It should come as no surprise that the top four prospects in the 2009 recruiting class open their college careers as the top four freshmen in the preseason Rivals.com College Basketball Power Rankings, which measure the nation's top performers at each position.
From that point on, though, there's quite a bit of discrepancy between our recruiting rankings and the power rankings.
Our power rankings take into consideration which freshmen are stepping right into featured roles that could allow them to make immediate impacts. For example, Indiana forward Christian Watford and Oregon forward Jamil Wilson weren't top-40 prospects during the recruiting process, but we believe they'll get enough playing time to rank among the nation's 25 most productive freshmen.
A look at this ranking indicates why Kentucky, Georgia Tech and Texas should emerge as three of the nation's most improved teams and why Oklahoma ought to survive the loss of Blake Griffin. Each of those teams has two freshmen in our rankings.