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November 11, 2009

Preseason power rankings: Freshmen

It should come as no surprise that the top four prospects in the 2009 recruiting class open their college careers as the top four freshmen in the preseason Rivals.com College Basketball Power Rankings, which measure the nation's top performers at each position.

From that point on, though, there's quite a bit of discrepancy between our recruiting rankings and the power rankings.

Our power rankings take into consideration which freshmen are stepping right into featured roles that could allow them to make immediate impacts. For example, Indiana forward Christian Watford and Oregon forward Jamil Wilson weren't top-40 prospects during the recruiting process, but we believe they'll get enough playing time to rank among the nation's 25 most productive freshmen.

A look at this ranking indicates why Kentucky, Georgia Tech and Texas should emerge as three of the nation's most improved teams and why Oklahoma ought to survive the loss of Blake Griffin. Each of those teams has two freshmen in our rankings.

  1. G John Wall, Kentucky, 6-4/195
  2. G Avery Bradley, Texas, 6-2/180
  3. F/C Derrick Favors, Georgia Tech, 6-10/246
  4. F/C DeMarcus Cousins, Kentucky, 6-11/260
  5. G Michael Snaer, Florida State, 6-5/200
  6. G Kenny Boynton, Florida, 6-2/183
  7. G Lance Stephenson, Cincinnati, 6-5/210
  8. F Tiny Gallon, Oklahoma, 6-9/296
  9. G John Jenkins, Vanderbilt, 6-4/215
10. G Xavier Henry, Kansas, 6-6/220
11. F Renardo Sidney, Mississippi State, 6-10/260
12. F/C Alex Oriakhi, Connecticut, 6-9/240
13. F John Henson, North Carolina, 6-10/195
14. F Christian Watford, Indiana, 6-9/220
15. F Wally Judge, Kansas State, 6-9/248
16. G Abdul Gaddy, Washington, 6-3/190
17. F Reginald Buckner, Ole Miss, 6-8/233
18. F Dante Taylor, Pittsburgh, 6-9/240
19. G Mfon Udofia, Georgia Tech, 6-2/187
20. G Tommy Mason-Griffin, Oklahoma, 5-11/206
21. F Milton Jennings, Clemson, 6-9/225
22. G Ray Penn, Oklahoma State, 5-9/165
23. F Mason Plumlee, Duke, 6-10/230
24. F Jamil Wilson, Oregon, 6-7/209
25. F/G Jordan Hamilton, Texas, 6-7/226

Steve Megargee is a national writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at smegargee@rivals.com.

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