1 of 16Michael J. LeBrecht II/1Deuce3 Photography/SI
Wall might be the best player in <i>any</i> class this season, and if Kentucky's offense takes off, he's a realistic candidate for the Naismith and Wooden awards. Early reports out of UK practices have indicated that he's capable of handling a leadership role as a rookie, which is a good thing, because barring some kind of catastrophic injury, Wall is a lock to be one-and-done and become the No. 1 pick in the 2010 draft.
2 of 16Josh Holmberg/Icon SMI
Bradley has been widely praised for his defense -- and he may very well become one of the country's premiere lockdown defenders -- but he can also put up big scoring numbers at the shooting-guard position, which Texas needs him to do now that A.J. Abrams is gone. There's only one guard who has the potential to make a bigger impact on the national-title picture than Bradley, and he is ...
3 of 16AP
The Yellow Jackets could go from ACC cellar to the NCAA tournament this year, in large part because of the tandem of Favors and senior Gani Lawal, who'll give North Carolina a run for the title of league's best frontcourt. Favors is a beast who could average a double-double and then go on to be the No. 2 pick in the 2010 NBA Draft.
4 of 16Doug Murray/Icon SMI
John Wall is the most electric point guard in this freshmen class, but Gaddy is the smoothest pure floor general, and the reason the Huskies have a slight advantage on Cal in this year's Pac-10 race. He'll allow sophomore Isaiah Thomas to move off the ball into a more comfortable scoring role, and create plenty of great looks for teammates in Washington's up-tempo offense.
5 of 16Michael J. LeBrecht II/1Deuce3 Photography/SI
Yarou is exactly what 'Nova needed to add this season: A 6-10 forward who can make an instant impact on the glass. He can't entirely make up for the losses of veteran forwards Dante Cunningham and Dwayne Anderson, but without the Benin-born big man, there's no way the Wildcats are the favorites to win the Big East.
6 of 16Michael J. LeBrecht II/1Deuce3 Photography/SI
Departed point guard Nick Calathes ate up 28.1 percent of the Gators' possessions last season, while none of his teammates had a usage rate higher than 21 percent. What does that mean? Basically, that there's a huge void in Florida's offense -- and Boynton is the kind of gunner who will gladly step in and use possessions. There's room for him to be a scoring star as a freshman.
7 of 16Doug Murray/Icon SMI
Cousins, a five-star big man from Alabama, joins junior Patrick Patterson in one of the country's most formidable frontcourts. The 6-11 rookie has the athleticism needed to thrive in John Calipari's dribble-drive offense, which, when it's working, tends to produce plenty of lobs for forwards hiding out on the weak side.
8 of 16Matt Hempel/Courtesy of Texas Athletics
Brown was originally a Class of 2008 recruit, and is somewhat of a forgotten man after taking the year off to get his academic situation in order. He's the front-runner to win the Longhorns' starting point-guard job, though, as Texas coaches have praised his court-savvy and passing ability. He and Avery Bradley could team up in the best all- freshman backcourt in the country.
9 of 16Courtesy of Vanderbilt University
Kentucky's freshmen are getting most of the hype in the SEC, but Jenkins is a huge addition for the 'Dores. If he lives up to his billing as the best pure shooter in the Class of 2009, he'll help spread the floor, make life easier for A.J. Ogilvy and Jeffrey Taylor in the post, and likely get Vandy back in the NCAA tournament.
10 of 16Michael J. LeBrecht II/1Deuce3 Photography/SI
With Sherron Collins, Tyshawn Taylor and Cole Aldrich all taking their share of shots, there isn't room for Henry to be a mega-star as a Kansas freshman. But his value to their national-title run will be immense, in that he adds another NBA-level talent on the perimeter, and is both a threat to knock down threes and use his size (at 6-6) and strength to get to the rim.
11 of 16Chris Williams/Icon SMI
A potential sleeper star out of the Class of 2009, Scott arrives at Miami just in time to step in for gunner Jack McClinton, a second-round draft pick by the Spurs in June. Scott should be a nice perimeter complement to the interior work of senior Dwayne Collins, last year's second-leading scorer.
12 of 16Doug Benc/Getty Images
There was a chance the skinny, 6-foot-10 Henson would get buried in the Tar Heels' rotation behind returning post men Ed Davis and Deon Thompson -- but then coach Roy Williams announced his intentions to use Henson as a giant small forward, presumably in the starting lineup. He's athletic enough to play on the perimeter, and could turn into the biggest matchup nightmare in the ACC.
13 of 16Doug Benc/Getty Images
The Griffin brothers -- and their combined 32.3 points and 20.2 rebounds per game -- are gone, and the Sooners desperately need help on the interior. Gallon's nickname is "Tiny," although at 6-9 and 296 pounds, he's anything but, and the McDonald's All-American has surprising touch and shooting range for someone of his size.
14 of 16Doug Benc/Getty Images
How badly do the Panthers need a big-time contributor in the post? Well, they just lost DeJuan Blair, who was their most valuable player and the best college rebounder of the decade, so they're hurting. Taylor isn't going to produce at Blair levels as a freshman, but the 6-9 McDonald's All-American knows how to operate in the paint, and he should be Pitt's best frontcourt player from Day 1.
15 of 16Doug Benc/Getty Images
Snaer, a five-star Californian, arrives in Tallahassee just in time to take over for Toney Douglas at the two-guard spot. Douglas averaged21.5 points per game last season, while no other 'Nole even averaged double-figures. Snaer is thought to have a complete enough offensive arsenal to be FSU's leading scorer as a rookie.
16 of 16Doug Benc/Getty Images
Jennings is the biggest recruit Oliver Purnell has ever lured to Clemson, and the sweet-shooting, 6-foot-9 forward gives them a scoring threat from the wing while senior star Trevor Booker operates inside. With K.C. Rivers (69 threes made in '08-09) and Terrence Oglesby (92 threes) gone, there will be plenty of shots available for Jennings.
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