Nunn, Hill on Best Sophs list
This week’s list: A look at the top 10 freshmen from the Big Ten who should have a greater impact on their programs as sophomores, courtesy Marcus Jackson:
The sixth man on the Badgers’ Final Four team had a strong case for Freshman of the Year, if not for Noah Vonleh. His numbers (7.7 points, 2.8 rebounds) will improve with a move to the starting lineup.
Derrick Walton Jr.
Trey Burke’s replacement at point guard went through some growing pains, but he got comfortable as the season went on, averaging 7.9 points and 2.9 assists for Elite Eight Wolverines.
With great expectations, the guard from Simeon started slowly for the Illini, but he kicked it into gear late in the season, averaging 10.3 points per game in the last 12 after entering the starting lineup.
A key cog off the bench for the Badgers during their NCAA tournament run, the point guard averaged 3.5 points for the season, but he scored 11 for Wisconsin in the national semifinal against Kentucky.
Like Nunn, the swingman got better as the season went on. One of Illinois’ most improved players, Hill averaged 6.5 points in 12 games as a starter and made nine of his last 15 three-pointers (60 percent).
The sharpshooter from St. Charles made 16 starts, averaged 8.0 points and made a team-best 64 threes. His best game came late against Michigan State, when he scored a career-high 19 and made 4 of 5 from deep.
Highly recruited guard from Maryland showed flashes of brilliance but was inconsistent, averaging 6.4 points and 2.5 boards. Reached double figures in scoring seven times, including career-best 17 against Iowa.
Talented power forward was a starter from Day 1 in Bloomington, where he was fourth on the team in scoring (7.3 points) and second in rebounding (4.4). Averaged 15 points during his final three games.
The 6-foot-6 guard averaged 4.4 points per game as a rookie, but with Roy Devyn Marble gone, more will be expected of the talented fan favorite in 2014-15.
Known as a gifted scorer, the swingman went through a nasty stretch in which he went 7 of 8 games without making a field goal.