Sophomore Rankings Updated
Many have called this the greatest class of all time, the (2011) sophomore class features 9 players projected in this year's first round. After putting 10 players in the first round (7 in the lottery) in 2008, this class remains the strongest at the college level including college's premiere talent Blake Griffin. The classes of 2010 and 2011 were both incredibly deep and talented which have made the current freshmen (2012) and high school senior (2013) classes pale in comparison.
Top 5 Sophomores
Oklahoma's man child Blake
Griffin has a rare combination of talent and work ethic. He turned down
being a top 5 pick as a freshman to further develop his game and become the
top overall pick. Some have questioned his height but look for him to measure
out in the 6-9 to 6-10 range in shoes when the combines roll around. Griffin
is the type of player who if he were just 6-7 could actually mold his skills
into becoming a small forward and become an excellent pro. His ball handling
and passing skills for a 6-9, 20 year old post player are phenomenal. Griffin is the one sure franchise talent in this year's draft and will have a good
chance to become a top 10 player in the league some day.
No one has had a worse showing among the top prospects in the tourney thus far than James Harden. How bad his poor performance hurt him depends who you ask. He was completely neutralized by the suffocating Syracuse zone defense, as Arizona State was eliminated in round 2. He's definitely not without flaws as he lacks the freakish athleticism and foot speed of a typical star. However, in a weak draft and with an excellent body of work over the past two seasons, Harden has a strong chance of being a top 5 pick with an NBA readiness and feel for the game matched by few at the college level.
Kansas bigman Cole Aldrich has come a long ways this season. He's had terrific numbers over his sophomore campaign averaging 14.8 ppg, 11.0 rpg and 2.6 bpg. His 7-foot-5 wingspan makes him essentially a 7-footer. Aldrich is still raw on the offensive end and will likely take some time before he can contribute at the next level. He would benefit with one more year in college, but then again being a surefire high pick (likely mid to late lotto) is difficult to turn down.
Iowa State forward Craig Brackins is already 22 so even though he's a sophomore there a pressure to leave, which he is expected to. He still needs to bulk up some but has put on a good amount of strength in his two years in Ames. With great length at 6-10 with long arms, underrated athleticism, and a sweet shot with the ability to face up or play with his back to the basket, Brackins is one of the most versatile and talented bigmen on the college level. He'll have a good shot to land in the late lottery with good workouts.
Jeff Teague is a big wild card for this year's draft. Word is he's leaning toward entering the draft. He had an amazing first half of the season, for stretches looking like the top point guard in the country, but his play dropped off considerably in the final month or so culminating with Wake Forest's collapse in the first round of the tournament. He's got excellent speed and explosiveness, and scoring ability but concerns remain about him ability to run a team. A third year at Wake would benefit his point guard development, but then again it will be tough to return with his stock as high as it is.
Class of 2011 Sophomore Rankings
Griffin is 6-8, not 6-9 or 6-10. Onuaku is listed at 6-9, but on the court he's taller than Griffin. Cole Aldrich is 6-10. Do you really think Griffin is as tall as Aldrich? Of course, as with Beasley (who was also listed at 6-10 pre-combine), Griffin at 6-8 will still be the number one pick. However (as with Beasley), at 6-8 his longterm potential will be determined by how well he develops his perimeter skills. He will not be able to physically dominate forwards in the NBA like he did in college. At 6-8, his shot will occasionally be blocked when matching up against forwards who are 6-10-7+. I understand that he works on his handle every day, so that's good. Developing range out to 3 will also help him adjust.
That would be a good idea - I never thought of that! No I'm not mad. I like Tyler of course, but I don't think he has the athleticism to be a star in the NBA. But he'll work his butt off for whatever team he plays for and he'll play 10 years. Griffin's athleticism and perimeter skills are better than Tyler's and will improve. On that topic, when they match up tomorrow, see if they're about the same height. Tyler is listed at 6-8 and I think Griffin will be about the same even though he may be broader.
How can Evan Turner not be on this list?
"How can Evan Turner not be on this list?"
I was thinking the same exact thing!
- Steanfi, Teeth Whitening Consultant
Emm.......I don't get. Why can't he be on the list?? To me, he is one of the best players or was one of the best players then.
-Bilada, Puffer Vest