There have not been a ton of highly touted freshmen in the history of Arizona State University, but the Sun Devils this year have one, and he has them playing much better. Behind the play of Jahii Carson, ASU has started the season 10-2 and are about to begin Pac-12 play. Carson has played so well, that he has made the Top 10 freshman list by ESPN.
He is currently ranked third in the country among fellow freshmen, compared statistically to Jerryd Bayless, who played for the Arizona Wildcats a few years ago.
Three of the top 20 recruits in the nation enrolled at Arizona this year, but there's little question that the most impressive freshman in the state plays in Tempe. Carson (17.9 ppg) trails only Bennett is scoring, while also ranking in the top five in assists (5.3). It has been 16 years since a freshman averaged 17 and 5 (Seton Hall's Shaheen Holloway in 1996-97). On a team picked to finish 11th in the Pac-12, it's no surprise that the Sun Devils are leaning heavily on Carson. If he turns ASU into a conference contender, he might lock up this award. But keep in mind that the last USBWA Freshman of the Year to miss the NCAA tournament was Eddie Griffin in 2000-01.
If the Devils hope to compete in the Pac-12 and make the NCAA Tournament, they will rely on Carson to take them there.