Noah Clowney is among the “Best Freshman” talks

Alabama basketball boasts two of the top five freshmen in college basketball. Superstar wing Brandon Miller gets the most shine, but forward Noah Clowney has flown under the radar while being one of the most influential players in the SEC.

At 6’10”, lanky, Clowney arrived in Alabama as a 4-star recruit in the Class of 2022. The South Carolina native was considered the 79th best player in the nation and the second best player in his state rankings, according to 247Sports Composite.

Noah Clowney began exceeding expectations as soon as he stepped onto campus, earning a starting role on the Alabama front court in the first game of the season. Since then, Clowney has started in all 16 games he has played in and was one of the Crimson Tide’s best players.

He is currently averaging 9.5 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game. Despite recording just one double-double, Clowney has missed several, hit doubles seven times and rebounded doubles five times.

The freshman’s best performances include a 22-point, nine-rebound game against South Dakota State and a 16-point, 11-rebound game in an away win over No. 1 Houston.

Clowney also had nine points and 13 rebounds in a loss to Gonzaga and recorded season-bests of 15 rebounds and three blocks in a win over South Alabama.

He has proven to be Alabama’s most enduring presence and one of the most consistent players in college basketball. He has scored at least eight points in 13 of 16 games and grabbed at least eight rebounds in 11 of 16 games while having at least one shot blocked in 13 of 16 games.

While a so-so marksman, Noah Clowney has also proven he can stretch the floor. He shoots just 29.6 percent from the three-point line but can get hot quickly and needs to be respected at the perimeter. Clowney hit five threes against South Dakota State and went 4-3 from the outside against Arkansas.

Noah Clowney’s versatility and consistency set him apart, and his maturity and leadership skills are almost unparalleled for a true novice. If there wasn’t a generational talent like Brandon Miller, we’d be talking about Clowney as one of the best freshmen to play for Alabama basketball in recent memory.

With elite athleticism and a super-high ceiling, Clowney is currently projecting himself as a second-round draft pick. While he may decide to return, Alabama basketball fans should expect him to be a one-off for now.

Regardless of how long it takes, Noah Clowney’s time in Tuscaloosa should be celebrated and recognized as one of the very special freshmen in college.