Hassan Whiteside, C, Marshall, Fr.
Whiteside is one of the "out of nowhere" freshman in the country playing for one of the "out of nowhere teams" in the country. The box scores in his last two conference games have read: 14 points, 14 rebounds, 10 blocks, and 20, 12, and 8. He is skyrocketing up the 2010 NBA Mock Drafts more than any other player has this season and will very likely find himself in the top five of my next 2010 NBA Mock Draft due to his size, athleticism and upside. He did struggle a bit against a more competitive West Virginia team Wednesday night, and by struggle, I mean only 18-6-2.
Derrick Williams, PF, Arizona, Fr.
Williams caught my attention early in the season and continues to impress me with his athleticism, explosiveness and understanding of angles around the basket. He has great strength and aggressiveness for a freshman and has been one of the few pleasant surprises in the very disappointing Pac 10. There is no way Williams turns pro after this season, but if he can improve on his somewhat limited perimeter game, he definitely has the potential to be a lottery pick.
LaceDaruis Dunn, SG, Baylor, Jr.
Dunn came up huge on the big stage against Kansas, pouring in 27 points on 5-8 shooting from deep (albeit in a Baylor loss.) The 6-4 senior has now scored 20-plus points in four straight games in which he is 20-of-35 from deep. He doesn't just stroke it from deep though; Dunn can take defenders off the bounce and really impressed me with his toughness and will to want to take the tough shots in a hostile environment like Kansas. It's unlikely he tests the draft waters after this season, but he someone to keep an eye on for the 2011 NBA Draft.
2010 NFL Draft Stock: Selling
Devin Ebanks, SF, West Virginia, Soph.
The versatile Mountaineer is having a very inconsistent sophomore campaign. He has been held in single digits in three of his last four games including a goose-egg against Notre Dame in which he sat on the bench for most of the second half due to his lack of production. His poor outside shooting remains evident as he has shown very little improvement in that area. Once considered a lottery lock this year, Ebanks' stock is dropping, and at this point, he may be better off returning to school for his junior season.
Kemba Walker, PG, UConn, Soph.
I am not going to directly blame UConn's struggles on Walker's point play as of late, but the sophomore is not helping his draft stock. Walker is trying to do too much and pushing the tempo when it is not there, which has resulted in far too many turnovers. While his three-point shooting has improved, his shot selection has been very questionable which has dipped his field-goal percentage more than eight percent this season. His quickness and play in transition is fantastic, but he has not shown the ability to consistently finish at the rim. At this point, he would be foolish to turn pro this summer.
Craig Brackins, PF, Iowa State, Jr.
Right now, Brackins is probably wishing he would have declared for the draft after his sophomore season rather than returning to Ames. Once a seemingly sure-fire lottery pick, Brackins is slipping on many boards and would likely be taken in the 20s, possibly even falling into the second round. Inconsistent shooting of late has been noticeable as the Cyclone junior is 22-of-68 from the field in his last five games. His three-point percentage has drastically improved which is a positive, but until he finds his groove in other areas of the floor, Brackins' stock is being sold.
so funny about Starbucks and so true. I especially like the part if kucking a snowflake when they are down. I will say this - One of the Starbucks shops in my town is open at 4:30 a.m., which is a Godsend for those infrequent really early work days.