So asks Mike DeCourcy of The Sporting News:

Here is what I do know about this year’s rookies: together, they are the best class to enter college basketball since at least 1995 and will make a dramatic difference in how the year plays out. And they could become one of the best classes ever.

For SN’s yearbook, I prepared a list of great freshman classes that will be the standard by which this group is measured:

1977: Magic Johnson, Michigan State; Gene Banks, Duke; Albert King, Maryland; Kelly Tripucka, Notre Dame, Jeff Ruland, Iona. They changed what people expected from freshman players.

1979: Isiah Thomas, Indiana; Dominique Wilkins, Georgia; James Worthy, North Carolina; Ralph Sampson, Virginia; Clark Kellogg, Ohio State. I could have listed another 20 guys from this class — it was that deep.

1981: Michael Jordan, North Carolina; Patrick Ewing, Georgetown; Ed Pinckney, Villanova; Chris Mullin, St. John’s; Milt Wagner, Louisville. In the book “Legends Of College Basketball”, we at Sporting News ranked Mullin, Ewing and Jordan among the top 30 players of all time.

1988: Alonzo Mourning, Georgetown; Christian Laettner, Duke; Malik Sealy, St. John’s; Chris Jackson, LSU; Billy Owens, Syracuse. Every one of these guys was a star from the beginning.

1995: Stephon Marbury, Georgia Tech; Vince Carter, Antawn Jamison, North Carolina; Paul Pierce, Kansas; Chauncey Billups, Colorado. From here on out, most freshman classes were spoiled by the draft. This one lost Kevin Garnett, but was strong enough to still make a difference.

What say you?

Advertisements