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March Madness - Freshman Impact 2009

Last year all the buzz you heard for the NCAA Tournament was the contribution and roles that freshman could play in leading their team to the final four. You remember the buzz and real impact that players like OJ Mayo, Kevin Love, Derrick Rose, and Michael Beasley made last year, well this year those players are trying not to hit the NBA freshman wall. The year before that you had the magnificent Ohio State freshman (Greg Oden, Mike Conley, Daequen Cook) that gelled with a veteran squad to take the Buckeyes to the Championship game, the next year the Buckeyes didn't even make the dance because those players bolted towards the green.

So the question is who are the freshman in the 2009 NCAA Tournament who will lead their teams to glory before heading for the draft? Well this years freshman class had none of the buzz coming into the regular season as last years did, in fact it received less fanfare than any class in recent memory. There are however freshman who have emerged as the season has progressed and have played a large role in their teams fortunes and seedings of late.

You have to start of with Memphis freshman Tyreke Evans a 6-5 guard. How much has he meant to Memphis they were not even rated when he started his first game, since his first start they now have not lost.

The number one seed in the tournament Louisville relies on Samardo Samuels a 6-8 center for the inside presence you need to win in the tournament. Samardo is a key player to watch during March Madness, because if Louisville is going to need him to play well to win. You just can't win The Big Dance without taking care of business inside.

Blake Griffin at Oklahoma gets major help from freshman Willie Warren a 6-4 guard who can score with the best of him. It is Warren's presence that stops teams from going to extreme measures to stop Griffin.

Elliott Williams didn't get into the rotation at Duke until the last couple weeks, however now that he is there he could be an X factor with his defensive athleticism.

Once again the one and done program Ohio State has a couple of freshman that they need to make a huge contribution if they want to play the second weekend. This year it is center B.J. Mullens and shooting guard William Buford. William Buford played as advertised this season and is a major scoring threat. Mullens had more hype than any freshman around before the season started but to say that he has disappointed would be an understatement, he did however pick up the Big Ten's 6th man of the year (the expectation was Odenesque though).

Staying in the Big Delvin Roe helps give Michigan State the inside presence that gives them a legit shot at the Final Four in their home state.

Other freshman to watch include, Kemba Walker - Uconn point guard, Tyshawn Taylor Kansas guard, Jordan Taylor Wisconsin Guard, Gordon Hayward Butler forward, DeMar DeRozan USC forward.

Debate the 2009 freshman class below in the comment section! Get in the Mix!

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