Senior Rankings Released
NCAA Senior Rankings - Class of 2009
Last year five seniors cracked the first round with one lottery pick: Jason Thompson (#12), who happened to be our top ranked senior prospect. This year's senior class has more projected first rounders (six) but could end up without any lottery picks.
The Class of 2009 has been one of the weakest in recent memory having produced just 11 first rounders in four years of eligibility. In comparison, the class of 2011 (Rose, Beasley, Mayo etc.) had 10 first rounders in its first year of eligibility.
(The top players to come out of this class so far have been Andrew Bynum, Monte Ellis, and Rodney Stuckey.)
Two big name guys, Darren Collison and Tyler Hansbrough both passed up becoming first round picks to return for their senior seasons in the hopes of college glory and further development. And while these two are certainly worthy, we're going out on a limb and designating underrated Texas forward Connor Atchley the top Senior prospect going into the season.
Though he was not highly acclaimed coming out of high school, Atchley is a versatile forward with a picture perfect jump shot and the length and athleticism to make plays in the paint. He has an old school game, even utilizing a hook shot and has the ability to take smaller guys inside and bigger guys outside. He likes to drift out on the perimeter to make use of his outside shooting and slashing ability.
Though not a world class athlete, he's got excellent length and agility to make plays in the open floor. The big question will be whether he's able to step up from being a role guy into the spotlight to become a star in his senior season. He has the necessary tools and appears to have a lot of upside left to develop in his game.
Eric Maynor is another guy who despite not having a great deal of national hype, due to playing at VCU, is an excellent pro prospect. His performance in the 2006-07 NCAA tournament playing the role of Duke killer, making the big plays at the end of their match up, endeared him to many college basketball fans and also put him on the map as a pro prospect.
In his junior year he wasn't able to make the same type of noise on a national
stage, however he was extremely effective and his game showed solid growth as
he successfully addressed his greatest weakness: shooting. He still has a slower
than average release, however he is very consistent from mid-range and also
became a factor shooting from the perimeter, (50-127) 39% from 3.
By returning for his senior year, Darren Collison can become the first draft pick ever to play in four Final Fours. Collison appears to have added some bulk and will need to prove that he can be just as strong at the end of the season as at the beginning.
Collison has an unorthodox release, but his high release point could be seen as a positive if he can show the ability to hit it from the extended (NBA) 3 point range in workouts.
He's been dropped by scouts on lists due to his disappearance in last year's tournament when all the chips were down, but will look to erase that with a solid senior season and tourney performance as a senior.
Tyler Hansbrough begins his senior
season on the mend with a shin injury, but will look to pick back up where he
left off as the most intense and competitive player in the nation. While he
lacks a true NBA position, his hustle and demeanor should make him an excellent
energy player at the next level.
Hansbrough may have peaked as a college player as it's hard to imagine he can improve much on the numbers he put up last season, but that shouldn't stop him from becoming a mid first rounder. A team could even grab him in the late lottery if the Heels are able to cut down the nets in early April.
Pitt senior Sam Young has steadily improved each season and now is part of a legitimate national title contender. A big performance this year, particularly in the tourney could launch him into the mid-first round area.
Young has a huge wingspan and excellent speed and leaping ability. While his feel for the game is still somewhat of a work in progress, he has shown steady development of his perimeter skills.
The biggest wildcard in the senior class, AJ Price could end up being the first senior taken (he's that talented) or he could slip into the mid second round. He's got an excellent package of skills with the ability to score and distribute plus prototypical size and speed, on a team (UConn) that will get plenty of exposure.
Price has been snake bit going through a barrage of turmoil, and coming off a horrific ACL knee injury in last season's tourney loss to San Diego, some will be wary of him. But all signs point to him being back close to 100% and ready to push the Huskies deep into March, that is if he can get out from under that dark cloud that seems to hang around him wherever he goes.
While Josh Heytvelt still must endure shroom references from crowds on the road, (the entire cast of Alice in Wonderland await) there's no denying his athletic talent. He was slowed last year by a leg injury, but appears to be moving more crisply and could be in store for a big senior season.
Before getting suspended during his sophomore year, Heytvelt had one standout performance as he completely dominated Hansbrough in Gonzaga's upset win over North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His size, length and athletic ability make him a prototypical power forward prospect.
Baylor's Curtis Jerrells is another senior with a great deal of talent who suffers from underexposure. His outside shooting and blow by ability off the dribble makes him an effective go to scorer, and he's got the body strength to finish after contact and overpower weaker guards.
If he can show improved passing and leadership skills, he could easily find a spot in the first round. Look for Baylor to make an even deeper run into the NCAAs with a more experienced and talented roster than a year ago led by Jerrells, fellow senior Henry Dugat and sophomore LaceDarius Dunn.
Gonzaga point guard Jeremy Pargo has made a habit of going up and over post players for highlight tomahawk dunks. His standout speed and athleticism allows him to outclass opponents, but it's been his point guard development over the past two seasons that has his stock on the rise.
Pargo still is more combo guard than true point, however his ability to set up teammates and make good decisions on the move have him lurking in the first round picture. A steady season as a floor general will make him a potential late first round pick despite an unspectacular showing at last year's Orlando Predraft camp.
Rounding out the top 10 seniors is Jeff Pendergraph. Although his stats don't jump off the page, Pendergraph is a hard worker who has a good basketball frame and is willing to do the dirty work for his team.
His offensive game around the basket has shown solid improvement and he has
put up solid numbers throughout his career without the benefit of a great playmaker.
The one-two punch of James Harden and Pendergraph are sure to lift the Sun Devils
to new heights this season.
NCAA Senior Rankings - Class of 2009
How could you possibly overlook Kyle McAlarney, the guard from Notre Dame. All the dude does is pop 3's from extremely deep, and slash like a pro. Oh, and he has the float shot mastered. So, he screwed up in the past with drugs, he still deserves a top 10!
Price has been snake bit going through a barrage of turmoil, and coming off a horrific ACL knee injury in dizi izle last season's tourney loss to San Diego, some will be wary of him. But all signs point to him being back close to 100% and ready to push the Huskies deep into March, that is if he can get out from under that dark Sohbet cloud that seems to hang around him wherever he goes.
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