A word of caution on those highly touted freshman

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Memphis fans, Kentucky fans and anyone else following a team that’s relying on freshmen for a big season might not want to read Luke Winn’s latest analysis at SI.com.

Those freshmen? The odds of them making an instant impact aren’t good.

Not that they can’t. Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger and North Carolina’s Harrison Barnes – in extremely early performances – have turned out to be just as good as advertised. But not every highly touted freshman provides and instant boost. (Syracuse’s Fab Melo seems to be a slow starter.)

Basically, these are the unreasonable expectations for recruits in the RSCI’s Top 100:

  • That anyone outside the top 20 will appear in more than half his team’s minutes or be much higher than a point-per-possession player.
  • That anyone outside the top 10 will use possessions at the rate of a “go-to” guy, or score with All-America-level efficiency.

Beyond that, Winn includes a player comparison for that freshman. A wing ranked in the 20s? Think Jordan Hamilton. A big in the 40s? Try JaJaun Johnson.

But hey, those are simply what the reasonable expectations are. Your team may be different. Those freshmen may be ahead of the curve.

But don’t bank on it.

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