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TGS 2016 COLLEGE HOOPS ALL-NEWCOMER TEAM!

     by Bruce Marshall, Goldsheet.com Editor and TGS Staff


TGS 2016 ALL-NEWCOMER TEAM

JAMAL MURRAY, 6-5 Fr., Kentucky
JAYLEN BROWN, 6-7 Fr., California
BRANDON INGRAM, 6-9 Fr., Duke
HENRY ELLENSON, 6-11 Fr., Marquette
CAMERON OLIVER, 6-8 Fr., Nevada
BEN SIMMONS, 6-10 Fr., LSU

NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR: Jamal Murray, Kentucky...After several years of freshmen dominating the scene, 2015-16 truly was the "Year of the Upperclassmen" if not the "Year of the Seniors" in college hoops. A refreshing change, if you ask us, and one we expanded upon in a late-January editorial, when pointing out just a handful of true frosh in the starting lineups, or making any meaningful contributions at all, for top ten teams in the previous week's poll.

Our "All-Newcomer" team for 2015-16 somewhat reflects those developments of the fast-concluding season, as the only one of our honorees still active into late March was Nevada frosh PF Cam Oliver, his Wolf Pack involved in the CBI finals vs. Morehead State. None of the other "All-Newcomers" participated in the Big Dance past the Sweet 16 (and only one played for a team to make it that far), and two of them toiled for teams that didn't make the postseason at all.

But many of the top newcomers were impactful as usual, and when seeking one that stood out among the rest, it was not an easy call. Consistent with the tone of the season, we effectively let the top newcomers eliminate themselves in our discussions before arriving at our "NCOY" for 2015-16.

In the end there was consensus for Kentucky's Murray, whose impact admittedly might not compare with past winners such as recent Wildcat predecessors Anthony Davis and Karl-Anthony Towns, or Duke's Jahlil Okafor, the latter who shared our award last season with Towns. Still, we thought Murray offered just a bit more than the others, especially when his campaign hit overdrive at midseason, fueling a Kentucky ascent that made the Wildcats among the most dangerous teams in the country and one of the favorites entering the Dance, though an unfortunate bit of seeding by the selection committee and a too-soon-in-the-tourney matchup vs. dangerous Indiana would end up scuttling yet another UK Final Four bid.

By John Calipari Wildcat standards, this was not a vintage UK edition in 2015-16, as the frontliners, including the ballyhooed frosh Skal Labissiere, were all bothered by inconsistency or, in the case of Alex Poythress, more injuries. With Labissiere, Poythress, and 6-9 Marcus Lee never seeming to hit stride at the same time, and Calipari forced to juggle his rotations at midseason when inserting 6-9 Derek Willis into the starting lineup, the Wildcats became perimeter-oriented by necessity, with soph PG Tyler Ulis the driving force. His partner in crime, however, was Murray, who displayed a smooth all-around game from the wing and for a while become one of the most dangerous players in the country, taking over several games and scoring 21 or more points in each of a breathless 12-game stretch into early March. No newcomer dominated action over such an extended period of time this season, and even when shots weren't falling as easily in the Dance, such as when he missed 8 of 9 triples in the second round exit vs. the Hoosiers, Murray was still productive, scoring 16 points and gathering seven rebounds, while adding four assists in the close loss vs. IU. He was finding other ways to contribute, and even helped UK forge a brief lead in the late going before one last Indiana surge decided the game.

In the end, Murray's stats were certainly All-Newcomer worthy, tallying 20 ppg and 5.2 rpg, shooting almost 41% beyond the arc while converting better than 78% of his free throws. And in a year in which no newcomer dominated as has been the case in seasons past, we thought Murray came closest, and did so with some flair, doing just a bit more than the other candidates. Not an easy choice this season, but the best available, we believe.

Meanwhile, consistent with many recent TGS All-Newcomer teams, we will likely have only a short while to enjoy the honorees at the college level. The new and more liberal NBA entry procedures and the "camp" to evaluate the players takes much of the eligibility risk away from underclassmen, who can now try out in supervised competition with others before deciding whether to withdraw their names from consideration for the draft. As always, only by hiring an agent beforehand does a player forfeit a return to college. Our "All-Newcomer" team might have been ready en masse to test the NBA regardless in the change of procedures...they'll just have more company later this spring. Stay tuned for further developments.

Following is another TGS tradition, our additional "newcomer" teams divided by region for the just-completed campaign; check out the pdf version for the historic all-time list of our  "newcomer" teams dating back to the 1956-57 season, when our first such team featured a couple of guys you might have heard of before...Elgin Baylor and Wilt Chamberlain.

BIG EAST/IVY

EVAN BOUDREAUX, 6-8 Fr., Dartmouth
HENRY ELLENSON, 6-11 Fr., Marquette
ELI CAIN, 6-6 Fr., DePaul
EDMOND SUMNER, 6-6 Fr., Xavier
HAANIF CHEATHAM, 6-5 Fr., Marquette
JAYLEN BRUNSON, 6-2 Fr., Villanova

ATLANTIC 10/CAA

C.J. BRYCE, 6-5 Fr., UNCW
JARRELL BRANTLEY, 6-7 Fr., Charleston
JAIRE GRAYER, 6-4 Fr., George Mason
JOSEPH CHARTOUNY, 6-3 Fr., Fordham
JERMAINE BISHOP, 6-1 Fr., Saint Louis
OTIS LIVINGSTON, 5-11 Fr., George Mason

ACC/BIG SOUTH

DWAYNE BACON, 6-7 Fr., Florida State
BRANDON INGRAM, 6-9 Fr., Duke
MALACHI RICHARDSON, 6-6 Fr., Syracuse
MALIK BEASLEY, 6-5 Fr., Florida State
BRYANT CRAWFORD, 6-3 Fr., Wake Forest
CHRIS CLEMONS, 5-9 Fr., Campbell

AAC/SUN BELT/OVC

DEDRIC LAWSON, 6-8 Fr., Memphis
NICK MAYO, 6-9 Fr., Eastern Kentucky
ROB GRAY, 6-2 Soph, Houston
JAHMAL MCMURRAY, 6-0 Fr., South Florida
TOOKIE BROWN, 5-11 Fr., Georgia Southern
MARCUS JOHNSON, JR., 5-11 Jr., Little Rock

SEC/SOCON

BEN SIMMONS, 6-10 Fr., LSU
TYLER DAVIS, 6-10 Fr., Texas A&M
QUINNDARY WEATHERSPOON, 6-4 Fr., Mississippi State
JAMAL MURRAY, 6-5 Fr., Kentucky
T.J. CROMER, 6-3 Jr., East Tennessee State
KEVAUGHN ALLEN, 6-2 Fr., Florida

BIG TEN/MAC

CALEB SWANIGAN, 6-9 Fr., Purdue
JAMES THOMPSON IV, 6-10 Fr., Eastern Michigan
THOMAS BRYANT, 6-10 Fr., Indiana
DIAMOND STONE, 6-11 Fr., Maryland
ETHAN HAPP, 6-9 Fr., Wisconsin
JORDAN MURPHY, 6-6 Fr., Minnesota

MISSOURI VALLEY/HORIZON

DIKEMBE DIXSON, 6-7 Fr., UIC
MARKIS McDUFFIE, 6-8 Fr., Wichita State
ROB EDWARDS, 6-3 Fr., Cleveland State
DWAYNE LAUTIER-OGUNLEYE, 6-3 Fr., Bradley
DEQUON MILLER, 5-10 Jr., Missouri State
JORDAN JOHNSON, 5-9 Jr., Milwaukee

BIG 12/C-USA

KERWIN ROACH, 6-4 Fr., Texas
DEAN WADE, 6-10 Fr., Kansas State
ANDRIEN WHITE, 6-3 Fr., Charlotte
JON DAVIS, 6-2 Fr., Charlotte
MARCUS EVANS, 6-2 Fr., Rice
JAWUN EVANS, 6-0 Fr., Oklahoma State

MOUNTAIN WEST/BIG SKY

BRANDON CLARKE, 6-7 Fr., San Jose State
CAMERON OLIVER, 6-8 Fr., Nevada
CULLEN RUSSO, 6-9 Jr., Fresno State
JEREMY HEMSLEY, 6-4 Fr., San Diego State
TYLER HALL, 6-4 Fr., Montana State
ETHAN TELFAIR, 6-0 Jr., Idaho State

PAC-12/WAC

JAYLEN BROWN, 6-7 Fr., California
BENNIE BOATWRIGHT, 6-10 Fr., Southern Cal
IVAN RABB, 6-11 Fr., California
ALLONZO TRIER, 6-6 Fr., Arizona
DEJOUNTE MURRAY, 6-4 Fr., Washington
TYLER DORSEY, 6-4 Fr., Oregon

WCC/BIG WEST

SECEAN JOHNSON, 6-5 Jr., UC Riverside
EVAN FITZNER, 6-10 Fr., Saint Mary's
KHALIL AHMAD, 6-4 Fr., CS Fullerton
JOSH PERKINS, 6-3 Fr., Gonzaga
NICK EMERY, 6-2 Fr., BYU
K.J. FEAGIN, 6-1 Fr., Santa Clara


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