No Sleep Till Football

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OT: College Basketball Recruiting – Class of 2010 #1-#10

College basketball is a sport I do like to follow from a macro perspective. Recruiting is incredibly important at the collegiate level so I thought I’d go back and take a look at the top recruits in the class of 2010. I’m not interested so much in a player individual statistics although I will list them. It’s more interesting to look at the players from the team’s perspective in a sort of “hit or miss” analysis. I’ll go by the Rivals Top-150 from 2010.

#1 Josh Selby: 6’1/183lbs, Guard, University of Kansas

The #1 recruit in the class of 2010 missed the first 9 games of the season, but since coming back Selby has averaged 11pts/3rbs/3ast/1st/3to per game. He’s shooting 38/39/83 from the field in the conventional (FG/3FG/FT) method. There is no doubt this kid is a stud athlete, but there are certainly deficiencies in his game. He’s not a great shooter. He turns the ball over too much and doesn’t quite get to the rim as much as you’d like to see him. Selby is definitely being used more as an offensive weapon when he’s on the floor as Tyshawn Taylor primarily runs the point. Selby certainly has the ability to take over games, but he’s been inconsistent so far as a true freshman. His FT% says he should be trying to get to the line as much as possible. He’s a solid defender who can make plays. All in all, Kansas is more about the Morris brothers than Josh Selby, but if Selby gets a hot hand, Kansas can obliterate teams. Obviously this was a home run recruit for Bill Self & Kansas, but you wonder if Selby shouldn’t stay at KU for an extra season? Draft Express has him going #12 overall in the 2011 NBA Draft which is a lottery pick, but at 6’1 he’s a little small to be a SG in the league. Developing into a legitimate PG could help him in the long run.

#2 Harrison Barnes: 6’8/210lbs, Forward, University of North Carolina

Barnes came into the season with more hype than anyone. Named a 1st team pre-season All-American before even taking one shot at the collegiate level, it was bound to happen that Barnes would be seen as somewhat of a disappointment. For the year so far Barnes is averaging 12pts/5reb/2ast/2to while shooting 37/31/71. Tyler Zeller somewhat overshadowed Barnes early in the year as UNC got out to a disappointing 4-3 start. Barnes hasn’t been dominating outside of a 19pts/10reb game against Long Beach State. It has been Barnes’s only double-double of the season. By contrast, Zeller has had 3 double-doubles while John Henson has 4. It sounds crazy, but Barnes simply isn’t that good so far. He’s still projected to be a lottery pick, but he can’t shoot well. He doesn’t really like going inside & so far his athleticism is only average. UNC’s guard play isn’t fantastic, but I expected more out of Barnes at this stage. Carolina has a formidable post duo in Zeller & Henson. If Barnes steps up his game, then UNC becomes a very very dangerous team. Like Selby, you almost wonder if Barnes wouldn’t be helped by sticking around Chapel Hill for another year.

#3 Enes Kanter: 6’9/250lbs, Forward, University of Kentucky

Kanter was ruled ineligible by the NCAA due to some of his games over in his home country of Turkey. Kanter would be considered a center in college ball, but being 6’9 would make him a PF in the NBA. He’s clearly going the NBA route next year and Draft Express has him going #4. Kentucky is 15-4 this year with 3 losses all coming by 7 points or fewer. Outside of the UConn game, you’d have to think UK would be at least 17-2 and possibly 18-1 with Kanter in the lineup. It’s not necessarily a recruiting miss by the Wildcats because they didn’t know they wouldn’t have him. Kentucky could definitely use another inside presence to go along with Terrance Jones. Maybe Adreian Payne? Calipari recruited him hard before Payne pulled the trigger for Michigan St.

#4 Kyrie Irving: 6’2/185lbs, Guard, Duke University

A complete home run recruit for Coach K and the Blue Devils. This has to make both Indiana & Duke fans sick. It has to make Indiana fans sick because rumors were rampant that Irving wanted to play for Indiana before his father got heavily involved and guided Irving to Duke because the thought was that Irving was going to play for one year and he wanted to put himself in a position to win a championship right away. He wasn’t going to do that at Indiana, BUT he would have gotten the Hoosiers into the tournament. Duke has to be sick because Irving played 8 games before being injured. Draft Express has him as the #1 overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft so he’s not sticking around. Before he got injured, Irving averaged 17pts/4reb/5ast/2stl/1blk/3to per game while shooting 53/45/90! There were no weaknesses to his game. When Irving was in the lineup a lot of pundits were wondering if Duke might have an undefeated season. With him out, they lost to Florida St. Duke is still favored to win a national championship, but with Irving it might have been signed, sealed & delivered.

#5 Jared Sullinger: 6’8/260lbs, Forward, Ohio St. University

Beast with a capital “B”! Sullinger didn’t come in as a 1st team All-American the way Harrison Barnes did, but how can he not end his freshman season as one? Sullinger is the stud post presence on an Ohio St. team that is currently 20-0 & ranked #1 in the country. For the season Sullinger is averaging 18pts/10reb/1ast/1stl/1blk/2to per game while shooting 58/13/74. So he can’t hit 3-point shots. It’s his one weakness! Sullinger has 9 double-doubles in 20 games and has shown flashes of utter domination. In his first game as a Buckeye he went for 19pts/14reb against North Carolina A&T. In his 2nd game, Ohio St. played on the road against Florida where he went for 26pts/10reb in a game OSU blew the Gators out. He had 40pts/13reb against IUPUI, 30pts/19reb against South Carolina and most recently 27pts/16reb against Illinois in a game where Sullinger himself prevented Ohio St. from suffering their first loss. There is nothing he doesn’t do well. He’s a defensive monster, draws fouls, gets to the line, converts from the line, and does a great job in not turning the ball over. Draft Express has him going #5 overall, but I could see him going higher. Sullinger might be able to pull off what Greg Oden & Mike Conley couldn’t while in Columbus. Enjoy him while you can. He’s a goner.

#6 Brandon Knight: 6’3/185lbs; Guard; University of Kentucky

I sort of feel mixed about Knight. At various points during the 2009-2010 high school season, Knight was thought to be the best prospect in the class. He ultimately fell to #6 which is still incredible. Expectations are always going to be high with the point guards that John Calipari has sent to the NBA. When the list include Derrick Rose, Tyreke Evans, Eric Bledsoe and John Wall, there is a lot of hype to live up to. Those are expectations nobody should be able to live up to, but Knight is holding his own. So far this season Knight has averaged 18pts/4reb/4ast/1stl/3to per game while shooting 46/41/78. He’s fast and a good defender. He’s also been a tremendous shooter for UK although I think Doran Lamb & Darius Miller have overshadowed him a bit in this area. His handle is a bit weak which would be problematic at the NBA level. Draft Express has him going 20th overall which is out of the lottery meaning he’s probably do well to stick around Lexington for another year although where that puts Marquis Teague would come into question. Like Josh Selby, Knight is a ridiculously explosive player who can certainly fill it up. He doesn’t do a great job getting to the line although when you watch him play you can see that he could just about anytime he pleases. He needs to work on the point guard skills though.

#7 Tobias Harris: 6’8/220lbs, Forward, University of Tennessee

Fantastic get for Bruce Pearl and the Vols. You don’t hear a ton about Harris or maybe I just miss out on all the talk about him? He’s been great averaging 15pts/7reb/2ast/1stl/1blk/2to per game while shooting 46/31/74. Harris has had 5 double-doubles so far, and has come close on 3 other occasions. He’s sort of like what UNC thought they were going to get with Harrison Barnes. Harris has scored in the double digits in every game he’s played save one and his rebounding has really stepped up recently now that conference play has started. Harris has been one of the better freshman in the nation although how he projects in the NBA has some people concerned. Right now his outstanding versatility make him a legit problem for opposing collegiate players, but he’s not really fast enough to be a SF in the NBA, yet not truly big enough to be a PF either. Draft Express has him going 19th overall in next year’s draft which is out of the lottery. Harris is a terrific post player. There aren’t any real weaknesses to his game outside of his tweener label. At 12-7 it’s been a roller coaster ride for Tennessee, but I could see Harris coming back to Knoxville.

#8 Cory Joseph: 6’3/180lbs, Guard, University of Texas

Joseph was a point guard coming out of Nevada when he committed to the Longhorns. He’s had a pretty decent freshman season averaging 11pts/4reb/3ast/1stl/2to per game while shooting 44/43/67. Draft Express doesn’t have Joseph going to the NBA in their 2011 Mock Draft but do have him going 23rd overall in the 2012 Mock Draft. The real problem with Joseph stems back to Texas’s win over Illinois. In that game Demetri McCamey was outstanding making Joseph look bad at times on defense. Before the season began, Joseph was up there with Irving & Knight. The latter two have separated themselves while Joseph has gone on a learning curve, but Joseph can definitely score and his handle isn’t awful. He has a pretty good knack for rebounding the ball too and doesn’t get himself into foul trouble. He needs to become a better FT shooter, but that’s a practice issue. UT should have him around for 1-2 more years which has to make Rick Barnes ecstatic.

#9 Perry Jones: 6’11/220lbs, Forward, Baylor University

Jones has been an outstanding addition to Baylor in 2010-2011. So far this season Jones is averaging 14pts/7reb/1ast/1stl/1blk/2to per game while shooting 58/13/65. From a skill level, Jones has been great for the Bears. On paper there isn’t much he doesn’t do well, and there aren’t that many kids who are 6’11 & 220lbs. The problem with Jones was brought about when Baylor played Kansas & Florida St. Against KU, the Morris twins had their way with Jones. He still dropped 20 points but only grabbed two rebounds! Florida St. is an uber-athletic big team that held Jones to just 4 points & 6 rebounds. He’s certainly a presence in the middle, but he needs to be 250lbs-260lbs with a mean streak as big as he is. Draft Express has him going #2 overall in the 2011 NBA Draft behind Irving so it’ll be hard for him to turn the NBA down, but pundits everywhere are saying this guy needs another year in college.

#10 Reggie Bullock: 6’7/190lbs, Guard, University of North Carolina

Bullock has been OK this year, but probably not worthy of a top-10 rankings. So far he’s averaged 7pts/3reb/1ast/1stl/1to per game while shooting 43/33/55. Bullock’s carrying card is going to be his ability to play SG/SF. His shooting has been pretty abysmal meaning he hasn’t got the skill set needed to play the 2-guard. Not yet anyway. North Carolina’s roster construction hasn’t lent itself to getting Bullock a ton of minutes either. Bullock should probably play SF, but right now Harrison Barnes is playing that role. Dexter Strickland is playing SG which means bench time for Bullock. Currently he’s getting only 14 minutes per game. Bullock has a lot to work on. He’s not predicted to be a draft pick in Draft Express’s 2011 or 2012 mock drafts. Bullock is sort of log jammed due to his position but if Barnes leaves after one year, Bullock certainly steps in as a SF.

OVERALL TOP 10

From a macro perspective you really have to like North Carolina here. Harrison Barnes could come out, but in reality there is a good chance that both Barnes & Bullock return next year! Texas & Tennessee are also in good position with Joseph & Harris respectively. The same might be true for Kentucky & Brandon Knight. Kansas, Ohio St., Duke & Baylor are probably stuck with the 1-and-done players. I can’t see how Irving or Sullinger come back. I think Selby wants to get to the league and if Perry Jones is potentially a #2 or #3 pick in the 2011 draft, he jumps. Kentucky loses Kanter, but they never had him to begin with.

As far as the top-10 in 2010 are concerned, North Carolina comes out smelling awfully good.

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January 25, 2011 - Posted by | Basketball, Recruiting

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