Blog Entry

A must-read explanation of the player rankings

Posted on: October 22, 2008 12:15 pm
Edited on: October 23, 2008 2:06 am
 

Dear reader:

There is no way to do the player rankings without providing an explanation.

So here is your explanation.

Please read it.

I beg you.

It could save us both a lot of time.

Just like last year I separated the players into three categories -- specifically point guards and combo guards, wings and big men. This was done for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was to help avoid endless debates about whether Stephen Curry is a point guard or shooting guard, Danny Green is a shooting guard or small forward, Kyle Singler is a small forward or power forward and so on and so forth. Trust me, had I broken this into the five conventional positions we would've argued about all that stuff. So this way is better, I think, and what I tried to do is group the players based upon the following descriptions:

1. Points and Combos

This category includes ...

  • Point guards
  • Combo guards
  • Shooting guards who are closer to being point guards than small forwards

2. Wings

This category includes ...

  • Small forwards
  • Shooting guards who are closer to being small forwards than point guards
  • Power forwards who are closer to being small forwards than centers

3. Big Men

This category includes ...

  • Centers
  • Power forwards who are closer to being centers than small forwards

Simple enough, right?

And what I did was rank 40 guards, 30 wings and 30 big men for a total of 100 players.

Now let me make four final points before I go:

Point No. 1: Please don't look at the list of "Points and Combos" and send some scathing email about how I am stupid to have forgotten Wayne Ellington. I didn't forget him. I just concluded that he's a better fit for the "Wings" category because he's closer to a shooting guard/small forward than a point guard/shooting guard, and these are the decisions I had to make. Some of it is subjective, I admit. But what I'm trying to say is that if you're looking for a player and don't see him, ask yourself whether I could've put him in another category. If so, I probably did.

Point No. 2: These rankings are not based on NBA potential. I can't stress that enough. An NBA general manager would clearly take Hasheem Thabeet over Tyler Hansbrough, but no college coach would, and that's how I ranked the players. Put another way, these rankings are designed to reflect what I think of these prospects as college basketball players, which is why somebody's status as a "future lottery pick" doesn't carry much weight if they aren't also bigtime college performers. Likewise, if somebody is great in college I don't care if they might be too short to play in the NBA. I'm not drafting for the NBA here. I'm ranking college basketball players.

Point No. 3: The freshmen should be ranked, which is why I ranked them. If the past two years have shown us anything it's that as long as the best high school players are mostly being forced into college then some of the best players in the country will forever be freshmen. I have ranked them accordingly.

Point No. 4: I don't mind feedback or criticism, but I do have one request. Try not to send a simple "Player X is too low, you idiot!" note. Rather, tell me where you'd put him and which player you'd move down to put him there. In other words, an email that says "Tyrese Rice is too low" accomplishes nothing. I want one that says "Tyrese Rice is too low; he should definitely be higher than Sherron Collins." Or whatever. Just explain yourself, that's all. And remember, you can't have 11 players in the Top 10. You have to remove somebody before you can insert somebody else, so be sure to keep that in mind.

OK, I think that's it.

Any questions, just ask.

(But just don't ask dumb questions.)

Sincerely.

Your pal.

gary

Category: NCAAB
Comments

Since: Apr 29, 2008
Posted on: October 27, 2008 1:29 pm
 

A must-read explanation of the player rankings

Point No. 2: These rankings are not based on NBA potential. I can't stress that enough. An NBA general manager would clearly take Hasheem Thabeet over Tyler Hansbrough, but no college coach would, and that's how I ranked the players. Put another way, these rankings are designed to reflect what I think of these prospects as college basketball players, which is why somebody's status as a "future lottery pick" doesn't carry much weight if they aren't also bigtime college performers. Likewise, if somebody is great in college I don't care if they might be too short to play in the NBA. I'm not drafting for the NBA here. I'm ranking college basketball players.

I take issue with this claim when looking at your ranking of Blake Griffin.  How is it that you ranked Blake Griffin at #3 of the big men?  Your description: "Griffin hasn't posted the numbers of Hansbrough or Harangody, but he's more gifted than either and a better NBA prospect. In fact, don't be surprised when Griffin goes No. 1 in next year's draft, because he could've gone in the top five of this year's draft."  That uses none of his college stats or performances to justify his ranking, and waxes poetic about his NBA potential.  I don't care about giftedness or NBA potential, I want to know why he's #3 based on his college performances thus far (or at least his projected performance for this season).  Note that I'm not arguing his #3 ranking...I just don't see any information from you to back it up.

Aside from that, I applaud your rankings and justifications.  While you often mention NBA potential, you do justify your rankings of the players as college basketball players with information about their current level of play.

Sincerely,

A picky, but pleased, reader




Since: Oct 9, 2006
Posted on: October 26, 2008 12:51 pm
 

A must-read explanation of the player rankings

Okay, thanks for the explanation. But you do tend to list ALOT of players on the east coast and in the south. Do you take the time to consider the West? What was your reasoning for not listing 7-2 Luke Nevill of Utah?




Since: Sep 23, 2006
Posted on: October 23, 2008 2:37 pm
 

A must-read explanation of the player rankings

Patterson is ranked appropriately, 2nd team All-American, but I was surprised not to see Jodie Meeks' name on the wing or combo list.  Obviously there are questions about his health, but LeVance Fields faces the same questions.  I expect Meeks' to be 2nd team all-SEC this year, meriting a rating of perhaps 15-25 on your wing list.  He lacks Scotty Hopson's pure athleticism, but is head and shoulders ahead of him defensively.  Not the pro prospect that Hopson is, but, like you said, we're evaluating college players.



Since: Jan 28, 2008
Posted on: October 22, 2008 9:31 pm
 

A must-read explanation of the player rankings

I don't believe that you've ranked Patrick Patterson high enough, because I don't see his name anywhere in this article.  Just thought I would rep the insane UK fan crowd early in this race.


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