NBA Draft Stock Report: Thabeet Making a Move
Joey Whelan's prospect report ranks the best in college hoops every other week. The previous ranking is in parentheses.
1. Blake Griffin - Oklahoma (1)
Everything is going right for Blake Griffin right now. He is the best player in the country and his team is ranked #2 in the country. Since we last checked in the super sophomore has recorded three more double-doubles to up his season total to 20. He also got not one, but two appearances on Sportcenter's Top 10 on Saturday after the Sooners win over Colorado; that's a pretty good weekend.
2. James Harden - Arizona State (2)
In his last three games Harden has shown a little bit of everything: some bad, some good. The bad came on Saturday in an ugly 49-38 win over Oregon State in which the guard managed only 9 points on 2-9 shooting. The good came in the Sun Devils road win at Oregon when Harden posted his second best scoring total of the year with 36 points, going 5-10 from beyond the arc.
3. Hasheem Thabeet - Connecticut (7)
What's better than being the star big man for the #1 team in the land? Well in the case of Hasheem Thabeet it would be brilliant performance he turned in last Monday against Louisville. The senior completely controlled the paint, altering a tremendous number of shots and forcing the Cardinals to alter their offense. This came on the heels of a triple-double just a couple days before in a win over Providence. Games like these two will go a long way to keeping the UConn center's name in the top five.
4. Greg Monroe - Georgetown (3)
Monroe is going to hang around near the top five on this list because he is such a physically gifted and intriguing player, but the continuing struggles of the Hoyas is going to make things tough for the freshman big.
5. Jordan Hill - Arizona (4)
Hill was handcuffed on Friday at Oregon State by the slow pace of play and foul trouble, but he recovered nicely on Sunday with a 24 and 8 showing in a win at Oregon. Despite having such a fantastic season, the junior is still a relative secret thanks to east coast bias, so Arizona squeaking into the NCAA Tournament would be a huge boost for Hill's stock.
6. Jeff Teague - Wake Forest (5)
Teague hit a three game stretch where he went from off the charts to just solid, but he quickly jumped back into the stratosphere with a 27-point, 8 assist showing at home versus Boston College. It's that second number in particular that scouts will be keeping an eye on closely to see if the sophomore has what it takes to make the transition from scoring combo guard in college to playmaking point in the NBA.
7. Ty Lawson - North Carolina (9)
The Tar Heels floor general really impressed in a big win over Maryland last week. Lawson was about as efficient as a player can be shooting the basketball and was still able to dish out 6 assists. In his last two games he has managed a whopping 15:0 assist to turnover ratio which is remarkable given the high octane style of offense that North Carolina plays.
8. Earl Clark - Louisville (6)
The last couple of games have not been pretty for Clark, particularly his 2-16 shooting performance in big loss to Connecticut. At the end of the day though, Clark isn't likely to fall out of the lottery if he enters the draft due to his unbelievable upside. Yes, he has been inconsistent, but we are talking about a 6'9" wing player with tremendous athleticism; that's going to be enough for most teams to take a chance on.
9. B.J. Mullens - Ohio State (10)
Facing arguably the best frontcourt in the Big Ten last week in the form of Purdue, Mullens put together a great game. The freshman big dropped 17 points and hauled in 8 rebounds, shooting a near perfect 8 of 9 from the field. Mullens certainly looks at times that he could use another year of seasoning in college before making the leap to the pro level, but his athleticism and potential is going to land him somewhere in the lottery, so it makes sense for him to go one and done.
10. Stephen Curry - Davidson (8)
Curry barely made the cut this week but frankly there wasn't anyone who should be ahead of him right now. It's tough for players like Curry who play in smaller conferences where he really isn't seeing NBA talent ever, so in order to stay in the spotlight he has to put up almost unreachable numbers. He is still scoring nearly 30 points a night but his shooting percentage from beyond the arc continues to fall as he puts it up at an increasingly high rate from this range.
Dropped Out: None
Next in Line: Kyle Singler, Duke; Patrick Patterson, Kentucky; Al-Farouq Aminu, Wake Forest; Gerald Henderson, Duke; Tyreke Evans, Memphis
Tyreke Evans - Memphis
Evans arrived at the college level with more hype than any other member of this year's freshman class. After some strong performances early on he started to fall off the map somewhat; the numbers were still good but he wasn't showing anything that really made scouts stop and watch. The last couple of weeks things have been starting to really come together for the Tiger's top dog though. Evans has seemingly become more aggressive while remaining efficient; getting to the line more often but also continuing to improve his abilities as a playmaker. He also seems to be getting a little more comfortable with his perimeter shooting as his numbers have taken a slight step forward. Evans was already a first round selection after this year, but now he has a shot to push himself into the lottery discussion if he continues on his current path.
Jeremy Pargo - Gonzaga
It's been a bit of an up and down year for the Bulldogs floor general. Pargo's name was and certainly still is in the NBA draft discussion, but Saturday's abysmal showing against Memphis was a step backwards. The senior shot just 1-6 from the field and turned the ball over 5 times compared to 4 assists. This game came on the heels of a season high 22 points for Pargo against Portland, but in general it has been a rough few weeks for him. Pargo has reach double figure scoring in just three out of his last seven games and has just two more assists than turnovers during that same stretch. A strong finish to the regular season and a good game or two in March would do a lot to get his name back in second round discussions.