Each incoming class of freshmen offers the start of a new adventure, both for the players and spectators. However, in some rare cases, you’ll come across a prospect like Cam Newman—who already built a reputation within high school basketball prior to even becoming a freshman. It seems like folks have been talking about the poised floor general for quite a while, and that’s because they have. Even as a young seventh-grader, Newman was a standout amongst his middle-school peers. Fast-forward to now, and it seems like he’s only continued to blossom into the player everyone anticipated. Whether contributing on varsity as an eighth-grader, being a star as a freshman, or playing up two age groups during the summer, this is nothing new for Newman.
To answer the initial question posed in the title: yes. Right now, Newman is arguably the best freshman at any position. He possesses a unique level of IQ, poise, and confidence, but not just for his age. Even if Newman were a junior or senior, the production he’s having on a game-to-game basis is nothing short of impressive. He’s currently posting nightly averages of 16.1 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 3.9 APG, and 2.3 SPG with shooting splits of 43/40/79. The fact that he’s tenth among all freshmen in scoring while shining as a balanced floor general and playing a highly competitive schedule clearly separates him from the rest of the pack. It’s also worth noting that the Eagles have five guys averaging double-digit scoring, and Newman is leading the way.
It’s difficult to say anything other than positives about his overall identity. He’s a polished shot-creator, both for himself and others, with a crafty handle, excellent vision, and the ability to consistently make the correct read with the ball in his hands. Newman is a terrific defender who displays great anticipation, positioning, and a high motor. He’s able to fill it up as a scorer whenever necessary, but typically looks to manage the offense, get others involved, and hit jumpers within the flow of the action. Newman reliably outworks his assignment in all facets of the game, and simply provides a dependable presence on both ends of the floor. Most folks within North Carolina already know his name, but don’t be surprised if national media outlets start buzzing about the point guard prospect.