UK Men's Basketball

Charting college basketball’s top freshmen: How the highly touted recruits of 2015 fared this season

Jamal Murray helped lead Kentucky to the SEC Tournament title Sunday. He has already set the school record for points scored by a freshman — 685 in 34 games so far this season.
Jamal Murray helped lead Kentucky to the SEC Tournament title Sunday. He has already set the school record for points scored by a freshman — 685 in 34 games so far this season. palcala@herald-leader.com

The college basketball regular season and conference tournaments are finished, and it’s time for the real March Madness to begin.

This year’s NCAA Tournament will feature 17 of the Top 25 recruits from the class of 2015, but there are some notable absences. No. 1 recruit Ben Simmons didn’t make the Big Dance and won’t be playing any postseason basketball at all. Big names like Henry Ellenson, Malik Newman and Stephen Zimmerman — all once UK targets — will also be missing from the tournament.

Plenty of talented freshmen will be there, though, and Kentucky has one of the best in Jamal Murray, who has already set the school’s freshman scoring record with 685 points and led all Top 25 recruits from the class of 2015 — including Simmons — in scoring this season. Murray needs just 82 more points — doable at this stage in the season — to achieve the third-highest scoring season in UK history.

Some of UK’s former recruiting targets — such as Jaylen Brown and Brandon Ingram — have excelled this season. Others, like Kansas duo Carlton Bragg and Cheick Diallo, have struggled to find ample playing time.

Check out the chart below for updated season stats for each of the Top 25 recruits from last year (and UK and Louisville freshmen who were ranked outside the Top 25).

Charting the top recruits from the class of 2015

Rk

Player

School

MPG

PPG

RPG

Other stats

NCAA seed

1

Ben Simmons

LSU

34.9

19.2

11.8

4.8 apg, 2.0 spg

None

2

Skal Labissiere

Kentucky

15.6

6.5

3.1

1.6 bpg

4

3

Brandon Ingram

Duke

33.9

16.7

6.8

40.0% threes

4

4

Jaylen Brown

Cal

27.9

15.0

5.5

30.0% threes

4

5

Cheick Diallo

Kansas

7.5

2.8

2.5

22 blocks

1

6

Diamond Stone

Maryland

22.6

12.9

5.5

56.6% FGs

5

7

Ivan Rabb

Cal

28.4

12.5

8.5

62.2% FGs

4

8

Malik Newman

Miss. St.

27.7

11.3

2.8

37.9% threes

None

9

Henry Ellenson

Marquette

33.5

17.0

9.7

44.6% FGs

None

10

Jamal Murray

Kentucky

35.2

20.1

5.1

42.1% threes

4

11

Stephen Zimmerman

UNLV

26.6

10.5

8.7

47.7% FGs

None

12

Isaiah Briscoe

Kentucky

32.3

9.6

5.2

3.3 apg

4

13

Allonzo Trier

Arizona

28.1

15.0

3.3

36.5% threes

6

14

Derryck Thornton

Duke

26.6

7.6

2.0

2.5 apg

4

15

Chase Jeter

Duke

7.6

1.6

1.7

27 games

4

16

Antonio Blakeney

LSU

30.8

12.6

3.4

33.5% threes

None

17

Dwayne Bacon

Florida St.

28.7

15.6

5.8

29.1% threes

None

18

Caleb Swanigan

Purdue

25.8

10.4

8.2

45.8% FGs

5

19

Ray Smith

Arizona

Torn ACL

6

20

Thomas Bryant

Indiana

22.5

11.6

5.8

68.6% FGs

5

21

Luke Kennard

Duke

25.4

11.8

3.2

33.3% threes

4

22

Jalen Brunson

Villanova

24.1

9.9

1.8

36.8% threes

2

23

Jalen Adams

UConn

23.4

7.3

2.6

35 steals

9

24

Carlton Bragg

Kansas

9.1

4.1

2.4

58.1 FG%

1

25

P.J. Dozier

South Carolina

18.8

6.6

3.0

33 steals

None

30

Donovan Mitchell

Louisville

19.1

7.4

3.4

44.2% FGs

None

36

Deng Adel

Louisville

12.1

4.0

2.1

45.6% FGs

None

43

Ray Spalding

Louisville

17.5

5.6

4.3

56.0% FGs

None

50

Isaac Humphries

Kentucky

9.5

2.0

2.5

73.3 FT%

4

59

Charles Matthews

Kentucky

10.6

1.7

1.7

15 steals

4

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