2011 NBA Draft: Power Ranking the Top 10 Underclassmen Available
With most college basketball teams sitting at home with their season finished, many top NBA prospects are already looking ahead to the NBA draft.
While the crop of seniors entering the draft is nothing worth calling home about, there is an abundance of underclassman who will be going very high in June's draft.
Although it seems every week a new player breaks through with a dominating performance that rockets their stock, this list will attempt to rank the top ten underclassmen.
Feel free to comment below with your opinions of the best players who are underclassman.
#10 Marcus Morris- Kansas
Marcus Morris is one of the twin brothers that lead Kansas to a number one seed this season and is the better of the two.
A junior, Morris has had three season under Bill Self to really polish his game for the NBA.
Morris is one of the best fundamental players in college basketball and should draw some NBA lottery pick attention.
Morris averaged 17.2 points per game and 7.6 rebounds per game this season.
#9 Kawhi Leonard- San Diego State
Most people in America, including myself, had never heard the name Kawhi Leonard prior to this years magical run by San Diego State.
The sophomore was the drive behind the Aztecs great season and is a top NBA prospect.
Leonard averaged 15.5 points and 10.6 rebounds per game this season and will likely declare for the draft, with the weaker big man class this season.
Leonard is only six foot seven and could be looked over by NBA teams looking for that true big man build.
#8 Terrence Jones- Kentucky
Terrance Jones has largely been overshadowed by a teammate of his who is on this list a little bit later, but the freshman should also be a top 15 pick.
Jones is averaging 15.8 points and 8.7 rebounds per game and is one of the better big men down low in college right now.
Jones has struggled to put up points in the NCAA tournament, but has contributed with two blocks each game.
Jones may not be the best known Wildcat, but he is still a top underclassman draft prospect.
#7 Perry Jones- Baylor
At one point, Perry Jones would have been at the top of this list, but as the season has progressed, Jones has slid down, as his weaknesses were exposed.
Jones is quite possibly the best athlete in college basketball and could be the best NBA player from this list five years from now, but right now, he is still developing.
Jones has the size and speed of a great NBA prospect, but what he lacks is a polished game.
Jones may or may not declare for the draft, but if he does, he will be a top 10 pick, with teams knowing they will need to wait a few years for him to reach his full potential.
Jones averaged 13.9 points and 7.2 rebounds per game for Baylor.
#6 Brandon Knight- Kentucky
Brandon Knight has almost single handily lead his Kentucky team to the Final Four, making clutch game winning shot after clutch game winning shot.
Knight wasn't too high on everyone draft board, until he stepped into the national spotlight of the NCAA Tournament.
The freshman is sure to be this year's star one-and-done player from Kentucky and if he can continue to dominate in the tournament, he can move into the top five picks.
Knight is averaging 17.3 points per game and 4.2 assists per game for the Wildcats.
#5 Kemba Walker- Connecticut
One of the front-runners to win Player of the Year, Kemba Walker has been amazing the entire season.
Walker has lead his UConn team into the Final Four and is one of the few players on this list who is still playing.
Walker has shown time after time this season that he can make the clutch shot, with no better example than the step-back he hit against Pittsburgh.
Walker may be somewhat of a one-trick pony and needs to go to a team that can give him lots of shots every game.
This season, Walker is averaging 23.9 points, 4.5 assists and 5.3 rebounds per game.
#4 Jared Sullinger- Ohio State
Jared Sullinger is the best true big man in the country and even though he is only a freshman, he has already established a great reputation.
Sullinger claimed that he will be returning to Ohio State next season, but whether he will stick to those words that were in the heat of the moment of Ohio States loss remains to be seen.
If Sullinger goes pro, he could go very high in the draft because he is the best big man in college right now.
Sullinger averaged a little over 17 points and 10 rebounds a game this season at Ohio State.
#3 Derrick Williams- Arizona
Derrick Williams has shot up the draft boards with his performance in the NCAA tournament and some experts consider him to be the number one pick.
While I was amazed by Williams performance to end the season, especially his monster game against Duke in which he had 32 points and 13 rebounds, I am still not completely sold on the best player in the nation argument.
Williams has shown that he can bang down low and shoot well in college, but I wonder how well his game will translate to the NBA, with its bigger bodies.
Williams had some highlight reel plays this season and will be a top five pick in the NBA draft.
#2 Harrison Barnes- UNC
Harrison Barnes is a somewhat undersized forward, but still has amazing value because of his talent.
Barnes is only a freshman, but has already shown throughout the season that he possess the skills that will allow him to take it to the next level.
Barnes is always the first player down the court for UNC and is unstoppable in transition. Another strength of Barnes is his creativity with the ball, as shown by the off the backboard pass he threw himself in the Kentucky game.
Barnes averaged almost 16 points and six rebounds on the season and is a sure top pick in the draft.
#1 Kyrie Irving- Duke
Kyrie Irving may have missed most of Duke's season with a toe injury, but he did his required one year in college and will surely be headed to the draft.
Irving was able to come back for the NCAA tournament and contributed in limited time, scoring 28 points in Duke's loss to Arizona.
On the season, Irving averaged 17.5 points per game, and many consider him to be this years John Wall.
Irving is more of a scorer than a passer, even though he plays point guard, but he will add instant value to whatever team drafts him in June.
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