The Bruins may have been surprised, initially, that it was Russell Westbrook, and not Darren Collison, who jumped to the pros following last season. But this turn of events opened up the perfect spot in the starting lineup for Holiday, a smooth 6-foot-3 combo guard who could become UCLA's leading scorer from Day 1. He's that good.
2 of 15Ben Smidt/Icon SMI
Scouts who saw DeRozan in the spring at the Nike Hoops Summit were awed by his athleticism. DeRozan should pick right up where O.J. Mayo left off in the scoring department, and the 6-5 wing from Compton may mesh better than Mayo did with point guard Daniel Hackett, improving team chemistry.
3 of 15Richard Clement/Icon SMI
A major scoring void opened at Memphis when Chris Douglas-Roberts and Derrick Rose -- who combined for 33.0 points per game -- left early for the NBA. Evans, a physical, 6-5 slasher, is better-equipped to fill it than backcourt returnees Antonio Anderson, Willie Kemp or Doneal Mack.
4 of 15Tom Hauck/Icon SMI
Warren may not be the fourth-best player in the Class of '08, but given the Sooners' lack of offensive pop in their backcourt, he'll have the opportunity to make a huge impact as a freshman. OU needs Warren to keep opposing defenses from sagging down to stop power forward Blake Griffin.
5 of 15Tom Hauck/Icon SMI
Mullens (right) is Rivals.com's No. 1 overall player in the Class of '08, and as an athletic 7-footer, he has potential to be a No. 1 overall pick in the '09 NBA Draft. He's not the bulkiest lad yet -- not in the way Greg Oden was as a Buckeyes freshman -- so Mullens may get muscled around in the Big Ten.
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Monroe isn't going to be an All-America in '08-09, but he can still make a sizable impact. There's a starting job waiting for him -- Roy Hibbert's vacated five-spot -- and the 6-10 freshman's skill set is a good fit for Georgetown's offense. Monroe has the ability to not only score in the post but also drive to the basket from the perimeter <i>and</i> knock down three-pointers.
7 of 15Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
The 6-8 Aminu is the centerpiece of a stellar Wake recruiting class that also includes big men Ty Walker and Tony Woods. DraftExpress has called Aminu a Marvin Williams-type player, and with a 7-4 wingspan and excellent leaping ability, Aminu should be an interior force in the ACC from Day 1.
8 of 15Tom Hauck/Icon SMI
Walker is more than talented enough to force his way into the Huskies' crowded backcourt as a freshman. The 6-2 New Yorker might be the most polished floor general in the Class of 2008, and he'll provide A.J. Price with quality relief at point.
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Samuels should slide into the five-spot vacated by David Padgett, who was the glue in the Cardinals' attack last season. The 6-8 freshman can't provide the veteran leadership that Padgett did, but he does have a frame that's already capable of handling the physical style of play in the Big East.
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With Chris Lofton and JaJuan Smith gone from the Vols' backcourt, Tennessee was desperately in need of a quality shooting guard. Hopson has a ton of potential as both a gunner and slasher, and can fill that role -- although it's unlikely he'll become the Vols' top scorer as a freshman. Tyler Smith is the No. 1 option.
11 of 15Greg Nelson/SI
It's unclear how the Mountaineers' offense will look without Joe Alexander, who carried them into the Sweet 16 and seemed to be taking 60 percent of the shots along the way. But Ebanks is a rangy small forward who can score in a lot of ways, and it would be surprising if he weren't doing a major chunk of the scoring as a freshman.
12 of 15Tom Hauck/Icon SMI
Singleton is a fantastic 6-9 athlete who could turn into the 'Noles' next Al Thornton. He's joining a team with one big returning scorer in the backcourt -- Toney Douglas, at 15.4 points per game -- and very little depth at the forward positions. If it's going to make any noise in the ACC this season, FSU needs Singleton to be a valuable asset alongside Uche Echefu in the frontcourt.
13 of 15Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Richard Hendrix's early departure to the NBA -- after averaging 17.8 points and 10.1 rebounds as a junior -- left the Tide with a gaping void in the post. Green, a five-star, 6-9 forward from Montgomery, is the best candidate to fill it. His strong showing for the U.S. Under-18 team at the FIBA Americas Championship this summer was indication of his future All-SEC potential.
14 of 15Jim Owens/Icon SMI
Roe is somewhat of an forgotten prospect nationally, given that he missed much of his senior season of high school basketball after knee surgery (and also had more knee surgery this summer). When healthy, the 6-8 forward could be a real asset to the Spartans at the four position. He's a rough-and-tumble inside player who should endear himself to Tom Izzo.
15 of 15Ben Smidt/Icon SMI
Babbitt is ranked No. 31 overall in Rivals.com's Class of 2008, but he's the highest-rated prospect to attend a mid-major school. The hometown product (he played for Reno's Galena High) will be joining a Wolf Pack team that just lost its two leading scorers, Marcelus Kemp and JaVale McGee, so there's an immediate need for Babbitt to become a major part of the offense.
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