In a year when the Big Ten’s freshman class made much more of an impact than last season, picking a five-man outfit of rookie players was an arduous process. That difficulty exhibits that the future of the league is in good hands if the majority of these players stick around for several years at their respective schools. That’s probably wishful thinking for a couple of them, but here’s our RTC Big Ten All-Freshman Team.
- D’Angelo Russell, Ohio State (19.2 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 5.2 APG, 42.2% 3FG)
- Melo Trimble, Maryland (16.1 PPG, 3.1 APG, 1.3 SPG, 87.6% FT)
- James Blackmon Jr., Indiana (15.8 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 82.1% FT, 38.5% 3FG)
- Bryant McIntosh, Northwestern (11.4 PPG, 4.7 APG, 84.8% FT, 36.4% 3FG)
- Jae’Sean Tate, Ohio State (8.9 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 0.9 SPG, 59.8% FG)
Tate really came on once he became a starter, as his numbers jumped to 12.1 PPG and 5.5 RPG over the last 12 games. An undersized power forward, the Ohio native plays much bigger than his listed height of 6’4″. McIntosh was not the most highly-touted member of Northwestern’s five-man recruiting class this season but he admirably assumed the point guard duties right away. He has some defensive issues to improve but he is an adept passer with the ability to make shots from deep and score in a variety of other ways. Blackmon Jr. was one of many three-point bombers on an Indiana team that ranked third in the nation in shooting the three (41.0%). His numbers dipped late in the season ( 22-of-68 from three in his last 11 games), but he still led the Hoosiers in scoring 12 times on the year. In many seasons Trimble would have been the clear Freshman of the Year as he led Maryland to a highly-surprising 26-5 regular season mark. He’s not a pure point guard in terms of his passing abilities but his skill in finishing plays coupled with a respectable 39.1 percent mark from three-point land makes him a major reason why the Terps are back on the national scene.