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February 19, 2008

Harden leads the way for Arizona State

The Rivals.com Five-Star Freshman Tracker is a look at how the top players in the Class of 2007 Rivals150 are faring in college. It will be updated each Tuesday throughout basketball season.

This Week's Featured Five-Star Freshman

Arizona State freshman James Harden is 6 feet 5 and 210 pounds, and he averages 18 points per game in the Pac-10, a conference loaded with elite big men.

Given those facts, you'd probably think Harden gets a lot of his points from behind the 3-point line. It makes sense.

It also is incorrect. While the long-armed left-hander is capable from behind the arc he shoots 42.6 percent from 3-point range but has attempted only 68 this season (for comparison's sake, USC five-star freshman O.J. Mayo has attempted 158) he gets his points in a variety of ways.

Harden loves to slash to the basket. He can finish with either hand, and he's comfortable shooting off-balance. Harden also draws plenty of fouls; he averages nearly seven free-throw attempts per game.

He helped the Sun Devils topple Stanford on Thursday night with 23 points, five rebounds, five assists and five steals. He scored eight points in overtime.

"I tried to step up and make big plays for my team," Harden said. "It's crunch time, and my teammates look for me."

Rivals.com Five-star Freshman Tracker
1. Michael Beasley, Kansas State
Season Averages: 25.7 ppg, 12.6 rpg
The Buzz: Beasley had the second-worst shooting night (6-for-20) of his career in an upset loss at Texas Tech, but he came back with 40 points and 17 rebounds in a rout of Missouri.
2. Eric Gordon, Indiana
Season Averages: 21.7 ppg, 3.2 rpg
The Buzz: Gordon averaged 25.5 points as the Hoosiers split two games, losing to Wisconsin but beating Michigan State in a game in which he had 28 points and five rebounds.
3. Derrick Rose, Memphis
Season Averages: 13.6 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 4.2 apg
The Buzz: Rose would just as soon put last week behind him. He shot 20.8 percent (5-for-24) and averaged just 8.0 points.
4. O.J. Mayo, USC
Season Averages: 20.2 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 3 apg
The Buzz: The Trojans played only once last week and were humbled by UCLA, with Mayo finishing with four points on 2-of-8 shooting; he also had 10 turnovers.
5. Kyle Singler, Duke
Season Averages: 14.3 ppg, 6.1 rpg
The Buzz: Singler had a season-high 26 points and seven rebounds in a big win over Maryland, and he was one of few Blue Devils bright spots in the upset loss at Wake Forest, going for 17 points and six rebounds.
6. Kevin Love, UCLA
Season Averages: 17.3 ppg, 11 rpg
The Buzz: Love didn't shoot the ball well (5-for-14) against USC, but he finished with a double-double (13 points, 11 rebounds).
7. Bill Walker, Kansas State
Season Averages: 16.4 ppg, 6.7 rpg
The Buzz: Walker sizzled from the field, shooting 73.9 percent (17-for-23) and averaging 22.5 points as the Wildcats lost to Texas Tech and beat up on Missouri.
8. DeAndre Jordan, Texas A&M
Season Averages: 9.2 ppg, 6.4 rpg
The Buzz: The 7-footer had his Big 12-high of 15 points on 7-for-9 shooting in just 21 minutes in the Aggies' stunning home upset loss to Oklahoma State.
9. Donte Greene, Syracuse
Season Averages: 17.9 ppg, 7.2 rpg
The Buzz: Greene's 17 points and nine rebounds couldn't save the Orange at USF, but they came back to upset Georgetown with help from his 18 points and four assists.
10. J.J. Hickson, N.C. State
Season Averages: 15.3 ppg, 8.8 rpg
The Buzz: Hickson had perhaps his best week though the Wolfpack lost twice: He shot 62.5 percent (15 of 24), averaged 16.5 points and grabbed an ACC freshman-record 23 rebounds against Clemson.
11. James Harden, Arizona State
Season Averages: 18 ppg, 5.1 rpg
The Buzz: Harden had 23 points, five rebounds and five assists in a big upset of Stanford, but he and the Sun Devils crashed back to earth when he had 11 points on 3-for-10 shooting in a loss to California.
12. Anthony Randolph, LSU
Season Averages: 14.5 ppg, 8.6 rpg
The Buzz: Randolph had his best week in SEC play, averaging 23 points and 9.5 rebounds and shooting 59.4 percent as the Tigers split two games.
13. Jerryd Bayless, Arizona
Season Averages: 21.1 ppg, 4.4 apg
The Buzz: Bayless had a huge week, averaging 32 points and getting to the free-throw line 28 times (making 26) as the Wildcats split two Pac-10 games.
14. Nick Calathes, Florida
Season Averages: 15.2 ppg, 6.1 apg, 5.1 rpg
The Buzz: Calathes played well in an upset loss to LSU (16 points, seven rebounds, 6-for-9 shooting) but not so well in a loss at Vanderbilt (11 points on 5-for-13 shooting).
15. Austin Freeman, Georgetown
Season Averages: 9.2 ppg, 3.3 rpg
The Buzz: Freeman had a slow week, averaging just 5 points and 4.5 rebounds per game.
16. Kosta Koufos, Ohio State
Season Averages: 13.8 ppg, 7 rpg
The Buzz: Koufos turned in consecutive double-doubles last week (16 points and 11 rebounds at Northwestern; 18 and 11 against Michigan) as the Buckeyes split two Big Ten games.
17. Patrick Patterson, Kentucky
Season Averages: 16.5 ppg, 7.6 rpg
The Buzz: Patterson's production tapered off last week as he averaged just 12 points and five rebounds, well below his season averages.
18. Mac Koshwal, DePaul
Season Averages: 11 ppg, 8.3 rpg
The Buzz: Koshwal had a poor shooting week (25 percent, 4-for-16) but hit the boards hard, grabbing nine against USF and a season-high 15 against Louisville.
19. Chandler Parsons, Florida
Season Averages: 8.4 ppg, 4 rpg
The Buzz: Parsons had four points in both of the Gators' losses last week and shot 30.8 percent (4-for-13) from the field.
20. Craig Brackins, Iowa State
Season Averages: 10.9 ppg, 4.8 rpg
The Buzz: Brackins was ill last week and struggled mightily, scoring six points on 3-for-12 shooting at Oklahoma and playing only seven minutes without taking a shot against Nebraska.
21. Jamelle Horne, Arizona
Season Averages: 3.2 ppg, 2.5 rpg
The Buzz: Horne played a season-high 35 minutes against California and had four points and four rebounds.
22. Jonny Flynn, syracuse
Season Averages: 15.4 ppg, 5 apg
The Buzz: Flynn shot just 13 of 40 for the week as the Orange dropped two of three games.
23. Blake Griffin, Oklahoma
Season Averages: 15 ppg, 8.5 rpg
The Buzz: Griffin had the worst back-to-back shooting games of his career last week, connecting on only 31.6 percent (6-for-19). But the Sooners still went 2-0 on the week.
24. Solomon Alabi, Florida State
Season Averages: 3.9 ppg, 2.2 rpg
The Buzz: Alabi has a stress fracture in his right leg that required surgery and is out for the season.
25. Austin Daye, Gonzaga
Season Averages: 11.4 ppg, 4.5 rpg
The Buzz: Daye averaged 9 points and 3 rebounds as the Bulldogs won a pair of games.
26. Beas Hamga, UNLV
Season Averages: Redshirting this season
The Buzz: N/A
27. Corey Fisher, Villanova
Season Averages: 10.7 ppg, 2.7 apg
The Buzz: Fisher and the Wildcats played only once last week, a rout of St. John's in which Fisher had five points and two assists.
28. Corey Stokes, Villanova
Season Averages: 3.9 ppg, 2.3 rpg
The Buzz: Stokes turned in a season-high 13 points and five rebounds in just 18 minutes against St. John's.

The Rivals.com Five-Star Freshman Tracker is a look at how the top players in the Class of 2007 Rivals150 are faring in college. It will be updated each Tuesday throughout basketball season.

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