NBA Prospect Report: Curry on the Rise

    
December 21st, 2008

Joey Whelan will be checking in throughout the season with his Top 10 Prospects Report, a look at who is rising, falling, and dominating the game of college basketball:

Top 10 NBA Draft Prospects

 

1. Blake Griffin - Oklahoma (1)

Another typical week from the heavy front runner to go #1 in June as Griffin records his seventh and eighth double-doubles of the season. Even in a game versus Utah where he failed to make a field goat, he still managed to crack double digits thanks to 11-14 shooting at the line.

2. James Harden - Arizona State (2)

Sure it was a tough performance for Harden in his one game since we last checked in (fouled out with 9 points vs. IUPUI) but there still isn't a better shooting guard prospect in this draft class at this point.

3. Hasheem Thabeet - Connecticut (3)

He continues to look more and more appealing each and every week. Thabeet was always intriguing because of his size and shot blocking ability, but now he is able to bang and score down low.

4. Earl Clark - Louisville (4)

Clark continues to impress with his versatility and ability to impact the game without putting the ball in the basket (see this past week). Certainly should he continue to improve his range we are looking at a top ten caliber pick.

5. Tyreke Evans - Memphis (5)

Evans holds onto his spot with a 20 and 7 showing in last Saturday's marquee match up with Georgetown. The freshman showed he isn't afraid to take the big shot in the big moment, but showed some of the trigger happiness that made him notorious in high school.

6. Ty Lawson - North Carolina (6)

If there were any doubts about whom the quickest player in the country was before the season started, Lawson has all but put those to sleep by this point. The junior's ability to change speeds is almost unfair at the college level.

7. Stephen Curry - Davidson (NA)

I'm finally relenting and putting Curry in the top ten. Let's face it, he's earned it and this draft class simply isn't the strongest in the world. The scoring machine is the most entertaining player to watch in quite some time at the collegiate level.

8. B.J. Mullens - Ohio State (8)

It was another mediocre week for the former blue chip recruit, but as we know, scouts love size and athleticism.

9. Jrue Holiday - UCLA (NA)

Holiday looks like he is finally starting to get comfortable (aside from a rough outing on Wednesday). The freshman is a great rebounder for a guard and has been showing real flashes of his playmaking ability.

10. Greg Monroe - Georgetown (10)

Another solid week from the Hoya's latest frontcourt presence complete with great hustle around the rim, plenty of altered shots in the paint and a nice array of passes to open teammates.

 

Dropped Out: Patrick Mills (7), Chase Budinger (9)

Next in Line: Jordan Hill, Arizona; Chase Budinger, Arizona; Gani Lawal, Georgia Tech; Patrick Patterson, Kentucky

 

Rising

Jerome Jordan - Tulsa

When's the last time a member of the Golden Hurricane heard his name called on draft night? That would be 1999 when Michael Ruffin was a second round pick of the Chicago Bulls. Jerome Jordan should be the next one. The junior 7-footer is having a solid season thus far, posting averages of 11.3 points and 8.2 rebounds while seeing improvements in his shooting from the field and the line. His offensive game is still very much developing, but his increasing basketball IQ and tremendous wingspan make him a real presence on the defensive side of the ball.

 

Kyle Singler - Duke

Questions about Singler's ability to produce on the court outside of shooting the ball appear to have been answered in the early going. He is rebounding the ball better, he is more of presence on defense and he has become a better playmaker for the Blue Devils. With his size, if he can boost those perimeter shooting numbers just a few more percentage points the Oregon native can start thinking lottery.

 

Falling

K.C. Rivers - Clemson

After a great junior season that had Rivers looking like a second round pick, the Tigers sharp shooter now finds himself cooling off in his last year with the team. Rivers has seen his scoring numbers drop and has only produced one big game which came against Liberty. Most concerning is that his biggest weapon, his perimeter shooting, has been noticeably absent this season, but that hasn't stopped him from firing more than five times per game from beyond the arc.