The 10 Most Influential Rookies: Ranking the Top College Basketball Rookies for the 2022-23 Season (2023)

In the unique era of college basketball, freshmen play an increasingly important role, not just as spark plugs, but often as the stars or co-stars of rivals. Zion Williamson. John Wall. Chet Holmgren. Eighteen-year-olds and nineteen-year-olds can now routinely step in and claim instant victory at the highest level of the sport.

This trend will continue in the 2022-23 season with a rookie class full of guards and wingers with professional potential. But whose class will it be this year? Where will young talents play this season? What roles can we expect from them?

We decided to answer these questions and more in our annual ranking of the top 10 freshmen in college basketball. Let's move on to this year's list.

1.Keyonta George'a|Baylor| SG

The best freshman in college basketball lives in Waco, America. George is my #12 player of the year and my crystal ball says the odds of him being the most prolific rookie in all sports are around 52.375%. He is a goalscorer whose style of play is intoxicatingly aesthetic. George is a microwave-type marksman who will be wanted in Baylor's friendly attack. Under coach Scott Drew, he has had the keys to the car since day one and we've already seen him throw big numbers against top-level rivals.

— Eric Kelly (@EricKellyTV)July 5, 2022
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2. Nick Smith |Arkansas| SG

Arkansas lost 87% of the scoring, 78% of the assists, and 84% of the rebound to last season's team that went 28-9 and advanced to the Elite Eight. The kingdom will likely immediately go into the hands of superstar recruit Nick Smith, an Arkansas product who graduated as the #1 recruit in his class. He's a quiet quarterback who'll do it all with 15 points and few assists per game on Arkansas' top 10 season opener.

3. Cason Wallace |Kentucky| PG

Kentucky is my #1 preseason team and Wallace is a big reason. He's a dynamic defender whose impact really shines through at the moment. But his attack and the comfort with which he scores has also improved significantly over the past year. Kentucky desperately needed a combined defenseman who could defend, shoot and add as a maker, with Wallace ticking all the boxes for a Calipari-coached team ready to make the leap from last season.

Cason Wallace is an amazing defender, good

— Global Scouting (@GlobalScouting_)April 16, 2022
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4.Cama Whitmore'a|vilanova| SF

Whitmore recently underwent surgery after a thumb injury and could miss part of Villanova's early season. But say it now with me: BUY. DIVING. Whitmore is a stallion. He's been a hilarious off-season as a producer on the FIBA ​​circuit and is making quite a stir in the top 10 picks for 2023. If he does well, he will be a force for head coach Kyle Neptune as we are rarely seen in Nova - rookies. . .

30 points for Cam Whitmore U-18 MVP against Brazil, the most scored in a gold medal game by an American. Averaged 18.7 points shooting 10-22 3PT. A special athlete with a power that improves

—Jonathan Wasserman (@NBADraftWass)June 13, 2022

5.Amara Baileya|UCLA| SG

A year ago, UCLA got a five-star recruit in Peyton Watson, which didn't really mean much - he didn't start, wasn't rotated, and averaged just over 3 points per game - but don't let that affect your opinion of their newest five-star signer. Bailey is a gifted playmaker combined with a smooth left-handed knight who can lay down and create the ball while scoring his own production with ease. He has the movement of a young D'Angelo Russell and his two-way talents will be put to good use on the UCLA team that lost Johnny Juzang and Jules Bernard.

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6. Dariq Whitehead |Duque| SG

The broken foot he suffered in August may have set Whitehead back a bit - Duke didn't seem to be keeping a timeline for a return, only saying he plans to play this fall - but he'll certainly be an asset if and when he returns fully fit. Whitehead is a powerful athlete who can really go downhill and has a good, comfortable throw.

Dariq Whitehead's first-class top-five scoring display with 31 against IMG. The two-time National High School champion Whitehead, who will be attending Duke next year, is a coach's dream because of the way he defends, passes and does all the little things that go into

—Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress)January 10, 2022

7.Derek Lively II| shop | C

The No. 1 prospect in the 247Sports Composite for the 2022 cycle, the Lively II is in an unenviable position replacing No. 1 Paolo Banchero and No. 15 Mark Williams in Duke's frontcourt in 2022-23. The Lively is the size desired by teams at the 7ft-1 level and should be plug and play for Jon Scheyer in the starting lineup.

All week in Portland for training and Nike Hoop Summit friendlies. A great group of talent created by USA Basketball. Here's Dereck Lively, devoted to Duke, showing off his exercise

—Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress)April 6, 2022
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8.Antoni Czarny| Arkansas | PG

The talent Eric Musselman has amassed in Arkansas this season is shocking. Black may not be the focal point of the Hogs this season with the arrival of Nick Smith, but it will certainly be a factor. Eric Bossi of 247Sports likened his game to that of Cade Cunningham, with his tall, slender frame and scoring prowess, and Arkansas quarterbacks have achieved a lot in recent years. There is plenty of room for Black and Smith to make the top 10 rookies this season.

Anthony Black with the amazing revelation that his future teammate Nick Smith Jr. Both players will travel to Arkansas next year and compete for the national

— Global Scouting (@GlobalScouting_)April 9, 2022

9.Sky Clark|Illinois| PG

Over a year out of a partially torn ACL, Clark should be 100% Illinois and positioned to put Illinois on top of the Big Ten. Former Kentucky approval can be an immediate startAndrzej Curbelo, Trent Frazier and Alfonso Plummer left. Brad Underwood hasn't had such a talented and versatile quarterback since Ayo Dosunmu.

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10. GG Jackson |karolina de sul| PF

A former #1 recruit in the class of 2023 (and former UNC pledge), Jackson reclassified for 2022 and signed with a school in his hometown of South Carolina. The Gamecocks are getting a major overhaul, but Jackson will be a monster maker whose energy and rebounding ability will make him one of the best newcomers to the game.

I just need a cut:Kel'el Ware(Oregon),Dillona Mitchela(Texas),Jarace Walker(Houston),Brandona Millera(Alabama), Adam Bona (UCLA)


The 10 Most Influential Rookies: Ranking the Top College Basketball Rookies for the 2022-23 Season? ›

Key Takeaways. Only around 2% of college ball players make it into the NBA. Out of 1500 division 1 players, only 60 will be chosen for the NBA draft. The draft process is very involved and teams pick up to 60 members each draft year.

What rank is Mikey Williams? ›

2023 National Rankings
12Mikey WilliamsCG
13Baye FallC
14Omaha BiliewSF
15Ja'Kobe WalterSG
46 more rows

What is Kansas ranked in basketball? ›

Men's Basketball
22 more rows
Mar 5, 2023

How many NCAA players make the NBA? ›

Key Takeaways. Only around 2% of college ball players make it into the NBA. Out of 1500 division 1 players, only 60 will be chosen for the NBA draft. The draft process is very involved and teams pick up to 60 members each draft year.

How old is Zach Edey? ›

Is Bronny James ranked? ›

He's also strong, has some toughness and an athletic pop." ESPN released its final 2023 player rankings last month, with James coming in at No. 19, which is the highest mark of all major recruiting sites.

Is Bronny a 5 star? ›

Five-star guard Bronny James commits to USC.

Is Kansas or UNC favored? ›

Kansas is a 4.5-point favorite in the game.

Has Kansas State ever been ranked number 1? ›

Under former coach Bill Snyder, Kansas State won two conference titles, finished the 1998 regular season with an undefeated (11–0) record and No. 1 national ranking, and from 1995 to 2001 appeared in the AP Poll for 108 consecutive weeks—the 16th-longest streak in college football history.

Has Kansas ever lost in the first round? ›

Kansas Falls To Texas

The University of Kansas fell to Texas, 80-55 on Saturday at the Erwin Center in Austin. The loss snapped KU's 10-game winning streak and dropped the Jayhawks to 20-7 overall and 11-3 in the Big 12. <?

Which sport is hardest to make pro? ›

What Is the Hardest Sport to Go Pro In?
  • Wrestling. Wrestling is one of the oldest sports in the world. ...
  • Figure Skating. ...
  • Golf. ...
  • Water Polo. ...
  • Gymnastics. ...
  • Strongman. ...
  • Ironman. ...

What college has the most NBA players playing? ›

Colleges are a significant source of talent for the NBA and have been so for many years. A few quick highlights from the study: The University of Kentucky and Duke University have the most active players, 26 and 25, respectively.

What college produces the most NBA players? ›

The University of Kentucky leads the way in producing NBA talent, with 119 players throughout its history going to the NBA. Throughout its history, the Kentucky Wildcats have had some golden generations who, thanks to coaches like Rick Pitino and John Calipari, turned into championships and draft picks.

Who is the most famous Purdue basketball player? ›

While there have been lots of talented players over the years, the best basketball player at Purdue was Joe Barry Carroll. Carroll is Purdue's all-time leader in rebounds (with 1,148) and blocked shots (with 349), as well as being the second all-time leading scorer with 2,175 points.

Who is Purdue's Big Man? ›

Now a 7-foot-4 junior for Purdue, the Big Ten regular season and conference tournament champions and the No. 1 seed in the East Region of the NCAA Tournament, Edey has blossomed into the most dominant big man in college basketball and one of the top players in program history.

Will Edey get drafted? ›

Edey announced on Tuesday he is entering his name into the 2023 NBA draft, but he will maintain college eligibility if he decides to return to school. B/R's Jonathan Wasserman recently projected Edey to be the final pick in the NBA draft to the Milwaukee Bucks at No. 60 overall in his mock from April 4.

What colleges want bronny james? ›

Bronny “wants to go the college route,” LeBron told Sports Illustrated in August 2022. His list of suitors in the fall included Oregon, UCLA, USC, Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio State and Memphis. The Los Angeles Times reported in January that Bronny's top three schools were Ohio State, USC and Oregon.

What rank is Bronny in the class of 2023? ›

James, the son of the NBA's all-time scoring leader, LeBron James, is a four-star prospect ranked 26th in 247Sports' Class of 2023 rankings.

Who is Bronny James favorite basketball player? ›

In high school, James signed NIL deals with Nike and Beats by Dre. James has worn the number 0 jersey because it is the number worn by his favorite NBA player, Russell Westbrook. He has also worn the number 23 jersey in honor of his father.

What rank is LeBron in scoring? ›

NBA's All-Time scoring list: Top 10 (regular season only)
PositionNameTotal points
1.LeBron James38,652
2.Kareem Abdul-Jabbar38,387
3.Karl Malone36,928
4.Kobe Bryant33,643
6 more rows
May 23, 2023

Who has 15 all stars in the NBA? ›

Shaquille O'Neal

How many 5 star recruits are there in college basketball? ›

There are 22 players with a five-star rating in the final Top 150 rankings for the Class of 2022, including a pair of new additions from the previous rankings update.

Who is favored Duke or UNC? ›

Duke is averaging 72.1 points per game, while North Carolina averages 77.1. The Tar Heels are 4.5-point favorites in the latest Duke vs. North Carolina odds from Caesars Sportsbook, while the over/under for total points scored is set at 143. Before making any North Carolina vs.

Is Duke or NC favored? ›

North Carolina vs. Duke Odds, Spread, Over/Under
SpreadTotal (O/U)
North Carolina+3.5 -115O 145.5 -110
Duke-3.5 -105U 145.5 -110
Feb 4, 2023

Who has more wins Kansas or Kentucky? ›

Kansas is first in all-time wins at 2,373, while Kentucky is second at 2,367. En route to the 2022 NCAA National Championship, Kansas passed Kentucky on the all-time wins list. Kansas is 109-18 following a loss in the Bill Self era, which started in 2003-04.

Where does Kansas State rank academically? ›

Kansas State University's ranking in the 2022-2023 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities, #166. Its in-state tuition and fees are $10,420; out-of-state tuition and fees are $26,491. Kansas State University is located in the city of Manhattan, in the northeast region of the state.

How many all time wins does Kansas have? ›

Kansas ranks first all-time in NCAA Division I wins with 2,357 wins (as of the last complete season), against 877 losses (.729 all time winning %, third all-time).

What is Kansas longest home winning streak? ›

The program record is 69-straight home wins from Feb. 7, 2007, to Jan. 22, 2011.

What team upset Kansas? ›

1 Kansas in second round of March Madness. Another day, another big-time upset.

How many Big 12 championships does Kansas have? ›

KU has won 16 postseason league tournament titles and 12 in the Big 12 era. KU (12), ISU (5), OU (3) and OSU (2) are active league members with multiple Big 12 tournament titles. Kansas leads the overall series with Texas, 37-13, including a 5-1 record in the Big 12 Championship and a 3-0 record in T-Mobile Center.

What is the hardest sport to play mentally? ›


It may be surprising to most people that swimming is number 1 in the list of the most mentally challenging sports in the world. Many professional swimmers fall into a 7-day self-sabotage cycle. This is a period where they may doubt themselves and grow continuous stress on themselves.

What sport has the strongest athletes? ›

Top Ranked Strength and Power Sports
3Water Polo82.5
6 more rows

What college has the most #1 picks in the NBA? ›

Duke has produced five No. 1 overall picks in the NBA Draft, the most in draft history. Duke's four No. 1 pick in the Common Draft era (since 1966) are also the most in NBA history.

What high school has most NBA players? ›

While transfers cloud the picture, we connected players to the school where they finished their prep career. Leading the way is Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.), which has 13 former players in the league.

Which college has most NBA Hall of Famers? ›

UCLA and Kansas top the list with seven hall of famers each. The Bruins include legends like Bill Walton, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Gail Goodrich and the first woman to ever try out for an NBA team, Ann Meyers. The Jayhawks are represented by players like Wilt Chamberlain, Clyde Lovelle, Paul Pierce and Lynette Woodard.

What state produces the most NBA players? ›

Which State Produces the Most NBA Players? There are more California-born players in the NBA than any other state by a wide margin. 52 players currently on NBA rosters were born there. Additionally, 18 Californians are active on WNBA rosters, which is more than any other state.

What city produces the most NBA players? ›

Los Angeles is the birthplace of 114 NBA players while New York City Trails with 106 Players. Outside of the United States, Canada has had 42 people play in the NBA with 14 of them being born in Toronto.

What college has most players in the NFL? ›

In 2022, the most well-represented college football program in the NFL was Alabama, with 58 Crimson Tide players on NFL Week 1 team rosters.

Has Purdue ever been ranked #1 in any sport? ›

Purdue basketball ranked No. 1 in nation by AP Top 25 poll.

Who has the most head to head records between Purdue and IU basketball? ›

Purdue leads the all-time series 125-92. Purdue has won the Big Ten Conference regular season title 25 times, and Indiana has won it 22. Since the Big Ten began basketball in the 1904–05 season, the schools have combined to win or share over 39% of the conference championships.

When was the last time Purdue was ranked #1 in basketball? ›

Purdue received their highest Associated Press and Coaches Poll ranking in its program's history during the 1987–88 season, where they were ranked as high as 2nd in the nation. They would become ranked 1st in the nation during the 2021-2022 season.

Who are the tallest players in NCAA Tournament 2023? ›

Oral Roberts forward towers above all other NCAA Tournament players. Move over, Zach Edey. The title of tallest player in the 2023 NCAA Tournament belongs to Connor Vanover of Oral Roberts.

Who was the first big man? ›

George Mikan (born 1924) has been described by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as" the first dominant big man in professional basketball and the game's first superstar." At six feet, ten inches, he towered over most other college and professional players of the 1940s and 1950s.

Who is the Purdue Golden Girl? ›

Emily Cowette, a sophomore in the Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences (SLHS), made her debut leading the Purdue “All-American” Marching Band in fall 2022. This spring, she passed the renewal process and was confirmed as Golden Girl for the next academic year.

Who was the last player to be drafted from high school? ›

Amir Johnson was the last high school player drafted into the N.B.A. in 2005. Now he is a veteran on the G League's Ignite, mentoring younger teammates who have N.B.A. aspirations.

Did any Purdue football players get drafted? ›

Adrian Kraus/Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The Bengals have been trying to find both a backup wide receiver and returner and on Saturday they grabbed one candidate in the fourth round with Purdue wide receiver Charlie Jones.

Will Andre Jackson get drafted? ›

The mock drafts agree. has Jackson going with the final pick of the first round, 30th overall. Conversely, doesn't predict Jackson to be selected at all. "Somebody," one scout predicted, "is going to take a chance on him."

What is Mikey Williams GPA? ›

New Mikey Williams Blog: New offers, Workouts with Bronny, 3.8 GPA and More. Williams said he's vastly improved his ball-handling skills during the quarantine. Mikey Williams is widely regarded as the No.

Why is Mikey Williams not a McDonald's All American? ›

But he too did not play in the McDonald's All American Game, as academic issues kept him out of action for six weeks during his senior season at Treadwell. Hardaway, who said Wednesday that he "went rogue at the wrong time," said he was not bothered by his exclusion.

How many 5 star high school basketball recruits are there? ›

With that in mind, we have decided to take a look at the five-star prospects in the class. There are 22 players with a five-star rating in the final Top 150 rankings for the Class of 2022, including a pair of new additions from the previous rankings update.

What is LeBron James Jr GPA? ›

LeBron had a 3.5 GPA during his first nine weeks of high school, which he maintained until his junior year, when he had a 2.8 GPA. Despite graduating from Curry High School in 2022, the three-star recruit ranked 13th among all high school players in the National Rankings and received a scholarship.

What was Stephen Curry's GPA? ›

Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors)

Curry held a 2.5 GPA in high school. Although he left for the NBA after his junior year at Davidson College, Curry returned 13 years later to receive his bachelor's degree in sociology at Davidson (May of 2022).

What was the GPA of Michael Jordan? ›

Michael's GPA was a 4.5.

Was Shaquille o neal a McDonald's All-American? ›

The West was led by Shaquille O'Neal, the top ranked center of his class, while the East had forward Doug Edwards and guard Bobby Hurley.

How many McDonald's All-Americans are there in basketball? ›

The game was the 46th annual version of the McDonald's All-American Game first played in 1977. The 24 players were selected from over 700 nominees by a committee of basketball experts. They were chosen not only for their on-court skills, but for their performances off the court as well.

Is Bronny James a McDonald's All-American? ›

James, a four-star prospect, is the only player selected to the McDonald's All American Game that remains uncommitted for the 2023-24 season. Per 247 Sports, James has offers from Memphis, Ohio State and Southern California, and he's also expressed interest in Oregon.

How many 4 star recruits are there? ›

One of the top 30 players in the nation. This player has excellent pro-potential and should emerge as one of the best in the country before the end of his career. There will be 32 prospects ranked in this range in every football class to mirror the first round of the NFL Draft. 97 - 90 = Four-star prospect.

What percent of 5-star recruits go pro? ›

We've also learned that 52 percent of 5-star players get drafted and that 75 percent of those draftees are retained. Coming out of high school, a 5-star recruit thus has a 39 percent chance of "sticking" in the league. Three of every five will not.

Are there 2 star recruits? ›

2 stars is a typical ranking for recruits at most mid-major level or Division I FCS schools. No major recruiting service currently issues ratings below 2 stars; unrated players typically play at levels below NCAA Division I or may be walk-ons at Division I schools.

Who is statistically the best NBA player? ›

After playing 1,560 games, Abdul-Jabbar set the all-time scoring record with 38,387 points.

Who is the greatest player in NBA history? ›

Michael Jordan is widely known as the game's greatest player—and for good reason. 'MJ' accomplished everything possible in the game, piling up on the stats and awards. On the game's biggest stage—the NBA Finals—Jordan went a perfect 6-for-6, also sweeping Finals MVP in his appearances.

Who is the number 1 goat in NBA? ›

NBA player poll votes in favor of MJ as the GOAT

According to an anonymous player poll done by The Athletic, 58.3 percent of the 103 players polled believe Michael Jordan is the greatest player of all time. His vote count supersedes that of LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Bill Russell and Tracy McGrady.


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