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Positional Rankings Updated

Thu, 03/04/2010 - 1:27pm

With March upon us, it's time to recalibrate the positional rankings.

2010 Positional Rankings

Hassan WhitesideHassan WhitesideJohn Wall has had some ups and downs, but shows potential unmatched on the college level. With his tremendous athleticism and speed, he will have a chance to become a top 3 PG in the league someday. While Evan Turner has closed the gap on him, Wall remains the clear cut #1 pick.

Evan Turner has run away with the National Player of the Year award and appears to have done the same with the #2 pick in the draft. He's even begun to put some heat on John Wall with some chatter building about his chance to unseat Wall as the top overall pick. While we don't see it happening, a big run for Ohio State in the tourney could make things interesting.

Wes Johnson is a more polished, safer, more NBA ready option than Al Farouq Aminu but without question Aminu has more sheer potential being 3 years younger and a stronger, more fluid athlete. Wes has been a first team All-American type of performer this year, and projects well to the league as an athletic catch and shoot SF. Leading the 'Cuse to the promised land would help in Wes' bid to be a top 3 pick.

Donatas Motiejunas hasn't lit the world on fire playing for Bentton Treviso but he's had a very solid season putting up quality numbers for a 19 year old rookie. Scouts worry about his defense so playing on a team with a defensive presence at the 5 would help him. He may never be Dirk, but he could be Bargnani, and he definitely isn't Darko (he's proven himself as a solid player on the senior level in Europe). He gets the nod over Derrick Favors due to his offensive skill level, although Favors has enticing athleticism.

Hassan Whiteside tops our center list. He has already put forth 3 triple doubles this year. While his game isn't as NBA ready as DeMarcus Cousins', he has more potential. His shot blocking and shooting touch give him a lot of intrigue, not to mention the fact that scouts have concerns over Cousins' maturity level.

Here is how we see the top 10 at each position: 2010 Positional Rankings

The8thDeadlySin
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Aran man.. I hate to say

Aran man.. I hate to say this because I talk crap when people try to tell you what to do but, Da'Sean Butler is WVU's best player and you have Ebanks ranked above him..

I assume this is based on NBA potential? If it says this somewhere I'm sry for not reading.. Could you explain?

Aran_Smith
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Ebanks over Butler
Hey 8th,

Yeah basically all of the prospect rankings you will find on the site (aside from college based articles such as Inside the College Game or Power 16) are based on prospect's potential for the NBA. Butler is clearly the better "player" right now. However scouts view Ebanks as the better "prospect" due to his superior length, athleticism and perceived potential. Butler is a tremendous college player and has a future in the league and is seen as a possible first rounder, while Ebanks is seen as a possible lottery pick.
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Whiteside and Buford

Aran,

First time poster, longtime lurker. Great site, by the way. It's the best draftboard online.

Two questions: Maybe this is just a reaction of sheer Big Conference bias (I'm a Big Ten guy through and through), but don't you think Whiteside has huge bust potential? I realize that teams are willing to gamble especially when it comes to big men, but a young, somewhat awkward center from a relatively weak conference strikes me as a thoroughly bad idea for a top five pick. I realize he's averaging nearly a double-double, but this draft situation gives me flashbacks to 2006 with Patrick O'Bryant. Again, a great player in college, but he came from a weaker conference and you could just see his bust potential from a mile away. And sure enough ...

Also, I'm surprised you don't have Buford on either of your mock drafts. You think he'll stay through his senior year? I think he SHOULD stay, but he strikes me as a guy who'll bolt as soon as possible.

nwebb1
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Demetri Mccamey

I was wondering where Demetri McCamey is on the point guards list, i think he has as much potential as some of those guys on the list if not more, any reason why he was left off

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More potential?

Where is this more potential stuff coming from? First off, Whiteside is a year+ older than Cousins and Cousins has about 60-70 pounds easily on him. Demarcus physically dominates his opponents. Yes, Whiteside is a nice prospect and he blocks a lot of shots, but so does Jarvis Varnando. You saw what Cousins did to Jarvis...If these guys went head to head, I think Cousins would embarrass the guy to be honest. Just my opinion, but I really don't see how Whiteside has more potential.

BobbyHurley4Ever
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Cousins ahead of Whiteside

Whiteside is an excellent pro prospect but there are two negatives that stop me from ranking him ahead of Cousins, First, he plays at a mid-major school. Second, He is a mid-89 freshman....old for that group. He is certainly a top-10 talent, but Cousins has the potential to be a go-to scoring 4-5 man. Those are VERY valuable in the NBA. Just ask the Chicago Bulls (lol).

On the other hand, Cousins's maturity level is a huge problem. He can't control his emotions and I don't see that suddenly evaporating after a few years in the NBA. I imagine he will follow the same maturity timeline of a Derrick Coleman, Rasheed Wallace, or more recently Tyrus Thomas (who has yet to make any significant maturity progress). Yet Cousins has stretches of emotional stability and his scoring prowess is truly impressive (let's not forget he is putting up these numbers in the ALWAYS rugged SEC.

For a team picking at the top of the lottery, they will be looking for impact low-post scorers, not defensively skilled big-men. In time could Hassan turn into a new version of Marcus Camby? Sure.....but that takes time and patience (in fact Im still waiting for JaVale McGee to turn the corner.....it will be fun to see when and if he does). But anyway........

Cousins is a better prospect than Whiteside and should be ranked ahead of him.

Lodzio20
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...

Thompkins and Brackins over Udoh??are you kidding me?!

Adi Joseph
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Since I have some time right
Since I have some time right now, I can maybe give a little insight into what Aran's thinking. It should be noted that only Aran can give you definitive answers, but he's a busy man what with making this site work.
 
Keep in mind, though, that I'm not Aran. I did speak to him quite a bit as he put these lists together, though. 

LIMEME:
1. Most centers, if not all centers, have bust potential. More often than not, we believe in shying away from "projects." But those who have seen Whiteside play more often than once or twice can attest, this kid isn't as raw as he's being hyped as. Conference USA has a number of good big men, as well, so I would argue he's seen better competition than he would have in, say, the Pac-10.
2. Buford is a guy who, you're right, could prove rather unpredictable as to when he leaves. But I think the bigger issue is, will he be drafted at all if he leaves this year? I know Aran thinks Ohio State could do very well in the Tournament this year, and he may believe Buford bolts this year. I can't give you a definitive answer, other than to say that Buford has been Ohio State's fourth best wing player this year, and while he's a better prospect than Diebler or Lighty, that's not a good thing at all.
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NWEBB1:
McCarney is too slow and takes too many risks. That said, he's not far off the list in a year featuring a point guard derth. He could be drafted, but it's not very likely.
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GREGODEN08:
If Cousins has 60-70 pounds on Whiteside, why is that a good thing? Whiteside is still filling out his frame, in a good way. Cousins is only getting fatter. Whiteside's athleticism gives him more potential than Cousins, while Cousins may be a more polished player. The question is, will Cousins even bother caring enough to ever mature? That remains to be seen, but I don't really see it.
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BOBBYHURLEY4EVER:
I think you're dramatically underrating Whiteside's offensive game. He's proven capable of scoring from out to 15 feet, and he's not as raw and clumsy as McGee. McGee was a project; Whiteside, we believe, is a prospect. I do think you hit the nail on the head with Cousins' maturity issues though. The way we look at Cousins is that he might end up being a 20 and 10 guy who plays little defense and hurts your locker room dynamic with his selfish play, while Whiteside is by all accounts a good, hardworking kid who is already an excellent, NBA-level defender and has all the tools to be a much better offensive player from day 1 than many people seem to be giving him credit for.
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LODZIO20:
Udoh plays very stiff. He's also a twig compared to Thompkins and even Brackins. Both of those players are far more fluid and have more developed offensive games. And Udoh's recent play doesn't help him at all. Udoh is very similar to Jarvis Varnado, and those pure shotblockers rarely are that effective in the league.
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Ummm

I don't know? Maybe because he actually has the strength to physically dominate opponents. Something Whiteside can't do. And you can say that he's filling out his frame, but...We don't know if his frame will ever fill out. Cousins is a little immature, but I'm taking him over Whiteside anyday. Who cares if Whiteside is more athletic? How many great centers are there in the league that are super athletic and is a twig? Not even sure if he's an elite athlete to start out with.

And wait, how is Cousins selfish? Because he can score on anyone in the nation? Whiteside averages 0.3 APG and sports a lovely .15 a/t ratio. Not saying Cousins is much better, but at least he tries to kick the ball out for open 3's. And I don't really see how he's an excellent, nbe level defender...Almost every center will push him around in the post and get him in early foul trouble. Just because you can block shots, does not mean you're an nba level defender.

the I in win
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gregoden08 Whiteside has

gregoden08 Whiteside has more potential because he is very thin right now. If he was able to keep his current skill level and add about 25-30 pounds he would be able to do everything he does now and push people around.

For their first few years in the nba i would rather have Cousins but in the long run Whiteside could be much better. Cousins is however a safer pick which is something that can't be overlooked.

gregoden08
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True

Great point. But, like I've said...Will he be able to add another 25-30 pounds of muscle? And if he can, can he retain his athleticism/quickness (ala Dwight)? Just things to think about. And like I've said, maybe Whiteside has more athleticism, but Cousins has much more strength, is a better rebounder and has better post moves and he's a year younger.

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Patrick O'Bryant Comparison?

O'Bryant played exclusively on the block and was a marginal defender in the league. There was nothing about his game that seperated him from other bigs out there, aside from being a 7 footer. Whiteside stretches the defense out to 17 feet and shows good form on his jumpshot. If you watched any tape on this kid, it would be ridiculously obvious how different he is from Patrick O'Bryant. O'Bryant was also very stiff at 7 feet, whereas Whiteside is much more fluid and athletic, atleast defensively in the Javale McGee mold, which i believe someone else mentioned. Also, getting after this guy for being from a small conference? Since when did that dictate who was going to be successful in the NBA? All you have to do is look at who the site has him compared to, Camby/David Robinson, both from non-power conferences.

The8thDeadlySin
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Aran man, thanks for taking

Aran man, thanks for taking the time to answer my question. I agree that he is a better prospect. I was thinking that these are the best players in college as of now, not based on potential..

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good post

very informative about positional rankings well written interesting to read about all players.........good blog......thanks for sharing......web design

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