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Top Secret Fyles: Stellar rookies reign

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From the drawers of the Top Secret Fyles:

It has been a terrific season to be a freshman in college basketball. Supreme talent reigns and, if most of the stars declare to come out to play in the NBA next season, the draft will be the finest in about 30 years.

Here is my personal top eight freshmen among the collegiates:

1. Joel Embiid, Kansas (a court-changer); 2. Syracuse’s Tyler Ennis (a game-changer); 3. Jabari Parker, Duke (a slick-shooting forward); 4. Andrew Wiggins, Kansas (reminds me of Tracy McGrady); 5. Julius Randle, Kentucky (averaging a double-double); 6. Aaron Gordon, Arizona (produces inside); 7. Jordan Woodard, Oklahoma (point guard with sizzle); 8. James Young, Kentucky.

The above freshmen have one common denominator: they are all cool under pressure, especially Ennis.

Afterthoughts on Super Bowl XLVIII: It was apparent near the end of the first quarter that the older, more physical Broncos just couldn’t keep pace with the faster, younger Seahawks in what turned out to be an uninspiring game in terms of drama during Seattle’s 43-8 triumph.

Once Seahawks linebacker and game MVP Malcolm Smith returned an interception 69 yards for a touchdown that made it 22-0 late in the second quarter, the game was over.

The only material thereafter worthy of watching was the halftime show, featuring Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and more commercials, which I usually disdain.

It was a very rocky ending for Broncos quarterback and league MVP Peyton Manning, who was an easy target for the hard-charging Seahawks’ defense.

Seattle management will have to fork over big contracts at some point to quarterback Russell Wilson, defensive backs Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor and numerous rising star players on the team.

But, if the core group stays together, the Seahawks could be in line to win something like three more championships over the next five seasons.

■ Here are the latest top 10 NFL draft projections from ESPN’s Mel Kiper: 1, Texans, Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M; 2. Rams, Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M; 3, Jaguars, Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina; 4. Browns, Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida; 5. Raiders, Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson; 6. Falcons, Anthony Barr, LB, UCLA; 7. Bucs, Khalil Mack, LB, Buffalo; 8. Vikings, Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville; 9. Bills, Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn; 10, Lions, Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State.

Richie Rich’s Top 10 in College Basketball: 1. Syracuse (played Monday night); 2. Wichita State; 3. Arizona; 4. San Diego State; 5. Florida; 6. Villanova (played Monday night); 7. Michigan State; 8. Kansas; 9. Cincinnati; 10. Louisville.

Times sports copy editor Richard Fyle can be reached at rfyle@wdt.net

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