Welcome back to the Frosh Watch, our weekly ranking of the five most impressive freshmen in college basketball. CBS Sports has once again teamed up with the United States Basketball Writers Association and its Wayman Tisdale Freshman of the Year Award to present this every-Tuesday feature. Each week we'll start by announcing the national Freshman of the Week honoree. The cycle for FOTW runs Tuesday-Monday.
Week ending Mon., Dec. 12: Nick Smith Jr. (6-5, 185, Guard, Jacksonville, Ark. [North Little Rock HS])
Smith Jr. has played in just three games thus far for Arkansas -- four if you count his five minutes off the bench in debuting against Troy in late November when he logged only one rebound and no points -- and yet he's already dazzling in his one (and likely done) season with the Hogs. His Frosh of the Week honors come after 22 and 21 point performances against UNC-Greensboro and Oklahoma, respectively, both of which resulted in wins during the Tuesday-Monday cycle. In that two-game span he went 14-of-30 from the field, 13-of-15 from the free throw line and added six rebounds and four assists to boot.
"Nick can score at the rim, he can score midrange, and he can score it from 3," said OU coach Porter Moser after the Sooners' loss on Saturday. "Three-level scorer. I thought we did a good job in ball-screen defense, and then [Arkansas] just starts spacing you [out]."
Excluding Smith Jr.'s zero-point debut against Troy in which he played just five minutes, he actually leads all freshmen in points per game at 19.7 -- nearly two points clear of Brandon Miller -- after pouring in 16 points, 22 points and 21 points in three straight games for the Razorbacks.