Freshman = Terrible; See the Proof

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

Freshman are terrible basketball players. They commit stupid turnovers, take dumb shots, and fail to rotate on defense.

Look at the best five freshman in basketball:

Nat’l Top 5 Freshmen Team Conf OffR DefR Tot Pts NBA%
4 Simmons, Ben 25 LSU SEC 9.86 -3.68 8.9 96%
11 Thompson, James 2 E. Mich MAC 11.8 -1.31 8.61
72 Beasley, Malik 5 Florida St. ACC 8.72 -1.1 6.45 36%
100 Rabb, Ivan 1 California P12 6.79 -2.32 5.98 87%
111 Ingram, Brandon 14 Duke ACC 6.88 -1.93 5.79 95%

Think about this. Brandon Ingram is the fifth most valuable freshman and his 95% chance of NBA success virtually assures he will be a pro star in a few years just like Ben Simmons and Ivan Rabb.

They will likely all be better than senior Buddy Hield, who ranks as easily the top player worth 10.52 points per game to Oklahoma.

When I release updating rankings on the most common question is, “How can we be so bad when our star will go in the first round?” Simple, your star is a freshman and freshmen are terrible.

NBA teams do not draft freshmen because of all the dumb things they will do in their rookie year — the draft players for how good they will be when they are 22 years old and older.

The 22-year-old Hield is much more valuable than the 18-year-old Ingram right now. But NBA teams know that 18-year-olds get much better when they are 19 and when they are 20, and the improvement levels off. Hield’s NBA% is 83%, so he should be good but he is already near his peak as he dominates.

The good news for Duke is that by tournament time freshman are starting to look like sophomores. Ingram’s teammate Grayson Allen was the 1735th best player in the country as a freshman last year, but then exploded to be a tournament hero — and this year he ranks as the 13th best player as a sophomore.

So while juniors and seniors get you to the tournament, freshman and sophomores are sometimes ready to help the team make a run.


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