After a 2021-22 freshman class that produced two second-team All-Americans and a third-team All-American -- a trio that would ultimately end up as the top three picks in the 2022 NBA draft -- there was a pretty high bar for the high school class of 2022 to hit at the college level.
Because of the increasing number of players opting for the G League Ignite or Overtime Elite over college, this season's freshman class was a bit watered-down at the top. It certainly wasn't without a considerable amount of talent, though: ESPN's mock draft entering 2022-23 featured 20 incoming college freshmen in the first round.
And in terms of NBA draft stock, this class of freshmen has mostly lived up to the hype at the top: Seventeen college freshmen are still in the latest ESPN top 30 NBA draft rankings, and very few, if any, top-20 recruits have failed to make an impact.
But the deeper you go into the final ESPN 100 for the 2022 class, the more you'll find fewer first-year impacts than before. Entering Tuesday's games, only 19 ESPN 100 recruits are averaging double figures in scoring. Twelve of those were top-25 recruits -- meaning only seven of the players ranked between 26 and 100 are putting up double figures in points so far this season.
As the season progresses, certain first-year players will get more comfortable at the college level, and playing time and production will come along with that. But with the new year, and conference play, approaching, it's time to take stock of 2022-23's freshmen so far.
*Most stats as of Dec. 21
Best of the Best
It was evident pretty quickly that Miller was the best freshman in college basketball this season. He had 20 points in the second game of his career against Liberty, then scored at least 18 points in each of his next four games -- including 24 points and nine rebounds against Michigan State on Thanksgiving night. Miller took his game to another level last week, scoring 24 and grabbing eight boards in a win over Memphis, then dropping 36 points in a loss to Gonzaga. Averaging 19.3 points (first among all freshmen) and 8.7 rebounds (fourth among freshmen) and shooting 44.2% from 3.