Wiggins, Randle and Parker impress in their college debuts
College basketball fans won't remember Friday's slate of season-opening games because of last-minute drama or a controversial call by referees. Those things didn't really happen. But even if they did, last night would still be remembered for the debut of a group of freshmen unrivaled in the history of the sport.
According to ESPN's Chad Ford, six of the top 10 NBA draft prospects made their college debuts Friday. Based on their first games, freshmen will play a big part of which school grabs major pieces of hardware in 2014.
Let's start with Kentucky -- the Wildcats started four freshman in a rout of UNC-Asheville. Top recruit Julius Randle started his college career off with a bang, notching a double-double on 23 points and 15 rebounds. Five of those rebounds were on the offensive glass, which the 6'9 power forward absolutely dominated.
In addition, Randle's teammates did some work. The Harrison twins that occupy Kentucky's backcourt were solid, with Aaron scoring 10 points and Andrew dishing five assists. James Young hit two three-pointers, finishing the game with 11 points.
Another top recruit on a highly-ranked team -- Andrew Wiggins -- impressed for Kansas against UL Monroe. The newest Jayhawk scored 16 points, including an impressive corner three and a trifecta of steals. Shooting guard Wayne Selden had four assists and eight points in his debut for coach Bill Self.
Drawing comparisons to Carmelo Anthony and Paul Pierce, Duke's Jabari Parker didn't do anything to dissuade Blue Devil fans of his talent. In a run-and-gun contest against Davidson, the Chicago native had 22 points on eight of ten shooting, including a perfect three of three from behind the arc.
Out west, Arizona's super frosh Aaron Gordon had a beast of a day against Cal Poly. The 6'9 forward from San Jose doubled down with 13 points and ten rebounds to go along with four blocks. Not bad for the consensus No. 3 player in the country.
By far, Tyler Ennis had the most uneven game out of the top guys in his recruiting class. Despite dishing seven assists and grabbing eight boards, the pass-first point guard was 0-6 from the field and finished with a measly point. Even without the buckets, Orange fans have to be thrilled to have a replacement for the departed Michael Carter-Williams.
The worst debut from Friday was that of Rysheed Jordan from St. John's. The 6'4 point guard was stifled by Wisconsin's defense, scoring just six points and assisting on three baskets. Red Storm fans shouldn't fret, however, it is no easy task for a freshman to debut against a ranked Big 10 opponent coached by defense-savvy Bo Ryan.
If Friday is any indication, these eight freshmen -- and dozens more of their kind -- are ready to bring it.
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