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Top 10 College Basketball Freshmen - Preview 2022

Previewing the top college basketball freshmen in the upcoming 2022-2023 Men’s NCAA College Basketball Season


By Fan Rankings | October 28, 2022 - 07:12 PM

The hype around high school basketball is as high as any sport in the country including high school football. As this hype continues the group of incoming freshmen to Men’s College Basketball is as exciting as we have seen over the past few seasons.

A class that should deliver some potential NBA Lottery Draft Picks as well as some exciting young players to watch during the 2022-23 NCAA Men’s College Basketball schedule.

Two players landing at the top of the Top 10 Best College Freshman Basketball Player Rankings Preview list are the Duke Blue Devils Dereck Lively II and the Arkansas Razorbacks Nick Smith Jr.


As Lively and Smith Jr headline the list of the top incoming freshmen in all of men’s college basketball, they are just two of the talented stars arriving. Lively will be joined by another talented freshman Dariq Whitehead.

In addition to Whitehead, a few of the other top incoming freshmen include the Kansas Jayhawks stud Gradey Dick, the Baylor Bears potential star Keyonte George, and the Indiana Hoosiers Jalen Hood-Schifino. Here is a look at the Top 10 Best College Freshman Basketball Player Rankings Preview:

Honorable Mention

Chris Livingston

School: Kentucky Wildcats

Landing just outside of the Top 10 Best College Freshman Basketball Player Rankings Preview is the Kentucky Wildcats freshman Chris Livingston.

Livingston, who had a long list of offers, elected to head to Kentucky over offers from teams such as the Kansas Jayhawks and North Carolina Tar Heels.

The Wildcats freshman enters the upcoming 2022-23 Men’s College Basketball season ranked as the 16th overall recruit and one of the most talented five-star players entering college.

Livingston has size to play the small forward position, and athleticism to run the floor. The former Oak Hill Academy star will join another solid Wildcats recruiting class to join John Calipari’s team. 

Skyy Clark

School: Illinois Fighting Illini 

One player who was expected to join Chris Livingston in Kentucky was the Montverde Academy star Skyy Clark.

Clark, who is the 34th overall prospect entering the college basketball landscape elected to decommit from the Kentucky Wildcats to join the Illinois Fighting Illini.

The Fighting Illini point guard will be an interesting player to watch despite making his return from tearing his ACL last season.

Clark prior to tearing his ACL was a dynamic playmaking guard who can score at his own will while not being afraid to attack the glass. Clark’s potential is high; it simply comes down to how he recovers from his knee injury.

Top 10 College Basketball Freshmen

10. Jarace Walker

School: Houston Cougars

Coming in at number 10 on the Top 10 Best College Freshman Basketball Player Rankings Preview list is the Houston Cougars freshman Jarace Walker.

The Cougars who are expected to compete for a National Championship during the upcoming season have a loaded roster that will include one of the most talented freshman five-star recruits in the country.

Walker, who is just one of the many talented basketball players to play at the IMG Academy is the 2nd overall ranked power forward entering college this season.

The Cougars power forward can attack the glass, finish around the basket, and can handle the ball while finding his open teammates.

9. Amari Bailey

School: UCLA Bruins

When you start to take a deep look at the top freshman entering college basketball, most have one thing in common as they all are heading to top tier basketball programs looking to compete. 

The same can be said about Amari Bailey who is set to join an UCLA Bruins squad that is currently ranked 8th on the Men’s AP Top 25 rankings list and is bringing in the 4th best recruiting class in the country.

Bailey has all the tools and size to be a top tier guard in college basketball while building a strong NBA Draft resume.

Bailey can run the offense, attack the glass, and find ways to play while developing his jump shot.

8. Cam Whitmore

School: Villanova Wildcats

One thing is for certain and that is the Villanova Wildcats have been able to find some of the best players in the country over the past 5-10 NCAA Basketball seasons.

The same is said about Cam Whitmore who was the number one player out of the state of Maryland and the 11th best basketball recruit in the country.

While Whitmore elected to choose the Wildcats over other programs including his home state the Maryland Terps, Whitmore will be ready to shine during the upcoming season.

Whitmore will look to continue his power style of play while finding his way to the rim on both ends of the floor.

The former Archbishop Spalding basketball player has great court vision and an ability to find his open teammates. 

7. Jalen Hood-Schifino

School: Indiana Hoosiers

Jalen Hood-Schifino is another one of the talented basketball players from the Montverde Academy who will be making his way to the bright lights of college basketball.

The 6-foot-5 combo guard was the 5th best combo guard in the nation and 26th overall recruit before electing to join the Indiana Hoosiers for the upcoming 2022-23 NCAA Basketball schedule.

With Hood-Schifino arriving the Hoosiers enter the season ranked 13th in the country among the AP Top 25 rankings.

Hood-Schifino is just one of multiple top tier recruits to decide to join the Hoosiers this upcoming season.

6. Gradey Dick

School: Kansas Jayhawks

The incoming freshman class for the Kansas Jayhawks is as good as any in the country after landing the 5th best overall recruiting class.

Headlining that class is the talented five-star recruit Gradey Dick. The Kansas native and reigning Gatorade National Player of the Year award winner and McDonald’s All-American will look to return the Jayhawks a second straight National Title.

Dick who is rated as the top overall recruit from Kansas, has not only the size but athletic abilities to be a talented small forward for the years to come.

The Jayhawks freshman is an all-around pure shooter which should rank some of the best in all of college basketball during the upcoming season.

5. Dariq Whitehead

School: Duke Blue Devils

Rounding out the Top 5 on the Top 10 Best College Freshman Basketball Player Rankings Preview is one of the many talented freshmen joining the Duke Blue Devils basketball team.

That player is Dariq Whitehead who joins his Blue Devils teammate Dereck Lively II on the list as one of the best young players in the country while ranking as one of the highest five star recruits in the country.

Whitehead, who also played his high school ball at Montverde Academy ranks as the 3rd best recruit in the country and the top overall recruit from New Jersey.

A tremendous athlete with speed, size and a jump shot makes him an intriguing player entering the upcoming season.

4. Cason Wallace

School: Kentucky Wildcats

One and done has been the mindset for the Kentucky Wildcats since the arrival of John Calipari. That is the same for the incoming group of freshmen including Cason Wallace who may play himself into a lottery pick during the 2023 NBA Draft.

Wallace, who played his high school basketball in Texas is the state’s top overall recruit and the 5th best recruit in the country. At 6-foot-4 inches, Wallace has solid size to play the guard position while also being dominant on the glass.

More importantly Wallace is not afraid to play defense while ranking as one of the best defensive players among all freshmen.

3. Keyonte George

School: Baylor Bears

The success of the Baylor Bears during the upcoming season will start and finish with their incoming class including talented five-star recruit Keyonte George.

George, who played his high school ball at IMG Academy, is just one of many talented players joining the freshman rankings during the upcoming college basketball season.

The Bears recruit can find ways to open up shots from nearly any spot on the floor but also has the quickness to attack the glass. 

2. Nick Smith Jr.

School: Arkansas Razorbacks

When it comes to the top two players on the Top 10 Best College Freshman Basketball Player Rankings Preview list both are equally as talented, and both have huge potential.

While Nick Smith Jr has the potential to be one of the best players in the country during his freshman season, overall potential may be slightly pointed to Dereck Lively II.

Nonetheless expect big things from Smith Jr in his freshman season and potentially only season if he puts together a strong season.

The Arkansas Razorbacks freshman enters campus as the top overall recruit among high school basketball players. An all-around great basketball player, Smith Jr will look to show his potential during the upcoming season.

1. Dereck Lively II

School: Duke Blue Devils

Depending on how you look at it Nick Smith Jr may have landed at the top overall spot. That said Dereck Lively II of the Duke Blue Devils has the potential to put together a much stronger year based on the supporting cast and talent of his current Duke Blue Devils team.

The top overall recruit from the state of Pennsylvania and the 2nd overall recruit is heading to a Blue Devils team that is loaded with talent.

Entering his freshman season as one of the intriguing big men, Lively II has size, speed and athleticism that can allow him to stand out among the best big men in the country.

How would you rank these freshman college basketball players for the 2022-2023 season? Rank below to be added in the NCAA Power Rankings

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