Top 10 Prospects Report: Monroe on the Rise

    
December 11th, 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 - last week)

It really says something when consecutive performances of 25 and 6 followed by 19 and 9 is considered a down week.

2. James Harden - Arizona State (2)

Sunday's 20-point, 9-rebound, 6-assist performance versus Nebraska wont be the last time this super sophomore approaches a triple-double this year.

3. Hasheem Thabeet - Connecticut (3)

The Huskies didn't face any real challenges this week, but Thabeet did exactly what he was expected to do against the lesser competition; control the inside.

4. Earl Clark - Louisville (5)

Clark gets a bump this week after great performances versus Indiana State and Ohio. The match up with the Bobcats in particular was an opportunity to see the junior's all-around abilities on full display.

5. Tyreke Evans - Memphis (6)

Nothing helps out a players stock like 24 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists; especially when he gets those numbers in 22 minutes. Sure it was Marist, but Evans put together his most impressive showing of the season.

6. Ty Lawson - North Carolina (9)

Lawson is proving to be a big game player, posting his two best performances versus Notre Dame and Michigan State. The seven swipes he had against the Spartans showed just how dangerous the point guard can be on defense when he puts his mind to it.

7. Patrick Mills - Saint Mary's (8)

Business as usual for the Gael's top dog with a solid showing against Kent State.

8. B.J. Mullens - Ohio State (7)

Finally the highly touted freshman gives us something to hang our hat on. That's not to say that his 11 points and 7 rebounds going against Notre Dame is the start of a rampage, but it's a step in the right direction.

9. Chase Budinger - Arizona (10)

His scoring numbers took a dip this week, but he made up for it by doing a better job of distributing the basketball.

10. Greg Monroe - Georgetown (NA)

The Hoya big man enters the top ten as he continues to prove critics wrong. His numbers have been solid and all the talk that centered around his lack of effort appears to have been left behind at the high school level.

Dropped out: Jrue Holiday (4)

Next in Line

Jrue Holiday, UCLA; Nick Calathes, Florida; Patrick Patterson, Kentucky; Darren Collison

 

Rising

Gani Lawal - Georgia Tech

Generally when a coach doubles a players minutes from his freshman to his sophomore year he expects to see his production increase as well. In the case of Gani Lawal he has nearly tripled his scoring and rebounding numbers. The super athletic forward showed flashes of ability last year and has taken his game to new heights, highlighted by a 34-point, 10-rebound performance against Penn State. With great length and super explosiveness Lawal shows real potential to eventually be a solid small forward at the next level.

Jordan Hill - Arizona

It's taken a couple of years, but Hill is finally realizing his potential. Blessed with a big frame and great athleticism, the junior projects out well as a power forward in the NBA. His numbers have been great, posting six double-doubles in his first eight games, and his post game seems to be looking more polished than it has in the past. Speaking strictly from a college perspective, Arizona fans should be thrilled with Hill's play so far and if he keeps it up the Wildcats may do better than expected in the Pac-10.

Falling

Gerald Henderson - Duke

Widely considered the best pro prospect in the ACC this season, Henderson has failed to live up to expectations so far. His scoring, rebounding, and shooting numbers have all dropped, although it is encouraging to see his turnovers have dropped as well. What has to be most frustrating though is aside from a 20-point showing against Southern Illinois, the junior hasn't put together a statement game. Despite the Blue Devils whipping Purdue 76-60 in an early marquee match up, Henderson mustered just two points on 1-8 shooting.

Demar DeRozan - USC

We all knew how physically gifted DeRozan was coming out of the prep scene, but he hasn't been able to make it work for him at the college level yet. His skills don't seem to be completely on par with his athleticism and this is most obvious when observing his ball handling abilities. Too often DeRozan has been content to drive right at his defender and try to force a tough lay up over the top of him, rather than working for a better shot. Three straight games in double figure scoring may be the start of him getting more comfortable with the basketball.