Veteran returners are expected contributors to a team every season, but incoming freshmen are almost always unknowns, new into the world of collegiate athletics.
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Every once in a while, a freshman turns into the best player on their team, if not one of the best players in the conference as well. That is the situation we find ourselves in today, as we look to find out who the best freshman player is across D2 Women's Basketball.
The task is simple, look through our candidates below, and then place your vote at the end for who you think is the best first-year player in the nation. If you think we missed a candidate, make sure you vote 'other' and then specify in the comments section below who it was and why they should win.
Voting closes Monday, Feb. 6 at noon Pacific.
Let's get to the voting, pollsters.
Ivy Wallen, G | North Alabama
Stats: 20.1 PPG / 5.5 RPG / 3.6 APG
Part of a dynamic Wallen trio that entered into North Alabama this year — Ivy has two identical sisters as well — Ivy Wallen has arguably been the biggest catalyst to UNA's surprising success after a disappointing season in 2015-16.
The Alabama native has lit up the stat sheets regularly, and should be a shoe-in for the Gulf South Freshman of The Year.
Hailey Diestelkamp, F | Drury
Stats: 11.5 PPG / 8.8 RPG / 3.0 SPG
Another mega-talented freshman that Drury seems to bring in every year, Diestelkamp has become one of the best dual-threats on the floor in the GLVC this season.
Starting in every game for the Panthers this year, she will be a major key going forward if the GLVC contenders are to break through and make the Elite Eight for the first time in a half-decade.
McKayla Roberts, G | Le Moyne
Stats: 12.4 PPG / 4.0 RPG / 5.6 APG
Though the Dolphins of Le Moyne have not enjoyed the most successful season, they have found their guard of the future in Roberts, one of the top 15 passers in the country based on assists per game.
Moving into the future, if the Dolphins can secure young talent like they found in Roberts, we could see them become a player in the NE-10, a consistently parity-driven conference.
Kwajelin Farrar, F | USC Aiken
Stats: 13.4 PPG / 8.8 RPG / 1.0 BPG
Rarely do you hear about USC Aiken, but soon we could be hearing plenty more as their dynamic freshman continues to develop.
Besides fantastic rebounding, she also shoots very well for a young player, breaking the net at 59.1%. The Peach Belt title may be out of reach this year, but the future looks bright under Farrar and the Pacers visions.
Now it's time for you to decide…vote for who you think is the best freshman in Division 2 women's basketball.