Big 12 News

CBS Sports Names Cade Cunningham, Jalen Wilson as Top Two Freshman to Watch

NCAA Basketball: Texas Southern at Oklahoma State named Oklahoma State guard Cade Cunningham as its NCAA Freshman of the Week, and put Cunningham and Kansas forward Jalen Wilson in the Top 2 spots of its ‘Frosh Watch’ Top 10, released on Tuesday. 

Cunningham at the top of these rankings isn’t a huge surprise. Cunningham entered Oklahoma State as the No. 1 recruit of the 2020 Class and has won the Big 12’s Newcomer of the Week award each of the past two weeks. He is also considered the No. 1 prospect in the 2021 NBA Draft, should he decide to turn pro after this season. 

Last week, in two games against Oral Roberts and Wichita State, Cunningham averaged 19.5 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 block, along with hitting the game-winning 3-pointer against The Shockers. Against Oral Roberts, Cunningham scored a career-high 29 points, but 16 of those points came in the final seven minutes of the game.  


Through six games Cunningham is averaging 18.5 points, 5.7 rebounds, 4 assists, 1.3 steals and 1 block per game. The Cowboys are 6-0 and just outside the AP Top 25 as of Monday’s poll. 

With Cunningham securely at No. 1, CBS recognized Wilson at No. 2, a redshirt freshman who has quickly emerged as the leading scorer for the No. 5 Jayhawks. Wilson is averaging 15.3 points, 8.7 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game for Kansas, which is 7-1 entering its Big 12 opener later this week against Texas Tech. wrote about Wilson’s emergence as Kansas’ No. 1 scoring option last week.  

Wilson has save some of his best performances for quality opponents like Gonzaga, Kentucky and Creighton. Against the Blue Jays last week it was Wilson’s 3-pointer in the final minute that lifted the Jayhawks to victory.  

No other Big 12 freshmen made the Top 10 nationally. The only other freshman to earn Big 12 Newcomer of the Week honors is TCU’s Mike Miles, who earned the award the first week of season. 

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