How about a little bit of both?
Still, it's hard not to get just a little bit excited about watching the incoming freshmen. Here are 16 I'm excited to watch. (And no, Renardo Sidney isn't on here. Odds are he won't be able to play this year.)
Shawn Rocco/The News & Observer
|John Wall figures to star at Kentucky this season.
Kenny Boynton, Florida
If there's a bright side to Nick Calathes' early departure, it's that it gives Boynton more chances to shine. The 6-2, 187-pound guard can play the point, but he's better as a scoring guard, either with or without the ball in his hands. He'll hit the 3 or go by the defender. (Like this.)
Even if the Gators miss the NCAA tournament, they'll still a good bet to end up on SportsCenter because of Boynton's highlights. Maybe that's not ideal for Billy Donovan's team, but it's a tantalizing thought as a viewer.
Getting goose bumps just thinking about when he goes one-on-one with John Wall…
Avery Bradley, Texas
Should be the second coming of Russell Westbrook. By most accounts, Bradley's an elite defender. Maybe the country's best.
"He's going to find ways to put the ball in the basket, but he doesn't care about scoring," Texas coach Rick Barnes told CBSSportsline.com. "Avery wants to be a lockdown defender. He wants to be the best defender in the country, and he's not just talking it. It's what he does."
Apparently Bradley (6-3, 180) is the rare player who wants to play defense. And in today's game, when everyone else just wants to score, that kind of player is exceedingly valuable. He also tends to have highlight-reel dunks.
DeMarcus Cousins, Kentucky
Think Derrick Coleman. In every sense of the word.
Cousins, 6-10, 250 pounds, can play in the post or handle the ball and play along the perimeter. It's a tantalizing mix of size and skill, much like Coleman was entering Syracuse in 1986.
But he also reportedly has Coleman's worth ethic. If Cousins feels like playing, he dominates. If not, you may not see him. However, Kentucky coach John Calipari has heard all of this and isn't about to let Cousins coast.
"You can't be a lumbering big man who just sets screens and just posts up," Calipari said after Cousins signed with UK. "I don't have a place for you."
That's good news for Kentucky, and bad for everyone else.
Derrick Favors, Georgia Tech
Georgia Tech hasn't been relevant nationally since their 2004 run to the Final Four. Two winning seasons in five years? Ouch.
Enter Favors, perhaps the best NBA prospect among the freshmen – including Wall. If the Jackets are going to make an impact in the ACC, let alone return to the NCAA tournament, they'll need Favors to do what he does best: grab every rebound in sight and intimidate foes.
And honestly, who wants to bang around the hoops with Favors? At 6-9 and 246 pounds, he's bigger than some NBA power forwards. Watching a freshmen push around the older guys is always a kick.
Abdul Gaddy, Washington
Lorenzo Romar has already said his Huskies are going to a quick, quick team this season. And Gaddy's the guy who's going to make that machine run. (In this case, the local kid backing out on Arizona was cause for celebration in Seattle.)
The freshman point guard not named John Wall, Gaddy's a pass-first point guard who thrives in the open court, though he ain't too shabby running an offense and isn't afraid to take his shot.
Isaiah Thomas, Gaddy's likely backcourt mate, is already dreaming about the easier scoring opportunities because of Gaddy's passing and savvy.
Keith Gallon, Oklahoma
Jeff Capel is concerned about how his Sooners will rebound this season, which is fair given that Blake Griffin's gone. "We're going to have to really gang rebound," Capel said. "If somebody wants to play -- become a really good rebounder."
Sounds like the ideal situation for Gallon, a 6-9, 300-pound beast of a power forward. He'll be likened to ex-Michigan star Tractor Traylor, with good reason. Gallon's footwork and skill defy his bulk. He's just as likely to snare a cross-court pass and dish to a guard streaking down the lane and he is to bull into a over a defender.
Jordan Hamilton, Texas
It's almost unfair the Longhorns have two freshmen the caliber of Hamilton and Avery Bradley. It's quite the pair, too. Bradley's the defensive stopper at guard and Hamilton's a high-flying, 6-7 wing who can score from anywhere.
Hamilton may not be as crucial to Texas' Big 12 title hopes – it's a perimeter-heavy roster, including guards Justin Mason, Jai Lucas and forwards Damion James and Gary Johnson – but he's the most likely to turn in the highlight-reel play, making him the more entertaining of the two.
Xavier Henry, Kansas
Every team could use a 6-6 deadeye shooter. But adding a guy like that to the preseason favorites? That's an intoxicating mix.
Henry missed time during his senior season in high school because of an injury from a car accident, but the early word out of Lawrence is that Henry hasn't missed a beat. In fact, he's already blowing away his teammates during pick-up games.
"He's a tough guy to guard. When he gets hot, no one can stop him. We play first to seven or nine (baskets). One game he scored all of his team's seven points," junior guard Conner Teahan told the Lawrence Journal-World.
Henry won't have to carry the scoring load for the Jayhawks. They're too deep and too talented to have just one player do it all. But Henry can. And in some games, he will. Don't miss it.
John Henson, North Carolina
In case you didn't hear, the Tar Heels lost a few players from their title squad. But if there's a guy who can fill several shoes at once, it's Henson.
The 6-10 forward can play in the post (imagine a frontline of Henson, Deon Thompson and Ed Davis…) or on the wing, though he could struggle against quicker small forwards. Henson can do a lot of things well, rather than excelling in any one area, which is another boost for a team that has to fill a lot of spots.
Tyler Honeycutt, UCLA
The big question in Westwood: Which star freshman will Honeycutt resemble -- Kevin Love or Jrue Holiday? Not that Holiday was bad, he just couldn't carry the Bruins the way Love did. (Then again, not many freshmen play as well as Love did.)
So Honeycutt, a 6-8 swingman, gets the task of helping to ensure UCLA doesn't stumble too much after losing four starters from last year's 26-9 team. Sure, Malcolm Lee, Michael Roll and Nikola Dragovic will be the go-to guys, but don't discount Honeycutt. He's a solid shot blocker, rebounder and smart passer.
John Jenkins, Vanderbilt
Vandy's stellar 2007-08 season was built around A.J. Ogilvy's inside game and Shan Foster's perimeter scoring. Ogilvy, healthy and ready for this season, must be hoping Jenkins can play Foster role in 2009-10.
The 6-4 shooting guard may struggle creating his own shot, but he'll thrive coming off screens or waiting along the 3-point line for any double-teams kick outs from Ogilvy.
Though, don't expect him to only play on the outside. Jenkins will throw down some nasty dunks, too.
Michael Snaer, Florida State
The 'Noles can't rely on Toney Douglas anymore. Good thing Snaer's headed to Tallahasse. They may not miss a beat.
The 6-5 Snaer is everything you'd expect out of a McDonald's All-American shooting guard: a player with hops, scoring knack and excellent range. FSU already has a monster frontcourt in Solomon Alabi and Chris Singleton. Snaer's role will be to stretch the floor and open up scoring chances down low for those guys.
Lance Stephenson, Cincinnati
This video speaks volumes about Stephenson: Explosive and flashy. But it also leaves you wanting more.
Cincinnati may feel the same way after this season.
Stephenson is considered one of the best high school players in New York history and is the school's biggest recruit since Bob Huggins' heyday. He's surely a one-and-done player, who could help the Bearcats onto the highlights reels.
Still, he's a volume scorer who likes having the ball in his hands. Sure, he'll get you 20 points a game, but how many shots will it take? Is he more flash than substance?
Dante Taylor, Pittsburgh
Replacing Sam Young, Levance Fields and DeJuan Blair is too much for any one player. But Taylor's a good start.
Consider the 6-9 forward (who won the skills competition at the McDonald's game) a blend of Young's scoring knack and Blair's rebounding. He's not quite as burly as Blair, but who is?
More interesting for Taylor is the broken foot of shooting guard Jermaine Dixon, who won't be ready until late November. That puts more pressure on Taylor to handle the scoring load, but it could help him get ready for the Big East slate. And that's never a bad thing.
Even if Kentucky hadn't landed its other prize prospects (Cousins, Daniel Orton and Eric Bledsoe), Wall would've been enough to cement the 'Cats as a contender. He's that talented. The consensus top recruit for 2009 is dynamite with the ball in his hands, an excellent finisher and boasts excellent size. His jumper isn't great, but good enough.
"I think John Wall is the most difficult guard in America to check," Scout.com recruiting analyst Dave Telep told the Sporting News. "I don't think that's going to change much from high school to college. He's a major problem for 99 percent of the defenders he's going to face."
Yes, Wall sounds like a former John Calipari player, Derrick Rose. And how did Rose fare on the court? Exactly.
Wall's talented enough to lead the 'Cats to the national title and be the national player of the year. And best of all? It'll be a blast to watch.
Mouphtaou Yarou, Villanova
The Wildcats have the guards to return to the Final Four. What remains to be seen is if Yarou is the guy who can replace Dante Cunningham, who merely did all the dirty work in the post and on the boards.
At 6-9 and 240 pounds, Yarou has the size. But how he handles the rugged Big East will be crucial. Is he going to be able to handle guys like Georgetown's Greg Monroe, UConn's Stanley Robinson or Louisville's Samardo Samuels? That's the big question.