Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
If you'd told me that I would be calling Norris Cole overrated just a few weeks into the NBA season, I would have thought you were crazy. Then again, sometimes I forget just how hard it is to stop the uninformed bandwagon from rolling along once it starts.
After Cole's late-game heroics for the Miami Heat at the beginning of the season, everyone was ready to declare this Cleveland State alumnus the greatest thing since sliced bread. This was despite the fact that almost no one had even heard of the guy before the Heat drafted him.
As someone who closely follows NBA prospects from the beginning of their collegiate careers (if not earlier) until they shake David Stern's hand after hearing their name called, I can tell you that I loved Cole while he was still a Viking.
I called him one of the more underrated players over and over again as he slowly crept up draft boards into his eventual position.
I love the guy, but I also recognize his limitations. Cole is not going to immediately become a player good enough to make it a Big Four in South Beach. He's not going to be an All-Star during his rookie season. He's not even going to be the Rookie of the Year.
Yet more people than I would have believed possible were ready to claim all these things after a ridiculously small sample size.
The amazing part was that Cole wasn't even that impressive. A week into the season, after Cole had "broken out," his PER was actually in the single digits, making him a player who was below average if anything. It's amazing what a few SportsCenter highlights can do.
He's currently shooting an unsustainable 47.8 percent from the field after posting field-goal percentages of 38.0, 45.3, 43.2 and 43.9 percent (in that order) during his collegiate days.
Plus, he's turning the ball over way too often, with 2.4 turnovers per game in just 22.7 minutes of action per contest.
Everything adds up to a PER of 15.89 so far this season, a number that leaves him slightly above average.
Cole is going to be a good player in the NBA, maybe even a great one. But please, let's not get ahead of ourselves here.