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Part five of the annual 10-part Starting Five series, two weeks before the season tips off. USA TODAY Sports examines the most intriguing story lines heading into the 2016-17 college basketball season. Today, freshmen who can fuel teams to season success. 

De'Aaron Fox and Bam Adebayo, Kentucky

Of coach John Calipari's star-studded freshman class, these two are most important. Fox because he's a slick point guard who can provide a much different type of floor general than we're used to seeing in Lexington; he's a ballhawk on defense and wise passer on offense. Adebayo because he gives Kentucky the interior backbone it lacked last season. At 6-10 and 260 pounds, he's a bulldozing force who can dominate the paint in a variety of ways — on offense by creating second-chance points off the glass and imposing his will on the low block, and on defense by blocking shots or diving for loose balls.

Josh Jackson, Kansas

The No. 1 recruit in the country (via Rivals and 247 Sports), Jackson comes to Lawrence with major expectations. But the best news for coach Bill Self is that the 6-7 wing won't have to be a highlight-reel alpha dog right away (which was the case with Andrew Wiggins). Instead, he'll get to grow into a dominant college player with a veteran core, mainly alongside guards Frank Mason III and Devonte’ Graham, to help ease him in. Expectations aside, Jackson is a phenomenal talent with a high motor and soaring athleticism. He easily could be the best player in the country by March.

Harry Giles and Jayson Tatum, Duke 

Giles was the No. 1 recruit (via ESPN and Scout) and that's because he's 6-10, dynamic and can take over a game. But a third knee injury likely will lead to a slow integration into the title favorite Blue Devils, who are already loaded with talent. That said, if Giles hits his stride, he'll be a huge factor for coach Mike Krzyzewski. Tatum is the freshman who can make an impact right away. The 6-8 forward is a silky smooth offensive player who can go inside and out, posing serious matchup problems to opponents. The key is how cohesive they can be with Duke's returning nucleus.

Markelle Fultz, Washington

Fultz can singlehandedly steer the Huskies to the NCAA tournament, and help coach Lorenzo Romar keep his job. That's about as impactful as a freshman can get. While a majority of the NBA-ready freshmen won't necessarily be the go-to guy right away, Fultz gladly takes that responsibility. The 6-4 score-first point guard has shades of Derrick Rose with his agility and athleticism, while his shooting stroke — think Brandon Roy — will only get better over the course of the season.

Lonzo Ball, UCLA

Speaking of coaches keeping their jobs, Steve Alford's status in Westwood heavily depends on how well Ball flourishes with the returning core of underachieving UCLA players. Ball isn't just a talented freshman with high expectations. He's a sparkplug point guard with sensational court vision who injects energy into his teammates with his play. It's exactly what the Bruins need. Alford's UCLA squad last year flailed — finishing a dreadful 14-17 — under a regimented offense piloted by his son, Bryce. If he's smart, he'll hand over the keys to Ball and let the offensive tempo speed up, focusing less on a structured offense that needed a makeover anyway.

COACHES POLL PRESEASON TOP 25 TEAMS

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