Diaper dandies will have big impact again

Incoming freshmen Jayson Tatum and Frank Jackson will join a talented group of returnees at Duke. Under Armour, Adidas

At the start of each season, I really look forward to finding the freshmen who can make a major impact.

Diaper dandies have become so important all across the college basketball national landscape. They can help teams make the Big Dance and even get them to the winner's circle at the national championship game.

There are plenty of notable freshmen coming into the season. Whether these diaper dandies can live up to their high school hype is always a question. They'll learn that the speed of the college game is different; they will have to get used to the physicality; some have to get stronger in the weight room.

This season, the focus will be squarely on Duke and Kentucky.

Yes the Blue Devils have Grayson Allen back, plus the return of a healthy Amile Jefferson. It is the incredible class of freshmen that Mike Krzyzewski has brought in that makes them many observers' preseason No. 1 pick.

Jayson Tatum is a bonafide star. Marques Bolden and Frank Jackson are highly regarded as well. If Harry Giles can recover from his injury woes of last season, watch out my friends -- he will be special.

Down at Kentucky, coach John Calipari will simply be reloading again. Point guard De'Aaron Fox, power forward Bam Adebayo, shooting guard Malik Monk and power forward Wenyen Gabriel were all ranked in ESPN's top 15 prospects coming out of high school.

Calipari will work hard to get these young stars to mesh as a unit. Guys like Jamal Murray, Tyler Ulis and Skal Labissiere are gone to the NBA, but the cupboard is far from bare in Lexington.

There will be many other freshmen making waves in the sport this season. You will hear from names like Lonzo Ball of UCLA, Josh Jackson of Kansas, Jarrett Allen of Texas, Miles Bridges of Michigan State, V.J. King of Louisville and Mustapha Heron of Auburn to name a few. That is the beauty of college basketball. These kids come in and make a difference. It will be fun to watch them progress.