Breakdown of the Freshman of the Year race in each Power 6 league

(Photo: Courtesy of Alabama Athletics)

Brandon MillerAlabama: Miller has been phenomenal this season. The 6-foot-9 wing is just wired to score, and no one can stop him. When Alabama needs him to go off, he’s capable of flirting with 30+ points every single night. Miller is a legitimate National Player of the Year contender, and his numbers (19.8 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 45% from 3) are insanely good.

Anthony BlackArkansas: Black would be a Freshman of the Year frontrunner in a lot of conferences. But he’s got some work to do to catch up to Miller. That doesn’t take anything away from his brilliance in a harder-than-expected role. Arkansas has had to lean heavily on Black, and he’s responded in a big way. Black is averaging 12.7 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game. Black can get into the lane whenever he wants, and he’s been an impactful defender for Eric Musselman and Co.

Cason WallaceKentucky: No freshman is a better perimeter defender than Wallace. Kentucky’s 6-foot-4 guard is absolutely nasty on the ball, and he’s shooting it from 3-point range really well, too at 39.5%. Kentucky has had a rollercoaster season, but Wallace has been a breath of fresh air thanks to his toughness and all-out effort on both ends of the floor.

GG JacksonSouth Carolina: Jackson ranks second among SEC freshmen at 15.9 points per game. Jackson is also ripping down 6.7 boards per game. South Carolina needs him to take a bunch of tough shots, and he’s certainly obliged, which can be a double-edged sword. Jackson has proven he can be a big-time scorer and NBA executives will undoubtedly be salivating at the chance to draft a prospect like him. But the inefficient shooting nights can be killers against good teams.

Julian PhillipsTennessee: The Vols have a ton of other guys who can score, but Phillips is not afraid to do the dirty work. He’s an elite offensive rebounder who has proven he can do really good things when the ball is in his hands. Phillips has come on strong as of late and is one of Tennessee’s best five players already. Phillips is averaging 10.3 points and 5.5 rebounds per game, but those numbers could spike.

Noah ClowneyAlabama: Clowney has to share the spotlight and the shots with a rotation that can go 10 deep, but when he’s out on the floor, the Alabama freshman is one of the most impactful two-way players in the country. Clowney’s rim protection and rebounding have been huge, and he’s showcased a soft touch around the basket. Clowney is a stud.

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