The Next Big Thing?
After watching ESPN’s College Gameday preview show for the 2007/08 basketball season, three freshmen players were highlighted as potential superstars. The three players have all been given their own labels – the new Kobe, the new D-Wade….even the new Jordan. Let’s see what all the fuss is about…

Derrick Rose

Height: 6’4″
College: Memphis
Position: Guard
Comparison: Jason Kidd

Rose’s highlight videos have him doing a wide range of dunks, but his true value is in his lightning speed and foresight, able to dish in seemingly impossible situations. He’s a true playmaker, who also has the ability and fearlessness to drive to the basket at will. His perimeter shooting, once seen as his weak-spot, has been a strength in his opening pair of matches for Memphis – shooting 58% and carrying his new team to the semi-finals of the 2K Sports College Hoops Classic (to be played on the 15th November).

OJ Mayo

Height: 6’5″
College: Univeristy of South California (USC)
Position: Guard
Comparison: Kobe Bryant

The hoops hype machine has been working overtime for Mayo, largely due to issues off the court. In January, after being ejected from a high-school game he allegedly assaulted one of the officials, earning himself a two game suspension. This ban was overturned after video evidence seemed to suggest the referee overreacted to what little contact there was between them.More controversy followed in March, when Mayo was ticketed by police for posession of marijuana. This charge was dropped when a (very rich in the future?) friend claimed responsibility for the weed, which had been found in a car that Mayo was riding in.On the court, Mayo is a monster. He has speed, great hands, size, vision and inside strength.

Kevin Love

Height: 6’10”
College: UCLA
Position: Center
Comparison: Dirk Nowitzki

Kevin Love makes the job of headline writers easy. Not just because of his name (marketability: A+), but because of the raw materials that he puts to good use every time he steps onto the floor. He’s a big (270lbs) centre with an eye for inch perfect, court-length outlet passes and a soft touch from the 3-point line. He is known as an NBA historian, and has grown up with some serious pedigree (his father, a former NBA player, had him watch videos of the Showtime Lakers as a child). His biggest weakness was seen to be that he was, at times, slightly sluggish, however he has cut down for the start of his college career and is now a danger both inside and out.Love was awarded High School Athlete of the Year in his final year, and he has started his college life the same way – with 22 points (two shy of a freshman record) and 13 boards (breaking the previous record of 12) in his first game for UCLA.

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