Al McGuire's famous phrase – "The best thing about freshmen is that they become sophomores" – has been part of the college basketball lexicon for so long that it's essentially accepted without much thought.
Now it requires even less thought 'cause it's a fact, courtesy of temnpo-free stats.
And for that, we have the Big Ten Geeks to thank.
They spent the summer looking at the statistical profiles of every BCS player was who was a freshman between 2000 and 2005 (with some filters) and found that players show the greatest improvement between freshman and sophomore year.
Let that sink in.
Forget the sophomore slump. On average, players show the most improvement after their freshman season. There are exceptions – as they note – and it's not a hard and fast rule. But it's a pretty telling fact about most college players. Blake Griffin is a prime example.
And it also shouldn't discount that some freshmen will have a big impact (read: John Wall), though not all of them will live up to the media hype.
(Their link also includes five aerial grafs showing how their tempo-free stats are represented on average from freshman to senior years.)
So what's this mean?
Teams that relied heavily on freshmen last year and have those players back this season could have a pretty nice jump. Among our Top 25, that includes Kansas, Michigan State, West Virginia, Washington, Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio State, Louisville.