellis should be the starting power forward from day one, even if Thomas Robinson comes back, as he would probably slide to the center position.
Either alongside Robinson or replacing Robinson, Ellis has the entire skill package that no other player on the Jayhawk frontcourt possesses. Ellis can play facing the rim, can take bigger players off the dribble, and also has the ability to score down low with a post move.
Given that Kansas is in need of some talent in their starting lineup, Ellis should easily contribute right away, and he could be a threat for a double-double on most nights, as some time before the season in the weight room should give him some added ability to rebound and defend at a high level.
The best true point guard in the class is Providence signee Kris Dunn, and by picking the Friars, Dunn should step onto the court right away and be given the ball from day one. Dunn is athletic, has good size, and can score in a variety of ways as well as set up teammates for easy buckets.
There is no player on the Providence roster that can match Dunn's talent level, and because of that it is possible that he receives upwards of 30 minutes per game on the floor. With that kind of talent as well as that much opportunity, Dunn should be one of the most impressive freshman performers in the nation.
Landing Dunn was huge as he brings the type of talent that Providence hasn't had in the past, but more so than just the talent, it was at a position of need, and now the Friars should be in good hands from day one at the point guard position.
In Big Ten country a point guard who has a lot of minutes staring him in the face is Ronnie Johnson. The 5-foot-11 point guard from Indianapolis will potentially join his brother in a starting backcourt in West Lafayette.
The Boilermakers do have Kelsey Barlow who could play some point guard, but he is most comfortable on the wing using his athleticism and size, so that leaves Johnson as the likely starter from day one.
Johnson is an excellent passer, pushes the pace well with the dribble, and has made huge strides with his overall game in the last year. It is imperative for the Boilermakers to get quality point guard play with the impending loss of Lewis Jackson, and Johnson is a guy who should come in immediately and play and produce right away.
In the SEC a lot of quality recruits are being brought in, but maybe none has the chance that Jordan Price does. The Auburn Tigers are an offensively challenged team right now, and Price flat out gets buckets.
The 6-foot-4 Price can really shoot the ball from the mid-range and from the perimeter, and has the college ready physique to make an immediate impact. An average athlete for a wing, Price is a smart player who shouldn't have trouble adjusting to a college system.
Overall given the minutes available and the skill set he brings, Price is someone who SEC fans could be surprised to see put up huge numbers, but those paying close attention don't have much doubt about the impact he will make from day one.
Outside of the BCS ranks, a player with arguably the biggest shoes to fill will belong to Semaj Christon who is headed to Xavier. The Musketeers will lose All-American Tu Holloway, and now Christon will be asked to come in and take a majority of those minutes and provide production in the process.
At 6-foot-2 with elite quickness, high level athleticism, and a great ability to see the floor, Christon should have a big year at Brewster Academy, and that will translate immediately to minutes at Xavier.
There is no doubting his physical skills, and with an added year of experience combined with a huge opportunity for immediate minutes, Christon should have a big freshman season.
Every year numerous freshmen around the country come in and make a big impression. These six with their combination of skills and opportunity should be amongst the group that opens eyes.