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Five Big Ten Freshman Make Jon Rothstein’s Impact List

Michigan vs UCLA Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

The 2021-2022 men’s college basketball season continues to inch ever closer. With official practices just a few weeks away from starting, it is time to start getting excited if you aren’t already. Then again, with five freshman from the Big Ten making Jon Rothstein’s top-25 impact freshman list, this news should help get you amped up for the season if you are not already!

The Wolverines are the richest of the league in terms of impact freshman, having two in Rothstein’s list, while Michigan State and Indiana both have one each as well. For those not paying attention to the recruiting in Lincoln, those fans might be surprised to see Nebraska has a player on that list as well. Come conference play, however, that might not be a surprise why, however. Let’s take a look at each player.

Tamar Bates, SG, Indiana

Bates was an early recruiting steal for new head coach Mike Woodson as he jumped into the mix after Texas, Bates original school he was committed to, fired Shaka Smart. Standing 6-foot-4 and weighing 175 pounds, Bates transferred to IMG Academy for his senior season and was verbally committed to Texas. He went on to average 11 points, 2.5 assists, 3.0 rebounds, and 1.2 steals per game, while shooting 50 percent from the field and 39 percent from three. He arrived on campus in Bloomington as a four-star recruit and No. 30 prospect in his class per 247Sports composite and the No. 5 shooting guard nationally.

Caleb Houstan, PF, Michigan

The top ranked incoming freshman in the 2021 class, Houstan is an easy pick for this list. Houstan averaged 17 points this past summer for USA Basketball’s U19 team at the FIBA World Cup in Latvia. The 6-foot-9 and 205 pound power forward was listed as the No. 3 power forward prospect and No. 10 player in the nation per the 247Sports composite.

Moussa Diabate, PF, Michigan

Diabate is the second highest rated incoming freshman in the Big Ten per scouting services. He is praised as a player who can really excel at running the floor in transition and he has a length that can bring a dynamic front for the Wolverines. The 6-foot-10 and 215 pound power forward was listed as the No. 16 player in the country and No. 5 power forward in his class per the 247Sports Composite.

Max Christie, SG, Michigan State

Christie brings a lot of talent to a Spartan squad that could use it if it wants to be back in the upper echelons of the Big Ten this season. Christie averaged 25 points and 11 rebounds a game as a junior for Rolling Meadows, and was named the player of the year by the Daily Herald and Pioneer Press newspapers. Christie is the third highest incoming prospect in the league per scouting services. The 6-foot-6 and 195 pound shooting guard rates as the No. 19 player in the class of 2021 and the No. 1 shooting guard in the country per 247Sports Composite.

Bryce McGowens, SG, Nebraska

Finally, we get to Nebraska’s highest rated recruit in the modern era, Bryce McGowens. McGowens older brother Trey is already on the Huskers’ roster, and younger brother Bryce should make the pair a lethal duo. The 6-foot-6 and 175 pound shooting guard has a lot of upside potential as a go-to scorer long term. He averaged 21.6 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.1 blocks per game at Legacy Early College School last season. McGowens is rated as the No. 28 player in his class nationally and No. 4 shooting guard in his class per the 247Sports composite.