5 Best College Basketball Freshmen In The Big Ten This Year

Freshman seem to rule the college basketball world now, as all of the top high schoolers can often determine a college program's success for the next season before they move to the NBA.

Last year was the perfect example of this as freshmen Karl-Anthony Towns, Devin Booker, Trey Lyles, and Tyler Ulis nearly led Kentucky to an undefeated season, while Duke's four freshmen (Jahlil Okafor, Justise Winslow, Tyus Jones, and Grayson Allen) led the Blue Devils to the national title.

The Big Ten will see a heavy influx of top freshman talent this year, which will change the landscape of the conference as we know it. Here are the top five freshmen in the conference this season:

5) SG Jalen Coleman - Illinois Fighting Illini

Coleman is a true wing player with a silky smooth jumper. He's deadly from the perimeter coming off of screens, but he also has the quickness to blow by defenders if they play him too closely and is a crafty finisher around the rim. Illinois would like for him to work on his point guard skills so he can run the team in a pinch, but he should be a true impact player from day one.

4) PF Deyonta Davis - Michigan State Spartans

Davis is a classic stretch four due to his lack of strength (6'9", 210 lbs.), but he has a reliable mid-range jumper and is athletic enough to rebound and make plays around the rim despite his lack of bulk. He's oozing with defensive potential because of his length and quick feet, but does need to improve on the offensive end when he has the ball in something other than a catch-and-shoot situation.

3) PF Thomas Bryant - Indiana Hoosiers

The 6'10", 220-pound Bryant will be relied on as Indiana's only true post presence on a team full of guards, and he appears ready to carry the load. He has excellent athleticism, a few reliable post moves, and plays above the rim, but he needs to get stronger (like most freshmen) and has to work on being more agressive. Still, Bryant has the potential and the opportunity to win Big Ten Freshman of the Year.

2) C Caleb Swanigan - Purdue Boilermakers

A consensus top-10 recruit, Swanigan is a bruiser (6'8", 275 lbs.) that should fit right into the physical Big Ten style of basketball. He's arguably the most polished post player in this freshman class and knows how to use his body to rebound and create shots for himself on the block. Conditioning is an issue, but he should be the focal point of the Boilermakers this season.

1) C Diamond Stone - Maryland Terrapins

The 6'10", 250-pound already has an NBA-ready body, and he hasn't even played a game for Maryland yet. Stone makes his money around the basket, using his strength to create space and his soft touch allows him to shoot a high percentage. He's also comfortable stepping away from the basket and is a proven winner (four straight high school state titles). Mark Turgeon's Terrapins turned heads last season, but Stone's arrival is the biggest reason why they sit atop many preseason polls.

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Related Topics: NCAA Basketball, Diamond Stone, College Basketball, Michigan State Spartans Basketball, Caleb Swanigan, Thomas Bryant, Illinois Fighting Illini Basketball, Maryland Terrapins Basketball, Purdue Boilermakers Basketball, Big Ten Basketball, Deyonta Davis, Indiana Hoosiers Basketball, Jalen Coleman