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Andy Katz | Correspondent | October 17, 2019

7 college basketball freshmen who we aren't talking about enough

7 college basketball freshmen who could make headlines this season

There are plenty of incoming freshmen who will grab headlines during this coming college basketball season. James Wiseman, Anthony Edwards, Cole Anthony, Vernon Carey Jr., Tyrese Maxey, Khalil Whitney, Scottie Lewis, Isaiah Stewart, Nico Mannion, Wendell Moore and Precious Achiuwa are a few freshmen who will get a ton of national coverage.

These players listed above are all deemed to be some of the top players, not just freshmen, in college basketball this season. But they are hardly alone as standouts and impactful players in the incoming class of 2019.

Here are seven others who are going to make a name for themselves this season:

Jahmius Ramsey, 6-4, Texas Tech

Ramsey is going to fill a scoring void for the Red Raiders. The departures of Jarrett Culver, Matt Mooney and Brandon Francis gives Ramsey even more opportunities. Ramsey had a stellar trip to the Bahamas with the Red Raiders in August. He’s next in line to be a star in Lubbock.

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Rocket Watts, 6-2, Michigan State

Watts won’t have to be a stud for the Spartans with Cassius Winston, Joshua Langford and Aaron Henry rotating around the perimeter. But Watts will come in and provide quite a pop. He will be an integral part of the offense by the middle of the Big Ten at the latest.

Tre Mitchell, 6-9, UMass

The Minutemen won four games last season in the A-10, 11 overall. Mitchell will immediately make UMass relevant in the league this season. He’s got a chance to be one of the best bigs in the conference and have Matt McCall’s offense flow through him. If he can also be a rim protector and a top defender, then UMass can be a tough out.

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Kofi Cockburn, 6-10, Illinois 

Cockburn wasn’t able to go on the summer trip to Italy due to visa issues. So, the Illini fans haven’t fully seen his potential. Illinois needed another big body, a space-eater in the post and someone who could play off Giorgi Bezhanishvili inside. If Cockburn can run the floor, flush, board and be a shot altering presence then the Illini can reach their potential.

Anton Watson, 6-8, Gonzaga

Watson wasn’t as highly publicized as other members of the class, but he’s going to have an impact. The staff is banking on his strong instincts, ability to defend and guard all five spots to be a contributor. The hope is that he will be an all-around offensive player. Killian Tillie’s preseason knee surgery puts even more emphasis on this freshmen class to contribute — including Watson.

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Franz Wagner, 6-7, Michigan

He’s not his older brother Mo, but he could become another fan favorite. His potential is unknown. His contributions still to be determined. But the Wolverines will need another skilled forward after losing Ignas Brazdeikis. If he can come in, be a passer, screener, occasional shot maker, and not get beat defensively, then the Wolverines will be better for having him on the floor.

Grant Sherfield, 6-2, Wichita State

Sherfield originally committed to UCLA. Now he’s teaming up with Tyson Etienne to give the Shockers a 1-2 guard punch that will be in the rotation with returning sophomore guard and possible AAC first-team candidate Dexter Dennis. Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall said this about Sherfield and Etienne in comparison with Toronto Raptors guard and former Shocker Fred Van Vleet.

“They are more athletic. Shoot it better. And maybe stronger than Fred Van Vleet walking in the door.’’

That doesn’t mean they will surpass his contributions but that’s high praise for Sherfield and Etienne.

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