Early Entrants – The Sophomore Class

Solomon Alabi, Florida St- Can’t teach height. And Alabi has plenty of it. Anchored the top statistical defense in the country this past year. He still lacks strength but possesses a nice shooting touch shown at the charity stripe. There’s some potential here, albeit still a project for the most part. Late round 1.

Greg Monroe, Georgetown – A decisive prospect. Probably the best passing big man in basketball. Not college basketball, basketball. Not an explosive athlete and needs to develop his face up jump shot and continue to develop his right hand. Top 10 when it’s all said and done.

Al-Farouq Aminu, Wake Forest – The question will be can he play the 4 at the next level? He rebounds and is a good enough athlete to do so. The issue is I don’t think he has close to the skills needed to play the 3 in the NBA. He’s a lotto pick as well with upside, but what position he plays will likely be an issue.

Luke Babbitt, Nevada – Love his game, but again here..can he play the 3? The skills aren’t the issue with Luke, the athleticism and quickness is. I like him more than a comparable Kyle Singler. Probably founds himself taking in the second round, though.

Ed Davis, North Carolina – Not a fan. And not sure if his game improved at all from his frosh year to this past season. Has anyone seen him score on anything but a dunk or a left handed jump hook? That said, he’s athletic, rebounds and can block shots. But if he goes in the Top 10, there is bust potential here in my opinion.

Terrico White, Mississippi – Was intriguing before the start of the year with his ability to be a combo guard down the line. But there was not much improvement in his game this season and Ole Miss didn’t quite live up to expectations. A 2nd round talent.

Samardo Samuels, Louisville – With the feedback he’ll receive, There’s no way he stays in the draft. Not even worth discussing.

Willie Warren, Oklahoma – Should have bounced last year. From lottery pick to at best a late round 1 pick this year. Did not look so hot without Blake Griffin around, and made it obvious he is not a point guard.

Jordan Crawford, Xavier – Once known for his dunk over LeBron, now as well known for his shoot out with Kansas State. He can score and dial it up from long distance. However, he needs to do more than just seek out his own shots. He likely could become a nice scorer off the bench for an NBA team down the road. With impressive workouts it wouldn’t be out the question to sneak into the first round.

Herb Pope, Seton Hall – Safe to say Herb has not had the best circle around him for a while now. Has NBA potential due to his rebounding, but needs more time.

Courtney Fortson, Arkansas- Get the passport ready

Arnett Moultrie, UTEP – Go back to school.

Sylven Landesberg, Virginia – Talented, but had his season short cut due to academics. Has a well rounded offensive game, can handle, drive and shoot from distance fairly well. Probably could have made a push to be an All American caliber player his junior year. Now looking at the top end of Round 2.

Elliot Williams, Memphis – Can do about everything but shot. And that’s a big issue as a 2 guard. His athleticism, ability to attack the rim and defend finds him a spot from 25-40.

Devin Ebanks, West Virginia – Has yet to realize his potential and his offense is a major work in progress. Actually as there been any progress? But he can defend, and defend multiple spots. I could see an Ariza like career path for Ebanks, although I do think he’s worth a late Round 1 pick.

Paul George, Fresno State – Youtube sensation his freshmen year. Talented, but started to rely on the 3 ball a bit too much this year for my taste. When you have athletic ability, you need to put it to use in college, in particular when you shoot FT’s at a 90% clip. Has ideal size to play on the wing in the NBA and rebounds well. Looks like a safe bet to go in Round 1 at this point.

Gordon Hayward, Butler – I don’t buy the hype as a lottery pick, not yet. Didn’t shoot the ball well this year in an offense that gets open looks for everyone. But does have the size to play the 3 in the NBA and does not have the athletic concerns that a player like Babbit does.

The impact on the college game..

Memphis – With Will Barton, Joe Jackson and Jelan Kendrick on the way, the loss of Williams does not hurt too much. It may be turn out to be easier to mesh for Josh Pastner. If Williams had to stay you’re probably going to have start Joe, Will and Elliot together, not ideal. Jelan fits in well as a 2nd distributor.

Georgetown- From a Top 5 preseason team with Monroe back to now a fringe Top 15-20 squad. Still bringing back a great back court to go along with a more than solid recruiting class. Big man Nate Lubick is the key.

Butler- If Hayward is gone, it really deflates Butler’s hopes for another run. He clearly was the one spot on the floor that Butler had an advantage against top tier teams. Matt Howard and Shelvin Mack are nice players, but not of Hayward’s quality.

Florida State- If Alabi had returned with Chris Singleton and Michael Snear, it could have been a legit Top 15 team with their defensive ability. Now they’re likely on pace for a similar season as the past one.

Oklahoma- Again, a mess.

Louisville- Samardo is absolutely needed back. While critics have picked his game apart, if he returns, Louisville is a top 5 Big East team. Without him you have to move forward with Rakeem Buckles and Jared Swopshire holding down the paint, not ideal.

Xavier – Another spot where one player dramatically changes how things would have looked next year. Big loss, and while Xavier will continue to win in the A10, the upside they might have had does not exist without Crawford.

West Virgnia- If Ebanks had returned, I would have thought WVU to be a tough out again next season. Now without him, Huggins loses his two best players, Ebanks and Da’Sean Butler. Ebanks had the ability to handle the ball and make a few plays on the offensive end to go next to Butler. Now it puts Kevin Jones, who I love as a player, into an offensive he role he just probably is not ready for.

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