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Duke's Jabari Parker takes top spot this week
In the last week, Duke all but wrapped up the No. 1 signing class for 2014 by adding Justise Winslow (the No. 11 recruit in the nation) to a class that already included center Jahlil Okafor (No. 1) and point guard Tyus Jones (No. 5).
Duke fans, no doubt, are excited for the 2014 freshman class, but the 2013 class is already plenty of fun. Namely Jabari Parker.
Parker took the top spot this week in the freshman power rankings by continuing his all-around effort and highlight reel play through Duke’s first five games. He may stay here for a while. Or next week may bring a new No. 1. Such is the nature of this year’s freshman class.
Athlon Sports is keeping an eye on the year of the freshmen with a weekly power ranking of the top rookies around the country. Keep in mind, these power rankings are not meant as a reflection of how these guys are going to fall in the NBA Draft, nor is it meant to be an All-America team of sorts.
The weekly freshman power rankings is more of a ranking of who has the momentum and buzz in recent games.
Did we miss anyone? Think we got this wrong? Tweet us at @AthlonSports.
2013-14 Freshman Power Rankings: Nov. 22
1. Jabari Parker, Duke
Last week: 2
We knew when the season began Parker would be one of the nation’s top freshmen and a player of the year contender. Seeing this happen is a little different. If he was only scoring — Parker is the first player under Mike Krzyzewski at Duke to top 20 points in his first five carer games — he’d still be an All-American. But Parker is also averaging 8.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists while shooting 65 percent from the field. Against East Carolina on Tuesday, Parker came out of nowhere to block six shots and throw in this coast-to-coast dunk for good measure.
2. Julius Randle, Kentucky
Last week: 1
Randle has had a double-double in all five games this season, averaging 20.8 points and 13.4 rebounds. Kentucky is still figuring out how to play as a team, but Randle is looking just about automatic. With games against Michigan State’s and Baylor’s frontcourts in the first month of the season, Randle will have earned all his accolades.
3. Andrew Wiggins, Kansas
Last week: 3
Wiggins has played fewer games than the Parker or Randle, but he’s been no less impressive. He scored 13 points with seven rebounds, three assists and two steals on Tuesday against Iona, Kansas’ only game since the Champions Classic win over Duke.
4. Noah Vonleh, Indiana
Last week: 7
Vonleh had double-doubles in each of his first four games going into Thursday’s matchup with Washington. Vonleh missed extending that streak by one rebound, finishing with 18 points and nine rebounds. Vonleh was 13 of 21 from the field last week.
5. Aaron Gordon, Arizona
Last week: 6
Gordon hasn’t had the showcase of the other top freshmen this season, but he’s often mentioned in the same breath. In his marquee game — on the road against San Diego State — Gordon displayed his all-around game with 16 points, eight rebounds, three steals, two blocks and two assists.
6. James Young, Kentucky
Last week: 5
Young shot 35.5 percent from the field and 25 percent from 3-point range through the first four games of the season, but he responded from John Calipari’s criticism with 26 points against UT Arlington on Tuesday. Young was 8 of 14 from the field and 5 of 10 from beyond the arc against the Mavericks.
7. Joel Embiid, Kansas
Last week: NR
Embiid was quiet through the first two games of the season, though he had seven rebounds and five assists against Duke. The seven-foot freshman had his breakout Tuesday with 16 points on 7-of-7 shooting and 13 rebounds against Iona.
8. Ben Emelogu, Virginia Tech
Last week: 8
Elomogu proved his 22-point outburst against West Virginia was no fluke with 16 points against Western Carolina and 19 against VMI. A Friday matchup against Michigan State will be a key sign if the guard has the potential to stay on this list all season.
9. Nigel Williams-Goss, Washington
Last week: NR
Williams-Goss had a frustrating game in his first major matchup of his career against Indiana. The Huskies lost 102-84 as Williams-Goss finished with 13 points and four assists. Williams-Goss is averaging 13.5 points and five assists per game.
10. Amida Brimah, Connecticut
Last week: NR
The seven-footer has proven to be a shot-blocking menace in limited duty for the Huskies with 18 blocked shots in 74 minutes.