By Chris Johnson
A consensus has been reached: The 2013 recruiting class is one of the best to enter the college game in years. The group is so good, and so rich with potential, that there is speculation that some NBA teams may attempt to intentionally lose games this upcoming season to improve their chances of landing a high lottery pick in the 2014 draft. Before these players reach the NBA, they’ll need to play at least one season of college basketball, and it’s our job to figure out how these players will fit in in with their respective teams.
There are a number of excellent players in this class with bright professional futures, but after lengthy deliberation, these 10 freshmen are set to have the biggest “impact” on the college game in 2013. To give you a better understanding of why the following list is ranked as such, here are a few factors that were considered: Stats-based production, playing time, effect on team win total and, most importantly, influence on the national championship picture.
For some keener scouting analysis, I spoke with Scout.com’s Evan Daniels to get his take on how each player might translate at the college level. Let’s dig in:
1. Andrew Wiggins, Kansas
Before Wiggins announced his college choice in May, it was fair to question whether Bill Self would be able to extend his ridiculous nine-year regular season conference championship streak in 2013-14. Doubts may still exist — Oklahoma State and Baylor pose considerable challenges — but Kansas’ conference title aspirations seem much more realistic now than they did four months ago. Many believe Wiggins is not only the best player in one of the best recruiting classes in years — they believe he’s the best player to enter the college game in the age ofb one-and-done, a Kevin Durant-type, can’t-miss prospect with the sheer talent and athletic ability to develop into an NBA superstar.