Connor Cagley, Big Sports Radio Basketball Writer
August 22, 2022
Let's continue a look at the incoming freshmen that I have ranked from number ten down to number six:
Younger brother of former Michigan State player Foster Lawyer, Fletcher Lawyer is lower ranked than his brother coming in to college. Fortunately for Fletcher, he’s 5 to 6 inches taller which will likely lead to him being a better player in the conference. While unlikely he will start as a freshman, if he shoots as well as he did at the high school level, it’s not out of the question.
Lawyer is a player who should be able to provide spacing from the wing, similar to Sasha Stefanovic who just graduated from Purdue last year. One big difference is that Lawyer may be a bit more advanced as an athlete and may have higher potential as a defender as well. At a minimum, he should be a very good role player at the shooting guard position as a freshman.
Brice Sensabaugh would be higher on this list had Ohio State not grabbed so many players off the transfer portal in the off season. As a result, he won’t be getting as many minutes as he’d hoped for. Regardless, he should be a guy who makes an impact during the minutes he’s on the court.
At 6’6”, he will likely play at the small forward position and will get some spot minutes as a small ball four. Sensabaugh has a knack for being in the right place at the right time. While not the most gifted athletically, he seems to be a shot maker due to his soft touch around the rim. Sensabaugh's proving ground will be on the defensive end where he is not as effective due to lateral quickness limitations. If he’s able to hit the weight room and tone up, he should be able to increase his effectiveness in that area by the time the season rolls around.
Jaxon Kohler is one of the more intriguing prospects heading into the year. At 6’10”, he can play the four or the five and is best used as a true post scorer. His game is reminiscent of a slightly shorter Luka Garza from Iowa a couple years ago. He has good range on his jumper, excellent footwork, and he knows how to create space to get off his shot regardless of how well the defender is playing him.
The big question about Kohler is how well his defense will hold up as his lateral quickness is a challenge. At 6’10”, he’s not the ideal height for those having athletic limitations. If he can hold up on the defensive end, he’ll be a solid addition for the Spartans.
Formerly a Florida Gator commit, Malik Reneau decommitted and then subsequently committed to the Indiana Hoosiers. The 6’8” lefty is one of the more physical players in the 2022 class. While he needs to expand the range on his jump shot, his brute strength should allow him to affect the glass, be a tenacious defender, and provide second chance opportunities for Indiana.
While Reneau most likely won’t be consistent from the three as a freshman, if he’s able to show consistency from mid-range it will provide a lot of value for the Hoosiers on the offensive end.
Tarris Reed comes into the Big 10 as the most ready to play post player in the class. At 6’10”, he will be getting the majority of his minutes at the five backing up Big 10 player of the year candidate Hunter Dickenson. He could even get time beside him when they run a two post player lineup.
For a player his size, Reed shows remarkable touch as well as having awareness and polished footwork that will make him a match-up nightmare if he stays in college more than one year. If he’s able to show the ability to guard fours on a consistent basis, it’s hard not to see him being top five in minutes for Michigan this year.