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March 9, 2007
It's a rare statement from the college game to the pro game, but it's deserved. When Commissioner David Stern closed the NBA to athletes straight out of high school, he effectively did the NCAA a huge favor.
OK, so he didn't do it in time to give us a year of Kevin Garnett at South Carolina or LeBron James at Ohio State. But we did get a very special gift this year with college seasons from Kevin Durant at Texas and Greg Oden at Ohio State and a handful of others.
Who knows who else would have entered the NBA Draft? The fact is no one could go to the pros, and we were treated to an undeniably precocious group of first-year players who bounced in like princes and could leave like kings, literally, with an NCAA crown to their names.
Rivals.com said in the preseason that this could be the best freshman class of all time. We've seen nothing to change our minds.
We're pretty sure NBA general managers haven't either.
Here are the 2006-07 Rivals.com Freshman All-America teams. The players who composed these teams all were members of the Rivals150, and 14 of the 15 were true freshmen.