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FABULOUS FRESHMEN

Every season, there are a handful of freshmen who have an immediate impact on their teams _ half of those seemingly coming from Kentucky, sort of a clearinghouse for the nation’s best 18 and 19-year-olds under coach John Calipari.

Well, he’s got another stellar group and there are a few more fab freshmen who could play a big role for their teams this season. Here’s a few:

Anthony Davis, Kentucky. Coach Cal has been hit with more than his share of one-and-done stars, but always seems to find another diamond to take their place. Davis is the latest freshman star in the making, an athletic and versatile big man who was rated the No. 1 overall prospect by many recruiting services.

Andre Drummond, Connecticut. The Huskies lost King Kemba to the NBA. Drummond, a dominating center, gives them a realistic shot at repeating as champions.

Josiah Turner, Arizona. Wildcats coach Sean Miller has shown off his chops as a recruiter, consistently bringing in some of the best classes in the country. He did it again with a 2011 group that includes Turner, a big, pass-first point guard who should help ease the loss of Derrick Williams in the desert.

Austin Rivers, Duke. The son of former NBA player and current Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers, Austin is, no surprise, a heady player. He knows how to get an offense flowing and has a good range of his jumper, which should help the Blue Devils after Kyrie Irving left for the NBA.

Jabari Brown, Oregon. The Ducks are a sleeper pick in the reconfigured Pac-12 and Brown is a key reason. The shooting guard is known for hit 3-point touch, but can drive to the basket as well.

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NUMBERS

2_Number of ACL injuries suffered by Purdue forward Robbie Hummel, who, cross your fingers, should be a dominant force in the Big Ten this season.

4_Number of guards Florida coach Billy Donovan could use on the court at the same time this season.

7_Straight times Kansas has won or shared the Big 12 title, a string that even Jayhawks coach Bill Self says could be in jeopardy.

7-2_Odds for North Carolina to win the national title this season, lowest from Bodog.com.

10_NCAA tournament wins by Butler the past two seasons, two more than Duke, the next closest team.

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