NBA Draft 2012: Power Rankings Top Available Sophomores

Zack AlspaughContributor IIIJune 26, 2012

NBA Draft 2012: Power Rankings Top Available Sophomores

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    With the draft just days away, the anticipation is peaking. The 2012 incoming class is loaded with young talent, and by young, I mean underclassmen. 21 of mynbadraft.com's mock draft first 30 picks are sophomores or younger. The NBA really is becoming a young man's league. 

    Here is a quick look at the most talented bunch in the sophomore class. Here's a hint, Fab Melo didn't make the list. 

     

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7. Terrence Jones

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    Stats:

    Season

    PPG

    RPG

    APG

    SPG

    BPG

    MPG

    FG%

    FT%

    3P%

    A/T

    TOPG

    2011-12

    12.342

    7.158

    1.342

    1.289

    1.789

    29.342

    50.0

    62.7

    32.7

    0.800

    1.632

    2010-11

    15.658

    8.842

    1.579

    1.132

    1.895

    31.474

    44.2

    64.6

    32.9

    0.800

    1.974

    School: Kentucky               Height: 6'10"        Weight: 245 pounds             Position: PF/SF

    Projected Draft Pick: No. 18 Minnesota Timberwolves (mynbadraft.com)

     

    Upside:

    At 6'10" with a 7'2" wingspan and the agility of a small forward, Jones is a defensive coach’s dream. His versatility could make him a weapon in matchups from Lamar Odom to Paul Millsap.

    He can score a variety of ways including in the post, in transition, putting the ball on the floor and of course, spotting up both mid-range and (inconsistently) from three. His length and exceptional leaping ability allow him to live above the rim.

     

    Flaws:

    Jones has a bit of an attitude issue, can be pouty and inconsistent. His biggest offseason improvement will have to be his maturity level. Another concern is he is neither a true power forward nor a true small forward.

    His dribbling ability is a liability around the perimeter, particularly if matched up with smaller players, and would make for a better face-up forward than a traditional post player. GMs and coaches alike will have to think carefully whether Jones’ between-forward skill set will fit within the team’s overall scheme.

6. Perry Jones III

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    Stats:

    Season

    PPG

    RPG

    APG

    SPG

    BPG

    FG%

    FT%

    3P%

    A/T

    TOPG

    2011-12

    13.485

    7.636

    1.273

    0.848

    0.606

    50.0

    69.6

    30.3

    0.800

    1.697

    2010-11

    13.900

    7.200

    1.200

    0.533

    0.900

    54.9

    66.4

    20.0

    0.500

    2.300

    School: Baylor            Height: 6'11"                Weight: 235 pounds             Position: PF

    Projected Draft Pick: No. 17 Dallas Mavericks (mynbadraft.com)

     

    Upside:

    Without a doubt, Perry Jones has NBA-type talent. DraftExpress.com describes,

    Just how rare and unique a player he is becomes immediately evident the moment you start watching him. He has a tremendous combination of size, athleticism and skills, making him appear to be capable of doing anything he wants on the basketball court.

    He can beat players in a variety of ways and shine while doing it. Jones is fluid, explosive, can hit from deep and work within the paint. If Dallas ends up taking him, Jones is likely the type of dynamic power forward Mark Cuban sought out of Lamar Odom last season.

     

    Flaws:

    Perry needs to improve the consistency of his shot. If he raises his field goal percentage, it will open the opportunity to drive as well. Defensively, Perry can seem lost, lacking strong awareness, toughness and focus. He needs to improve as a rebounder if he plays the power forward position.

5. Terrence Ross

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    Stats:

    Season

    PPG

    RPG

    APG

    SPG

    BPG

    MPG

    FG%

    FT%

    3P%

    A/T

    2011-12

    16.400

    6.429

    1.400

    1.257

    0.943

    31.086

    45.7

    76.6

    37.1

    0.700

    2010-11

    8.029

    2.824

    0.971

    0.559

    0.353

    17.441

    44.3

    75.8

    35.2

    1.400

    School: Washington       Height: 6'6"          Weight: 190 pounds           Position: SG/SF

    Projected Draft Pick: No. 16 Houston Rockets (mynbadraft.com)

     

    Upside:

    Ross will thrive in the 2-guard position, where his size advantage and ability to shoot will make him a threat. He practically lives beyond the arc and shoots well off of screens.

    He is also effective on cuts, where his speed and size allow him to create space between him and the defender.  A smart coach will find ways to get Ross open looks.

     

    Flaws:

    He lacks handles for a potential shooting guard. Without a threat to drive he will remain a three-point specialist at best, which is a shame considering his speed.

4. Jared Sullinger

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    Stats:

    Season

    PPG

    RPG

    APG

    SPG

    BPG

    FG%

    FT%

    3P%

    A/T

    TOPG

    2011-12

    17.486

    9.189

    1.243

    1.162

    1.054

    51.9

    76.8

    40.0

    0.600

    1.919

    2010-11

    17.162

    10.189

    1.162

    1.000

    0.541

    54.1

    70.4

    25.0

    0.700

    1.595

    School: Ohio State          Height: 6'9"            Weight: 280 pounds       Position: C

    Projected Draft Pick: No. 15 Philadelphia 76ers (mynbadraft.com)

     

    Upside:

    Sullinger is easily the most controversial player of this year’s draft. In early May, DraftExpress.com ranked the Buckeye big man top of the sophomore class. Now, nearly two months later his stock has plummeted, and so has his possible pick position, from lottery range to uninvited to draft day events.

    The two-time All-American will undoubtedly have a huge chip on his shoulder. He has one of the most polished back-to-basket games in the draft, relying on skilled post moves and a prudent shot selection. He has the athleticism to play high post and pick-and-roll offenses, and will fight for rebounds at both ends of the floor.

     

    Flaws:

    There is a huge question mark about his overall health. He has been red-flagged by league doctors with supposed back problems that he plans to fix with yoga, but can’t fix teams’ waning interest. Sullinger is also fairly undersized for an NBA power forward and is slow laterally.

3. Dion Waiters

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    Stats:

    Season

    PPG

    RPG

    APG

    SPG

    BPG

    MPG

    FG%

    FT%

    3P%

    A/T

    2011-12

    12.622

    2.297

    2.486

    1.811

    0.324

    24.081

    47.6

    72.9

    36.3

    1.900

    2010-11

    6.559

    1.559

    1.471

    1.118

    0.118

    16.294

    41.1

    81.2

    32.9

    1.700

    School: Syracuse             Height: 6'4"           Weight: 215 pounds          Position: SG

    Projected Pick: No. 8 Toronto Raptors (mynbadraft.com)

     

    Upside:

    Waiters is a very instinctual basketball player who uses his size and handling skills to his advantage, He is aggressive at the rim and plays tenacious defense.

    In many ways, Waiters reminds me of Jameer Nelson. He has good court vision, which is a tremendous advantage in transition and in a pick-and-roll offensive set.

     

    Flaws:

    He isn’t particularly fast for a shooting guard. Also, Waiters had a tendency to disappear against stiffer competition and some inconsistency at times led Jim Boeheim to utilize him as a sixth man rather than a starting guard.

    Waiters will need to elevate his floor general game if he wants to be more than a defensive role player at the next level.

2. Jeremy Lamb

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    Stats:

    Season

    PPG

    RPG

    APG

    SPG

    BPG

    MPG

    FG%

    FT%

    3P%

    A/T

    TO

    2010-11

    11.146

    4.463

    1.610

    0.854

    0.610

    27.805

    48.7

    79.7

    36.8

    1.300

    1.26

    2011-12

    17.7

    4.9

    1.7

    1.2

    0.60

    37.2

    47.8

    60.1

    33.6

    1.70

    2.0

     School: UCONN        Height: 6'5"             Weigh: 185 pounds              Position: SG

    Projected Pick: No. 13 Phoenix Suns (mynbadraft.com)

     

    Upside:

    Great length, explosiveness and a smooth shot. Lamb's biggest advantage entering the NBA is his ability to play off of the ball. Although he was leading scorer for the U.S. U-19 national team, he excels most when he is the second threat on an offense.

    Lamb spots up really well and scores a lot of his points in transition. His long arms and agility allow him to defend at a high level.

     

    Flaws:

    He depends too much on a step-back jumper rather than attacking the rim. Lamb is also lanky and can use some size if he ever expects to score inside the key. His shot selection was questionable in his second season, but that was most likely a result of the Huskies lacking offensive cohesion.

1. Harrison Barnes

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    Stats:

    Season

    PPG

    RPG

    APG

    SPG

    BPG

    FG%

    FT%

    3P%

    A/T

    TOPG

    2011-12

    17.053

    5.211

    1.132

    1.079

    0.342

    44.0

    72.3

    35.8

    0.600

    1.947

    2010-11

    15.676

    5.838

    1.432

    0.730

    0.432

    42.1

    75.4

    34.4

    0.700

    1.946

     School: North Carolina           Height: 6'8"       Weight: 215 pounds         Position: SF

    Projected Pick: No. 5 Sacramento Kings (mynbadraft.com)

     

    Upside:

    Despite a highly scrutinized college career, Barnes led the Tar Heels in scoring and was All-ACC. He is a highly polished offensive-minded player with strong fundamentals and footwork. Barnes uses his body to create separation from defenders and will have no problem adjusting to the NBA physically.

     

    Flaws:

    Barnes needs to improve his handles and at times he can be overly ambitious with his shot selection. He also has a staggeringly low assist average, considering how much he touches the ball.