Freshmen who have also had strong starts
Nate Calmese, G, Lamar
Calmese plays at a smaller school in Lamar, but has been one of the top freshman stat wise throughout the season, scoring 16 points per contest. The 6-foot-2 guard already has 25, 27 and 31-point games on his resume this season.
Connor Essegian, G, Wisconsin
Essegian has brought much-needed scoring to the Badgers, and has become one of the top deep-shooting threats in the Big Ten already this year. On the season, Essegian is averaging 10.6 points while shooting 46% from 3-point range, and his best game of the season came against No. 3 Kansas – a Battle 4 Atlantis contest in which he dropped 17 points.
Aidan Mahaney, G, Saint Mary’s
Saint Mary’s always seems to produce good guards, and Mahaney is next in line. He has averaged 13.6 points early on this season for Randy Bennett, scoring 20 or more points in three contests while continuing to earn more and more minutes for a solid 10-4 Gaels squad.
Jackson Paveletzke, G, Wofford
A native of Kimberly, Wisconsin, Paveletzke has put together a strong first collegiate season thus far, scoring in double figures in all but two games for Wofford, while also putting together 20-plus-point games in three of his last four contests. On the year, the 6-foot-3 guard is averaging nearly 16 points and over four assists.
Jordan Pope, G, Oregon State
College basketball on the West Coast can be overlooked at times, but Pope deserves a mention here. Thus far, he is averaging 13.5 points and around three rebounds and assists each for the Oregon State Beavers, scoring in double figures in all but two of the games he’s played thus far.
Braden Smith, G, Purdue
Someone from the No. 1 team in the nation would be expected to be somewhere on this list, and while it could also be teammate Fletcher Loyer, Braden Smith has been a do-it-all guy for the 12-0 Boilermakers. Averaging 9.3 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.6 assists, the 6-foot standout has shown the toughness and scrappiness you’d expect from a Big Ten point guard.
Cade Tyson, F, Belmont
Tyson is another guy who plays for a smaller school in Belmont, but what the 6-foot-7 forward is doing should not be overlooked. Currently, he is averaging nearly 14 points and almost five rebounds as one of the most consistent contributors on an 8-5 Bruins squad.
Cason Wallace, G, Kentucky
This year’s freshman class for Kentucky isn’t what it usually is, but Cason Wallace has stood above the rest. After some up-and-down performances, he is getting better each game, with his best performance coming in the Wildcats’ most-recent contest against Florida A&M as he scored 27 points, dished out nine assists and had four steals.