Now for the conclusion of the inquiry into freshman performance. I've looked at data from the classes of 2003-2007, and although I found some answers, I found a lot more questions. I've compiled some graphs for all of the classes, and as expected, they show an increasing amount of variance the further down the rankings we go. To illustrate this, I've drawn lines over the cluster of data (i.e., ignoring the outliers).
The lines get further apart as we proceed down the rankings, which is consistent with what we've seen. If there's a lesson to take from all of this, it's that after the first 20 or so players in the rankings, you really don't know what you're going to get from freshmen. This is especially true when looking at the Min%, which might be the most significant graph here. A prerequisite for being a quality player generally, it would seem, is satisfying the coach that you are one of the five best options on the team.
Here's a look at the performance of ranges of ranks, across classes, where the dominance of 2007 is evident:
The first 40 players in the class of 2007 stack up well against the top 10 ranges in each of the other classes. It was definitely the Year of the Freshman, and I hope you enjoyed it, because I think we're unlikely to see another class as talented for a while. So strap in for the 2008-09 season, which will likely be the Year of the Sophomore.