80 freshmen you need to know ahead of 2022-23 season

80 freshmen you need to know ahead of 2022-23 season

(Photo: Mike Pegram, Peegs.com)

G Jalen Hood-SchifinoIndiana: Shooting will ultimately determine Hood-Schifino’s Year 1 upside, but he projects to be a high-level defender and playmaker right away. Indiana needs more juice in transition to generate easy baskets. Hood-Schifino can absolutely be that guard who speeds up the tempo. Hood-Schifino will have to beat out Miller Kopp and Tamar Bates for closing-time minutes.

F Malik ReneauIndiana: Reneau’s path to playing time is a little blocked by the presence of Trayce Jackson-Davis, Jordan Geronimo and Race Thompsonbut the smart 6-foot-8 forward might just be too good to stay out of the rotation.

G Skyy ClarkIllinois: The Illini did not add a point guard in the portal because they want to give Clark a chance to be the Day 1 starter. The ex-Kentucky commit is one of the best recruits ever to pick Illinois, and he could have a monster impact for an Illinois team itching to win the Big Ten for the second year in a row.

F Ty RodgersIllinois: Rodgers is a Brad Underwood player. He’s long, athletic, tough, strong and versatile. Rodgers has to improve as a shooter, but his passing, burst and defense will help him get on the floor. When Rodgers is playing, he will likely be hounding the opposing team’s best player, just like he did for Team USA’s U18 squad that won the gold medal.

G Jayden EppsIllinois: Epps has just as good a chance as Clark to win the starting point guard job. Epps has deep range and should destroy drop coverage. Plus, he has the bulldog-like mentality that Underwood craves from his point guards.

G Dasonte BowenIowa: The Hawkeyes have a wide-open race for the backup point guard job, and Bowen has the game to get on the floor early and often. His speed pairs perfectly with Iowa’s up-tempo offense. His ability to collapse the defense would help Iowa’s offense keep humming.

F Kebba NjiePenn State: Njie might get the first crack at replacing do-it-all big man John Harrar. Penn State will play some four-guard lineups, so Njie could have a wide-open paint to go to work.

G Fletcher LoyerPurdue: Loyer is the only pure point guard on the Purdue roster, so he’s positioned to earn plenty of playing time. Purdue does not need him to score, but if Loyer can defend and run the offense, that’s a job well done.

F Trey Kaufman-Renn, Purdue: Matt Painter is excellent at using the redshirt year to help the Boilermakers. Kaufman-Renn is next up. He should be a major factor in Purdue’s frontcourt. If Mason Gillis plays more at the 3 this year, Kaufman-Renn could form a three-headed monster in the frontcourt with Zach Edey and Caleb Furst.

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