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Senior Rankings Updated

Wed, 03/04/2009 - 11:41pm
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Like most years, the senior class has been depleted of it's marquee talent, but left over are a few late bloomers and ready-to-contribute players. Looking back at the last five drafts, the senior class has produced an average of 6 first rounders per year including (5 in 2008), (5 in 2007), (7 in 2006), (9 in 2005), and (4 in 2004). Six seniors are currently projected in the first round with another eight knocking on the door (projected in the next 10 picks). Here's a look at the top senior prospects at the beginning of March.

Top 10 Seniors

 
 

Eric Maynor
 

Leading the charge is VCU's tremendous floor general Eric Maynor. Similar to Milwaukee's Ramon Sessions, Maynor was a late bloomer who slipped through the cracks in recruiting due to fundamental deficiencies in his offensive game. He has worked hard at correcting those glitches and has seen vast improvement over his college career. Unlike Sessions, Maynor returned for his senior year and has put it to great use becoming the most complete college point guard prospect in the nation. While some scouts still have mentioned him as a second rounder, look for Maynor to find a spot in the top 20 on draft night with a real shot to crack the lottery (despite looking like a little person in the photo to the right).

UCLA's floor general Darren Collison is a model of efficiency. After improving in each of his years at UCLA, Mr. DC has once again upped his FT and FG numbers, as well as his A/TO ratio. This is a strong point guard class with players such as Brandon Jennings, Maynor, Stephen Curry probably pushing Collison down. It's likely that Collison will end up somewhere in the 20s. His lack of a great bodyframe is his biggest draw back as scouts question his ability to handle physical play and absorb contact. A strong end of the season and NCAA tournament should cement a spot in the first round for Collison as he'll look to erase his dismal performance in last year's tourney.

Pitt's Sam Young has shown solid improvement throughout his college career. With a giant wingspan and excellent explosiveness, Young should be a good role player at the next level. Similar to Toronto's Joey Graham, Young is a bit mechanical and lacks huge offensive upside but has the strength and athleticism to be a strong rebounder and defender on the wing who can finish at the rim and knock down open Js.

Tyler Hansbrough's NBA potential was overrated early in his college career as some teams had him rated in their top 10 on their draft boards during his sophomore year. It appears as though Hansbrough's potential has come full circle and it's to the point where he has become underrated as whispers have begun about him falling out of the first round. If he ends up going where he's currently projected (25 range), Hansbrough is likely to be an excellent pick for someone. He's small for the PF position, but his work ethic, speed running the floor and excellent touch should make him a very effective pro given the right expectations and role.

Although he was slow to start the year, UConn's AJ Price has picked things up and remains one of the real wild cards from this year's draft class. He has been plagued by off court and injury concerns, which might make him a bigtime sleeper. When he's on his game, he's one of the most effective guards in the country, as witnessed in his 36 point effort against Marquette. Price is among a small handful of current NCAA players with a shot to be an starting NBA PG someday.

Louisville's Terrence Williams is the list's biggest riser since the season began. He has stepped up his game, particularly his shooting and scoring ability. He's one of the most athletic players in the country and has standout passing ability. He still lacks consistency, but his all around versatility and athleticism give him a great shot to get into the first round.

While his numbers don't stand out, ASU's Jeff Pendergraph has first round potential with excellent energy, length and toughness in the paint. Some of his lack of eye popping numbers can be attributed to a slower style of play that ASU employs. Pendergraph figures to be a sleeper in the second round and could potentially play himself into the first round with a strong tournament.

Like Maynor, Marquette's Jerel McNeal has become one of the most complete players in the country. His ability to excel at both ends of the floor makes him extremely valuable. He's a small 2-guard which limits NBA intrigue some, but with good speed and athleticism, he should be able to make it in the Eddie House/Luther Head sparkplug role.

Jeff Adrien, like Pitt forward DeJuan Blair, benefits from the recent success of smaller power forwards in the NBA. He's only around 6-7, but his 7-foot wingspan and tireless motor allow him to battle against bigger and stronger players. Adrien will have a good chance to get drafted and contribute to a team off the bench.

Curtis Jerrels started the year extremely well but the entire Baylor team went into a tailspin and the collapse is sure to affect Jerrels stock. He's got excellent size and speed for the PG position but needs further development in his ability to run a team. He appears to be one of those guys whose game is catered more towards the NBA game than college and may end up as a steal in the mid second round area.

Biggest Dissapointment

Before the season started we ranked Connor Atchley as the top senior in the class and a first rounder. Land mine! While others are using desert eagles, Atchley's gun appears to be a replica. Nobody has been more disappointing than Atchley, whose lack of assertiveness has stunted his playing time and progress and made getting drafted at all questionable. He's got a silky shot and an NBA frame/agility, but his lack of aggressiveness has put a dark cloud over his NBA outlook.

Class of 2009 Senior Rankings

canan
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Brandon Jennings

This is a strong point guard class with players such as Brandon Jennings, Maynor, Stephen Curry probably pushing Collison down. It's likely that Collison will end up somewhere in the 20s.
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