Freshman Trackers: First-year players making noise in Pac-12
Maybe as much as any other conference in the country, the Pac-12 has seen several freshmen jump into the league and thrive early. Washington shooting guard DeJounte Murray checked in at No. 8 on last week’s top 10 freshmen list while No. 10 Jaylen Brown of California may be poised to overtake him with a strong run of games.
Those two are far from the only first year players making noise, though. Here are six more freshmen standouts.
Allonzo Trier, SG, Arizona
This season: 14.8 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game
How he got here: Arizona got involved with Trier the summer before his senior season, got him on campus and wrapped up his recruitment in record time.
Analysis: At the high school level, Trier was a prolific scorer with sneaky athleticism and a crafty veteran’s feel on the offensive end. But, he also liked to shoot the ball on most of his touches. After struggling some with shot selection early on, Trier had been coming on strong before a broken hand sidelined him. He should be back soon and he will be a problem for Pac-12 defenses.
Tres Tinkle, PF/SF, Oregon State
This season: 12.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game.
How he got here: Tinkle’s father, Wayne Tinkle, was hired as the Beavers coach in the spring of 2014. Though he didn’t commit right away, there was never any question where he would end up.
Analysis: Tinkle arrived in Corvallis as a versatile combo forward who rebounded well and had the ability to make shots out to the three-point line. All of that has traveled with him to the college level and he’s turned into a productive and versatile member of a much-improved OSU squad. Fellow freshmen Drew Eubanks and Stephen Thompson (whose father is also on staff) have been quite effective as well.
Tyler Dorsey, SG/PG, Oregon
This season: 13.4 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game.
How he got here: Dorsey initially committed to Arizona after a junior. When the Wildcats added swingman Justin Simon, Dorsey decided to open things up and look around before ultimately zeroing in on the Ducks.
Analysis: A five-star prospect in high school, Dorsey was a high scoring lead guard who rebounded his position exceptionally well. The worry with him was how well he would do sharing the spotlight with others. Clearly, those concerns have proven unwarranted as Dorsey has been a good teammate and thrived whether playing on or off the ball.
Bennie Boatwright, PF/SF, USC
This season: 12.2 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game.
How he got here: A native of the Los Angeles area, Boatwright wasn’t ever going to go far from home. He saw early minutes available at USC and they put an emphasis on getting him done that resulted in him committing shortly before the start of his senior year.
Analysis: Known by many as “Bennie Buckets”, there was little question that the four-star prospect was a scorer. Whether he was a small or power forward in college was the question. At USC, Andy Enfield and his staff have used his shooting to help spread the floor and he’s proven to be much more effective on the glass and flat out tougher physically than expected.
Ivan Rabb, PF, California
This season: 12.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game.
How he got here: One of the late deciders in 2015, Rabb took his time before picking Cal in April. Kentucky, Kansas and UCLA all received long looks but Arizona was the strongest competition. The chance to rebuild a program near his hometown of Oakland and relationship with Cuonzo Martin was what won him over.
Analysis: A high volume rebounder and reliable around the rim scorer, Rabb looked like somebody who wasn’t likely to need anything more than two years in college as long as he added some strength. The former top 10 prospect has been outstanding as a freshman and has spent most of the year in the top 10 of the bi-weekly freshmen ranking. His production has dipped slightly in Pac-12 play and his lack of strength and struggles with foul trouble are things he’s fighting through.
Marquese Chriss, PF, Washington
This season: 11.5 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game.
How he got here: Just as other Pac-12 and high major programs were starting to key in on Chriss, Washington was able to get him locked up very early when he committed during January of his junior season.
Analysis: Chriss was a talented athlete who showed skill and upside, but inconsistency and the worry that he might be a little bit on the soft side kept him just outside of the national top 50 at No. 56 overall. Chriss still needs to get a little more physical and he’s been somewhat inconsistent. But, that inconsistency has been the type that one would expect from a freshman. Because he’s so bouncy and has some touch facing the hoop, Chriss has put himself on the NBA radar and turned into a legitimate candidate for early entry and right now it would be a surprise if he spent four years in Seattle.