Resetting the Year of the Freshman

Preseason quotable: "There's a mental adjustment for all freshmen they all have to make. He's in the process of doing that. He's doing a great job with accepting that. But his skill-set is something you can't teach, his quickness, his athleticism, he has a great feel for the game. He really understands the things we're trying to do. He's going to get better every day." -- Duke senior guard Tyler Thornton on Oct. 16.

In-season quotable: "He's a very good player. He's an extremely good athlete and there isn't much from a technical standpoint he's not capable of doing. He s good ball handler, good passer. He is smart. He is quick, athletic and he is focused." -- Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton after Parker scored 14 points and had 14 rebounds in a 78-56 Duke win.

Julius Randle, Kentucky

16.1 PPG | 10.2 RPG

Peaks: In just the third game of the season, against nationally ranked Michigan State, Randle showed a national television audience that he was as advertised. After being contained in the first half, Randle was unstoppable in the second, making eight of nine attempts and scoring 23 of his 27 points. He's had 11 double-doubles in points and rebounds this season.

Valleys: There have been few games in which Randle hasn't simply been a machine. One of those was against North Carolina, when he was never a factor in the game. He's had a recurring issue with cramping, which, most notably, limited him to a season-low 21 minutes against Louisville. Among the stats Randle leads the team in is turnovers. From Boise State to Arkansas, a stretch of seven games, Randle had two assists and 21 turnovers.

Key stat: Randle is starting to realize he doesn't have to do it all. Three games before LSU he had a combined 10 assists, which is nearly a third of his total (33) for the season.

Preseason quotable: "I come in last night. I'm in my office about 11:00 (p.m.), 10:30. He's in there shooting. This morning, I hear bump, bump, bump, and I look out my window in the morning, and he's got a full sweat going, and he's going to practice today. So when you ask me, does he have a chance at (National Player of the Year)? Yes, he does because of that. The only kid that worked like that that I've had has been a Brandon Knight." Kentucky coach John Calipari on Oct. 15.

In-season quotable: "You have to understand, he's in a dogfight. I think right now that he's the only college player that when he catches the ball, he's got three guys on him. I don't know if there's another college player. You'd have to tell me who that would be. And they're being physical. So he's not just running down the court, he's like in a football game." Calipari on Jan. 11 after Randle scored seven points against Vanderbilt.

Andrew Wiggins, Kansas

16.5 PPG | 6.1 RPG

Peaks: Wiggins got the better of his matchup with Duke's Parker on Nov. 12 by going for 22 points, and he owned Iowa State, going for 17 points and 19 rebounds. Wiggins' defensive abilities are sometimes overlooked. His latest example came after Baylor's Brady Heslip was 4-for-4 from 3-point range in the first half. Wiggins took over the defensive assignment and made him a nonfactor in the second half. He's posted career-highs in each of his last two games entering Saturday's visit to Texas (27 points at TCU, 29 points vs. Iowa State). 

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