Yea, nah it’s really looking like it is curtains for the NBA. But the grind never stops, and there is still great basketball taking place across the country (not including those charity games). As we are fresh outta college and in these mean struggle streets with these place-mat degrees of course we still must keep an ear to the NCAA wire (we respect women’s bball at this level) and report back to yall. So real swishas won’t let a chance to politic about college ball float by.
Now I know some of you could careless about the Duke’s and UCLA’s and Kentucky’s of the world but while the NBA is in limbo why not get to know the Fab Five “And One” players entering this 2011-2012 college bball season. Get to know em now so you can act like you were rocking with them for a minute once they begin to shine in December and January and take their teams on improbable runs in March.
Figured we’d keep it really elementary and introduce the best of the best in terms of players and not so much teams since we know many ppl who aren’t college fans will more than likely find a player to root for opposed to a team.
CENTER: Jared Sullinger
6’8″ 250 C/PF
Ohio State Soph.
Probably the easiest pick to make of the whole group. Would have been a top 3 possibly number one pick had he left after a successful Freshman season for the Buckeyes. 17 and 10 and shot 54% from the field in a competitive Big Ten Conference as a frosh, expect to see not only an increase in his numbers, but also his exposure and votes for James Naismith Player of the Year Award.
NBA Projection: Plays the Center for Ohio State but at a “college” 6’8″ which projects to an NBA 6’6″ and three quarters he’ll play the four. Has a game that crosses between Carlos Boozer and Kevin Love
POWER FORWARD: Perry Jones
6’11” 235 PF
A player who may have floated under the radar last season while playing for the same program as two prolific guards and a female that could dunk and block more shots than a few, and was also known for stalling off on opponents. But Perry may have the most “NBA Potential” of all of the players to make this list. Averaged 13 points and 7 rebs as a freshman a season ago, and now that the team is undoubtedly his he’ll be able to showcase more of his athleticism and relatively raw skill set in 2012.
NBA Comparison: At 6’11” 235 and a fairly slender frame, ability to put it on the deck and get to the cup, and a decent jumpshot he projects to be a SF in the league. That video says TMac/Anthony Randolph I believe that that is actually very accurate so that’s what we’ll go with. But “NBA Potential” also says Johnathan Bender smh.
SMALL FORWARD: Harrison Barnes
6’8″ 223 SF
The second easiest pick to make on the list. After a slow start to his freshman season, Harrison became a complete monster in the ACC where on top of come from behind victories and game winning shots, he put up close to 20 a game in conference play including 40 in the final regular season game against Clemson. Coming back to a team with a great point guard and post won’t hurt his chances for success either. One of the few players (who we’ve seen play at the college level) who has an NBA ready game today.
NBA Comparison: Does project to play the swing position when he leaves for the NBA which many people thought he would have done after his finish last season. Reminds me a lot of Caron Butler (when healthy) in terms of his mid range ability and athleticism which isn’t outstanding but is very viable.
SHOOTING GUARD: Jeremy Lamb
6’5″ 185 SG
Another easy pick and the player who I think many people on the northeast will root for. Had his coming out party when it mattered most last season as UCONN ran through the Big East tournament and then danced their way to a National Championship. Had the composure in big games that LeBron dreams of and he was only 18 years old. Another player who could have left early (wouldn’t have been a high pick) but decided to stay back and play at least another season in the backcourt with Shabazz Napier under coach Calhoun. Only averaged 11 points per game last season but if there was no Jeremy there would have been no dancing in April for the Huskies.
NBA Comparison: A slashing 2g from UConn. Easy comparison. Rip Hamilton. His long arms
are gonna allow him to become a terrific defender at the NBA level, he does seem to have a little more spring in his bounce than Rip does.
POINT GUARD: Maalik Wayns
6’2″ 185 PG
Definitely was the toughest choice to make, with the likes of Shabazz Napier, Kendall Marshall, and Ashton Gibbs lurking. But what separates Maalik from that bunch is the fact that he plays in the most guard friendly program in recent memory. And now with Corey Fisher graduated the team is all his and he will probably be the livest point guard in the Big East this coming season. He’s the lone junior on this list as well so his collegiate window is closing because most of the top players don’t hang around for a 3rd season.
NBA Comparison: Strong going to the basket and a great finisher for a point guard. Very similar in ability to former Nova guard Kyle Lowry. Has decent size and athletic ability for an NBA one.
“And One”: Had to include the big homey Draymond. Became a fan of his game when Michigan State lost in the chip to Hansbrough back in ’09.
6’7″ 230 PF
Michigan State Senior
Honestly I don’t know what he projects to be in a year when he graduates and goes to the league, but he’s a GREAT college player with the ability to do anything on the court all while playing the power forward position. If there was a player who I had to choose to give Jared Sullivan a run for his money for not only Big Ten Player of the year but also National Player of the Year I’d go with Draymond. 12 8 and 4 from a power forward is as good as it gets in terms of being a stat sheet filler. Also felt compelled to put someone of age on the list. College basketball seniors have become a thing of the past but they still exist and some of em are future NBA talents.
This post is a little long but it really is useful if you love bball and would like some type of hoops other than 2K to look forward to this winter.