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September 12, 2010

Which freshman are you most anxious to see?

At the College Basketball Roundtable each week, we ask each member of the coverage staff for his opinion about a topic in the sport. We had two questions this week, one Saturday and one today.

TODAY'S QUESTION: Which freshman are you most looking forward to seeing play this season?

David Fox's answer:
I'm most interested in seeing Duke guard Kyrie Irving this season. Many of the pieces seem to be in place for Duke to challenge for its second consecutive national championship. One of the keys will be if the Irving will be able to mesh with Kyle Singler, Nolan Smith and Seth Curry. All signs are that Irving, Smith and Curry will become one of the nation's top backcourts, if not the best. Duke coaches are talking up Irving as one of the best guards in school history. If that's not enough reason to need to see this guy, I don't know what is.

Mike Huguenin's answer:
I'll go with Ohio State big man Jared Sullinger. The Buckeyes lacked a legitimate post presence last season and relied too much on Evan Turner. With Turner gone, the Buckeyes need Sullinger to be productive as a scorer, rebounder and defender if they're to challenge for the Big Ten title. The Big Ten race should be the most entertaining of all, and relying on a freshman in a league dominated by experienced players is going to be dicey. By all accounts, though, Sullinger is going to be a frontcourt force from the moment he steps on the court. And if he as good as the experts say, Ohio State will be a legit contender for the league crown.

Jason King's answer:
I'm really looking forward to watching Kansas point guard Josh Selby, the top-ranked prospect in Rivals.com's Class of 2010. Physically and talent-wise, Selby will be an upgrade over Sherron Collins, who battled weight problems and shooting woes during the second half of last season. It remains to be seen if he'll be as strong a leader. Either way, with Selby, Tyshawn Taylor, the Morris twins, Brady Morningstar and Tyrel Reed, Kansas will be the most experienced team in the Big 12 and the favorite to win its seventh consecutive conference title. What happens beyond that depends on whether Selby lives up to his lofty billing. I think he will.

Steve Megargee's answer:
I'm interested in seeing whether Harrison Barnes is good enough to return North Carolina to national prominence. At the time Barnes signed with the Tar Heels, they were the defending national champions. Since then, North Carolina failed to reach the 2010 NCAA tournament and lost plenty of frontcourt depth when Ed Davis entered the NBA draft and the Wear twins transferred to UCLA. The Tar Heels need Barnes to become an immediate star. If Barnes isn't one of the nation's top freshmen, North Carolina very well could be left out of the NCAA field for a second consecutive season. That's putting quite a burden on a first-year player. I'm looking forward to seeing if he can handle that kind of pressure.

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