Oct. 31, 2005
By Phil Kasiecki
Special to CSTV.com from Hoopville
The high school class of 2005 won't go down as one of the best in recent years by a long shot, despite the high number of players who opted for the NBA Draft instead of college. Only three of those players went in the first round, and although six went in the second round to set a record with nine overall, it was clear that this group lacked the depth of other classes.
Many very good prospects chose the college route, and among them will be some who will make instant impact this season. The class of 2005 may not be loaded with talent like the one before it, but many teams will need their freshmen to contribute right away and some will be capable. This year's group of freshmen is heavy on the wing, as point guards and big men were in short supply.
Here are some who should make a major impact on their teams.
Jon Brockman, F, Washington: A beast on the low post, Brockman will start right away and be a major source of production in for the Huskies.
Mario Chalmers, G, Kansas: The Jayhawks will need him to step right in and run the show. Look for him to do just that and make his young teammates better.
Lewis Clinch, G, Georgia Tech: Don't be surprised if the rebuilding Yellow Jackets have him starting before long, as he's an excellent shooter and knows how to score.
Tyler Hansbrough, F, North Carolina: The best of the talented freshmen on the defending national champs, he'll be counted on to produce from Day 1.
Dominic James, G, Marquette: He'll be handed the keys to the offense right away. He can score the ball and distribute well.
Jerel McNeal, G, Marquette: Along with James, he's a prime reason the future is very bright for the Golden Eagles. He knows how to win and does several things well.
Josh McRoberts, F-C, Duke: A big-time talent, McRoberts can be a go-to guy and can blend in like a role player on a loaded team. He's big, strong and runs the floor very well.
Tasmin Mitchell, F, LSU: Simply put, he does things that help a team win games. He's a combo forward with a great basketball acumen and excellent skills and strength.
Jeremy Pargo, G, Gonzaga: He was a big steal for the 'Zags, as he can flat-out score the ball. He'll get major minutes sooner rather than later and be a key player this season.
Greg Paulus, G, Duke: Paulus was a stud quarterback in football, so it's only natural that he's also a stud point guard on the hardwood. He'll have some good options for his passes this year.
Shawne Williams, F, Memphis: He wisely decided not to try the NBA route, as he's a great athlete with solid small forward size and skills.
Julian Wright, F,
Some other freshman to keep an eye on include:
Alade Aminu, F, Georgia Tech
Korvotney Barber, F, Auburn
Chris Bethel, F, Fordham
Rashad Chase, F,
Leo Criswell, F, Missouri
Eric Devendorf, G,
Micah Downs, F,
Byron Eaton, G,
Bobby Frasor, G,
John Garcia, F, Seton Hall
Marcus Ginyard, G,
Jamont Gordon, G,
Richard Hendrix, F,
Lawrence Hill, F, Stanford
David Huertas, G,
Charles Jackson, F, Illinois
Tommie Liddell, G, St. Louis
Charles Little, F, Dayton
Dior Lowhorn, F, Texas Tech
Anthony Mason, Jr., F, St. John's
Wes Matthews, G, Marquette
Cyrus McGowan, F,
Mike Mercer, G, Georgia
Nate Minnoy, G-F, Purdue
Ahmad Nivins, F-C, St. Joseph's
Julius Powell, F, Clemson
Kevin Swinton, F, Wake Forest
Ricky Torres, G,
Terrence Williams, G, Louisville
Sam Young, F, Pittsburgh
Luke Zeller, C, Notre Dame
North Carolina coach Roy Williams