Commentary

Meet the Big East impact freshmen

Originally Published: November 25, 2007
By Andy Glockner | ESPN.com

In this, the Year of the Freshmen, the Big East Conference has a number of high-impact newcomers. Some you already know. Most of the rest you'll hear about before March. He's an alphabetical primer on some of the conference's best newcomers so far.

Rashad Bishop, F, Cincinnati, 6-6, 220
Averages: 8.2 ppg and 4.0 rpg in five games
Breakout game: 11 points, five rebounds and three steals in a 66-64 win over Western Carolina
Key stat: 1.11 A/TO ratio (unusual for a freshman forward to be on the plus side)
Outlook: Should continue to see big minutes for the rebuilding Bearcats. Three double-figure scoring games in last four and 12 total assists in that span are nice signs of development.

Bishop

Bishop

DeJuan Blair, F, Pitt, 6-7, 250
Averages: 10.4 ppg and 8.2 rpg in five games
Breakout game: 20 points and 14 rebounds in college debut against Houston Baptist. Key stat: 23 offensive rebounds in five games
Outlook: Yes, 10 of those came offensive boards came against HBU, a first-year transitional program, but you can't beat his nose for the glass and efficiency on offense once he does chase down the carom. He also has 10 steals.

Justin Burrell, F, St. John's, 6-8, 220
Averages: 13.5 ppg and 6.5 rpg in two games
Breakout game: 15 points and 11 rebounds in a 76-49 win over Sacred Heart
Key stat: 9 of 11 from the free-throw line in two games
Outlook: Athletic forward should get better and better as he further acclimates to the college game. With 57 minutes in first two games, the learning curve already has been quick. Decisions with the ball could be better -- just one assist and seven turnovers so far.

Corey Chandler, G, Rutgers, 6-2, 190
Averages: 10.0 ppg and 40 percent 3-point shooting in five games
Breakout game: 16 points on 7 of 9 shooting in college debut, a 70-64 win over Tennessee Tech
Key stat: 3 from 3. Chandler has taken three 3's from the arc in each of his five games. He made two in each of the first three before missing all six in the last two.
Outlook: He needs to cut down on the turnovers (14) and free-throw misses (just 4 for 12), but with four straight double-figure scoring games to start his career, the potential for instant offense clearly is there.

Corey Fisher, G, Villanova, 6-1, 185
Averages: 8.3 ppg and 3.0 apg in three games
Breakout game: 18 points in 28 minutes in a 76-68 win over Central Florida
Key stat: Only two turnovers in first 58 minutes
Outlook: Combines with fellow freshmen Corey Stokes and Malcolm Grant and sophomore Scottie Reynolds to give Nova a next-generation small-ball backcourt with talent to burn.

Fisher

Fisher

Jonny Flynn, Syracuse, PG, 6-0, 172 pounds
Averages: 11.0 ppg and 5.8 apg in five games Breakout game: 28 points, 9 assists and 5 rebounds in his college debut in a 97-89 win over Siena
Key stats: 5.8 assists per game and a 2.4 A/TO ratio
Outlook: Flynn showed in his debut that he can shoot, knocking down 6 of 7 from the arc. He also proved he has guts, drilling the game-winning 3 against Saint Joe's to send the Orange to the NIT semis. However, his biggest strength -- and the biggest boost he's giving the Orange -- is as a creator and distributor. His arrival has freed up former high school backcourt mate Paul Harris, and scorers like Eric Devendorf and fellow freshman Donte' Greene are reaping the benefits of the better shots Flynn is creating.

Austin Freeman, G, Georgetown, 6-4, 225
Averages: 6.0 ppg and 2.7 rpg in three games
Chris Wright, G, Georgetown, 6-1, 200
Averages: 3.3 ppg and 3.3 apg in three games
Breakout game: Each had 10 points in the Hoyas' 74-52 win over Michigan
Key stat: Freeman is averaging 16.7 minutes and Wright is averaging 15.3 minutes per game for a Final Four contender.
Outlook: Heralded backcourt duo is providing quality insurance -- and a potential spark -- behind starters Jessie Sapp and Jonathan Wallace.

Freeman

Freeman

Donte' Greene, F, Syracuse, 6-9, 225
Averages: 20.6 ppg and 8.8 rpg in five games
Breakout game: They've all been impressive, but his 25 and 9 against Fordham in an 80-63 win was the start of a big decrease in turnovers, too.
Key stats: 53.5 percent shooting on field goals; 38.7 percent shooting on 3s; 8.8 rebounds per game
Outlook: A consummate small forward who can rebound, Greene can finish around the rim and unleash his silky jumper with equal aplomb. With Flynn helping set the table, 20-plus point nights should be the rule, not the exception.

Jeremy Hazell, G, Seton Hall, 6-5, 185
Averages: 10.8 ppg in five games
Breakout game: 16 points (5 of 9 on 3s) and four rebounds in an 111-107 OT win over Robert Morris
Key stat: Through five games, 36 of his 43 field-goal attempts have been 3-pointers.
Outlook: Hazell is shooting 38.9 percent so far from the arc, so he's an instant threat from that distance. In time, he needs to become more multi-dimensional. Hazell had his first career assist against Navy on Friday night after going without in his first 64 minutes in college.

Hazell

Hazell

Dominique Jones, G, South Florida, 6-4, 205
Averages: 11.3 ppg, 4.2 rpg and 30.2 mpg in six games
Breakout game: 13 points and eight rebounds in college debut, a 73-70 loss to Cleveland State; he also had 11 points, eight rebounds and six assists in Saturday's win over East Carolina.
Key Stat: 12 offensive rebounds, 11 steals and a 1.33:1 A/TO ratio through six games
Outlook: Shooting fairly well for a freshman in extended minutes (42.9 percent overall, 47.1 percent from 3), Jones is one of four Bulls averaging in double figures as they supplement rebounder extraordinaire Kentrell Gransberry with four perimeter scorers.

D.J. Kennedy, G/F, St. John's, 6-6, 190
Averages: 8.0 ppg and 11.5 rpg in two games
Breakout game: nine points, 14 rebounds and four assists in debut, a 72-64 win over St. Francis (NY)
Key stat: 23 rebounds in 56 minutes through two games
Outlook: Undersized wing has shown a nose for the glass, which has been huge for the smallish Red Storm. Only fellow frosh Burrell is also averaging more than 3.5 rebounds.

Mac Koshwal, C, DePaul, 6-10, 240
Averages: 4.0 ppg and 8.0 rpg in three games
Dar Tucker, F, DePaul, 6-5, 210
Averages: 7.0 ppg and 5.5 rpg in three games
Breakout game: The duo combined for 14 points and 17 rebounds in 49 minutes in their debut, a 74-62 loss at Creighton. Tucker also went for 20 points and seven boards in Saturday's loss to NC A&T.
Key stat: 16 combined offensive rebounds
Outlook: Koshwal hasn't looked for his offense that much. Despite his 20-spot Saturday, Tucker hasn't shot the ball well so far. You can't complain about early returns on the glass, though, where they have combined for 42 boards in three games.

Andy Glockner is a regular contributor to ESPN.com's college basketball coverage and is the host of the ESPNU College Basketball Insider podcast. He can be reached at bubblewatch@gmail.com.

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