basketball Edit

Five freshmen who could outplay their ranking

Kamari Lands
Kamari Lands (USA Today Sports Images)

Every year in college basketball, there are freshmen who come out of nowhere and become big-time players on the biggest of stages. Rivals.com basketball analyst Travis Graf takes a look at some players from the 2022 class that could outperform their ranking as freshmen.

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2023 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team | Position

2024 Rankings: Top 125

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Jordan Walsh, Arkansas

Rivals150 ranking: 25

Talking professional basketball upside, there aren't many prospects in the 2022 class with more than Walsh, and he’s in the right system for himself to thrive. The former five-star is a versatile athlete that can put his head on the rim at a moment’s notice and plays with a very good motor.

While mainly known as a great athlete, Walsh is very skilled as well. He can put the ball on the floor some depending on the matchup, can pass well for his position, and shoots it at a very respectable clip from the outside. Walsh should thrive in Eric Musselman’s system, especially with the pieces around him where he’s not called on to do too much early on.

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Skyy Clark, Illinois

Rivals150 ranking: 38

Clark is different than other players on this list because he has been a household name in basketball circles since middle school. He’s been one of the top prospects in the country for over five years, and has always faced high expectations. Clark slipped in the rankings a bit toward the end of his prep career due to inconsistency followed by a couple of different injuries which kept him sidelined for some extended time. The talent, flair and competitiveness have never been an issue.

Now completely healthy according to people around Clark, the former four-star guard is primed to help lead Illinois with a pretty big workload in his first season. The opportunity will definitely be there to prove that we were too low on him in the last rankings cycle.

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Kamari Lands, Louisville

Rivals150 ranking: 89

Realistically, Lands might have the best individual opportunity outside of anyone in the top 25 in the 2022 rankings to make an impact. The former four-star wing will have a shot at lengthy playing time early on the Cardinals’ perimeter, which doesn’t have a proven commodity and lacks shooting.

Lands has hardly ever struggled to shoot the basketball, and early reports indicate that his outside shot has translated to the practice floor at Louisville. With the lack of depth on the perimeter, Lands will be called upon to be a knockdown scorer from the outside to help complement a very strong Cardinals frontcourt.

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Amaree Abram, Ole Miss

Rivals 150 ranking: 95

Depending on how sophomore guard Daeshun Ruffin returns from his knee injury will determine Abram’s exact role as a freshman, but he will get a huge chunk of minutes nonetheless. Abram is a crafty guard that can get to the rim and score in a variety of ways, and that’s exactly what Kermit Davis prefers from the guard spots.

At 6-foot-4, Abram is big enough and skilled enough to play both on and off of the ball. Abram will complement Ruffin and the rest of Ole Miss’ backcourt very well and his versatility will allow him to always have a spot on the floor with the current roster makeup.

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Michael Sharavjamts, Dayton

Rivals150 ranking: 98

Sharavjamts may honestly be high school basketball’s best-kept secret in the 2022 class. At 6-foot-8, he has legitimate guard skills and a great overall feel for the game as a ball mover and initiator. His shot has also become very consistent and, upside-wise, it wouldn’t surprise to see him be on NBA Draft boards at some point this season.

Dayton is going to have a very fun roster this season with Sharavjamts, DaRon Holmes, Toumani Camara and Malachi Smith. The Flyers could make some noise come March, and Sharavjamts could be a huge reason why.

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