After a one-week hiatus, the Freshman Haze is back. The thing about hazing is that it could be offered so suddenly after a quiet period. Whether in hazing or in horror movies the silence can be the scariest part. Nevertheless, freshmen have been making waves throughout the land. None of the freshmen-led team are undefeated with schools like Kansas and Kentucky suffering multiple losses. You don't hear many Wildcats fans talking about 40-0 anymore, do you? This week's freshmen seven includes two pairs of players who are connected in my mind (and neither are the disappointing Harrison twins at Kentucky).
Noah Vonleh, forward, Indiana Hoosiers
For two years, the Hoosier had Cody Zeller as their focus. When Zeller headed to North Carolina to join the Bobcats, coach Tom Crean had an able-bodied replacement in the 6-10 Vonleh. The forward opened the season with four straight double-doubles. He is a decent indicator of whether the Hoosiers will win since his two lowest rebounding totals came in losses. Vonleh tends to get in foul trouble, although he has not been eliminated from a game. Overall, his averages of 13.3 points, 10.0 rebounds and 1.1 blocks offer the best freshman the Big 10 has to offer.
Nigel Williams-Goss, guard, Washington Huskies
Somehow, the next two guards got lumped together in my mind. They both step into established programs that have a history of success. The Huskies haven't been to the Big Dance since 2011 and they are off to a rough start in the new season. The good news is that it looks like they have a building block in the 6-3 Williams-Goss. He has scored at least 20 points twice and is averaging 12.9 points. The steady point guard has provided at least five assists (but not more than six) in all but one game.
Tyler Ennis, guard, Syracuse Orange
Not to be confused with the Buffalo Sabers left wing, the 6-2 Canadian (where he probably played a hockey match or two) steps into the shoes of Michael Carter-Williams as a first-year starter for the Orange. He is coming off his worst game of the season, just three points in 19 foul-plagued minutes in the win over Binghamton. Prior to that, Ennis scored in double digits in six of his first nine games, including 28 points in the win over California on Nov. 26.
Zach LaVine, forward, UCLA Bruins
In Saturday's loss to Missouri (the Bruins' first of the season), LaVine showed off his athleticism with a pair of powerful dunks. He bounced back from his first single-digit point outing (two points in the win over Oakland) with 14 points, which is right on his average. The 6-5 Seattle native has provided another wing for new coach Steve Alford to consider. He is converting 60.5 percent of his field goals and has hit half of his 3-pointers (20-of-40).
Gabe Levin, forward, Loyola Marymount Lions
Early in the season, I thought Levin and LaVine were the same player. Their names are similar and they both play on the west coast. Levin is a 6-7 forward who has been crashing the boards for the Lions. The native of Oak Park, Ill., has four double-doubles in his last six games, including 14 boards in three of those performances. Levin spends a bit too much time on the perimeter and is only making 20 percent of his 3-pointers. The good news is that he is providing 12.9 points and 9.6 boards, so leagues that provide a bonus for double-doubles should especially prize the LMU freshman.
Omar Prewitt, guard/forward, William & Mary Tribe
There are some fantasy college basketball players who like multi-position eligibility and will go out of their way to get players who can line up at both guard and forward. Prewitt can play at both positions and provide points in bunches. He scored 22 points against VMI including five 3-pointers on Nov. 27. Prewitt followed that up with a career-high 24 points in the overtime win against Howard on Nov. 30. The 6-6 Prewitt is averaging 14.4 points and hitting 42.9 percent of his 3-pointers.
Alec Peters, forward, Valparaiso Crusaders
We make our last stop in the Horizon League, where the 6-8 Peters has shown the ability to put up points in bunches. He broke free for 30 points, including seven 3-pointers, in the loss to Evansville on Nov. 20. In another loss, a triple-overtime game against Mercer, Peters had 22 points. Overall, he is averaging 13.9 points, hitting 49.1 percent of his shots, and 45.1 percent of his 3-pointers. The downside is that Peters has only provided 13 points in his last two games.