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NCAA Freshman Rankings
by: Jonathan Watters - Director of NCAA Scouting
January 14, 2007
DraftExpress.com NCAA Freshman Rankings

Every now and then, real life tops fiction. It just so happens that the first high school graduating class forced to attend college by the NBA’s new age limit happens to be the best we’ve seen in a very, very long time. In a normal year, we might still be wishing for the days when players like the Big Dog, Jason Kidd, and the Fab Five brought the nation to a standstill wearing NCAA uniforms. But thanks to players such as Kevin Durant, Brandan Wright and Greg Oden, we are living them all over again. Not only is there an a near-unprecedented amount of talent at the top, but the overall depth is quite impressive. Ranking this many players at this early stage is a near-impossible task, but if any group ever deserved such respect, it would be the 06-07 freshman class.

Big Men, Big Men, and More Big Men



Obviously, the most important freshman story is the group of elite-level big men at the top of the rankings. Greg Oden(#1)remains atop the rankings, and outings like this afternoon’s are only going to solidify his grip on the number one spot. But if there is one player who has provided a “Carmelo”-type impact, it would be Texas’ Kevin Durant (#2). Durant is considered a wing by many, but limiting the 6’10 phenom to a single position would be selling him short.

In many years, Brandan Wright would be locked atop the mock draft right now. And while he is a longshot to pass up Oden or Durant, the freakishly long, freakishly athletic power forward is certainly a special prospect in his own right. For now, he gets the nod as the third best freshman in the country, with truly special low post scorer Spencer Hawes (#4), skilled Jayhawk Darrell Arthur(#7), and Georgia Tech forward Thaddeus Young (#6) all within striking distance.

A trio of seven footers also deserves special mention. 7’3 Connecticut phenom Hasheem Thabeet (#8) is very much a work in progress, but the flashes of potential are coming more and more regularly. Brook (#10) and Robin (#15) Lopez, the freshman twin towers patrolling the paint at Stanford, often get lost in the shuffle behind the other big names in this class. But their talent and physical superiority is undeniable – it is hard to see either one lasting too long at the college level.

Elite Floor Generals



While this class has long been known for its post players, there are several point guards that must be noted as well.

While there is no obvious top dog here, it appears that three players are in the running. Each plays a different style, and there is plenty of debate amongst the DX staff about which one is the top prospect. If you like your point guard to be fast and capable of making decisions on the fly, Tywon Lawson (#11) is your man. He sports a near-3/1 Ast/TO ratio and appears to get a little bit better every time out. 6’5 Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket Javaris Crittenton (#14) offers the size, athleticism and physical superiority that NBA decision makers dream of. Meanwhile, Ohio State’s Mike Conley (#17) continues to dazzle with his near-flawless decision making and steady all-around court sense. All three have a chance to be lottery picks someday.

Outside the top three, several other intriguing point guard prospects exist. Gonzaga’s Matt Bouldin (#19) has cooled off a bit after a blazing start, but should emerge as an elite-level modern NBA combo guard prospect. DJ Augustin (#34) has put up big numbers for Texas, and while it has taken Kentucky’s Derrick Jasper (#22) and Sherron Collins (#29) of Kansas a bit longer to get going, both are starting to play at a high level.

Top Wings



Arizona’s Chase Budinger (#5) is the clear-cut number one at the wing. The Wildcat offense is perfect for the former volleyball player’s development, and the lack of big time upperclassman wing prospects should hasten his path to the league.

Several players can make a case behind Buddinger, with Ohio State’s Daquan Cook (#13) perhaps the most likely to end up one-and-done, while Wayne Ellington’s (#16) ability to put the ball in the basket is truly unique, and his Tar Heel career is likely to end with a spot in the lottery. Paul Harris (#15) and Gerald Henderson (#20) are taking a bit longer to adjust, but both have come up with their share of moments. Washington’s Quincy Pondexter is a headline-grabbing athlete and prospect, with Connecticut high-flyer Stanley Robinson (#21) really starting to emerge and ready to join this top group.

Potential or Production?

This is the biggest issue that must be tackled in putting together a list of freshmen, and there are plenty of individual dilemma’s to struggle with when it comes to this group.

On one hand, we have producers such as USC’s Taj Gibson (#23), California’s Ryan Anderson (#24), Connecticut’s Jerome Dyson (#38) and NC State’s Brandon Costner (#49). These freshmen already rank amongst the top players in their respective conferences, and are already making their mark on the national college basketball landscape.

But about some of the higher-upside prospects that, for whatever reason, haven’t put up the big numbers yet? Some, such as, Vernon Macklin (#26) at Georgetown and Florida’s Mareese Speights (#27), play for good teams and will earn larger roles with time. Others, like 6’10 Louisville wing Earl Clark (#25) and imposing Rutgers big man Hamady N’Diaye (#54) are not yet capable of producing at a high level but must be kept in mind because of the upside they possess.

There is no correct way to deal with the potential vs production issue, except that it must be balanced on a consistent basis. Everybody is comfortable with a different level of each, so we encourage you to let us know what you think about a freshman class that should continue to inspire all sorts of discussion and debate over the next four years.

 


Feedback for this article may be sent to jonathan.watters@draftexpress.com .

 

Jason Kidd
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 4"
Weight: 215 lbs.
Birthday: 03/23/1973
41 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Notre Dame St. Joseph
Previous Team: California , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #2 in 1994 Draft
by the Mavericks
Positions:
Current: G,
NBA: PG,
Possible: G
Quick Stats:
4.3 Pts, 3.3 Rebs, 3.3 Asts


Kevin Durant
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 10"
Weight: 215 lbs.
Birthday: 09/29/1988
25 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Montrose Christian
Previous Team: Texas , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #2 in 2007 Draft
by the SuperSonics
Positions:
Current: SF/PF,
NBA: SF/PF,
Possible: PF
Quick Stats:
32.0 Pts, 7.4 Rebs, 5.5 Asts


Brandan Wright
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 10"
Weight: 200 lbs.
Birthday: 10/07/1987
26 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Brentwood Academy
Previous Team: North Carolina , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #8 in 2007 Draft
by the Bobcats
Positions:
Current: PF,
NBA: PF,
Possible: PF/C
Quick Stats:
14.0 Pts, 3.0 Rebs, 1.0 Asts


Greg Oden
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 7' 0"
Weight: 257 lbs.
Birthday: 01/23/1988
26 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Lawrence North
Previous Team: Ohio State , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #1 in 2007 Draft
by the Trailblazers
Positions:
Current: C,
NBA: C,
Possible: PF/C
Quick Stats:
2.9 Pts, 2.3 Rebs, 0.0 Asts


Spencer Hawes
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 7' 1"
Weight: 244 lbs.
Birthday: 04/28/1988
25 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Seattle Prep
Previous Team: Washington , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #10 in 2007 Draft
by the Kings
Positions:
Current: C,
NBA: C,
Possible: C
Quick Stats:
13.0 Pts, 8.5 Rebs, 3.3 Asts


Darrell Arthur
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 8"
Weight: 216 lbs.
Birthday: 11/10/1987
26 Years Old
Teams:
High School: South Oak Cliff
Previous Team: Kansas , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #27 in 2008 Draft
by the Hornets
Positions:
Current: PF,
NBA: PF,
Possible: PF
Quick Stats:
5.9 Pts, 3.1 Rebs, 0.9 Asts


Thaddeus Young
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 7"
Weight: 210 lbs.
Birthday: 06/21/1988
25 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Mitchell
Previous Team: Georgia Tech , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #12 in 2007 Draft
by the 76ers
Positions:
Current: SF,
NBA: SF,
Possible: SF/PF
Quick Stats:
14.2 Pts, 4.8 Rebs, 2.0 Asts


Hasheem Thabeet
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 7' 2"
Weight: 267 lbs.
Birthday: 02/16/1987
27 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Cypress Community Christian
Previous Team: Connecticut , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #2 in 2009 Draft
by the Grizzlies
Positions:
Current: C,
NBA: C,
Possible: C
Quick Stats:
1.2 Pts, 1.7 Rebs, 0.0 Asts


Javaris Crittenton
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 5"
Weight: 194 lbs.
Birthday: 12/31/1987
26 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Southwest Atlanta Christian
Previous Team: Georgia Tech , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #19 in 2007 Draft
by the Lakers
Positions:
Current: PG,
NBA: PG,
Possible: PG/SG
Quick Stats:
14.5 Pts, 4.4 Rebs, 6.7 Asts


Matt Bouldin
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 5"
Weight: 224 lbs.
Birthday: 01/07/1988
26 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Thunder Ridge
Previous Team: Gonzaga , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: PG/SG,
NBA: PG/SG,
Possible: PG
Quick Stats:
13.3 Pts, 4.2 Rebs, 4.1 Asts


Derrick Jasper
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 6"
Weight: 213 lbs.
Birthday: 04/13/1988
26 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Paso Robles
Previous Team: UNLV , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: SG,
NBA: SG,
Possible: SG
Quick Stats:
5.6 Pts, 4.3 Rebs, 1.9 Asts


Sherron Collins
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 217 lbs.
Birthday: 03/18/1987
27 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Crane Tech
Previous Team: Kansas , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: PG,
NBA: PG,
Possible:
Quick Stats:
10.6 Pts, 2.1 Rebs, 2.8 Asts


Chase Budinger
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 7"
Weight: 206 lbs.
Birthday: 12/31/1987
26 Years Old
Teams:
High School: La Costa Canyon
Previous Team: Arizona , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 2, Pick #14 in 2009 Draft
by the Pistons
Positions:
Current: SG/SF,
NBA: SG/SF,
Possible: SG/SF
Quick Stats:
6.7 Pts, 2.5 Rebs, 0.8 Asts


Wayne Ellington
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 5"
Weight: 202 lbs.
Birthday: 10/29/1987
26 Years Old
Teams:
High School: The Episcopal Academy
Previous Team: North Carolina , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #28 in 2009 Draft
by the Timberwolves
Positions:
Current: SG,
NBA: SG,
Possible: SG
Quick Stats:
3.2 Pts, 1.0 Rebs, 0.4 Asts


Paul Harris
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 4"
Weight: 220 lbs.
Birthday: 10/15/1986
27 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Notre Dame Prep
Previous Team: Syracuse , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: SF,
NBA: SG/SF,
Possible: SG
Quick Stats:
13.7 Pts, 6.4 Rebs, 1.3 Asts




Quincy Pondexter
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 6"
Weight: 220 lbs.
Birthday: 03/10/1988
26 Years Old
Teams:
High School: San Joaquin Memorial
Previous Team: Washington , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #26 in 2010 Draft
by the Thunder
Positions:
Current: SF,
NBA: SF,
Possible: SF
Quick Stats:
6.3 Pts, 1.7 Rebs, 1.4 Asts


Stanley Robinson
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 8"
Weight: 213 lbs.
Birthday: 07/14/1988
25 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Huffman
Previous Team: Connecticut , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 2, Pick #29 in 2010 Draft
by the Magic
Positions:
Current: SF/PF,
NBA: SF/PF,
Possible: SF/PF
Quick Stats:
6.0 Pts, 5.1 Rebs, 0.9 Asts


Taj Gibson
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 10"
Weight: 214 lbs.
Birthday: 06/24/1985
28 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Calvary Christian
Previous Team: USC , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #26 in 2009 Draft
by the Bulls
Positions:
Current: PF,
NBA: PF,
Possible: PF
Quick Stats:
13.0 Pts, 6.8 Rebs, 1.1 Asts


Ryan Anderson
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 10"
Weight: 240 lbs.
Birthday: 05/06/1988
25 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Oak Ridge
Previous Team: California , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #21 in 2008 Draft
by the Nets
Positions:
Current: PF,
NBA: PF,
Possible: PF
Quick Stats:
11.9 Pts, 4.6 Rebs, 1.1 Asts


Jerome Dyson
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 180 lbs.
Birthday: 05/01/1987
26 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Winston Churchill
Previous Team: Hapoel Holon , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: PG/SG,
NBA: PG/SG,
Possible: PG
Quick Stats:
16.9 Pts, 3.7 Rebs, 3.2 Asts


Brandon Costner
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 9"
Weight: 230 lbs.
Birthday: 07/21/1987
26 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Seton Hall Prep
Previous Team: N.C. State , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: PF,
NBA: PF,
Possible: PF
Quick Stats:
15.2 Pts, 6.2 Rebs, 2.2 Asts


Vernon Macklin
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 10"
Weight: 243 lbs.
Birthday: 09/26/1986
27 Years Old
Teams:
High School: I.C. Norcom
Previous Team: Gaziantep , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 2, Pick #22 in 2011 Draft
by the Nuggets
Positions:
Current: C,
NBA: C,
Possible: C
Quick Stats:
12.9 Pts, 5.7 Rebs, 0.7 Asts


Earl Clark
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 10"
Weight: 228 lbs.
Birthday: 01/17/1988
26 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Rahway
Previous Team: Louisville , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #14 in 2009 Draft
by the Suns
Positions:
Current: SF/PF,
NBA: SF/PF,
Possible: SF/PF
Quick Stats:
2.6 Pts, 1.8 Rebs, 0.2 Asts


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