UConn's Moore leads list of this year's top freshmen
Posted: Friday January 25, 2008 4:58PM; Updated: Friday January 25, 2008 4:58PM
Busier schedules. Tougher practices. Stronger and quicker athletes.
The transition from high school to college basketball is supposed to be a difficult one. Evidently, someone forgot to tell a several of the nation's top freshmen that. Here's a look at five rookies who are making an immediate impact.
1. Maya Moore, F, UConn
In a program filled with stars, Moore has shined the brightest. Moore, who has already broken a Huskies record by reaching double figures in her first 18 college games, is leading Connecticut with 16.8 points a game. What's more, the 6-foot forward shoots better than 50 percent from the field and is one of the Huskies' most accurate three-point threats.
2. Angie Bjorklund, F, Tennessee
Moore may be the nation's best freshman, but Bjorklund is not far behind. A 6-foot forward, she shoots 42 percent from beyond the arc and has the ability to extend defenses and take the load off the inside players.
"There's a reason that she's in the lineup," Tennessee coach Pat Summitt said after the Vols' win over Arkansas on Thursday. "She's a very efficient offensive player. Her teammates are always looking for her. It takes the pressure off of our offense and opens up our inside game."
3. Kayla Pederson, C, Stanford
At 6-4, Pederson is a big presence in the paint. She has grabbed 111 defensive boards this season and has also helped the Cardinal to a plus-eight rebounding edge.
4. Jantel Lavender, C, Ohio State
Things have been a little rough for Ohio State in the first year without All-America Jessica Davenport. But Lavender, a 6-4 center, is giving the Buckeyes reason to hope for the future. Lavender is leading Ohio State in scoring and rebounding with 16.7 points and 10.3 boards a game. She's been named Big Ten player of the week three times, something no Buckeye has done since Kelly Mazzante during the 2000-01 season.
5. Danielle Robinson, G, Oklahoma
No team would be complete without a point guard. Like most newcomers, Robinson has had her growing pains. She had a tough time against slowing Baylor senior Angela Tisdale, who put up 35 points against the Sooners earlier this week. Moments like that, though, shouldn't overshadow the contributions Robinson has made in her first season. She averages 13.5 points and leads the Sooners with 68 assists and 38 steals.