Malik Beasley Is The Top Freshman Going Unnoticed

Dec 16, 2015; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles guard Malik Beasley (5) reacts during the game against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at the Donald L. Tucker Center. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 16, 2015; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles guard Malik Beasley (5) reacts during the game against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at the Donald L. Tucker Center. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports /

Florida State’s Malik Beasley is one of the top freshmen in the country that’s seemingly never talked about.

Even in a sport with 351 teams, it’s hard for a player performing admirably to go unnoticed. In the land of Ben Simmons, who has become must-see television for an underachieving team, and senior phenom Buddy Hield, other talented collegiate studs don’t get as much attention. Florida State freshman Malik Beasley, arguably, is one of them.

The No. 28 recruit in 2015, per, Beasley has thrived in substantial playing time for a freshman in Tallahassee. In 28.8 minutes per game, Beasley is averaging a team-leading 17.3 points and 5.8 rebounds per game. He’s been a primary source of offense for head coach Leonard Hamilton, shooting 50.0 percent from the floor.

Beasley’s game centers around utilizing his athleticism and burst for scoring opportunities. The 6’5″, 196-pound combo guard packs explosion and has the strength and quickness to beat his man off the dribble. Beasley also has the ability to soar for athletic jams and play above the rim.

Related Story: Are The 2014-15 Golden State Warriors An All-Time Great Team?

The area hindering Beasley’s stock is the ability to consistently nail jump shot attempts from within the arc. Per Hoop-Math, Beasley only connects on 38.9 percent of his two-point jump shot attempts. He’s also going to have to bulk up in order to handle bigger wings at the next level.

At just 196 pounds, the opposition could attack him off the dribble, with the weight deficiencies becoming apparent in the future.

Beasley is shooting at a respectable clip for a freshman from deep, knocking down 41.3 percent of his three-point attempts. Taking 75 attempts in just 19 games, that isn’t a small sample size for a talent who has had little inconsistency scoring.

For all the credit Jamal Murray gets at Kentucky, Beasley has been the more efficient player and has played a tougher schedule so far, per On DraftExpress, Murray is No. 9 on their 2016 Big Board. Beasley is not even listed and projected to go in the second-round of the 2017 NBA draft.

Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Wasserman has Beasley at No. 23 going to Atlanta, 12 picks lower than Murray’s projected selection.

The side-by-side chart below shows that Beasley should be in the same breath as Murray when it comes to NBA lottery chatter in 2016.

Malik Beasley vs. Jamal Murray (2015-16 season)
Create column charts

In a plethora of categories, Beasley has the advantage over Murray. Even Mississippi State’s Malik Newman–also ranked in the preseason higher than Beasley–doesn’t compare production-wise to the dynamic frosh, who has spearheaded the offense for the Seminoles.

This torrid start for Beasley only can help his stock, with other freshmen failing to get acclimated to the collegiate level. While initial expectations and preseason rankings play a part in where basketball outlets rank freshmen on their big boards, Beasley should continue to ascend with efficient play.

Saturday night against Pittsburgh, Beasley was a perfect 7-of-7 from the floor and connected on both of his three-point attempts. He displayed versatility, hauling in six rebounds and dishing out three assists. Luckily for the freshman, he’s not spectacular in just one category. He’ll provide teams with versatility as a swingman who benefits the game in multiple ways on the court.

He’s not also the type of player willing to ride out his freshman year then look for a paycheck in the NBA. With evidential effort, Beasley’s believability with claims he wont slack off and free fall late in the season puts him under the “safe” label–providing NBA organizations with a high-floor talent when making a selection come June.

Both Beasley and highly touted freshman teammate Dwayne Bacon give off the impression that they’re aware of the impact they have on the program, who hasn’t been to the NCAA tournament since 2012. Beasley also recognizes his decision-making, on the court, needs to improve.

"“I hate people having easy baskets,” Beasley said, per “And that’s to their credit. That’s who they are. They’ve always been that type of team.”"

Beasley’s not foul-prone, averaging just 3.2 fouls per 40 minutes, but it’s promising that he’s diagnosing what area he could improve in. It’s the total package you’d want in a player, Beasley’s elevating his game and is realizing what’s missing at just 18 years old.

More hoops habit: The 30 Best Shooting Guards of All-Time

If Florida State doesn’t enter the Big Dance this season, he might continue to get left out of the conversation regarding the upper echelon of freshmen in college basketball. However, the production and intangibles back up Beasley’s case to fast-track to the NBA and have an immediate impact.

*All stats acquired via, or Hoop-Math unless otherwise noted.