basketball Edit

Bossi's Best: Anthony Edwards tops initial Freshman Tracker

2020 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team | Position | 2021 Rankings: Rivals150 | Position


Anthony Edwards
Anthony Edwards (AP Images)

Each year at Rivals.com we track the top college freshmen in America. In this week's edition of Bossi's Best, National Analyst Eric Bossi debuts this list, and former five-star Anthony Edwards of Georgia sits atop the first edition of the Freshman Tracker.

Look for lots of change as the season goes on. For now, 2019's No. 1 player, James Wiseman, is left off the list until he returns from his NCAA suspension and builds a bigger body of work after averaging nearly 20 and 10 in the only three games he played.

MORE: 3-Point Play | Twitter Tuesday

1. ANTHONY EDWARDS, GEORGIA

How he got here: Initially slated to be a member of the 2021 class, Edwards moved up to 2020 in the first part of what would have been his junior year. After considering others, he elected to stay in his home state during the latter half of his senior year.

This season: 20.6 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game

Analysis: I thought this kid could lead the SEC in scoring as a freshman and so far he's only trailing Vanderbilt's Aaron Nesmith. He's strong, he scores in waves and he has the most memorable scoring outburst of the season after going for 33 in the second half of a Maui Invitational game against Michigan State.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH GEORGIA FANS AT UGASPORTS.COM

*****

2. VERNON CAREY JR., DUKE

Vernon Carey Jr.
Vernon Carey Jr. (AP Images)

How he got here: A native of Florida whose father was a star football player at Miami and with the Dolphins, Carey was the subject of a pretty intense recruiting battle and ultimately chose the Blue Devils over the Hurricanes, Michigan State and others.

This season: 18.5 points, 9.2 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game

Analysis: With his soft hands and skill, Carey has been one of the most dominant big men in college hoops regardless of class and is on the path to being an All-American. His dedication to getting in shape and playing near the rim has really paid off.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH DUKE FANS AT DEVILSILLUSTRATED.COM

*****

3. COLE ANTHONY, NORTH CAROLINA

Cole Anthony
Cole Anthony (AP Images)

How he got here: One of the last major prospects in the class of 2020 to make his decision, Anthony was considered a major lean to UNC throughout the last year or so of his recruitment.

This season: 19.1 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game

Analysis: Anthony got off to a ridiculously hot start but has cooled off of late. He's got a lot of responsibility on his shoulders as the Heels struggle to score but will need to be more efficient as they enter the heart of ACC play.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH NORTH CAROLINA FANS AT TARHEELILLUSTRATED.COM

*****

4. ZEKE NNAJI, ARIZONA

Zeke Nnaji
Zeke Nnaji (AP Images)

How he got here: Nnaji was pursued by several of college basketball's bluebloods after really bursting onto the scene during the summer before his senior year. He picked Arizona over Kansas, North Carolina and several others.

This season: 16.6 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game

Analysis: Even though he arrived in Tucson with five-star status, Nnaji has been a bit of a surprise. With most of the attention on bigger-named freshmen for the Wildcats, he's flourished as a reliable finisher around the rim. He has slowed down a little of late and needs to be careful not to pick up silly fouls.

*****

5. ONYEKA OKONGWU, USC

Onyeka Okongwu
Onyeka Okongwu (AP Images)

How he got here: A dominant shot-blocker who was a five-star prospect throughout high school, Okongwu surprised nobody when he elected to stay close to home and committed to USC near the end of his junior year.

This season: 17.4 points, 8.7 rebounds and 3.3 blocks per game

Analysis: Okongwu has been an absolute stud for USC. He's protected the lane. He's run the floor with purpose and he's finished a very high level from 15 feet and in. His dedication to the weight room and getting his body right has paid big dividends and he has turned into a potential one-and-done candidate.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH USC FANS AT TROJANSPORTS.COM

*****

6. ISAIAH STEWART, WASHINGTON

Isaiah Stewart
Isaiah Stewart (AP Images)

How he got here: A native of New York, Stewart was wooed by many of college basketball's heaviest hitters and seemed to favor many different schools at one time or another, including Duke, Kentucky, Michigan State and Syracuse. He picked Washington midway through his senior year.

This season: 17.0 points, 7.9 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game

Analysis: As advertised. Stewart's reputation was that of being a tough guy with great hands who loves to operate around the rim. He's brought a physical presence to Seattle and hasn't had much trouble adjusting to the college game. He won't find it so easy to overpower others In Pac-12 play, so it will be interesting to see how he adjusts his game during the season.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH WASHINGTON FANS AT THEDAWGREPORT.COM

*****

7. NICO MANNION, ARIZONA

Nico Mannion
Nico Mannion (AP Images)

How he got here: A native of Arizona, Mannion was wooed by others but there was never much doubt that he would go with the Wildcats.

This season: 15.3 points, 2.0 rebounds and 5.7 assists per game

Analysis: Mannion entered college with a lot of expectations and the hopes of his home-state fans. So far, he's lived up to and exceeded anything that could have been asked of him. His skill level shines through each time he takes the floor.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH ARIZONA FANS AT GOAZCATS.COM

*****

8. JAHMI'US RAMSEY, TEXAS TECH

Jahmi'us Ramsey
Jahmi'us Ramsey (AP Images)

How he got here: The first five-star to ever select the Red Raiders, Ramsey had many other options but behind the scenes most programs conceded that he would end up in Lubbock by the end of the summer before his senior year.

This season: 17.3 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game

Analysis: If not for injury, Ramsey could be even higher on this list. Given his status as the highest-ranked recruit to ever pick Texas Tech, hope was high for him and he's been fabulous when healthy. He gets to rim, keeps defenders honest with his shot and is a rugged competitor.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH TEXAS TECH FANS AT REDRAIDERSPORTS.COM

*****

9. KOFI COCKBURN, ILLINOIS

Kofi Cockburn
Kofi Cockburn (AP Images)

How he got here: A native of Jamaica who spent much of his high school time in the New York area, Cockburn picked the Illini over Connecticut, Pittsburgh and St. John's.

This season: 15.7 points, 10.7 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game

Analysis: Cockburn's ability to play physically and his agility for a man his size were never in question, but whether he could stay in shape and stay consistent were concerns. So far, he's done an incredible job of putting to rest any worries about either of those concerns. He's been a menace in the post and has been reliable and efficient around the rim.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH ILLINOIS FANS AT ORANGEANDBLUENEWS.COM

*****

10. LANDERS NOLLEY, VIRGINIA TECH

Landers Nolley
Landers Nolley (AP Images)

How he got here: A native of Chicago who moved to Atlanta during high school, Nolley was at one point (well for a day) committed to Georgia during the fall of his senior year. He then picked the Hokies a few weeks later over the Bulldogs, Illinois and others.

This season: 18.6 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game

Analysis: The only redshirt on the list, Nolley has gotten off to one heck of a start under new coach Mike Young. He has tremendous size and is a good athlete, but his sharp shooting from beyond the three-point line – where he's made just over 49 percent of his attempts – has been most impressive.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH VIRGINIA TECH FANS AT HOKIEHAVEN.COM

Keep an eye on ...

Precious Achiuwa (Memphis), Armando Bacot (North Carolina), Josh Green (Arizona), Trayce Jackson-Davis (Indiana), Rylan Jones (Utah), Tyrese Maxey (Kentucky), Jaden McDaniels (Washington), Isaac Okoro (Auburn), Tre Mitchell (UMass), Jeremiah Robinson-Earl (Villanova), Terrence Shannon (Texas Tech), Tyrell Terry (Stanford), Oscar Tshiebwe (West Virginia), Trendon Watford (LSU), James Wiseman (Memphis).