There’s always a fair amount of speculative buzz around each year’s incoming crop of Freshman, but 2010-2011 might be the most anticipated season in terms of immediate impact freshman in a number of years. Ranking the classes would be a fairly pointless endeavor for me as my knowledge doesn’t extend beyond the triangle, but Paul Biancardi over at ESPN.com has a pretty good breakdown.
It’s pretty clear that the biggest impact will be felt on Tobacco road, as the three schools in the Triangle bring in three mega-stud players in Kryie Irving ( Duke), Harrison Barnes(UNC), and C.J. Leslie( NC State). With Irving being the best skills player, Barnes being the most complete player, and Leslie being the best athlete amongst incoming frosh, the fans of all three schools are feeling pretty stoked. All three players are pretty much mortal locks to start for their respective teams.
Though he enters as a sophomore, Duke’s Seth Curry will easily be the biggest impact new face that isn’t a freshman, though in terms of sheer importance to his team, Alabama-to- UNC transfer Justin Knox may prove the most critical. And now, it seems, there is some pretty serious talk of 2011-2012 Tar Heel recruit James McAdoo possibly pulling an Andre Dawkins and getting to school a year early, which would push UNC’s recruiting class from great to just plain stoopid.
Both UVA and Wake Forest had pretty stellar recruiting hauls and those guys are definitely going to get a trial by fire, as the personnel losses at both of those schools will grant a lot of playing time to the freshman. Though next year is likely to be pretty brutal for both squads, look for that to pay serious dividends in the next 2-3 years.
As mentioned in the ESPN article, the loss of Oliver Purnell also resulted in the Tigers losing top recruit and possible Trevor Booker replacement Marcus Thornton, who has since signed with UGA.