It’s never too early to start looking forward to next season!
Check below for our list of 30 influential freshmen for the 2022-23 college basketball season.
Not in any particular order:
Derek Lively II, Duke: This Pennsylvania-born is the main reason Duke has a chance to be an outstanding defensive team in his first year under John Scheer. 7-1 Lively – which is expected to be one of the top picks in the 2023 NBA Draft – will change the way opposition offenses look thanks to edge protection and the ability to shift shots.
The Duke of Whitehead: Whitehead is currently out indefinitely with a foot injury, but when he returns, he will be one of the best players in the sport. How good is this new 6-6-6 student? Prior to the injury, he was the favorite to lead the Blue Devils in scoring during the 2022-23 season. This boy is the real deal.
Kyle Filipovsky, Duke: Filipowski is one of the most unique prospects in this year’s freshman class because he has elite size, skill, and strength. While physically looking like a real center at 6-11 and 230 pounds, Filipowski feels more comfortable starting attacking in the halfway and facilitating chances for his teammates. He would form a powerful combination of Force Forward with Blue Devils along with Lively.
Mark Mitchell, Duke: This Kansas-born is another five-star candidate in the Duke recruiting category. The 6-8 Mitchell is a typical forward combo and has a massive blast. Mitchell will give the Blue Devils a different look at the power forward when either Lively or Filippovsky is out of the game.
Dillon Mitchell, Texas: Tall and skinny at 6-7, Mitchell has the basketball body type drawn by Norman Rockwell. A brilliant arcade with great vision and sexy wit, Mitchell has an innate way to thrive in all areas of the Chest Points. We expect him to become a lockout defender this season under Chris Bird.
Amari Bailey, University of California: Several talent evaluators have compared Bailey to current Minnesota Timberwolves guard D’Angelo Russell, who played one season at Ohio State. A smooth, cunning and elite athlete, this 6-5 left-footed player can take on an offensive game and also excel in creativity for others. This could end up being the best goalkeeper Mick Cronin has ever played.
Adam Bona, University of California: 6-9 Bona plays with power and authority on either side of the ball, powered by an engine that never seems to run out of gas. Bona’s five-star prediction was unanimous, averaging 17 points, 10.9 rebounds and 2.4 blocks last summer at FIBA U20 in Europe. Think of another Pam Adebayo.
Nick Smith, Arkansas: What is Smith’s talent? There is a strong chance that he will be the selected college player of the 2023 NBA Draft. Pencil in this 6-4 goalkeeper as a potential All-American for the 2022-23 season.
Anthony Black, Arkansas: Black has yet to play a game for Arkansas, but that hasn’t stopped Eric Mosselman from raving about him over the summer. If Arkansas advances to 3rd in a row from the Elite Eight or beyond, 6-7 Black supervision will be a major reason for that.
Jordan Walsh, Arkansas: Walsh doesn’t get as much attention as Smith and Black, but he’ll be a huge part of what the Razorbacks are doing this season. Walsh has great versatility in the 6-7, can protect multiple locations and can excel as a small forward ball force.
Casson Wallace, Kentucky: The 6-4 las can have a defensive role, and can have a massive impact on a match without requiring shots. He will form a fast and explosive backyard this season alongside veteran General Sapper Wheeler.
Chris Livingston, Kentucky: The Livingston is large at 6-6 and has a wide tire that allows it to absorb friction in traffic. Don’t be shocked if John Calipari has turned Livingston into an elite defensive player this season due to his on-glass potential.
Keyonte George, Baylor: George showed great promise to Baylor this summer at the Global Jam, regularly scoring more than 30 points against international competitions. He will be part of one of the best surroundings in the country this season alongside LG Cryer, Adam Flagler and freshman Langston Love, who missed the entire last year through injury.
Kel’el Ware, Oregon: Dana Altman is particularly optimistic about his team. The addition of a 7-foot tool is a major reason behind this. The five-star freshman averaged 15.7 points and 6.8 rebounds in the Americas FIBA Under-18 Championship and is expected to be in the top 10 in the 2023 NBA Draft. Remember the name.
Garas Walker, Houston: Kelvin Sampson has built one of the best programs in college basketball. The 6-8 Walker commitment – a five-star prospect – confirms this. A skilled force forward excels in facing situations, and a deadly walker around the edge and onto the glass. It will instantly fit in with cougars.
Cam Whitmore, Villanova: Don’t be shocked if Whitmore pushes to honor his first All-Big East team as a freshman — seriously. The 6-6 striker was the FIBA U18 Americas Player of the Year earlier this summer and has great star potential. Whitmore is a talent of “one-and-done” caliber.
Julian Phillips, Tennessee: Rick Barnes brings back several key pieces from last season’s team that won the SEC Championship, but adding 6-8 Phillips might take the Volunteers to a different level. Philips has a long-standing ceiling and a lot of talent. He will add to the strong Tennessee core of Zachai Ziegler, Santiago Vescovi, Josiah Jordan James and Olivier Nkamhua.
Brandon Miller, Alabama: Nate Oats has been looking for a tall and skinny striker since losing Herb Jones two seasons ago. 6-8 Miller is a prime filter to fill in the blank. Smooth and dexterous, Miller needs more weight and strength, but must immediately fit into the Crimson Tide attack’s pervasive approach.
Jaden Bradley, Alabama: Another season brings with it another prestigious goalkeeper to Tuscaloosa. Just like JD Davison a year ago, Bradley is a five-star candidate who should be ready to contribute from day one of training – especially with Jahvon Quinerly’s return date in question after a knee injury.
JJ Starling, Notre Dame: A year after securing a “one-and-done” guard at Blake Wesley, Mike Brey may have another at Starling. Expect a high utilization rate for the 6-4 Starling, whose play at the checkpoint could eventually determine if the Irish can return to the NCAA Championship in 2023.
Galen Hood Cheveno, Indiana: Physical sample at 6-5, Hood-Schifino can play several positions on the ocean and must withstand tremendous pressure from Xavier Johnson at the lookout point. This five-star prospect is expected to make a start as a freshman at Indiana State.
Jett Howard, Michigan: Minutes are available on the stand for Wolverines and Howard is ready to take advantage of them. Jett Howard, son of Michigan coach Joan Howard, has an impressive size at 6-7 and a natural skill to put the ball into the basket. He will play a major role in the Wolverines in 2022-23.
Grady Dick, KS: Dick, a 6-7 hitter shooter, will get high quality shots simply by playing with Bill Self. He will have a major role as a freshman as KS looks to learn about the offshore payout following the losses of Ochai Agbaji and Christian Braun.
M.J. Rice, KS: Rice, who is 6-5 and 225 pounds, doesn’t physically look like a typical college student. Rice possesses a plethora of traits that will make him an instant staple in the Kansas spin, as an effective shooter and a stubborn rebel.
Sky Clark, Illinois: Clark previously committed in Kentucky, and will get the car keys at the Illinois guard post as a freshman. His ability to manage Brad Underwood’s attack will determine whether or not this program can remain at the top of the Big Ten.
Trey Kaufman Reign, Bordeaux (red shirt): Matt Painter has always been associated with talented men; Kauffman-Renn is next in line. After looking to hit the ground running last season, this striker should add another 6-9 capable front piece to Bordeaux alongside Mason Gillis, Zach Edey and Caleb Furst.
JJ Jackson, South Carolina: Jackson’s decision to reclassify from 2023 to 2022 is the main reason why the first season of Lamont Paris in South Carolina enjoyed some tangible buzz. Jackson 6-9 will be a focal point in everything the Gamecocks do and he should be one of the top scorers in the SEC.
Johann Traore, Auburn: He’s not Jabari Smith or Walker Kessler, but that doesn’t mean Traore doesn’t stand a chance of being one of the best freshmen in the country this season. The big guy at 6-10 and 225 pounds is super skilled and uses angles well around the edge. Traore has star potential – this season.
Bruce Thornton, Ohio: The Buckeyes were heavy on the transfer gate last spring to reshape their roster, but Thornton will be the only member of Ohio State’s newcomers who will be a starting point guard in the Big Ten as a freshman. As Thornton goes, so does the Buckeyes.
Judah Mintz, Syracuse: Jim Boeheim loves Mintz’s long-range ability. He will have the opportunity to present it immediately with Orange. We expect 6-3 Mintz to play a major role in the Syracuse setting as a freshman alongside Joe Gerrard.