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Freshman Tracker, Feb. 6

Thursday, February 6, 2014 11:21am
By: Mark Owens

Mark Owens provides his version of power rankings for the ACC's freshmen.

We're four weeks into the series, and we'd love to hear from you. Feel free to leave thoughts/comments below. 

No. 1 - Tyler Ennis (Syracuse) - Yep. I've finally gone the way of Jeff Goodman and several other national writers who've been calling it this way for weeks. The tipping point for me? The head-to-head last week at Syracuse, the game that instantly became an ACC all-timer and, perhaps, the start of a new generational rivalry in this conference. Ennis is leading the way for an undefeated, No. 1 team not just in the conference, but in the nation. That's gotta count for something...and it does, in these rankings. Want to be more impressed with Tyler than you already are? Check out that assist/turnover ratio. That's...good. 

Last Week: 2

No. 2 - Jabari Parker (Duke) - This move to No. 2 shouldn't be viewed as any lack in Parker's game. No, this isn't about what Jabari hasn't done. Instead, think of it more in terms of what the new No. 1 (Ennis) has done. And the crazy thing is, this race is hardly over. There still looms another face-to-face matchup between these two amazing players on Feb. 22, when they fight round 2 of the epic battle that occurred in the Carrier Dome last Saturday. But of course,  it'll be held in the cozy confines of Cameron Indoor. WOW. I. Can't. Wait. 

Last Week: 1

No. 3 - Ben Emelogu (Virginia Tech) – Much like his teammate Devin Wilson, Emelogu is really hampered by having each other...and virtually no other weapons. To his credit, Emelogu is handling his business, especially the more time passes since his injury. In two 20-point losses (to FSU and Maryland, respectively), Emelogu certainly did all he could, cumulatively going for 29 points (21 vs. Maryland) while shooting 44.0% from the field, and even adding 4 assists. Say what you want about the Hokies team; this kid is a player.

Last Week: 6

No. 4 - Kennedy Meeks (UNC) - Well, he wasn’t quite as automatic getting buckets the past week as he’s been throughout the rest of the season, but the results were integral to UNC’s successful week. He even “improved” at the free throw line, going a combined 5-8 at the charity stripe. And that’s no small thing, as his FT attempts, to date, usually test the bounds of all that we know about physics, thermodynamics, and the breaking points of both glass and wood. But this is a results game, and he certainly had those: 15 points and 13 boards between the two games, both Carolina wins.

Last Week: 5

 No. 5 - Anthony “Cat" Barber (N.C. State) O.K., remember last week when I said that this had been a bit of an up-and-down period of time for both Cat and his Pack? Well, I’m saying it again. With a megaphone. An exhilarating win against FSU (in which he went for 4 dimes and only 1 TO) was followed up by what can perhaps best be described as going to Chapel Hill and getting stomped like a narc at a biker rally (hat-tip to Dennis Miller). Now, Barber did fine getting his own points in that beat-down (12 pts.), but his assist total? One. ONE. Against 2 two turnovers. When he plays that way, it’s hard for N.C. State to be competitive, particularly in a place they’ve been…let’s say….less than competitive in recent memory.

Last Week: 3

 No. 6 -Devin Wilson (Virginia Tech) – Wilson appears to be experiencing a phenomenon experience by many (most?) first-year players: the dreaded Freshman Wall. In two games this week (against FSU and Maryland), his points scored have dropped off dramatically, while his other contributions (rebounds, steals, etc) have stagnated. And you know what? That’s to be expected. It’s just that it’s unfortunate, as he’s on a team with less resources than Wile. E. Coyote facing down a boulder. And dynamite. With an umbrella. A very tiny umbrella. 

Last Week: 4

 No. 7 - Michael Young (Pitt). Give Young credit: coming off a two-game slide for his Panthers, he was huge on the glass…and each of his 7 rebounds was critical as Pitt took down The Fightin’ Tildes down in Coral Gables, putting a stop to the losing. Jamie Dixon’s crew has got what likely amounts to another slump-buster game against the hapless Hokies before their rematch with Syracuse next Monday. 

Last Week: 9

 No. 8 - London Perrantes (Virginia). A decent, utilitarian week for the young man from LA. While his team is surging (man, it’s still hard to figure out what happened at Rocky Top), his play has been solid, if unspectacular. And he’s not just doing it by distributing the ball. In the win against BC, in fact, he only had 1 assist. But he found another way to contribute, pitching in 5 rebounds.

Last Week: 7

No. 9 - Demetrius Jackson (Notre Dame) - Remember above, when I commented about that famed Freshman Wall? Well, I think Mr. Jackson has become intimately familiar with that painful imaginary structure, particularly with the absence of Jerian Grant. And to be fair, that’s not unexpected. Grant was so vital to everything the Domers do, and the added pressure on Jackson to perform appears to be taking a toll. This week, his total output: 3 points (on 1-7 shooting), 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 turnovers.

Last Week: 8

No. 10 - Kyle Washington (N.C. State)  – Another player emblematic of State’s Space Mountain of a season. Washington played exceedingly well in the Pack’s impressive win against FSU, going for 7 points and 7 boards. Then, this happened against UNC:

Washington hit the boards reasonably well, even in the  pantsing that Carolina put on them. But in that UNC debacle? 0-8 from the field with 3 fouls. Yeah. That's...uhhhm....next. 

Last Week: 10


Roddy Peters (Maryland) - Roddy had a tough week. He followed up his 0 point, 3 turnover performance (in 9 minutes) against Virginia Tech with … another 0 point, 3 turnover game (in 6 minutes) against UNC.

Beejay Anya  (N.C. State) – Where have you gone, Beejay? Ohhhh…right. The knee injury. Sorry to see him go down, as he’s such a fun kid to watch. High energy is infectious (hopefully, the norovirus that just sidelined our own Jason Kong is not....ugh) and can be a shot-blocking presence that State needs so badly.

Jamel Artis (Pitt) – Sum up Artis’ week? A little good, a little not-so-much. In the Panthers’ low-scoring-palooza against UVa, Artis scored nearly a quarter of Pitt’s points. And that sounds really good, until you realize they scored 45 points. Total. In the whole game. Combined. Against Miami, his minutes were way down (only 13), and so was his output, as he had more fouls (2) than points (1) or rebounds (1).

Jaron Blossomgame (Clemson) - The former Freshman of the Week gave another peek at why he won the award a few weeks back with a couple of solid performances, both resulting in Clemson wins. In the Georgia Tech game, he netted only 4 points, but manned-up on the boards, ripping 9. Previous to that, in the win in Tallahassee, he grabbed another 6 boards to go along with 10 points. Perhaps an entrant to the Top 10 next week? We’ll see…

Nate Britt (UNC) – Saw plenty of minutes against N.C. State (19), and produced accordingly: 6 points (3-7 from the field) to go with 3 boards and a couple of assists. His minutes were slashed against the Terps, however, and his production fell through the floor (0 points, 2 assists, FOUR fouls…in only 8 minutes).

Lennard Freeman (N.C. State) – Solid, yeoman’s effort this past week. In his two games (win vs. FSU and the aforementioned seal-clubbing against UNC), he went for 5 and 7 boards, respectively, and scored 7 points.

Quinton Stephens (Georgia Tech) – Per the freshman theme, the up-and-down campaign continued, this time on the down-stroke. In the “they scored 41 points. Total? Seriously?” loss to Clemson, he added 5 boards…and literally no other measurable statistic, except for the 16 minutes played. In the previous game, a win where the Yellow Jackets scored comparatively at the level of the Troy University vs. Devry in January of 1992,  Stephens was part of the effort, going 2-3 from the floor to finish with 5 points.


Jabari ParkerDuke18.
Tyler EnnisSyracuse12.
Ben EmeloguVT11.
Cat BarberNCSU10.82.5420.7038.869.828.9
Devin WilsonVT9.
Manu LecomteMiami822.51.80.6043.178.728.2
Kennedy MeeksUNC7.
Demetrius JacksonNotre Dame6.
Roddy PetersMaryland51.
Mike YoungPitt64.
Jamel ArtisPitt53.40.60.800.249.377.515.4
Jaron BlossomgameClemson4.
London PerrantesUVA4.423.
Lennard FreemanNCSU4.
Beejay AnyaNCSU2.
Isaiah HicksUNC1.