5 Most Impressive Freshman Debuts From 2019 College Basketball Opening Night

By David Hayes
State Farm Champions Classic - Michigan State Spartans v Kentucky Wildcats
State Farm Champions Classic - Michigan State Spartans v Kentucky Wildcats / Emilee Chinn/Getty Images
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The 2019 college basketball season is officially underway, and this year's new lineup of freshman stars certainly came out to shine on Tuesday night's packed opening slate.

With so many new stars and faces in the game each season, here's a look at the five most impressive freshman debuts from the first night of college basketball.

5. Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, PF, Villanova Wildcats

Twitter/@JCREarl
Twitter/@JCREarl /

2019 ESPN Top 100 Recruiting Rank: No. 14
If it weren't for an 0-of-3 line from beyond the arc and five turnovers in his debut, Jeremiah Robinson-Earl could have pushed a little higher on this list. Robinson-Earl helped lead No. 10 Villanova to a 97-54 win over Army, going 9-of-14 from the floor overall for 13 boards and a game-high 24 points. Despite his woes from deep, Robinson-Earl was a perfect 6-of-6 from the charity stripe.

4. Onyeka Okongwu, F, USC Trojans

Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

2019 ESPN Top 100 Recruiting Rank: No. 20
Even though Onyeka Okongwu and USC didn't exactly face the toughest competition in Tuesday night's opener against Florida A&M at home, Okongwu had quite a night. In just 25 minutes of action, the 6-foot-9 freshman dropped a game-high 20 points on 9-of-13 shooting from the floor with a game-high 13 rebounds and an absurd, nation-high eight blocks. Okongwu also added one steal to go along with just two turnover's in his stellar NCAA debut.

3. James Wiseman, C, Memphis Tigers

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

2019 ESPN Top 100 Recruiting Rank: No. 1
After missing each of Memphis's two exhibition games prior to Tuesday night's season opener with a sprained ankle, James Wiseman put an absolute show in the Tigers' 97-64 win over South Carolina State. In just 22 minutes of action, the No. 1 high school recruit in this year's class put up 28 points on 11-of-14 shooting and 11 boards with three blocks. Wiseman also racked up five dunks before the Tigers took an 18-point lead into the half.

2. Anthony Edwards, SG, Georgia Bulldogs

Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

2019 ESPN Top 100 Recruiting Rank: No. 2
Anthony Edwards amassed probably the most robust stat line among the impressive names on this list, totaling 24 points, nine rebounds, four steals and three assists in Georgia's 91-72 win over Western Carolina. Edwards also impressed from deep, going 4-of-7 from the beyond the arc as part of 7-of-16 shooting from the floor and 6-of-8 from the free-throw line.

1. Tyrese Maxey, SG, Kentucky Wildcats

Elsa/Getty Images

2019 ESPN Top 100 Recruiting Rank: No. 13
Despite coming off the bench in No. 2 Kentucky's win over No. 1 Michigan State in Tuesday night's State Farm Champions Classic, Tyrese Maxey scored a game-high 26 points on 7-of-12 shooting (3-of-7 from beyond the arc) and a team-high 32 minutes of action. Maxey gets the top nod on this list largely in part to the stage he used to impress the country after nailing a deep 3-point dagger with under one minute remaining to ice the No. 1 team in the nation, 69-62, under the bright lights at Madison Square Garden.


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David Hayes is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, David Hayes also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username DavidWHayes. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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