hoopsworld most impressive sophmores

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hoopsworld most impressive sophmores

People always spend a lot of time focusing on the rookies and arguing back and forth about which is the best, but the sophomores are just about as entertaining a subject. The Class of 2008 was widely regarded as one of the best ever last season, with outstanding performances from players like the L.A. Clippers Eric Gordon, Memphis' O.J. Mayo, New Jersey's Brook Lopez, Chicago's Derrick Rose, Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook, and many others (no, I'm not going to name them all).

Injuries have claimed Gordon, Minnesota's Kevin Love, and now Philadelphia's Marreese Speights, but all were also looking to continue to improve in Year 2.

One of the best ways to gauge a player's career, though, is to see who keeps it up in Year 2 – and to see who makes a big jump from Year 1 to Year 2. Let's take a look at those sophomores who are making the leap, the ones who are significantly better than their rookie season. These four caught my eye:

Danilo Gallinari, New York Knicks: Gallinari's rookie season was shortened because of a back injury and people were calling him a bust, but so far this year he's been lighting up the scoreboard with 15.8 points a game, plus 4.3 rebounds. The forward is also shooting a phenomenal 47% from three-point range.

Jason Thompson, Sacramento Kings: Thompson is fifth among all qualified sophomores in scoring at 14.9 points a game and has upped his numbers across the board. He's also grabbing 10.1 rebounds and dishing 2.9 assists, fantastic numbers for a 6-11 forward. Thompson is a major reason why the Kings are surprising early.

Greg Oden, Portland Trail Blazers: Oden's minutes have only gone up slightly this season, and his scoring increase has also been slight (8.9 to 9.7), but it's his play on the defensive end that has been most encouraging. In only 1.9 more minutes a game he's grabbing another 1.5 rebounds and blocking an addition 1.3 shots a game. Oden's better feel for the game this season is a big reason why Portland's defense is so dominant.

Roy Hibbert, Indiana Pacers: Hibbert's minutes have nearly doubled in his second year, from 14.4 to 26.7 a night. Along with that his scoring average has jumped from 7.1 top 11.7 and his rebounding numbers have about tripled – from 3.5 to 9.0. Add in 2.4 blocks and 2.3 assists to 52% shooting and it's no wonder Indiana has started out 4-3.

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I think the class of 2008

I think the class of 2008 was the best class ever....

Some other players who have stepped up their game

Westbrook- has taken on even more of a scoring role and is playing PG leading his team to WINS

Beasley- He looks more consistent and is one of the best mid-range shooters in the game

Think about this draft class....The only one you can call a bust right now is Joe Alexander(i thought he was going to be great and still may be)....Bayless hasnt gotten the PT to be called that yet

This classes greatness is in its depth

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no way was it better than

no way was it better than 2003, not only did that draft have the obvious lebron, dwade, carmelo but it had solid players all the way down to the last picks of the night (kyle Korver was picked 51st for example)

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hmmm u maybe correct

hmmm u maybe correct thunder..imma look it up now and do a lil comparing

. Cleveland -- LeBron James, g-f, St. Vincent-St. Mary HS (Ohio)

2. Detroit (from Memphis) -- Darko Milicic, f, Hemofarm Vrsac (Serbia)

3. Denver -- Carmelo Anthony, f, Syracuse

4. Toronto -- Chris Bosh, f, Georgia Tech

5. Miami -- Dwyane Wade, g, Marquette

6. LA Clippers -- Chris Kaman, c, Central Michigan

7. Chicago -- Kirk Hinrich, g, Kansas

8. Milwaukee (from Atlanta) -- T.J. Ford, g, Texas

9. New York -- Mike Sweetney, f, Georgetown

10. Washington -- Jarvis Hayes, f, Georgia

11. Golden State -- Mickael Pietrus, g-f, Pau Orthez (France)

12. Seattle -- Nick Collison, f, Kansas

13. Memphis (from Houston) -- Marcus Banks, g, UNLV

14. Seattle (from Milwaukee) -- Luke Ridnour, g, Oregon

15. Orlando -- Reece Gaines, g, Louisville

16. Boston -- Troy Bell, g, Boston College

17. Phoenix -- Zarko Cabarkapa, f, Buducnost (Serbia)

18. New Orleans -- David West, f, Xavier

19. Utah -- Aleksandar Pavlovic, Buducnost (Serbia)

20. Boston (from Philadelphia) -- Dahntay Jones, f, Duke

21. Atlanta (from Indiana) -- Boris Diow, f, Pau Orthez (France)

22. New Jersey -- Zoran Planinic, g, Cibona Zagreb (Croatia)

23. Portland -- Travis Outlaw, f, Starkville HS (MS)

24. LA Lakers -- Brian Cook, f, Illinois

25. Detroit -- Carlos Delfino, f, Skipper Bologna (Italy)

26. Minnesota -- Ndudi Ebi, f, Westbury Christian HS (TX)

27. Memphis (through Orlando via Sacramento) -- Kendrick Perkins, c, Ozen HS (TX)

28. San Antonio -- Leandro Barbosa, g, Bauru Tilibra (Brazil)

29. Dallas -- Josh Howard, f, Wake Fore

Read more:

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Derrick Rose, Guard,

Derrick Rose, Guard, Memphis

Miami Heat Michael Beasley, Forward, Kansas State

Minnesota Timberwolves O.J. Mayo, Guard, USC (To Memphis)

Seattle Supersonics Russell Westbrook, Guard, UCLA

Memphis Grizzlies Kevin Love, Forward, UCLA (To Minnesota)

New York Knicks Danilo Gallinari, Forward, Italy

Los Angeles Clippers Eric Gordon, Guard, Indiana

Milwaukee Bucks Joe Alexander, Forward, West Virginia

Charlotte Bobcats D.J. Augustin, Guard, Texas

New Jersey Nets Brook Lopez, Center, Stanford

Indiana Pacers Jerryd Bayless, Guard, Arizona

Sacramento Kings Jason Thompson, Forward, Rider

Portland Trail Blazers Brandon Rush, Forward, Kansas

Golden State Warriors Anthony Randolph, Forward, LSU

Phoenix Suns (from Atlanta) Robin Lopez, Forward, Stanford

Philadelphia 76ers Marreese Speights, Forward, Florida

Toronto Raptors Roy Hibbert, Center, Georgetown

Washington Wizards JaVale McGee, Center, Nevada

Cleveland Cavaliers J.J. Hickson, Forward, N.C. State

Charlotte Bobcats (from Denver) Alexis Ajinca, Center, France

New Jersey Nets (from Dallas) Ryan Anderson, Forward, California

Orlando Magic Courtney Lee, Guard, Western Kentucky

Utah Jazz Kosta Koufos, Center, Ohio State

Seattle SuperSonics (from Phoenix) Serge Ibaka, Forward, Spain

Houston Rockets Nicolas Batum, Forward, France (To Portland)

San Antonio Spurs George Hill, Guard, IUPUI

New Orleans Darrell Arthur, Forward, Kansas (To Memphis via Portland)

Memphis Grizzlies (from L.A. Lakers) Donte Greene, Forward, Syracuse (To Houston)

Detroit Pistons D.J. White, Forward, Indiana (To Seattle)

Boston Celtics J.R. Giddens, Guard, New Mexico

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at first glance it looks

at first glance it looks pretty 2003 after pick 11 it seems to drop hard..with three of the guys out of the nba....i think 2008 looks deeper looking t the first round

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Gotta give '08 a couple more

Gotta give '08 a couple more seasons under its belt...

But theres no Lebron James-esque player in this draft...

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the only thing about 2008 is

the only thing about 2008 is their not a player that will make that class be remembered like 84- dont need to name them, 96- to many to name, 03- the big 3 its doesnt have to be as deep when you have multiple hall of famers in a class. This class is still young tho maybe a couple of these guy will step up in a major way in a few seasons but it to early to dub 08 the best class ever

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03 wasnt the best class

03 wasnt the best class either its out of 84 and 96

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