Jeff Eisenberg of Yahoo.com has listed the top impact freshmen for the upcoming season and Kentucky’s Andrew Harrison and Julius Randle are in the top 5.
2. Andrew Harrison, G, Kentucky (Rivals Ranking: 5)
It remains to be seen which of Kentucky’s stable of freshmen emerges as the best player this season, but there’s little doubt who the most important is. Whereas Kentucky has other options at forward if Julius Randle endures some growing pains or at center if Dakari Johnson struggles, Andrew Harrison is really the only player capable of starting at point guard. He’ll likely play at least 30 minutes per game since Kentucky’s options behind him consist of senior Jarrod Polson, less heralded freshman Dominique Hawkins and in a pinch, Andrew’s twin brother Aaron. The good news is Harrison has every chance to flourish because his size, slashing and passing ability make him the prototypical point guard for John Calipari’s dribble-drive system. The 6-foot-5 Harrison isn’t quite as deadly a shooter as Aaron, but he can overpower opposing point guards with his size and can frustrate them on the other end with his length and quickness.
5. Julius Randle, F, Kentucky (Rivals Ranking: 2)
If Andrew Harrison is the most important of Kentucky’s freshmen, then Randle may be the biggest can’t-miss prospect. Not only is he big, extremely strong and ultra-athletic, he has drawn comparisons from John Calipari to Michael Kidd-Gilchrist because both possess the same competitiveness and relentlessly high motor. A prototypical power forward both in college and at the NBA level, Randle will almost certainly start immediately for Kentucky alongside either Willie Cauley-Stein or Dakari Johnson in the frontcourt. He has the ability to score with his back-to-the-basket, to face up and knock down a mid-range jump shot or attack the offensive glass. What Kentucky needs more than anything is for Randle’s effort and energy to wear off on his young teammates the way Kidd-Gilchrist’s did two years ago. If that happens, Kentucky’s season could end in a similar manner — with a jubilant mid-court celebration as confetti falls from the ceiling.
I know the point guard position is important in the dribble drive, but I will be really surprised if Julius Randle doesn’t make a bigger impact than Andrew Harrison.
What is your opinion?