Who are the impact freshmen to watch?
Matt St. Jean: For the Friars, watch for Legend Geeter to make an impact. We know how Cooley loves his forwards that can play physically with strong defense, and that’s exactly what this freshman brings to the table. While he may be buried on the depth chart at forward, Ed Cooley likes to play deep into his rotation early in the season. Geeter will get opportunities, and it’s up to him to make the most of them. At River Rouge High School in Michigan Geeter was dominant. The staff believes he is more talented than the three-star rating given to him. With leadership from former-Michigan local and Ed Cooley’s first recruit in Providence, Ladontae Henton, being added to the coaching staff, the Friars are hoping Geeter’s game can reach new highs in Providence.
Tommy Godin: Historically, Villanova has not been a program known for reeling in top talent, but when you win two national championships in three years, a lot of things change. Over the past few years, Villanova head coach Jay Wright has consistently assembled some of the top recruiting classes in the country to play for him on the Main Line. One of these players may be a familiar face to some at Villanova, as Trey Patterson will be returning for his freshman campaign this upcoming season. Patterson joined the Wildcats at the start of the spring semester last season after graduating early from Rutgers Preparatory School in Somerset, New Jersey. In 2020, Patterson appeared in two games for the Wildcats, including a March Madness debut in the Round of 32. Patterson was a four-star recruit in high school who just keeps growing his body and his skill set. At 6’9 and 220 pounds, he can guard almost any position on the floor defensively, as well as being an elite scorer both above the rim and beyond the arc. His combination of talent and experience will certainly give him an advantage over the rest of the incoming freshmen in the Big East this year. Look for Patterson to make an immediate impact off the bench for one of Jay Wright’s deepest teams ever.
Chris Novak: I’m going to shine a light on Creighton’s Arthur Kaluma. Kaluma is Creighton’s highest-ranked recruit in their 2021 class. At 6-foot-8 and 205 lbs., he ranks 48th in the nation in the 2021 class and 11th at the power forward position. In an exhibition game against Upper Iowa recently,the Ugandan big man dropped seven points and pulled in nine rebounds, a team-high during the game. If they can get that kind of production out of this youngster, this Creighton team can do some serious damage. He was one of two true freshmen who started the exhibition game along with Ryan Nembhard, who could provide a serious punch in Omaha himself too.
Robert O’Neill: I’m surprised he hasn’t been mentioned yet, but I’m going to go with Preseason Big East Freshman of the Year Aminu Mohammed of the Georgetown Hoyas. Following last season’s miraculous run through the Big East Tournament and NCAA Tournament bid, it felt like things might finally be turning around for Georgetown. With Jahvon Blair graduating, it seems like Mohammad will be able to slide right into the starting lineup. He scored over 2,700 points in his high school career and was a two-time MIssouri Gatorade Player of the Year, a feat most recently accomplished by Jayson Tatum before Mohammad did it.